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CONNECT THE WORLD
European Union Meet To Discuss U.S. Spying; Interview with Pavel Khodorkovsky; Parents of Roma Girl Confirmed; Irish Roma Boy Reunited With Family; Myanmar Ethnic Violence
Aired October 25, 2013 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JONATHAN MANN, HOST: Tonight, it's been a bad week for Transatlantic ties. Allegations of U.S. spying have rattled leaders from Madrid to Berlin. We'll explore how they're affecting America's image in Europe.
Also ahead, 10 years a prison, Mikhail Khodorkovsky's son Pavel joins us to talk about his father, his struggle in the new Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AUNG SAN SUU KYI, MYANMAR MP: We've got to start by establishing rule of law. There's got to be accountability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANN: We ask Aung San Suu Kyi about the rise of ethnic violence in the new Myanmar.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.
MANN: Thanks for joining us.
France and Germany are calling for new ground rules with the United States on intelligence gathering. Amid a spying scandal that's outraged U.S. allies around the world.
European Union leaders issuing a statement at the end of their summit in Brussels expressing deep concerns. They say their close relationship with Washington has to be based on what they call respect and trust and warned that any breach could hurt intelligence efforts in the fight against terrorism.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her part says that trust has been severely shaken. It's personal for her after the scandal widened this week to include allegations the U.S. monitored her own cellphone.
Chancellor Merkel says new guidelines are in order.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): We said that France and German, not as Germany plus France, but each country individually will get in contact with the United States and the security (inaudible) and try to work out such a framework for future cooperation. Obviously, we will also have an exchange of views on how this is to play out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANN: We have two live reports for you on the spreading secrecy scandal.
Jim Boulden is covering developments in Europe from our London studios. Candy Crowley is monitoring U.S. reaction from Washington.
Jim, let's start with you, what exactly does Europe want? A red line that Washington won't cross or a public agreement about secret spying?
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the red line is closer to what -- certainly what Chancellor Merkel would like to see, Jonathan. You could tell how upset she was about this as it started to come out in the last 24, 48 hours. And what she said there I thought was very interesting, she doesn't want Europe to go as a whole to talk to the U.S. and sit down with a whole bunch of people in a big room and have sort of words and not action, she wants bilateral talks. She wants face-to-face talks with individual countries going to Washington to really make the point how unhappy people here are.
Because as she said, of course, that spying among friends is never acceptable. It's a very strong statement.
Some people here are saying, well, this is just political pandering to the crowds at home, but I think it is a lot more than that, Jonathan.
MANN: Well, let me ask Candy Crowley how much more we know about what actually happened. Washington has not confirmed a whole lot. It said, in fact, that there is no spying going on now against Angela Merkel, there will be no spying against her in the future. But do we have any more solid information about what, in fact, has been going on?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think we can extrapolate at the very least and say if they will deny it's going on now and deny that it won't happen in the future, but won't say anything about what happened in the past, that probably they have been tapping into cellphone conversations of the German chancellor.
So it's not something I think that you're going to hear them say outloud.
I do think that there is very little movement in Washington, D.C., even when the spying story, the NSA story was about collecting the so- called metadata: time, place, phone numbers of every American phone call, even that didn't move this congress to say, I think this might be a little far.
There is still very little. And there is even less push when it comes to spying on foreign leaders, friends or foes. The push back from the white House has been everybody does this. We all spy on each other.
MANN: That having been said, let me ask you, Candy Crowley, about what we're hearing now from Europe, which is that there should be some kind of understand, there should be some kind of restraint. Would any president, would this president agree to let Paris and Berlin set down the guidelines for U.S. espionage. Would they agree to anything like that?
CROWLEY: No. I can't imagine.
They could -- I'm sure -- I mean the White House has said we're looking over everything to see -- you know, just because we can get information doesn't mean we should get that information. But I cannot see -- first of all the president doing that, nor can I see anyone on Capitol Hill -- maybe the intelligence committees who would be in on such a things saying, hey, great idea. It's just not -- it's a sovereignty thing. It is a post-9/11 thing. It is just not something that I can see even with friends.
I think the more dangerous thing, though, Jonathan, is now these reports that the U.S. has told some of these same friends -- by the way, we think there's information out there about what you have shared with us. That, then, becomes incredibly tricky, because it brings back to the streets in these various countries what their own leaders have done to help the U.S. and indeed to help the world in terms of the fight against terror.
MANN: The whole thing is completely (inaudible)
Let's go back to Jim Boulden, though. You just heard what Candy Crowley had to say. European leaders are publicly urging, demanding there be some kind of understanding. The word we have from Washington is that that's a nonstarter, that's not going to happen. Is there anything that you can do beyond expressing simple outrage?
BOULDEN: Well, in their statement today, the EU said very strongly that this could -- prejudice, as they say, the cooperation in the field of intelligence gathering. This idea that there's no trust between the two sides.
So, I think that's a very strong hint that Europe would like to be able to think that they would know enough about intelligence and intelligence gathering in cooperation with the U.S. that they could pull back a little bit and that might make the U.S. stand up and think.
There has been some talk earlier this week that maybe they would stall trade talks between the EU and the U.S. and that's -- no one has said that in the last 24 hours. None of the leaders said that, but they really want to focus on saying to the U.S. and Washington, hey, don't forget we help you in this fight against terrorism. We help you with intelligence gathering. And now we find that allegedly you've been listening to us all along as well.
MANN: Jim Boulden in London -- Candy, last word to you.
CROWLEY: Right. I just wanted to point out that I think -- there are ways around this. There are mushy diplomatic words you can use unless necessary. Of course, we wouldn't be doing something like this. And that what the U.S. has said is we're not just gathering data to protect our homeland, we have shared data that we've picked up to protect homelands in Germany and France and Spain and Britain. So that's again their pushback to the idea of this, look, there's a mutual sharing going on here.
MANN: The revelations, I'm sure. And the argument isn't over either. Candy Crowley, host of CNN's State of the Union. And Jim Boulden in London, thanks so much for being with us.
All of this has been building, of course, for weeks and certainly for days. Europe's anger at U.S. spying allegations building all week this week. Just go back to Sunday when reports surfaced that U.S. intelligence hacked the email account of Mexico's former president Felipe Calderon.
Monday, French President Francois Hollande expressed his outrage over reports that the National Secuirty Agency intercepted more than 70 million phone calls in France. I think that was in just one month.
Wednesday new claims.
The NSA bugged, as we've been mentioning -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel's own cellphone.
Thursday the Guardian newspaper reported she wasn't alone. The NSA monitored, it said, phone conversations of 35 unidentified world leaders.
And Friday, Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy summoned the U.S. ambassador over spying allegations as well.
It is a dizzying list that could require some major damage control. Well, I talked about the scandal with Javier Solana who served for a decade as high representative for foreign and security policy for the European Union, ending in 2009.
And we talked, first of all, about what, in fact, the European leaders are planning going forward.
JAVIER SOLANA, FRM. EU HIGH REP. FOR FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY: Well, (inaudible) place last night and a little bit this morning. The agreement is apart from what is known already of the (inaudible) of the most important leaders, in particular of Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande, which have been tasked by the other members of the European Union to try to get an agreement of how to handle this situation not to be repeated from here through the end of the year.
Between the United States and the European Union, you have a lot of things to do together. We are in the midst of a negotiation of a very important trade agreement. And the atmosphere has to be cleaned up.
People do not understand how things can go that far as to being spying on the direct mobile phone of a leader of an allied country. This is something that requires an explanation. It requires to clean up the atmosphere to continue negotiating on the trade agreement.
MANN: Well, we are talking, essentially, about espionage, a subject that has to stay secret by its very nature. Are European leaders looking now for some kind of treaty? Are they looking for...
SOLANA: No, no, no.
MANN: ...a public agreement, or will there be an informal agreement among the leaders.
SOLANA: No. What we have to do is to get sufficient trust, recuperate the trust that things that one has been made public in the last days that even telephone, private telephone from prime minister, private telephones from president of the Republic of France, for instance, (inaudible) country have been tapped.
This is something that it should not take place among allies.
MANN: You were the high representative of the European Union for foreign and security policy. Did it ever occur to you that your own phones, your phone conversations were being bugged, whether by the United States or by Russia or by the Chinese or by anyone else for that matter?
SOLANA: Well, I didn't expect it to be by the United States, but I had suspicion that other countries could be doing in my telephone, not directly on my phone, on my mobile phone. The technology at that time was less sophisticated than today. But I had doubts about that.
And in fact, I did all the possible information to be sure that nothing (inaudible) was taking place.
But I never thought that the United States would do it.
MANN: Javier Solana.
What do you think about the latest spying allegations? The team at Connect the World wants to hear from you. And maybe it would be best if you didn't use your cellphone. Try Facebook.com/CNNConnect. Have your say. And you can tweet me @JonathanMannCNN. Your thoughts. Once again, send them to us. Send them to me @JonathanMannCNN.
CNN asked Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi about the U.S. spying scandal. She told us governments and their citizens should ensure they're balancing their privacy rights with the need to protect society.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYI: I don't believe that you should interfere in the live of other people unless there is really great danger to society as a whole. And of course this can be misused to a great degree, because all those who engage in such activities always say that they're doing it for a higher purposes than simply that of interfering in other people's private affairs.
But this is something to which we have to be alert all the time. This is -- this will be an ongoing problem for our societies to deal with.
The right balance between privacy, between security, between freedom, between safety.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANN: A fascinating remarkable woman. We'll bring you more of our interview with Aung San Suu Kyi later on Connect the World.
Here what the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate says about one of Myanmar's biggest issues right now: violence between the country's own peoples. That's coming up in about half an hour.
Plus, a special report from Ireland. The father of a little boy wrongly taken by police tells CNN what hair color may have had to do wit hit.
And 10 years ago he headed up Russia's biggest oil company. Now Mikhail Khodorkovsky spends his days in prison for what some say were his politics. We'll talk with his son on the anniversary of his father's arrest.
MANN: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Jonathan Mann. Welcome back.
The identity of a young girl removed from a Roma family in Greece has finally been confirmed by authorities in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian interior ministry says DNA from the girl, known as Maria, matches that of a Roma couple who say they are her parents.
Stay with us on Connect the World. We'll have full coverage of the remarkable story about 15 minutes from now.
A 7.3 magnitude earthquake has struck about 200 miles east of Japan's main island. A tsunami advisory has been issued for coastal areas, including Fukushima. But no tsunami damage is expected.
Fukushima maybe a familiar name. It was, of course, where several nuclear reactors were severely damaged in 2011 when a 9.0 magnitude quake was followed by a massive tsunami.
Kenya's deputy president William Ruto must attend his trial at the International Criminal Court. Appeals judges have overturned a previous ruling that he only needed to attend on certain days. Ruto is being charged -- or rather tried on charges of crimes against humanity.
Disgraced former Chinese politician Bo Xilai faces a life behind bars. A high court has rejected his appeal. Bo was found guilty of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power and was sentenced to life in prison last month. He had been a rising star in China's Communist Party.
A 12-year-old girl accused of cyberbullying another girl who then killed herself has appeared in court. Kaitlin Roman is one of two girls facing charges of felony stalking in Florida. 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick jumped to her death last month from an abandoned concrete plant.
A school in the U.S. state of Massachusetts three days after police say a student killed his teacher. 14-year-old Phillip Chism is accused of following his algebra teacher into a girl's bathroom and using a box cutter to kill her. One student at the high school expressed his disbelief. Now he says the community is pulling together.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLLIN BUTLER, STUDENT, DANVERS HIGH SCHOOL: It's a little bit, you know, a little bit nerve racking, but Danvers is a strong community so I think we'll pull through.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's going through your mind today as you return? I can imagine that it feel very different coming back to school today.
BUTLER: Yeah, pretty much just shocked, you know. Just trying to return to some sense of normalcy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANN: Other students have said Colleen Ritzer was the nicest teacher they ever had.
Chism remains jailed without bond.
Nearly 700 people have been rescued by Italian coastguard near the island of Lampedusa. Authorities undertook five separate rescue operations overnight. European leaders meeting in Brussels say they'll work to address the root causes of a recent surge in migration from Africa and the Middle East. And we've seen the evidence of it around Lampedusa.
Frederik Pleitgen has more now from Sicily.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The urgency is mounting here in Europe for the continental politicians to come to terms with waves of migrants trying to make their way, often from Africa, over here to the shores of Europe, often in boats that are unseaworthy crammed full of people.
Malta and Italy say that they feel abandoned by the European Union trying to come to terms with the waves of migrants trying to make their way over here. Both countries say that they have beefed up their effort, but they also say that Europe needs to do more.
At a summit in Brussels that was taking place over the past two days, this was an issue. And many countries say they not only believe that the EU needs to do more to protect its borders, but also possibly that immigration reform is something that would be essential.
All of this, of course, was kicked off by that major incident that happened in early October when more than 300 people died when a boat capsized.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Catania, Italy.
MANN: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.
Coming up, once Russia's wealthiest man, now its most famous prisoner. We'll be joined by Mikhail Khodorkovsky's son 10 years after his father was jailed.
And a little later on, it started with a knock on the door. How a Roma family in Ireland lost their son, but got him back again.
MANN: You're watching Connect the World live from CNN Center. Welcome back. I'm Jonathan Mann.
He's a man who has become a symbol of the Russian opposition, now in prison. Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky today is marking a grim anniversary: a decade on from his a rest we'll speak son Pavel Khodorkovsky in a few moments.
First, though, let's take a look back at his father's ordeal.
MANN: 10 years have passed since his arrest. This was Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2003, a billionaire oil tycoon at 40-years-old, said to be the richest man in Russia at the time. This is Khodorkovsky in 2013, appearing recently in a Moscow courtroom via videolink, the fallen Oligarch now 50.
He was convicted on oil theft and money laundering charges. He's now nearing the end of his 11 years behind bars.
Khodorkovsky has repeatedly denied the charges against him and refuses to ask for a pardon. He's scheduled to remain in prison until August of next year.
Once an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, Khodorkovsky's supporters say he was punished for daring to publicly challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin.
CNN was denied access to Khodorkovsky in 2005, but he responded to our written questions from jail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clearly, Putin finds me more than disagreeable. It's difficult for me to say to what extent my persecution and prosecution are based in political calculations, self-interest, or emotion.
MANN: One of the people Khodorkovsky left behind was his eldest son, Pavel. When his father was arrested in 2004, Pavel was at college in the United States intending to return to Russia once his studies were over.
But since his father was jailed, Pavel has been afraid to go back and now campaigns for his father from the United States. He joins us now from our New York studios.
Thanks so much for being with us. Our heart goes out to you and to your father on a day like today. How is?
PAVEL KHODORKOVSKY, MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY'S SON: Thank you, Jonathan. And first of all, I wanted to thank you because I remember 10 years ago you actually opened up coverage of my father's arrest in October. So it has come full circle 10 years ago.
My father remains very strong. I spoke to him last Saturday on the phone. He gets about 15 minutes every Saturday to call his family.
He -- he's very -- he's always very upbeat. And he actually gives our family the moral support every time he speaks to us.
MANN: Now you say he's upbeat, he isn't upbeat when it comes to Russia and its future. He wrote an essay in the New York Times to coincide with this anniversary and in it he said -- speaking about president Putin's Kremlin -- "an irremovable and out of control central power is losing the ability to adapt to an ever more changing world. It is incapable of offering an attractive vision for the future.
Clearly your father is no fan of Putin's Russia, but what message was he trying to send to the world and to Russia in particular?
KHODORKOVSKY: My father's message has been consistent throughout the years. It is time for Russia to change. It's time for the economy to modernize and for the government to start bringing reforms to life that are so desperately needed by the society. And whereas 10 years ago, the society was largely dormant. In the past couple of years, it has awoken. And it's actively asking for change.
MANN: Now, people in Russia know the name better than people around the world. Your father was never really a household name. And now it's been 10 years. And they may be wondering about he is in jail, about the allegations against him, the charges. But there's a famous story about your father, in fact -- about him and several other of the country's most powerful and wealthy people that President Putin made a deal even before he was president. He had an ultimatum.
You stay rich if you stay out of politics. If you go into politics, I will break you and you'll lose all of your wealth. And is that simplest way to explain what happened to your father, that he just -- he didn't do what Putin wanted?
KHODORKOVSKY: Well, they certainly had a disagreement back in 2003, probably one of the most vivid examples of their confrontation was in February of 2003 when my father brought up the topic of corruption and mentioned it at the meeting was Vladimir Putin.
Other leading businessmen were present, but my father was the one to bring up the topic.
Now, back then, it was probably an unwelcome revelation coming from one of the richest men in Russia, but today the problem of Russian corruption gets experienced by pretty much every single citizen of Russia.
MANN: Now he could be out in just a few months, if they don't extend his sentence again the way they did a few years back.
What does he plan to do? A lot of other smart, powerful people have left Russia. Is he going to get out of Russia for his own good do you think?
KHODORKOVSKY: Well, it's certainly going to be my goal to try to convince him to leave Russia. Because I believe even after his release he would face unnecessary risk if he remains back home.
However, my father doesn't like to think about his upcoming release. He knows that everything is possible in a country where there is no rule of law. And certainly our family's hopes have been crushed in the past. So he doesn't think about what he's going to do or doesn't try to make any concrete plans. But it's going to be my job to try and convince him to leave.
MANN: And what about Russia? Was he right 10 years ago when he warned about the state that Vladimir Putin was creating? I mean, has President Putin won? Your father is behind bars, and if anything Mr. Putin is more powerful than ever?
KHODORKOVSKY: well, I think what has happened over the past 10 years is that certainly country as a whole has improved in terms of its economy, even though it has come at a large cost to the other sectors, our export sector is strong enough to buoy the state and buoy the society.
But people are starting to see that this is not a long-term path that's going to continue the growth that everyone has grown accustomed to in the past decade. And in that respect, I think, there is a vision that's much more sustainable. And that vision includes reforms. My father has said time and again that he push Putin would finally realize that this is an inevitable process and take the steps forward necessary.
MANN: Pavel Khodorkovsky, still campaigning, still crusading for your father after a very dark decade. Thanks so much for talking with us.
KHODORKOVSKY: Thank you, Jonathan.
MANN: Well, the U.S. State Department in just the last few hours issued a statement on the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky's arrest. It says, quote, "we reiterate our concerns about selective prosecution, politically motivated investigation, and lack of respect for due process rights."
And in referring to Khodorkovsky's case the State Department also calls into question the legitimacy of other Russian trials, in particular it cites concerns over the trials of several protesters from the 2012 Moscow rallies when demonstrations clashed with police.
The latest world news headlines are just head. Plus, famed Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to CNN about the ethnic violence plaguing her country.
And after the headlines, a young Roma boy taken for a time from his family. Why his father says Irish police cared more about the youngster's hair color than his birth certificate.
MANN: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Jonathan Mann. The top stories this hour.
A joint statement from the European Union summit says leaders discussed their deep concerns about alleged spying by the US. Germany and France say they want bilateral talks with the US on the subject of espionage. German chancellor Angela Merkel says, quote, "trust needs to be rebuilt."
The identity of a young girl removed from a Roma family in Greece has finally been solved by authorities in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Interior Ministry says DNA from the girl known as Maria matches that of the Roma couple who say they are her parents. More on this coming up.
A scene of carnage near the Syrian capital. Opposition activists say a car bomb outside a suburban mosque killed at least 30 people. More than 100 others are said to be wounded. Video posted online shows what is described as a makeshift hospital where the victims were treated.
A 7.1 magnitude earthquake has struck about 200 miles east of Japan's main island. A tsunami advisory was issued for coastal areas, including Fukushima, but no tsunami damage was expected.
More now on the Roma girl known only as Maria. Authorities took her from Farsala in Greece before a woman from a town in Bulgaria came forward claiming to be her mother. Bulgaria's Interior Ministry now confirms that with DNA analysis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SVETLOZAR LAZAROV, GENERAL SECRETARY, BULGARIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY (through translator): We took DNA samples yesterday from Sachka Rousseva and Atanas Roussev. Today, the results from the DNA analysis are ready. They confirm that Sachka Rousseva is the biological mother of the girl known as the blonde Maria, and Atanas Roussev is her biological father.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANN: But it is still unclear what will happen to Maria. Karl Penhaul joins us now from Stara Zagora near Nikolaevo in Bulgaria. Karl, it's a complicated case, but it comes down to this: Greek authorities charged that Roma couple with kidnapping. Now it seems they weren't kidnappers in any classic sense. So, where do things stand and have they closed the case?
KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, the cases aren't closed. In fact, the net is actually broadening, Jonathan. The Greek Roma couple are still under arrest, still in jail, and still being charged with kidnapping.
And here in Bulgaria, the police have said this evening that they're launching a criminal investigation against the Bulgarian birth parents who are also Roma. That on possible charges of selling their baby for profit.
What nobody is talking about at this stage is is any evidence of a wider child trafficking ring. But certainly, what on both sides of the Greek-Bulgarian border seems to be emerging is further evidence that from time to time, the Bulgarian Roma families, the women, have a habit of going into Greece, giving birth, and then passing off or selling those babies to Greek families.
And in addition to these two couples who are now under criminal investigation, in Greece in the last week, three Greek couples have also been charged with buying babies from Roma couples. So, that is really where the investigation stands. That is widening. Nobody is off the hook here.
And as for little Maria, well, she's still being cared for by that Greek charity, Smile of the Child. It looks like she will stay there for some time to come, from what we understand.
We do understand from relatives of the birth mother, Sachka Rousseva, that she now has decided that she wants Maria to come back to Bulgaria. But the child protection services here told me today right now there is no question of that. They have to really look into whether Sachka Rousseva is a fit mother to receive her children.
And there were some early answers as to her -- the state of her fitness, because we didn't meet her today in the village where she normally lives. A TV station here in Bulgaria has paid for her to go on TV and give an interview on Sunday night, so she's gone to the capital Sofia and left a couple of her children to run wild in the village with no adult supervision.
So the police came back to the village tonight and were looking to take those two children into care as well, Jonathan.
MANN: Karl, it's no secret that the Roma aren't popular. They've suffered from all kinds of prejudice, all kinds of persecution over the centuries, and I'm just wondering about this particular case, if there's any clear sense you have of public opinion outside the Roma community, whether from the newspapers or TV or the corner cafes?
PENHAUL: Well, I think again, the fact that this case came up as it did has certainly fueled a lot of the old stereotypes, has fueled a lot of the old wives' tales about the Romas who previously we used to call Gypsies, right?
And a lot of the media coverage and a lot of the public opinion was so negative about this case, zooming in on the fact that these are the Roma doing this, that the Council of Europe came forward and said to the media in a pretty stiff written warning, hey, back off here. Stop showing these kinds of levels of discrimination.
And the Council of Europe clearly stated in that statement there is no evidence that the Roma have any -- are engaged in any more criminal activities than the broader population.
And I do really believe that is true to say, yes, if there's a robbery or if there's a case of problems with a child custody, as in this case, people zoom in on the fact that these are Roma. They zoom in on their ethnicity in a way that they wouldn't do about other groups. I do think there is a high level of discrimination here, Jonathan.
MANN: Karl Penhaul, live for us. Thanks very much.
Well, before moving on to Bulgaria, Karl spent time in the Roma community in Greece that the girl we know as Maria called home. You'll find a remarkable story online detailing the mistrust Karl first encountered, followed by the hospitality that gave him a sense of what life there is like, and not just within the context of this story. Read it for yourself and leave us your thoughts at cnn.com/international.
The Roma, who've long been known as Gypsies, live mostly in Central and Eastern Europe. The Council of Europe tries to keep track of the numbers as best they can. Bulgaria has the highest percentage of Roma, nearly 10 percent of its population, followed by Macedonia and Slovakia and a few others.
Roma make up between 1 and 5 percent of the countries that you see here in red, including Greece. Roma are less than 1 percent of the population in the green countries, but they are spread worldwide.
The father of a two-year-old Roma boy taken by police in Ireland has spoken to CNN about what his family endured. The boy has now been reunited with his family, as Erin McLaughlin reports.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It started with a knock on the door. On a rundown street in the Irish town of Athlone, two police officers, known as Gardai here, were asking questions about Iancu Muntean's little boy.
IANCU MUNTEAN, FATHER OF BOY TAKEN BY POLICE: I bring him the birth certificate, you know? "There you are. I brought you the birth certificate." He said, "I don't believe this."
I said, "How you don't believe this?"
MCLAUGHLIN: Muntean has asked that his face not be shown to protect his family, a family devastated when his son was taken away. He believes police suspicions over the child's blond hair were more convincing than the legal document showing them Iancu, Jr. was his.
MUNTEAN: I said to Gardai -- to Garda -- take my blood, take tests, what you want, but leave my son home. He tell me no.
MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): Were you scared?
MUNTEAN: Yes, I was scared because -- scared of the guards, you know? My girlfriend was crying. Me as well, I was sad. He tell me, "If you have some people Irish who know your son."
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): And so, he called some of the only Irish people he knows, the health workers who check on his family. He was able to reach them the morning after his son was taken, and he says the boy was released on their word.
MUNTEAN: I said thank you very much to that girl who helped me.
MCLAUGHLIN: Muntean's ordeal wasn't an isolated case.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't want it to happen to any family from all the world.
MCLAUGHLIN: Just the day before, a seven-year-old girl was taken away from her Roma family. She, too, was fair-haired. They had to wait for DNA tests to get their girl back from the state.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're very happy that the test is done and the identity is positive.
MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): Would you feel that you were treated unfairly because your Roma?
MUNTEAN: I don't know. I don't know that -- yes, this is illegal, what they're doing. They just come and take my kid. This is not fair.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): But the police said in a statement that in all cases, the goal is to protect the welfare of the child. The Irish prime minister said there will be a full review. For Muntean and his family, however, the damage is done.
MUNTEAN: My son, I pick up, he is crying every time. He said, "Daddy, where are you? Mum, where are you?"
MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): He's not the same?
MUNTEAN: No. Definitely not. He's changed. Me as well, my girlfriend as well, my family as well.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Athlone, Ireland.
MANN: Live from CNN Center, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, ethnic violence is one of Myanmar's biggest challenges, and we put those concerns to opposition leader and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Our interview just ahead.
And later, a bloodcurdling return for Stephen King's "Carrie." It hit the big screen just in time for Halloween. We'll hear from one of the stars.
MANN: Welcome back. Call it Myanmar or Burma, as we did for decades, it's a country that's going to great lengths to open up to the world after decades of military rule. Despite government efforts and tourism campaigns, Myanmar is still, though, struggling with a host of challenges, not least of which are ethnic tensions, particularly attacks by Buddhist extremists on Muslims. Paula Newton has a report from Yangon.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This Muslim family has known no other home. They are Burmese, they tell me. And yet, they say, they now feel like outcasts in their own country because of their religion.
U KYAW KHIN, FATHER (through translator): I have never had problems with them or against them. They just burned down my house.
NEWTON: This is some of the aftermath of what has been two years of violence against Muslims perpetrated by extreme Buddhists. The government says at least 150 people have been killed, more than 140,000 left homeless. As is Khin's family of ten, now scraping by on $3 a day, the children unable to go to school.
KHIN (through translator): I'm still feeling unsafe and scared. Something could happen to us again today or tomorrow.
NEWTON (on camera): For decades, Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, were living here peacefully. But that doesn't mean religious tensions weren't simmering here all along, even during Myanmar's former military dictatorship.
NEWTON (voice-over): A resurgent Buddhist nationalist movement preaching that Islam is a threat has been accused of stoking the violence. So far, the government seems unable to quell the attacks and resettled displaced Muslim families in the communities they have called home for generations.
DAVID MATHIESON, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Until you actually get people to calm down and divert their attention with development, employment, and education, then any kind of returns are going to be a very long way off.
NEWTON: Monk U-Awbasa was a leader of the 2007 Saffron Revolution against military rule. He is now trying to mediate, worried religious extremists are damaging the Buddhist faith here.
U-AWBASA, MONK AND FORMER LEADER OF SAFFRON REVOLUTION (through translator): Now we are training the people in some of the villages about how to be careful not to allow a conflict to happen and how to live peacefully with other religions.
NEWTON: The stakes are clear for this country just now emerging from decades of military rule. President Thein Sein has said sectarian violence threatens the reform process, but observers are calling on the government to do more.
JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a matter of great interest to the entire world community because it's a key test of whether Myanmar is going to honor international standards on human rights.
NEWTON: Muslim families tell us they now feel prejudice and much worse -- hatred -- from the Buddhist majority they have always known as neighbors and friends.
Paula Newton, CNN, Yangon.
MANN: Myanmar's opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been criticized in the past for not speaking up enough about violence against Muslims. She's since gone on to criticize government policies, but says people shouldn't be looking to her to find a solution. CNN's Atika Shubert spoke with her in London and began by asking her about what the present government should be doing.
AUNG SAN SUU KY, MYANMAR OPPOSITION LEADER: Rule of law is essential. They've got to start by establishing rule of law. There's got to be accountability, there's got to be rule of law. All our different peoples and communities have to feel safe and secure before we can start a genuine process of reconciliation.
You can't achieve reconciliation between people who are frightened of one another, who think that the other side is going to kill them or damage them in some way or the other.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The 2015 elections are coming up, and you have stated that you would like to run for president but the constitution currently bars you from doing so, so how would you -- how do you plan to achieve that goal? What will it take? And do you have the political power that it takes to really succeed there?
AUNG SAN SUU KYI: In the end, it's the people's power that will count, because there is now a committee appointed by the legislature to reassess the constitution. And that has to put its report in by the end of December, by the end of this year.
So, it's a very, very important time for us, and my party, the National League for Democracy, is running a campaign acquainting the public with the issues that we're addressing related to the constitution.
And this movement, I understand, is very successful. So I believe that the constitution will be amended sooner or later, and I'd rather sooner than later.
SHUBERT: You've gone from political icon now to just essentially another member of parliament, and with that comes a lot of unpopularity, criticism as well. How do you deal with that transition? What's been the biggest challenge for you?
AUNG SAN SUU KYI: Well, what my -- to me, the great surprise is that people keep saying -- talking as if I were never criticized before. I was subjected to the greatest criticism for over 20 years because some said I was too intransigent, I was not as flexible with the government as I should be.
And I'm always surprised when people speak as if I've just become a politician. I've been a politician all along. I started into politics not as a human rights defender or a -- a humanitarian worker, but as the leader of a political party. And if that's not been a politician, I don't know what is. So for me, it's -- it's just work as usual.
MANN: Aung San Suu Kyi speaking to our Atika Shubert. And for much more of Paula Newton's reporting from Myanmar, be sure to watch our special half-hour program, "On the Road Myanmar." You can catch it at 10:30 AM Saturday if you're watching from London.
Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, what's in store for the next Thor? A sneak preview into the second installment of the blockbuster film franchise up next.
MANN: Welcome back. One of my favorite parts of the program: what's hot on next week's entertainment agenda. Well, with Halloween just around the corner, a classic horror film gets a second go-around, and if fresh blood is what you're after, post-punk rock group Savages, new on the scene at the Mercurys. Becky Anderson, now, with your essential Preview.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On this edition of CNN Preview, Savages ready to battle.
ANDERSON: Plus Thor's mighty hammer strikes the box office.
CHRIS HEMSWORTH AS THOR, "THOR: THE DARK WORLD": Anyone else?
CHLOE GRACE MORETZ AS CARRIE WHITE, "CARRIE": There are other people out there like me who can do what I can do.
ANDERSON: We begin with a controversial remake of a horror classic just in time for Halloween. Stephen King's first novel, "Carrie," was brought to the big screen in 1976 with Sissy Spacek as the bullied teen with supernatural gifts.
MORETZ: I definitely could relate to her in different ways. I think the fact that she is so awkward around people her age is the same way I am. That's not my strong suit. Being around teenagers my age I find so terrifying and is scary, frankly, for me to be around them.
And I feel that's the same way with Carrie. She doesn't get along -- she doesn't understand them, and they don't understand her. There's a disconnection there.
ANDERSON: Critics are currently enjoying a furious serious battle between old-schoolers who prefer the original bloodfest, and those with an appetite for new blood. For those brave enough, "Carrie" can be found in movie theaters from October through January 2014.
JEHNNY BETH, SINGER, SAVAGE: Let's all make some noise!
ANDERSON: The London-based post-punk band Savages have won rave reviews for their debut album "Silence Yourself." French singer Jehnny Beth says constant touring helped them refine their music on the road. CNN Preview caught up with them at Denmark's Roskilde Festival.
BETH: With Savages, we've started writing songs for stage. So we had the idea of a performance before any idea of recording.
So it was a conscious decision and it was our goal. It was to try to write music that had enough nuances so it could move people, like a roller coaster music, going up and down, fast and slow. So when we went to the studio, basically we had toured the songs for a year.
ANDERSON: The band has been nominated for next week's Mercury Music Prize where they'll compete against albums by artists including David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, James Blake, and Laura Marling.
BETH: Music compared to music is a little bit boring. Of course, I listen to a lot of music, but I listen to a lot of different kinds of music and a lot of different genres. I listen to jazz, to reggae, to rock. It's a shame to reduce music to music. Music can be linked to so many other arts.
ANDERSON: Boring or not, we'll have a roundup of the Mercury Prize results on next week's CNN Preview.
Lightning and thunder rained down on the red carpet for the world premier of "Thor: The Dark World." Australian actor Chris Hemsworth takes charge of this Marvel adventure in a film that picks up where "The Avengers" left off.
Fan favorite Tom Hiddleston returns as Thor's mischievous brother Loki.
TOM HIDDLESTON AS LOKI, "THOR: THE DARK WORLD": I like her.
ANDERSON: And Natalie Portman reprises her role as the feisty physicist Jane Foster. So, what to expect from the second installment of the Thor franchise? Well, over to the cast for a quick explainer.
HEMSWORTH: Thor and the warriors through him have been policing the universe and putting out the fires that have sort of -- run riot since the chaos of the first film. We see a more mature Thor, certainly a battle- worn Thor, he's sort of been through a lot more since then. And I'm beginning to understand the weight and the burden that comes with the responsibility of potentially being king.
CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON, ACTOR: I play Malekith, who is the leader of the Dark Elves, who are the villains of the film. The Dark Elves are ancient creatures and ancient enemies of the Asgardians and of Thor and his father. And they are out for revenge over a humiliating defeat which happened centuries before.
HIDDLESTON: And nobody knows how to find the Dark Elves except for Loki. So Thor has to go down to prison and ask for his old enemies.
HEMSWORTH AS THOR: Know that when you betray me, I will kill you.
HIDDLESTON AS LOKI: When do we start?
ANDERSON: "Thor: The Dark World" is unleashed upon audiences globally from October the 30th.
I'm Becky Anderson. That is it for this edition of CNN Preview.
MANN: Watch out for the hammer. In tonight's Parting Shots, a picture fit for a prince. Pictures, in fact, taken Wednesday at the christening of the royal baby Prince George, shown with his grandparents, uncles, and aunt.
What makes it a particular historic photo session is this: the queen appears with the three heirs to the throne of Britain and the Commonwealth, which is to say the current monarch and three monarchs-to-come. It's a glimpse of the future of Britain's monarchy. Prince George was christened at St. James's Palace.
I'm Jonathan Mann, this has been CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching. You're watching CNN.