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CONNECT THE WORLD
High Winds, Rain Battering Soaked UK; Dutch Gold Rush Continues At Olympics; Ice, Snow Blanket U.S. Southeast; Caroline Kennedy Visits Okinawa
Aired February 12, 2014 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM CLANCY, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, wild winter weather, storms battering both sides of the Atlantic. While Europe struggles with wind and waves that pose a risk to life, the U.S. southeast is shivering under another icy deep freeze.
Also ahead, foreign fighters in Syria as the case of what's thought to be the first British suicide bomber comes to light. We're going to take a closer look at the movement of radicals across Syria's borders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Even though he'd been injured, he still crawled back up to see what had happened to the rest of his unit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: Paying a heavy price to end elephant poaching, we hear from park rangers who are on the front lines in the fight against illegal ivory.
ANNONCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.
CLANCY: At this hour, a powerful storm is battering Britain. Torrential rains, gale force winds and blizzards are all hammering down. Some areas are under a red alert, that is the highest possible level warning, including parts of Wales and the northwest.
Now winds struck some coastal areas at around 160 kilometers an hour today, that's 100 miles an hour. It's dangerous and authorities say people must stay in doors. The storm is not helping in an already flood stricken country. Large parts of southern England completely waterlogged. Water levels are expected to rise.
On the west coast, a red weather alert has been issued for Blackpool. ITV News Damon Green sent us this report.
DAMON GREEN, ITV NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the wind started to pick up here in Blackpool at around 3:00 this afternoon and it hasn't dropped since. It's at its strongest right now. It's hard to judge just how fast the wind is blowing, but certainly at times it's hard to stay on your feet here on Blackpool's seafront.
The only bit of luck they've had here is that the high wind hasn't coincided with high tide. The sea is still quite a long way out. It won't come in to its fullest extent until 10:00 tonight. If the wind hasn't dropped by then, there could be a danger of some flooding.
The real danger, though, of course is that travelers tonight, west coast mainline has been shut between Preston and (inaudible) between 7:00 and 9:00. And there are motorway closures here in the northwest of England. The M6, the M62, the M60, the M55 all suffering restrictions. And the advice really to travelers tonight is don't go out unless you have to.
CLANCY: All right, that was Damon Green from ITV News.
Now the UK may see a month's worth of rain in this week, by the end of this week alone. Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that things are going to get worse before they get any better.
How much worse? I don't know, but Jenny Harrison maybe you do.
JENNY HARRISON, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: I know. And it isn't good news at all. This is a big storm that came through this Wednesday and is continuing to batter parts of Ireland, the western UK.
I'll show you what's going on, Jim, because there's another storm as well just waiting in the wings. We kind of know that.
That, of course, has been the continual theme for weeks and weeks, system after system. And this is the storm, you can see it there in northwest coming across Ireland and the UK, just a closer view here. This is the one that have brought those winds that are literally called these road closure, major road closures. Of course, they've caused a lot of damage as well.
And look at the wind gusts. It is not surprising when you see a wind gust like this, 171 kilometers an hour, that's in Aberdaron in Wales on the Llyn Peninsula. Mumbles 154 kilometers an hour, Cork in Ireland 124. And these winds are set to stay strong.
These are current wind gusts, 87 kilometers an hour in Manchester, 89 in Belfast. You get the general idea.
This is the wind forecast for the next few days. So again, as that next storm system comes through late Friday into Saturday, we can expect these winds once again to really ramp up.
Now there's been some other areas now under water that weren't even just 24 hours ago. This is Worcester in the Midlands. And this is along the banks of the River Severn -- or not really along the banks -- but you can see, of course.
And there are just hundreds of homes with this situation, with the flood water inside. It's just appalling.
Of course, they're doing the best they can.
So here we are in Cook and in Barkshire and hundreds and hundreds of sandbags are being delivered. The armed forces out there trying to help in laying down sandbags where they can to try and prevent further flooding, but it is really a very, very hard job.
This is Datchet, again along the banks of the Thames this time. And this is very close to Windsor. You can see again how deep the flood waters are. Remember, there are 16 flood warnings still for severe flooding across this particular region.
But amongst it all, there's always somebody or people who try to make the best of it. There they are in their gondola. Don't know if they're singing as they go along in the street there, but even so making the best of it.
But why does this happen? Why is it so very, very bad?
Well, as we know, some of the worst rainfall in over 240 years. And this is what's going on.
Normally, in a normal situation you have the ground water below the water table. That's what we call about the water table is the top area. And then we have this unsaturated ground ahead of that on top. And then of course you've got the soil water. So that's where things are growing, the plants, the bushes, the grass, that sort of thing.
In this situation over the last few weeks, all of that is now completely saturated. So when we have more rain on top, it has absolutely nowhere to go and that is why we see the flooding.
For the next few days -- again, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday more flooding, areas in red because of the high risk threat.
You can see the rain that's been coming in the last few hours. And in fact, that will also change over to some snow, because these systems keep coming across from the same direction, across the Atlantic.
So this is it, as we continue into Friday and Saturday. That's another big storm. Again, those very strong damaging winds, not just rain coming through. We're also going to see quite a bit of snow across much of Ireland, Wales, higher areas and across into Scotland. And the rain will continue to add up. Just some phenomenal figures.
44 millimeters in Exeter, 35 in Dublin, 38 in Cork, Brest in the west of France over 50 millimeters.
Then we move to the U.S. Over 3,000 cancellations flight wise on Wednesday. This day, Wednesday, in Atlanta, at least 800 flights outgoing departing, have been cancelled. This is going to continue to impact the East Coast as the storm moves in that direction. We've had hail of a centimeter reported in Augusta in Georgia. In Alabama, very aptly named town here, Rainsville, but they've had so far 14 centimeters of snow.
So this is the closer view in the last 12 hours. And it's this, it's this pink, which is the really concerning thing. This is the ice. You can see the temperatures again in the last few hours why it's turning to ice.
Let's just end on this, Jim, this is a time lapse looking over Centennial Park from the tower cam here at CNN. 9:30 Tuesday night, all looks fine. It's a little bit damp. Things really begin to kick off in the overnight hours. We get the rain, we get the sleet, we get the snow and then this lastly is ice, completely frozen over the camera. And of course that is the danger, Jim. This is why the trees are coming down, the power lines are coming down and, you know, this is a worrying thing that will continue to impact the southeast for the next 24 hours.
CLANCY: It just keeps coming.
HARRISON: I've got such good news for you all the time, haven't I as well? I just -- you know.
CLANCY: Jenny, my car was completely encased in ice this morning just like that.
HARRISON: Yeah, I know. You cannot get into it, you can't do anything can you?
CLANCY: What a mess. And we're not done with it yet. It could get a little worse for us too.
Let's -- we're going to take a look, as Jenny was talking about there, the southeastern U.S. -- I guess the weather experts are saying this could be the worst storm in a decade, a thick layering of ice that you saw there in that time lapse, it's making these roads treacherous. 400,000 people don't have any power at home, 3,000 flights as we have noted have been canceled.
Now here's some scenes from downtown Atlanta, covered in ice and snow.
It's very quiet, it's eerie, there's nobody out really. People walk their dogs, they have to, but it's largely deserted.
Jennifer Gray is in the suburban city of Decatur, just a few miles east of our studios. Jennifer, what does it look like out there where you are?
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, well, Jim, you described the scene perfectly. It is a very, very different scene than we saw just a couple of weeks ago where the interstates were virtually parking lots and just time stood still with abandoned cars and people stranded everywhere. They really, really heeded the warnings, they're staying home, they're staying off the roads, which is very good news.
We're in Decatur right now. And you can see the scene, it's gorgeous to look at, but it is mainly ice. We have had sleet coming down since about 5:00 this morning. It was very, very heavy about an hour ago. And it's expected to pick up again, especially around 6:00 tonight and then go through tomorrow morning.
So we have a good 12 more hours of this, but it is supposed to change to mainly snow as we go through the overnight hours.
I took this branch off of tree about five minutes ago and I wanted to show you this thin layer of ice. Right now, just a couple of millimeters of thick, but it only takes roughly about a centimeter of ice to bring down those power lines. And so that's what we're going to be worried about as we go through the overnight hours.
In Decatur, it's an older neighborhood, they have older trees, and so this is a notorious spot for the trees to come down, the power lines to come down. Luckily, most folks still have power here. The people we talked to had said they're pretty much surprised that they have power, because normally it goes out. So that is the good news.
But like I said before, still several, several more hours of the ice coming down, the freezing rain, the sleet and so only time will tell if these folks here will have to be without power during the overnight hours, Jim.
CLANCY: You know, fair is fair, both the officials in Atlanta and the state of Georgia really took a lot of heat when another storm came through here two weeks ago, paralyzed the city and caught everyone unaware, really. It caught people by surprise. It shouldn't have.
But this time it's not only that the government officials that issued the warnings, people are really heeding them?
GRAY: Yeah, most definitely, you know. And I'm sure they weren't even aware that they would have a redo in just a couple of week's time, but they definitely were able to scramble, gather the troops, get everyone in line. They've been taking care of the roads. They've been telling people to stay off the roads. They've canceled school. People are staying home.
And you know for the tens of thousands of people that were stuck in traffic, including myself, you don't want to be one of those people on the roads again. Definitely learned your lesson there. And so folks are really just staying home. They are bundling up. We've seen a couple of kids out here sledding, but really the roads have been quiet. And I think that the city officials, the government officials here in Atlanta and in Georgia have really, really done well this time around getting those roads all taken care of and getting the people off of the roads.
CLANCY: Jennifer Gray there with us from the little town of Decatur, well known to everybody who lives in Atlanta and actually we should note is getting worse, because the temperatures are dropping and if it was slush or sleet this morning it's turning to solid ice as we saw with that branch you held up.
All right, still to come right here in our report, a welcome sight in the Syrian city of Homs -- trucks arriving with long awaited aid while other vehicles are driving hundreds of civilians to safety.
And the Dutch reign supreme as the latest round of Olympic competition wraps up. We're going to bring you all the latest from Sochi.
Also, find out what cause has gotten Prince William making a stand today. He's trying to ruffle a few feathers.
That and much more when Connect the World continues.
CLANCY: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Jim Clancy. Welcome back everyone.
News just in to CNN now, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has just confirmed that as of today 11 percent of Syria's chemical weapons have been shipped out of the country.
Now when you look at that number, that's progress, but Syria remains well behind the deadline set in the Geneva agreement last September. All of the chemicals should have been out of the country by last week. So a long way to go.
That is as hundreds more Syrian civilians have been given safe passage from the besieged city of Homs today. UN supervised evacuations resumed after a one day suspension with a humanitarian pause in fighting is due to expire tonight. More than 1,400 people have been evacuated since a truce took effect on Friday.
Relief workers also brought in badly needed humanitarian aid for civilians who are staying in Homs. Months of fierce fighting has left many residents desperate for food, water, and of course medical care.
Some activists in Homs say they feel they might be arrested if they try to evacuate. Hundreds of men were detained after leaving the city today. Max Foster gives us details earlier from a Syrian government spokeswoman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN, PRESIDENT ASSAD'S MEDIA ADVISER: All the young men who were being questioned, you know this is a routine operation also, that appears to the world to be out of the ordinary. When armed people come out and they give up their arms, they are given records with the government where they want to go, where they want to stay, what they are doing. Some of them are taken to hospital for a checkup if they need to. And then they're all released afterwards.
CLANCY: All right, now much more on Syria still to come. We're going to look at reports that a British man was behind a recent suicide bombing in Aleppo. That's a phenomenon that could have important repercussions.
Well, to Japan now. Caroline Kennedy in Okinawa for the first time since she became U.S. ambassador to Japan. Her goodwill visit sparked some tension over the American military presence on the island.
Vladimir Duthiers sent us this report.
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ambassador Kennedy began the day with a solemn visit to Okinawa's peace memorial park. There, she placed a bouquet of flowers in remembrance of the thousands of lives lost during World War II.
Clearly moved, afterwards she offered words of comfort, quoting the Ancient Greek philosopher Pinder saying the words that have always brought solace to her family.
CAROLINE KENNEDY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN: With the favored of the gods, they live a life where there are no more tears. Around those blessed aisles, soft sea winds breath and golden flowers blaze upon the trees upon the waters too.
DUTHIERS: She spent the next few hours touring the island, spending time with young people and meeting with Okinawa's governor, Hirokazu Nakaima where he called on her to do everything in her power to address the hot button issue that nearly every U.S. ambassador to Japan faces -- a dispute over U.S. military bases there.
She addressed the issue directly.
KENNEDY: Seeing so many students at the museum was really, I think, a great reminder of the importance of working together to reduce the burden of the American military presence here.
DUTHIERS: Highlighting Japan's historic connection to the Kennedy family, she presented the governor with her father's visa from a visit to Okinawa. When he was a young congressman, John F. Kennedy became sick and was air lifted to a hospital on the island where she says her family thought he was going to die.
Later, at a reception for other dignitaries, Ambassador Kennedy said she wasn't exaggerating when she says she would not be here as ambassador to Japan if it weren't for Okinawa.
Vladimir Duthiers, CNN, Okinawa.
CLANCY: Coming to you live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.
And straight ahead in our report, more on the humanitarian operation underway in the Syrian city of Homs. We're going to get an update from a reporter on the scene.
Sochi is heating up, and we're not talking about the medal competition. The warm weather is causing concern, but could it actually disrupt the games.
This and more right after this break.
CLANCY: Welcome back everyone.
You're watching Connect the World. We're live from CNN Center. I'm Jim Clancy.
Well, a Dutch gold rush at the Sochi games just continues. Stefan Groothuis stole the men's 1,000 meters Olympic skating title, clocking a minute 8.39 seconds. The Dutch have now won four of the five speed skating golds awarded thus far.
The other big headline of the day was a tie for gold in alpine skiing. Slovenia and Switzerland posted duplicate times in the women's downhill skiing. And that resulted in the first alpine gold medal tie in the history of the winter games.
All right, let's cross over to Ian Lee, he is in Sochi right now. And he's got all the latest.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, it has been warm. Don't let these clothes full you. (inaudible) warm, 60 degrees Fahrenheit, about 15 degrees Centigrade here.
The motto of these Olympics has been hot, cool, yours, and it has definitely been hot. And this is a concern for the athletes. When you go up on the slopes, these skiers need hard pack snow for precision movements. When it's soft, when it's mushy, they can't really make the turns that they would like to. Also with the luge. They don't have the blades that they need to go down the track, they say, has caused a lot of problems. The Russians have a bunch of snow on reserve from last winter. They have been using it. But this warm weather is definitely causing some concern, Jim.
CLANCY: You know, Ian, let's revisit, because I have never seen this before, an actual dead heat in one of the downhill skiing events.
LEE: Oh, that's right. And like you said earlier, it's the first time ever.
And when you look at it, it went down to the 100th of a second. Now that's with the IOC's rules that it goes down to 100th of a second. Of course, if they probably took it further, they could have had a winner, but by the rules, 100th of a second. And both girls were elated. They didn't really care that they tied, they were excited that they both had won gold, Jim.
CLANCY: We're excited for them as well.
Hey, speaking of gold, Ian, walk us through it. What are the latest medal standings?
LEE: Well, so far Germany is leading with six gold medals and followed by a tie for second with four gold medals for Norway, The Netherland and Canada. And when you look at them, they've all really specialized in different events. With Germany, they're sweeping the luge. With The Netherlands, it's speed skating. And with Norway it's cross- country skiing. And if you want to go by the total medal count, it's Norway with 12, Jim.
CLANCY: All right, Ian Lee there with a wrap-up of what's happening right now at the games there in Sochi.
Well, the lack of snow has been a big concern, as Ian was pointing out, but there are rumblings of discontent away from the ski slopes. Ivan Watson explains what's bringing people out to complain.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: This quiet little park is the only officially designated place where Russians can come and organize political protests and demonstrations during the Winter Olympics.
As you can see, it's pretty peaceful here. It's located underneath the newly constructed highway and next to a train station.
So far, we've only seen one Russian exercising this political freedom, that woman over there with the orange and black flag. Let's go talk to her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
WATSON: Wow. So, (inaudible) tells me that this is the goal of her entire life right now. She is protesting against what she argues is the interference by other countries into the affairs of Russia.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
So (inaudible) has broken down her one-woman demonstration promptly at 6:00 pm. She says she doesn't want to break the law.
Now everybody else in Russia, however, is having such an easy time making their voices heard during these winter games.
Several activists were detained in Moscow's Red Square for holding an unauthorized protest against Russia's controversial anti-gay propaganda law.
In the meantime, we've also heard reports of other demonstrators who have been detained for unauthorized protests in other Russian cities as well.
And some activists that we've talked to here in Sochi tell us that their application to hold a protest here against chronic power cuts, electricity cuts in Sochi was denied by the local government, which has also told us that you can only gather a maximum of 100 people here in this park to hold the demonstration, that's if you get permission from authorities.
So we're learning now that protesting during these Winter Olympics is much easier said than done.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Sochi, Russia.
CLANCY: All right.
Trying to take it all in. If you are in Sochi or maybe you're watching it somewhere in the world, I'd like to hear from you. Send us an iReport of your experiences at the games, or watching the games at CNN.com/iReport. Send us your pictures via Instagram as well, just hashtag #CNNSochi for all your photos.
And if you're elsewhere in the world, we still want to know how you're enjoying these games. And if you think you've spotted a future Olympian. Get up to date with all the action on our website, including our live blog from Sochi. That's all at CNN.com/Sochi.
The world headlines are just ahead.
Plus, British police investigating reports that a British national was behind a recent suicide attack in Syria.
And could the Sudanese government be behind the poaching of some of Chad's last remaining elephants/ We're going to investigate that a bit later.
CLANCY: You're with CONNECT THE WORLD. These are your headlines right now. The UK's national weather service issuing its most severe storm warning after weeks of flooding. The Met office gave the red alert on Wednesday and the country braces for yet more rain and exceptionally strong winds with gusts expected to reach between 130 and 160 kilometers per hour.
In the southern United States, snow and ice are the problem. The countryside is glazed. A major winter storm has slammed the region, and it's happening right now. Many places are all but shut down because roads are, well, just so treacherous.
Texas and Mississippi are reporting five storm-related deaths between them. More than 400,000 people in the region, or families, I should say, are reporting -- have reportedly lost their electrical power.
Amnesty International warning of the exodus of Muslims from the Central African Republic has reached "historic proportions," their words. It accuses international peacekeepers of failing to stop the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in that African nation.
Police in South Africa have fired rubber bullets at supporters of the ruling ANC party. ANC members confronted members of the opposition Democratic Alliance Party as they were marching in a rally in Johannesburg ahead of upcoming elections that will be held in May. They're going to be South Africa's fifth elections since the end of Apartheid.
Thousands of people have been trapped in the Syrian city of Homs for more than a year by a relentless siege. A temporary truce is now allowing some residents to evacuate while others are receiving badly-needed humanitarian aid. A reporter with TV2 Denmark is currently there in Homs. Rasmus Tantholdt filed this report earlier today.
RASMUS TANTHOLDT, TV2 DENMARK CORRESPONDENT: Actually, just a few moments ago, we saw two vehicles from the UN just arrived here. They have been inside the besieged area just behind me, where they have delivered aid.
Right now, the UN, they are also trying to evacuate people with representatives from the Syrian Red Crescent. We don't know if it has been possible to evacuate people. They haven't showed up here yet. We're at the front line. This is the place where they're going to collect all these people in buses and take them to safe places, and we haven't seen any of them yet.
But it is a very dangerous task for the UN and for the Syrian Red Crescent. We know that during the last couple of days, there have been attacks on the convoys. We have seen people from the Syrian Red Crescent wounded by mortars. We have seen UN vehicles being shot at.
So, it's a very dangerous task for the NGOs and for the UN, but also for the civilians getting out of there. People have been killed trying to get out of the besieged area. So, it is a very volatile situation.
I spoke to the UN aid chief here on the ground, and he told me that, well, this is our mission. We know it's dangerous. Yesterday it was too dangerous, we didn't want to go and we couldn't evacuate anyone, but we're trying today. This is the last day of the cease-fire, and we are trying to get as many out as possible, but right now, nobody got out.
What we are told by the UN is that they estimate that about 2,500 people are still trapped in there. And we talked to some of them who have already been evacuated, and it is horrific stories they are telling us. I mean, they're telling us that there's no food, there's no clean water, there's no electricity, there's no fuel.
A father, he told us that he had to feed his kids with grass, with roots, with leaves he could find in the trees. And when you look at those people coming out from there, they look pale. They look skinny, and they're in a very bad condition.
That is also why that here on the front line, the Syrian Red Crescent, they have established a makeshift hospital and they are standing just over there, ready with food for those people just when they come out. They have water, they have food for them, because they are really, really in need.
CLANCY: All right, Rasmus Tantholdt, there, reporting for TV2 Denmark, sharing that with us from right there in Homs.
Well, thousands of kilometers away, police in Britain investigating reports that a British man carried out a recent suicide bombing in Syria. Senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is in London. He has more.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the British media is reporting that a 41-year-old man may have become the first known British suicide bomber in Syria.
This is the attack he's alleged to have carried out, detonating a truck loaded with explosives outside the walls of a prison complex in the Syrian city of Aleppo on February the 6th.
The bombing was part of an assault on a government-controlled prison by two prominent rebel groups, one of them the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, named the bomber by his alias, Abu Suleiman al-Britani, indicating that he did, indeed, come from Britain.
Officials here, though, are refusing to confirm the identity of the man, citing a lack of DNA evidence. But police do say they have been searching a house in Crawley, south of London, as part of their inquiries into the Aleppo suicide bombing.
Now, the authorities say hundreds of UK nationals have traveled to Syria to fight against government forces there, raising concerns that they may return radicalized and trained. If this man is, indeed, Britain's first suicide bomber in Syria, those concerns will only be heightened.
Matthew Chance, CNN, London.
CLANCY: Now, the increase in the number of Western fighters heading to Syria raises a lot of concerns, as Matthew was telling us, both in European capitals as well as in America, in the capital of Washington, DC. This is what the US direction of national intelligence, James Clapper, had to say about it in the Senate yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CLAPPER, US DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: This is a huge issue in Europe with our European allies, and they share with us and we share with them on this that that's the critical element for -- in terms of sharing. And they are very, very concerned about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: Now, to discuss that threat emanating from radicalized Westerners fighting in Syria, we're joined by Raffaello Pantucci. He's a senior research fellow in counter-terrorism at the Royal United Services Institute. That's a think tank based in London.
Raffaello, thank you so much for being with us. Let me just start right at the beginning. What do you think is the significance of this phenomenon of Europeans volunteering to do jihad in the Middle East?
RAFFAELLO PANTUCCI, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW IN COUNTER-TERRORISM, ROYAL UNITED SERVICES INSTITUTE: Well, in many ways, this is not a particularly new phenomenon. This is something we've been seeing for at least the last decade, if not the last two decades, in fact.
The phenomenon of seeing young Westerners, or Europeans in this case, who are traveling from their homes in European cities, leading relatively comfortable sort of lives, deciding to choose to go and fight in Syria or in other battlefields where they participate in these sorts of jihadi wars.
Where they feel that they're participating in some sort of international conflict as part of a bigger globalized struggle, as part of sort of defending their religion against -- the religion of fellow Muslims from what they see as oppressive forces.
So, in itself, it's not a very new phenomenon. I think what's interesting about Syria is the magnitude and the scale of what we've been seeing. We've seen, essentially, in the last three years what, by some estimates, would be the sort of more people going from Europe to Syria than have gone to any other jihadi battlefield over the past 10 or 20 years.
CLANCY: Stay right where you are, Raffaello. This is a story we've been covering for quite a while. People want to know how many are coming? Where are they coming from? Last November, our senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh saw firsthand foreign fighters traveling to Turkey and then getting smuggled into Syria. Here's a clip from that report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just miles from Syria's savage war is Turkey's Hatay Airport, international in all the wrong ways. Every flight we secretly film land carried men from countries al Qaeda calls home. Why are they here? Two from Mauritania, these four from Libya with large backpacks.
WALSH (on camera): Hello. How are you doing? Where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Benghazi.
WALSH: From Benghazi, OK. OK.
WALSH (voice-over): Another from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Even Leicester in the UK. Most must be innocently traveling, but many say little and rush into waiting cars. It's astonishing to see such a global crowd so open and close to Syria, where al Qaeda is blooming right under the noses of Turkish border control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: Raffaello, I think it's important for us to understand, these young men that are going there aren't doing it for the -- let me take the money I've collected here and buy myself a ticket. This is a very organized process. What's happening?
PANTUCCI: Well, I think it's -- some elements of it are quite an organized process. I think, essentially, the message has gone out that if you want to participate in jihad or you want to go join the fighting in Syria, essentially get yourself to Turkey and then there are sort of ways across the border.
Now, I think for some people, we're seeing they are sort of collecting money, raising the funds through one way or the other here in the West or elsewhere and then just flying to Turkey and then just sort of finding a way across the border.
But what we're also seeing is a more sort of organized recruitment process. This seems to be happening, whereby individuals here in the West and in other capitals are recruiting individuals, who they then send along to contacts who will pick them up at the right place along the Turkish border to then take them into Syria, where they go to a training camp and will receive some sort of basic training to then go and participate in the fighting.
CLANCY: Does this bode ill for European security?
PANTUCCI: Well, I think the question -- it undoubtedly raises a lot of concerns for Western security planners. If we look back historically, almost every other jihadi battlefield or every other battlefield where we've seen on one side a sort of Sunni jihadi group that is trying to -- that aligns itself with al Qaeda or with sort of al Qaeda's messages, they will produce some sort of a threat back in the West.
The question is, what kind of shape that threat takes. In some situations, we've seen how this has been directed, where the individuals who've gone out there initially as foreign fighters were recruited by groups and then persuaded to come back and launch attacks.
In other situations, we've seen people who've gone out there and who have sort have been traumatized and changed by the experience they saw and returned home and decided they should do something to punish the West for not participating or not taking actions.
In other situations, we've seen these people have come back and become radicalizing agents in themselves, spreading some of these ideas and persuading other people to go participate in the fighting. But what we've always seen is some sort of a threat or a problem has come back.
CLANCY: You know, this week, we watched -- heard reports coming out of Iraq where a man who was trying to train suicide bombers in the art craft of making a car bomb actually blew himself up and 20 of his students. How well are these guys tracked?
PANTUCCI: I think the question of how well these people are tracked is variable. I think the problem that I think a lot of European services are having with Syria is that it's -- in some situations, it's individuals who are known and maybe who are already of concern, or they're operating on the fringes of networks of people that are maybe being watched. And so, these are kind of known entities they can track or at least have a loose sense of who it is.
I think what's worrying in some situations we see in Syria is there people who really don't seem to be connected to these networks, who can sort of see this narrative out there, this message happening, and feel that they should go participate, and they're just sort of heading off and doing it --
CLANCY: And it's girls, too.
PANTUCCI: -- and I think it's these individuals that are of grave concern.
CLANCY: It's girls.
PANTUCCI: It is girls as well. We're seeing stories of women going over there or young teenaged girls. There was a story, I think, of two Somali-Norwegian girls who disappeared, they left home. One was 16, the other was 19. And their father sort of managed to track them down to some interior, but I don't think he was able to bring them home.
But we've seen similar reports from other European countries. These girls don't necessarily seem to be drawn by the fighting, but they seem to be drawn by the narrative and what's happening and the sense that they can go participate and maybe meet a warrior who they will marry. Or they can do their bit to try to help in some other way near the battlefield.
CLANCY: Raffaello Pantucci of the Royal United Services Institute, I want to thank you very much for your insights into this.
We're live from the CNN Center, and you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. The devastating sight of a rare animal reduced to nothing more than a carcass all for the trade of its body parts. Up next, we're going to hear how poaching is going global and royal attention.
They're man's best friend, and now they have their own app. I guess it was inevitable. We're going to talk to the man who's making sure your dog never goes missing.
CLANCY: Welcome back, you're with CONNECT THE WORLD. The plight of the world's endangered species is hot on the agenda today as a global summit is beginning in London, and it's tackling the illegal wildlife trade.
British prime minister David Cameron is going to be hosting delegations from 50 nations, including China, and several African leaders will be there as well. Prince William and Prince Charles are also attending. Earlier, the Duke of Cambridge called for international cooperation in the effort to stop poaching.
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HRH PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: The forces that are currently destroying wild endangered species are sophisticated and powerful. But this week, we are seeing the creation of an equally powerful alliance coming together to help fight them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: Now, let's remind you of the sheer scale of the threat to endangered animals that's posed by the poaching trade. Let's get more from Max Foster.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some of the world's most majestic animals facing the threat of extinction because of illegal hunting. At least three kinds of tiger are already extinct, and six more are endangered.
In 2012, 1 out of 13 elephants in Africa was killed illegally. In 2013, more than 1,000 rhinos poached in South Africa alone, three times as many as three years before. The reason? Demand for bones, skin, and especially tusks. Ivory can sell for $2,000 a kilogram.
Governments are doing what they can to fight poaching. South Africa arrested more than 340 poachers last year. But poachers sometimes fight back. At least 1,000 park rangers have been killed in the last decade.
Now, the fight to save tigers, rhino, and elephants is getting some high-profile support from Prince Charles and Prince William.
PRINCE WILLIAM: My father and I hope you share our belief that it is shocking that future generations may know a world without these magnificent animals.
FOSTER: They're being joined by the presidents of four African countries this week to try to protect the world's most iconic animals from extinction before it's too late.
Max Foster, CNN, London.
CLANCY: Stay with us. Let's journey, now, to Central Africa. National park rangers are fighting a war against poachers there. Arwa Damon has been reporting on this subject, and she says they say Sudanese soldiers have been linked to some of the killings. We should note, some of these images of elephant poaching -- you're going to find them difficult to watch.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this desolate corner of Chad, piles of stones a solitary marker, the only reminders of a morning that still haunts Jamal Said (ph).
"I was making tea over there," he tells us. "I was right here, and they shot me. They shot me here." More than one year later, it's the first time he's been back. Six of his team, Zakouma National Park rangers, were murdered as they emerged from their tents for morning prayers.
DAMON (on camera): Jamal was saying that after he was shot, he actually fell down the side of the cliff. They shot at him again. He crawled away, and even though he'd been injured, he still crawled back up to see what had happened to the rest of his unit, and that was when he saw that they'd all been killed.
RIAN LABUSCHAGNE, PARK DIRECTOR: they are absolute professionals at what they are doing.
DAMON (voice-over): Above the site, park director Rian Labuschagne tells us it was revenge for a raid his rangers conducted on the poachers' camp just weeks before. The gunmen, highly-trained Sudanese poachers.
DAMON (on camera): The weapons that they are using, the guns that they have at their disposal, is that getting more sophisticated?
LABUSCHAGNE: The last group we found up at Heban, they had the communications equipment they needed.
DAMON: So, what do we have here?
LABUSCHAGNE: This is the strong room.
DAMON (voice-over): Equipment that gave Labuschagne evidence into exactly what his rangers were up against, recovered on the scene: satellite phones with images showing hundreds of dead elephants, matching photos taken of carcasses in Cameroon, linking the poachers to one of the biggest slaughters in decades.
DAMON (on camera): This is some of the ammunition that you collected from the Sudanese poachers?
LABUSCHAGNE: It's over 1,000 rounds that's in here.
DAMON (voice-over): Traced back to the armories in Khartoum.
LABUSCHAGNE: I think it just again shows that there is no controlling in Darfur.
DAMON: Also recovered at the poachers' camp, Sudanese military uniforms, one identified as seeming to match those issued to the notorious Abu Tira paramilitary service. The other, standard-issue infantry. And a stamped leaflet from the army.
LABUSCHAGNE: It's a group of Sudanese, coming in well-armed with this sort of ammunition, moving in between local villages that in the rainy season are completely isolated. It's a very disturbing border local security that groups like this, armed groups like this can move around freely within the region.
IDRISS DEBY, PRESIDENT OF CHAD (through translator): Today all around us, there are more weapons and there are more men who can use them. These men have no resources. Their only resource today that can help them to survive is illegal.
DAMON: In 2003, the park's elephant population was at 4,000. Today, that number down to just 450. And armed groups are showing more sophistication, from tactics to technology, either serving criminal networks or poaching to fund their wars back home.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Zakouma National Park, Chad.
CLANCY: Now, since Arwa filed that report, the Sudanese government has offered to respond to CNN. The minister of information, Ahmed Bilal Osman, said "There are joint Sudanese-Chadian forces along the border that would," in his words, "not allow for such an illegal trade." And he added this: "Sudan gets blamed for everything."
Now, how does this story make you feel? What can we do to tackle the problem of poaching in Africa and elsewhere around the world. The team at CONNECT THE WORLD would like to hear from you, facebook.com/CNNconnect. Have your say. You can tweet me as well, @ClancyCNN. Your thoughts, please. Again, the Twitter address, @ClancyCNN.
All right. You can read more about the tragic trade on cnn.com as well, and a US senator sharing his opinion on this issue. He says stopping poaching isn't just about conservation, it's about national security as well. Go to cnn.com and you can read more on that.
All right, coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, the regal discovery that could give researchers a unique insight into the life of a king.
And it may be a dog-eat-dog world, but one man is on a mission to make sure your dog doesn't get lost in that world. We're going to talk with John Polimeno about his revolutionary new app right after this break.
CLANCY: Welcome back everyone. You are with CONNECT THE WORLD. Well, it has to be said, maybe the location was, well, really not all that exotic, but it was one of the most spectacular archaeological finds in history.
We're talking, of course, about the discovery of King Richard III's skeleton. It was found -- yes -- buried underneath a car park in the west of England back in 2012. His smashed-up bones gave us an insight into how he died more than 500 years ago, and now it's hoped his DNA will reveal the secrets of the once-lost king's life.
ADAM DUNNAKEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lost since the 15th century, only to be found buried beneath a car park, the cramped grave of Richard III was a resting place not fit for a king.
But for archaeologists and historians, it was an absolute goldmine, his broken and skewered skull, an indication of his fate at the Battle of Bosworth. And it's allowed a 3D reconstruction of the dead king's face.
A test of his mitochondrial DNA, a small part of the genome only inherited from the mother, proved a genetic link to a living descendant of Richard III's sister, Anne of York. Now that descendant, a Canadian cabinetmaker and his ancient relative are to have further tests to share their entire genetic code with scientists across the world.
Researchers working on the project say Richard III is the only ancient individual of known identity to has his genome sequenced. It's hoped that the information about the distant relatives, separated by half a millennium, will give us a better idea of hereditary and genetic diseases, as well as more information about the king himself.
TURI KING, UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER: We're going to be able to look at things like eye color, hair color, things that tell us about what he looked like to some extent. That's interesting, for example, because the portraits differ.
DUNNAKEY: When and where Richard III will be reburied is yet to be decided, but now, even when his bones are laid to rest once more, his DNA will continue to shine a light on the likely traits and ancestry of the king who was lost and found.
Adam Dunnakey, CNN, London.
CLANCY: Well, we can bet that they're not going to bury him in a car park. You know, had Richard III lived in the digital age, he might not have been the so-called lost king. Social media makes it so easy to track down friends, family, loved ones, anything you want.
So much so that in tonight's Parting Shots, we want to show you a new app that could make little lost dogs a thing of the past. Here's Samuel Burke.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Harvey? How does it feel to be here? You're at the top of your game now.
BURKE (voice-over): If the pampered pooches at the Westminster Dog Show could talk --
JOHN POLIMENO, FOUNDER, FINDING ROVER: You take a picture, you go --
BURKE: -- they'd show the love for this man, John Polimeno.
POLIMENO: It's all free, we don't charge anything, we don't sell anything. Our goal is to save dogs.
BURKE: The mastermind behind the app Finding Rover.
POLIMENO: We can identify a dog by using facial recognition.
BURKE: His app registers a dog's face.
POLIMENO: We put one eye there, we put one eye there --
BURKE: And its owners' details, so if Fido gets lost, anyone can snap a picture to reunite man and man's best friend.
POLIMENO: I think the statistics are last year, 9 million dogs were lost in the United States alone. I think the number's about 30 percent to 40 percent make it home. We're going to change that. In order to get him to look at the camera, we have what's called a bark button.
BURKE: This will perk some ears up. The technology behind the app cost millions of dollars to develop.
POLIMENO: And a nose here, and that's it. And hit done. And now it'll scan your dog and it'll do facial recognition.
BURKE: But Polimeno hopes to monetize the service with ads, and here at the dog show, owners are barking their approval.
BURKE (on camera): Had you ever thought about using an app to register your dog or facial recognition for a dog before?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, never even crossed my mind.
BURKE: And now that you've seen it, what do you think? Do you think you'll tell some of your other dog friends?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes. I would use it for sure.
BURKE: Would you consider using that app?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.
BURKE (voice-over): As for the dogs?
BURKE (on camera): Would you mind a picture of you being taken for an app? You've never had any experiences lost in the street, have you?
BURKE (voice-over): Let's just say they're not licking it up just yet. But the owner of Finding Rover is enthusiastic.
POLIMENO: We've been out about a little over 90 days, and we have a little over 32,000 downloads, and we've already found 170 dogs.
Oh, good boy, huh?
BURKE: And don't worry. If you lose your dog before you download the app, you can always upload a picture of your pooch afterward. That's enough to make dogs and their owners jump for joy.
Samuel Burke, CNN, New York.
CLANCY: All right. Who knows what they'll come up next with for our phones? I'm Jim Clancy, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. We're glad you joined us.