Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Prosecutors Issue Arrest Warrants For Muslim Brotherhood Leaders; Lac-Megantic Trail Derailment Investigation Becomes Criminal; South Korea Lawmakers Reviewing Pilot Training Regulations; Ireland, Chile, Texas Debate Abortion Laws; Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Pleads Not Guilty
Aired July 10, 2013 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ATIKA SHUBERT, HOST: One week after the military overthrew Mohamed Mosry, we ask how events on the ground in Egypt are fueling a new regional rivalry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Do you give any credence to the fact that you were set up?
DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN, FRM. IMF CHAIRMAN: Credence, maybe? Proof, no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT: In an exclusive interview with CNN, Dominique Strauss-Kahn talks about his public fall from grace.
And, France is up in arms against frozen food, but why all the fuss? Well, we will ask world famous British chef Marcus Wearing (ph) to explain.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World.
SHUBERT: Now we begin in Egypt where authorities have issued new arrest warrants for top Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including supreme guide Mohammed Bedie. We last saw him in Cairo a few days ago delivering a fiery speech to supporters and promising never to back down until deposed president Mohamed Morsy is reinstated.
Now Morsy himself has not been charged with any crime, that is according to a foreign ministry spokesman who says the ousted leader is being held in a quote, safe place.
The Brotherhood says today's arrest warrants are an attempt to break up a vigil demanding Morsy's return. You can see some of those live pictures there.
But authorities say the men face accusations of inciting clashes in Cairo Monday that killed at least 51 people. A Brotherhood spokesman says their leadership will not go into hiding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AHMED AREF, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD SPOKESMAN (through translator): We are present in the squares. We are present in the Egyptian provinces. If they wanted to flee, they would have traveled abroad before all these events of 30 June. And when it became apparent that there would be a military coup.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT: Now the military and Morsy supporters blame each other for Monday's deadly clashes. And the violence has left the country more divided than ever.
So, let's get an update now on all those developments from Karl Penhaul. He's live for us tonight in Cairo.
Karl, these arrest warrants coming out, are they going -- are they simply going to inflame the situation even more?
KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That certainly could be the case, Atika. And certainly right now there's no sense that at least a number of those Muslim Brotherhood members named in that arrest warrant are going on the run, or going into hiding. In fact, just a few hours ago, we spoke to one of the men named in those arrest warrants and he flatly denies that he or any members of the Muslim Brotherhood instigated the events that took place in those mass casualties outside Republican Guard headquarters on Monday.
The Muslim Brotherhood's position, as well as other supporters of he deposed president firmly placed the blame on the military at this stage saying that they opened fire on demonstrators during morning prayers.
Of course, the military as we know adamantly rejects that statement and says that they were attacked by a group of around 15 men on motorcycles who tried to storm the army barracks. But of course, if on the one hand you had the prosecutors general's office issuing arrest warrants for the top leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, and on the other hand you have the interim president apparently offering an olive branch to the Muslim Brotherhood saying, hey, why don't you come and take part in our government.
There are mixed messages here. And certainly the Muslim Brotherhood doesn't believe that. They say they're going to continue their protests. And they say their only position is that Mr. Morsy is reinstated to power, Atika.
SHUBERT: And what about Mr. Morsy. I mean, the military says he's in a safe place, but we haven't heard from him at all. We don't know about what condition he's in. What do we know?
PENHAUL: Well, Atika, there been a briefing by the foreign minister and also we've had a couple of briefings -- CNN has had a couple of briefings in the last couple of days with Colonel Ahmed Ali, the spokesman for the military. And he has said, yes, Mr. Morsy is being held in a safe place. He's being treated well. He is in good condition.
It's very much the view of the foreign ministry as well as the military that they are doing what they're doing to protect Mr. Morsy, in their words. Of course, though, the reality is that he is being held in detention. He's incommunicado. And when I put it to the spokesman of the National Salvation Front, that's the largest coalition that backed this military coup, I said has the army given you a briefing on Mr. Morsy's status, has the army allowed you to see him to check that his rights are being preserved, to check that he is OK, then that spokesman for the National Salvation Front said, no, we haven't been allowed to see him. And he also said, we haven't asked to see him.
So there seems to be little interest on the part of the politicians who backed this military coup to check on the status of the man who, after all, Egyptians democratically elected a year ago, Atika.
SHUBERT: Well, thank you very much. That's Karl Penhaul staying on top of events in Cairo for us.
Now, let's take a look at the regional view. These recent events in Egypt have created a shift in the power dynamics of the Middle East really pitting regional powers on different sides of the divide. So let's take a look at a few of them.
The United Arab Emirates, who was the first country to congratulate Egypt's new rulers, even giving them a billion dollar grant and a $2 billion interest free loan.
Then there's Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah was also very quick to congratulate Egyptians after Morsy's overthrow. The Saudis have deposited $2 billion in Egypt's central bank on top of a billion dollar grant and another $2 billion in energy products.
Then there is Kuwait. Kuwait earlier announced today that it will provide Egypt with $4 billion.
So a lot of financial support from some Gulf Arab countries. But there are some exceptions, particularly here, Qatar. Qatar is one of the countries seems to stand apart. It was a key backer of President Morsy and gave Egypt $8 billion in loans while the Muslim Brotherhood was in power, but so far Doha has not indicated if it will keep up that same level of support.
And then there is Turkey. Turkey has been one of the most vocal countries in condemning the military takeover. And that has prompted Egyptian officials to summon the Turkish ambassador to Cairo to warn against taking sides.
Now, to make some more sense of this, get some perspective, we have Fawaz Gerges. Thank you very much for joining us. What astonished me was how quickly all the regional players sort of aligned themselves along the divide. Why were they so quick to make those decisions and what are they seeing here?
FAWAZ GERGES, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: I mean, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have pledged, as you said, $12 billion in aid to Egypt immediately after the ouster of President Morsy, $12 billion. I mean, think -- compare the aid to U.S. civil aid to Egypt which is annually, it's $250 million. So this is a big statement. And why?
Because Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are deeply hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood. They view the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist lead government of President Morsy, as a subversive organization that could undermine their monarchies. And thus immediately after the coup, the kind of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, called General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the defense minister, and expressed his full support for the military coup that toppled President Morsy.
And secondly, a very important point, United Arab Emirate and Saudi Arabia resented President Morsy's flirtation with the Islamic Republic of Iran, a major rival to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In fact, we have a new cold war in the Middle East between the Iranian led alliance and the Saudi led alliance. So it's no wonder why Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates basically took sides immediately after the coup while, of course, Turkey and Qatar have been reluctant.
SHUBERT: I was going to say what about Turkey and Qatar, what's their reasoning, what are they seeing in the event happening in Egypt?
GERGES: I mean, compare the two. For example, Qatar and Turkey provided the Islamist led government of President Morsy with $10 billion in just one year. And Qatar since the Arab uprisings in 2010, 2011 has supported basically what we call populist movements along the lines of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamists not just in Egypt, in Tunisia, in Libya, in Syria. So Qatar really believes that the Islamists along the lines of the Muslim Brotherhood are the ways of the future. Basically they are the rising power.
And in this particular sense, Qatar is trying to basically exercise influence and support the Islamist movement.
Turkey, as you know, is governed by a mildly Islamist party in terms of identity and that's why Turkey provided Egypt's Morsy with $2 billion.
So in this particular sense a fault line has emerged between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. On the other hand -- I mean, who support -- who now support the coup against Morsy and Qatar and Turkey who initially supported the Islamist led government.
SHUBERT: Even more divisions across the region.
Well, thank you very much. That's Fawaz Gerges for us, a professor of Middle East and international relations at London School of Economics.
Now still to come, in public for the first time since his arrest, the Boston Marathon bombing suspect appears in court. Details coming up.
And furor over the train derailment in Canada. People are demanding answers. As the investigation is launched, we'll tell you what we know in a moment.
Also, they reveal secret information about governments and now we learn about them. We speak to the director of a movie about WikiLeaks. Stay with us.
SHUBERT: Dzohkhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He appeared in federal court a short time ago. It was his first public appearance since he was arrested. The 19-year-old is charged in the April 15 blast that killed three people and wounded hundreds.
Well, our Deborah Feyerick joins us now from outside the court room. This was really the first time for many victims to see him face-to-face. What was their reaction?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, absolutely. And (inaudible)...
SHUBERT: OK, sorry about that. It seems we've lost Deborah Feyerick outside the courtroom. We'll try and get her back for later on.
In the meantime, in that crash in San Francisco, new details continue to emerge from the investigation into Saturday's crash of Asiana flight 214 in San Francisco. And we have learned that the pilots relied on automatic controls to maintain the plane's air speed and did not realize the aircraft was flying too slowly until just seconds before the accident.
The pilot at the helm of the controls was only about halfway through his Boeing 777 training. Two people were killed, more than 180 injured. And South Korea's aviation authority has said it will start a sweeping inspection of eight airlines and may reconsider its rules about training flights.
Now we're waiting for a news conference by the cockpit crew of Asiana Flight 214. We will bring you that live when it does happen.
I am just being told that Deborah Feyerick has now joined us. She is outside of the courtroom where the bombing marathon -- the Boston Marathon suspect first made his appearance.
Deborah, you were saying this is the first time that victims have actually seen him face-to-face.
FEYERICK: Yeah, absolutely. And there are about 30 of them, 30 victims and family members who were inside that court just to see him. And his body language was really almost -- it was very interesting. He walked in. He was very lackadaisical.
A woman who was wearing a white headscarf sitting in the section reserved for Tsarnaev's family sobbed audibly. She was holding a newborn. And he turned and he looked at her and sort of made eye contact with the three members who seem to have been in that court room for him.
But even as he was sitting there, he was fidgeting. He was touching his neck. He was touching his nose. He just didn't even seem to be really aware of the severity. Or if he was aware of the severity, it was almost as if he was ignoring it as if this really wasn't taking place.
He did stand when the charges were read against him, not the specific charges, but the numbers of the charges -- 30 of them, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.
And he entered a not guilty plea to all of those charges.
What's so interesting is he had a very heavy, almost Russian accent. And I ran into a couple of people who had gone to high school with him, who had been on the wrestling team with him, and they said even that was strange to them, because he didn't have any accent when they knew him. And they also pointed out that his body language seemed sort of he didn't care and he was fidgeting, and that was really unique and really strange to them.
His wrestling coach actually said that they wanted to come and see whether in fact there was any of the old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev there -- or was still there, a guy who they knew as friendly and thoughtful and considerate. And the wrestling coach said, we just didn't recognize him almost. That's how sort of physically and dramatically he changed since this alleged attack.
Arraignment took really less than 10 minutes. The judge setting a next court date. The lawyers for him would not comment on the women who were sitting in the section who were visibly upset, not saying whether or not those were his sisters -- he does have two younger sisters here in the United States -- Atika.
SHUBERT: That's very interesting.
Well, that trial will be very closely watched. That's Deborah Feyerick for us in Boston.
Now the engineer of the runaway train that crashed into a small Quebec town has been suspended, that's according to the chairman of Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railways. The freight train was carrying 72 tankers of crude oil when it derailed on Saturday. And that unleashed a deadly inferno in the town of Lac-Megantic.
At least 15 people were killed and 45 are still missing.
Authorities have launched a criminal investigation into what happened, but they have also ruled out terrorism.
Well, CNN's Anna Coren joins us now. What is the latest we have on the investigation and the engineer in particular?
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Atika, not a lot new on the investigation. As you say, that engineer has been suspended by the company without pay as they try to determine his role in this disaster.
But, you know, we should stress this is a criminal investigation. Police say they have found evidence of tampering. And they are treating this as a criminal investigation.
Atika, it's important to stress, you know, the anger now in this town. It's some five days since that train carrying that crude oil derailed, exploded, and literally wiped out downtown of Lac-Megantic.
Now, the owner of the company of Railworld (ph), he came to Lac- Megantic today. Residents have been wondering where he has been. You know, it's taken him five days to get here. Finally he fronted the cameras, he fronted a very angry and hostile community. And let's have a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDWARD BURKHARDT, CHAIRMAN, MONTREAL, MAINE & ATLANTIC RAILWAY: I understand the extreme anger. And beyond that, I will do what we can to address the issues here. We can't roll back time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: That's Edward Burkhardt from Railworld (ph) trying to give, I guess, some sort of explanation as to his company's role in all of this. It's certainly not satisfactory for the people of Lac-Megantic.
As you say, the death toll is at 15, that remains unchanged, but police have increased the number of missing to 45. So, you know, off the record officials here are telling us that 60 people, 60 people in total have been vaporized. It is gruesome terminology, but that is what we are dealing with, that is the extent and magnitude of this disaster.
But, you know, Atika, we spoke to a mother today whose son is missing. She has not heard from him since the disaster on -- you know, Saturday, early hours of Saturday morning. And she is certain that her son is dead - - Atika.
SHUBERT: Just horrific. And still no answers.
Well, thank you very much. Anna Coren for us in Lac-Megantic in Quebec.
Well, George Zimmerman has announced that he will not testify in his own defense at his murder trial. Zimmerman is accused of murdering an unarmed African American teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida in a case that has absolutely gripped the nation.
Now, jurors watched intently today as a prosecution lawyer used a mannequin to try to prove Zimmerman was not being held down by Martin when Zimmerman fired the fatal shot. A defense lawyer also used the mannequin what he says are head wounds Martin inflicted on Zimmerman during a scuffle.
Now Apple has said it will appeal a court ruling that states the tech giant conspired to raise the price of electronic books. On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that Apple orchestrated a price fixing scheme together with five publishers to team up against their online rival Amazon. Amazon has an agreement where the retailer sets the price of an eBook, a price publishers thought was too low. So Apple offered them a new agency model where publishers set the price and Apple took 30 percent off the top. As a result, the price of eBooks went up for consumers.
In Pakistan, the security chief to the president was killed in a suicide attack in Karachi. Police said a man walked up to the chief's vehicle and blew himself up. The security chief's driver and a fruit stall vendor on the side of the road were also killed. Several people are reported wounded.
Live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, a contentious issue that divides a deeply divided Catholic country. Ireland prepares for a vote for allowing abortion.
And the rising prominence of leakers. We speak to the director of a movie about WikiLeaks. That's next after the break.
SHUBERT: Speculation continues to grow over where U.S. security leaker Edward Snowden will end up and how he will get there. On Twitter, WikiLeaks writes that Snowden's so-called flight of liberty starts today. And after a web chat with the U.S. fugitive, journalist Glenn Greenwald hinted that Venezuela was the most likely destination. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN GREENWALD, JOURNALIST: There are news reports today that he's formally accepted the asylum offer from Venezuela. Whether those news reports are accurate or not, I don't want to comment on, but I think personally just speaking from myself that of the three options, that one seems like the plausible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT: If Snowden accepts Venezuela's offer of asylum, well let's just take a look at what his options are for getting out of Russia. Some potential routes. He could simply board a commercial flight from Moscow to Havana and then on to Caracas, but this would take him over American airspace and the plane could be stopped or grounded in the U.S. or a U.S. friendly country.
Hypothetically, he could take a private flight on a much longer route over the Arctic and Atlantic. And that would avoid American airspace, but very few planes could fly this far without refueling. And the cost would run into the millions of dollars.
So another possibility is that Snowden could leave out of Vladivostok in far eastern Russia and fly over the Pacific ocean instead, head for Nicaragua, another Latin American country that has also offered him asylum. But again, this is a long and expensive route and it would require a special charter flight.
Or, Snowden could make several stops. For instance, heading first to Tehran, then Cyprus, then North Sudan. He would still need, however, a special flight to finish his journey to Venezuela. But this route does take him through countries friendly to Russia and not the United States.
Now Edward Snowden is, of course, the second whistle blower to engage with WikiLeaks. The other, Private Bradley Manning is currently on trial in the United States, court martialed on 22 charges over the biggest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.
The new documentary, "We Steal Secrets" traces how that case catapulted WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange into the global spotlight. Becky Anderson spoke to the film's Academy Award winning director Alex Gibny.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Given the news on Edward Snowden at present, how would you describe the man you met, Julian Assange, and how he may or may not be involved in this current case?
ALEX GIBNEY, DIRECTOR: Well, apparently he is involved by virtue of WikiLeaks' own announcement. And by all accounts, Sarah Harrison, somebody who was in the film, who is -- who works for the WikiLeaks, is traveling with Edward Snowden. So somehow Julian Assange has managed to insert himself into the Edward Snowden story.
We don't yet know what they means. We don't know enough. But if I were to hazard a guess, I'd say this is an example of a guy who can't stand to be out of the spotlight and who has somehow managed to insert himself in a story that had become bigger than WikiLeaks.
JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: We're growing a bit, so it's now time for me to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: WikiLeaks needs a face?
ASSANGE: Yeah, the public demands that it has a face. And actually we much sort of prefer, I'd prefer if it didn't have to have a face. We tried to do that for awhile (inaudible) but the demand was so great, people just started inventing faces.
ANDERSON: How would you describe the change in a character that you shot during the length of this documentary, that being Julian Assange?
GIBNEY: Over the course of the film, Julian Assange changes from a very romantic idealistic young man to somebody who succumbs to what I would call noble cause corruption. He begins to believe that in the pursuit of a good cause he can do bad things. And that I think rather undermines some of the principles that he espouses and turns him into a figure that becomes all too like the enemies that he sought to expose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone has secrets. Some of the activities that nation-states conduct in order to keep their people safe and free need to be secret in order to be successful. If they are broadly known, you cannot accomplish your work.
ANDERSON: Bradley Manning, hero or villain?
GIBNEY: Bradley Manning, in my view, is a hero. He's a flawed individual, sometimes deeply inspiring, but fundamentally a hero because he has exposed lies that were being told to the American people.
But what's magnificent about Bradley Manning is, he's standing up and saying I will be held to account. He's plead guilty to limited charges. And yet taken on in a much more powerful and interesting way these larger and deeply damaging claims that he was a spy. Bradley Manning was not a spy, Bradley Manning was somebody who embarrassed the American government and did us all a public service by leaking these materials in a way that everybody could see.
He didn't get money. He didn't do it for some other foreign power. He did it for the good of all of us.
SHUBERT: Well, just a few hours ago Bradley Manning's defense team wrapped up their arguments in his case over charges he faces of passing secrets to WikiLeaks.
The latest world news headlines just ahead. Plus, Ireland prepares to vote in a new law to allow abortion, we take a look at the controversial issue around the world.
And then the former IMF chief talks exclusively to CNN about the incident to his downfall. His version of events coming up shortly.
And finally, French cuisine cannot be as fancy as we thought. There is national outrage as chefs reveal they some times serve up frozen food.
SHUBERT: This is CONNECT THE WORLD. The top stories this hour. Egyptian authorities have issued new arrest warrants for top Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie. A Foreign Ministry spokesman says deposed president Mohamed Morsy has not been charged with any crime.
The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has pleaded not guilty to the 30 charges against him. Four of the charges are murder for the three people who died in the bombings and a campus police officer killed several days later.
The engineer of a runaway train that crashed into a small Canadian town has been suspended. At least 15 people died as a result of the crash, 45 others are still missing. Police say they are still looking for evidence that would allow criminal charges to be filed.
Irish lawmakers are due to vote on a contentious new law that would permit abortion under limited circumstances. Now, if it's passed, a woman will be able to have an abortion if it poses a threat to her life. But controversially, doctors can also terminate a pregnancy if the woman is deemed suicidal.
Now, this bill was introduced after the 2012 death of an Indian dentist who died in a miscarriage after having been denied an abortion. Now, abortion is currently banned in the devoutly Roman Catholic country and it remains a very divisive issue, as CNN's Dan Rivers reports.
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The legality of abortion is an issue that the Republic of Ireland has been grappling with for decades. Now, they're on the verge of an historic vote to finally make it legal for women whose lives are at risk to have an abortion in the Republic.
At the moment, the situation is legally very confusing. There was a Supreme Court ruling in 1992 which cleared the way for some women whose lives were at risk to have abortions in the Republic, but many doctors are uncertain about when that can be invoked.
That all stemmed from a case involving a 14-year-old girl who was raped who then threatened suicide, and then she was able to have an abortion, the so-called "Case X" back in 1992.
Of course, this has all been brought into very sharp focus since last October when the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar, the Indian dentist who died during a pregnancy that went tragically wrong. Doctors felt they were unable to carry out a lifesaving abortion. She then died as did the baby.
So, I think that has forced politicians to go back to the law and want to clarify it, and that is exactly what this protection of life during pregnancy bill is designed to do, basically meaning that any woman whose life is at risk is able to have an abortion, and that controversially could include women who threaten suicide if they're not able to have an abortion.
At the moment, about 11 women each day travel to the UK for abortions from the Republic of Ireland, and the whole subject is incredibly divisive. It's provoked angry protests on the streets of Dublin, some 35,000 people turning out last weekend to protest the possible passing of this bill. Some of the politicians who will be voting on this have also received death threats.
It looks like it will pass with a comfortable majority. The only real question is how many members of the governing coalition will defy the government's order to vote for this and vote against.
Dan Rivers, CNN, London.
SHUBERT: And the law is widely expected to pass, but campaigners both for and against have gathered outside Ireland's National Parliament in what has become a bitter dispute over reforms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm here because I think Enda Kenny should be ashamed of himself to legalize abortion. Children's lives are precious.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree that women should be protected, but it should be the women and the children equally.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The vote taking place later tonight is extremely important to bring Ireland into the 21st century, and I think that laws should not be dictated to by religion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We should have legislated for abortion decades ago, not like -- it's at the end of the time, it's getting ridiculous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT: Now, despite the outcry, there is overwhelming public support for abortion in Ireland if performed under certain circumstances. According to the latest "Irish Times" IPSOS MRBI poll taken last month, 75 percent of people said they were for a law permitting abortion where the mother's life was in danger.
But when asked if an abortion should be allowed where a woman deemed it to be in her best interest, only 39 percent of voters agreed it should.
And it's not just in Ireland where the contentious issue of abortion is being debated. In Texas, lawmakers are to take a final vote on some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States. Now, this legislation would ban abortions past 20 weeks and would require clinics to become outpatient surgery centers, and critics say those measures would shut down most abortion clinics in the state.
Meanwhile, in Chile, there's discussion over the rape and subsequent pregnancy of a very young girl. Chilean president Sebastian Pinera came under fire after praising the 11-year-old girl for keeping her baby.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN PINERA, PRESIDENT OF CHILE (through translator): Today, she has been pregnant for 14 weeks and yesterday she surprised us all showing depth and maturity when she said that despite the pain that the man who raped her caused her, she was going to love and care for her baby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT: Now, in Chile, abortion for any reason has been outlawed since 1989, and this case has brought new, fierce criticism of Chile's current laws and has stirred political debate. So, for the latest, we're joined by Nick Valencia, live from CNN Center.
Nick, how has the president's comments provoked the debate, and what's the reaction he's getting from the public?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Atika, by saying those comments, he's literally injected himself into this debate of whether or not this 11-year-old girl should be able to seek an abortion.
As you mentioned, Chile has one of the most strictest abortion bans in the world. Mother's not allowed to have an abortion even if she's at risk, her health is at risk, or if it was a case of incest.
Now, the president's comments coming under fire by opposition lawmakers as well as critics who say there is no scientific foundation for him to have said that she should go through with her pregnancy. They call it reckless and irresponsible.
They also say that basically he doesn't know what he's talking about. And to give viewers some context here about Chile, this goes back, the law, as you mentioned, more than two decades during a time when Chile was under military, authoritative regime.
A lot of people say that this is an outdated abortion ban, but Pinera's government does not have any plans of reversing the abortion ban. In fact, the senate saw three bills last year that would have eased the abortion ban, Atika. All those bills were rejected. Atika?
SHUBERT: I understand that it's not just the president that's been talking about this, but also the former president, a woman. What does she have to say about this?
PINERA: That's right. A lot of people are weighing on this discussion. She released a comment recently and, in part, it read, "I don't know the family in person. I don't know more than what happened and what I read in the news, but I believe that regardless of condition, an 11- year-old girl is a girl with her entire life ahead of her, and she requires protection. That being said, the option of a therapeutic abortion in this case for rape seems to be the right solution."
The president's comments creating a firestorm of controversy and criticism, but it does have some supporters as well, Atika, so this is a topic that's going to be paid close attention to. Atika?
SHUBERT: Yes. Very interesting discussion. Thank you very much, Nick Valencia for us --
VALENCIA: You bet.
SHUBERT: -- at CNN Center. Well, live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Now, the French say sacrebleu. A report deals a blow to the reputation of their national pride, gastronomy. We'll have more on that later.
But first, our Richard Quest asked Dominique Strauss-Kahn some tough questions. Hear his thoughts on sex, lies, and life in the public eye. That's straight after this.
SHUBERT: In his first English-language interview since his downfall as head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn talks to CNN. Now, he told my colleague, Richard Quest, about that fateful weekend in New York two years ago when he was charged with attempted rape and sexual assault. Now, those charges were, of course, later dropped, but the damage to his reputation remained.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's no easy way to ask any of these questions --
DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN, FORMER MANAGING DIRECTOR, IMF: There's no easy way to answer.
QUEST: Fine. So, I'm just going to ask it straight out. What were you thinking that day in New York?
STRAUSS-KAHN: Frankly, I don't remember exactly. It depends if you're talking that day before the events --
QUEST: Before the events.
STRAUSS-KAHN: -- or after the events.
QUEST: Before the events, what led you to the events.
STRAUSS-KAHN: I wasn't thinking anything. It happened -- something happened, which is a private thing, and I still say what happens in a room is a private thing unless the prosecutors find something to tell you that you are going to be charged with something and they have proof of that.
And when prosecutors, after having charged you, tells, OK, finally, we don't have charge enough to charge you, then it means that it's a private thing and nobody has to say anything about it.
QUEST: So, what do you think was Ms. Diallo's motivation for making the accusation?
STRAUSS-KAHN: I don't know. We can imagine several things. I don't know, I don't want to have myself an accusation now that -- but many hypotheses have been put in the press. I have seen in the press that it could be for money, it could be directed by some secret services. I don't know. I don't know what was really the motivation.
The reality is that I have been charged for very, very difficult crimes, and that at the end of the day, the prosecutor, the district attorney in New York says OK, there is nothing anymore.
QUEST: Why did you settle the case against her? Why did you pay her money?
STRAUSS-KAHN: That's very simple. The US is a very special system. In my country, in most European countries, when on the penal side, people say there's nothing, then you cannot be sued on the civil side. In the US, you can.
So, the prosecutor may say we have nothing against you, but still you may have a civil trial. And I was ready to go to trial, but my lawyers told me, OK, it's going to take four years and it will cost you much more in legal fees than you have to pay even if you win, so you'd better pay her off.
QUEST: Paid her off.
STRAUSS-KAHN: And I decided to settle and go on with my life.
QUEST: Do you give any credence to the conspiracy theorists? That -- was it secret services, the missing BlackBerry, whatever it might be, all these things. Do you give any credence to the fact that you were set up?
STRAUSS-KAHN: Credence? Maybe. Proof? No. So, I'd better say nothing.
QUEST: So, you do give some credence?
QUEST: One of the most controversial aspects of this besides your behavior was, of course, the famous perp walk.
QUEST: You were brandished in front -- this made huge noise in France. How do you now view the perp walk?
STRAUSS-KAHN: I think it's a terrible thing, frankly, not only because it's difficult to live. Many things are difficult to live with. You have to do.
The problem is, that it's a moment where, in all European, American society, you're supposed to be innocent. You're supposed to be innocent until you're convicted. And the perp walk takes place at the moment where you're supposed to be innocent.
And so what happens, you're just shown to everybody as if you were a criminal at the moment where nobody knows if it's true or not. Maybe you're a criminal, maybe you're not, and it will be proved later on. And so, it's just unfair to put people in that way in front of the rest of the world when you just don't know what they have done.
QUEST: Did you feel that at the time?
STRAUSS-KAHN: Well, I was angry. Because at this moment, I didn't understand what was going on, I didn't understand why I was there. I was just understanding that something was going on that I didn't control.
QUEST: The problem with all the allegations about you, sir, whether it be the Sofitel incident or, indeed, the young lady in France or, indeed, the parties libertine soirees, as they're now known. The problem is that none of them -- underneath them all, there's an element of behavior that is not expected of men or women of high office.
STRAUSS-KAHN: I agree. I agree. So, I made this mistake to believe that you could have a public life, doing what you had to do in the public life -- and nobody ever said against me something in the public life -- and that you can have your private life. And my mistake was certainly to believe that you can have these two things together without any connection between.
I was wrong. It was wrong in the way you say because people are not expecting this kind of behavior from somebody having a public responsibility.
QUEST: Were you an accident waiting to happen?
STRAUSS-KAHN: No, I won't say -- I won't say that. I had in mind that I had my private life, that I could do what I want as long as nobody was hurt or some legal problem appeared, but without any kind of legal problem, I could do what I want as everybody can do what he wants, and that I would be judged on my public service just on what I do in the public.
Again, it was the wrong thing. I understand now that you cannot disentangle the two in that way.
QUEST: As one reads about you and the -- let's face it, there's mountains out there now. You must've read just -- I don't know whether you read much --
STRAUSS-KAHN: Not that much.
QUEST: Not much, right. But everyone says you have an -- you have a problem with women. Dominique Strauss-Kahn clearly had a problem with women in his attitude to them, the way he behaves towards them, the way he views them as sexual objects.
STRAUSS-KAHN: No. I don't think so. I don't think so. I don't think I have any kind of problem with women. I firmly have a problem with understanding that what is expected from a politician of the highest level is different from what can do Mr. Smith in the street.
QUEST: That's the price of being at the top?
STRAUSS-KAHN: Exactly. And I didn't want to pay this price, so finally, I paid it twice.
SHUBERT: That's Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a very candid and wide- ranging interview with CNN's Richard Quest.
Well, coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, it's not fresh from the fields but straight from the freezer. Chefs in the culinary capital of the world are under fire.
SHUBERT: It's the culinary capital of the world, but the reputation of French gastronomy has been dealt a serious blow after it was revealed that a third -- one third -- of restaurants are serving frozen or tinned food. It's caused outrage across the country, with some calling it a betrayal of national heritage, and now lawmakers are taking action. CNN's Jim Bittermann reports.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Restaurateur Yves Maison made the national news in France a few weeks back when he revealed a dirty little secret: he and a great many other chefs in restaurants across the country have been serving their customers frozen and canned food.
YVES MAISON, RESTAURANT OWNER (through translator): The coffee we buy canned. It's the best quality. You serve frozen products. And yes, of course, we should not hide it. Everyone does it.
BITTERMANN: In reality, it was something many knew or suspected, but that a restaurant owner would confront it openly in a country where food is worshiped and its quality is taken as an article of faith, the revelation crossed a line for many here, including French lawmakers, who are putting forward legislation to forbid restaurant operators from using the term "homemade" if their dishes are not.
But the head of the association of independent restaurants estimates that 80 percent of his members are not always using fresh food. They have no choice, he says, because food and labor costs are so high.
JEAN-LUC MADEC, INDEPENDENT RESTAURANTS ASSOCIATION: To mixed frozen food, fresh food, they cannot do in another way, because again, the profitability of the restaurant actually is so poor.
BITTERMANN: At the famous Cordon Bleu cooking school, where some of the world's top chefs have been educated, students are only taught to use fresh ingredients and to start their recipes from scratch. But the director knows that when the students get out into the professional world, they may encounter a different reality.
DAMIEN JULIA, DIRECTOR, LE CORDON BLEU, PARIS: We learn how to transform the raw products, and then, when you're going to open a restaurant, you do what you want. But be careful when you make your choice, when you choose your products.
BITTERMANN: Restaurant critics applaud the legislation but worry about the fate of small and medium-sized restaurants in France.
ALEXANDRA MICHOT, RESTAURANT CRITIC: When tourists come to France, Paris or other towns, they can go to this kind of restaurant who use frozen and ready-made cooked, and what can they think about the French food if they tried this kind of dish?
BITTERMANN (on camera): Just three years ago, UNESCO added French gastronomy to its list of the cultural heritage of humanity, and it's true that in the upscale, big-time, multi-star restaurants in this town, you can still get a pretty decent meal. But they can just about name their price.
Average restaurateurs struggle to survive, and serving frozen food is not going to help their reputation very much.
Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.
SHUBERT: So, is this revelation a culinary crime or is it just a financial necessity for restaurants? Well, joining me for more on this is Marcus Wareing, chef at the prestigious two Michelin Star Berkeley Restaurant here in London.
And I want to start with this idea of frozen food. You have to pre- prepare the food in some respect, and there's a lot of financial pressure on restaurants. What's so bad about frozen food? We've got here frozen and fresh.
MARCUS WAREING, CHEF, THE BERKELEY RESTAURANT: I think there's always -- I think we all agree that fresh is always going to be better, it's going to be healthier. I think there is a real issue with restaurants buying frozen food and calling it homemade or calling it fresh produce, because it isn't. And I think it's that misinterpretation.
Calling this fresh is wrong. The goodness in food, that it's grown and bought fresh and served fresh is always going to be better. But I think there's an argument on both sides as to why people feel that this is a necessity. I think it's convenient, it's stocked up in the freezer, but it doesn't make it right.
SHUBERT: Yes, so it's how you advertise it --
SHUBERT: -- really how you sell it. But what about that financial pressure on restaurants?
WAREING: There is a huge pressure on restaurants, especially through Europe. France some years ago was pushed into making the employees work 30 -something hour week, 35, 39-hour week.
In France and throughout Europe, chefs are normally working 80, 90 hours a week, and there's enough chefs in the kitchen, and I think that pressure on restaurants to employ less people is driving the restaurateur to purchase frozen products because they just don't have the manpower to deliver. This takes time to prepare in any restaurant. This is just easy.
WAREING: This just goes into water and it's out into the restaurant.
SHUBERT: So, what for you is best practice in a restaurant? What should be -- what should chefs be doing?
WAREING: Without a shadow of a doubt, fresh is always good. But the food world has changed so much, and chefs do use freezers and we do freeze produce in some way or another. There are certain chefs that do use the freezer for putting meat in because they believe that it actually tenderizes the meat. And I think there is an argument here.
But I think when you -- it's the interpretation of what you're selling to your client. If a chef -- we buy fresh produce and we decide to freeze it in our kitchen because that's what we want to do, then that's our choice. You can't call it a frozen product.
We're doing it for a reason, we're doing it to improve the product, not necessarily to sort of disrespect the product, and I think this is a little bit of sort of -- in a chef's world is almost disrespectful.
SHUBERT: Let me ask you this. Here we have what is basically microwaved spaghetti.
SHUBERT: It's -- and I'm wondering, a lot of people these days, it's the most convenient thing, they just pop it in the microwave and they eat it. Is part of this that consumers just aren't discerning enough? That they really don't know the difference between something freshly prepared and something that's not?
WAREING: This is a big problem. This is a big problem from a health point of view, and convenience food, even though this has been in the freezer, I really don't know what that contains. I don't know what sort of additives have been added to it.
And I think that goes to a lot of products. TV meals. I think this convenience food, whether it be in the freezer or in a chill counter in the supermarket, I think life and people are under pressure to work longer, there's less time in the kitchen probably, and I think that people are using these convenience foods because it just is convenient.
And this is a problem. And we need to be very careful because the supermarkets are dominating what people eat. And people go to the supermarkets because it's a one-stop shop. You can get everything you want. You can even buy clothes and CDs --
WAREING: My father is in the fridge and potato business, and these are the things that he sold, and I was brought up in a warehouse where this is what we sold. As time went on in the 70s and 80s in the UK, corner shops became disintegrated, and the supermarkets taking over. And they are molding the way we eat.
SHUBERT: Do you find that when people -- when customers come to your restaurant that they're actually sort of like, wow, this tastes different? This is not the convenience store kind of thing. And is it sort of revelation for them?
WAREING: Yes, because we will take these humble ingredients and we will look at this carrot and we will -- we know it's a carrot, we know what to do. Everyone knows what to do with a carrot. But our job is to bring the best out of this carrot and to bring the natural flavor.
This is a product of Mother Nature, and it's been provided and grown and nurtured by the farmer. Our job is just to make the best out of it and to do something really interesting with it so that the customer can taste it and think, wow.
I went to a restaurant in New York this year and the dish -- the stuff they had was just carrot and it absolutely blew my mind away because it was the way in which the chef had treated the carrot. What he did with that, it's absolutely impossible with what you could do with that.
SHUBERT: Exactly, you can't do it with frozen food.
WAREING: No. Completely you just cannot do it.
SHUBERT: Well, I'm really glad to hear it, and you're making me very hungry just hearing all these descriptions of great food. Thank you very much.
WAREING: My pleasure.
SHUBERT: Marcus Wareing --
WAREING: Indeed, not at all.
SHUBERT: -- for us here. Well, what do you think about all this? The team at CONNECT wants -- CONNECT THE WORLD, excuse me, wants to hear from you, facebook.com/CNNconnect, have your say.
And in tonight's Parting Shots, China is getting involved in the global competition for the biggest building in the world. It has just opened this mammoth structure in Chengdu. The New Century Global Center is long enough to fit 500 -- yes, 500 -- football fields from end to end.
The 1.577 million square feet complex includes two hotels, a Mediterranean village and a huge swimming pool -- or actually, it's more of a seaside that crashes onto the biggest LED screen in the world at sunset and sunrise. So, despite the financial downturn in China, it seems big is still the best.
I'm Atika Shubert and that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you very much for watching.