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CONNECT THE WORLD
Libyan Congress Asks U.S. To Return al Libi; British Woman Vows To Help Syrian Refugees; Interview with Ex-Navy SEAL Cade Courtley; Republicans, Democrats Entrenched Over Debt Ceiling
Aired October 8, 2013 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, HOST: Welcome everyone. Tonight on Connect the World, give us back al Libi, the Libyan congress asks the U.S. to hand over the kidnapped al Qaeda leader. We go live to Tripoli.
Also ahead, they were searching for a better life, that's what the survivors say. What they found was tears and tragedy. We have a special report from the Italian island of Lampedusa.
And defense against malaria. It's a disease that kills more than half a million people a year. Now doctors say they've created the world's first vaccine.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.
GORANI: Tensions are rising between the United States and Libya over the capture of an alleged al Qaeda operative. Libya's congress is demanding that the U.S. hand back Abu Anas al Libi who was seized, as you know, in Tripoli in the early hours of Saturday morning. Al Libi, whose picture you see there, is now, it's believed on an American navy warship where he's being questioned by U.S. intelligence officials.
Libya has called it an abduction and the country's justice minister also met with the U.S. ambassador Monday demanding answers.
The U.S. has also moved hundreds of marines to Italy ready to fly to Libya at a moments notice just in case there's a security threat against its interests in Libya.
CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson joins us live from Tripoli with the very latest.
So we're hearing from the government of Libya and they're unhappy with the United States and demanding that they return al Libi, Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, it's very interesting. This statement is very strong at the beginning: flagrant violation of national sovereignty is what they say. But if we listen to the end of what the spokesman from the government there from the national congress is saying there's an indication here, it's almost a sort of a fait accompli, that this has happened and really now they're asking just to help out al Libi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALI HMIDAN, SPOKESMAN, LIBYAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (through translator): The National Congress condemn this blatant aggression against the Libyan's sovereignty protected by all international laws. Therefore, the national congress demands the following: handing over the Libyan citizen immediately to the Libyan authorities and stressing that the suspect is innocent until proven guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Well, they're also asking that he gets legal representation and that he's able to be put in communication with his family, which really strikes a similar tone to press conference given by the justice minister a few hours ago. Of course, the justice minister called in Deborah Jones, the U.S. ambassador here, yesterday, Monday for a meeting that has been characterized by State Department officials as cordial rather not a summons into -- for a dressing down, so to speak, a wide range of issues covered.
But the justice minister put things into this context, saying that there is trust between the United States and Libya, that Libya trusts the U.S. justice system, that there is a good relationship between the two countries. He did stress that as far as Libya is concerned, they do see this as a kidnapping. The abduction, as they see it, of al Libi, is against Libyan law. But again he also said that they want to get a Libyan legal representation for al Libi when he gets to the United States.
So the sort of reading between the lines here, if you will, there is a broad acceptance at the government level -- they're shouting about it, but they accept it's a done deal. They're not going to get him back and are now looking beyond that, Hala.
GORANI: All right, Nic Robertson live in Tripoli. Thanks very much.
Now we understand an elite U.S. Navy team also led a weakened raid in Somalia, but failed to capture a suspected al Shabaab leader. Mohamed Abdikadar Mohamed, or Ikrima as he's commonly known, is accused of involvement in multiple terror plots. He's also suspected of recruiting and training foreigners for al Shabaab. CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has more on that.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In southern Somalia, it quickly became the most dangerous mission for SEAL Team 6 since they killed Osama bin Laden, according to one senior U.S. military official. The mission: to secretly enter a hostile town, capture and bring back alive a man known as Ikrima, a top operative in al Shabaab, the Somali-based al Qaeda affiliate. A man the U.S. believes is planning more attacks.
But after the SEALs make their way to their target, a heavily defended seaside villa, they are spotted. A massive firefight breaks out as more and more militants gather. The SEALs cannot capture the target, they abort the mission.
A top Pentagon official insists the SEALs were not run off by al Shabaab fighters.
GEORGE LITTLE, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Military personnel on this objective during the raid literally went to the door step of this al Shabaab terrorist and discovered that there were civilians in the surrounding area.
STARR: A military source says the SEALs also report they saw children at the compound, another factor in ending the raid.
And he says there are other U.S. forces nearby to respond if the fight had grown worse.
GORANI: That was CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.
Now with more military analysis, we're joined by Cade Courtley, a former U.S. Navy SEAL who joins me now live from Denver, Colorado.
So you heard and read, just as we all did, about this mission to capture, the Libyans say kidnap, Abu Anas al Libi. When you read about it, as a former Navy SEAL, what did you make of the operation itself in Libya?
CADE COURTLEY, FRM. U.S. NAVY SEAL: Well, I can tell that any time you're putting boots on the ground into a hostile country where you're not even supposed to be, that's incredibly challenging. It's even compounded moreso when you're asking them to bring somebody out alive. I can guarantee you that this group was not outgunned and was not chased away, but rather they used their ability to make a decision based on what they saw -- and I think it was a good one, because we are not in the business of harming, you know women and children.
GORANI: And what about the operation in Libya, in Tripoli?
COURTLEY: Well, again, it was a completely different environment. And the one that the Navy SEALs tried to do was going into heavily armed compound where the one that was successfully executed by army's Delta, literally there was no reactionary force at all. They went in, they grabbed this guy and they were gone within a minute. Two similar, but very different environments.
GORANI: Now, the wife of the suspected al Qaeda operative al Libi said that she thought she heard people speak Arabic with a Libyan accent, that she saw some unmasked men in that group that nabbed her husband that looked like they were Arabs. Is it possible that these teams used collaborators on the ground from the country? I mean, translators, that kind of thing?
Look, when you go in an operation like this, like the bin Laden raid, they definitely had translators that were there. In addition to that, sometimes you were be involved in these operations and you will integrate, or have integrated into your team local military so they're able to deal with some of the other issues that might arise in that. And that would not be uncommon if that happened on these -- both of these operations.
GORANI: What kind of -- I mean, obviously there are the obvious security risks, but what goes into planning an operation like this -- the Somalia operation or like the Libya operation? How far ahead of time -- because if this was indeed the Somalia one was connected to the Westgate mall attack, we're not talking months here we're talking weeks. Does that make sense?
COURTLEY: Well, it does. And that's how good these groups are. Sometimes they have the ability to train and rehearse for months, like the bin Laden raid, but sometimes they have to be ready to go and do it within 24 hours. And they are able to do that, that's how good these guys are. That's why the training that you go through to become a Navy SEAL is so difficult. And only about 20 percent of the people make it throughout it, because when you get the phone call and you have to be in a foreign country and try and do something like that in the day you're able to pull it off.
GORANI: Now, we've heard about successful missions, or missions that didn't achieve their goals, but where there was no loss of life on the U.S. side, but these can go dramatically wrong as well.
COURTLEY: Well, you have to understand that any time you're talking about boots on the ground it's much, much more challenging, OK. The administration has gotten used to the idea of send the SEALs, mission accomplished, nobody got hurt. And that's great. And that's what we're trained to do. But as we continue to do these type of operations, everybody needs to understand they are incredibly dangerous. And the use of boots on the ground versus the use of airstrikes or drone strikes, you need to understand that is part of the situation. And you might have to deal with the fact that, hey, not only did -- it was not a successful mission, but we lost some people, that's just the nature of boots on the ground in an operation.
GORANI: I've got to ask you the difference between Somalia and the bin Laden raid, for instance. I mean, in the Somalia case, it's understood -- I mean, we haven't heard obviously from the SEALs themselves, that potentially there were civilians around that they were afraid they might harm civilians.
But in the bin Laden compound raid there were also civilians and women. And they went ahead and shot and killed bin laden. Why are the two different, do you think?
COURTLEY: I would never second guess a call that was made on the ground if I was not on the ground. So all I can say is knowing how good that group is, they did the right thing given the situation.
But again, remember, the mission -- or the task for this group in Somalia was to go in and get somebody out alive. That's very different from a raid where you go in and you kill who you are supposed to go after. It just is a whole different element trying to remove a live body from a scene where you have a lot of hostile -- you know, a hostile environment like that.
GORANI: OK, Cade Courtley, thanks very much, a former Navy SEAL. The president of SEAL Survival.com joining us live there with his take on those operations in Africa, those American operations in Africa. Thanks.
And still to come on Connect the World, Barack Obama says there's, quote, no excuse for the financial crisis that's crippling the U.S. government. The American president has a message for congressional Republicans. We'll get a live report from Washington right after a short break.
GORANI: You are watching CNN International. This is Connect the World. I'm Hala Gorani. Welcome back.
U.S. President Barack Obama is urging congress to, quote, get back to work and pass a budget that would end a partial government shutdown. He says as bad as things are now they'd get, quote, dramatically worse if lawmakers failed to raise the debt ceiling by next week.
President Obama spoke moments ago at the White House blaming Republicans for the impasse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's stop the excuses. Let's take a vote in the House. Let's end this shutdown right now. Let's put people back to work. There are enough reasonable Republicans and Democrats in the House who are willing to vote yes on a budget that the Senate has already passed. That vote could take place today. The shutdown would be over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Countries all over the world are nervously watching what's happening in Washington, perhaps none more closely than China and Japan. Those two countries are the biggest U.S. creditors, holding more than $2 trillion in American debt combined. They're urging Washington to get its act together and avoid an unprecedented default.
The crisis was a major concern at the APEC summit in Bali which wrapped up today. China says the U.S. has a, quote, responsibility to ensure the safety of the world economy.
Now, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by phone today with the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, but it seems neither side was willing to budget.
Athena Jones joins us live from Capitol Hill with the very latest.
So, what was this phone call all about between President Obama and John Boehner, Athena?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, it looks like it was another chance for the president to stake out his position, which is nothing new. It's what we've been hearing from him for the past several days, more than a week really, and that is that he's not willing to negotiate over the debt ceiling and the shutdown. He wants to negotiate in general about budgetary issues, but he doesn't want to do it with a proverbial gun held to his head.
Today, just now in that press conference he said the Republicans are holding the economy for ransom. And so he wants the house to pass a spending bill to keep the -- to reopen the government without any strings attached and also both houses to pass a so-called clean debt ceiling bill that would raise the debt limit and then sit down for negotiations.
So that's what he used much of that press conference for to talk about how he is willing to sit down and talk, just not before action, Hala.
GORANI: OK. And what response, then, from the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill?
JONES: Well, Republicans are also sticking by the same lines we've heard -- been hearing since last week. You know, each day they're maybe wearing a new suit and a new tie, but we're hearing the same arguments and that is that this president needs to negotiate. They're not looking at the timing of when this negotiation would take place in the same way as the White House is. They want to sit down and negotiate before agreeing to do either of these important things.
And of course their position is we don't want to give up our leverage. We want to force some concessions. And the only way we can force that is if we demand the negotiations take place before hand.
Now we did have a chance to speak with a Republican, a House Republican who said that House member may -- the House GOP may be willing to offer, to pass a short-term debt limit raise, or a debt limit increase to give some room for negotiation. Now at the same time, we know that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is planning to introduce so-called clean debt ceiling bill on the Senate floor as early as today to get the ball rolling on that side of the Capitol. But we don't know if that bill would get enough Republican votes.
So in many ways we haven't made a lot of progress. We've heard a lot of words, a lot of battling message making, but not a lot of progress, Hala.
GORANI: Now, Athena, you say Republicans don't want to give up their leverage, that they want negotiations to happen, you know, while this -- before any budget passes so that they have, of course, something to negotiate, something to bargain with.
But what is it that they want? What does the Republican Party want in order to move things forward right now?
JONES: Well, that's a really interesting question, because the message on the Republican side has become a little bit muddled and some of Republicans you speak with will say the same thing.
Originally you have this large group, especially conservative Republicans, who wanted to demand some sort of change to the Affordable Heath Care Act, Obamacare, that is already now up and running in terms of the health care exchanges, the health insurance exchanges people are able to enroll in. But they wanted to have this fight over -- at some point over the debt ceiling raids. But that fight ended up being moved forward to the shutdown.
So Obamacare is a part of it. But now more and more you're hearing Republicans talk about the need to have some sort of spending reduction, agree on cuts and tax reforms and entitlement reforms. And so they're kind of talking on two fronts about what they want to see.
But the word we hear them say most today is negotiate. They want the president and Senate Democrats to sit down and negotiate about all of this -- Hala.
GORANI: OK. Thanks very much. Athena Jones. Certainly doesn't look like any solution is within arms reach at this point. That's an understatement, I think.
Thanks, Athena Jones in Washington.
Authorities in Argentina say President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is resting comfortably after successful surgery today. Doctors operated on her to remove a blood clot from the surface of her brain. The discovered the hematoma on Saturday when she was in full campaign mode ahead of crucial legislative elections.
Let's get more now from CNN Senior Editor for Latin American Affairs Rafael Romo. I mean, I'm not a doctor so when I read that it sounds terribly serious. What are doctors saying?
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's serious not only because of that, but because it all started with these severe headaches that she had and then tingling sensation in the arm and that's when doctors said, OK, it's time to do something about it.
The surgery to remove a clot from her brain lasted about 90 minutes this morning. While Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was in the operating room, political supporters held a vigil outside the hospital in Buenos Aires. Saturday, when the clot was found, doctors told her she would have to take a month off. Saturday also when the clot was found, doctors told the Argentine president she needed to do something about it and she felt a tingling sensation in her left arm. And that, in addition to series headaches possibly related to a fall in August, led her doctors to conclude surgery was needed immediately.
Hours after the procedure, the president's staff was clearly relieved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALFREDO SCOCCIMARRO, PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN (through translator): The operation has been satisfactory. It has been good.
The president of our country is now in her room. He is in very good spirits. She greeted everybody and thanked the medical team. She thanked all of you and those who have been praying for her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMO: While the president recovers, Vice President Amado Boudou will be in charge of the country.
This is not the first time President Fernandez de Kircher has had health problems while in office. She suffered from low blood pressure in 2010 and 2011, a condition that forced her to cancel international trips. And the 60-year-old also had her thyroid gland removed in early 2012.
Hala, as you mentioned, the timing could not have been worse. Argentina is holding legislative elections in just two-and-a-half weeks.
GORANI: And of course the question is beyond how she will be doing medically is how does this affect her future presidential ambitions?
ROMO: That's the really the important question here, Hala, because publicly she's saying I may not run again. But a lot of political supporters, and in private, say that she may be willing to run again. The problem is that she needs a majority in congress to be able to pass a reform that would essentially allow her to run for a third term.
So if she doesn't have that majority in congress, Hala, she's not going to be able to get that reform in, therefore her chances of being president again are gone.
GORANI: All right. Rafael Romo, we certainly hope she gets better.
Rafael Romo, thanks very much for joining us on that.
We're going to have a lot more after a break on Connect the World.
A British native heard Syria's cries and decided she would do something about it. The inspiring story of a volunteer who has gone out of her way for others. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Welcome back everyone. I'm Hala Gorani with you on Connect the World.
The world's chemical weapons watchdog says Syria has made a, quote, constructive start to removing its chemical stockpile, but didn't sugar coat the task ahead, calling it a, quote, long and difficult road for all parties involved.
The organization's acronym is OPCW. It says it will send a second team of experts into Syria go join a mission that's already on the ground there.
Inspectors are overseeing the process of dismantling the country's chemical weapons stockpile in compliance with a UN resolution.
Meanwhile, the UN chief Ban Ki-moon warns the mission is unprecedented and that inspectors face a dangerous and volatile environment.
Now aside from efforts to take apart Syria's toxic weapons, the situation there remains disastrous. Syria's civil war has resulted in what the UN calls the worst humanitarian crisis in the 21st Century.
Atika Shubert spoke to one woman who is getting directly involved in relief efforts.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Iman Mujahed is preparing for another trip to Syria. The mother and a business owner marshals her multitasking skills as a volunteer for the British charity Hand in Hand.
We talked to her as she was departing for another trip to Turkey then across the border into Syria to deliver aid, stuffing her suitcase with last minute items for kids.
IMAN MUJAHED, HAND IN HAND: 200 dolls, and they talk in Arabic and English. I just couldn't sit by as a human being, as a mother, I just couldn't sit by and know that I'm sharing the same sky with these people that are suffering so, so much.
SHUBERT: Iman has made the journey before, but she says every time she is overwhelmed by the scale of the humanitarian need.
MUJAHED: When you drive up from the Turkish borders, you see these amazing mountains at site and they actually look like they're snow-capped mountains, but as you get closer you realize it's actually a sea of white tents. When you enter the camp, the sheer number is absolutely overwhelming, especially the number of children that are there.
SHUBERT: Once inside Syria she checks the stock at one of Hand in Hand's warehouses.
MUJAHED: Even down to the antiseptic.
SHUBERT: There simply aren't enough basic medicines and equipment to go around.
MUJAHED: It's such a massive problem you can't just pick one thing and say, oh, this is what they need the most. They need things from food to medication to school to support, they just need. These are people who have lost everything.
SHUBERT: It can be overwhelming. But Iman is committed to her work comforting a small boy as he receives much needed immunization shots and beaming as she holds a newborn baby while the mother recuperates in the operating room next door.
MUJAHED: This is not something that although the problem is enormous, it's not so big that we can't actually to anything about it. We are doing our best and we are going into Syria to make a difference.
SHUBERT: For anyone wondering what difference one person can make in such an overwhelming humanitarian crisis. She has this message.
MUJAHED: I would say absolutely everybody can make a difference.
SHUBERT: Atika Shubert, CNN, London.
GORANI: Britain and Iran are testing the still icy waters of diplomatic relations with each other. Earlier, both countries said they would appoint a non-resident diplomat in efforts to forge a friendlier relationship. Britain's foreign secretary William Hague he has high hopes for this experiment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM HAGUE, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: We have therefore agreed that both our countries will now appoint a non-resident charge d'affairs tasked with implementing the building of relations, including interim steps on the way towards eventual reopening of both our embassies as well as dialogue on other issues of mutual concern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Diplomatic relations between the two countries broke down in 2011 after the ransacking of the British embassy in Tehran.
The latest world news headlines just ahead.
Plus, it's Italy's worst migrant boat disaster as bodies are pulled from the water in Lampedusa European officials scramble to prevent such a disaster in the future. We'll tell you about a proposal that's come from an EU official. We'll be right back.
GORANI: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories this hour. US president Barack Obama says Abu Anas al-Libi was involved in plots that killed hundreds of people and that he will be brought to justice. Libyan authorities are demanding the immediate return of the suspected al Qaeda leader captured by American special forces in Tripoli over the weekend.
The US president also urged Congress to get back to work and pass a budget that would end a partial government shutdown. He says things would get "dramatically worse," quote-unquote, if lawmakers fail to raise the debt ceiling by next week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're not going to pay a ransom for America paying its bills. That's something that should be non-negotiable and everybody should agree on that. Everybody should say one of the most valuable things we have is America's credit worthiness. This is not something we should even come close to fooling around with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The International Monetary Fund has trimmed its forecast for global economic growth down to 2.9 percent. The IMF cited weakness in emerging economies for the adjustment. It also warned of serious damage if the US fails to resolve its debt ceiling problem.
Turkey's prime minister says a dark era has come to an end. Today, his government lifted a decades-old ban on women wearing head scarves in state institutions. Critics accuse Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of pushing an Islamic agenda on the long-secular nation.
The European Commission is proposing a Mediterranean-wide search and rescue operation in a bid to save lives. It comes, of course, after more than 230 people were killed when their boat sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa last Thursday.
Italian state television reports that the captain of the boat, a Tunisian man, has now been charged with manslaughter. The report states he was recognized by survivors as one of the smugglers.
Meanwhile, divers are continuing to work on the site of the disaster, with recovery teams pulling bodies from the sea. But the Italian coast guard warns it will be almost impossible to recover all of the remains.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICCARDO NOBILE, SERGEANT, ITALIAN COAST GUARD DIVER (through translator): We have now removed all the bodies that were around and on top of the wreck. Now we need to work inside and try and free all those bodies. This will make the operation even more difficult.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: It's thought around 500 people were packed onboard what is now Italy's deadliest migrant shipwreck. The boat's 150 survivors are in limbo right now. They're waiting at a crowded detention center in Lampedusa. They join over 1,000 other migrants who've made the perilous crossing, as CNN's Matthew Chance reports from Lampedusa.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the port, body bags are filled with the latest victims recovered from the sea. This is Italy's worst migrant shipwreck, but of the island of Lampedusa, it's just another painful reminder of the burden of being at Europe's frontier.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's a problem. I've been speaking about migrants who die at sea for years. Letting them die at this is a real shame. We should send boats to save them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's obvious that the Italian state and Europe have to do something, not so much here, but at the origin countries. They bring no richness to our island, just poverty.
CHANCE: This is where the new arrivals are housed, an overcrowded detention camp in the center of Lampedusa. Migrants from all over Africa and the Middle East end up here after making the perilous sea crossing.
Migrants like Ali Ibrahim al-Najar from Syria, who we spoke to through the perimeter fence. He told me he arrived in a fishing boat crammed with migrants, 140 in a vessel meant for 25. When they reached Lampedusa, he said, they were taking on water. The Italian coast guard rescued them and brought them here. Migrant boats, often unseaworthy, are left for scrap along the shore.
CHANCE (on camera): Well, these are the wrecks of just some of the vessels that have brought thousands of immigrants here to Lampedusa in recent years, and many of them are very recent, indeed. You can see some of the refugees have left items of clothing: a pair of jeans, here. This looks like a woman's head scarf.
There are some scarves over here, which I recognized from Afghanistan. Even items of food. This tin of sardines said to be from Morocco. You get a sense that if you imagine hundreds of people crammed onto this ship just how desperate those making that dangerous journey from North Africa to here must be.
CHANCE (voice-over): Desperate enough to risk their lives, despite this latest tragedy, for the dream of a new life in Europe.
Matthew Chance, CNN, Lampedusa, Italy.
GORANI: Well, last week's events have shocked many in Lampedusa, including many of the island's young children. Students from one elementary school there expressed their sympathy for those who lost their lives by drawing pictures of the tragedy.
Some drew images of the shipwreck, while others showed pictures perhaps a little more hopeful, with one child writing, "We have to love them as they were our brothers, and we must prevent it happening again." That's the view from children. If only adults could make this a reality.
In order to prevent future refugee tragedies, as we mentioned, the European Commission has today called for members states to provide more resources in order to launch search and rescue patrols in the Mediterranean.
European commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, who's currently on her way to Lampedusa, says a large-scale operation is needed. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CECILIA MALMSTROM, EUROPEAN HOME AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER (through translator): As for me, I'm going to propose member states to organize a big Frontex operation, including all the Mediterranean from Cyprus to Spain.
A big save and rescue operation for the Mediterranean, I'm going to ask for the support and the resources to make this happen, to save more lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, that was the commissioner, there, whose proposal is being floated. Let's get more on this by Simona Moscarelli from the International Organization for migration, and she joins me live from Rome on this camera.
So, Simona, you heard -- I'm sure you saw the proposal from the European commissioner to have large-scale search and rescue patrols in the Mediterranean in order to intercept these ships before there are disasters. Do you think it's a good idea?
SIMONA MOSCARELLI, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: Well, it depends about the rules of engagement. If rules of engagement are feared, especially with regard to the safe port or to bring the people where they are -- after search and rescue, that's fine, that's a good solution.
Otherwise, that would be also risky, because in the past Frontex also participated to some activities when migrants were sent back to Libya. So, it depends, really, on the rules of engagement.
GORANI: OK, so what would be a good solution, as far as you're concerned?
MOSCARELLI: Well, this is -- the Frontex, or the announcement of Frontex activities is part of the solution, but then there are other two things that should be carried out. One is the promotion of legal channels to answer to the European Union, and the other is to promote resettlement programs in the Frontex countries, like Libya, for example, so that European countries all work to --
GORANI: I apologize -- I'm going to have to cut this off. Simona Moscarelli, apology, it was great having you and great having your perspective on this. She's with the International Organization for Migration. However, sadly, we had a bit of a dicey connection there on her webcam, and so we're going to have to cut it short.
But saying essentially that the jury is still out on whether or not a large-scale search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean to try to solve this problem is a good idea.
Now, what do you think about all of this? What solution do you think should be implemented to avoid these tragedies? Facebook.com/CNNconnect. And you can always find me on Twitter, by the way, @HalaGorani.
Live form CNN Center, we're going to have a lot more after the break. Forbes has named her one of the world's most powerful women. Coming up after the break, we sit down with one of the highest-ranking officials at the United Nations.
GORANI: Welcome back. This week on Leading Women, we continue our profile of Helen Clark. The former prime minister of New Zealand is currently the leader of the United Nations Development Program. Now, it's an enormous challenge, and Clark credits her upbringing for making her a strong and resilient leader. Becky Anderson reports.
HELEN CLARK, ADMINISTRATOR, UNK DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: There is a call for an accountability revolution.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's the third-highest ranking official at the UN, appearing several times on the Forbes list of the world's most powerful women.
CLARK: I think the Forbes list has made a big step in recognizing that there's hard power and there's soft power. Now, as head of the UN Development Program and chairing the Development Program, you have soft power. I don't have executive power to go out there and say to a country, "Do this, do that."
ANDERSON: A former prime minister of New Zealand for three terms, Helen Clark is used to operating in the public sector.
CLARK: When I started off as a young member of parliament in 1981 at the age of 31, my aspiration was to be a minister. I had never thought that I could be the party leader. But of course, over time, if you're in the job and you're doing it well and people start to notice, they start to talk, and so why not you? The oldest question in politics: "Why not me?"
ANDERSON: Clark's confidence likely came from her upbringing in Hamilton, New Zealand.
CLARK: Well, farming families are very self-reliant. We lived on a back road. I think I come from generations of extremely resilient people who tend to survive through thick and thin.
ANDERSON: And five years into her position, Clark knows there's much more to accomplish before the end of her second term, and is proud of what's she's done so far.
CLARK: I think that the biggest steps I've had to take here have been to try and get that results culture. What do we have to show for the great effort we put in, the huge amount of money that goes through our books? What can we show that we've achieved for it? And we can show it, but in the past, perhaps, when money was easier, times were more benign. You weren't under the pressure to show it.
ANDERSON: Pressure while balancing a commuter marriage. Her husband is a university department chair in New Zealand, and she lives in New York. Despite all her accomplishments, Clark keeps her success in perspective.
CLARK: You can go all the way to the top of things, but one day, that's going to end, and one day you're going to walk out of those big offices -- I walked out of the prime minister's office, or I walked out -- will walk out of this one day -- and you go back to Sunny Street, and you will drive your own car and you'll do your own shopping, and you've always done these things, so it's not a shock.
GORANI: Well, a humble Helen Clark talking about her successes. Next week, we introduce you to Eva Chen, CEO of a high-profile tech company. Go to cnn.com/leadingwomen for more.
Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD, a bullseye on malaria. A new vaccine goes after the deadly disease in the hopes of saving millions. But how effective is it really? The details coming up.
GORANI: The Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded earlier today for the scientists who came up with the theory of the so-called "God particle." Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been awarded the prize for predicting the Higgs boson particle existed.
It was all on a piece of paper in the 60s, and scientists say it will help unlock the secrets of how the universe works. The Higgs boson particle is what joins everything and gives it matter, and researchers have been searching for it for decades.
The Higgs theory was confirmed with the help of this machine, the Hadron Collider. But the experiment was not without controversy. Fears were raised that activating could create a black hole and destroy our planet.
It takes lives indiscriminately and poses a potent threat to young children. I'm talking about malaria, of course. It kills over 600,000 people every single year, and it's long evaded a cure. But there is a brand-new vaccine, and it's a promising breakthrough if they can get the green light from regulators. Jim Boulden has our story.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Malaria nets, one of the few preventative steps people can take to ward off mosquitoes that infect around 220 million people every year.
BOULDEN: With 660,000 malaria deaths in Africa each year, many of them small children who cannot fend off the sickness, a vaccine would help cut the infection rates. Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline says it will now formally seek approval from the European medicines agency to market the world's first malaria vaccine.
But maybe unusual for a drug company, GSK is candid about the vaccine's limitations, revealed in ongoing trials throughout Africa. The vaccine works for about 18 months and then degrades. Compare that to, say, longer-lasting and polio and tetanus vaccines.
But supporters of the malaria vaccine say any additional tool to cut infection rates in about 100 countries will help, considering the sheer number of children dying from malaria.
BOULDEN: GSK says the vaccine trials showed 46 percent fewer children aged 5 months to 17 months contracted malaria compared to a control group of children who did not receive the vaccine.
The Gates Foundation has committed almost $2 billion to a campaign that has successfully cut malaria rates in the past decade, and now, nothing less than what GSK says is the world's first vaccine against a parasite.
GSK says it will use 5 percent of the vaccine's sales towards research to fight tropical diseases and pledges to not sell the malaria drug for profit. It could be in clinics around the world starting in 2015.
Jim Boulden, CNN, London.
GORANI: Well, this drug could be the single biggest thing in malaria treatment. Joining me from Philadelphia is GlaxoSmithKline's chairman of global R&D and vaccines, Dr. Moncef Slaoui. He was involved in the vaccine's development from its early stages and is with us this evening with more.
Dr. Slaoui, thanks for being with us. You must be quite --
MONCEF SLAOUI, CHAIRMAN, GLOBAL R&D AND VACCINES, GSK: Thank you.
GORANI: You must be quite happy today.
SLAOUI: Absolutely thrilled to see almost three decades of work of hundreds -- in fact, probably thousands -- of individuals from our company, GlaxoSmithKline, but also from our partners, from investigators in sub- Saharan Africa finally come to the kind of data that we have demonstrating a significant efficacy against Plasmodium falciparum or malaria.
SLAOUI: And as was said earlier, the first vaccine against a parasite.
GORANI: And let's look at the numbers here, because this is not 100 percent protection. The trials show cases of malaria down 27 to 46 percent. The sample, I understand, was 15,000 children, but the impact goes down when the baby is younger than five months. Why is that?
SLAOUI: So, indeed, the vaccine efficacy was 46 percent in older babies, five months of age and above, and about half of that in younger infants, six weeks of age. We have a hypothesis. We don't yet have full demonstration of why.
One reason is they are just much younger, their immune system is not yet developed enough to respond fully to the vaccine. Another reason may have to do with the fact that there is a particular part in the vaccine that is common with the hepatitis B vaccine and young infants have not yet been vaccinated, while those that are five months of age are already vaccinated --
SLAOUI: -- and there are some other scientific hypotheses.
GORANI: So, let's talk about availability potentially and cost. When will this drug be approved? When will it be available? Because in the end, that's what matters is how people can actually have access to it. How and when?
SLAOUI: Absolutely. So, we are eager to make this vaccine available. Let me share with you for a second the numbers of cases of malaria that this vaccine could potentially prevent every year in sub-Saharan Africa.
This vaccine prevents 1,000 cases of malaria per year per 1,000 children age five months or older. There are 30 million newborns every year in sub-Saharan Africa, which means if this vaccine is fully used, about 30 million cases of clinical malaria could be prevented every year. An enormous impact on public health.
What we're planning to do is in 2014, file this vaccine for approval with the European Medicinal Agency. Hopefully have that approval in 2015.
And in the same process, discuss with the World Health Organization how they can come to a view to recommend this vaccine for use by the countries. And then finally, for the governments in each one of the countries and the public health agencies in the countries to decide on its implementation.
Critically, it will be important at the same time to ensure funding is available for access of this vaccine in those countries. And that's a number of discussions ongoing with various partners, first of which, of course, the Gates Foundation.
GORANI: And the Gates Foundation, I was going to ask you about funding and what the cost of a single dose -- do we have that level of detail yet in terms of what it would cost to inoculate one baby, one child, using this GlaxoSmithKline drug?
SLAOUI: We don't yet have the specifics because they will depend on how many children will be vaccinated overall. However, what we have committed to publicly is to sell this vaccine at cost plus a 5 percent profit that we commit to fully reinvest in discovering and developing vaccines or medicines for neglected diseases.
GORANI: And you need, of course, the cooperation of governments because this isn't just about money, it's about logistics, it's about getting millions of children lined up and vaccinated. And this is in a continent the size of -- not the entire size of Africa, but all of sub- Saharan Africa.
SLAOUI: Absolutely. It's a very, very big endeavor. One of our objectives is to introduce this vaccine as part of the EPI vaccination that is the traditional vaccinations that already take place in those children so that there is no incremental infrastructure needed, if you wish.
That may not be the case when the vaccine is first introduced in the older-aged babies, but certainly would be the case when it's introduced in the younger age, six weeks of age babies.
GORANI: All right. We really appreciate your time. I know you've had a very busy day speaking to a lot of my colleagues today on this important step in fighting malaria.
GORANI: Dr. Moncef Slaoui of GlaxoSmithKline, thanks very much, joining us live from Philadelphia.
SLAOUI: Thank you.
GORANI: In the UK, a range of coins commemorating Prince George's christening was unveiled today. The limited edition gold coin will be sold for 50,000 British pounds. Or if you are keeping track at home in dollars, that's US $80,000. Meanwhile, the cheapest coin costs just 5 pounds or $8 if you're on a budget. The Royal Mint says it's already received thousands of pre-orders.
Now some Parting Shots. Let's start at the APEC summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. APEC leaders will probably be parting with these outfits as soon as they can. It's not a wardrobe malfunction, it's a tradition that's been nicknamed Silly Shirts.
APEC leaders will wear traditional clothing from the host country to pose for the family photo -- I don't see anything wrong with them, I think they're actually quite attractive.
Here's another classic from Lima, Peru, in 2008. You can see President Bush sporting an alpaca poncho. 2010 host country Japan shunned the tradition, which led to a three-year hiatus, but now it's back.
And now a bit of bling to accompany those fancy outfits, and it seems white is the new blue. This white diamond the size of a small egg sold for more than $30 million in Hong Kong, a record price. The 118 carat stone is the largest diamond ever to be sold at auction.
Less hot was this rare blue diamond. It failed to reach its reserve price of $19 million, and as you know, when you don't get the reserve price at an auction, the item is not sold. A lot of people with spare money out there.
I'm Hala Gorani, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thanks for watching. Stay with us, a lot more ahead on CNN.