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Pro-Morsy Demonstrators Flood Cairo; Moto X Review; African Union States Zimbabwe Election Fair, Credible; U.S. To Close Middle East Embassies Sunday; U.S. Adds 162,000 Jobs In July
Aired August 2, 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: The U.S. issues global terror alert and prepares to shut down embassies across the Middle East, including right here in Abu Dhabi as new intelligence indicates the possibility of a terror attack.
Later this hour, the queen of fashion talks to CNN about her mission to find the next Versace.
And record pedal power: meet the fastest woman to circumnavigate the world on a bike.
From CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.
All right, the village in D please let me start that again D be vigilant, be aware and be on alert: that is the message the U.S. State Department is sending to Americans across the Middle East and North Africa this hour. It's because of fears that al Qaeda might be planning terror attacks on public transport or tourist hotspots.
Now the warning comes a day after 21 U.S. diplomatic posts across these regions said they close this coming Sunday as a precaution. In a statement, the State Department said current information suggests al Qaeda and its affiliates continue to plan terror attacks in those regions and may concentrate their efforts in August.
Let's cross to CNN's world affairs reporter Elise Labott. She's monitoring developments from the State Department in Washington. And Elise, how specific is this threat?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, there's some specific parts of the threat we understand from U.S. officials that there was a pretty specific threat to the U.S. embassy in Yemen, but then there was also some other general information that indicated that al Qaeda in the Arab peninsula, the al Qaeda affiliate based in Yemen was in the final stages of planning some type of attack.
Now this target and the time was not specific and that's why the U.S. is taking an abundance of caution and closing a lot of posts in the region, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.
ANDERSON: What does Washington mean when they say they've picked up heightened chatter? Because that certainly what we've been told by the State Department today.
LABOTT: Well, we understand they've been following a lot of different threads. I guess chatter is a lot of different threads, pieces of intelligence that they've been trying to piece together. We understand that U.S. intelligence officials have been trying to put together these dots and now they understand that this D al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, AQAP, is in the final stages of planning an attack. And they don't really know where. A lot of times these threats are obtuse. They understand there could be a target in the U.S., particularly targeting U.S. or western interests. And so that's why they're taking a real abundance of caution here, really casting a very wide net, not only for the closure of U.S. embassies, but also sending out a worldwide travel alert for all U.S. citizens traveling overseas.
ANDERSON: Elise Labott in Washington for you.
And for more details on how the U.S. government has reached this latest threat assessment let's get to CNN's terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank standing by also tonight for you in Washington, D.C.
What do we know about the details here out of Yemen? Certainly we know that there have been, we believe, for some U.S. drone attacks in Yemen of late, which I hasten to add Washington is loathe ever to admit. Any more on that?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERROR ANALYST: Well, Becky, we don't know the reason for those drone attacks. There will be some speculation that those drone attacks may have been to disrupt some sort of plot this group, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni affiliate of al Qaeda, has a track record of hitting U.S. interests both inside Yemen D there was a plot from the group and attack in 2008 against the U.S. embassy in Sanaa D but also on the U.S. homeland. There have been three plots in the last several years targeting aviation coming into the United States.
So there's significant concern about this group and a lot of concern they're in the final stages of some sort of plot, but hey don't seem to know exactly what the contours of this plot are, Becky.
ANDERSON: We, as you say, are bereft of details at this point. No real surprise that the U.S. would be being cautious given the concerns about who knew what, when, and where so far as the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, of course.
CRUICKSHANK: Well, that's absolutely right. And it's not just Benghazi. There was a plot in November of last year against the U.S. embassy in Amman, Jordan. There was also a plot disrupted in May of this year in Cairo targeting the U.S. embassy over there.
So al Qaeda and its affiliates in the region have had a track record of plotting these sorts of attacks, Becky.
ANDERSON: Paul Cruickshank in Washington with some analysis for you.
Let's look at the countries where U.S. diplomatic posts, then, are. And that includes embassies and consulates, which are going to be closed this Sunday. As we've been discussing the majority are in the Middle East and North Africa.
Now do remember, Sunday is not the weekend in many of these parts of the world. But indeed these closures are imminent.
They've also impacted places such as Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Mauritania.
Let's get the view, then, from here in Abu Dhabi and bring in Francis Matthew, the editor-at-large of The Gulf News, which is a leading English language daily in the region. I know you've been here for nearly two decades. You know this - you've probably forgotten more about this region than most of us will ever know.
How do you assess the decision to issue travel advisories to traveling Americans in this region, and indeed to close the embassies on Sunday including those embassies here in the UAE?
FRANCIS MATTHEW, GULF NEWS: I think they have to, because there's that warning out there. And anybody who is running an embassy will look pretty stupid if they ignored it. So they have to do something.
Whether it's likely it is going to happen or not is a different question, but they certainly have to, particularly after Libya, they need to react.
ANDERSON: What's the risk of terrorism here in the UAE? And what security measures are in place locally?
MATTHEW: It's a very well run country. There's a lot of security, there's a lot of police, there's a lot of security service who do a good job of keeping it quiet. It's a very mixed population here. There's all sorts of people traveling through. And like any world center, it needs to have its operations so that it does not lose control.
And so broadly, it's been very calm over the decades despite everything going on around it.
ANDERSON: Broadly, you say. There have been incidents, haven't there?
MATTHEW: There have been incidents. There's been bombs found in supermarkets. There's been -- but there hasn't been any big terrorist--
ANDERSON: All right, we'll leave it for the time being. I think we might have a slight technical issue with your microphone, but I know you're going to stay with me for the hour, so we'll come back to you shortly.
Well, the U.S. there for, as we've said, issuing these warnings. We're going to do more on this.
You're watching Connect the World live from Abu Dhabi. Still to come tonight, an update on the crisis as well for you in Egypt, one of the countries where the U.S. embassy will be closed this weekend. We'll see what led to this confrontation on the outskirts of Cairo.
Holding on to power, African Union observers declare Zimbabwe's election credible as initial results indicate Robert Mugabe will remain in office.
And former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi takes to the airwaves to protest his prison sentence. All that and much more when Connect the World continues. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. This is Connect the World. IOm Becky Anderson for you in Abu Dhabi this evening.
To Egypt for you where massive crowds of Morsy supporters are defying repeated orders to leave the streets. State TV says security forces might begin cordoning off the two main pro-Morsy protest sites in Cairo within 48 hours.
So far, though, no evidence of that and the sites have remained calm, as you se here.
But it's been a very different story at a smaller demonstration on the city's outskirts. Riot police fired tear gas at the ousted president's supporters to keep them away from what is a major media complex.
Coming to you, Francis, just for a comment on Egypt. The region here, and IOm talking the Gulf, playing an increasingly strategic role not just in Egypt, but in many of the countries in the region. Why is that?
MATTHEW: There's a vacuum of leadership, and that's where the Gulf has taken the opportunity of doing what it can do. Saudi Arabia has helped form Arab Policy for the region. The Arab League was useless. Egypt, Syria, Iraq for various different reasons have failed to take D or are incapable of taking leadership, and so Saudi Arabia, in particular, has taken a strong lead with the Arab peace initiative is a Saudi idea.
And now you've got countries like Qatar in different countries. You've got Abu Dhabi, Kuwait recently helping in Egypt.
ANDERSON: Interesting that Qatar was there for the Morsy administration. We got from the UAE and Saudi a huge sigh of relief when the Morsy administration was deposed.
This is not necessarily a region that agrees with each other all the time by any stretch, is it?
MATTHEW: No, no. The DCC is not exactly a political - it's a club of like-minded nations with similar problems, but they've got different solutions. In particular, the UAE has a very firm view that the Muslim Brotherhood is a problem and has had its own security trial here recently when 94 people were tried and 69 were found guilty of trying to topple the state.
ANDERSON: We're going to talk more about this, the influence of this region on what is a wider region and where you think that influence will be wielded next a little later in this hour. IOm going to leave it for the time being, thank you very much indeed.
I'm going to get you some other news. And away from here, disappointing jobs numbers out of the U.S. today. The economy there adding 162,000 jobs in July, that fell short of expectations. And many of those jobs, let me tell you, are part-time.
Wall Street stayed positive, just. The Dow Jones and S&P ending the week at record closing highs. And I say they stayed positive. The Dow, at least, Felicia -- who is joining us from New York -- closing just marginally higher. It has been a decent week for these markets, but these unemployment numbers, let's tackle those first.
Confusingly, perhaps, the unemployment rate in the States actually falling, but the overall numbers not what the market had been hoping for.
How do you assess what we got today?
FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a little confusing, and that's why, you know, sort of people sort of pick apart the number and try to really find out what's going on in the jobs market.
As you mentioned, it came in less than expectations. We were looking for 188. And honestly, when I was talking to traders at the beginning of the trading day, they had actually talked about a whisper number of 200,000 even 225,000.
We had heard earlier in the week from ADP about the private sector. That was 200,000 job growth so -- but the reason that that 7.4 percent unemployment rate fell to that level is because of people that are dropping out of the workforce. Approximately 37,000 people just simply stopped looking for jobs. That clearly is not what you want to see and what would hopefully be a healthy recovery in the job market. That's not what we're seeing.
Also, the May and June numbers were revised downward. That's not a good sign.
Where we did see job creation was in retail. A lot of part-time jobs, as you mentioned, were the ones that were the focus. That number was quite strong. We saw a reduction, though, in construction jobs. Those fell by 6,000. So that's not a good thing in terms of an economy that's trying to stay on a strong footing, or at least a stable footing.
Now with regards to the question of the Federal Reserve and whether or not tapering is going to begin, they're watching these numbers very closely. There's two camps out there, some that believe a small, slow tapering will begin in September, others are really looking for the end of the year.
At least one expert, though, explains what those part-time jobs mean for this kind of jobs recovery, if you can put it that way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIANNE SWONK, MEALROW SECURITIES: The composition of job growth since the recovery began has been dominated by part-time jobs. We've seen a big move up in part-time employment relative to full-time employment. And usually by now you would be seeing much more movement back into full-time.
In addition to that, we've seen this much more reliance on what we call the contingent workforce. We call them temporary workers here who are hired but they aren't given benefits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAYLOR: Naturally people out there that have been out of work for a significant number of weeks and/or months are looking for full-time work. And it seems that corporations are still very hesitant to jump back in and hire workers, because they're still very uncertain as to where the economy is headed, how strong it can be, and will it be able to last.
I mean, one trader said to me, you know, can the economy stand on its own two feet? It's not certain that that's able to happen just yet.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right.
So you've heard the latest out of Wall Street from Felicia. Thank you for that.
Free and credible, that is the conclusion of African Union observers monitoring Zimbabwe's elections. The group did highlight a number of shortcomings in the polls, including voters getting turned away in the late publication of polling stations, but it didn't mention the widespread rigging accusations made by the main opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai. And as Neil Connery now reports from the capital Harare that has paved the way for another apparent victory for the incumbent Robert Mugabe.
NEIL CONNERY, IVN NEWS: Well, here in Harare tonight, the ruling Zanu PF party are celebrating winning two-thirds of the majority in parliament, a very significant figure, that. But I think what's been more interesting today is what the observers from some of the African nations have had to say about the elections that have taken place in Zimbabwe on Wednesday.
Some critics may say that they were always going to support this process, and perhaps they haven't really picked up on the widespread concerns to do with the voters poll and allegations of voter intimidation that have been raised with what has been going on here. It's almost, some might say, as if they've been watching an election take place in another country.
I think there are two things that are becoming increasingly clear now at the end of this very dramatic week for Zimbabwe. The first of them is to do with the opposition. I think the opposition seems to be crushed by what has happened here. And many analysts are wondering how on earth they get back into the game, how do they recover from what has happened to them?
And secondly, in terms of President Robert Mugabe, when I spoke to him at a rally on Sunday he actually challenged me to a boxing match to try and prove his fitness. I think for those who have dared to dream of change in this country, he has just delivered them a knockout blow.
Neil Connery, CNN, Harare.
ANDERSON: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that the country is getting close to ending its controversial drone strikes in Pakistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The president has a very real time line and we hope it's going to be very, very soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, his comments came at the end of Kerry's visit to Pakistan. He met with the new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has publicly opposed the strikes. He says they violate Pakistan's sovereignty.
But the U.S. State Department later downplayed Kerry's remarks. It says there is now exact time line. And Kerry was simply expressing changes the White House hopes to make over time.
Well, the body of football star Christian Benitez has arrived in his home country of Ecuador Thursday evening. A public wake is being held at a football stadium in Quito for fans to pay their respects.
You'll remember the 27 year old died on Monday just after playing his first game for Qatar's El Jaish club. The official medical report says he died of heart failure.
In Chile, prosecutors say no one is to blame for a mine collapse three years ago that was broadcast worldwide. That collapse trapped 33 workers underground for 69 days. Their dramatic rescue was watched around the world. Well, now the attorneys investigating the case say there is not enough evidence to file criminal charges against the mine's owners, but the miners say it was negligence and they are furious.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUIS URZUA, RESCUED MINER (through translator): Today we heard the decision, as did many of our colleagues. And many of them are extremely shocked, because this is something that places responsibility upon the mine owners. Because they are the entity, they must supervise what happens. As supervisors, they should have prevented it. They should have prevented it. They should have known what sectors were at risk of collapsing
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi this evening, this is Connect the World.
Coming up, how Anna Wintour is using her passion for fashion to help Italy's unemployed. That, after this.
ANDERSON: Silvio Berlusconi has lashed out at a ruling by the country's highest court upholding his prison sentence for tax fraud. In a nine minute video, he calls the decision unfounded, among other things.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SILVIO BELUSCONI, FRM. ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): In exchange for the commitment I have made over almost 20 years in favor of my country and coming almost at the end of my public life, I receive as a reward accusations and a verdict that is founded on absolutely nothing, that takes away my personal freedom and my political rights. That is how Italy recognizes the sacrifices and commitments of its best citizens. Is this the Italy that we love? Is this the Italy that we want? Absolutely not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Berlusconi is 76 years old. And because of his age, he is expected to serve his reduced one year sentence under house arrest, not in prison. He's got the option of asking for community service, though, instead.
Well, the ruling may cause huge divisions within Italy's fragile coalition government. Berlusconi reportedly pushing his party to seek new elections. They are the junior party in what is a coalition government.
It all comes at what is a critical time for the country. Italy grappling with high unemployment and an economy in decline. In April, the jobless rate his a record high about 12 percent with youth unemployment, let me tell you, peaking at 40 percent, although that has now come down to 39.1 percent. Still about 650,000 youngsters without a job.
Now the lack of work at home has prompted thousands of Italians to leave and seek a brighter future elsewhere.
Italy's prime minister describing the situation as nothing less than a nightmare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ENRICO LETTA, ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Youth unemployment is really my nightmare. We are losing a generation. And without this generation, there is no hope for the future of the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well that brain drain causing one of the country's most lucrative industries to lose its luster, as it were, prompting one very famous lady to step in to try to reverse Italy's dwindling fortunes, at least in the world of fashion that is.
ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As "Vogue" magazine's legendary editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour routinely travels the globe - London, Paris and Milan. It was in Milan recently that Wintour noticed something that concerned her. ??
ANNA WINTOUR, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CONDE NASTE: The Italian economy was suffering. What they believe in, which is quality and luxury and tradition, has really lost a bit of luster to the fact that you can get it quicker and cheaper in places like eastern Europe and China.
CHO: Italy, the world's ninth largest economy, is in its longest recession in 20 years. Nearly half of young Italians can't find work.
STEFANO TONCHI, EDITOR, "W MAGAZINE": That's why I'm here, I would say.
CHO: "W Magazine" editor Stefano Tonchi left Italy some 30 years ago. He's afraid the exodus today will cause Italy to lose out on the next generation of Michelangelos and Miuccia Pradas.
TONCHI: There have been so many cuts that we notice how many institutions need help.
CHO: So an idea was born. College scholarships for Italian students funded by Conde Naste.
WINTOUR: Our idea was to look at what Conde Naste stands for. And in those areas, journalism, art and fashion, we really, really wanted to start these scholarships.
CHO: Conde Naste's CEO Chuck Townsend green lighted the initiative.
CHUCK TOWNSEND, CEO, CONDE NASTE: You know, they're struggling as an economy and this is an ideal moment for us to give a little bit back.
CHO: This fall, the giving back begins. Conde Naste will announce the winners of five full college scholarships for young Italians who show promise in fashion, film, journalism and art.
WINTOUR: Italy has always stood for so many wonderful things. We really wanted to explain to these young people that there is hope. That you can get recognized. That there can be a future.
CHO: Alina Cho, CNN.
ANDERSON: The latest world news headlines as you would expect from us here at CNN at the bottom of the hour.
Plus, riot police try to shut down protests at a media complex outside of Cairo. We're going to have the very latest on Egypt's political crisis.
Plus, we're going to explain why bars around the world are dumping Russian vodka.
And a long and lonely journey, but she made it. The world's first woman to successfully circle around the world is live with us this hour. Do not ride away.
ANDERSON: Just before half past midnight in Abu Dhabi. This is Connect the World. The top stories for you this hour.
The United States is closing embassies and consulates across the Middle East and North Africa on Sunday in response to what is said to be a credible terror threat. American travelers are also being told to be on alert about a possible al Qaeda attack. In the last few minutes, the British foreign office has announced it will close its embassy in Yemen on Sunday and Monday due to increased security concerns.
Well, Egyptian riot police fired tear gas to keep protesters away from a media complex on the outskirts of Cairo. The protesters support deposed President Mohamed Morsy and accuse some of the media of bias against him.
The African Union says this week's elections in Zimbabwe are fair and credible. That is despite allegations of widespread fraud by the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Official results are not due until Monday, but the incumbent President Robert Mugabe is already anticipating a resounding victory.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 both ending their week with record closing highs, that was despite a disappointing U.S. jobs report. The U.S. economy adding 162,000 jobs in July. That number, though, falling short of expectations.
Well, let's return to Cairo, now, and the two main sites for the ousted president Morsy supporters are gathered by the tens of thousands, a peaceful demonstration tonight. But there is a growing sense that authorities will take action soon after repeatedly warning protesters to disband.
We're going to get to Reza Sayah, who is going to be live for you in Cairo shortly, but first let's bring back my guest, Francis -- Edwards?
FRANCIS MATTHEW, EDITOR AT LARGE, "GULF NEWS": Francis Matthew.
ANDERSON: Matthews. I'm so sorry, Francis Matthew, who is the editor in chief of "Gulf News" -- how one forgets so quickly -- with me throughout this show. Apologies. Just to talk about the wider regional story here --
ANDERSON: -- and we were discussing a little earlier on the impact that the region here now has on Egypt, on Egypt's finances, reminding our viewers that both Saudi and Kuwait, the UAE, quite quick, it appears, to have invested money in what is this new interim government.
At least throwing some money at it, some $12 billion, in order, one assumes, to gain some leverage and influence, not just in Egypt, but willing across the region. Intentions always good?
MATTHEW: They're looking for a liberal, tolerant system. They may not be democratic themselves, or to a greater or lesser degree, but they're certainly looking for a world where people can do business, people can live, and that's the intention.
ANDERSON: It does seem ironic when these are monarchies, for all intents and purposes, and some might go so far as to say sort of autocratic, actually.
MATTHEW: But these autocrats of the Gulf, which I distinguish quite radically from dictators, they're not predatory governments, like the dictators of the north. They're -- they're autocrats with a liberal agenda. And broadly speaking, quite popular, which is why the Arab Spring didn't come down here.
ANDERSON: Some might argue that point. Bahrain, for example.
MATTHEW: Yes. Bahrain's an exception. Because there, there's a very distinct divide. The Shiite-Sunni thing has gone, and it's been a -- it's grown into a much greater dispute. So, Bahrain is not the same thing at all.
ANDERSON: You're the editor in chief of "Gulf News," a widely-read newspaper across not just the UAE but beyond. How do you tell -- how do you relate the story that is emerging in Egypt today?
MATTHEW: We've covered it in detail, because we're looking for Egypt that the former political, cultural center of the Arab world to come back and take its position. So, what happens there is very important.
It's one of the more articulate, more formed polities where there are different -- I won't say political parties, but the different sort of strands of thought meet and discuss, which give leadership to the rest of the region.
ANDERSON: Would it be fair to say that the imposition of the military on what was to all intents and purposes a burgeoning democratic system -- or certainly that was the hope -- wouldn't worry those in this region?
After all, as we've suggested, you've called this a sort of autocratic environment, perhaps, rather than dictatorial. But the military -- a military intervening in a governance situation wouldn't bother people here, would it?
MATTHEW: No, the Gulf is relaxed about that because it -- the Gulf saw that what was happening there was although Morsy had a democratic mandate, he was the first freely-elected president, he wasn't behaving in a democratic manner. So, democracy is not just getting the mandate. It's also what you do with the power.
It also links into a wider issue as there's concerns about political, radical Islam across different countries, in Iraq, in Syria, and in Egypt, and considerable nervousness across the board.
ANDERSON: I want to talk a little bit more about the influence of the Gulf so far as the sort of Syria situation and, perhaps, beyond is concerned, considering that for many, certainly in the West, they see Saudi's influence and Qatar's influence, and perhaps Kuwait's influence is sort of playing a proxy or creating a sort of proxy war-type environment in Syria. But we'll talk about that a little later.
Stay with me for the time being. I want to get Reza Sayah for our viewers, who is in Egypt for you this evening. And Reza, we know that there is an intention by the Interior Ministry to clear these two sites where for some time now -- it's a month -- that we've seen supporters of the deposed president gathering. What is the atmosphere and what's the latest from Egypt this hour?
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): -- is an operation to clear this --
ANDERSON: OK. All right. You can hear, viewers, that we are struggling with the communications to Reza this evening. So, let's get to a report that he filed just a little earlier. Have a look at this.
SAYAH (voice-over): Another blistering hot day in Cairo, and tents made from bedsheets and strings is the only thing that shades Zakina (ph) and her two children from the searing sun. For weeks, this is where Zakina says she spent most of her days. She's not leaving, she says, until Mohamed Morsy is president again.
ZAKINA, MORSY SUPPORTER (through translator): Even if we stay for a year, we'll still have hope. This our God-given right.
SAYAH: Zakina is one of thousands of Morsy supporters at a massive month-long sit-in demonstration that's mushroomed into a small town. The sprawling sit-in covers several city blocks of an East Cairo neighborhood that's now lined with hundreds of tents that house entire families. There's even one for Egyptian protesters visiting from abroad.
UNIDENTIFEID MALE: I'm Oscar Padilla (ph) and I'm coming from the United States of America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Talia Roski (ph) and I come from the UK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Belle Camptisse (ph) and I come from France.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The aim is legitimacy. It's not Dr. Morsy in person, but it's for legitimacy. If he doesn't come back, then what law are we going to go by from now on?
SAYAH: A fortunate few get a soft place to sleep. Others rest on where cars used to park. "The Prophet lived much harder than this," says Ali. "This is nothing."
SAYAH (on camera): But here, like most communities, you are going to find some familiar amenities and services.
SAYAH (voice-over): A community clinic for the sick and injured. A barber shop for haircuts and straight-blade shaves. Scores of volunteers who cool you off. A kitchen that prepares thousands of ready-to-eat meals. A daycare center for the hundreds of children at the demonstration.
But this could be the community's most critical feature: its volunteer security force. For days, Egypt's interim government has delivered veiled warnings that a crackdown is coming.
SAYAH (on camera): If an attack comes, Morsy supporters say they're ready. This is one of the entrances to the sit-in, and it's lined by a lengthy, six-foot brick wall backed by sandbags. Behind this first barrier, a second barrier, behind the second barrier, a third and a fourth barrier.
SAYAH (voice-over): Volunteer guards here say they're ready to lay down their lives, even those who've never seen adulthood.
"This is better than playing," says Ali, who said he was 15 but looked closer to 10. "If I die, I die a martyr." All for a makeshift town that's become a symbol of defiance for Morsy supporters, but whose days could be numbered.
ANDERSON: Well, our guest tonight says one thing Egypt is sorely lacking after the Arab Spring is an inclusive government. Francis is still with me, here. You saw and heard Reza's report just there. I want to get back to your perspective of what this region, and particularly the Gulf UAE -- and that's where we are this evening -- what it's up to here.
Twelve billion dollars from this region very, very quickly pumped into a new interim government in Egypt, propping up what is an economy that's in sore need of investment from the outside world.
That $12 billion, though, buys, as far as I can tell, about six months' worth of time. And at present, we all talk about the need for an inclusive government, but we're not really seeing any signs that Egypt is moving towards that.
We have an interim vice president, we have an interim vice -- prime minister and president, but no real words that there is a date for elections, that he IMF might come in, what's going to be done with the economy.
MATTHEW: Well, the president, Adly Mansour, gave a timetable of six months. They're going to rewrite the constitution, they're going to analyze that re-written draft, they're going to have elections for presidents, elections for prime minister.
ANDERSON: Do you buy that?
MATTHEW: If that happens, it'll -- it's --
ANDERSON: It'll be a miracle.
MATTHEW: -- it's tough. Tough. But he -- if -- he has to stay on that track. If he doesn't go that way, and if his prime minister doesn't do a slightly more technocratic job of getting the economy going, then Egypt is going downhill rapidly.
ANDERSON: Does it keep getting bailed out by the likes of the UAE, for example?
MATTHEW: They can't afford it. No. Egypt has to make its own money in some way. You can keep bailing out a certain amount, but Egypt is a big country. And if they don't stop the subsidies, if they don't -- sorry -- if they don't make the subsidies slightly more targeted, if they don't stop that huge black hole of subsidies --
MATTHEW: -- and in some way encourage foreign investment, there's fairly quick fixes there. The subsidies and encouraging foreign investment. Then they can begin to balance their books. But they -- no one else can do it for them.
ANDERSON: Let me get back to Reza Sayah. I think we fixed the line with him so we can talk to him now from Cairo. Reza, apologies for the -- technical collapse, as it were, over the past couple of minutes.
I was asking whether there was any sign yet tonight in Cairo that the Interior Ministry is carrying out what it has threatened to do, and that is clearing the streets of Egypt's capital of pro-Morsy demonstrators who, it appears at least from your report, are absolutely determined they're going to stick around.
SAYAH (via telephone): Becky, at this point -- and I hope I've heard you correctly, because this is a very large and loud demonstration again. At this point, there's no indication that authorities are prepared to launch an operation to clear this demonstration in East Cairo out. At least for now, that's the case.
It has been difficult to get a read on what the strategy of authority is. Earlier this week, of course, there were lots of ominous threats signaling that the authorities were ready to move in. But today, you had the Interior Ministry saying we're not going to launch an operation. Instead, we're going to cordon off this demonstration, surround it.
And that seems to be a strategy that happened. They cut off the supplies -- the water, the food, other supplies -- that these thousands of people have relied on over these past few weeks to sustain them, to keep the demonstration going.
So, at this point, no sign of an operation tonight. The Interior Ministry says within the next 48 hours, they are going to cordon this demonstration, surround it. We'll see if they do implement that strategy.
In the meantime, another massive crowd here in Rabaa Al-Adawiya, a place that's become the home base for the pro-Morsy supporters, and their message is the same: they're not going home until Mohamed Morsy is reinstated again, Becky.
ANDERSON: Reza Sayah tonight for you in Cairo, and those are the pictures coming to us from the Egyptian capital this hour. I thank you very much, Francis, indeed, for joining us this evening.
Last point, here. I spoke to Nicholas Burns earlier on out of the US. Western diplomats continue in their efforts to resolve this crisis peacefully. The US deputy secretary of state, William Burns, is the latest diplomat to travel to Cairo, and I spoke with a former undersecretary of state, Nick Burns, about these diplomatic efforts, and this is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER US UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Well, I think that anyone who's a friend of Egypt wants to see a stable Egypt and wants to see an Egyptian government that's not using violence against its own citizens in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria and the other cities.
And so where I think, Becky, you'll see this head is that the European countries and certainly the United States are going to try to use their influence with the Egyptian authorities, both the military authorities and some of the civilians of the new government, to push them in the direction of free and fair elections in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Nick Burns for you this evening, closing out that part of the show. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson. We are live in Abu Dhabi for you. Two minutes past midnight here.
Preparations for the Sochi Winter Olympics may be underway, but many of the world's best athletes may not want to go. Find out why after this.
ANDERSON: The skyline in Abu Dhabi for you this evening. Excuse me. The backlash against a controversial Russian law that bans public advocacy of gay rights and relationships is gathering momentum.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD (chanting): Dump! Dump! Dump! Dump! Dump! Dump! Dump! Dump! Dump! Dump!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Bars around the world have dumped their stocks of Vodka in protest, and there have been calls to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in the Russian city of Sochi. But one gay athlete says not showing up is not the answer. Kyung Lah spoke with him.
KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Visible signs in Sochi as Russia prepares for the 2014 Olympic Games. Half a world away, short track speed skater Blake Skjellerup trains in his event physically and mentally, the only gay athlete known to be planning to compete in the Games.
BLAKE SKJELLERUP, SHORT TRACK SPEED SKATER: I would say I'm a little bit worried, not so much afraid.
LAH: Not afraid despite the risk. Speaking via Skype from his training camp in Calgary, Skjellerup is well aware of Russia's intolerance of gays and lesbians. A new law signed by Russia's president jails and fines people who express any support of equal rights for gays.
Gay pride rallies banned. Police have the power to arrest anyone who appears to be spreading, quote, "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations."
Despite the International Olympic Committee's assurances that athletes will be protected, Russia's sports minister and a prominent lawmaker say the new laws against gays and lesbians will be enforced even for visitors like Blake Skjellerup.
LAH (on camera): What kind of statement are you making by attending the Games?
SKJELLERUP: I think it's important to stand up for this, and I think it's important for somebody to say something, and that person at the moment is me. I feel like there's a small responsibility on my part to voice my concerns.
LAH (voice-over): Russia's laws have already sparked grassroots protests in cities around the world. The LGBT community in Los Angeles pouring out Russian vodka into the street.
Cultural politics and the Olympics have collided before. Black American Jesse Owens competed in the 1936 Games in symbolic defiance of host Hitler's Nazi German regime. In the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Americans Tommy Smith and John Carlos raised black-fisted salutes in support of the black power movement.
For 2014, gay athletes have united under groups like Athlete Ally, saying power is to show up and not boycott the Games. Tennis champion and four-time Olympian Rennae Stubbs is a gay athlete and activist and calls Sochi 2014 the LGBT era's of civil rights.
RENNAE STUBBS, ATHLETE ALLY AMBASSADOR: To be there and say hey, we're here, we're here to compete, we're as equal as everybody else. We want to go there, I think, as a gay athlete, you want to go there and compete, but you also want to go there and compete and show everybody in the world that we're on level pegging with any straight athlete. It doesn't matter to us.
LAH (on camera): We're now not just hearing from the athletes, but US lawmakers who are joining in on the fray. Senator Jeff Merkely from Oregon says that he plans on introducing a resolution to the floor of the US Senate that will oppose -- say it opposes these Russian laws as well as call for the protection of the athletes as well as spectators who go to Russia for the Games. We should point out, though, that this is a resolution. It won't have any real teeth in Russia.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.
ANDERSON: Taking a very short break, but after this, what are we doing? A fresh look at an Elvis record that's more than 50 years old. That and your entertainment news coming up.
ANDERSON: I want to get you our weekly update on all things entertainment now. Here's your CNN Preview.
ANDERSON (voice-over): On this edition of CNN Preview, we begin with the king of rock and roll. It's 40 years since Elvis Presley entered the famous Stax Recording in Memphis for one of the last major recording sessions of his career.
The results were scattered across subsequent albums, but Sony RCA have collected them together with outtakes from the sessions to give fans a peak inside the studio.
MIKE MORAN, RCA RECORDING ENGINEER: When Elvis came in, they all got around the piano and sang gospel. That's how they warmed up. I used to tape it all the time. Not -- the mics weren't in the right positions or anything because they were pre-positioned for the session. But I'd get a mic as close to Elvis as possible and the crew would tape it. And a lot of them ended up on them, tapes, you know.
ANDERSON: Another recording landmark with a major contribution to music history is being celebrated on film.
GREG CAMALIER, DIRECTOR: You're going to hear some of the greatest voices that ever were.
ANDERSON: The Alabama town of Muscle Shoals spawned two recording studios which produced some of music's biggest hits.
(MUSIC - "SWEET HOME ALABAMA" BY LYNYRD SKYNYRD)
ANDERSON: Charismatic producer Rick Hall recruited a local band of white musicians who became known as the Swampers, who provided the bedrock of some of America's greatest black music.
CAMALIER: I think a lot of people were hearing this music come out of there, and I think they associated the rhythm sections and the music with a black band because it just sounded too good for white guys, really, you know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember when Paul Simon called Stax Records and talked to Al Bell and said, "Hey, man, I want those same black players that played on our tape there."
He said, "That can happen, but these guys are mighty pale."
CAMALIER: So many of their songs are so familiar to people, such a part of their lives in one way or another, it's -- and the fact that it touches all that different music, all these different genres we're talking about, soul, country, southern rock, rock and roll, R&B, and all from this place that was incredibly rural and isolated. And yet, its impact is worldwide.
(MUSIC - "RESPECT" BY ARETHA FRANKLIN)
CAMALIER: They didn't just go there and record. We would come out of there with just phenomenal hits and amazing tracks that still to this day hold up.
MICK JAGGER, THE ROLLING STONES: Being there does inspire you to do it slightly differently.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right, when they're coming in -- sha boom!
JAGGER: It was pretty funky. That was the whole idea of it.
ANDERSON: Currently off duty from the Star Trek Enterprise, Simon Pegg reunites with the team who created hit British comedy's "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz." His latest film, "The World's End" is set in a sleepy fictional English town where one booze-filled night changes everything.
SIMON PEGG AS GARY KING, "THE WORLD'S END": Our goal that night was simple. Twelve pubs, twelve pints, from the first host to the world's end. But that night --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to get loaded!
PEGG AS KING: -- we never made it.
PEGG: Yes, I play Gary King, who is a mischievous and sort of boy trapped in a man's body. He never really got past 1990 and he wants to create a pub crawl that they did at that age by gathering his old friends back together and going back to their hometown.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Why?
PEGG AS KING: For some unfinished business. That's a joke, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five guys, 12 pubs, 50 pints?
PEGG AS KING: Sixty pints.
UNIDENTIFIFED MALE: I haven't had a drink for 16 years, Gary.
PEGG AS KING: You must be thirsty then.
ANDERSON: The film is full of plot twists, gags, and action sequences. Stunt coordinator Brad Allan helped the cast channel their inner Bruce Lee for the fight scenes.
NICK FROST, ACTOR: It's kind of an outer Bruce Lee, if I'm honest. We had a wonderful stunt team. We got down to -- what? -- Brad Allan, our stunt coordinator, what he wanted us to do. He'd show us these amazing films that the stunt team had made, which were essentially cobbled together versions of what you will eventually see in the film.
PEGG AS KING: We are going to get to the world's end if it kills us.
ANDERSON: There's a new entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. Juliana Buhring has set the first women's world record for the fastest bicycle ride around the world. Take a look at part of her journey.
ANDERSON: Pedaling more than 18,000 miles -- you heard it -- Juliana's total travel time was 152 days and she rode on all but eight of them. Well, Juliana isn't stopping there. Tomorrow, she's getting back on a bike for a grueling transcontinental race across Europe from London to Istanbul.
Before that, I'm very pleased to welcome her on our show this evening. She joins me live from our London studio. Are you mad? I guess is my first question.
JULIANA BUHRING, WORLD RECORD HOLDER, WOMEN'S CYCLING: You're not the first person to ask.
BUHRING: You must be a little mad to do something -- yes.
ANDERSON: Let's back into this. We'll talk about the London Turkey bike ride momentarily. But the Guinness Book of Records officially giving you a place in what we all grew up with, that momentous book, which was just full of --
ANDERSON: -- so many wonderful records. July the 31st. Can you believe it? Can you believe you did it?
BUHRING: It was surreal. No --
ANDERSON: Tell me about it.
BUHRING: Nobody else believed I would do it, so it was -- even for me, I wasn't sure I'd make it around. I kind of just sort of set off without any real plan and without any sponsors or without any actual money to do it. And I'd only been on a bike for eight months and literally just sort of set off into the great unknown. And yes --
BUHRING: I made it around. I made it alive. Crazy experience.
ANDERSON: It's unbelievable. When we say that you went around the world, you literally went around the world. Walk me through --
ANDERSON: -- where the biggest challenges, the biggest hurdles -- when was it that you thought to yourself, this is ridiculous, I'm going to get a flight home?
BUHRING: I never thought that. Never. I don't think I'm -- I think I might have thought that I wouldn't have started out in the first place. No. Failure was not an option.
But I think that the hardest part probably was being alone and having to deal with everything and all the problems that came up. I had a lot of bike problems. I had dog attacks. I had -- I got really sick in India. I had -- yes. Anything possibly that could go wrong went wrong for me.
And then, just being alone out there and knowing that you had to sort out your own salvation and figure it out and just -- if something went wrong, you had to fix it yourself. So, yes.
ANDERSON: But --
BUHRING: It wasn't easy.
ANDERSON: Before we get -- how do we know you didn't cheat? How do you actually -- how do they certify that you actually did do what you said, just out of interest. I've always wondered on these records.
BUHRING: Yes. Well, it's a lot more difficult these days to cheat because you -- basically, I had a spot tracker with me, so I had GPS following me at all times. So anybody could see where I was at any given point and come meet me on the road if they wanted to.
ANDERSON: Excellent. All right --
BUHRING: So, I was being followed and watched by a lot of people around the world.
ANDERSON: We've got 15 seconds before I've got to take a very short break before we get the headlines on CNN, so last question to you. London to Turkey, how long is it going to take?
BUHRING: Yes, I'm not saying, because I don't want to spoil it. But I'm the only woman racing against over 40 men, so it's going to be a wild race. And watch it online, because it's going to be amazing.
ANDERSON: Oh! We will.
BUHRING: Help me trace across Europe.
ANDERSON: Find -- find Juliana online. What -- how do we find you, Juliana?
BUHRING: JulianaBuhring.com. Or you can find me on Facebook or Twitter. My name is out there. Just Google the first woman to cycle the world and you'll find me.
BUHRING: Or Google transcontinental race.
ANDERSON: We wish you all the best. Our viewers -- our viewers around the world support you. We will follow you and we will have you back on when you make it, however long it takes you.
BUHRING: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Thank you, my love. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. The news headlines continue on CNN.