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CONNECT THE WORLD
Edward Snowden Missing After Checking Out of Hong Kong Hotel; Nelson Mandela Remains In Serious Condition; Iranian Elections
Aired June 10, 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: Tonight, hero or traitor?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: I sitting at my desk certainly had the authority to wiretap anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A closer look at the man behind the leaks and what happens to him now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'll have more from Pretoria on Nelson Mandela's health.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And why superheroes are soaring to success at the box office.
First up tonight, the man who told us the American government is able to see millions of our private emails and phone records could be on the move. At this hour, the whereabouts of Edward Snowden are unknown after he checked out of his Hong Kong hotel room. He fled there after revealing he's the source of the leak exposing a top secret U.S. spying operation called PRISM.
Now what happens to him next is uncertain as the U.S. Justice Department begins a preliminary investigation into what it calls the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Tonight, what all that means for the 29 year old. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, your expert tonight is standing by for you in New York.
First, though, a look at who Edward Snowden is and how he became the man behind one of the biggest leaks in U.S. history.
EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: When you are in positions of privileged access --
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is 29- year-old Edward Snowden, the high school dropout who worked his way into the most secretive computers of the U.S. intelligence community as a defense contractor and then blew open those secrets by leaking unprecedented details of top secret government surveillance programs.
He now risks never living in America again as a free man.
SNOWDEN: I had access to, you know, full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all over the world -- the locations of every station we have.
STARR: Snowden didn't leak that, but in an interview with the British newspaper "The Guardian", Snowden reveals himself as the source of several documents leaked to journalist Glenn Greenwald, outlining a massive effort by the National Security Agency to track cell phone calls and monitor e- mail and Internet traffic of virtually everyone.
SNOWDEN: I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the president, if I had a personal e-mail.
STARR: Snowden says he just wanted Americans to know what the government was doing.
SNOWDEN: Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you are being watched and recorded.
STARR: And he wanted to be up front that he was behind the leaks.
SNOWDEN: I'm just another guy who sits there day-to-day in the office watches what's happening and goes: this is something that's not our place to decide. The public needs to decide whether these programs or policies are right or wrong.
STARR: "The Guardian" says during the interview, Snowden watched CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked a panel who the leaker was.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you have any idea who is leaking this information?
STARR: Snowden, watching, did not react.
Snowden fled to Hong Kong three weeks ago after copying a last set of documents and telling his boss he needed to go away for medical care. Before all this, Snowden says he had a comfortable life, working for the NSA in Hawaii with a $200,000 job and a girlfriend.
He told "The Guardian" never got a high school diploma, attended community college, but didn't complete his computer studies. He joined the Army in 2003 but was discharged after breaking both legs in an accident.
He says he worked as a security guard for the NSA and then moved to the CIA in a computer security job. In 2009, he left the CIA, eventually joining the contractor Booz Allen in Hawaii. He began to see top secret documents on the extent of NSA surveillance, including details that the government also had data on Americans.
President Obama insists his administration is not spying on U.S. citizens, only looking for information on terrorists.
For now, Snowden believes Hong Kong's climate of free speech will protect him, but there's no guarantee he won't be arrested, taken to mainland China, or sent back to the U.S.
It appears to be a risk he's willing to take.
SNOWDEN: You are living in Hawaii, in paradise, and making a ton of money. What would it take to make you leave everything behind?
The greatest fear I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change.
STARR: Barbara Starr, CNN, Washington.
ANDERSON: All right, so what are his options, and indeed the U.S. government's options? Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is in New York.
Jeff, considered by many as the most important leak in the history of the United States, does this also make Snowden one of the most wanted men by the U.S. government at this stage?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Without question. He has acknowledged that he's committed a crime. He knows that unauthorized disclosure of classified information is a crime. Everyone who has access to classified information is informed of that. He's done it knowingly and intentionally. And now the U.S. government is going to investigate him, presumably prosecute him if they can get him, which is far from clear.
ANDERSON: And that's the point, isn't it?
How do they get him at this point?
TOOBIN: Well, he is in Hong Kong. And Hong Kong occupies an unusual status. It is, of course, part of China now, but it has a quasi- independent legal status. The United States has an extradition treaty with Hong Kong. And has very successfully coordinated investigations in the past. However, this is a very different scenario from the usual one.
Snowden has information about surveillance, the primary topic of American surveillance at this point is China. China has a very difficult decision to make about how much, if at all, to cooperate with the investigation of Snowden at this point.
ANDERSON: And this is all about surveillance. Do you suppose that the U.S. actually knows where he is? Because the rest of us are trying to find out at this point, of course.
TOOBIN: You know, I don't know. There are a lot of James Bond assumptions being made about how easy it is to track people and how easy it is to track people's cell phones and emails. In my experience, chaos is more often the order of the day than meticulous following. So I don't know whether they can find him.
I do know that it's hard to hide long-term in Hong Kong or anywhere else.
ANDERSON: Jeff, call me old fashioned, but it seems to me that my private communications should be private whether in cyberspace or not. It does seem, though, with this system, this PRISM project, that they are not.
Let's just remind our viewers what we know about all of this at this stage.
PRISM gives the National Security Agency in the United States access to central servers for nine major internet companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, and Apple. Now this allows the U.S. government to intercept your email, photos, search history, and other private communications. It's reportedly been running since 2007. And this follows earlier reports that the government has also been monitoring cell records, cell phone records of millions of Americans.
Some say it resembles to some extent the surveillance programs of countries like China and Russia.
Before we get back to Jeffrey, Phil Black in Moscow to give us some insight into the operation of Russia's federal security service.
Here, though, first is Nic Robertson in Beijing with a look at China's record.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: People here in China feel that they're at the pretty extreme end of data mining. There is no Twitter. There is no Facebook. People tongue-in-cheek call it the Great Firewall of China. But some of the comments that have been posted on social media here about the data mining in the United States, some people are saying that the same thing is happening in China. And others saying there is no privacy on the internet. And another one saying really you can't trust what Google and what Apple are saying that they don't provide information to governments.
People here really seem not to be so surprised.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Many journalists, activists and human rights workers say they have been surveyed and harassed by people from Russia's security services.
We got a sense of their capabilities in the aftermath of the Boston bombing when U.S. officials admitted Russia had intercepted communications from one of the suspects long before the attack on the marathon was executed. The FSB rarely, if ever, comments on specific cases or complaints. It operates without parliamentary oversight. And few Russians are prepared to openly challenge its authority.
ANDERSON: Jeffrey, even the NSA has admitted the PRISM system is designed to eavesdrop on foreign internet traffic flowing through the United States. While it unclear at this point where super sleuth Mr. Snowden is, I want to take a look very briefly at this PRISM project, it does suggest, doesn't it, that it is acceptable to do to foreigners what the U.S. government admits wouldn't be acceptable to do to its own citizens.
TOOBIN: No question that's correct. And that is the basis of a lot of American law enforcement. The rights of American citizens inside the United States are very different under American law of the rights of foreign nationals in their country. That's why we have a CIA. That's why we have an NSA. That's what they do, they intercept communications, emails, phone calls, from outside the United States to the United States or within foreign countries, that's been the rule for decades.
ANDERSON: And it works. I mean, things have been stopped in their midst, right?
TOOBIN: Well, this is a big point of debate. The American government has said that these programs have stopped terrorist attacks. There are others who disagree with those assertions, but that is the government's ultimate trump card here is that we are saving lives with this program, and so it's worth it.
ANDERSON: Jeffrey Toobin, always a pleasure. Our legal analyst for you this evening.
And around 50 minutes time, Christiane Amanpour gets the back story of all of this with the man who broke the story, The Guardians Glenn Greenwald, 10:00 pm London, 11:00 in Berlin. Stick with CNN for that.
Still to come, he's 94-years-old and more beloved now than ever, but as Nelson Mandela remains hospitalized and intensive care, a close friend tries to prepare South Africa saying it may be time for a final good-bye.
Also ahead, a conservative candidate withdraws from Iran's presidential race. We'll see how that might affect this week's election.
And, why a murder trial in Florida is anything but an open and shut case. All that and much more when Connect the World here on CNN continues.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Fresh off recent battlefield gains, Syrian troops appear ready to take on rebels in Aleppo. They are reportedly amassing around the country's largest city laying the groundwork for a major offensive. This YouTube video is said to show an attack by war planes near an airbase in Aleppo province.
Now activists say rebels are advancing on that base and have seized the radar tower, but state media say the rebel assault has been repelled.
Officials in Afghanistan are reporting a horrific crime. They say Taliban militants in Kandahar Province have beheaded two boys ages 10 and 16. The boys were reportedly scavenging for food in trash bins near a security checkpoint. Officials in Sauri District (ph) say the boys were innocent children and had nothing to do with government or the war. The Taliban deny involvement in the killings.
Well, the office of the Turkish prime minister says Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with protest leaders on Wednesday. Demonstrations have rocked the country for a week-and-a-half. On Sunday, police used water cannon and tear gas to clear protests in Ankara. The demonstrations originally began over plans to raise a park in Istanbul.
Well, the queen has visited her husband Prince Phillip in a London hospital. The Duke of Edinburgh turned 92 today. He's recovering from exploratory abdominal surgery. Buckingham Palace says he's comfortable and in good spirits after Friday's operation. He's expected to spend two weeks recuperating.
The Hungarian capital of Budapest seems to have been spared the worst of the flooding that's hit Central Europe. Defenses held firm and the river Danube has started to recede. It crested there today at a record level of 891 centimeters. It was expected to be much higher. Germany is struggling to hold back the flood waters, though, as the crest of the Elbe River moves downstream towards Hamburg.
And Apple unveiling a brand new look, and a brand new computer, at its Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco. In the past few minutes, Apple's CEO Tim Cook has unveiled a powerful new Mac Pro desktop computer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: We're making the best Macs we've ever made, but we're not standing still. We've got lots of innovation left. And today, we want to talk to you about what we're doing with OS X.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, it's also unveiled the latest updates of the MacBook (ph) operating system called Mavericks. This is the first new major product launch for Apple since last October.
Well, from The Special One to the Happy One, Jose Mourinho has held his first press conference after Chelsea Football Club resigned him as manager. He said this time he wants to stay long-term.
He left Chelsea almost 68 years ago -- not 68 years ago, six years ago.
Live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, the Art of Movement, chasing the perfect wave, what it means to ride the big one.
First, though, a preview of this week's presidential election in Iran. With the candidates heavily vetted, can voters really bring about change?
That, after this.
ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World live from London. 20 minutes past 9:00 here. I'm Becky Anderson for you.
Well, South Africa's government says anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela is still in, and I quote, serious but stable condition. In hospital, people around the world are praying for his swift recovery, but one of Mandela's long-time friends says it may finally be time to, and I quote, let him go.
Well, let's bring in Nkepile Mabuse in Pretoria.
What do we know at this point Nkepile?
MABUSE: Well, Becky, South Africans waited more than 48 hours to get an update on their beloved icon Nelson Mandela. And that update basically said that his condition has not changed. He remains serious, but stable. He was rushed to this hospital behind me in the early hours of Saturday morning suffering from what the presidency has called a recurring lung infection. This is a man who is 94 years old. He's turning 95 next months. He's got a history of lung infections. He contracted TB when he was in prison. And of course the fact that he is so old also puts him at a disadvantage.
So, you know, South Africans who are looking on the positive side say at least his situation has not deteriorated, but of course he's not improving clearly, Becky.
ANDERSON: His family members with him, I believe?
MABUSE: His wife, Graca Machel actually came with the former president here on Saturday morning. And we've since seen other members of his family. We've seen Winnie Mandela, his former wife and also mother of two of his children. We've also seen Makaziwe, one of his daughters and two of his grandchildren.
So surrounded by family.
You know, the whole entire country -- yesterday was Sunday -- people were praying for his speedy recovery.
But earlier on you mentioned, Becky, that there is that talk people are starting to talk about possibly it being time to let him go. He is 94 years old. He sacrificed his own freedom, his family, fighting for democracy for this country. And I think those pictures that South Africans saw in April of him looking so old and frail really made him -- made them realize that he's lived a long life and maybe it is time for people to let him go so he can rest -- Becky.
ANDERSON: All right, Nkepile Mabuse there in Pretoria for you.
Well, more than just days before Iran's presidential election a conservative candidate has dropped out of the race. The former parliament speaker said he didn't want to divide the conservative vote. His exit leaves four conservatives remaining in the race along with two moderate candidates and a reformist.
More than 680 candidates wanted to be on the ballot, but top religious authorities carefully vetted them, qualifying all but eight last month.
Critics say the elections are more for show than substance. Others, though, disagree. Reza Sayah tells us what's really at stake.
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Iranian elections are coming. And many are asking does the vote even matter? Will it make a difference? There are arguments on both sides.
So, we give you three reasons why analysts say the elections do matter and three reasons they don't.
First, why they don't.
Analysts say the elections don't matter, because the Supreme Leader has the real power. No matter who wins Iran's presidency, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei still oversees the armed forces and foreign policy. He also has final say on U.S. relations and Iran's controversial nuclear program.
The elections don't matter because there is very limited choice. More than 600 candidates registered to run for the presidency. The Guardian Council, an unelected vetting body, only approved eight, all viewed as loyal to the Supreme Leader and the ruling establishment. Not a single bona fide reformist made the cut.
The elections don't matter because most voters don't trust the process. Millions accuse the regime of fixing the 2009 elections for the winner, President Ahmadinejad. The vote was rigged was the cry in street protests. Analysts say today, few see Iran's elections as free and fair.
Now, here's why analysts say the elections do matter.
The elections matter, because the Supreme Leader is getting old. Ayatollah Khamenei is 73. If history is any indication, Iran's next president will serve eight years in back to back terms. It's possible the next president could be in power during what many view as the most critical transition in the history of the Islamic Republic, the passing of the supreme leader.
The elections matter because the president has some power. Iran's constitution says the president is second in power after the Supreme Leader. Thanks to current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the presidency has a higher profile than ever. The next president will have an important voice in the nuclear issue, U.S. relations, and how Iran is perceived around the world.
The elections matter, because of the Green Movement. This is the first presidential vote since Iran's opposition movement exploded onto the scene in 2009 only to be crushed by the regime's security forces. Many are watching to see if opposition forces will make a comeback.
In the coming days, debates over these elections will continue. Ultimately, we'll only know if they matter months or maybe years after the vote. One analyst said the surprise uprising in 2009 showed you never know what's in store. And that's maybe the best reason to pay attention.
Reza Sayah, CNN, Cairo.
ANDERSON: And do stay with CNN for the very latest on the Iranian elections. We'll be covering the vote as it happens, of course, on Friday and the results as soon as they come in.
Well, the latest world news headlines are just ahead here on CNN.
Plus, a Florida murder case that has ignited controversy across the United States. We're live at the courthouse for you. And we'll have an expert on the wider discussion about race.
Also pushing the limits in a battle between man and nature. We meet a young surfer chasing the world's biggest waves.
And will the new Superman movie be Kryptonite at the box office? Not if it follows the trend of success for superheroes.
ANDERSON: This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you. The top stories this hour here on CNN.
The man who told the world that the U.S. government is able to see millions of private emails and phone records could be on the move. At this hour, the whereabouts of Edward Snowden are unknown after he checked out of his Hong Kong hotel room. He fled there after revealing he's the source of the leak exposing a top secret U.S. spying operation called PRISM.
A wave of attacks killed at least 33 people in Iraq. Much of the violence happened in the northern city of Mosul where police were targeted in bombings and gun battles. Bombings were also reported near Baghdad, ripping through a vegetable market.
Former South African leader Nelson Mandela remains in intensive care in a Pretoria hospital two days after being admitted with a recurring lung infection. The government says his condition is unchanged, serious but stable.
The second degree murder trial of George Zimmerman is getting underway in the US state of Florida. Jury selection began today. Zimmerman, neighborhood watch volunteer -- remember? -- in an Orlando suburb says he shot the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self defense. Martin was unarmed. Prosecutors say Zimmerman racially profiled the teenager.
And that is what we're going to discuss now. The fatal shooting six months ago has added to the debates about race relations and gun laws in America. Zimmerman is Hispanic. Martin was African-American.
Before we take you live to that Florida courthouse and then to our expert, I want to take you back to a rainy night in February last year. George Howell brings us up to speed on this case and certainly what's at stake.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Was it a case of murder or self-defense? Those are the questions jurors will face in the case against George Zimmerman. February 26, 2012, the then neighborhood watch captain called police to report a teenager who he described as "suspicious."
What's in question is whether Zimmerman pursued after a dispatcher told him not to. The one thing that is clear: there was a confrontation. 911 calls record someone in the background screaming for help. Then you hear the fatal shot.
911 CALLER (via telephone): I don't know why. I think they're yelling "help," but I don't know.
911 DISPATCHER (via telephone): Do you think he's yelling help?
DISPATCHER: What is your --
HOWELL: The victim was 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, his admitted killer, was taken into custody for questioning but then released because investigators accepted his claim that he fired his gun in self- defense. The days that followed left this community in uproar.
BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: We don't understand why he's not arrested. Investigations can go on forever, and the family worries, I worry, the more time that passes, this is going to be swept under the rug.
HOWELL: State attorney Angela Corey charged Zimmerman with second degree murder. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara eventually got a judge to grant Zimmerman a $1 million bond, releasing him to house confinement with a curfew as he awaits trial.
Zimmerman has been in and out of court several times for pretrial hearings, in one case taking the stand himself to speak directly to Martin's family.
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT: I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was, I thought he was a little bit younger than I am, and I did not know if he was armed or not.
HOWELL: In the days leading up to trial, prosecutors asked that certain evidence, like these pictures of Trayvon Martin, not be admitted as evidence released. The focus now is on jury selection.
ANDERSON: Well, how long that takes is the next question. Let's get you to Sanford, Florida now, where my colleague Martin Savidge is at the courthouse. How long do we expect this all to take, Martin?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you're talking about jury selection, I think that's going to take anywhere from a week to maybe two weeks. So far, we have had three potential jurors out of a pool of 500 that have been called. Three have come in and been questioned by the attorneys, the prosecution, and by the defense. That has taken an hour and a half.
So, it's a very slow, arduous, very methodical process, because jury selection is crucial. As any attorney will tell you, the right jury can make or break the case for you. Then, of course, after that, the jury is seated and they only need to find 6, not the usual 12, because it's second degree murder.
Then the trial begins. That's the part where of course there's the testimony. That could take anywhere from six to eight weeks. It's going to be a long, drawn-out but carefully watched court development here. Becky?
ANDERSON: And was Zimmerman acting in self-defense or was he the perpetrator? So far as I can tell, that needs to be defined, and whoever wins that argument wins the case, effectively, right.
SAVIDGE: Pretty much. Yes, that is, I would say, what is at the crux of the matter here. George Zimmerman has maintained throughout that he was attacked by 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. There are others who, of course, see it vastly differently.
The family of Trayvon Martin sees it differently. They say that George Zimmerman actually profiled the African-American teen who was walking through the neighborhood that night, chased him down and shot him.
So, you're right. You have to figure out who was the aggressor here? Which is why that 911 tape is so vital, because so many tried to determine who is that voice? The voice that's screaming for help must be the person that's being attacked. So, if you can determine who's screaming for help, you pretty much solve the case. However, no one has figured out who's screaming for help.
ANDERSON: Jury selection now, the trial will then begin, as Martin says. We're looking at six, eight, maybe ten weeks until we get a result on this. Sir, always a pleasure. Martin Savidge out of Florida for you this evening.
So, from the beginning, this case has sparked protests and ignited controversy. Let's bring in CNN's contributor Father Edward Beck, live from our New York bureau, and this case has certainly raised racial tensions once again in the States. There are issues of gun laws that are bound in this case. Let's start with race. How significant is race in this case, to your mind?
EDWARD BECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think from the very beginning it was obvious it was very significant because first of all, once this happened, Zimmerman was free for 44 days before charges were even brought.
Now again, the race question entered because people said, well, if this was a white kid, that wouldn't have happened. So, people got really incensed because something seemed to be done. This was like another wasted life. And so, the race question entered early on.
The other question, I think, is if you listen to the 911 transcript, you have to ask yourself, why did Zimmerman follow Trayvon Martin other than the fact that he was black and wearing a hoodie. This was seemingly an innocent kid who had bought iced tea and Skittles, was on his way home, didn't do anything wrong. So, why was he being pursued? So, if it wasn't racial profiling, then what was it?
ANDERSON: And it's very much sparked a broader discussion of the significance of race in everyday American life, of course, this case. We're well aware of that. How much of an issue do you believe race is in America today?
BECK: I think it's a big issue, Becky. I work with some priests who work in neighborhoods with young people, and I can tell you that I have not met a young African-American male yet that hasn't said they've been stopped -- we have a stop-and-frisk law that's very controversial here in New York.
And basically, young innocent kids get stopped because maybe they're wearing a hoodie, maybe the color of their skin. And this is really degrading for them. And so, you work with people in deprived neighborhoods and you hear the stories all the time, and it's directly related to race.
And you see these tensions flare up time and time again, and it's about the color of somebody's skin. There's an immediate disposition because of the color of somebody's skin. So, the race question lingers on.
ANDERSON: Yes. In 2013, it seems remarkable. Let's just get back to the case and where we are, because there were, as Martin reported, some 500 potential jurors to be grilled about their positions on race, guns, and the media, of course. Three, I think, Martin suggesting have been chosen at this point. We're looking at six for second degree murder.
Is it possible to get an objective jury, do you think, in this case? It's been so widely discussed and disseminated across the media, hasn't it?
BECK: Well, I'm not sure really about -- objective, perhaps, but certainly you're not going to find someone who hasn't heard about this case. It's been in all of the papers, it's been across the media. I heard that the defense said that they're hoping for some conservative, hopefully white jurors who believe that people should be able to have guns.
Now, of course, the defense can say that, but others are hoping -- the prosecution is hoping that there are some African-Americans on this jury. So again, it's becoming a race question. You're going to have to find people who are going to look beyond the race question and say what really happened here? And was this a justified killing? Was it self-defense?
And again, a lot of it's going to depend on what Zimmerman, his account of it, that's all we have other than the 911 tape. So, is he believable when he gives his depiction of what happened?
ANDERSON: Father Beck with you this evening. Thank you, sir. Interesting thoughts. What do you think about all of this? Well, the team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you, as we do on all stories, of course, on this show or just stories out there in the ether. Facebook.com/CNNconnect, have your say.
You can always tweet me @BeckyCNN. Your thoughts please, @BeckyCNN. I promise you, we read them all, we digest them, we use them as part of the narrative. Do get in touch, @BeckyCNN.
Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, I am Becky Anderson. Coming up, comic book heroes on the big screen, why we are super in love with them.
Next, though, meet the young surfer who has perfected the art of riding some of the world's biggest waves. That up next.
ANDERSON: Now, once the strict domain of die-hards, extreme sports are increasingly moving to the mainstream, aren't they? Among them, big wave surfing. It's a sport that pits man against nature.
Tonight, in our Art of Movement segment, Nick Glass introduces us to one surfer who has dedicated her life to perfecting the skills it takes to survive some of the world's biggest swells.
NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENET (voice-over): The Brazilian Maya Gabeira, suited up and ready for a brutal Atlantic challenge. The year, 2009. The place, Dungeons off South Africa, and a terrifying wave 45-foot high, the highest ever ridden by any woman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're set.
GLASS: Today, she lives by the beach in California, but is always looking out for the next big wave, wherever it may be.
MAYA GABEIRA, BIG WAVE SURVER: I'm looking into this swell, to possibly flying to Tahiti this weekend.
GLASS: Storms are now so closely monitored that big waves can be tracked as they develop.
GABEIRA: Sixteen second intervals between one wave and the other in the ocean. That's very important information. Here gives you the waves in meters. The biggest of the swell could be 4.5 meters.
GLASS: Gabeira simply lives for the big waves, is sponsored to ride them.
GABEIRA: Being a part of that crazy moment and out of control where most harbors shut down and everyone goes to shore. I've had times where I was actually just really scared. I wanted it to happen as quick as possible. And then I have times where I can completely recall the whole ride. So, it's really -- it's really intense.
KELLY SLATER, 11-TIME WORLD SURFING CHAMPION: I have a lot of friends that their whole goal is to surf the biggest wave in the world. As big as it gets, as crazy and scary as it gets, they're ready for it.
GLASS: For surfers, it's all about those special fleeting moments in the water when it all comes together: body, board, and perfect wave. Moments, movements, measurable in heartbeats and seconds, but lingering in the memory for a lifetime.
ANDERSON: Amazing stuff. The Art of Movement. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Hollywood hoping for a super summer as it rolls out its superhero blockbusters. How comic book characters make cold, hard cash at the box office. That after this. You're 90 seconds away.
ANDERSON: Well, Hollywood is hoping for a super summer at the box office. It's rolling out its superhero movies. First up, the franchise that started it all, and that is Superman. The latest installment, "Man of Steel," is having a red carpet premier Monday night in New York.
Now, the rest of us around the world get to see it -- when do we get to see it? -- on wide release from this Friday. Well, Neil Curry looks at why comic book heroes generate so much cash.
NEIL CURRY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Comic book heroes. Our fascination with them can begin from a very early age and can last a lifetime.
STAN LEE, CEO, POW! ENTERTAIMENT: The thing about superhero stories, they're like fairy tales for grown ups. Every child loved reading fairy tales when he or she was a child. They were stories about monsters and witches and giants and magicians. Well, superhero stories have that same flavor, but they're done for adults as well as for children.
CURRY: The characters he helped to create for Marvel Comics more than half a century ago have stood the test of time. He's the prime reason this person is dressed like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pick Spider-Man because I've always been a fan of Spider-Man. He's a real guy. He's got problems like everyone else does, and he has to deal with it all and being a superhero at the same time.
CURRY: If, as has been said, clothes make the man, then presumably superhero clothes make the Superman. Or at least the Iron Man.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: How long did it take you to do this costume?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About approximately 300 hours altogether.
BRYAN COONEY, LONDON COMIC CON: Everything goes beyond just the comic book now, because it's not just a book. It's a comic book that's tied in with a video game that's tied in with a movie, and it broadens the reach.
Thousands of people, they are exposed to comic books through movies as opposed to through comic books to the movies. It's going the other way. They enjoy the movie, then they get the comic book.
CURRY: Comic book sales in North America alone were close to half a billion dollars last year. So far this year, they're up almost 20 percent.
SHARAD DEVARAJAN, CEO, GRAPHIC INDIA: The comic book is essentially a movie with an unlimited budget. It's a place where you level the playing field, where a creator just with a pencil and pen can kind of create worlds imaginable, destroy those worlds, and recreate them in three pages.
CURRY: At the other end of the playing field stand the movie-makers, armed with $100 million budgets, their pen and pencils replaced by a sophisticated team of special effects. They, too, can create, destroy, and recreate worlds. Not in three pages, but in 3D.
JOSS WHEDON, DIRECTOR, "AVENGERS ASSEMBLE": I think Marvel comics in general, they're just -- they're telling stories of kings and betrayal. And they're the grandest soaps there are.
CHRIS HEWITT, "EMPIRE" MAGAZINE: "The Avengers" is the third-biggest film of all time, $1.5 billion worldwide, and "Iron Man 3" is probably going to be the fourth-biggest film of all time, around about $1.3 billion worldwide. And I think "Man of Steel" has the potential to outdo maybe both of them. I think the saturation point is some way away yet.
SHANE BLACK, DIRECTOR, "IRON MAN 3": It depends on the cleverness of the filmmakers. I think the innovation that we see and the degree which people continue to up the stakes, change it up, use different approaches, there's always going to be another superhero movie.
CURRY: And he's not wrong. In this case, the superhero in question is this fellow.
HENRY CAVIL AS CLARK KENT/KAL-EL, "MAN OF STEEL": My father believed that if the world found out who I really was, they'd reject me.
CURRY: Seventy-five years after DC Comics introduced Superman to the world, he's being reintroduced to movie audiences as "Man of Steel."
HEWITT: I think the superhero genre is so popular today because quite simply, this is a new mythology for us. These people, superheroes, are our Greek gods, are our Roman gods, and they're just very, very cool.
CURRY: So the gods smile, a printing press rolls, and a new superhero adventure will soon be delivered to our doors and comic stores.
Neil Curry, CNN.
ANDERSON: All right, now. The movies editor for Hollywood.com has left his Fortress of Solitude to join me. Matt Patches is live from CNN New York for you. It does seem remarkable, Matt, that comic content, if not comics themselves, is still in such huge demand.
But do you buy this sense that some of these heroes, these superheroes we're looking at are now on 50-odd years old and counting, and yet we're not anywhere near saturation point so far as interest is concerned. You buy that, do you?
MATT PATCHES, MOVIES EDITOR, HOLLYWOOD.COM: I do, and it's because these characters evolve along with audiences. I think what the comics have been able to do since -- Superman was created back in the middle of the 20th century, and yet he's still a relevant character because writers and directors are able to explore new themes with the powers that he has. He's an archetypical character, so we can tell any story we want with him.
ANDERSON: The budget for these movies is huge. I understand that "Man of Steel" could take an awful lot at the box office, but how much does it have to take to really convince people that this was a success in 2013?
PATCHES: Well, it's certainly trying to rival movies like "The Avengers," which took a billion dollars worldwide. So, people are going to be looking for that size number when it comes down to it.
Realistically, it costs something in the hundreds of millions of dollars, so it has to make about double of that. So, I would say for it to be a real success without knowing too much about the actual numbers, it probably has to make over $500 million, $600 million domestically.
ANDERSON: That's an awful lot of money! Not everybody believes Spider-Man is a real guy, as this Spider-Man in Neil's package suggested. You talk about these characters living on because they are -- they're sort of reborn in a new era. How close, though, do they have to stay to their original -- their original being, as it were. I'm looking at an inspiration in 2013, but surely a character who would live and die back in the 50s..
PATCHES: Well, you know, I think that there are comic book fans who know every single detail about a character. And then there are the fans that make a movie like "The Avengers" or "Iron Man" or soon to be "Man of Steel" a huge, worldwide success.
Those audiences are different. We don't have the same demands, the masses don't, for the specifics of a character. What we need is the broad strokes. Does Superman have a red cape? Is he flying around? Great. Can he punch people in the face? Perfect.
That's what we need out of Superman. Now a creator can go and tell the story he wants to and find a new emotional in or a new stylistic in to a character. And I think that's what keeps it fresh.
What needs to be consistent from movie to movie is very broad and -- it's not necessary to keep the characters intact, especially if you want a franchise to live over 50-some years.
ANDERSON: Sure. It's a summer of superheroes. Will we buy into everything we see, do you think? Are you banking on these all bankrolling, as it were?
PATCHES: I think everybody's going to be eager to see these movies, especially -- thanks to Iron Man and the Marvel films that have kind of intertwined themselves and they built up to "The Avengers," that's something we've never seen before.
And the Marvel comics and the DC comics, being Superman, Batman -- they're kind of rivaling each other now. And as audiences, we want to see them one-up each other and we want to see what comes next as they kind of duke it out in public.
So, it's their own superhero story. It's like a comic book for the industry. And we are eager to check it out, so I think that will also drive people to continue to see these movies in theaters.
ANDERSON: And let me tell you, if the summer continues weather-wise as it has to date in the UK, we will need a number of big movies to entertain us, because there's going to be no staying outside. It's a miserable summer here.
All right, thank you, Matt. Matt Patches for you this evening. To another animated character we all know and love. Winnie the Pooh is about to transform bedtime storytelling, we are told. Pooh and his friends are stepping out of the pages and into the modern world. Have a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once upon a time, a very long time ago now --
ANDERSON (voice-over): He may not be installing wifi in his tree house just yet, but Winnie the Pooh is embracing technology. For the first time ever, the hand-drawn pictures of Pooh and friends will be animated in the form of an iPad app.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody's making a buzzing noise.
ANDERSON: The stories are familiar if you've grown up with his adventures, but the reading experience is a little different to attract a new generation of readers into Pooh's world.
And to mark the occasion, the famous bear has been on an adventure in London, admiring the Shard with his friend Piglet, doing Pooh-sticks at the Millennium Bridge near St. Paul's, and even taking the Tube. It's a far way off from his tree house in Hundred Acre Wood, but proof that he's brave enough to step into the modern world.
Becky Anderson, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: Lovely. And finally, in tonight's Parting Shots for you, Saturday, millions of people tuned into what was the season finale of "Britain's Got Talent." Well, they got to witness this: judge Simon Cowell getting egged on live TV.
According to "Entertainment Weekly," the woman was in the backup orchestra for the contestants, who continued singing throughout the egg- throwing episode. At least one egg may have hit the mark. Cowell later taking off his jacket.
He's known as an opinionated music industry producer and judge. It's not the first time he's had something thrown at him. On Sunday, Cowell tweeted, "I really don't like eggs." I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD.