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South Koreans Go About Business As Usual; Uruguay Parliament Approves Same-Sex Marriage; Australian Marc Leishman Leads Masters After Round One

Aired April 11, 2013 - 16:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Life on the Korean Peninsula.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one here is concerned. I do not feel any concern.


FOSTER: While the North keeps up its violent threats, for South Koreans it's business as usual. Tonight, the view from both sides of the border.

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

ANDERSON: Also ahead, cash and carry, can it really be that simple to buy a gun in the U.S.? An uncover report coming up.

And, the world's greatest golfers swing into action as the Master's tees off.

Imagine living a life where you're so hungry you're forced to eat grass and you risk death smuggling food into your country. In a moment, a powerful story out of North Korea, but first the very latest on escalating tensions. U.S. officials say North Korea placed a medium-range missile in launch position on Thursday before lowering it back down. Anna Coren reports.


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There has been more fiery rhetoric out of North Korea, which could provide a hint that a missile launch is imminent. Well, Pyongyang issued this warning through state media saying, quote, "revolutionary forces are ready to fire and warheads are set to precise coordinates."

Now we know that there are two Musudan medium-range missiles positioned on the east coast. They are fueled and ready to go. And according to U.S. intelligence, one of those missiles was raised into launch position for a short time. It has since been lowered.

Now there is a very important date coming up in Pyongyang, that being on the 15th of April, that is the anniversary of the birth of North Korea's founder Kim il-Song who, of course, is the grandfather of Kim Jong-un. It's probably the most important date on the North Korean calendar.

But as the world waits to see what Pyongyang does next, there are some heavy hitters arriving here in Seoul. Well, NATO's secretary-general Ander Fogh Rasmussen has arrived here in Seoul ahead of U.S. Secretary of State who gets in on Friday.

Now, both these men will be meeting with South Korea's president Park Geun-hye, her government and military in the hope of deescalating tensions here on the Korean Peninsula.

Anna Coren, CNN, Seoul.


FOSTER: While the political top brass do the talking, life inside North Korea carries on as normal, and that for some is a daily, desperate struggle just to survive. Angus Walker reports.


ANGUS WALKER, ITV CORRESPONDENT: Under the cover of darkness, smugglers cross a frozen river from North Korea into China, taking enormous risks and food and fuel back to their impoverished country.

This was filmed a few weeks ago. The footage even shows an armed soldier who has been paid to cover their tracks at first light, bribing the border guards and following in the smuggler's footsteps is how people escape from North Korea.

Now, in hiding, in South Korea, this woman defected shortly after Kim Jong-un came to power. We've protected her identity, because she had to leave some of her family behind. Fighting back tears, she tells me she got out risking death if she was caught so she could live.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My family had decided to commit suicide, because for three days we didn't have anything to eat. We decided to starve to death. We said let's die. But then I wanted to survive. I filled the house with 30 kilos of rice.

WALKER: Millions have little food. This footage smuggled out was filmed last month. Reports from inside North Korea suggest food prices have tripled in a year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): To survive, I had to eat grass. People picked grass and leaves. They used them to make soup.

WALKER: What do you think of Kim Jong-un? And what do you think of what he's threatening to do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Kim Jong-un is trying to be more extreme than his father and trying to distract the North Korean people from their own problems and complaints.

WALKER: Gangnam Style, South Korean pop in North Korea on a smuggled DVD, the sites and sounds of the 21st Century for those trapped in time in an Orwellian nightmare. It's a glimpse of another world so near and yet so far away.

And some of those who have managed to escape told me today that when they finally made it to freedom here in the south, they began to realize in their words that farm animals are treated better in the outside world than human beings back in North Korea.

Angus Walker, ITV News, Seoul.


FOSTER: Global media is treating the situation on the Korean Peninsula very seriously. Let's take a look at some of the headlines. Headline in Britain's Daily Express reads, "South Korea Brace For An Imminent Missile Attack." Headline in South Africa's Pretoria News warns "North Korea On Hair Trigger." Finally, we spotted this from the Australian, "Seoul in Fear of Multi-Missile Attack."

But that doesn't seem to be the case if you look at these pictures of Seoul on Thursday, shoppers out and about, enjoying snacks. It certainly doesn't look like a city in fear. And keep in mind where Seoul is, just 40 kilometers from the border, one of the most fortified in the world, and still life is seemingly ticking along as normal.

Earlier on Thursday, I spoke to two iReporters living in Seoul. They say they're not worried about threats from the North. Sarah Brannan and Christina Danel are both teachers from the United States.

I began by asking Sarah if she feels safe.


SARA BRANNAN, IREPORTER: Well, I have found that living in South Korea, I have felt much safer than when I was living back in the U.S. actually, since day one.

FOSTER: That's extraordinary, because people in the U.S. and around the world probably think you look pretty vulnerable right now, but are you?

BRANNAN: Exactly, but we're not at all. I feel totally comfortable. No concern for my safety at all.

FOSTER: Christina, are your family and friends concerned?

CHRISTINA DANEL, IREPORTER: My family and friends are definitely concerned. I'm getting Skype messages and emails from them constantly asking me if everything is OK, but exactly like Sarah said, no one here is concerned. I do not feel any concern.

FOSTER: Why aren't you concerned? There are threats coming from the North and you're very close.

DANEL: True. So one of the reasons I'm not concerned is because I've been talking with the other Korean co-teachers that I have here and apparently the North has been making threats like these with their missiles, or their nuclear missiles for like the last 60 years. And at first, the South Koreans would go out and they'd get rice and stock up on goods and things like that, but when nothing came from it they stopped listening and they've just completely ignored the threats. And I feel like at least what I've heard a lot of people here are saying that Kim Jong-un is just acting out because he's testing since there's a new president Park Geun-hye that just recently took office, and she's a female, they just want to test this new administration and see what their strength is.

FOSTER: The problem here, surely, is that he is a new leader and you don't know what he's going to be like and whether or not he will follow up his threats.

BRANNAN: Sure. I think he's just really young. And a lot of South Koreans realize that he is -- he is a baby. And he's just trying to look good for his country. And we've heard a lot of reports from our South Koreans friends that maybe he's not very well respected in his own country and maybe that's part of the reason why he is making these threats, because he's trying to strengthen his bond with the people in his country to make them have a sense of power again.

FOSTER: Does it feel odd to you as a 20-something that there's another 20-something a few hundred miles away from you who is defining world politics right now?

BRANNAN: It's a little concerning, but it also kind of shows you that, you know, you have to learn a lot as you go through your life and I, you know, we don't really think that he's ready to lead a country like that.

FOSTER: Christina, what sort of conversations are going on there, then, amongst South Koreans about the threat, the looming threat. And what sort of typical conversations are you having with people there?

DANEL: Typical conversations as far as the Korean teachers go, American teachers and Canadian teachers are talking about it constantly, but the Korean teachers themselves don't even discuss it. They completely ignore the issue. It's like it's not happening right now.

And the only time I have heard it mentioned is when they're making jokes about going out to buy things like ramen, which they're not serious, they're just completely jokes. They really aren't taking it seriously at all.

FOSTER: And in terms of the world reaction, what do they make of that, then?

DANEL: Something that they brought up, which was a good point, is that because the North has had this capability and they could attack or bomb South Korea for awhile, they feel that the only reason now it's becoming a huge issue is because the United States was mentioned and now there is a possibility that the missiles can reach the United States. And so it's become like world news all of a sudden, but South Korea has been living with this, like, quote, unquote, fear for the last 60 years. So they see no difference in it.

FOSTER: Sarah, do you think you can convince your family that you're going to be OK?

BRANNAN: I think I've done my best at saying that. I mean, we're pretty angry over here just listening to our foreign media report on the situation, because we feel like it's pretty exaggerated and it's really scaring our parents back home. And we're more stressed out because of our family and friends than we are at the actual situation.


FOSTER: Much more on this later on a special edition of The Situation Room: North Korean Crisis. Wolf Blitzer takes a deeper look at the latest developments. That's tonight at 11:00 in London, midnight in Berlin.

Still to come tonight, politicians, princes, and performers. The biggest names in the world are invited to the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. We'll take a look at the guest list.

Also, an admission of a secret deal between the United States and Pakistan from former strong man Pervez Musharraf.

And why this trip to Malawi was no holiday for Madonna.

All that and much more when Connect the World continues.


FOSTER: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Max Foster. Welcome back to you.

Once again, Syria stands accused of committing war crimes against its own people. This time, a group says it has video evidence showing the state led slaughter of civilians. Human Rights Watch alleges that air strikes have targeted bread queues at bakeries. The group describes the killings as indiscriminate and in some cases deliberate.

The allegations are laid out in a new Human Rights Watch report. A Syrian lawmaker questioned the accuracy of the document. He also said government forces only target terrorist groups.

The report was released as foreign ministers from the world's eight largest economies met in London. There, they called for more aid to flow to Syrians affected by the war.


WILLIAM HAGUE, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: We agreed that our immediate priorities are increasing humanitarian access, ensuring the donors who generously pledged their support at the Kuwait conference fulfill their commitments and supporting stability in the countries that are providing shelter to refugees. And we also welcomed the UN secretary- general's announcement of an investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.


FOSTER: Cyprus will have to find an extra 6 billion euros as part of its bailout package, almost double its original investment. It's all because the latest figures weren't considered when negotiated with its international lenders. The deal is already costing the island nation 7 billion euros.

But that sum was tallied using old numbers. When asked where the extra money was going to come from, a Cypriot government spokesman told CNN not to worry.

David Cameron, Barack Obama, Tony Blair, Hillary Clinton, they are among the biggest political figures in the world, all invited to the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. George H.W. Bush has already said he can't make it, neither will Prince Charles.

CNN's Atika Shubert has the guest list.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Margaret Thatcher's funeral will take place at St. Paul's Cathedral, and there are about 2,000 invitations to be sent out on Friday. Now all of those have been approved by the Thatcher family.

Now who is coming? The Queen, of course. She will be representing the royal family. But invitations are also out for all surviving former British prime ministers -- Tony Blair and his wife Sherry will be there. Also, former U.S. Presidents have been invited, including Bill and Hillary Clinton.

It's not just politicians, however, several well known British artists have confirmed they will be attending, including the singer Shirley Bassey, and of course the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, both of them will be there.

As for who will not be there, unfortunately Mikhail Gorbachev, the man who oversaw the dismantling of the Soviet Union, he cannot come for health reasons. And former first lady Nancy Reagan, who was quite close to Thatcher, she will not be able to come. She is now 91 years old.

Now interestingly, British media have reported that Argentinian leaders were pointedly not invited, but the prime minister's office told CNN that Argentina's ambassador has been invited along with others, but that no other Argentinian representative would get an invite, because they are not, quote, "close to Margaret Thatcher."

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.


FOSTER: Understating it slightly.

Another embarrassing blow for Japan's biggest automakers who have been forced to recall almost 3.5 million cars. An airbag problem is at the center of the problem. Diana Magnay has more from Tokyo.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A massive 3.4 million car recall, four Japanese automakers affected -- Toyota and Honda mostly, and Nissa and Mazda. And the reason, a faulty airbag produced by Japanese manufacturer Takata. Takata suffered a hefty loss on the NIKKEI in the day's trade, down 15 percent at one point, closing 9 percent lower. And if you look back at the records of the U.S. Center for Auto Safety, Takata was actually involved in an incident with faulty seat belts back in 1995. So a very long time ago, but then 8 million cars had to be recalled.

Toyota has had a difficult few years in terms of recalls. Only in October, it had to take 7.4 million models off the market, again because of a faulty window. And of course in 2009, 2010 you had that big acceleration problem with the Prius where 8 million cars had to be taken off the market and Toyota suffered massive settlement bills as a result.

So not a good day for the Japanese automakers, not a good day for the airbag manufacture Takata either.

Diana Magnay, CNN, Tokyo.


FOSTER: It was the first Latin American country to allow same-sex couples to adopt. Now lawmakers in Uruguay say they should be able to marry too. A new marriage equality bill just needs the president's signature before it becomes law.

Our senior Latin American affairs editor Rafael Romo has more.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When all was said and done, an overwhelming majority said yes. 71 out of 92 members of Uruguay's lower house of parliament approved a bill that legalizes same-sex marriage. It was a long session at the house. The debate was heated with arguments in favor and against gay marriage.

RAFAEL MICHELINI, BROAD FRONT PARTY SENATOR (through translator): We want to ratify our position in defense of marriage as we understand in its natural concept, mainly, the legal and protected union of a man and woman for procreation.

LUIS ALBERTO LACALLE, NATIONAL PARTY SENATOR (through translator): This is a vindication of rights that had long been ignored in this country. in my opinion, this step moves Uruguay forward into the modern world and the historical context in which we live.

ROMO: For Mauricio Coretinillo (ph) and Amian Diaz (ph) who had been together for four years, the legislation was long overdue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have a solid relationship supported by both our families.

ROMO: They plan to get married as soon as the law goes into effect in about three months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We live together and are very much in love. We have projects we want to do together.

ROMO: What this legislation, Uruguay, becomes the second country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage after Argentina and the 12th in the world. President Jose Mujica still needs to sign the bill into law, but that's seen as a mere formality, because he has indicated many times before that he favors same-sex marriage and would sign the bill from parliament.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.


FOSTER: Now, Madonna or prima donna? The U.S. pop star is accused of bullying government officials in Malawi whilst on a good will trip last week. The hugely successful singer apparently demanded VIP treatment, but wasn't offered. The government also accused Madonna who has two adopted children from Malawi of overstating her charity work in the country. Madonna denies the claims and says she will continue her education campaign there.

Live from London, this is Connect the World.

Coming up, how Tiger is getting on in Augusta as the Master's tees off.


FOSTER: You're watching Connect the World live from London. Welcome back. I'm Max Foster.

Now Tiger Woods has much to prove this year at The Masters. And after the first round it looks like he may have answered some of his critics' questions. Patrick Snell joins us from Augusta with the very latest. Hi, Patrick.


Yes, welcome to Augusta. Tiger Woods looking to win the coveted Green Jacket for a fifth time. He's had a pretty productive first day, I would say here at the season's first major. Tiger Woods going out there and signaling his intent early. It was an impressive first round. He would end at two under par for his first round. That means he was shooting a 70 first round. That's very much in the mix, but as we'll see in a moment not quite atop the leaderboard. But various plus points for Tiger despite the fact that still only during all his rounds since 1995, only once, Max, has he shot sub-70 at the opening round of the Masters.

So certainly work for him to do, but he'll be pleased with that, I would imagine, at two under par for the championship. He is, though, I have to tell you, he is four shots behind the leader right now, the 29 year old from Australia Marc Leishman. Remember, no Australian player ever has won this tournament, not Greg Norman, not Adam Scott, so he would be making history in a huge way if he can become the first player from Down Under to win this coveted tournament.

He shot a 66 on Thusrday, day one here at the Masters, six under par. He boogied the first, so that's really impressive to recover from that. Four straight birdies on the back side. He is utterly content. You might even say, he is totally living the dream.


MARC LEISHMAN, GOLFER: Every kid wants to play here and the first time I was here a few years ago it was -- it was like a bit of a deer in the headlights, I guess, it's just found myself looking around a little bit too much and not concentrating on getting the ball in the hole which is what you need to do.

To be here is awesome and to be sitting here is pretty cool. But, you know, it's only Thursday.


SNELL: No longer a deer in headlights. No longer a deer in headlights, Mr. Leishman, you're leading the Masters. Enjoy it. Fantastic stuff.

I want to show you the top of the leaderboard right now and just confirm it all for you. Some other big names are lurking, though, namely Spain's Sergio Garcia at five under par. Garcia having a fantastic tournament. He is not yet done. David Lynn of England shooting a 66. He's at 4 under. Rickie Fowler, the young American player, also at 4 under. And Jim Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open Champion, the American veteran, also at three under par.

What about the defending champion I hear you ask? Bubba Watson, the popular left-hander, 75 for him on day one, Max, disappointing. He's at three over par. And Bubba has plenty of work to do -- Max.

FOSTER: He's also got a hovercraft he flies around on those courses as well, hasn't he (inaudible).

Anyway, you're talking about 29 year old as young people, but they're nothing, are they, compared with Guang Tian?

SNELL: No. 14 years of age, five months, 17 days when he teed it off here, the youngest ever player to compete at the Masters. Incredible stuff. And you know what, Max, he is holding his own. He's doing rather nicely indeed. Let me just tell you what he's doing right now. Out there on the course, as I speak, the teen after bogeying the first hole recovering really nicely. He's just one over par through 13. That is terrific.

He doesn't hit the ball too far for a 14 year old. I mean, he is superb. He's doing so well. His highest score if 5, that's his highest score so far during this round. I don't want to jinx him in any way, but that is truly impressive.

And, you know what, we've been speaking to him on and off in the buildup to this week. I wished him well going into the tournament, but recently he spoke with CNN and said it's all due to an early golfing start in his life.


GUAN TIANLANG, GOLFER (through translator): I started playing golf at about four years old. At first I found it really fun to play. Gradually, I started to play better and felt that I could improve. Both my mom and dad influenced me because they both played golf back then.

GUAN HANWN, TIANLANG'S FATHER (through translator): When we played we were just practicing, but he had a goal in his mind. For example, when he saw a 50-yard sign he could keep practicing for one hour just to hit the same target. He really wanted to hit it.


SNELL: Well, certainly playing the last few holes of his round, Max, doing really well. And listen to this, he's playing with a two-time champion Ben Crenshaw. And he's beating Ben Crensha comfortably. Crenshaw nine over par, having a poor round admittedly. But the youngster from China is well ahead of a two-time former Master's champion. Incredible stuff. What a story, Max.

FOSTER: Patrick, thank you very much indeed.

Lots more to come, I'm sure.

Now the latest world news headlines just ahead. Plus, a silent killer. There's no secret he's behind drone attacks in Pakistan, but now there's an admission of a secret deal.

Also, tougher U.S. gun laws passed a major congressional hurdle, but one lawmaker warns the hard work starts now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here it is, senior year, fresh start. Try not to screw it up Veronica.


FOSTER: You've seen the TV Show, read the book, but what about the movie? The campaign where you pay for the film before it hits the big screen.


FOSTER: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories this hour. Diplomacy is still on the table. That from US president Barack Obama as he discusses North Korean tensions with UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now is the time for North Korea to end the kind of belligerent approach that they've been taking and to try to lower temperatures. Nobody wants to see a conflict on the Korean peninsula.


FOSTER: He went on to warn that Washington would take all necessary steps to protect America. Earlier, US officials say North Korea has now lowered a medium-range missile that had been raised into launching position. They say they're puzzled as to why the missile was elevated but not fired.

Palestine Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad has offered his resignation. It's now up to President Mahmoud Abbas to accept it. The PM's relationship with the president soured after long-running internal dispute.

The US Senate will soon debate the most ambitious gun control bill in nearly two decades. Senators today defeated an attempt by conservatives to kill the legislation. Among other things, it expands background checks for firearm sales and increases penalties for gun trafficking.

Pakistani police say a candidate in the upcoming national elections was killed today in a drive-by shooting. They say two men on a motorbike gunned down Fakhrul Islam in Hyderabad. He was a candidate for a secular party that's been threatened by the Taliban.

The United States considers them a vital tool in the war on terror, but they're extremely controversial, even despised in Pakistan. For years, the Pakistani government has denied authorizing the use of US drones in its tribal region, and as Nic Robertson reports, a former president is now on the record.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The aftermath of a deadly American drone strike in Pakistan. Images like these have soured US-Pakistan relations for almost a decade. No Pakistani official has ever acknowledged sanctioning US drone strikes until now.

ROBERTSON (on camera): What you're saying here, on occasion there was agreement.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, FORMER PAKISTANI PRESIDENT: No. Only on very few occasions where the target was absolutely isolated and had no chance of collateral damage.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Pervez Musharraf was Pakistan's military ruler when drone strikes began in 2004 and was bitterly and publicly critical of them. Now, he admits there was a secret deal.

MUSHARRAF: One discussed at the military level, at the intelligence level, to strike. And if at all, there was no time for our own SOTF and military to act, then. And that was very, very -- maybe two or three times only.

ROBERTSON: Back then, al Qaeda and Taliban fleeing US forces in Afghanistan set up camp over the border in Pakistan's tribal region. America and Pakistan had a common enemy and a common strategy: kill militants when they could.

MUSHARRAF: The answer used to be that it was a fleeting target, and we couldn't delay the action. We -- these ups and downs kept going. You see, this is a very fluid situation, a vicious enemy and a fluid situation. Mountains, inaccessible areas.

ROBERTSON: By the time he was forced from office in 2008, Musharraf says he sanctioned only a couple of strikes. The vast majority came under the civilian government that followed him.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Since 2003, there have been more than 350 drone strikes in Pakistan, mostly in the semi-autonomous tribal border region close to Afghanistan. There are no precise figures for how many people have been killed, but estimates range upwards of 1900, and of those, more than several hundred are believed to have been civilians.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Most Pakistanis detest the drone program for the loss of life and because it violates Pakistan's sovereignty. Ministers her routinely condemn them.

REHMAN MALIK, FORMER PAKISTANI INTERIOR MINISTER: What I can say, today the world power, the world super power, is having its own way without having any consent from Pakistan.

ROBERTSON: But a diplomatic cable attained by WikiLeaks tells another story, recounting a meeting between the US ambassador, Malik, and the then- prime minister Gilani. She wrote, "Malik suggests we hold off alleged predator attacks until after the Bajaur military operation. The PM brushed aside Rehman's remarks and said, 'I don't care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We'll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it."

Musharraf, too, covered up US drone attacks when it suited him. When militant Nek Muhammad was killed in 2004, the Pakistan army said it killed him in a rocket attack. Except it didn't.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Was Nek Muhammad killed by a drone or by Pakistani military? US drone?

MUSHARRAF: I think he was -- he was killed by US drones. Yes. But there was no agreement as such, and every time, we did object.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Objections that were frequent, loud, and public, but not always sincere.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Islamabad, Pakistan.


FOSTER: So, how will the issue of drones affect President Obama's legacy as well as Pervez Musharraf's political comeback bid? We're joined now by Akbar Ahmed, a former Pakistan high commissioner to the UK and Ireland.

He's also the chair of Islamic Studies at the American University in Washington and author of "The Thistle and the Drone: How America's War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam." Thank you so much for joining us.

First of all, why do you think Musharraf's been speaking like this, and how will it affect what he hopes will be a comeback? What's he doing here?

AHMED: I think he is used to speaking frankly off the record, and he does sometimes land himself in trouble later. In terms of the reaction in Pakistan, there already is a very, very strong anti-drone position, which is now feeding into an anti-American position.

It's not going to help him. He already has a fairly weak political base in Pakistan and the anti-drone campaign, anti-American campaign is going to then be diverted to the kinds of statements he's making, basically admitting that he was part of that drone campaign.

In my book that you mention, I have a whole chapter on this, focused on Waziristan. And 2004, when President Musharraf was the president, is a turning point in the tribal areas, called by President Obama the most dangerous place in the world.

Because that is the year when the drone campaign began in Waziristan. That is the year when the Pakistan army under President Musharraf was actually sent in in full force to try to suppress the people there and the militants, the terrorists and the al Qaeda and so on.

Now, that began the process of militants attack these people, suicide bombers. The Pakistan army, the drone strikes, and tribal rivalries, which meant that the average person living in Waziristan was actually living through sheer hell.

FOSTER: Because they're so controversial of course, there's an effect in Pakistan. But in terms of what this means for Obama and his legacy, I've mentioned that, but how does it actually affect how he responded to this very difficult situation in Pakistan?

AHMED: That's a very interesting question, because anyone who saw him, heard him before he became president would have assumed that with his normal sense of enlightenment, his normal sense of compassion and pluralism, he would be against accelerating the program.

In fact, the drone program has really accelerated under him. In that sense, President Musharraf is right, that this is a time when drones are very, very frequently being used against Waziristan and having a devastating impact.

And he himself has now opened himself to this charge that is he, in fact, supporting this instrument of death and violence abroad? Because he's obviously acting on the basis of his constituency in the United States, which -- where he must show himself to be tough on security. It's one issue that Americans are very, very keen on in terms of supporting their political figures.

And therefore, he's constantly having to prove how tough he is. And that's where the drone comes in.

People are not connecting in the United States what's happening over here, that is the sending of the drones, and what's happening over there, the impact of the drones on ordinary people. I'm not talking about the targets. I'm talking about the unintended targets, the women, the children, who are constantly being killed.

FOSTER: Akbar Ahmed, thank you very much, indeed, for your insight on that. Live from London, you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still ahead, just how easy it to buy a weapon at a US guns how without any paper trail? A CNN team hits the road to find out.

Plus, arguments over fouled goals could soon be a thing of the past. In your sports update, a groundbreaking decision by the Premier League.


FOSTER: A victory for supporters of tougher gun control laws in the United States, but it's only a step on a long road ahead. The Senate cleared the way for debate on the landmark gun bill. Today, it defeated an attempt by conservatives to kill the legislation before debate could even begin.

President Barack Obama called for tougher gun laws after last year's massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Relatives of 20 children killed in that massacre came to watch the Senate vote in Washington today.

The bill under consideration expands background checks on firearms sales to include sales at gun shows. Last weekend, CNN sent a team to investigate just how easy it is to buy a weapon at a gun show with no identification. Martin Savidge shows us what they found.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a simple idea. Just how easily can you buy a gun at a gun show? So, a CNN crew took a weekend drive, 600 miles, with a pocket full of cash, hitting five gun shows in three states: Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia.

First up, Ellijay in north Georgia. The venue was small and the selection limited.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There weren't a lot of vendors. There wasn't a lot of product out there for people to buy.

SAVIDGE: Next, the crew went north to Kingsport, Tennessee, for a Saturday morning local gun show held in a hotel convention center. It was a Smith & Wesson MP 45-caliber semi-automatic that first caught our producer's eye. Asking price, $625.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a nice one, it's not brand-spanking new, but --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cash and carry, or do I have to fill out any paperwork for it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cash and carry.

SAVIDGE: But it's early, and the team opts to keep looking. Ten to twenty minutes later, they circle back to the same table, negotiating for the same gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: $600 for that?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, box it up.



SAVIDGE: It's a deal. No background check, it's not needed for a private sale. But the seller is legally required to check ID, like a driver's license, to make sure the buyer is not from out-of-state.

In this case, no identification asked for, no paperwork, not even a question like, "What are you going to do with it?" In fact, neither the seller nor buyer even used a first name. And if that's not surprising enough, listen to where the seller said he got the gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got that off of a police officer yesterday.



SAVIDGE: That's right. He got it from a police officer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any way you'd part with both of these for a thousand?

SAVIDGE: It was so easy, for the next buy, the team decided to up the ante.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably not at this point, by now. That one there is very, very new, 17s.

SAVIDGE: This time, they see two 9 millimeter semi-automatic handguns, Glock 17s. Asking price for the pair is $1100. The producer offers a flat $1,000. That's rejected. The next bid of $1050 prompts a phone call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask, let me see what he -- one of them is his, one of them is mine, OK?

SAVIDGE: In fact, in all the deals, the team paid less than the asking price.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. We can do $1050.

SAVIDGE: The producer boxes the guns in their carrying cases and heads for the door. Again, no names, no ID, no paperwork. Not even a receipt. Total time at the gun show, 45 minutes, $1650 spent. Three semi- automatic handguns purchased. Incidentally, because there's no paper trail, none of these weapons can ever be traced to the buyer.

Later the same day in Greenville, South Carolina, and it's the biggest show of the five our team attended. After wander the floor, our producer spots this gentleman carrying a semi-automatic rifle on his shoulder. Asking price, $1200.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The strap doesn't come with it, that's on my .22.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just moved --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're moving it over there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just moved it over.

SAVIDGE: The Bushmaster XM15 as it's known is a semi-automatic only civilian version of the M16 US military rifle, first introduced in the Vietnam War and still used by US troops today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have the case and stuff with you or is it out in the car?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's out in the car. I just didn't want to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Carry it all around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I brought it to a gun show a couple weeks ago in Columbia and I -- the case just -- it's big and bulky and there were so many people in there, I kept banging people, and that's why I didn't bring it with me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, either one. The .223 or the 5.56.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any way you'd go down $50?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I can go down $50.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. You want to walk out and I'll pay you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure. Let's do it.

SAVIDGE: The seller takes our offer, $1,150. From first conversation to settling on a price takes just 70 seconds.

Out in front of the convention center, the money's exchanged, and the rifle, complete with case, is handed over. Our team walks away with a variation of the same weapon used in the deadly Sandy Hook shooting. Again, no questions asked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's the case. There's the gun, and there's the clip.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, fifty. OK. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, I appreciate it.


SAVIDGE: We should make clear that there were three instances, one in each state, where the team was asked for ID, including during this potential sale in Tennessee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Georgia. So, I have to have a Tennessee license?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You have to have a Tennessee license for a private seller. Yes, you sure do.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know he'd like to sell it.

SAVIDGE: Without proof of residency, the seller refuses the deal and our team walks away. Our total weekend weapon haul is three semi-automatic handguns with extra magazines and one semi-automatic rifle with a 30-round magazine. Total spent: $2800. All done without showing any identification, without filling out a single form, not even so much as a name exchanged.

The team now has a small arsenal, which can never be traced.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.


FOSTER: Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, for most of us, running a marathon is tough enough, but for some it's not a competition if it isn't under extreme conditions. That story and more in your sports update.


FOSTER: The sports news, now, and the English Premier League takes a big step towards goal-line technology. Amanda joins me with more. Are they actually going for it, then?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: They are, yes. It's a very historic move, in fact, by the English Premier League. They're going to be the first top-flight league to introduce goal-line technology.

They've been wanting it, actually, for quite some years. They've been working with Hawk Eye, which we've seen more recently in tennis and cricket. They've been working with them for about six years, trying to get this introduced, but it's always been FIFA, world football's governing body, who've stood in their way.

But after the goal that wasn't at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Frank Lampard's England goal against Germany, Sepp Blatter, the head of FIFA, changed his mind and said, you know what? We've got to the point now where this all means a little bit too much commercially, so let's go for it.

FIFA, of course, sanctioned it a couple of weeks ago to be used at the Confederations Cup. And then, basically, it's up to all the leagues around the world whether or not they want to take up the option as well, and the Premier League are the first league to say yes, we are going to do it as of the start of next season.

So, August the 17th, we will see for the first time goal-line technology used in professional domestic football. The English Premier League have opted for Hawk Eye, as I said, that's the technology which we've seen in tennis and cricket already.

It's a different technology to the one that FIFA are going to use. It's essentially a similar principle, it's cameras based around the stadiums which will send a message to the referee's watch as and when the ball crosses the goal line. FIFA have opted, essentially, for the German version of the same technology.

FOSTER: Let's hope it works.


FOSTER: In terms of marathons, there's two going on at the moment which you're focused on, aren't you? But because they're in completely different places.

DAVIES: Yes. For a lot of people, running 26.2 miles is challenge enough. I've done it once, and that's ticked off the list, certainly never to be done again. But there are a certain section of people who like to do it to the extremes, and there are two extreme extremes going on this week.

The first one is the North Pole Marathon, which takes place on the frozen Arctic Sea at temperatures of a minus 28 degrees. Incredibly, 46 people put their hands up to do this, from 20 different countries.

What made me laugh was a write-up of the conditions. Somebody's obviously got a sense of humor. They said, "Conditions for the race were near perfect. Low winds and a light dusting of snow. And although the race got underway after midnight, competitors ran in daylight."

But if you ask me, running in minus 28 degrees isn't exactly perfect. A schoolteacher from Ireland who won the race, Gary Thornton, in three hours 49 minutes --

FOSTER: That's amazing, isn't it?

DAVIES: Well, when you look at the men's marathon record on a road is two hours three minutes. That's not bad going.

FOSTER: He should give that a go.


DAVIES: Yes, I think he probably has.

FOSTER: Imagine how fast he'll do.

DAVIES: And some. And while that's the snowy version, but if heat's more your thing, than the Marathon des Sables is currently going on.

FOSTER: Oh, yes.

DAVIES: That's six marathons in six days across the Sahara. This really is extreme endurance, and all the heat. And what I find amazing is that these guys carry everything they need for the six days on their back, including all their food. They do get water provided and their bedding gets set up for them.

But to cram all their food into those little rucksacks. For example, packets of crisps, they'll take it out of the packet, crush them all up, and stick them in a little plastic bag and say this is 100 calories and they'll know that that's what they've got to eat at a certain time during the day.

FOSTER: Yes, that's the dangerous one, isn't it? Amanda, thank you very much, indeed. Extraordinary stories.

Now, how often have you watched a TV series and thought, that could be a feature-length film. Well, they did it with "Starsky and Hutch," "Charlie's Angels," and even "The Flintstones." Now, a new campaign to get another show onto the big screen is underway, but as CNN's Maggie Lake explains, this one doesn't have Hollywood's support.



MAGGIE LAKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It takes a pirate's haul to fund a blockbuster Hollywood feature. Some of the most expensive, the last "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Titanic," "Spider-Man 3," all had budgets exceeding a quarter of a billion dollars.


LAKE: But a lesser-known film project is breaking a new kind of record. Yes, she's back. "Veronica Mars" starring Kristen Bell was a popular TV series about a California student moonlighting as a detective.


LAKE: The show, which debuted in 2004 in the US, lasted three seasons, long enough to build a loyal teen fan base.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been waiting for this for six years! And it's happening! I'm dead, this is not real life.

LAKE: Creator Rob Thomas hoped to bring this teen noir to the big screen, but Hollywood studios turned him down.

ROB THOMAS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "VERONICA MARS": Well, I had gone the traditional routes and just hadn't had any success doing it.

LAKE: He then took matters into his own hands.

BELL: Any suggestions, Rob?

THOMAS: Well, actually, I do have a few ideas. I say we have the fans fund the movie.

BELL: If we reach our fundraising goal, we'll shoot the movie this summer.

LAKE: Tapping Kickstarter, a popular crowd-sourcing website, Thomas rallied the show's fan base, and within days exceeded its original goal of $2 million. One step closer to Veronica returning in a blaze of glory.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys, the "Veronica Mars" movie is actually happening!

LAKE: It's happening, all right, and Thomas has since raised his sights.

LAKE (on camera): What are you going to do if you end up with much more than you anticipated?

THOMAS: We'll make a better movie. That's the first thing. Right now -- right now, if the Kickstarter drive ended right now, we would not have enough money to shoot it in Southern California.

LAKE (voice-over): Or, to put it another way --

THOMAS: That extra cash will be our car chase and nudity fund.

LAKE: Kickstarter is also breaking new ground with this film. "Veronica Mars" has become the top-funded video project to date, and a sign the site is morphing from funding small indie art projects to a financing powerhouse. Investors who use Kickstarter don't get money, only something tangible: memorabilia, an early edition of the product, or invitation to opening night.

And in the case of "Veronica Mars," a chance to see their favorite character graduate to the silver screen.

Maggie Lake, CNN, New York.


FOSTER: And in tonight's Parting Shots, perhaps this story should be made into a movie, the dramatic rescue of Lulu the dog. This Jack Russel terrier got stuck in a drainpipe in the UK last Friday. She survived underground for four days until a search and rescue team brought in heavy equipment to help. Take a listen to how one of the rescuers described it.


DOUGLAS GRUCHY, BUCKINGHAM FIRE AND RESCUE: We cut open an area with a saw and ax, we removed the soil and pried off the pipe. We had to hand - - sort of hand-dig that out before we could actually release Lulu, and that took about six hours to do.

You could actually sort of feel the emotion in the air. It was really exciting. The owner was calling out to the dog, and you could see the dog's face. It was just such a little picture. It was just so pleased to be out and bouncing around all over the place. It was fantastic.

Sometimes we're called to very tragic incidents where there's been a loss of life, and so it's always really uplifting to actually have such a happy outcome.


FOSTER: Giving a happy ending to this edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching.