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CONNECT THE WORLD
U.S. President Outlines Proposed Changes To NSA; Interview with Glenn Greenwald; Interview with One Billion Rising Founder Eve Ensler
Aired January 17, 2014 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: And tonight, reining in the NSA: Barack Obama lays out what he considers to be major reforms of American spying practices. So has leaker Edward Snowden won? I'll ask the man who helped him, Glenn Greenwald and find out what he thinks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we did not end violence against women and girls this year. It didn't happen in a year. But we certainly made -- we brought the issue to the forefront.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Why global movement of activists are fighting injustice against women one dance move at a time.
And last man standing passes away: the amazing story of the Japanese soldier who refused to surrender years after his country's defeat in World War II.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very good evening. U.S. President Barack Obama today acted to curtail the powers of the National Security Agency, the country's top intelligence gathering body.
Now this comes after months of leaks from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that revealed widespread NSA gathering of data on millions of American phone and internet users.
Now Obama's main reforms include a new requirement. The NSA must get judicial permission before accessing phone records. He also announced that communications providers will be allowed to publicly share more details about U.S. government orders for information. And Mr. Obama introduced a ban on eavesdropping of foreign leaders who are American allies.
The president said the reforms were designed to strike a balance between freedom and secuirty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to make some important decisions about how to protect ourselves and sustain our leadership in the world while upholding the civil liberties and privacy protections that our ideals in our constitution require. We need to do so not only because it is right, but because the challenges posed by threats like terrorism and proliferation and cyber attacks are not going away any time soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, for more on today's reforms let's start with CNN's Evan Perez who is in Washington for you this evening.
What's the reaction in the U.S. capital?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, it depends on who you ask. If you talk to, you know, some of the privacy groups, some of the civil liberties groups, they're quite disappointed, because some of these changes are quite modest. The president is not talking about ending many of these programs, or any of them really. What he's talking about is about limited some of the ways the NSA collects data, especially overseas, they're going to introduce some more privacy protections for people overseas. And he says he's going to pick up the phone a lot more to talk to foreign leaders instead of having the NSA spy on them.
The biggest issue in the U.S. has been surrounding this metadata program, this program that collects data on pretty much every phone call that occurs inside this country. And that program is not going to end, it's probably going to be moved over to some new agency, or into the hands of the phone companies. And that's going to be worked out in the next few months. But he's not talking about ending these programs.
And in fact, a lot of the speech today, which was held in the Justice Department with a bunch of government lawyers in front of him was about defending the NSA, which, you know, the NSA a lot of the people of the NSA have been grumbling that the administration has not done enough to back them up and to defend their work, Becky.
ANDERSON: All right, so perhaps more questions than answers at this stage. But for the time being at least Evan in Washington thank you.
Snowden's disclosures paint a picture of an NSA with sweeping global powers. Do remember -- or let's have a look back at least at some of the things that we have learned since last June, then.
Documents released by Snowden show that the NSA has spied on the heads of state including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. Also, we learned about an NSA program called Prism that allowed the agency to access user information from the likes of Google and Facebook.
The companies have denied allowing direct access to their servers.
Well, Snowden's leaks reveal that the NSA is able to access data from smartphones, including contacts and text messages.
We also learn that the British intelligence agency, known as GCHQ, collected large amounts of internet users personal data before sharing it with the NSA. And the NSA systematically tried to influence encryption standards to make accessing Internet users' communications easier.
Well, given everything Snowden's leaks have taught us about how the NSA operates, do today's reforms go far enough?
Well, for more I'm joined now from Rio de Janeiro by Glenn Greenwald. He of course is the journalist who originally wrote about Edward Snowden's leaks. He's also a columnist on civil liberties and U.S. national security issues.
Thanks for joining us, Glenn.
Announcing a series of concrete and substantial reforms today, Barack Obama announced sweeping changes to the way U.S. intelligence snoops on America and the rest of the world. So mission accomplished for you and Snowden at this point?
GLENN GREENWALD, JOURNALIST: These are substantial. And I certainly don't agree that they're sweeping. There are some reasonable and positive steps that he proposed, although even those are quite vague, but the essence of the NSA system that has created such worldwide anger and debate, mainly that the NSA spies on hundreds of millions of people every day without even a whiff of suspicion that they've done something wrong will be preserved even if all of President Obama's proposals are implemented.
And I think the changes are far more cosmetic and symbolic than they are substantive or sweeping.
ANDERSON: Let me put it to you that you're being unfair.
He outlined a number of reforms that would increase transparency into the collection of metadata and the legal rationale for it. He also called for the creation of a panel of outsider that will represent the public before the FISA court. He also said that a court order will now be required before the government can access -- can get access to that data. These are pretty substantial and substantive, that's his word, given that beforehand, as you have suggested, they've just been snooping on individuals with no oversight at all.
GREENWALD: No, they're not actually. And if you look at the controversy that has been triggered in the United States and around the world and what that debate has been about, I think you'll find that very little of that is actually affected in a meaningful way by what President Obama has proposed.
I agree, that putting an advocate before the FISA court and tightening up some of the restrictions on how foreign leaders can be spied on are good ideas, although again he offered very little specifics about, for example, what those standards will be or who will hold the metadata.
But what has caused the controversy and the anger is the idea that we have a secret surveillance agency that every single day collects hundreds of millions, actually billions of datapoints about people's telephone and email calls even though they're completely law abiding and innocent. And he has not proposed to end any of that or really to stop that in a meaningful way. That will endure. And that's why I think the changes are more at the margin than the center.
ANDERSON: Perhaps for this reason, Mr. Obama didn't directly address Snowden's case today. But he did, Glenn say, that the classified information that was leaked in recent months could impact U.S. security well into the future. And this going forward is a big problem for him. Let's just have a listen to what he said.
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OBAMA: If any individual who objects to government policy can take it into their own hands to publicly disclose classified information than we will to be able to keep our people safe or conduct foreign policy.
Moreover, the sensational way in which these disclosures have come out is often shed more heat than light while revealing methods to our adversaries that could impact our operations in ways that we may not fully understand for years to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: He says you've jeopardized national security and he can't have that.
GREENWALD: Every single time there has been a report over the last 50 years that has disclosed that which American political leaders want to keep secret, going back to the Pentagon Papers, through the Bush era, disclosures over torture and rendition and abuses at Abu Graib and all sorts of other programs including NSA abuses, the U.S. government says exactly the same thing, which is what President Obama just said. Oh, national security has been endangered by bringing transparency to our government. And there's never any evidence presented that it's true and there's been no evidence presented here that it's true.
The only thing that has been damaged by the disclosures is the reputation of American political officials like President Obama.
ANDERSON: There is also no evidence that national security hasn't been breached, that Americans aren't actually in a worse position now as a result of what you and Snowden have done. Come on.
GREENWALD: I think that statement that you just made is a illogical as it gets. What you're asking...
ANDERSON: But you told me, though, there's zero evidence that national security has been harmed...
GREENWALD: No, excuse me, if you want to make statements like that as inflammatory as the one you just made, you need to then remain quiet so that I can answer your question. If you want to just filibuster I'll hang up and you can go and do that to your audience alone without me.
I'm going to address what it is that you just said. What you're demanding is that evidence be presented of a negative. I also can't prove to you that the NSA isn't controlled by Martians. The presumption, the burden is on the government. If they want to come forward and say that national security has been damaged by these disclosures to present evidence that their claims are true.
They have a history of making that claim only for it turned out to be entirely false.
ANDERSON: All right, sir, we're going to have to leave it there. We do appreciate your time and what has been a very big day for I know you, Mr. Snowden and indeed the president of the United States of America. Glenn Greenwald, we thank you.
Well, this is one of the hottest trending stories for online right now, and one that has already gotten thousands of responses. We want to know what you think, did Mr. Obama go far enough? And what is the state of privacy where you live. Let us know, CNN.com/international.
Well, still to come tonight, Russia's president says gay and lesbian visitors don't have anything to fear when they come to the Winter Games in Sochi. (inaudible) ask them to, quote, leave our children in peace. We're live in Sochi just ahead.
And the 1 billion rising movement stand up for the rights of women and girls all over the world to live without fear of violence. My interview with social activist Eve Ensler is soon.
And with the French President already the subject of gossip, now a tabloid makes new claims about Francois Hollande's love life. All that and much more after this.
ANDERSON: This is CNN. This is also Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you in London. Welcome back, we're just days away from a conference ending Syria's long and bloody civil war.
Now the Syrian national coalition gathered today in Instanbul to discuss whether to attend what is known as Geneva II.
Now Syria's government is on board. Foreign minister Walid Moallem told his Russian counterpart today that he would be open to a prisoner swap with the rebels. He also gave Sergei Lavrov a cease-fire proposal for Aleppo. Lavrov expressed frustration that the main opposition group could be a no-show at the talks.
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SERGEI LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): Of course we are worried that while the government of Syria already a long time ago expressed its agreement to take part in a conference and already formed its delegation, so far there have not been similar steps on behalf of the opposition and first of all the so-called national coalition. And this process is being dragged out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the Russian President Vladimir Putin is promising that gay and lesbian visitors to Sochi won't face prosecution when they come to the winter games. But he's also defending Russia's controversial ban on promoting homosexuality to kids. President Putin may be remarked while visiting Olympics volunteers near Sochi today exactly three weeks before the games begin.
Nic Robertson is in the host city tonight and he joins us live from there.
Nic, fascinating times with only 20-odd days to go. What's the buzz on the ground, as it were?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'd say buzzing, Becky. I mean, wherever you go in the city right now, workers seem to be sort of trying to get the last of the trees in, fill in the holes in the road, get the ground leveled out straight, put ramps up next to steps. They haven't finished putting on all the handrails, if you will, so it really does seem to be a sort of a race to get this place ready in three weeks. Security is really ratcheted up. It was tightened today, because President Putin was in town and perhaps no surprise that the issue of Russia's new law passed last year that says you cannot propagandize, if you will, to young people, nontraditional relationships.
The issue, therefore, of how are gay people coming to Russia, athletes and visitors alike, how are they going to be treated. He said they'll be treated properly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): We do not ban any one or anything. We don't detain people on the street. We don't hold anyone responsible for those relations, unlike a lot of other countries in the world, that's why you can feel free, relax, but leave children in peace, please.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: But of course as a real concern here that while President Putin speaks like this, many people take that language to sort of conflate his conflating the issue of homosexuality with pedophilia. And it has led to a rise in abuses of gays in Russia right now. He obviously, that's not something that he was really sort of on the ground to check up on.
He is really leading the development here for the Sochi Olympics. All decisions from what we hear from officials get deferred to him. A lot rides on this for him, so really coming here three weeks out again is another chance for him. You will see a little over a week ago just to make sure it's all on track.
He's got a lot riding on it, Becky.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson is in Sochi for you this evening. And later this show, we're going to take a look at another issue that's getting a lot of attention ahead of those Olympics. The treatment of Russia's gays and lesbians coming up in 30 minutes time.
Well, the wife of a prominent Indian minister has died after a public controversy in which she alleged to her husband was having an affair.
Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a five star hotel in New Delhi. He husband, Mr. Shashi Tharoor is a former United Nations undersecretary general. Tharoor's personal secretary says police did not yet know the cause of death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABHINAB KUMAR, SHASHI THAROOR'S PERSONAL SECRETARY: Sunanda (inaudible) was found dead in her hotel room lying in her bed at about 8:30 pm. The police and the forensic team and the magistrate are on the spot completing the formalities. The cause of death as yet is unknown. After completing the formalities here, the body will be taken for a post-mortem. And after the post-mortem only we will be able to get a different idea about the cause of death.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Foreign officials have been the target of a suicide bombing in the capital of Afghanistan. It took place on Friday night at the restaurant in the center of Kabul near a heavily guarded diplomatic zone. Media reports say after the blast gunmen entered the restaurant and started indiscriminately firing on people. At least 14 were killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
You're watching CNN live from London. 19 minutes past 8:00 here. Coming up, the French president's private life in the spotlight. Francois Hollande visits his hospitalized partner as new claims emerge about an alleged affair.
Also, rising up through dance to raise awareness of violence against women. I'm going to be speaking to the social activist behind one of the year's standout at the Sundance Film Festival.
ANDERSON: Well, the Sundance Film Festival is in full swing. In its 30th year of showcasing what is independent cinema. The festival was founded by the actor Robert Redford in August of 1978 and takes its name from his character in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
One of the biggest festivals on the film circuit, Sundance had launched the careers of many of Hollywood's brightest, including Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino and David O. Russell.
CNN's Miguel Marquez joins us now live from Sundance in Park City in Utah.
We are up and running once again, 2014, and this one of the biggest film festivals. What's on the agenda?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a massive agenda. And I have one of the toughest gigs in television this week covering it.
This, by the way, is the CNN films lounge which will be the hottest ticket in town, I can guarantee you Becky, if I have anything to do with it. There are -- on the international stage there are 12 feature films, 12 documentaries out there. For U.S., there's 16 U.S. films and 16 U.S. documentaries. That doesn't include all the premiers. Some 121 films will premiere at this festival. It is so massive. This little charming ski town of 7,500 turns into over 50,000 people during this intense week period.
We had a chance to speak to Rory Kennedy who is here for the fifth time with her film on Vietnam and the exodus of Vietnamese citizens. And she has with her a captain who captained an amazing -- had an amazing story and got thousands, tens of thousands of Vietnamese out of Vietnam in the chaos as that war ended.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIEM DO, ACTOR, "LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM": War is tough. I hate it now. And what I want to tell people now, try everything you can before resorting to war. And war is not serving the humanity at all. Most of the time it's just a tool for politics. And I think that you should avoid war whenever you can.
RORY KENNEDY, DIRECTOR: This story, the story I told, really hasn't been told before which is a remarkable thing given it was the final days of the Vietnam War. We left the country very quickly. Because of that, the U.S. policy was to just get the Americans It's extraordinarily story where you know in those final days 150,000 Vietnamese were able to escape Vietnam.
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MARQUEZ: And Captain Kiem Do played a huge role in that. And his story is told for the first time here in Sundance. He will see the film for the first time on Sunday. I would love to have a camera pointing at his face as he watches that film on Sunday.
So many other films here, 20,000 Days on Earth in a cave documentary. Return to Homs is here this year. It's an incredible selection of films from the U.S. and from around the world -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Enjoy it. Get some sleep, but enjoy it.
MARQUEZ: I will.
ANDERSON: One of the most -- all right, one of the most anticipated films...
Like he says, tough job. Somebody's got to do it.
All right, thanks Rick (sic).
One of the most anticipated films premiering at Sundance is social activist Eve Ensler One Billion Rising. Ensler short film follows activists across more than 200 countries on Valentine's Day of 2013 as they demanded an end to violence against women.
Well, I spoke to Eve about the success of last year's 1 billion rising campaign and about this year's Rise for Justice. Have a listen.
ANDERSON: In 207 countries around the world, the danced on Valentine's Day. This global campaign was the brainchild of V-Day founder Eve Ensler, a woman who suffered abuse as a child and has dedicated her life to ending violence against women.
Two decades of activism culminating last year with One Billion Rising.
EVE ENSLER, FOUNDER, ONE BILLION RISING: We had been preparing for a year, a year, to build towards One Billion Rising, which was a global call for women and men across the planet to rise and dance and stand up to end violence against women and girls.
ANDERSON: And they did.
ENSLER: And they did.
ANDERSON: One billion is the number of women who are raped or beaten in their lifetime. That is one in three. Ensler believes this film, selected to premier at the Sundance Film Festival will help put those statistics into perspective.
ENSLER: What was really exciting, I think, is to see not only the breadth of the huge risings, you know, massive risings in places like Philippines and India and Bangladesh and at the -- you know, and Berlin, for example, but to see these individual risings that happen like with a girl in Tehran in her living room who filmed herself in her bedroom who filmed herself, in Somalia, in the streets of Somalia where women have never in the history of Somalia broken through and danced in the streets. In Lebanon.
We saw people come out of the woodwork.
As my friend Kama Basine (ph) says, it was a feminist tsunami that kind of swept across the planet.
ANDERSON: In fact, the groundswell had already begun following two brutal acts in late 2012: the shooting of Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai and the gang rape of a young woman in India. Atrocities that have put women's issues in the spotlight.
ENSLER: I think there is an unearthing going on. The stories are finally coming out. What's been happening forever is finally getting told.
But I think what's happening now, and I saw this in India as we traveled all over the country, there is a huge movement in India now of women standing up in courts for new laws, of women speaking about justice, of women telling their stories, of women educating and men educating boys and thinking about masculinity and manhood and how we reframe that. And I think that's true everywhere in the world.
No, we did not end violence against women and girls this year. It didn't happen in a year. But we certainly made -- we brought the issue to the forefront. It's undeniable now.
ANDERSON: So that was 2013, huge success of the activists and fore activism for women's issues.
But how do you maintain this momentum, how do you get things done at grassroots. How do we see action?
ENSLER: Well, I think one of the exciting things is One Billion Rising in itself what many groups together, brought many together, brought many ideas together.
And what everybody really resonated with was the idea of justice, that there is no justice. There is impunity. There is widespread inability to talk about issues and break through silences. There is -- you know, who is being held accountable for rapes? How is even talking about rape? How many women are even prosecuting rapes or coming forward to talk about the violence being done to them.
And so what we did is we decided this year we were going to do One Billion Rising for justice.
ANDERSON: And it is scenes like this Eve is hoping will be emulated once more on Feb. 14 this year.
ANDERSON: And the latest world news headlines are ahead.
Plus, new details are emerging about French President Francois Hollande's alleged affair. We'll bring you the latest on the scandal captivating Paris.
And then Phil Black investigates the brutal vigilantes hunting gay people in Russia.
Plus, one of Japan's most respected war veterans passes away. The remarkable story up next.
ANDERSON: US president Barack Obama announced a series of reforms today aimed at changing the way the country's top spy agency works. These are your headlines this hour. The National Security Agency will now need to seek secret court approval to access phone records. These reforms come after months of leaks by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The foreign ministers of Syria and Russia, they're in Moscow ahead of next week's peace talks in Geneva. Syria's Walid Muallem says that he submitted a cease-fire proposal for Aleppo. Meanwhile, Syria's main opposition group was meeting in Istanbul to decide whether to attend the summit.
The Taliban are claiming responsibility for a coordinated attack on a restaurant in Kabul. At least 14 people were killed, including foreigners. Officials say a suicide bomber blew himself up, then two gunmen opened fire. Agence France-Presse is reporting that four UN employees are missing after that attack.
It's not clear who is behind two explosions that wounded dozens of anti-government protesters in Thailand today. CNN has obtained video showing the moment one of the blasts hit the streets of Bangkok.
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(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: CNN's Saima Mohsin has more from the scene.
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This has now become a crime scene. As anti-government protesters carried out their daily march through the streets of Bangkok, somebody, apparently from this derelict building, threw an explosive device right into the crowd, wounding the protesters below.
MOHSIN (voice-over): This man told us, "I was standing on the back of this van when I heard a loud bang. I looked down, and my hands were covered in blood. I thought it was mine, but then I realized it was my friend's."
MOHSIN: While we were filming, the protesters told us they chased a man who they believed to be a suspect into a nearby building. When we got there, there was a lot of commotion.
MOHSIN (on camera): The police were trying to get into this area to search all of these buildings. This is the area where the attacks took place. They wanted to go from door to door. You can see people up there in the windows as well.
But the protesters were very unhappy by their presence. They have a history of antagonism with the police. They weren't letting them in.
The military appealed to them to say let them in to help us search. So they've now formed a human chain, they're trying to barricade the entrance to the building.
MOHSIN: We've been allowed inside this derelict building. The anti- government protesters are searching from room to room. Clearly, somebody was living here, but we can't confirm exactly who that was. But outside, there's a very angry crowd who believe that inside here were the people who carried out this attack.
Members of the security forces, a bomb disposal unit, have actually come inside as well to investigate what the anti-government protesters have found in there. And this is everything they've found: parts of guns, walkie-talkies, and knives. We're not allowed to touch this because they're now treating this as evidence.
MOHSIN (voice-over): Suthep Thaugsuban's spokesman says they're reviewing whether he and the protesters will be marching through the streets again.
Saima Mohsin, CNN, Bangkok, Thailand.
ANDERSON: Well, it has been a tough week for the French president, Francois Hollande, and it ends with further details of his alleged affair with actress Julie Gayet. "Closer" magazine, the magazine that first published the claims last week, today alleged that the affair started two years ago, before Mr. Hollande was even elected president.
He visited his partner today. She has been in hospital for a week, suffering from exhaustion. Joining us now in the studio is our senior international correspondent, Jim Bittermann, who is, of course, based in Paris. So, what's the latest on all of this?
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I tell you, there have been a number of interesting developments. One of the things is that she's suing -- the actress is suing --
ANDERSON: Yes, Gayet.
BITTERMANN: -- the magazine now for 50,000 euros, which is peanuts, really, because the fact is that the magazine doubled its print run and I'm sure made a lot more than 50,000 euros off this story.
And the -- she is also today, according to our colleagues at Europe One, she was forced to deny the fact that she's pregnant, because there was a rumor running around that she was, in fact, pregnant by the president, but she denied that she's pregnant. So, there's -- it's just a -- one day after another, there seems to be another new development.
ANDERSON: The French president doesn't seem to have done too much crisis management, aside from saying "It's none of your business."
BITTERMANN: Exactly, yes.
ANDERSON: And it seems to me the French people agree with him.
BITTERMANN: It seems to be working, because the opinion polls that we've seen so far seem to indicate that the vast majority of French believe that it is a private affair and it does not affect his ability to be president and it won't change their opinion of him as president.
ANDERSON: So, what happens next in all of this.
BITTERMANN: Well, I think --
ANDERSON: Educated guess.
BITTERMANN: Well, I'll tell you, one of the things is that her lawsuit to -- the actress's lawsuit is going to come to court on March 6th. So, I think we'll get some solid details then at that point about this.
ANDERSON: He has never admitted to this affair. These are allegations pure and simple at the moment, aren't the?
BITTERMANN: Yes, exactly. And of course, I should have mentioned also that he's going to be going to the White House in February, February 6th -- 8th, I think it is, that he leaves for Washington. In any case -- so, the question is, who's going to be getting off the plane with him?
BITTERMANN: Who's going to be the first lady? Or maybe no one will be.
BITTERMANN: There's a big debate that's opened up in France about whether there should even be the job of first lady.
ANDERSON: Interesting. All right. There's another story that's been hitting the headlines in France. And I've got to say, this is -- not that the other one isn't an important one, but this one definitely is.
It's the controversial comedian Dieudonne, who many say is anti- Semitic. He's been banned from speaking on several occasions and claims to have invented a salute, known as the "quenelle," which appears to be an inverse of the Nazi salute.
However, Jim recently spoke to the comedian's lawyer, who said he's not anti-Semitic. He is just telling the truth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANJAY MIRABEAU, LAWYER FOR DIEUDONNE: Because we are in hard times in France and in Europe, the shows and the jokes of my client are very tough, very hard. And in France, my client succeeds where the government has failed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: I'm going to get you out of Paris before we discuss that with France. Because racism alive and -- France -- with Jim tonight. Racism alive and kicking in the Italian parliament earlier this week.
Northern League MP Gianluca Buonanno decided to illustrate his belief that immigrants get more benefits than Italian-born citizens by wearing blackface.
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GIANLUCA BUONANNO, ITALIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT (through translator): So, I say, Mr. Minister, that at the end of the day, maybe in this country, in order to obtain anything, we need to be a bit darker.
I say, if we're a bit darker, we can all put makeup on, make ourselves a bit darker, and then we can go around painted black, and we can say that we want the same help that non-EU citizens get. We want the same aid as those latecomers that end up getting pensions that other Italians do not get. Because in Italy, there are people getting a pension that have never worked a day in their lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That performance in the Italian parliament, would you believe it? We're going to talk about that, but let's get back to Paris and this story of this "quenelle," as it were. Is this in any way reflecting a rise in anti-immigrant feeling? A rise in racism, do you think?
BITTERMANN: I definitely think it is, and Dieudonne's message is focused on that a lot, in terms of what he has to say to his audiences. And I think we're seeing it, for example, the Front National, the National Front, the right-wing party, extreme-right party, is looking to bring in, perhaps, 20 percent of the vote when the European elections come up.
And we have also have municipal elections coming up in France, and they're hoping to get a lot of council seats -- city council seats and maybe even take over one or two fairly major cities when the votes are all in.
And they could well do that, because there is a rising sentiment, the anti-immigration sentiment. We've seen it with the Roms, with the Roma that have come in, because of the now eased European Union rules. And it's -- it strikes a note, and in economic hard times, it strikes a note with people.
ANDERSON: And I was going to put that to you: do you see this as -- because you've lived in Paris for many, many years now -- do you see this as the result of what is a cyclical sort of move at the moment?
The French economy, if you actually look at the numbers at the moment, in the worst shape so far as its growth numbers are concerned, then even France, Italy, Spain, Portugal. It's on its knees. There's no growth in this economy at the moment. Hollande has got to do something about that. And then, you get the rise of this sort of anti-immigrant -- this sort of racist sentiment.
BITTERMANN: One of the things -- one of the interesting things for me is the rise in anti-Europe feeling, and of course, that relates to the immigration because of the new European members.
And since the economic crisis began in 2008, the number of people who support Europe dropped from 60 percent to 30 percent. So, it's dropped in half in the space of six years here, basically because I think that the economic hard times have forced people to reconsider the whole idea of the European Union.
And again, Marine Le Pen, the head of the National Front party, is playing on that sentiment. And so is the head of the left-wing party, too, the extreme-left in France is also --
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Same thing happening here, actually. Weirdly, not. All right, thank you. And Jim joining us, unusually from London tonight, normally in Paris.
What do you think? I want to hear from you, facebook.com/CNNconnect. You can tweet me @BeckyCNN, that's @BeckyCNN, you know that. Address Instagram, we are there, search Becky and CNN. You can watch the daily preview of the show there.
I want to hear from you on anything that we've been talking about tonight. The stories out of Paris, the NSA story, the Snowden story, anything that you think is worth having a chat about, tell me, give us your thoughts, it's your show, @BeckyCNN, start there.
Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. After the break, as Uganda's president refuses to sign an anti-gay bill into law, we find out how the Ugandan people feel about homosexuality.
And in the final installment of our investigation into what it means to be gay in Russia, Phil Black looks into the vigilante groups hunting gay men in what they call "safaris."
ANDERSON: The Ugandan president is refusing to approve a controversial bill that would see gay people jailed for life. Yoweri Museveni says that he believes that there are better ways to deal with what he calls, and I quote, "an abnormality."
Well, as Arwa Damon now discovered last month, there is strong opposition to homosexuality throughout Uganda. This is her report.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 2010 tabloid banner read, "Hang them." David Kato told CNN then he knew he was in danger.
DAVID KATO, UGANDAN GAY RIGHT ACTIVISTS: So, I was in the newspapers. So, the (inaudible) the villagers wanted to set my house ablaze. They wanted to burn my house.
DAMON: Homophobia in this deeply-conservative Christian nation is rabid. David's mother says she didn't know he was gay until he was murdered.
"I would condemn him," she responds. "I would hate him, but I would counsel him." She, too, stigmatized by his sexuality and did not want us to visit her at home. "The community keeps accusing me that I bring whites to promotes homosexuality among the children," she tells us.
The irony, gay rights activists say, is that it was a small group of American evangelicals who came to Uganda speaking out against homosexuality, which was already illegal, that really took the persecution of the LGBT community to a new level.
Kasha Nabagesera is one of the few gay activists to speak out in public.
JACQUELINE KASHA NABAGESERA, FOUNDER, FREEDOM AND ROAM UGANDA: So, they went to parliament and advised them to change the law. They went to universities and told students that we are recruiting them and told them that we have a lot of money, that they should be careful. Then, they went to Paris and told them that we are recruiting their children.
DAMON: The first draft of an anti-homosexuality bill, she recalls, introduced in 2009, including the death penalty.
DAMON (on camera): On December 20th, the bill was unexpectedly brought to parliament and passed. The president can still veto that decision, something that various global leaders and international human rights organizations have urged him to do. But even if the president doesn't sign off on it, parliament can still eventually override that decision.
DAMON (voice-over): The new version replaces the death penalty for certain homosexual acts with life in prison and makes simply being viewed as promoting homosexuality that could land someone in jail.
DAVID BAHATI, UGANDAN LAWMAKER: Now, parliament processes all these amendments to come --
DAMON: David Bahati is the architect.
DAMON (on camera): So, is your aim to eradicate homosexuality completely by forcing people to stay silent or face a prison sentence?
BAHATI: Well, the aim is to make sure that we do protect the institution of marriage and stopping the promotion of homosexuality in our country. If in the process that is achieved, that would be good for our society.
DAMON: That homosexuality be eradicated from society?
BAHATI: That would be good for us as a society.
DAMON: Do you respect other religions, an individual's right to practice another religion other than Christianity?
DAMON: So, why can't you respect another individual's differing sexual orientation?
BAHATI: Well, I don't think that homosexuality is a human right.
DAMON (voice-over): Now, the LGBT community fears it will become the target of an even broader witch hunt.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Kampala.
ANDERSON: This week, Phil Black has been looking at gay rights in Russia in the wake of the country's so-called anti-gay propaganda law. In the last of what has been as series of reports, he tonight is looking at the vigilantes who go on what they call "safaris" hunting gay people.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Russia, gay men like 22-year-old Dmitry are expected to blend into the crowd, so they use the internet to meet each other secretly. This is what happened when Dmitry recently arranged to meet up with someone he'd been chatting with online. He was surrounded on a dark street by men wearing masks.
"I couldn't escape once they'd got me," he says. "There was nowhere to run." For 13 minutes, he is threatened, mocked, and interrogated about his sexuality. The video is then posted online.
BLACK (on camera): Dmitry was the victim of what has become an increasingly popular activity in Russia: vigilante groups using the internet to meet and ambush gay men. Members of these groups call it "going on safari," and the sad fact is, Dmitry got off very lightly.
BLACK (voice-over): That's because other victims have been treated far worse. In this video, a man's hair is shaved, a rainbow painted in its place. Later, he's made to drink what he's told is urine.
This terrified man is gripped by the head. He begs for mercy and is told he has a choice: he can lose an eye or be sodomized with a large fork.
And this video shows what happens to victims who resist or try to escape.
(MAN SHOUTING IN RUSSIAN)
BLACK: The man seen in all of these videos is a well-known ultra- nationalist and leading figure in a movement called Occupy Pedophilia. It has grown to become a nationwide network, with branches in cities across Russia that upload videos of their so-called "safaris" to a central website.
BLACK (on camera): Human rights activists say these groups have grown dramatically since the introduction of a law banning the promotion of gay equality to children, the so-called "gay propaganda law."
They say the authorities' lack of action on these assaults also encourages them. Investigations have been opened, but despite all the overwhelming video evidence, no one has been prosecuted.
TANYA LOKSHINA, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: And that gives these vigilante groups a sense -- a false sense of self-righteousness. Yes, we're doing the right thing.
BLACK (voice-over): The group's members say they're targeting pedophiles, not homosexuals. And that's why they almost always pose online as a 15-year-old, which is just under Russia's legal age of consent. But the videos often don't support that. He says, "I don't like gays. I'm not afraid of you, I just hate you all."
(MAN SINGING IN RUSSIAN)
In this video, two victims are made to dance together slowly while their tormentor sings. One of the men is crying.
(MAN SINGING IN RUSSIAN)
BLACK: The internet and these videos are the latest tools of persecution in a country where being gay has never been easy. That's why Dmitry is philosophical about his encounter with Russia's anti-gay vigilantes. He says, "they humiliated me, but I'm used to it, because I've been humiliated and beaten throughout my life."
Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.
ANDERSON: Coming up after this short break, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. We've got a special preview of CNN's landmark Cold War series, up next.
ANDERSON: Well, I don't need to remind you that the struggle between Communism and capitalism defined the second half of the 20th century. Tonight, we bring you a special preview of a show that's called CNN's landmark Cold War documentary series.
As wartime turns to peace time in the 1940s, widespread food shortages threaten the stability of Europe, and the Iron Curtain starts descending.
KENNETH BRANAGH, NARRATOR (voice-over): The nightmare of the Western allies was that poverty would drive the Germans towards Communism.
EL FRIEDE GRAFFIER POPPEK, DORTMUND RESIDENT (through translator): There was never enough food. We were always hungry. In those days, we went on scavenging trips. We went to farmers and begged. Sometimes we got something. Other times, nothing.
BRANAGH: America's General Lucius Clay reflected, "There is no choice between being a Communist on 1500 calories a day and a believe in democracy on 1,000."
Aid to Germany cost Britain over $1 million a day. But British supplies were not enough to save thousands of Germans, who died that winter for lack of food and fuel.
Britain, too, was weakening. The fierce winter of 1946-47 brought industry to a standstill. The country's economy, undermined by six years of war, began to seize up. Coal ran out, electricity failed, and food rationing grew even tighter.
NOEL ANNAN, BRITISH MILITARY INTELLIGENCE: You know, people forget again, we never had bread rationing during the war. We had bread rationing after it. And that was because we were pouring wheat into Germany to prevent mass starvation.
PAUL NITZE, US STATE DEPARTMENT: That was a bad winter altogether. It was cold and the crops were bad. People were unhappy. And the Communists were making strenuous gains here, there, and the other place, particularly in Italy and then France, but also in Germany.
BRANAGH: The British could no longer afford all their heavy commitments in the Mediterranean. They told the Americans they intended to pull out.
CLARK CLIFFORD, SPECIAL COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT TRUMAN: The message came, and it was flat. It said, "Great Britain is withdrawing from both economic aid and military aid to Greece and Turkey."
GEORGE ELSEY, AIDE TO PRESIDENT TRUMAN: This simply crystallized the opinions in the executive branch that the United States had to move and move very, very quickly.
NITZE: The prospect didn't look good at all for Europe or for the United States or for anybody.
BRANAGH: In Washington, President Truman went to Congress. From now on, he announced, the United States would contain the advance of Communism anywhere on the globe. This, at last, was the official declaration of the Cold War.
ANDERSON: And do tune in this Saturday for the next episode of CNN's landmark Cold War series. Revisit a pivotal time in history as the Iron Curtain divides a world struggling to recover from the ravages of war. That is on the next Cold War, Saturday, 8:00 PM in London, 9:00 PM in Berlin.
Just time, tonight, for your Parting Shots. And people in Japan mourning the death of Hiroo Onoda, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 91. The former Japanese soldier stayed in the Philippines jungle for 30 years after the war ended, right through until the 1970s. He lived a lone, unable to accept that Japan had lost the war.
Eventually, a former commanding officer persuaded him to give up. He died of pneumonia in a Tokyo hospital on Thursday at the age of 91.
I'm Becky Anderson. You can find more on that story online shortly. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. From the team here in London, it is a very good evening.