Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
G20 Summit Opens Today In St. Petersburg; Interview with Dominique De Villepin; Australian Parliamentary Polls Open Tomorrow; Anthony Weiner Defends Wife
Aired September 5, 2013 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JONATHAN MANN, HOST: Tonight, divided over Damascus. G20 leaders gather in Russia with Syria overshadowing the agenda. We'll get the view from France, the former French prime minister joins us just ahead.
Plus, a rare glimpse into life inside Tibet.
And the battle for the bones of an ancient king.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.
MANN: Thanks for joining us. G20 leaders are meeting late into the evening in St. Petersburg Russia where a working dinner expected to be dominated by the Syrian crisis. Before heading into the dinner, U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters that the first day of the summit focused on economic issues as planned.
The host, Russian president Vladimir Putin, suggested they leave Syria for evening discussions.
Could you see the tension between the two men during this brief exchange today? Russia strongly opposes the U.S. push for military action against Syria. And just yesterday, Mr. Putin accused U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry of lying to a congressional committee about Syria's rebels.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): It was somewhat unpleasant for me to even watch it. Because we worked with the U.S. on the assumption that they are decent people and he lied. He knew that he was lying and went on lying about it. It is sad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANN: President Obama may have a tough sell trying to convince other summit leaders to back military action against Syria. Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta is in St. Petersburg with more.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Obama wrapped up his first day here at the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, with a dinner behind closed doors with foreign leaders from around the world. He is making the case, according to his aides, for military action against Syria.
But there are other issues, of course, on his plate, namely, economic issues. The president talked about that as he was heading into the dinner. One of our photojournalists at CNN asked the president whether or not he had been making any progress with those foreign leaders behind closed doors on Syria. The president said, "No, we have been talking about the economy."
Now, one thing that is going on here is obviously the tense relations between the United States and Russia. That has been playing out obviously very publicly in recent days, with President Vladimir Putin and President Obama locking horns over what to do with the situation in Syria.
Earlier in the day, we had a chance to ask the Russian press secretary about the United States' claim that Russia has been blocking action at the United Nations.
And here's what the press secretary for Russia, Dmitry Peskov, had to say.
Do you believe the United States is fabricating the evidence or lying about the evidence?
DMITRY PESKOV, RUSSIAN PRESS SECRETARY (through translator): I didn't say that. I said that we all need a convincing and legitimate evidence or proof.
We disagree with the fact that somebody in the world is trying to impose their will on other country, trying to change the regime and power in the country.
ACOSTA: Even though President Obama is here in Saint Petersburg, Russia, he is working both sides of the Atlantic when it comes to Syria. According to administration officials, the president called a bipartisan group of senators in Congress to make that case for congressional authorization for a military strike on Syria.
Also, White House officials say the president has canceled a trip out to California for an expected fund-raiser. That was supposed to happen early next week. He wants to be back in Washington to continue working on Syria.
Jim Acosta, CNN, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
MANN: Another development for the G20 to consider, British Prime Minister David Cameron saying his country now has what he's calling further evidence of a chemical weapons attack in Syria.
Atika Shubert is following developments for us. And she's in London just outside 10 Downing Street. What are they saying there exactly?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And that's right. The Prime Minister's office has confirmed that clothing and soil samples taken from a victim of the August 21st attack in Damascus has tested positive for sarin. Those samples were apparently tested over the last seven days at the Portondown (ph) chemical testing facility here.
And the Prime Minister David Cameron chose to reveal that information on the first day of the G20 summit.
Here's how he answered the question from a BBC reporter. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you now believe there is more evidence than you were able to bring before MPs? Before the country -- when parliament voted?
DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: I think the evidence is growing all the time and we have just been looking at some samples taken from Damascus in the Portendown (ph) laboratory in Britain, which further shows the use of chemical weapons in that Damascus suburb.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT: Now, the fact that it was revealed on the first day of the G20 summit seems to show that Prime Minister Cameron is putting added pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin on this attack showing that it's not a question of if there was a chemical weapons attack that this most recent evidence almost certainly proves that it was.
MANN: The question remains, though, whose attack was it? Sarin isn't the kind of thing that only government or military factories can manufacture. Is there any evidence, any word, any information from 10 Downing Street about where the Sarin is found was from?
SHUBERT: Not at this point. There's nothing in this newest evidence to come out to suggest where the Sarin came from.
However, in the intelligence report that was released before last week's vote before parliament, the government stated that they believe the Assad regime is responsible for that chemical weapons attack, that they're the only ones that could have carried out an attack of this scale.
But again, this evidence is -- has been independently collected and tested by the British ministry of defense here. And it's not been tested by UN weapons inspectors. And that's what a lot of lawmakers here were looking for. They wanted to hear what the UN had to say and what they found on the ground.
MANN: And there's another voice in all this, another team that's doing an investigation. Russia's government says it has submitted to the UN a forensic study, a lengthy study that says that it found evidence that there was chemical weapons use by the rebels back in March in Aleppo. That would be months before the August attack that has spurred the U.S. to action.
Is anyone in Britain paying any attention to what the Russians are saying they've found?
SHUBERT: The short answer to that is not really. Those allegations have been put out in the past. And we don't know exactly what is in that Russian report that was handed to the United Nations. But the line from British officials remains that the only side that's really capable of conducting these sort of chemical weapons attacks, they believe, is the Assad regime.
It is not only the probability factor that they think that the regime is the only one that has the capacity and capability according to British intelligence reports, they see -- they say that they have evidence and intelligence showing that these attacks came from based from within regime areas and that's why they are confidence in making these statements.
MANN: Atika Shubert, live at 10 Downing Street, thanks very much.
For his part, French President Francois Hollande is offering one of the few pledges of support for U.S. strikes against Syria. The French Parliament debated the issue yesterday and there was considerable opposition. But President Hollande doesn't actually need parliamentary approval to launch military operations.
Let's talk more about France's role in all of this with former prime minister Dominique De Villepin.
Thanks so much for joining us.
Let me ask you, the French lawmakers have debated. They have not voted. Where does France stand? What will France do?
DOMINIQUE DE VILLEPIN, FRM. FRENCH PRIME MINISTER: Well, the French president, President Hollande said very clearly that he wants to punish Bashar al-Assad for what he has done. Of course there is a lot of discussion here in France, whether we should go for a military intervention or not, but I think the decision of the French president has been taken and it's quite clear.
MANN: He has also, though, suggested that France will not act on its own. So is France waiting for America?
DE VILLEPIN: Well, the truth is that congress has the decision in its hand. And depending on the decision of the congress, depending on the final decision of Barack Obama, France will join the U.S. in order to strike some military targets in Syria.
MANN: Let me ask you, you're a former Prime Minister, you have some thoughts on the matter. Do you support that decision?
DE VILLEPIN: Well, as a matter of fact, no. I don't believe that one, two countries, maybe three or four if we add Australia and Turkey supporting these decision, I don't think there is an illegitimacy for these strikes. And I don't think it is the best answer today to the problem that we are facing.
Of course, we can discuss (inaudible) whether there had been a chemical attack. I think all the indications are going in that direction.
But the main question we should ask ourselves is which is the best way to protect the Syrian population? And I believe we (inaudible) alternative initiatives that would be much more adapted to the current situation in Syria, which is a civil war (inaudible) humanitarian initiative, buffer zones. We are facing 2 million refugees to day, 4 million peoples displaced and the international community is not doing enough.
We could also work in the direction of the international criminal court. Put old evidence together and prepare a dossier for these courts. That would be the best way to punish Bashar al-Assad if he's responsible for these strikes.
MANN: And yet what you're saying speaks to the civil war that is underway and that's exactly not what the U.S. president or the French president seem to be aiming at. They seem to be addressing the world's outrage over the use of chemical weapons, leaving aside intentionally the question of how the war rages on?
DE VILLEPIN: But you cannot separate the two issues. When you are facing a civil war, which has killed more than 100,000 people and may kill many more in the coming months you cannot separate the issue. That's why the main question, that's what I was saying before, is how to protect the population?
And not only we have a civil war going on in Syria, but we may have a regional war. We have the Islamists and the nationalists are confronting themselves. We have the risk of a war between Shias and Sunnis. We cannot be blind and not look as though the issues (inaudible). So there is a risk of escalation in the region. That's why for me the main question today is the political initiative.
And that's what the leaders of the world should be discussing in St. Petersburg, because today we have to change the view we have of Syria. Under the French mandate, in the 20s and the 30s, Syria was a federation divided in four regions. Today we have to face the fact that Syria is not a country anymore. Communities cannot live with one another. We have to protect the communities from one another.
Today, the Alawites are a threat for the Sunnis, but maybe in the coming years the Alawites will be threatened by the Sunnis. We know that the...
MANN: So you're suggesting -- you're suggesting the de facto partition, or some kind of new arrangement, constitution for Syria -- who would do that? The United Nations is impeded by Russia. The United States does not want to get involved. Who would actually cut up Syria...
DE VILLEPIN: I believe today we can find an agreement between Russia, the U.S., Europe, the Arab League under a new Syria that will be much more adapted to the current situation.
We know that 10 percent of the Christians are very much threatened by the situation going on in Syria. We know that 13 percent of the Alawites are fearing the opposition of the Sunnis. And we know that the Sunnis are strongly divided between the ones who want a democratic Syria and the growing number of the ones who are following the Jihad.
This situation, like the one we have faced in Korea, in Germany (inaudible) solution, new options. We are talking about a problem which is not the real concern of the Syrian population today. How to assess and how to better the security in the country.
I think this is really what is a state. And by discussing over the military intervention, the countries of the world are not addressing the real issue of Syria today.
MANN: Dominique De Villepin, former prime minister and former foreign minister of France. Thanks so much for talking with us.
Still to come tonight, Egypt's interior minister survives a car bombing. We'll bring you the details of an apparent assassination attempt next.
Plus, there's only one day left until polls open in Australia's national election. But according to some pundits, the race is already been won.
And teams from Olympic bidding cities assemble in Buenos Aires ahead of Saturday's announcement on who will host the 2020 Summer Games.
All that and more when Connect the World continues.
MANN: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Jonathan Mann. Welcome back.
Egyptian state media are reporting a car bomb exploded in eastern Cairo Thursday morning. The Egyptian interior minister was reportedly the target, but state media say he is safe. Karl Penhaul has the story.
KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a spot in Cairo's Nasr City neighborhood where a car bomb exploded just as a motorcade carrying Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim was passing. A statement from the interior ministry says that the minister was not injured in the blast, but he himself in comments moments later said that his vehicle received the brunt of the impact. He also said that four other vehicles in his motorcade were destroyed by the force of the blast.
Talking to eyewitnesses, they gestured how the car lifted up several feet into the air as it exploded, landing, then back on the ground.
Other vehicles that were stopped at traffic lights waiting for the motorcade to pass were also damaged in that explosion.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but this is exactly what some analysts have been warning about, that if Egypt's political turmoil is not resolved peacefully, then some armed extremist groups could launch their own guerrilla style war.
There has been some angry reaction here on the streets. Some of the people who live close to the scene of the blast are firmly laying the blame on the Muslim Brotherhood, the powerbase of ousted President Mohamed Morsy. However, leaders of that movement who are not currently in detention have sought to distance themselves, saying that they condemn this type of violence.
The interior ministry in its statement says there were injuries from this explosion, but said that no one was reported killed.
Karl Penhaul, CNN, Cairo
MANN: And another part of the story we're following closely. U.S. President Obama's national security team has recommended Washington suspend hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt. Officials say they don't expect the president to make a decision, though, on suspending that money until after Congress votes on Syria next week.
Kenya's parliament voted on Thursday to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. Kenya's president and deputy president both face charges at The Hague for crimes against humanity. Journalist Tom Maliti says if Kenya does withdraw from the ICC, it will have a larger impact on the country's relationship with the rest of the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM MALITI, JOURNALIST: If Kenya does withdraw from the ICC that, in itself, will be a signal that, you know, maybe Kenya will not be as engaged as it used to be with the international community and therefore there will be game where, for instance, western powers, Europe, the U.S., will have a very different relationship with Kenya than for instance neighboring countries such as Uganda, South Sudan, and members of the East African community such a Rwanda and Burundi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANN: He was infamous as the U.S. congressman ridiculed and shamed for sending out sexually explicit emails and images. Now disgraced politician and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner is making headlines once again, this time not for betraying his wife, but defending her.
Weiner got into a heated exchange Wednesday with a New Yorker who made a racially charged comment about her. Melissa Flores reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I didn't do what you did...
ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: Who thought that you were my judge?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Embattled mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner in a war of words with a constituent on his final push to next week's Democratic primary. It all happened at this Brooklyn bakery after he paid for some traditional Rosh Hashana (ph) baked goods.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a real scumbag Anthony.
FLORES: But that's not all listen closely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Married to an Arab.
FLORES: This man Saul Kessler makes a racial slur about Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin. Kessler tells CNN in a phone interview, "I did say that. I'm not going to deny it. It's just a certain feeling I have as a Jew."
WEINER: But if you're going to say vile things about me and my family you should expect that I'm going to go back at you.
FLORES: Weiner was highly criticized for leaving Congress after sending revealing photographs of himself to women on line. But this time some voters are taking Weiner's side.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the voter talked about his wife and called him a name -- the man is human.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well I think he's just doing that because he needs to like keep it fresh.
FLORES: But these heated exchanges aren't anything new. This 35- year- old lashed out at Weiner during a campaign event.
WEINER: And I'm not losing sleep over it.
FLORES: And then there's Peg Brunda, challenging him in Staten Island.
PEG BRUNDA: Had I conducted to myself in the matter in which you conducted yours, my job would have been gone.
FLORES: While Weiner's popularity continues to plummet in the polls.
KESSLER: Think about your wife..
WEINER: By the way...
KESSLER: How could you take the person...
WEINER: ...by they way, that is between me and her and my God.
FLORES: His notoriety is not going down without a fight.
MANN: Reza Flores.
Dozens of people have been hurt in a pileup involving more than 100 vehicles, more than 100 of them, on a bridge in Kent, England.
Witnesses say motorists face dense fog this morning and this is what they faced later: collisions that happened over the course of just 10 minutes. Police say there were no fatalities, but eight people have been seriously hurt, 60 suffered what are being called minor injuries.
Concerns about poor lighting on the bridge had been raised when it was opened in 2006.
Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN RUDD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: We believe that the right way forward is to build the new industries of the future after the China resources boom is over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANN: They've depended on China to feed Australia's economic miracle, but as that appetite weakens, how will the nation's stalling economy play out at the polls?
And two English cities fight over the remains of a very deceased English king. That story just ahead.
MANN: You're watching Connect the World live from CNN Center. Welcome back. I'm Jonathan Mann. You saw that little graphic. Australians waking up to the last day before Saturday's federal election. Pundits predict a strong swing to the right with opinion polls suggesting it's just about over and will be a convincing win by the opposition coalition led by Tony Abbott of the Australian liberal party.
A polarizing figure the former Rhodes scholar was famously labeled a misogynist by a previous prime minister Julia Gillard and is known for his confrontational style of politics. His rival is current Prime Minister and leader of the Australian Labor Party Kevin Rudd.
Plagued by bitter infighting, Rudd was unseated as prime minister by his deputy in 2010. Fast forward to June and Rudd claimed the prime ministership for a second time amid plummeting party support.
Well, the two leaders have been facing off over all kinds of issues, including the treatment of asylum seekers, climate change, and the carbon tax.
But there's one issue they agree on. CNN's Andrew Stephens has a look at that.
RUDD: We would, of course, on outside of politics allow a full conscience vote.
ANDREW STEPHENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Australian leader Kevin Rudd and his opposition counterpart Tony Abbott don't agree on much, but they are united when it comes to defining Australia's key election issue: the economy.
RUDD: This election is about the future strength of our economy and how best to secure it.
TONY ABBOTT, AUSTRALIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: We will build a stronger economy so that everyone can get ahead.
STEPHENS: That may sound surprising. After all, this is the so- called miracle economy. More than 20 years of uninterrupted growth. Not even the global financial crisis could end that run.
But the golden days may be drawing to a close.
China's appetite for Australian resources, the very engine of growth, is starting to stall and with it the billions of dollars that have underpinned the country's remarkable growth story.
RUDD: We must prepare for this great economic transition to an economy where we don't have the ability to put all our eggs in one basket.
STEPHENS: But if the politicians have identified the problem that worries most Australians, their solution is still vague.
The prime minister promises new industry and increased productivity. Abbott thinks mining still has a major roll to play, but only if he can end controversial Rudd government taxes.
ABBOTT: The mining boom is over. I say if the mining boom is over, at least in part it's because Mr. Rudd's government has killed it with things like the carbon tax, with things like the mining tax. We'll abolish the carbon tax. We'll abolish the mining tax.
STEPHENS: But the problems run deeper than that. The resources boom has also been covering up a slowing non-mining sector. Strip out mining, and the economy looks a lot weaker.
The central bank has cut interest rates to record lows, but that's still not enough to temp Australians to start spending again.
It's a novel situation for Australia's politicians. For the first time in a generation, they're faced with an economy that's dragging them down rather than lifting them up.
Andrew Stephens, CNN, Hong Kong.
MANN: The latest world news headlines just ahead. Plus, as Tokyo anxiously awaits to find out if it will host the 2020 Olympic Games, will its bid be threatened by the ongoing struggle with radiation at Fukushima?
And seven years in the making, the film that documents the struggle over Tibet. Coming up, we sit down with the director.
MANN: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Jonathan Mann with the top stories this hour. The crisis in Syria expected to be the big dinner table talk at a working dinner for the G-20 leaders in Russia. US president Barack Obama is pushing for military action to punish Syria for an alleged chemical weapons attack. Host Russia is demanding concrete proof that they Syrian government is responsible.
British prime minister David Cameron says scientists in the UK have new evidence that sarin gas was used in the August 21st attack near Damascus. Soil and clothing samples from a reported victim of the shelling tested positive for sarin. The scientists have concluded the samples were unlikely to have been fabricated.
Egyptian state media say a car bomb exploded in eastern Cairo Thursday morning. The Egyptian interior minister was reportedly the target, but state media say he is safe. The Interior Ministry says security guards and some bystanders were wounded by the explosion.
Kenya's parliament voted Thursday to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. Kenya's president and deputy president both face charges at the Hague for crimes against humanity for allegedly orchestrating post- election violence in 2007. The ICC says the decision would not affect cases already underway.
On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee is to announce which city will host the Summer Olympics of 2020. Three cities are in the running, each with very different bids.
Madrid is looking for the kind of economic and employment boom that comes with hosting the Olympic Games. Istanbul is hoping its geography will get the votes. It would be the first city to stage the games on two continents simultaneously. It sits right across the border of Europe and Asia, of course.
Tokyo is looking to host for a second time, banking on its reputation for technology and innovation. The Japanese capital was the first Asian host city when it staged the event back in 1964.
Tokyo has long been tipped as the favorite to host the 32nd Summer Olympic Games in 2020, but recent leaks of toxic water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant could be damaging its chances. Paula Hancocks has the latest on the cleanup.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're within the 20- kilometer or 12-mile exclusion zone in Fukushima, and this is the area that residents were moved away from in the immediate aftermath of the disaster in 2011.
Now, you can see, there's a fair bit of activity behind me, cars are allowed in, residents are allowed back during the daytime now because the radiation levels here have lowered, but they're still not allowed to stay the night, the government still worried about accumulative radiation, so people aren't allowed to stay here 24 hours a day.
Now, what you can see by the side of the road is the cleanup operation that's ongoing in different areas of Fukushima. And you can see what a painstaking operation this is.
They're basically having to take away the top layer of the soil, which has radiation in it. They're also cutting back the grass, you can see there, they're combing through the bushes as well. It's a colossal task to try and decontaminate this area.
Just a bit further down, you can see there are thousands upon thousands of bags where this soil is being collected and where it's being stored, so not only is there a problem with where to store this highly- radioactive water from the plant, but of course, in the surrounding areas, where do you store this highly-radioactive soil as well? So, this is just another problem the government is having to cope with.
And of course, for people who live here, it has been very difficult. They still don't know when or even if they will be able to come back to this area.
And this is really symbolic of what we're seeing in and around Fukushima. This was a very busy train line before. You can see how it has been overgrown by plants. It's clearly not being used since 2011, and this is part of the area that they're trying to clean up as well, but it's just symbolic of what has happened to the Fukushima area.
Paula Hancocks, CNN, Fukushima, Japan.
MANN: Now, Tokyo is not the only Olympic city to be experiencing -- or at least addressing some kind of fallout. While Japan struggles with those radiation levels, the Spanish economy could be the undoing of Madrid's bid. Not only is the country suffering from severe austerity measures, it's also been dealing with anti-austerity protests.
And while the streets have calmed in Istanbul since demonstrations earlier this year, Turkey borders Syria, of course, where the civil war has driven more than 6 million people from their homes. Almost half a million of the refugees have fled into Turkey.
So, the site of the 2020 Games is still very much up for grabs as the last-ditch negotiating or bidding or schmoozing goes on in Buenos Aires. Alex Thomas is in London with more on this, and he joins us now.
Alex, let's go through the cities, and I guess we start with Madrid, because as the odds have changed, as the speculation has changed, some people thought it was the long shot candidate, some people think it's got the best chances. It certainly could use the money, though one wonders if it has the money. How do things look?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, interesting -- isn't it? -- when you discuss the economic boost that any Olympic host city gets because as you just referred to in that question, Jonathan, the flip side to it is that it also costs a lot of money to stage a Games.
You think back to the last two Olympics, the UK London 2012, just 12 months ago, we saw them spending around 9 billion pounds, that's probably - - doing some quick math in my head -- around sort of $14 billion.
Whereas we know that China forked out well over $20 billion. We don't know for sure, but that's the estimate. So, that is huge sums, indeed. And for Madrid, where the unemployment's around the 27 percent -- sorry, for the whole of Spain, the unemployment figures around the 27 percent mark, does Madrid have the financial clout behind it to stage such a major international sporting competition?
And by the way, Jonathan, it is the aim of the International Olympic Committee to try and bring those costs down, but with so many sports and increasing numbers of athletes and the world's media going to the Games every time it's held, it seems hard to do that, and that certainly is the major negative for Madrid.
Interesting, though, one of the positives is that Lionel Messi, the world's best footballer, has come out in support of them. And considering he plays for Barcelona in the heart of Catalonia, that's certainly quite some endorsement.
MANN: OK. Well, let's move on. When they were doing the preliminary scoring back in June, Spain and Tokyo seemed to come out pretty close in front. Istanbul way back, which is a surprise, because the Games have never been held in a Muslim country. In Istanbul, they'd be held on two continents simultaneously. How does Istanbul's bid look?
THOMAS: Jonathan, I'm not sure they were way back, actually. All three of the bids after all the IOC delegations had visited, were given a rating of excellent. Certainly true that Istanbul fell down compared to some of the technical aspects of the Tokyo, Madrid bids, but I guess that's only to be expected because of the sort of maturity of both the cities in terms of Madrid and Tokyo.
But I think Istanbul's big, big selling point is that the Olympics has never been to Turkey. It is that Turkey is on the border of East and West, a foot in each of Asia and Europe.
But also, their other big selling point -- and this to me is the most interesting one -- almost half of Turkey's population is under the age of 25. And if you think how Seb Coe and the London bid team won over the delegates in that vote in Singapore back in 2005, it wasn't just the arrival of David Beckham flying in, but also a wonderful presentation speech to delegates involving young children.
And Turkey can really play on that aspect of a legacy towards youth and encouraging young people to take part in sports that we see at the Olympic Games. In the eyes of the --
MANN: Now, you talk about a presentation speech. Japan's president - - prime minister, rather -- Shinzo Abe, is actually going to leave the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg to fly to Buenos Aires to be there to make a personal pitch on behalf of Tokyo. How do the Japanese look? They would seem, in some sense, to be the most affluent, the most prepared, the most experienced.
THOMAS: Yes, and I think to many bookmakers, they are the favorites, and that's no surprise. They've staged the Olympic Games three times before, two Winter Games and one Summer Games. Those Tokyo Games of 1964, the first time the Summer Olympics had ever been held in Asia.
And you can see Tokyo as a safe pair of hands, that's certainly what the IOC will see it. Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, has had to answer questions about those radiation leaks out of the Fukushima area, and maybe that's one of the reasons he's prepared to fly to Buenos Aires, where the vote's being held late on Saturday.
And -- but also, the other reason, that he's quite a well-known political figure, and a bit like bids have seen in the past, it certainly pays to bring in your big guns, your celebrity big guns at the last minute to try and move those late undecided voters.
MANN: Alex Thomas, we'll be watching on Saturday. Thanks very much.
But let me ask you, who is your favorite for the 2020 Games? Where do you think the Games should go? Well, we want to hear from you, and you can tweet me @JonathanMannCNN.
And one day after IOC officials choose a host city, they'll also choose a new sport to add to the 2020 Summer Games. There are three sports vying for the slot. Wrestling -- well, it's not new to the Olympics, but it is fighting for its future after officials voted to drop the sport back in February.
The US, Russia, and Iran are among the countries lobbying hard to keep wrestling. It was one of the original Olympic sports way back when.
Also receiving strong international support are baseball and softball, also part of past Olympics, you may recall. They were cut, though, after the 2008 Games.
And a possible dark horse contender, squash. The racquet sport is played in more than 185 countries, mostly in small rooms, but it's twice applied and failed to become an Olympic sport. We'll have to see.
Live from CNN Center, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Up next, a border dispute that, well, stretches back hundreds of years. We speak to the filmmaker who spent years documenting the struggle for Tibet.
MANN: Welcome back. An invasion or a liberation? The dispute over Tibet is contentious and cuts deep. So when filmmaker Dirk Simon decided to tackle the issue, it became the start of a seven-year-long journey. The result: "When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun." Becky Anderson recently sat down with the director.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Passions rise over a dispute that stretches as far back as the 13th century.
ANDERSON: The new documentary, "When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun," delves into the debate over Tibet. China has longed claimed sovereignty over the country, and in 1950, sent in troops. An action Beijing says liberated the region from brutal feudalism. But many Tibetans say it was an invasion.
Nine years later, after an unsuccessful revolt by his people, the Dalai Lama fled and set up a government in exile in India. That is where many Tibetans remain. The Dalai Lama has always maintained he's not seeking Tibetan independence from the Chinese. He said he only wants enough autonomy to protect his people's traditional British culture.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "WHEN THE DRAGON SWALLOWS THE SUN": In their minds, there was always this kind of hope that any minute they might go back. And that is not there now, you see?
ANDERSON: In his film, Dirk Simon explores some of the reasons why six decades on, their struggle continues.
DIRK SIMON, FILMMAKER: Unfortunately, there's actually a huge lack of leadership, and there was a huge lack of unity. And this lack of leadership seemed surprising because they have a great leader, the Dalai Lama, but I think for decades he has been saying that he doesn't want to get into politics so much. And he wanted his people, really, to take care of themselves in a political way.
ANDERSON (on camera): So, to a certain extent, the story here is that the Dalai Lama has lost touch with what Tibetan wants to a certain extent?
SIMON: I think he had the best intentions, but he underestimated that the will of the younger generation that doesn't want to negotiate with the Chinese about autonomy, they just desire freedom and independence. And for the older ones, for the older generation, for them it's very difficult to make up their minds because they are just used to following.
ANDERSON (voice-over): The film, which was seven years in the making, also takes us inside Tibet for a rare glimpse of life in the capital, Lhasa.
SIMON: When I was there, it was like martial law in 2008, and there was people -- looking into people's faces, you could sense that oppression, you could feel that fear.
We were in front of the Jokhang Temple, which is a very famous site for all the pilgrims, and there was a spectacular sunset, and people were - - just stopped watching -- they stopped walking so they could watch the sunset, and within two minutes, we had the square was swarmed with police and the army and pushing everyone and forcing them to keep going.
So they were so afraid that more than a few people would stay together, and perhaps there's another riot. So people couldn't even watching the sunset.
ANDERSON: China maintains it's brought economic development and growth to the region and improved the lives of the Tibetan people. Beijing also says that their human rights are respected.
ANDERSON (on camera): How different is the narrative between Tibetans living in Tibet and Tibetans living outside of Tibet in exile, as a diaspora?
SIMON: Perhaps not everyone, but I think for the Tibetans who live in exile, they -- when they don't feel the pressure, then they have this kind of freedom in a sense, that it becomes easily just an empty statement to say I'm willing to give up my own life for the freedom of my country. It's very different than to be in Lhasa and to go on the street and to risk literally your life for your freedom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "WHEN THE DRAGON SWALLOWED THE SUN": Every day, more and more Chinese settlers are moving into Tibet. There are already more Chinese soldiers in Tibet than Tibetans.
ANDERSON: What's the way forward, do you think?
SIMON: Tibet will not just be given up by the Chinese. That's -- I think that's a dream. We cannot solve the issue without China.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "WHEN THE DRAGON SWALLOWED THE SUN": Struggle is not just what we do. It is a struggle in survival.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "WHEN THE DRAGON SWALLOWED THE SUN": We have to do something? What shall we do now? What do you think best position for us?
SIMON: And if the world wants to believe or needs to believe that it is that they really are fighting for survival, then Westerners cannot lead that campaign. The Tibetans have to -- someone has to take on that role, and he has to come without -- or from within the Tibetan community.
MANN: CNN has reached out to the Chinese government for its reaction to the documentary. We are still waiting for a response.
Coming up after a short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, centuries after his death, Richard III is making new headlines. They're about where his skeleton should go.
And the secret of who fathered this little one is out. We'll tell you after the break.
MANN: Welcome back. He died in 1485 during the last battle of the War of the Roses. Now, centuries later, two English cities are battling for the honor of providing a final resting place to King Richard III. CNN's Erin McLaughlin has the story.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every year, crowds gather to recreate the Battle of Bosworth, the famous fight that killed King Richard III. Now, over 500 years later, not far from those famed grounds, a battle of a very different sort: the legal fight for the skeletal remains of Richard III.
PETER SOULSBY, MAYOR OF LEICESTER: We want to do him honor, to rebury him properly.
MCLAUGHLIN: On the one side, a picturesque northern city of York, known to historians as one of his favorite cities. And on the other, the more industrial midland city of Leicester, where his body was found.
It was one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries in recent history. The skeleton had all the hallmarks of Richard: the curved spine, the obvious signs of battle trauma, found buried in a shallow, hastily-dug grave that in more recent times was unwittingly covered with a car park.
The area has since been completely excavated. The city of Leicester has plans for a multimillion-dollar visitor center and an elaborate tomb in the city's cathedral.
SOULSBY: Leicester is where he's been for 500 years, and Leicester is where he deserves to be reburied with proper ceremony and in a tomb fit for a king.
MCLAUGHLIN: All sounds great, unless you're from York. In fact, a group saying its among Richard's descendants called the Plantagenet Alliance are so upset they have brought a legal case in an effort to stop his burial in Leicester.
PAUL TOY, RICHARD III MUSEUM: The actual burying place is still up for debate. We've sort of installed a sort of a temporary monument here.
MCLAUGHLIN: Paul Toy, though not a Plantagenet himself, is clear where his loyalties lie.
TOY: And finally, the chance comes to actually respond to what we know of his wishes, and there's a very great danger that that will be ignored again.
MCLAUGHLIN: Strangely, when it comes to the final resting place of the last English king to die in battle, his fate rests not on the battlefield, but instead in a courtroom in London.
Erin McLaughlin, CNN, in Leicester and York.
MANN: Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams joins us now, live from CNN London. Good to see you once again. I guess we have to say that now is the summer of his discontent. What do you make about this fight over where to put poor Richard III?
RICHARD FITZWILLIAMS, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: It is extraordinary. I mean, it's rather like having the War of the Rose re-fought between the a couple of cities. Indeed, I have to say, a couple of places of worship. Because of course, what part of it's about is about tourism.
They're thrilled to have him in Leicester, that's where they found him, because they're planning a million-pound developments and they're hoping to attract vast numbers of tourists, because of course, he is so -- well, you could say notorious, for those he believed he murdered the princes in the tower, or famous for those who believe he was guiltless.
The facts of the matter are that it is just a fantastic battle between the two. Legally, Leicester has it. He was discovered there in a car park, it was a unique archaeological discovery. Legally, apparently, according to the Ministry of Justice, he should be with Leicester, and it was the University of Leicester who was involved.
But here's the rub: he was the last king of York, the last Plantagenet king. He spent much of his childhood in Yorkshire. He created the Council of the North. And I'd also point out that Leicester is very near the Battle of Bosworth, where he was cut to pieces. I think that's the last place he'd want to be.
MANN: Now, he is not, though, the only king who has traveled after death. King Stephen, dead, I guess, nearly a thousand years, has been on the move. It sounds like Stephen King, but it's actually the true story of King Stephen. Tell us what you know.
FITZWILLIAMS: Yes, it's rather an amazing one. They were trying to discover the whereabouts of a king who lived in the 12th century. Mainly, you remember, because there was a civil war between him and his cousin, Matilda.
And he was buried in Faversham Abbey, which under the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, fell into decay. In 1964, they opened the grave of Stephen and Matilda and his son, Eustace, and the corpses were gone. So, it's possible that another king could perhaps turn up heaven knows where.
MANN: OK. Let's not talk about the entirety of another king, let's talk about just the head of Oliver Cromwell, because that's turned up in an odd place.
Well, that is an extraordinary affair, because after the restoration of King Charles II, Cromwell was -- well, his corpse was hung upside down and it appears to have been buried into a pit. His head was stuck on a spike on Westminster -- in Westminster, and what happened for 300, apparently, is it was passed around various collectors and so forth.
This is true. In 1960, there was a secret ceremony held at Sussex College in Cambridge, where it was decided to bury the head, which had been decided -- proven it was that of Cromwell, within the college walls, but we don't know exactly where.
MANN: OK. Well, let's go back full circle to Richard III, all of him. When are we going to see him? This is decided, presumably there's going to be some kind of burial. Is it going to be like a royal wedding in reverse, not a charming young couple --
MANN: -- but a dusty old dead guy in a funeral cortege? I presume this is going to be something very big and regal.
FITZWILLIAMS: Well, what's going to happen firstly is there's a judicial review because originally it was said that legally Leicester had it. Now, the Plantagenets, as you see, are apparently challenging that. And so the courts are going to look at it.
Then, as you say, there's going to be some form of cremation. What tomb will he have? This -- and what ceremony will it be? This is a matter where there's absolutely no precedent.
I would add that if Richard were living, so to speak, at a particular time and was thinking of his death, he'd undoubtedly wish to be buried in Westminster Abbey. However, that would hardly be possible, since the two little princes whom it is alleged he murdered are buried there, and there's a Latin inscription there which states they were murdered by the hand of the Hideous Richard.
So, you see, Shakespeare and Sir Thomas Moore and others of Richard's enemies, their arms stretch out very far. The Richard III society believe that he was something of a misunderstood figure, but he has a curvature of the spine, and it could be said he was crooked in a large number of ways, because once those princes disappeared and he declared them illegal, they were never seen again in 1485.
MANN: Richard Fitzwilliams, he might just ask for a grave, a grave, his kingdom for a grave. Thanks so much for talking with us.
FITZWILLIAMS: A pleasure.
MANN: It's time now for tonight's Parting Shots, and before we go, we bring you some news straight from Washington, the National Zoo in Washington. The gender of the zoo's latest arrival has been revealed. It is a tiny panda baby girl.
Mei Xiang gave birth to the cub last month. Pandas find it notoriously difficult to breed, so she was inseminated from two different donors. The panda team released the father's name today. The cub belongs to 16-year-old Tian Tian, who also lives at the National Zoo. His little girl will be named 100 days after her birth in line with Chinese tradition, and Tian Tian will pick up the child support.
I'm Jonathan Mann, this has been CONNECT THE WORLD, thanks for joining us.