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CONNECT THE WORLD
Edward Snowden Writes Letter To German Parliament; French Football Clubs Say New Tax Rate Will Kill Football; Taliban Leader Purportedly Killed In Pakistan; Israelis Destroy Two Tunnels In Gaza
Aired November 1, 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: One person is dead and several others are wounded after a gunman went on a rampage with an assault rifle at Los Angeles International Airport. No word on the cause or the motive, no word on the identity of the gunman. But the gunman is said to be in custody. The incident is now over.
I'm Jonathan Mann at CNN Center, and this is Connect the World.
We can now turn to our other top story this hour, senior U.S. and Pakistani government officials tell CNN that Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has been killed in a drone strike. The Pakistani Taliban says a funeral for Mehsud will be held tomorrow, but similar claims about his death have been made in the past only to prove untrue.
Intelligence sources and tribal officials say two missiles were fired into the remote Waziristan region along the Afghan border. Three other people were also killed. One missile hit a compound, and another hit a nearby car.
Hakimullah Mehsud took over the Pakistani Taliban in 2009 after the group's previous leader Bitullah Mehsud (ph) was killed in a U.S. drone strike as well.
Hakimullah Mehsud was believed to be about 34 years old and a member of the same tribe in south Waziristan as his predecessor.
Mehsud commanded some 8,000 Taliban fighers in Pakistan's tribal regions. And he was wanted for a string of terror attacks in Pakistan dating back to 2007.
Well, for more on this, we cross the CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson standing by in our London studios. Nic, what have you been able to learn?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's still a slightly confused picture, at least that's how it's being portrayed by what one source described to me as blood relatives as Hakimullah Mehsud. These blood relatives, meaning his family, are saying that three people were killed, two of them, this source says, are people -- a bodyguard an a driver -- that would have always been with Hakimullah Mehsud.
The family also saying that there may have been some women injured in this strike, all unclear.
Now what this source says, and what we know as well from past experience is that when a senior Taliban figure is killed, the family don't tend to offer up that information immediately. So what we're hearing from government officials from intelligence sources in Pakistan all saying that he's dead. The family are sort of holding out and not admitting to it if it is true at this stage. So there still is a little bit of confusion.
And the source does give this guidance that a lot of these officials that are commenting are a long way away from the house that was targeted. Those family members are close by.
But let's look at what happened when Mehsud took over -- when Hakimullah Mehsud took over four years ago from Betullah Mehsud (ph), even when that was happening the Taliban hadn't announced at this stage that Betullah Mehsud (Ph) was dead. So it may be some time before they actually acknowledge it, John.
MANN: And again, so Hakimullah Mehsud, reports of his death have been vastly exaggerated in the past.
ROBERTSON: They have. And one of the reasons is that drones are fired from pilotless aircraft in the sky. And there isn't somebody available on the ground who can go in and check up on the information and find out who was hit. That's one of the complaints from the people who live in the region, one of the complaints from the Pakistani government.
But again there's a lot of evidence that the family are giving here without admitting that he is dead by saying that the two people who used to travel with him and be with him all the time, bodyguard and the driver, or almost all the time they were killed.
And Hakimullah Mehsud as well would have been a prime target for the CIA. He was the one that claimed responsibility for that attack on the CIA base in Afghanistan that killed seven CIA officials at the end of 2009.
That supposedly at the time was in retribution for his predecessor being killed in a drone strike, John.
MANN: And now these latest reports. Nic Robertson in London, thanks very much.
Still to come tonight, we'll report on the rising tide of sectarian violence in Iraq as the country's prime minister visits Washington looking for help.
MANN: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Jonathan Mann. Welcome back.
NSA leaker Edward Snowden says he'd like to testify in front of U.S. lawmakers in Washington, this according to the German member of parliament Hans-Christian Stroebele who met Snowden in Moscow Thursday. During a news conference, Stroebele praised Snowden as an important witness who performed a valuable service to Germany.
Fred Pleitgen has this report from Berlin.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The German parliamentarian Hans- Christian Stroebele from the opposition Green Party said that he met with Edward Snowden in Moscow on Thursday. And as the two of them had talks for about three hours. The main topic of those talks was, of course, what the NSA has allegedly been doing here in Europe and specifically in Germany, for instance, allegedly tapping Angela Merkel's phone, but also listening in on phone conversations here as well as tapping into Internet communications on a very grand scale here in this country.
Now what Stroebele wants to know from Edward Snowden was whether or not he'd be willing to come to Germany and possibly testify in front of a parliamentary inquiry committee. Snowden apparently said that he would be willing to do that if the circumstances were right. But Snowden apparently also told the German parliamentarian that his biggest wish is to testify in Washington in front of the U.S. Congress. And he apparently also made clear to the parliamentarian that all the things that he's doing right now with the leaks of all the NSA information and also the information from other U.S. intelligence services was not directed against the American people, but directed against American institutions that he says have gone rogue.
HANS-CHRISTIAN STROEBELE, GERMAN PARLIAMENTARIAN (through translator): He didn't appear to be against America or anti-American. On the contrary, he stressed many times to my question if he is ready to come before the German parliament to testify that he'd rather go before the U.S. Congress and put all the facts on the table, because his message is about clarifying possible serious offenses by the USA.
PLEITGEN: The big question, of course, is whether or not it would be feasible or even realistic for Edward Snowden to ever come here to Germany. One of the things that we have to understand is that Hans-Christian Stroebele is a politician who is somewhat of a renegade here in the German parliamentary process. He's very much liked by the German public.
However, the things that he does are not necessarily in line with what the German government, specifically, German chancellor Angela Merkel would want to do.
And the other big question is what would happen if he actually came here. Certainly Snowden's lawyer went out in public on Friday and said that he would not advise Edward Snowden to try to travel to Germany out of fear of losing what is currently his safe haven in Russia.
Of course, his situation there is somewhat in limbo. He does have that temporary asylum status. And that is something that his lawyer says Edward Snowden should not jeopardize.
So, big question would be whether or not he could actually come over here. One of the things that's being talked about here in Germany is whether or not the German government might send a delegation to Moscow to try and talk to Snowden there. However, of course, the big question with that would be whether or not the Russians would allow the Germans to even do that.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.
MANN: Snowden also wrote a letter to the German authorities which was distributed to the media. In it he wrote that he was looking forward to speaking with German authorities, adding that he was, quote, heartened by the response to my act of political expression in both the United States and beyond.
This has been one of the most viewed stories on our website all day. And you can read more about this latest turn in the Snowden affair at CNN.com/international.
UN's special representative for Syria says he hopes to hold peace talks as soon as possible. But Lakhdar Brahimi insists there's no point in negotiations if only one side is at the table. The Syrian government has already agreed to participate, but the opposition says they are not coming unless Syrian President Bashar al-Assad resigns.
Israeli war planes have taken aim on an unusual target on the border with Gaza. This video distributed by the Israeli defense forces shows an explosion in the desert. Matthew Chance reports the target was a tunnel and there (inaudible).
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is certainly one of the most severe clashes in Gaza for several months. Four Palestinians killed, five Israeli soldiers injured as the Israeli military destroyed two tunnels inside Gaza. Images released by the Israeli military show that blowing up a section of one tunnel which they say could have been used by Palestinian militants to kidnap Israelis is the operation took place, Israeli military officials who say militants detonated a bomb injuring those five Israeli soldiers and one Palestinian.
The militant who Hamas says was one of their members, was killed by an Israeli tank shell fired in response, that's according to Palestinian medical officials.
Shortly afterwards, Israel says it carried out air strikes against the second tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip. Hamas says attacks by Israeli helicopters and tanks killed another three of its fighters in the area. Again, one of the most serious upsurges in fighting in Gaza since a truce was agreed between Israel and Hamas in November of last year.
Matthew Chance, CNN, Jerusalem.
MANN: CNN has learned that a group of CIA operatives will testify to the U.S. Congress about the 2012 Benghazi terror attack that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens. The group, which includes former Navy SEALs and army special forces, responded to the embassy the night of the attack -- actually it was a consulate -- a classified briefing will take place later this month.
Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up, football club fury: attacks that these men say could kill France's favorite sport.
And a new line Germany could help parents of newborns facing an unusual dilemma. All that and more coming up on Connect the World.
MANN: You're watching Connect the World live from CNN Center. Welcome back. I'm Jonathan Mann.
French football clubs won't be let off the hook for a new tax on salaries over 1 million euros, that's about $1.4 million. French President Francois Hollande told football club leaders on Thursday they will not be exempted from his planned 75 percent tax. Mr. Hollande hopes the tax will help shrink France's massive budget deficit. Clubs say the plan will endanger their future as many of them are already heavily in debt.
Well, French football clubs plan to strike on the last weekend of November. And that's what's gotten all this attention.
World Sport's Don Riddell joins us now.
Now to be clear, it's not the players who are getting the money who are going to pay the tax, it's the clubs. But they say there will be no football for the weekend at the end of this month. Is this really going to happen?
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, their concern is that they're just going to kill football altogether in France, because of course these guys earn a lot of money. And it's not the French football clubs that necessarily decide how much the players are going to pay, it's the market, the marketplace. And these guys aren't necessarily all from France, they come from all over the world. And if they don't play in France they could play in several other countries that would happy pay them those salaries.
So this is the problem. I mean, French football hasn't had a strike since 1972, that's over 40 years. I don't think they really want to go on strike, but clearly they feel as though they don't really have any other options. They've been lobbying the French government really, really hard to try and make sure that this doesn't happen.
There is still a month to go, so they might be able to kind of negotiate through back channels a way out of this. But, I mean, this is the concern that they'll go on strike.
And the essential argument -- and we're going to hear a clip now illustrating this -- is that ultimately these players don't have to play in France. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK MIGNON, NATIONAL INSTITUTION OF SPORT: The risk is that the clubs say that we won't be able to pay the player, but we reported this recent years and that players like Ibrahimovic, like all the players in Paris Saint Germain will go to Spain or go to England. This is what a footballer's priorities are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIDDELL: I'll give you an example here. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the big stars playing in France. He plays for Paris Saint Germain. He's Swedish. But just to pay him for one year his club are now going to have to pay an extra 8.7 million euros just on him alone to the French government. So you can see we're talking about a huge spike here in the amount of money that these clubs are going to have to pay.
MANN: So, how do fans feel? They want to see great players and winning club, but are they very sympathetic to the plight of millionaires trying to dodge taxes?
RIDDELL: Football fans are also taxpayers as well. And many of them aren't millionaires. So I think sympathy will be in short supply. There was a survey done in France last week which revealed that 85 percent of people in France, not necessarily football fans, thought that this tax should apply to the footballers as well.
But I think -- and one of the problems with France is that it's actually not a major football country. It's not like England or Italy where, you know, everybody is a football fan. It's different in France.
But I tell you what, the fans really will care if a lot of these players leave. If the quality of their football suffers. That means that their teams won't be as good in Europe and in the Champion's League. And ultimately if French football starts losing money, the French government might care at one point, because there's going to be less money being made for them to tax, something like a (inaudible) golden egg situation, perhaps.
MANN: Absolutely. Don Riddell watching this for us. Thanks very much.
Well, even without the introduction of a 75 percent super tax, France's current top tax rate is already among the highest in Europe. Those earning around $200,000 a year pay 45 percent in Germany. It's also 45 percent for top earners, those making more than $338,000.
In Spain, the top rate if 52 percent. Temporary measure, which is actually due to be cut in 2015.
In the UK, it is 45 percent for incomes above $240,000.
As we've mentioned, it would be the clubs, not the footballers themselves, who pay for the French tax rise. That is going to be costly.
Let's say a star player at Paris Saint Germain currently takes home $10 million a year after tax. Well, at France's current tax rate of 45 percent, the club is paying out roughly $15 million.
Now, after the super tax, the club has to pay more, a lot more. At 75 percent tax, for our star player still get their $10 million a year, the club would have to pay around $40 million.
That 75 percent tax, though, was a cornerstone of Francois Hollande's election campaign to the presidency. In a poll released this week, Hollande's popularity, maybe it's a coincidence, maybe it's not, fell to 26 percent. The worst approval rate of a French president ever recorded in the 32 year history of the BVA survey.
CNN's Richard Quest joins us now live from CNN London. Richard, we're talking about football players and football clubs, but football is just the smallest part of this. There are a lot of other industries that pay their people well.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: They do pay their people well. And the problem for France is the budget deficit. How to get the budget deficit back under control so that it meets the (inaudible) criteria so that France gets back into the good books for the European commission and the European Union, but at the same time does not do such strategic damage to the economy in the wider sense.
And it's a very difficult balancing act to make.
In the United States, it happened two years ago, of course, with the battle between Obama and the -- and congress and the Republicans -- over increasing taxes, in the UK top taxes went to 50 percent before they came down again. And the sympathy vote, if you like, for football and football clubs is a pretty hard one to offer up.
I'm going to take the opposite point of view to Don Riddell, we're going to fight our corners here. He's taken the sport's point of view, I'm taking the economics point of view. Why should sports club be exempt from this? There will be a price to pay, but that's the price of putting the economy back into one piece.
MANN: Well, will there be an economic cost, though, to not just footballers, but executives? Software designers, some of the most talented, creative and successful people in the world suddenly thinking twice about staying in France.
QUEST: The Gerard Depardieu argument of moving up and going away. Mean, this is the oldest argument in the taxation book. I'm just about old enough to remember when the UK had a top rate of income tax with an investment surcharge of 98 percent.
Now then you're talking about a brain drain. And, yes, maybe Sir Richard Branson has decided to leave the UK and go to Nekkar Island (ph) because one reason may be -- although he says it's for lifestyle -- but maybe for tax.
But the truth is, it takes many more reasons than tax alone. All the studies, John, all the studies show before people up and go -- I'll give you an example, there was a lot of talk about people in the city of London moving to Switzerland when the top rate of tax in Britain went to 50 percent. It didn't happen.
I promise you with this 75 percent in France -- yes, it's a short-term measure. No, the long-term effects will be negligible.
MANN: Richard Quest, host of Quest Means Business, thanks very much.
We mean business to. Right now, though, we mean construction business. You may be hearing some of the noise we're hearing here in the studio. Nothing has gone awry, we're just getting busy making this a more wonderful place.
The headlines are just ahead, plus Iraq's prime minister visits Washington, D.C. for the first time in more than two years. Will he get the support he's asking for?
And, parents met with difficult choices find help from a new German loan (ph) or do they? All that an more when Connect the World continues.
MANN: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Jonathan Mann with the top stories this hour. A deadly shooting at Los Angeles' LAX Airport has left a Transportation Safety Administration agent dead and at least seven more wounded. The gunman was shot by police and taken into custody. He's believed to have acted alone. CNN spoke to several witnesses at the scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a guy downstairs, started shooting, and one guy fell down. Panic erupted and he was setting up through the security check.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: So, you were standing in line and you saw the man open fire? Describe what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just three loud pops, and everybody started panicking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANN: Sources --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH RICHARDSON, WITNESS (via telephone): I would think there were at least eight shots.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: What was happening around you?
RICHARDSON: Just pure and utter mayhem. People were tripping over each other on the floor, bags everywhere, crying, screaming.
GORDON, WITNESS: I stood up, was still trying to watch and see where it was coming from. See if I could see the shooter, but I never did actually see him. But you could -- I could hear him yelling while he was shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: What was he yelling?
GORDON: I couldn't make it out. It was just really angry. I just really couldn't make out what he was saying. But it was English. It was just -- real angry voice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANN: Sources tell CNN that Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has been killed in a drone strike in the northwestern part of the country. Mehsud's funeral will reportedly be held tomorrow, but similar claims about Mehsud's death have been made in the past only to be proven untrue.
National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden says he would like to testify to US lawmakers in Washington. That according to the German member of parliament, Hans-Christian Stroebele, who met Edward Snowden in Moscow on Thursday.
The UN special representative for Syria says he hopes to hold peace talks as soon as possible, but Lakhdar Brahimi insists there's no point in negotiations if only one side is at the table. The Syrian government has already agreed to participate, but the opposition says it will not be coming unless Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is willing to resign.
It's been nearly two years since the last American troops pulled out of Iraq, but the official ending of the US war there has done little to secure lasting peace.
More than 6,000 people have been killed in bombings and other attacks across Iraq this past year alone, and the rising tide of sectarian violence coupled with the lack of true democratic government is tearing at the fabric of what remains a country in crisis.
Those issues were at the top of the agenda as Iraq prime minister Nouri al-Maliki arrived at the White House for a meeting with US president Barack Obama. Mr. Maliki is asking the US for help to improve security and crack down on militants.
The two leaders wrapped up their meeting a short time ago. The Reuter News Agency says, among other things, both men talked about how to push back against Iraq's al Qaeda-linked group.
Nouri al-Maliki is facing a security challenge that's getting increasingly worse. The United Nations says that 979 Iraqis died in attacks across the country in October alone, the deadliest month in Iraq in the past five years. CNN's Arwa Damon looks behind the numbers at the victims of the violence.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We don't know her age or her name. What we do know is that she and her classmates were at school in a predominately Shia area in Northern Iraq. A suicide truck bomber exploded outside.
The violence never really ended in Iraq. Explosions that turned coffee shops like this one, where people gather to watch a soccer game, into a graveyard. Much of the recent increase in attacks is blamed on the al Qaeda-led group the Islamic State of Iraq.
The US military used to boast of the success of having broken the terrorist organization's back. But now, nearly two years after the Americans fully withdrew, al Qaeda has undeniably resurrected itself.
The country's security forces were never really capable of stabilizing the nation, especially without US support and technology. And let's not forget that this is a nation where violence and politics go hand-in-hand.
Earlier this year, we traveled to Iraq's Sunni heartland in al-Anbar province, the epicenter of the mounting anger against Shia prime minister Nouri al-Maliki's government. The men we met accuse the government of oppressing the Sunnis and indiscriminately throwing them behind bars. Political reconciliation, they believe, is an utter sham.
"We are certain that al-Maliki is a liar. The political process is just a game," Sheikh Ali Hatem Suleiman, one of the tribal leaders, told us.
The actions of the Shia-led government have made it easy for al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists to capitalize on the growing discontent, spread their influence, and increase their attacks. There have also been retaliatory attacks by the Shia against the Sunnis. And in recent months, the death toll has reached levels not seen in years.
The UN envoy to Iraq called it "an accelerated surge in violence," an acceleration the Syrian civil war has helped fuel, blurring battle lines as al Qaeda expanded its Iraq operation into Syria over the summer.
Earlier this week, as Maliki departed Iraq for Washington, with whom there is a very tenuous relationship, he blamed the war in Syria for the resurgence of al Qaeda and the violence in his country. "We, in fact, need defensive weapons to protect Iraq's airspace and sovereignty," he stated.
But it's not guns or air power that are really going to bring about stability. It's a political maturity that neither the prime minister nor other key players in Iraq seem to have.
Arwa Damon, CNN.
MANN: Earlier, I spoke to Paul Bremer, who was the Bush administration's man on the ground for 14 months following the overthrow of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein back in 2003. We talked about Iraq's problems and whether they're because of the way the United States pulled out of the country or Nouri al-Maliki himself.
PAUL BREMER, FORMER US CIVIL ADMINISTRATOR OF IRAQ: I think the withdrawal of the troops was an American decision that was a mistake. Maliki has found himself in a difficult position in which, with the American influence gone, the Iranians have moved in, al Qaeda in Iraq has revived and, indeed, there are signs even of a revival of the Sunni insurgency in Anbar province as well, of course, of the collapse in Syria.
On the other hand, al-Maliki is certainly not guilt-free. He has narrowed the political scope of action very much in the last couple of years, and I think that's the serious political consequence of our waning influence.
MANN: Let me ask you if, in fact, he might be responsible for more than just that. A lot of people say there are no US troops in Iraq because al-Maliki refused to make it possible to come to an agreement that would have allowed them to stay, that he has been high-handed if not utterly dictatorial in his treatment of opponents and in his treatment of ethnic communities, that he's really tried to run Iraq by himself. And in the chaos he inherited, he needed to establish more consensus.
BREMER: I think the second part of that, about al-Maliki's closing down of the political circle is indeed something he did. And I -- as I said earlier, I think he's not guilt-free. I believe we could have kept the troops there. I think a deal could have been done. But that now is past history. What's happened is, in terms of the political implications in Iraq, al-Maliki has indeed clamped down.
And I -- I don't know what will be done in terms of the conversations the president and his colleagues will have with al-Maliki, but my view of what we should say is, look, we're not going to give you more military equipment and assistance unless you also commit yourself to reopening the political dialogue, having a more inclusive country. And in particular we are looking to free and fair elections next spring, as called for by the Iraqi constitution.
MANN: You were a key player. You used to, essentially, run Iraq as much as any one man did. You were a key player in a project to make Iraq better off and to rid it of weapons of mass destruction by getting rid of Saddam Hussein. Let me ask you if there are days when you ask yourself if everyone in Iraq would've been better off if Saddam Hussein were still there and if America had never shown up?
BREMER: I ask myself the question, and it's answered very easily. And the answer is no. The Iraqi people are remarkably better off. Even with the violence we're seeing there today, it's about one-eighth of what it was every year for 20 years under Saddam Hussein.
Per capita income is six times what it was under Saddam Hussein. More Iraqis have access to potable water. Infant mortality has fallen. You can go right through the economic and essential services. They are remarkably better off.
And I would add from an American point of view, it's now clear if we had left Saddam in power, we'd be faced today with the prospects of a nuclear-armed Iraq facing a punitive nuclear Iran. We would certainly have a much more difficult geopolitical situation if Saddam were still in power. So the answer is, they are better off and America's better off.
MANN: Paul Bremer. An update on the Los Angeles LAX Airport shooting: US intelligence now says they don't see any indication that the deadly shooting was terror related. Hours ago, a Transportation Safety Agency officer was shot and killed. Another was shot in the leg. The gunman was shot by police and his being held in custody.
Live from CNN Center, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Stigmatized from birth, German lawmakers work to protect children of the third sex. We'll bring you details next.
And Britain celebrates the album at the Mercury Awards in London. CNN Preview just ahead.
MANN: Welcome back. A new law in Germany allows parents of children born with the characteristics of both genders to register their child as a third sex. The law coming into force today is the first in Europe to allow a third sex category on birth certificates. CNN's Fionnuala Sweeney got the perspective from a couple who were both born intersex.
FIONNUALA SWEENY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Claudia Kreuzer says she was born with male and female sexual characteristics. Claudia and partner Francis identify themselves as intersex. They say the often feel stigmatized because other people want to fit them into the typical male-female gender roles.
CLAUDIA KREUZER, INTERSEX (through translator): Since you are the unknown gender, you are often refused at first sight. If humans cannot allocate something, they are often suspicious and careful.
SWEENEY: German parents will now be allowed to leave the field for gender blank on birth certificates, effectively creating a third category for indeterminate sex. Supporters of the new law say this takes the pressure off parents to immediately assign a child's gender.
MICHAEL WUNDER, GERMAN ETHICS COUNCIL (through translator): However, this raises many questions. It is only a first step in my view. For example, it is still unclear what happens when these children grow older. Are they obliged to decide whether they want to be male or female?
SWEENEY: Intersex advocates call the new law only a first step towards acceptance. German officials have yet to make clear how it will impact marriage and partnership laws.
SABINE LEUTHEUSSER-SCHNARRENBERGER, FDP, FEDERAL MINISTER OF JUSTICE (through translator): Of course we have to talk about the legal consequences as well, such as marriage. But it will still take some time as society is not yet ready.
SWEENEY: Fionnuala Sweeney, CNN.
MANN: How do medical authorities define intersex? Experts say it's when a child can't be identified as male or female because of physical variations as well as less visible differences in a child's hormonal or genetic makeup. Experts estimate there's one intersex child born for every 1500 to 2000 births, but that's an estimate. Advocates say the number is much larger because of the difficulties in defining intersexuality.
German lawmakers hope their new law will remove pressure on parents to opt for surgery on their children. Dr. Annand Saggar is a lecturer and senior consultant in clinical genetics joining us now live from CNN London.
Let me ask you first of all, Doctor, to explain what we're talking about. For most of us, we're just mystified by this. What does it mean when someone is born with both genders or neither gender? Are we talking about people with the reproductive organs of both men and women?
SAGGAR: Yes, I think that's a very common misconception that when you're born with intersex, it's not about having both forms of genitalia, a penis and a vagina.
It's normally a disorder of sexual development, which means that you either have too small a penis for what you think should be a boy or too large a clitoris for what you think should be a female. So, intersex is that sort of "I'm not sure what this is," really.
MANN: And typically, what happens to children like that when they're delivered? Do parents just assign them a gender and have the child struggle to live it?
SAGGAR: Well, as your piece first said, it's very uncommon to have a situation where you really can't decide whether this is a boy or girl from looking at the genitalia. And that's -- I put the figure in Europe, at least, around 1 in 4,500. But that's when you really can't decide.
However, where a clinician is not really sure whether this is a boy or girl, then that's about 1 in 300. So, with the confusions can sometimes occur quite commonly, but that's usually to sort it out so that 99 percent of the time, it's fairly obvious and clear which gender the child should be.
The issue then is, of course, what surgery is required, how effective that surgery might be or how mutilating it might be, and then other issues and consequences about bringing up the child.
MANN: Does the German law make sense to you? Does it seem like a meaningful reform or, to be frank, does it stigmatize the child a second way? They've already got this predicament with their bodies, and now it's going to be on paper for the world to see.
SAGGAR: I would agree that you have to be careful. We need to differentiate between a birth certificate and a passport. I think if I'm correct, in the UK at least, you have 42 days to register the birth. But in Germany, you have 7 days.
And in my opinion, that may be far too soon for parents to come to terms with what they're seeing in their child, for the doctors to have had time to adequately -- even some of the tests to come through to determine what the chromosomal genetic gender may be of the child.
And so, I think there is a need for a delay. The question really is whether or not you can change that gender later on. Otherwise, you do, you stigmatize the child. And we have to give birth certificates for schools. And maybe the child looks very, very female or male. So, you do need to have some leeway later on.
MANN: It's a lot to grapple with. Dr. Annand Saggar, thanks so much for talking with us.
SAGGAR: My pleasure.
MANN: An update on the Los Angeles LAX Airport shooting: law enforcement sources tell CNN that the suspect in the shooting is a 23-year- old man with addresses in Los Angeles and New Jersey. We still have not confirmed his name yet. A US intelligence official says they don't see any indication that the deadly shooting is terror-related.
Hours ago, a Transportation Safety Administration officer was shot and killed, another was shot in the leg. The gunman was shot by police. He's being held in custody.
Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, we'll be talking to the biggest names in British music about the award worth $30,000 on tonight's CNN Preview.
MANN: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from CNN Center. I'm Jonathan Mann. Musicians from a score of genres turned out for the Barclay Card Mercury Prize in London this week. The award offers plenty of exposure to the musicians nominated, but only one takes home the prize for Best Album. CNN's Becky Anderson brings you this week's Preview.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Musicians of many musical genres joined forces in London this week for the Barclay Card Mercury Prize, the prestigious award which celebrates the album and only the album. 220 British and Irish artists were reduced to a short list of 12 for the event at the famous Roundhouse venue.
(MUSIC - "MY NUMBER" BY FOALS)
YANNIS PHILIPPAKIS, FOALS: I think it was a good year for music in terms of the creative aspect.
(MUSIC - "GREEN GARDEN" BY LAURA MVULA)
(MUSIC - "NOTHING ARRIVED" BY VILLAGERS)
CONOR O'BRIEN, VILLAGERS: It's very inspiring to hear music that's just completely images of people losing their minds.
(MUSIC - "SHUT UP" BY SAVAGES)
(MUSIC - "FEEL THE LOVE" BY RUDIMENTAL)
AMIR AMOR, RUDIMENTAL: It's just about representing UK music with a body of work, and that's really important.
(MUSIC - "LIGHTNING BOLT" BY JAKE BUGG)
(MUSIC - "F FOR YOU" BY DISCLOSURE)
(MUSIC - "COLLIDER" BY JOHN HOPKINS)
JOHN HOPKINS, MUSICIAN: I always like to make -- I almost like to tell a story through the course of an album, and this one in particular. I like it to be mostly up to the listener what that story is, but I like to make it very clear that there's an emotional journey going on from start to finish.
(MUSIC - "DO I WANNA KNOW" BY ARCTIC MONKEYS)
ANDERSON: The short list included David Bowie's 24th album, "The Next Day." None of the other artists were even born when he released his first, but many were delighted to be sharing the spotlight with such an influential musician.
AMOR: I love David Bowie. We called our studio "Major Tom's" after his lyrics, so yes, big fan of David Bowie.
O'BRIEN: I'm certainly (inaudible), but so important. When I was growing up, in school, we were being fed "Green Day" and "Offspring" and all these sort of -- we were being fed the music once it had been sanitized a little bit, and you have to go back in time to find the real stuff, and that was Bowie and the Velvet Underground and pre-comp music.
ANDERSON: The death of Lou Reed was also on the minds of Arctic Monkeys this week.
ALEX TURNER, ARCTIC MONKEYS: There's a sort of -- there's a certain type of shiver that goes down your spine when you find out news about someone like -- when someone like that dies, yes, there's definitely a certain kind of tingle that's sort of a shock for a moment.
I mean, we felt compelled, certainly to do a tribute to him, I suppose. And we did that in Liverpool the other night, we did a version of "Walk on the Wild Side," kind of threw together and really enjoyed playing it. And it was -- so I probably -- it was certainly the best song in that set, no doubt about that.
ANDERSON: The winner receives a $30,000 cash prize, but the real value of the award is in the exposure the event gives to the artists' work irrespective of album sales.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The winner of the 2013 Barclay Card Mercury Prize is James Blake!
JAMES BLAKE, MERCURY PRIZE WINNER: I admit, that I thank my parents for showing me the importance of being self-sufficient.
ANDERSON: The award came as such a shock that he forgot to pick up the trophy and had to return to the stage.
BLAKE: Forgot about that one.
ANDERSON: But that little lapse couldn't detract from a night which capped what has been a great year for James Blake.
BLAKE: I just didn't really expect any of this, if I'm honest. Not when a few years ago, when I was making just a couple beats, really, and trying to lay my vocals in, it didn't occur to me that anyone would really start listening. And there have been some great accolades, and I'm fortunate for that.
ANDERSON: Next week, we'll Preview the steamy crime thriller, "The Counselor," with a high-powered cast of Bardem, Cruz, Diaz, Fassbender, and Brad Pitt. But that's all from me, Becky Anderson, this week and from CNN Preview.
MANN: A Norwegian town that can't see the sun for most of the year is now living on the bright side thanks to a new high-tech application of an old idea. Mari Ramos reports.
MARI RAMOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's like flipping a switch on the sun. A small town in Norway is getting some much- needed sunshine thanks to a 100-year-old idea.
OYSTEIN HAUGAN, MANAGER, SUN MIRROR PROJECT: We take the mirror and reflect the sun down to us, so it's a crazy idea, but it's sunny, and I think the people like it.
RAMOS: Welcome to Rjukan, where they've installed three giant mirrors on the mountainside overlooking the town. You see, Rjukan sits in a narrow valley surrounded on all sides by mountains. From September to March, the town of about 3,000 people lives in perpetual shade. But not anymore.
HAUGAN: It's important to have the sun in wintertime, and in this town, we didn't have the sun six months a year in wintertime, and the people up here, they are -- they want to have the sun.
RAMOS: The idea was first proposed in 1913 by a local factory owner. But it went nowhere. A local artist reintroduced the idea recently, and now, the mirrors have finally become a reality. Nearly the entire town came out and cheered as the mirrors were used for the first time this week.
MARTIN ANDERSON, SUN MIRROR ARTIST AND INVENTOR (through translator): When I launched the idea, there was much skepticism, but I think that the local young people liked the idea, but that the older ones were more skeptical. But no great difference.
RAMOS: The high-tech mirrors are solar and wind-powered. They adjust automatically, constantly following the sun, catching its rays, and reflecting them down into the town square. At a cost of nearly $850,000, some call the mirrors an expensive gimmick. But most of the town's residents like the idea.
ARNE ALMUNDESEN, RJUKAN RESIDENT (through translator): For me, it doesn't matter, really, but it's good for the town. There's no doubt about it.
RAGNAR KLAAS, RJUKAN RESIDENT (through translator): It turns out that we are affected when there is no sun. It does something with the mind when you suddenly get sunlight.
RAMOS: And local officials are hoping the mirrors bring not only sunshine to the town, but put it in the spotlight for tourists as well.
Mari Ramos, CNN.
MANN: In tonight's Parting Shots, Banksy bids farewell to New York, ending a month-long street art residency in the Big Apple. The elusive artist said good-bye with a set of balloons reading "Banksy" tied to the side of a warehouse.
Every day in October, Banksy treated New Yorkers to new works of art, including stencils spray-painted on streets, walls of buildings, and under bridges, and a darkly comic piece of a Grim Reaper riding a bumper car with a narrator whispering "Welcome to the fair, which life isn't." Mystifying to say the least.
Let's recap our breaking news this hour, the Los Angeles International Airport shooting: a federal law enforcement official says authorities found materials and information on the suspect expressing anti-federal government sentiment and anger at the Transportation Safety Administration specifically.
Law enforcement sources tell CNN that the suspect is a 23-year-old man with addresses in Los Angeles in New Jersey. We haven't confirmed his name yet. A US intelligence source says it doesn't see any indication that the shooting is terror-related. One TSA officer was shot and killed, another shot in the leg. The gunman was shot by police and is being held in custody. Stay with us for more here on CNN.
I'm Jonathan Mann, you've been watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for being with us.