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CONNECT THE WORLD

North Korea Ratchets Rhetoric Further; Louisville's Kevin Ware Talks About His Injury; Unexploded World War II Bomb Found Near Berlin Rail Station; Spain's Princess Cristina Called In To Testify As Suspect In Corruption Scandal

Aired April 3, 2013 - 16:00   ET

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


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Into CNN this hour, according to North Korea's state news agency, the North Korean army is issuing a new threat to the United States. The statement says that the, quote, "merciless operation of North Korean armed forces has been examined and ratified and that the," and I quote, "reckless nuclear threat from the United States will be countered by North Korea's people and North Korea's lighter and diversified nuclear strike means."

We should mention here on CNN that experts agree that North Korea is not capable of reaching the U.S. mainland with its missiles, although, of course, details are extremely sketchy. Incredibly difficult to get information out of the country. It's not clear if North Korea has actually built a nuclear device small enough to fit on a missile.

Let's get to our correspondent in Seoul. Just the other side of the border Kyung Lah who is following developments.

Certainly developments coming thick and fast this hour. What do we know at this point?

KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's before we take everything that we say on its face. Let's remember that this is the government that has shown imagery of the White House blowing up. They are prone to inflating their capabilities. So we need to make sure that they have a history of saying wild and crazy things, Becky.

But what is concerning about this is how very specific it is. I can tell you that the White House is most likely parsing through this particular statement and probably going to focus in on this, quote, cutting edge smaller, lighter, and diversified nuclear strike. That's going to be a big concern.

In the entirety of what's been happening here on the peninsula. Again you have to look at not what North Korea says, but what North Korea does. According to the U.S. Pentagon. So far they have not scene any significant movement on the ground with North Korea. So this may be the wolf -- the boy who cried wolf screaming louder and louder in order to try to counter what they're seeing as more action from the United States.

So, certainly this is not helpful in trying to control things on the peninsula and trying to have cooler heads prevail. This, in addition to the now ongoing problem at the Kaesong Industrial Complex where there's still some 800 South Korean workers there. This is a complex where the South and North Koreans work side by side. The very last place, Becky, where we really see the two Koreas trying to work together -- Becky.

ANDERSON: And Kyung, while we don't want to overstate what has been for some days now bellicose rhetoric, your sitting on the other side of the border. At present, what is the sense in South Korea? We certainly -- and let me just play you this sound heard from the U.S. today. They've said, and just in the past few minutes, we learned the Pentagon is sending a missile defense system to Guam to protect against any possible threat.

The U.S. Defense Secretary says America can't afford to take any chances.

Have a listen to that. And then I want to get a sense from you of the -- of the -- sort of the sense in South Korea, as it was.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: They have ratcheted up their bellicose, dangerous rhetoric and some of the actions they've taken over the last few weeks present a real and clear danger and threat to the interests, certainly of our allies starting with South Korea and Japan. And also the threats that the North Koreans have leveled directly at the United States regarding our base in Guam, threatened Hawaii, threatened the West Coast of the United States.

As secretary of defense, and I think beginning with the president of the United States and all of our leaders, we take those threats seriously.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Until somebody tells me to put my foot on the pedal here I'm going to remain pretty sort of pragmatic about this programming, because I think it's important that we remain level headed here.

Here's what North Korea is saying, exactly. It's a statement we just got from the region. And it says this: "we formally informed the White House and Pentagon that the ever escalating U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK and its reckless nuclear threat will be smashed by the strong will of all of the united service personnel. And people in cutting edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means of the DPRK and that the merciless operation of its revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified."

Believe me, I read that as the statement came in. The grammar may be a little erratic.

I want to get your some perspective on the situation now from somebody who knows the Koreas far better than most. Kyung Lah is still with us. I'm going to keep her with us for the time being.

But Robert Carlin is a former senior adviser to the U.S. government on North Korea. He's visited the country dozens of times and has toured one of its nuclear facilities. I believe, sir, you were there as recently as 2010. You're a visiting scholar at Stanford University.

The news coming in as I speak on air and you're listening to me. What do you make of it?

ROBERT CARLIN, FRM. SENIOR U.S. ADVISER ON NORTH KOREA: I think you hit the right note when you suggest that we don't want to be hyperventilating about this. I don't think that this statement -- and I just got it, so I didn't read it very carefully, but it doesn't look to me to be super alarming, it looks to me that the North Koreans are pushing back on what they're hearing from the United States and what they're seeing.

So we're still at the level of rhetoric that's too hot, needs to be cooled down. But if we say we don't see any actions yet from them, I have to assume that the U.S. military still thinks that the situation is under control.

ANDERSON: We've heard some fairly bellicose rhetoric out of Pyongyang over the past few days. But just a short time ago, we also learned from the Pentagon that it is sending a missile defense system to Guam to, as they say, to protect against any possible North Korean attack. The U.S. defense secretary saying that American can't afford to take any chances.

I want to be very measured here and say we've eluded to the bellicose rhetoric out of Pyong -- out of North Korea of late. Does what you've heard out of the Pentagon sound alarming?

CARLIN: You know, in the past few days I think I've seen the North Koreans lowering the temperature of the rhetoric a little bit. And I'm puzzled by the United States is still at that high level rhetorically. And I don't understand it. There may be good reason for it, but I don't quite see it myself.

ANDERSON: What would the good reason be? Hang on a minute, let me just stop you there. You know this -- you've probably forgotten about North Korea than most of us will ever know so you are our expert on the subject tonight. Why would the Pentagon release a statement like that now?

CARLIN: There are two possibilities. One is that they actually see - - well, three possibilities. One is that they actually see some sort of movement around North Korean missile facilities that worries them. The second is that they are misreading and overreading North Korean propaganda, but you know, fulfilling their responsibilities to be on guard and prepared.

And the third is as happened in 1994, the U.S. is over reacting, going a little bit too far and needs to pull back before we go over a cliff.

ANDERSON: Listen, let me give our viewers a sense of what we, at least believe -- I've talked to you about this before the show. I mean, it's very difficult here any real sense of North Korean missile capability. But I want to give our viewers a sense of what we believe to be available to Pyongyang at this point when they are talking tonight about the possibility of a hit on the States.

This graphic gives you a general sense of their ranges. You can see here the potential targets that lie in their path. The first several missile types pose a regional threat. These are Scud Ds as far as I understand, but others can travel far beyond.

If you take a look at the Taepodong 2 missile. Consider this, it can, we believe at least, travel 6,700 kilometers. That is striking distance of Australia, or interestingly Guam where the Americans are saying that they are establishing a missile defense tonight, and possibly Alaska or Hawaii.

Finally, the UNHA3 rocket, which successfully launch North Korea's first satellite into orbit. You may remember that last December. It has an estimated -- and I use that term and underline it for you, estimated range, of 10,000 kilometers, well within striking distance of the United States if it were to have that range. But crucially it hasn't been tested as a missile.

I mean, so I guess those who are watching tonight who hear the rhetoric out of not just Pyongyang, but Washington this evening and see those statistics on missile capability that we believe to be North Korea's -- in North Korea's reach, people may be I guess pretty alarmed. Should they be?

CARLIN: I think people should -- should look ahead. I -- we're going to get out of this particular crisis, it seems to me, without anything really blowing up. But down the road things are going to get more serious. All of those -- or many of those missiles that you pointed out are not ready for battlefield deployment yet. They're not real threats yet, but they will become, or they could become real threats in three or four years.

The North Korean nuclear program is a -- sort of a low level threat at the moment. In another five years, it could become much more serious and complicated.

So what we should be looking at, really, is the decisions and the policies and the approach that we're going to have to take over the next four or five years to deal with these things, because for the last five years we really didn't do a very good job in doing that.

ANDERSON: All right, sir, well it's been a pleasure to have you on. Let me just recap the breaking news coming in this hour to CNN. According to North Korea's state news agency, the North Korean army is issuing a new threat to the United States.

A statement says, and I quote, the merciless operation of North Korean armed forces has been examined and ratified and that the reckless nuclear threat from the U.S. will be countered by North Korea's people and North Korea's," and I quote, "lighter and diversified nuclear strike means."

Again, I should mention that experts agree that North Korea is, or may not be capable of reaching the U.S. mainland by any stretch of the imagination with its missiles. And it's not clear that North Korea has built a nuclear device small enough at this point to fit on a missile.

All right, of course you'll get more on that from CNN as and when we get it.

Still to come tonight, targeted for murder, the plot to rob and kill singer Joss Stone.

Plus, more guns and no restrictions. The NRA's prescription for U.S. school safety.

And we'll hear from the college basketball player who broke his leg on live TV and inspired his team to victory. All that and much more after this. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you. Welcome back.

Taliban militants have carried out what is the deadliest attack in Afghanistan in more than a year. Wearing army uniforms they stormed government buildings in Farrah province attempting to free insurgents who were there standing trial. Now authorities say at least 44 people were killed, most of them civilians. The attack triggered a firefight that lasted nine hours. Several reports say all of the attackers were killed.

It's not clear what caused a fire that raced through a skyscraper in Grozny. These pictures from the Chechnyan capital are incredible. Flames are seen making their way through the 40 story building. More than 100 firefighters battling the blaze told no one, amazingly, was hurt, but dozens were evacuated.

Allegations of corruption have struck the heart of Spain's royal family. The king's daughter, Princess Cristina, faces preliminary charges in a scandal involving her husband. CNN's Al Goodman is in Madrid -- Al.

AL GOODMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky.

This 18 page court document from the investigating magistrate says he didn't have enough reason to bring preliminary charges against Princess Cristina, the youngest of the king's daughters last year. But based on further investigation things have changed. So now he's bringing those charges, putting her as a suspect in this scandal that mainly centers on her husband, the king's son-in-law and his former business partner. They had a non-profit institution that got millions of euros, or dollars in public funds from mutual governments to put on sports events and tourism events. The judge is investigating where that money went. Did it fall into private hands? Does the princess know anything about that -- Becky.

ANDERSON: What more should we expect to hear at this point?

GOODMAN: Well, we have heard late this day from the royal household which earlier in the day said they don't make any comment about judicial decisions. But later this day, the prosecution said they're going to appeal against the investigating magistrate's decision to bring preliminary charges against the princess. The royal household then came out and said they were surprised by the judge's change of stance not last year, but yes this year. And that they seem to support the prosecution.

Now that is also one of the more unprecedented things that we're seeing, because this is the first time that we've had a member of the royal -- an inner member of the royal family with royal blood in modern Spain being called to testify as a suspect in a case involving anything. In this case, of course in the midst of the economic crisis, 26 unemployment -- 26 percent unemployment overall, 55 percent of the youngest Spaniards. And as many people are struggling, they see these allegations that a lot of money was pocketed. That's why this is hitting so hard this day -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Al Goodman in Madrid for you this evening. Al, thank you for that.

Two men have been found guilty of plotting to murder the British singer Joss Stone. Police say the pair were arrested in June 2011 after being caught outside Stone's house with a samurai sword and a body bag. Erin McLaughlin has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a story that could have been scripted in Hollywood, a bungled murder/robbery plot targeting well-known pop singer Joss Stone and two criminals allegedly caught with incriminating notes, a map, body bags and a samurai sword in the small car they crashed before reaching their destination.

JOSS STONE, SINGER: They definitely went "Kill Bill" on it. It's like they sat and just watched like way too many movies.

MCLAUGHLIN: Prosecutors say Junior Bradshaw and Kevin Liverpool drove some 230 miles across England with the intent to rob and kill the 25- year- old soul singer at her home in an idyllic, quiet section of Devon.

On the way over, the duo, whose behavior anything but dynamic, crashed into a fence. Their Fiat was badly mangled.

Apparently lost, the pair was spotted on this main road just miles from the singer's home. Their car was packed with what seemed to be a stash of weapons.

A knife, a hammer, black bags and tape, they were hard to miss in this town not used to strangers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just getting ready to set up for lunchtime, I think it was, and we just saw the car pull up outside.

We did think that they looked a little bit suspicious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The salon was shut.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I don't know why they were banging on the door.

MCLAUGHLIN: There were stopped outside of this hair salon. Police found a picture of Stone and some handwritten notes.

The notes read "Jocelyn RIP, " and, "Once Jocelyn's dead find a river to dump her."

Beyonce and R. Kelly among other famous names mentioned in their writings.

The notes also detailed a possible motive, Stone's royal connections. She was a guest at the wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.

One of the notes called the Queen a "she-devil" who loves Joss Stone.

Bradshaw and Liverpool never made it here to the gates outside Stone's house. The singer says she was home, doors unlocked, at the time of their arrest.

STONE: I tell you what, if they had've come, the farmer would have come up with a big shotgun. They would have had the shock of their lives.

Don't really feel it that much because it didn't happen.

MCLAUGHLIN: Bradshaw suffers from schizophrenia. He says he thought he was going on a harmless day trip. He testified that he didn't even know who Joss Stone was.

It's a defense that didn't hold in court. Both Bradshaw and Liverpool were found guilty of conspiring to rob and murder the singer.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Devin, England.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, thousands of commuters in Berlin faced disruption on Wednesday after an unexploded World War II bomb was discovered near the city's main railway station, but as my colleague Diana Magnay reports, it's not as uncommon as you might think.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the 100 kilogram Russian aerial bomb that a team of three bomb disposal experts have been working on just for 20 to 25 minutes to diffuse it, to unscrew the fuse and make it safe. And here is the actual fuse.

If it had gone off, we've been told by the team -- and this is one of the team members...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't touch it.

MAGNAY: I shouldn't touch it.

It could have created a lot of damage. A crater about three meters deep, three to four meters wide right in the heart of Berlin. We'll come and show you where it happened.

This bomb was found two meters away from this railway line. And just down there is Berlin's main central railway station, the Hauptbahnhof.

So this was a bomb directly in the heart of Berlin which lay for 70 years almost just two meters away from a regularly used train track.

The bomb was discovered just before four PM on Tuesday afternoon by a team of bomb disposal experts who had been hired by Deutsche Bahn the German railway operator to survey the site. And that is very normal when you conduct building operations in this city, because of the huge amount of bombing that Berlin sustained during World War II. There are still thousands of unexploded ordinance in this city.

So all morning, before the diffusing process took place, the police have been evacuating 839 people in total, they said, from the buildings around this area. It gives you a sense that even 70 years after the end of World War II from time to time that war still has a very real physical impact on the lives of people in this city.

Diana Magnay, CNN, Berlin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Diana Magnay reporting.

Encouraging news about the health of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela this hour. South Africa's government says the former president is, and I quote, much better than when he was hospitalized last week. He says he's responding to treatment for pneumonia and making steady improvement. This is Mandela's second hospital stay in the past month and his third since December.

Well, live from London, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. 24 minutes past 9:00 here, at least.

Coming up, we'll have the latest scores from the all important Champion's League quarterfinals. And he suffered an injury so horrific, it drove his team to tears. Just ahead, we'll hear from Kevin Ware as he recovers from his broken leg.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World live from London. I'm Becky Anderson. Joined now by my colleague out of the sports department, because this is the opening week of Champion's League quarterfinal action drawing to a close. And Alex, here to bring us up to date.

It was a great night last night. What's the story this evening?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Not quite as stellar tonight. Malaga-Dortmund 0-0 a short time ago. But an interesting class between Real Madrid and Galatasaray who splashed all the cash bringing in Wesley Schneider, Didier Drogba who used to play under Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. So they're going to have to put aside their friendship. And it was 3-0 to Real Madrid a short time ago in that one. So it looks like they've got it wrapped up ahead of the second leg at the Bernabeu.

ANDERSON: Malaga are an interesting team, actually, because they're almost -- I mean, they were on their knees financially a couple of seasons ago.

THOMAS: But they are...

They still are. And they've got through to the quarterfinals despite all that. And -- yeah, they're doing well against...

ANDERSON: They've got -- and I can't remember his name, and I'm not going to ask you what it is, there's a 16-year-old out of the Ivory Coast who plays for -- we'll come back to that, you and I will tweet it after this. He's one of the most unbelievable players I've ever seen. And I wish he would play for one of our teams here in the UK.

Let's not hang about with Champion's League, although it is great story tonight. Let's cross the Atlantic for the latest on Kevin Ware's recovery from what was a shocking basketball injury.

THOMAS: That's right. The college basketball player who snapped his lower leg in two and it could threaten his whole career, but he had successful surgery. And the recovery is going well, so well in fact that he might travel with his team who went on to win despite the shock of seeing their teammate so struck in the Final Four in what's called March Madness over in the States. And our own Rachel Nichols has been catching up with him. This is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN WARE, UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL PLAYER: I've been fine. I've been trying to walk as I can, you know. I got two metal plates -- well, metal rods in my knees, one at the top, one at the bottom. I've got a metal plate on the side of it. And I'm just ready to recover from this, you know.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I just want you to listen to what you just said, you know, the part where the bone came out. I mean, this is surreal. Can you describe for me what it was like when this happened to you? What you first thought? And then -- take me through that moment?

WARE: I mean, it's kind of insane, you know, because we played Duke earlier in the year at the Bahamas and the same exact play happened where - - not the injury, but the contesting the 3-point shot of the same player. And earlier in the year, it happened just like that. But again in the Elite 8 game it happened kind of different, you know. And I kind of closed out not seeing where I was jumping or how I was going to land. So me just trying to contest a shot and just trying to see if it went in or not kind of looking back not seeing how I was landing kind of messed me up, so I guess I landed completely wrong. And it honestly felt like, well, hurt like -- thought it was like a cord that like went across, but it turned out to be my knee, you know.

And Coach P just kind of gave me one of those looks like, like somebody just saw a ghost or something like that. And I'm looking at him like, you know, confused, so I looked down at my leg and I'm -- it's kind of like my arm. And I see my sneaker on, but my leg is like this, so I just go into automatic shock and...

NICHOLS: I mean, did you realize that was your bone sticking out of your leg?

WARE: I did, but it was like as soon as I went into shock my brother came to the rescue. You know, Luke came right over there and Luke said a prayer for me. And while he's saying this prayer, I'm just looking around, looking at Russ, looking at Payton, looking at Shane and all these guys. And these are my brothers, you know, and this is a big game, you know, a big stage right now. So my first instinct was like, I can't start crying. I can't do this right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS: We'll have more of that interview on World Sport in around an hour's time, Becky.

One other college basketball story from the States, which isn't quite as uplifting as that one is the basketball coach, Coach Rice of Rutgers University has been sacked after video emerged from him pushing his players around, verbally abusing him as well using homo -- what seems to be homophobic language, too.

This video dates back to 2010, but -- and he was suspended for it, but the university has only responded to public outrage to finally get rid of the coach who has, they said, I've got no excuse. It was wrong.

ANDERSON: World Sport in -- what is it? About an hour from now.

Alex Thomas in the house. Thank you, sir.

The latest world news headlines, as you would expect, here on CNN, plus the campaign for gun control. US president Barack Obama is tonight in Colorado to campaign or champion gun restrictions in honor of the latest victims of last year's Aurora shooting massacre.

When words fail you, try singing the moment. CNN's exclusive interview with Michael Jackson's doctor took a somewhat odd turn.

And the 83-year-old style icon. We meet the Aussie waitress who has catapulted this man to fashion fame.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, this is CNN. The top stories for you this hour.

The escalation of rhetoric from North Korea. Just a short time ago, it threatened a nuclear strike on the United States yet again, saying its army has received final approval. We should note most experts agree that North Korea is not capable of reaching the US mainland with its missiles.

Well, that news comes after the Pentagon earlier announced it's sending a missile defense system to Guam to protect against any possible strikes. Let's bring in our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. Barbara, let's just set what we know in context here. What do we know and what should we think about what we've heard?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, how to think about all this is really the question, Becky, you're absolutely right. Look, the Pentagon announced earlier today it's sending those missile defenses to Guam, the US territory in the Pacific about 2,000 miles to the east of North Korea. The concern, North Korea has threatened Guam, Hawaii, the US mainland with missile attacks.

Now, it's one thing to say that they don't have the capability to attack the US mainland. It's pretty doubtful they could even make it as far as Guam. But there are US forces in South Korea, Japan is on edge, the entire region is on edge because of this escalating North Korean rhetoric.

And nobody can really be sure what they might do next. So far, no unusual moves by North Korean military troops that the US has seen, but this is a place that the US doesn't have a very good ability to collect intelligence on. No assets on the ground, only satellites overhead every couple of days to keep an eye on things.

So, while one can assume they don't have the capability, you can't guarantee anything when it comes to the North Korean regime.

ANDERSON: Stick with CNN, we've got reporters all over the region, of course. As we get the news from there, we will bring it to you. Barbara, for the time being, thank you for that.

John Kerry preparing to travel to Israel and Turkey this weekend. Officials say the US secretary of state will try to jump start what are the long-stalled Middle East peace process. Kerry wants to capitalize on the Israeli prime minister's apology to Turkey for a 2010 commando raid that killed nine activists on a Turkish vessel bound for Gaza.

Firefighters in the Chechnyan capital of Grozny are battling a major blaze inside an apartment highrise. The flames, as you see here, racing through the 40-story building. We're told no one was hurt, but dozens were evacuated. There's still no word on what caused the fire.

It is a big night in the States tonight. The National Rifle Association says it's all about keeping America's schools safe. That after a string of shooting massacres. The NRA says more weapons are needed. This is the beginning of a part of the show that we're going to flesh out for you on this subject. Firstly, have a listen to this report from Jim Acosta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN US POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The plan from the NRA's task force on preventing school shootings appears to be simple: more guns and no new gun control.

ASA HUTCHINSON, NRA NATINOAL SCHOOL SHIELD TASK FORCE: The presence of an armed security or personnel in a school adds a layer of security and diminishes response time.

ACOSTA: Among its main recommendations, at least one armed guard or employee, like a teacher, per school, and an NRA program to train school personnel to use firearms. There is both a show of force as the task force released its findings, surrounded by more than a dozen security guards.

HUTCHINSON: If you go into a mall, there's security, and so there's security here at the National Press Club.

ACOSTA: And a show of support from the father of one of the children killed in the mass shooting at Newtown.

MARK MATTIOLI, FATHER OF NEWTON VICTIM: This is recommendations for solutions, real solutions, that will make our kids safer.

ACOSTA: But there were holes in the NRA's report, such as no cost estimates for the armed personnel.

Task force leader and former Republican congressman ASA Hutchinson insisted, while his group's findings were not influenced by the NRA, it didn't look at gun control measures pending before Congress, not even universal background checks, something supported by 90 percent of Americans, according to a recent CBS News poll. A level of support far and above the backing for armed guards in schools.

HUTCHINSON: Obviously --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're independent of the NRA, why not -- why did you not consider that piece of the puzzle.

HUTCHINSON: Because our focus is on school safety and making our schools a safer environment.

ACOSTA: With the NRA digging in its heels, the White House says President Obama will keep pushing.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He believes that that passion, that urgency, still exists around the country and it still exists -- if not in full, then in part in Washington.

ACOSTA: Translation: as one top gun control advocate on Capitol Hill put it, the longer it takes, the harder it gets in Congress.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: We can argue this and argue that, be distracted by this and be distracted by that and do nothing. Do absolutely nothing. And I think we need to be careful with that.

ACOSTA (on camera): A leader of one gun control advocacy group called the NRA's event ironic and hypocritical, noting the gun lobby opposes universal background checks but supports them for school security guards.

As for President Obama, he'll be campaigning for new restrictions on firearms at events in Colorado on Wednesday and Connecticut next week.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, right now, President Obama is on the ground in Colorado to meet with law enforcement officials and community leaders at the Denver Police Academy. That is not far from the Aurora cinema that was the scene of last July's massacre.

Now, at the top of the hour, about 20 minutes from now, Mr. Obama is expected to talk about his gun control campaign. We're going to bring you the president's speech live, it's an important one. Colorado recently adopted universal background checks and 15-round limit on gun magazine size.

Let's see where we are with all of this. The NRA says armed guards at US schools is the way forward. It's not only a controversial idea in America, it's also a talking point in other parts of the world. We went out into the streets of London to find out what people think of the idea. Have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you want to put a gun in the school? It's just -- it's temptation for someone, it's exactly why we shouldn't be doing it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ban guns. Ridiculous. Ridiculous things to do. More guns, more violence, more deaths.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no, no. No on guards, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a bit dangerous. I think it influences kids on guns, to be honest. I think that's a bad --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But at the same time, it could also prevent them from doing anything and also protect them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we want to protect the kids, we have to influence kids on how to live their own life. If they think guns are going to protect them, then kids might be influenced to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- arm themselves with guns in case they have to protect themselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: It's a straw poll we did all over the world. You got a sense of how people, at least, here in the UK feel about the idea. Dennis Van Roekel is president of the National Education Association, and that represents more than 3 million educators. It has some teeth. They say the NRA plan ignores most sensible solutions. He joins me now from our Washington bureau.

Your sense, it seems, supported by those that we spoke to on the street. If not the NRA plan, though, what?

DENNIS VAN ROEKEL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: Well, we believe NRA's focus is just misguided and, in fact, a distraction from what we ought to be talking about. We need to focus keenly on preventative measures.

Number one, we ought to have increased access to mental health services and counseling. Number two, we need to make sure the learning environments are safe and secure. And number three, we need to pass common sense gun legislation that closes loopholes, requires universal background checks, and keeps guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

ANDERSON: The problem is this, isn't it? And I want to remind our viewers -- we always say follow the money, and sometimes -- or most times - - you get to where you want to be. Looking at US gun revenue, it's in the $6 billion range. That is according to business research from Hoovers.

Not only that, during the 2012 US presidential election, the NRA spent $40 million to try to defeat President Obama, to try and keep a lid on potential gun control issues.

Sitting where you are today knowing that Obama, as we speak, is getting ready to address those in Colorado, what do you expect to hear from him and how -- how much teeth does he have at this point to make real change? To do the sort of things you're talking about, invest money in mental health as opposed to investing money in this kind of argument about whether one gun or another should be allowed?

VAN ROEKEL: I think President Obama's voice is very clear and he has a lot of teeth in what he is saying because the American public are there. When we poll our members or the public, they overwhelmingly say we don't want guns in school. The idea is to keep guns out of school, not find new ways to put them in there.

No parent in America or anywhere in the world wants their kindergarten student to pass someone with a gun on their way to the classroom. That's not the way we make schools safe and secure.

ANDERSON: Are you convinced that everybody buys what you say? I have heard time and time again from men and women in the States post these dramatic and awful school associations that they will buy more guns, not less, and that they want to see their kids better -- defended. I'm not sure that everybody buys what you say.

VAN ROEKEL: I think everyone agrees that schools should be safe, that students should be safe. Now, the good news is that schools are probably the safest place for any child in America at any time. The sad news is that it still isn't safe enough, and we can do more.

As I mentioned, more access to mental health services, making sure the school itself is safe and secure, and common sense legislation. We can do things to keep the guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.

ANDERSON: Dennis, you make sense to me, I hope that people are listening to you. Thank you, sir. Your expert on the subject tonight. What do you think about armed weapons in schools? Do you agree with the NRA's executive vice president that, and I quote, "the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun"?

Join the conversation, head to our Facebook site at facebook.com/CNNconnect. You can always tweet me with your thoughts @BeckyCNN, that is @BeckyCNN.

This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson, 43 minutes past 9:00 in London. When we come back, preparing for the worst-case scenario at the world's hub for super jumbos.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, aviation is expected to reach a new milestone this year with the number of passengers worldwide tipped to exceed -- get this - - 3 billion. Yes, that means life will be a lot busier for, example, air traffic control.

And as Andrew Stevens discovered, the first of this -- in the first of this month's Gateway series, emergency services also having to step it up, particularly in Singapore, which is the world's busiest hub for super carriers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A total of 51.2 million passengers flew into, out of, and through Singapore Changi Airport last year. That's 51.2 million lives.

CLETUS PACKIAM, CHIEF, AIRPORT EMERGENCY SERVICE: Once you lose safety, you lose the reputation.

STEVENS: On November 4, 2010, Changi was put to the test when Qantas Flight 32, an A380 super jumbo with 469 passengers and crew, made an emergency landing after an engine exploded in mid-air. Emergency crews on the ground were forced to shut down an uncontrolled engine, but no one was injured.

PACKIAM: When I started, it was the Boeing 707, and you had only 100 passengers, 150 at the most. Now, we are looking at an A380 aircraft, and I know carriers are flying between 450 to 500 passengers. It complicates rescue.

STEVENS: To maintain its safety record, the 200-plus firefighters at Changi go through five to six months of initial training, and then it's all about practice.

(FIRE ENGINE SIREN)

STEVENS: The goal for this scenario: arrive at the scene in two minutes and have the fire under control in one minute. Large-scale drills like this one are performed weekly. It ensures firefighters know the details of every aircraft model. Today, it's the A380.

PACKIAM: I would give them 8 upon 10. There are some areas which I think we can improve. That's the idea of having drills like this, to continuously improve.

STEVENS: With its runway stretching towards the sea, Changi must stand at the ready for water rescues, too.

(SIREN)

STEVENS: The sea rescue base runs its own drills almost every day, deploying its fleet of emergency vessels along with teams of rescuers and divers. An emergency at sea requires careful calculation.

NG CHAK HWEE, MARINE CRAFT OFFICER, AIRPORT EMERGENCY SERVICE: Operations at sea are actually often more complex than that on land because it encompasses many more factors, like tide, current, weather, the visibility.

STEVENS: But with the help of hovercraft, they can quickly switch to a land rescue. The addition of a fourth terminal that will increase airport capacity by 12 million in 2017 will give the Changi Emergency Airport Service a new challenge, but they say they'll be ready.

PACKIAM: We've always been regularly upgrading our resources for rescue and firefighting. We have always spent a lot of time training our staff, retraining them, keeping them current. And that's very essential to our safety.

STEVENS: Andrew Stevens, CNN, Singapore.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: The jury selection continues in the civil trial over Michael Jackson's death. The family believes that concert promoter AEG Live is responsible, insisting it hired Dr. Conrad Murray. You'll remember that name, of course. Lawyers for AEG argue that Murray was selected and paid for by Jackson himself.

Well, the case could be worth billions -- billions -- of dollars. Just hours after the lawsuit began in LA, Conrad Murray spoke exclusively to my colleague, Anderson Cooper, from jail. He's currently serving a four-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter. Anderson began by asking Murray if he would testify at the civil trial. This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CONRAD MURRAY, MICHAEL JACKSON'S PHYSICIAN (via telephone): At this time, I've not been subpoenaed, and -- I am not interested in giving testimony in the trial.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "AC 360": Why is that?

MURRAY: I would invoke my fifth amendment right, because at this time, there is an appeal that is in progress. Depends on what happens to that. In the event that there is a future trial, I do not want to have any issues of self-incrimination.

COOPER: Let me ask you about propofol. As you know, it's supposed to be administered in a hospital. It's a sedative used for surgery. And you certainly were not the first doctor to give Michael Jackson propofol, but you did order a lot of it.

And as a doctor who swore to do no harm, I guess I just still don't understand how you could give this clearly troubled person this powerful sedative in a non-hospital setting.

MURRAY: I think that's a very good question, Anderson. The thing about it is, I -- nobody knows but, I basically was doing my endeavor to get Michael away from propofol. Yes, indeed, I did order propofol to his home, but I was not the one that brought propofol into his home.

I met him with his own stash. I did not agree with Michael. But Michael felt that it was not an issue because he had been exposed to it for years and he knew exactly how things worked. And given the situation at the time, it was my approach to try to get him off of it, but Michael Jackson was not the kind of person you could just say "put it down," and he's going to do that.

COOPER: But as an --

MURRAY: And --

COOPER: -- as a doctor, though --

MURRAY: -- my approach may not have been an orthodox approach, but my intentions were good.

COOPER: You keep saying you were helping him sleep. Propofol, though, doesn't actually restore someone's body. They don't -- sleep, you go into REM sleep, it's a dream state, you're actually restored when you wake up.

Propofol basically shuts your brain off and acts as a depressant on your central nervous system. So, while you say you were helping him sleep, he actually wasn't waking up recharged, correct?

MURRAY: Well, that's a good question again. Did you look at my police interview two and a half hours? I mentioned that I explained to Michael that this is an artificial way of considering sleep. It was basically sedation. Minimal sedation.

COOPER: So, it wasn't actually helping him rest.

MURRAY: Well, again, as I said, I met Michael with his -- in this situation, and my approach of getting it away from him may not have been satisfactory to you, but I succeeded. Up until three days prior to him passing, I was able to get him off of that.

There were some other issues. Surreptitiously, Michael in retrospect, that I learned -- I never knew he was an addict -- he was going to Dr. Klein's office and being loaded up with humongous levels of Demerol.

COOPER: Now you're talking about --

MURRAY: See, that was his addiction, and basically, this -- that is probably the result of causing his insomnia, and -- because that's a huge side effect.

COOPER: The other thing that prosecutors have said and that your defense said that Michael Jackson self-administered a fatal dose of propofol, that was your defense. The jury did not believe that or prosecutors also said even if that was true, the fact that you left this patient alone with propofol in his condition was negligent. Do you feel, again, any guilt about leaving him alone?

MURRAY: Let's -- so, let's talk about that. First of all, I did not need propofol for him to access. I did not leave propofol for him to reach and get it. I did not leave propofol in a drip. It was nothing like that.

Even though Dr. Shafer during the trail said that he could have gotten up and used a ruler and opened up or somebody said he could have reached up and find it, I left nothing such -- no such item in his reach. It is -- he was not on a propofol infusion or a drip. Not at all. Absolutely zilch.

COOPER: But he -- so you continue to maintain you did not give Michael Jackson propofol on the day he died?

MURRAY: I did not give Michael Jackson a propofol drip.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, that interview took an extraordinary turn, let me tell you. When Murray actually broke into song after being asked about the wrongful death lawsuit with AEG Live. Have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MURRAY (singing): He's a little boy that Santa Claus forgot. And goodness knows, he did not want to, God. He wrote a note to Santa for some crayons and a toy. It broke his little heart when he found Santa hadn't come.

In the streets he envied all the lucky boys, but goodness knows, he didn't want a lot. I'm so sorry for that laddie who hasn't got a daddy, he's a little boy that Santa Claus forgot.

MURRAY (speaking): That song tells my story.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: You see, whatever Anderson earns, he earned it that night, didn't he? Unbelievable.

Before we go, some extended Parting Shots for you. The scene is Berlin, the subject a well-dressed octogenarian who has been catapulted to online fashion fame. I spoke to the young blogger who discovered him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): Known only as Ali, this dapper 83-year-old from Berlin is fast becoming a fashion icon, thanks to Aussie waitress and photographer Zoe Spawton.

ANDERSON (on camera): How did all of this begin?

ZOE SPAWTON, PHOTOGRAPHER, "WHAT ALI WORE": Essentially, I work in a cafe in Neukolln. I started noticing this well-dressed gentleman walking past the cafe around the same time every morning. Eventually, I introduced myself, and then after a few weeks, I asked Ali if I could take his photograph. I was just fascinated by his clothes and his demeanor and the way he walked.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Zoe began posting her snaps on social media website Tumblr, and before she knew it, her "What Ali Wore" blog was a hit. Fans swooning with comments like this: "Love this blog, love this man." "Menswear hero." "An 83-year-old can dress better than your favorite rapper."

ANDERSON (on camera): Who is Ali? What can you tell us about him?

SPAWTON: He was a doctor in Turkey, but he moved to Berlin 44 years ago, and since then has not worked as a doctor. He currently still works as a tailor and repairing shoes, that sort of thing. He works six days a week. I also know that he has 18 children.

ANDERSON: What does Ali think of his newfound fame as a fashion icon, as it were?

SPAWTON: From what I can tell, he's enjoying it. He knows that there are people in Turkey who are seeing his photos. He knows that he's on the news there and in the newspapers. He goes, "Oh, thank you very much."

(LAUGHTER)

SPAWTON: And that's all he said.

ANDERSON: Do you think we're going to see more outfits? How -- how much more does he have, do you think, in his repertoire, as it were?

SPAWTON: I started taking his photograph in August, so the end of summer.

(LAUGHTER)

SPAWTON: I'm looking forward to seeing some new items from the summer wardrobe.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Judging by Ali's growing fanbase, it could just be one of the most anticipated collections of the season.

Becky Anderson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Your Parting Shots this evening. Thank you for watching.

END