Return to Transcripts main page
YOUR WORLD TODAY
Kidnapped Soldier Sparks Threat of Gaza Incursion; Some 450 Iraqis Released From Abu Ghraib; Condoleezza Rice Travels to Pakistan
Aired June 27, 2006 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A change of heart for Hamas? The leaders of the Palestine Authority reportedly agree to a deal that implicitly recognizes Israel.
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Walking free. Hundreds of Iraqis wander away from Iraq's most infamous prison as part of a national reconciliation plan. Iraq's Sunnis are taking notice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't people who come in from other countries to critique us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: U.S. gun supporters take aim at a U.N. conference to reduce illegal gun trade, but anti-gun activist say they have nothing to fear.
CLANCY: Plus, calling it quits. The author of the "Harry Potter" novels says the next book will be her last. And will that mean the end for Harry Potter, too?
It's 6:00 at night in Gaza City, 8:00 p.m. in Baghdad.
I'm Jim Clancy.
GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani.
Those are the big stories we're following this hour on YOUR WORLD TODAY, broadcast live to over 250 million of you around the world and the United States.
CLANCY: We're going to begin our report this hour in the Middle East, where there's significant political developments within Palestinian ranks, at least.
GORANI: Now, Fatah party sources say there is an agreement with rival Hamas on a document. That document would implicitly recognize Israel.
CLANCY: Now, it comes as Israel and the Palestinians are playing a dangerous waiting game over the fate of a captured Israeli soldier. GORANI: Hundreds of Israeli troops, tanks, armored vehicles are massed on the Gaza border. Inside of Gaza, militants are bracing themselves for the possibility of an invasion. They're blocking roads with dirt and barbed wire.
Meanwhile, Israelis are glued to their TV sets, awaiting word about the fate of their soldier.
CNN's Paula Hancocks is in Jerusalem, but we begin with John Vause in Gaza and the mood there -- John.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Hala.
Israeli intelligence believes 19-year-old Gilad Shalit is being held in southern Gaza, possible in the city of Khan Yunis. But so far, his captors have refused to release any photograph or any information about his condition. And the Israeli government says the time is fast approaching when there will be no other option but to order the military to secure his release.
VAUSE (voice over): This is the buildup to what the Israelis say could be a prolonged military offensive: tanks, armed personnel carriers, and hundreds of troops massed on the border of Gaza, awaiting orders to attack. An attack which may be imminent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is no doubt we will have to carry out an operation which could cost many lives. But the Palestine groups have to understand there is a price to pay for any attacks against Israel.
VAUSE: Altam Hussein (ph) has been watching the Israeli buildup from the roof of his home in Raffa in southern Gaza, just across the border from the Israeli military base which was attacked. Like so many here, he took genuine satisfaction in the weekend raid but now worries for the safety of his five children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm very worried. And all of them, they are worried.
VAUSE: And the time has come, he says, to hand the Israeli soldier back. "We don't need more bloodshed," he told me, "for us and for them."
But Palestinian militants are preparing for what will almost certainly be a bloody confrontation. Fighters from Islamic Jihad have been laying what they say are homemade explosives.
"We're dealing with a ruthless enemy," he says. "And any threat from them we take seriously. Our fighters are ready to stop any invasion."
And on major roads throughout Gaza Palestinians have dumped piles of sand intended to slow the advance of Israeli tanks and armor and provide cover for gunmen. And Palestinian militants warn, regardless of any military action, Israel will not find 19-year-old Gilad Shalit.
"We're completely sure the kidnapped soldier is in a secure place that the Zionists cannot reach," he says.
Gaza is now closed off by land and by sea. Israel is stopping shipments of food and fuel and has warned Hamas leaders they could be assassinated, including the exiled Khalid Mushal (ph), based in Damascus, even the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh.
VAUSE: And amid this escalating crisis comes word of a political breakthrough. Hamas has agreed to the demands by the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, to accept a two-state solution, implicitly recognizing Israel. Under normal circumstances, that would be seens as a big step towards restarting peace talks with Israel, but there will be no peace talks while an Israeli soldier is being held hostage -- Hala.
GORANI: John Vause in Gaza -- Jim.
CLANCY: Now, Corporal Gilad Shalit is the first Israel soldier to be kidnapped by the Palestinians in more than a decade. Friends of the family describe him as peaceful, quiet.
Paula Hancocks joins us now. She's live in Jerusalem with a little bit more.
Paula, gush shalom, peace now, in Israel, saying enough with all on of the threats, everybody calm down here, let's negotiate. The same word coming in from the U.S. secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jim. Yes. And that's what most Israeli people want to see.
They want to see the negotiations work. They want to see all this talking behind the scenes work and this one soldier to be released.
Now, the Israel media and the Israeli public are watching this particularly -- this particular story very closely, basically because military service in this country is obligatory. So many of Israeli public have a son or a daughter in the army or have been in the army or will be in the army. So it's something that's very close to the hearts of many Israeli people.
Now, president -- Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that time is running out for the safekeeping and the safe return of this particular Israeli soldier. As we have seen, there are hundreds of ground troops, tanks, and armored vehicles on the border with Gaza, and he is saying that time is running out to be able to see this soldier come home safely.
But we have heard from the deputy prime minister, Shimon Peres, saying that the Israelis do not want to go back into Gaza. They pulled out thousands of troops and settlers last summer after 38 years of occupation. They say they don't want to occupy it again. Ehud Olmert has said if they do go back in, it is just to get their soldier back, not to launch a military offensive -- Jim.
CLANCY: All right. You know, and as we look at this, Paula, of course there's that official reaction, some of the accusations and the threats and all of the analysis about what you should do next. But how about the public? How are they reacting? How are they following this?
HANCOCKS: Well, the public are following every single twist and turn of what's happening at the moment. Some people I've been speaking to say that they're all discussing it, saying, "What do you think about the situation?" They don't even have to explain what "the situation" is.
As I said, it is because the military is such an integral part of the Jewish state, the fact that the military service is obligatory. Everybody knows someone who is in the army. And, of course, the fact that there hasn't been a soldier that has been kidnapped for around about a decade, so it's a very new situation for many people to be watching.
They're saying that they do need to get their soldier back. But they're also saying at the same time that Israel can't be seen to be weak. There's also been many rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel in the past few weeks, and that needs to be acted upon as well -- Jim.
CLANCY: Paula Hancocks reporting live from Jerusalem -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Taking you now to Iraq.
After months, maybe years behind bars, hundreds of Iraqi prisoners got their first taste of freedom. It's all part of a national reconciliation plan implemented by Iraq's prime minister. While one of the Iraq's largest Sunni Arab groups endorsed the plan, U.S. lawmakers back in Washington are concerned.
We're efforting (ph) for you a live report by our senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, and that will come a bit later in the program -- Jim.
CLANCY: All right. Well, for now, let's look at another development coming out of Iraq. Saddam Hussein's first trial not over yet, but a date has been set for the next one.
On August the 21st, Hussein and six other co-defendants will face charges in a military campaign against the Kurds back in the 1980s. An estimated 100,000 Kurds were killed in northern Iraq. The military operation was meant to a crush a move by the Kurds to try to gain independence in that region.
GORANI: All right. I'm told we're able to go back live to Baghdad. Nic Robertson standing by.
He was there -- I believe, Nic, you were there when some of these prisoners were released this day. What was the mood like?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the prisoners were clearly happy about being released. They were given a lecture, if you will, by the national security adviser, Mowaffak al- Rubaie. He told them why it was important that they were being released.
He said this wasn't a political stunt, that the unity of Iraq was important, that they needed to support the government, and that the violence needed to end. But before he could finish that address -- or just as he had finished that address, the prisoners shouted out to him, "Release everyone else! Release all the other prisoners!"
And this is what I heard talking to the prisoners there. They said that they -- they said that what they wanted was all the prisoners in the jail who they said were innocent to be released, not just the 450 that were released on this day -- Hala.
GORANI: Now, the big question, of course, with this reconciliation plan, Nic, is, will this appease Sunnis who at best -- at best are reluctant to join the political process in many cases?
ROBERTSON: The prisoners that we talked to today said that if the government was serious about reconciliation, then it would release all of the prisoners. And then, they said, that would give them belief in what the government was doing and that would be positive for the reconciliation process.
The government, on its side, believes that these steps, these amnesties, are helping the reconciliation process. They're saying that through their intermediaries they are getting positive signs from insurgent groups about -- in terms of political developments, at least, about this amnesty.
The prisoners themselves were looking at it from a personal standpoint. Many of them I talked to, all of them, in fact, told me that they feel that they've been wrongly imprisoned. Many of them said that they've been in prison for a year and a half, others told me they had been in prison for just seven months.
One young man told me he had put in jail for having a camera in his cell phone. Another man showed me his charge sheet that said that he had been making car bombs and that he had explosive material on his hands when he had been arrested. But both men said they were innocent -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Nic Robertson, our senior international correspondent, live in Baghdad.
Thank you, Nic.
CLANCY: All right. Meantime, investigations of alleged killings of Iraqi civilians by U.S. troops continuing on several fronts.
And Hala, I think we should take stock of where we are on that.
GORANI: Right. Here's an update of some of the main cases.
First, seven soldiers and a Navy medic were charged last week with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. That was in the death of a civilian in Hamnadiya.
CLANCY: Now, the troops allegedly pulled a disabled man from his home and shot him. Then they -- they left a rifle and a shovel by his body, allegedly, to make it look like he was placing a roadside bomb there.
GORANI: There was a separate incident where four soldiers were charged -- that was last week -- with shooting three prisoners north of Baghdad. They're accused of lying about the circumstances of the killings. Three of the soldiers are also said to have threatened to kill a fellow soldier if he told the truth about the alleged incident.
CLANCY: All right. Now let's shift focus here. Another one.
Sunday, the U.S. military charged a soldier with voluntary manslaughter. The soldier accused of shooting an unarmed Iraqi man by his home in Ramadi. That's just west of Baghdad, the capital of Anbar Province. He and a fellow soldier were also charged with obstruction of justice for conspiring to place a gun near the man's body.
GORANI: Finally, investigations continue into the killing of 24 unarmed civilians in Haditha. A probe of the Naval criminal investigative service could lead to murder charges against several Marines. A separate investigation into whether they lied about the killings is complete, but so far, no details have been released.
All right. We've got you covered there from Gaza all the way to Iraq.
We're going to take a short break.
CLANCY: But coming up next, are they the real weapons of mass destruction?
GORANI: The U.N. thinks so. The world body takes aim at small arms trade, but a powerful gun lobby in the U.S. is not happy.
We'll have that and more after this.
CLANCY: Welcome back, everyone. You're watching YOUR WORLD TODAY. This is where we try to bring CNN International and U.S. viewers together up to speed on some of the most international stories of the day. And here may be one of them.
The United Nations taking a like at the illicit trade in small arms, guns so light that they've helped to push children as young as 8 years of age into the ranks of rebel movements, the so-called child soldiers. Guns that kill upwards of a thousand people a day around the world. The U.N. says it hopes to crush that trade, but the conference now taking place in the United States, where, as our U.S. viewers well know, the right to bear arms is sacrosanct.
Senior U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth has more.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SR. UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): John DeLoca sells guns in Queens, New York, legally. No license and ID, no weapon. He's aware that just a few miles away an international conference to halt illegal gun trafficking is getting under way, but unimpressed.
JOHN DELOCA, GUN SHOP OWNER: We don't need people to come in from other countries to critique us or tell us how to do it.
ROTH: DeLoca says just enforce existing laws to help tackle gun- related violence. These anti-gun activists agree with him, but they also want better laws.
At a rally outside the U.N. conference, they display an AK-47 built out of prosthetic limbs. And they haul a petition they say has been signed by a million people affected or distressed by gun violence.
REBECCA PETERS, INTERNATIONAL ACTION NETWORK ON SMALL ARMS: We're sending a message to the governments of the world that are gathered here today, saying, you must bring in basic rules to govern the international trade in guns because they're killing a thousand people a day.
ROTH: But the loudest message heard so far has been sent by members of the National Rifle Association in the United States to the U.N. conference chairman.
PRASAD KARIYAWASAM, SRI LANKAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: I myself have received 100,000 letters from some in the U.S. public, criticizing me personally, saying that, "You are having this conference on 4th of July. You're not going to get guns on that day."
ROTH: The U.N. is a frequent target of the gun lobby, but Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the aim of this conference is misunderstood.
KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: Mr. President, with your permission, I would want to repeat, because there are people around who either have not heard this or do not want to hear, we are not negotiating a global ban, nor do we wish to deny law-abiding citizens their right to bear arms in accordance with international laws.
ROTH: Destroying illegal weapons is fine with the Bush administration, but a new global treaty is not.
JOHN BOLTON, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Illicit trafficking in light weapons is something that can exacerbate conflict situations, but that the responsible use of firearms is a legitimate part of national life.
ROTH: Julius Areli's (ph) brother was killed in a raid on his farmland in Kenya.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You only need to sell 10 cows and you have a gun. But these arms are highly disruptive.
ROTH (on camera): The illegal gun trade is worth a billion dollars a year, and conference advocates say for many countries that's too high a price to start silencing the illegal trade of weapons.
Richard Roth, CNN, the United Nations.
CLANCY: Now, that's a story that's really not about the United States. It's about around the world, the people that fly arms in their thousands, trade them for blood diamonds, create conflicts. Fuel conflicts around the world. Many believe there is a new law needed.
GORANI: And many of the victims end up being very young children, as well.
CLANCY: That's right.
GORANI: All right. Now, we're on a lighter note.
CLANCY: Much lighter.
GORANI: And for all of those -- for those of you interested in the World Cup and football -- and you don't have to be interested in football or soccer to be interested in this, because this is history- making Jim. Ronaldo making history, the Brazilian player, a short time ago at the World Cup.
CLANCY: He is the most prolific goal scorer in the history of the Cup. He's got 15 of them.
Ronaldo scored in the fifth minute of Brazil's match against Ghana. The score right now is 2-0 for Brazil after Adreano (ph) scored right after the half-time break.
GORANI: Now, Brazil fans are watching the match on a jumbo screen in (INAUDIBLE). Those are the ones without tickets. They reacted with cheers. There you go, with Ronaldo in the back -- when he hit the ball into the back of the net.
Spain and France clash in Hanover in just under three hours. That's the last of the round two matches. The winners go on to the quarter finals.
CLANCY: All right. For our viewers in the United States, Daryn Kagan will be along in just a moment. She'll have some U.S. headlines.
GORANI: Now, for everyone else, a look at global financial markets.
And later, are Harry Potter's days numbered? The teenage wizard faces some interesting plot twists in the next and final book. We'll turn the pages when we return.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And hello, everyone. I'm Tony Harris, in for Daryn Kagan, at the CNN Center in Atlanta.
More of YOUR WORLD TODAY in just a few minutes, but first a check of stories making headlines in the United States.
Rescue in New York. The second and final construction worker pulled to safety following a collapse almost two hours ago. We've been following this story on CNN as it unfolded.
The two men were trapped in wet cement in a building under construction in Brooklyn. They've both been taken to the hospital.
An explosion at a motel in Georgia today. One employee hasn't been found. Authorities say the blast happened about three hours ago in the west Georgia city of Bremen.
Part of the motel's roof collapsed. And debris is strewn across the parking lot. Authorities still don't know the cause of the blast. Bremen, as you can see here, is about 45 miles west of Atlanta near the Alabama border.
In small-town Clinton, Missouri, today shock and sadness. The 32-year-old leader of a local Elks Club is dead, killed when a building collapsed last night. Nine others were trapped and waited hours to be rescued.
The collapse happened as the men were eating dinner on the second floor of the building. The trapped victims say the third floor came crashing down. One man who was rescued says it could have been a lot worst. He shared his thoughts earlier today on CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON EATON, SURVIVED BUILDING COLLAPSE: The community is just -- has really rallied around this. And we're just a few days short of what we call our Old Glory Day celebration, which is a three-day thing where the whole downtown square basically is converted into a large carnival, with singing acts from, you know, different genres here.
It's just a wonderful period. And we're so blessed and so happy that in three days there -- there would very easily be 200 to 300 hundred people in there instead of 45 or 50, including a lot of small children. And so, we're so blessed that if this was going to happen, it happened tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS: Mud, muck and, yes, more rain. It is still a mess in the eastern U.S. from the nation's capital to the capital of New York. Main streets turned into rivers, as you can see here.
This was the scene just a short time ago in Laurel, Maryland. A number of roads in the area are closed for another day. This bridge is pretty much -- you'll see it here in a second -- a washout. Officials are readying rescue boats just in case.
Some places got more than a foot of rain. And the flooding is blamed for at least one traffic death.
Watching it all, Bonnie Schneider for us in the CNN weather center.
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Tony.
HARRIS: OK, Bonnie. Thank you.
Smoking sections don't work, but smoke-free areas do. That's the message from the surgeon general today. A new report is out on the risks of second-hand smoke.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. RICHARD CARMONA, SURGEON GENERAL: Second-hand smoke exposure causes heart diseases and lung cancer in adults and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and respiratory problems in children. There is no risk-free level of second-hand smoke exposure with even brief exposure adversely affecting the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Only smoke-free environments effectively protect non-smokers from second- hand smokers exposure in indoor spaces.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: A star is leaving morning TV program. Star Jones Reynolds, that is.
She announced her departure from "The View" on this morning's show. Reynolds helped launch the program on ABC nine years ago. In a statement, she says, "The View" is moving in a new direction and she will not be returning in the fall.
Another co-host, Meredith Vieira, left "The View" recently. She will replace Katie Couric on NBC's "The Today Show."
She's a single mom working three jobs and struggling to make ends meet, so how has she helped raise thousands of dollars to help other families living in poverty? Her inspiring story on "LIVE FROM" at the top of the hour with Kyra Phillips.
YOUR WORLD TODAY continues after a quick break. I'm Tony Harris.
GORANI: Welcome back to YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Hala Gorani.
CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy, and these are the stories that are making headlines around the world. Some 450 prisoners in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison tasting freedom for the first time in many months. This release part of a national reconciliation plan proposed by Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki. Iraqi officials say the men were not convicted of terror acts, war crimes or crimes against humanity, and that most just want to return to normal lives.
GORANI: Also in the headlines, Africa's dream team Ghana are trailing five-time world champions Brazil 2-0 in their World Cup match. Ronaldo scored in the fifth minute for his World Cup record 15th goal. Adriano scored just before the halftime break. It was Brazil's 200th goal in World Cup play. The winners face the victors of the France/Spain match that starts in two-and-a-half hours.
CLANCY: Israel threatens to launch what it calls a broad and ongoing military offensive in Gaza, unless Palestinian militants release a soldier seized in weekend raid. The militants demand Israel release all imprisoned Palestinian women and children. International diplomatic efforts are under way to try to secure the soldier's release.
GORANI: Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Perez says it is possible that the kidnapping of Gilat Shalit was against the better judgment of Palestinian leaders on the ground.
Let's get the view from a Saeb Erakat, Palestinian legislator, joining us now live from Jericho.
Mr. Erakat, thanks for being with us. First let's talk about this two-state solution document that Hamas and Fatah reportedly have agreed to sign. Is this a breakthrough?
SAEB ERAKAT, PALESTINIAN LEGISLATOR: Well, if it's finalized, I think it will be a breakthrough. But Hala, my knowledge is that there are many -- substantial progress was made. And the document now was forwarded to President Abbas Abu Mazen. He will have to review it. Consult. So I cannot say that it's finalized fully now. And if it's finalized and signed, I think this will constitute a major breakthrough.
GORANI: How will this change things? If there is a document out there signed by Hamas leaders, implicitly recognizing Israel, will it really yield to major change or not?
ERAKAT: It will. Because the point after the situation, after the signing of this agreement, this would mean that there would be a formation of a national unity government. And the program of this national unity government is what counts here. You made a call that when Abu Mazen asked (INAUDIBLE) to form the government, he put on him a program in which he called upon a two-step solution to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept obligations of Palestinian Authority.
So any future government of national unity will have a similar program toward Abu Mazen specified in the (INAUDIBLE). So I think the first step will be to sign the document and the second step will be move toward a formation of the national unity government on the basis of the program that I just specified.
GORANI: Now, there is high drama, though, going on in Gaza as this political process is unfolding. We have a kidnapped Israeli soldier being held somewhere in southern Gaza. Israelis threatening a full-scale invasion. What is the way out of this impasse, of this crisis, of what could become a major crisis if there is no resolution soon?
ERAKAT: Well, first of all, we have to focus and stay the course on the main issue. The main issue here is to locate the soldier. President Abbas is exerting maximum effort. As I was speaking to you, there is a house to house search now, was instructed by the president to do so.
So I really hope that the Israelis will refrain from their threats and the language of threats and intimidation or take any action that may add to complications of (INAUDIBLE) situation. If the Israelis had known where -- the whereabouts of the soldier -- I don't think they would have waited for us or anybody else. If we had known -- if we know the location of the soldier, we would not have waited.
So now, every possible effort is being exhibited by the president personally. President Abbas is leading the effort from his situation room personally. There is a house to house search. I really hope that we can conclude this ordeal peacefully and we can locate the soldier and bring him out alive.
GORANI: But let me ask you this, Saeb Erakat. If it is the case that Hamas officials have no idea where this soldier is in Gaza, it means that the militant factions have splintered already to a point where there is really no centralized government. In other words, we're already seeing what some people have feared, which is sort of a more political Hamas and a really much more militant Hamas and an armed wing of other factions. Is that what you see for the Palestinian territories going forward?
ERAKAT: I'm not going to dispute what you said, Hala. I'm not under -- I'm not denying the chaos and the lawlessness out there. I'm not denying the fact that there are many militias operating outside there. But all I know in this crisis is that President Abbas and his prime minister, Mr. Amaia (ph), are working together in order to resolve this issue peacefully.
I mean, who would expected, you know, Hamas government spokespersons to come out and call for those who have the soldier to keep him alive, and then the (INAUDIBLE) prime minister of this government to call upon his release alive? Now, I know that we have problems. I know that we have an awful lot of (INAUDIBLE). Every effort in our capacity is being exerted now in all and all (INAUDIBLE) our search.
And I think that we have to given this chance in order to do what we can do at this particular moment. And, then, you know, the consequences of Israeli invasion into Gaza, a situation where 1.3 million people, the most densely populated area on the earth. I don't think the Israelis would just, you know, storm their army. You know, they know the consequences, the human catastrophe that will happen.
So I believe at this stage, in the crisis management, in the damage control, we have to be given the chance, Abu Mazen must be given the chance, to exert every possibility he has in order to bring about the whereabouts of the soldier and to bring him out alive.
GORANI: All right, Palestinian legislator Saeb Erakat, joining us live from Jericho. Thank you very much.
By the way, for more about the growing tension -- and it is a tense situation between Israelis and Palestinians -- check out our Web site. You can also check out video reports, hear from former prime minister Shimon Perez. Click on CNN.com/international.
CLANCY: It is a delicate diplomatic mission involving two allies in the war on terror who have been at odds. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traveling to Pakistan. She is there for talks on trying to increase the cooperation between two important neighbors. Liz -- we have a report now from Elise Labott. She joins us live.
Elise, what really is the secretary of state trying to achieve with this visit?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, these are, as you know, two of the most important allies in the war of terror. Secretary of State Rice really effuse in her praise of both Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Afghan President Hamid Karzai as indispensable in the war on terror.
But that -- as you said, there is a lot increase in violence in Afghanistan, and that's really blamed on an insurge of -- increase in Taliban activity. And that's caused a lot of tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghan President Karzai really publicly criticizing Pakistan for not doing enough to stop terrorists coming across the border.
So Secretary Rice's mission is this important mission in the war on terror really needs better cooperation, better coordination and less of this public blame game. Also in Pakistan today, Jim, Secretary Rice also cracking down on President Musharraf a bit, saying she really expects him to make good on his promise to hold democratic elections next year. As you know, he took power in 1999 and promised to hold those elections and they haven't happened yet.
CLANCY: Next stop, Afghanistan. There the secretary of state has to bring some home some of the international concerns over the burgeoning drug trade. LABOTT: That's right. Afghanistan is the world's biggest producer of opium, and it's a huge problem not only for the drugs that are reaching the United States and other countries, but the question is, where is this money going? A lot of the money is going to the Taliban, going to terrorists. And combined with an increase of cultivation that's expected over the next year and an instable security situation in the country, there's a big concern that this could grow out of control. And Secretary Rice will be addressing this.
Also, a lot of other funding issues in Afghanistan. What she wants to do is accelerate reconstruction in the country, and so that will not only stop the security situation from going out of control if people have better futures, better jobs. She also thinks that could possibly help the drug problem.
CLANCY: All right. Elise Labott, reporting to us there live from the State Department. Elise, thank you.
GORANI: A lot more ahead on YOUR WORLD TODAY.
Stand and deliver. The international community has still to put its money where its mouth is over Africa.
CLANCY: And killing off Harry? Is the bestselling author of the Harry Potter series about to close the book on our own here?
GORANI: In Somalia, more bloodshed. Islamic militia have broken a cease-fire. There was a six-hour battle that left six people dead after that.
Now the newly appointed Islamic leader, Shaikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, had initially said he would negotiate with his U.S.-backed interim government, but he also insisted it must accept Islamic law. The overnight raid on a checkpoint outside the capital, Mogadishu, is the first action since the truce agreement last week.
It also comes a day after U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States has no plans to engage with the group's new leader, seen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN MCCORMACK, U.S. STATE DEPT. SPOKESMAN: We're going to work with individuals, groups and partners in the international community to fight terrorism. You don't want to see Somalia become a safe haven for terrorists.
Now we do have some concerns about al Qaeda operatives in Somalia. And certainly we're going to work with others in the international community. We have an active East Africa counterterrorism initiative, as well as individual and groups that are interested in building those institutions and fighting terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: While this Hassan Dahir Aweys is on the U.S. terrorist watchlist as a suspected collaborator with al Qaeda.
CLANCY: Meantime, they all said they wanted to help Africa, but did the world's developed country show up a day late and a dollar short?
GORANI: All right, at the Gleneagles G-8 Summit last year, you'll remember, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Africa was a top priority. But according to some experts, the outlook is worse now than it was a year ago.
CLANCY: Robin Oakley gives us at a new effort to change all of that.
ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For a few weeks last summer, all of the world wanted to help the poor, the hungry and the sick. The mass marches and the late Poverty History (ph) campaign and Live Aid concerts swelled the chorus for politicians to do something, especially for Africa. The leaders responded.
And up at Gleneagles G-8 Summit, lead by Tony Blair, with rock stars Bob Geldof from Bono onhand, the leaders responded.
BONO, ENTERTAINER: I wouldn't say that this is the end of extreme poverty, but is the beginning of the end.
OAKLEY (on camera): The G-8 agreed to help Africa by canceling the debts of the 18 poorest countries, increasing development spending by $50 billion a year by 2010, providing universal access to anti- HIV/AIDS drugs by that date, and fundamentally reforming E.U. and U.S. farm subsidies in World Trade talks.
(voice-over): U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who was present, called it the greatest summit for Africa ever.
But are promises being turned into reality? They have canceled the debt of 20 of the poorest nations. But development spending is behind target, partly because some nations include forgiven debts in their aid totals.
But HIV/AIDS help is still in the planning stage. And crucially, world trade talks designed to help the poorest countries by scrapping rich nation's farm subsidies have stalled.
RICHARD DOWDEN, ROYAL AFRICAN SOCIETY: Out of the three AIDS, trade, debt, there's nothing on trade. And that is a disaster, because in the long-term, there's no evidence that aid, even in huge amounts, actually produces either economic growth or real development.
OAKLEY: Worldwide, charities say the G-8 efforts have got things moving in the right direction. But hopes haven't all been realized. DOWDEN: When you look at something like $50 billion worth of aid, at least 15 percent, 20 percent of that will be in consultancies; a great deal more will be spent on administration. The amount that's actually left, to get right down to ordinary African people, may be quite small.
OAKLEY: Follow-up and effective monitoring are crucial, and Tony Blair agrees.
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: And in the years since then, I think this has become more necessary and not less Working with (INAUDIBLE), who is also, as I said, on the commission for Africa, (INAUDIBLE) decided to convene a panel of world leaders from all sectors to ensure that our promises to Africa are kept.
OAKLEY: The Africa Progress Panel, to be funded by the Bill Gates Foundation, and including Bob Geldof and Kofi Annan, will help to keep Africa on the world's conscience. But crucially it must check in delivery.
Announcing big figures at summits is one thing. What matters is whether the cash ever gets down to village level.
Robin Oakley, CNN, London.
GORANI: Always the big question.
All right, changing gears and coming up, the young wizard faces his greatest test.
CLANCY: A book series that just may be coming to an end, or so we're told.
GORANI: What lies ahead for Harry Potter? We'll explore that in a moment.
CLANCY: All right. Well, a quick update now on the World Cup match between Brazil and Ghana with very little time remaining. Brazil have jumped to 3-0 lead in Dortmund, Roberto scoring in the 84th minute. The winners go to the quarter finals to face the winner of the upcoming Spain/France match.
Well, in her first novel, she called him the "boy who lived," but an announcement from "Harry Potter" J.K. Rowling sheds doubt on the boy wizard's fate.
GORANI: Before the seventh and last Potter book -- we know it will be the last -- Rowling says two of her characters will not survive to see the last page. That has readers wondering, will Harry live, or is Potter to perish?
Here's Paula Newton. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll be in trouble, big trouble, particularly you, Harry.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Could she, would she really finish him off? She could and she just might. J.K. Rowling is working on the seventh and, she insists, the last "Harry Potter" novel, that money-spinning, branding empire that has so captivated its readers and audiences.
Fans hang on every word the author utters. Her latest, a chat show confessional, where Rowling proves she is just as good as marketer as she is a writer.
J.K. ROWLING, AUTHOR: But I have to say today that I didn't ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Too much loved ones?
ROWLING: Well, you know, a price has to be paid. We're dealing with pure evil, so they don't target the extras, do they? They go for the main characters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are we there yet.
NEWTON: Harry's in a for cliffhanger, and so are readers. Rowling admits even her husband shuddered when he found out who she was bumping off.
SUZY FEAY, LITERARY CRITIC: She's really done with sort of all guns blazing. I mean, two characters are going to die. The way she ups and ante and really ramps up the tension each time, and also the atmosphere of intense evil that the books are starting to take on, I mean, they really are quite frightening.
NEWTON: And that's exactly what her readers want, the fright of their lives. Rowling has been true, never sentimental. Her characters have grown up with their readers, who are now craving more of a wild ride from Harry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it would be interesting or, like, something different to the whole, you know, happy ending thing, yes.
NEWTON (on camera): There actually might be an interesting twist to the book so ...
(voice-over): He's way ahead of dad on that one.
(on camera): You looked like you were shocked when I told you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was shocked when I heard about it.
NEWTON (voice-over): Shock and awe -- Rowling has perfected it. She has always managed to blow her readers away with new twists and plot lines, each book outselling the book before.
KATHY WATERHOUSE, WATERSTONE SENIOR BOOK BUYER: I think the fact that the last chapter was written several years ago and has been hiding in a locked drawer ever since, it's just one of the cleverest things that anybody has ever done.
NEWTON: Rowling is refusing to say if Harry is on the chopping block. She says she doesn't want the hate mail but ...
ROWLING: I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an author who thinks, well, I'm going to kill them off, because that means there can be no non-author written sequels, as they call them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Oh.
ROWLING: So it will end with me.
NEWTON: So, if she does go through with it, you can bet no one will mourn Harry more than J.K. Rowling herself.
Paula Newton, CNN, London.
CLANCY: Let's get a little more on the speculation that swirls around about the Potter next book, and the fan clubs. Let's talk about what's going on with Karen Holt, the deputy editor of "Publisher's Weekly."
Karen, thanks for being with us. You know, fresh faced, wide- eyed and there are millions -- children ran out and bought these books. They made her a billionaire, richer than the queen, and now she's paying them -- is this cold-hearted or what, saying she could kill off Harry Potter? Or is this just cold cash?
KAREN HOLT, DEPUTY EDITOR, "PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY": Part of the brilliance of this series is the characters and the storylines in the books have grown up along with the audience, so they have become darker and more mature as they have gone along.
CLANCY: You know, but killing off the hero, would she really do that, you think?
HOLT: Oh, you know, it wouldn't surprise me at all. She's not ruling it out. I certainly wouldn't. I mean, it certainly wouldn't be the first time that a literary hero's image has been sort of solidified by dying young.
CLANCY: All right, if she says this series is over, how is this series going to go down, you know, in the literary history books, if you will, because it has been extraordinary?
HOLT: Right, right. Oh, it's unprecedented. I would be surprised if anything will ever top it. Of course, we never know. But at this point, it's unprecedented. I think these are books that will be ... CLANCY: Why. What made it such a success?
HOLT: Well, I mean, part of it is she's just an amazing storyteller. She somehow tapped into this imagination that appealed to children. And as I said, she has allowed the books to grow up with along with the readers. I mean, these haven't remained static characters, always in the same grade and having sort of the same sorts of adventures over and over.
CLANCY: Is it going to stand the test of time?
HOLT: Absolutely. Absolutely. These books are classic. Kids will be reading these books for as long as there are books.
CLANCY: All right, Karen Holt, deputy editor of "Publisher's Weekly," I want to thank you very much ...
HOLT: My pleasure.
CLANCY: ...for being with us. Interesting book with a cliffhanger -- we'll have to wait and see.
GORANI: What do you think? Is it Harry Potter?
CLANCY: I don't know, but I do know a lot of people are going to be disappointed if it is.
GORANI: If it is, yes, including maybe you're kids as well.
CLANCY: That's right.
GORANI: All right. Update on the Ghana game, for anyone who's interested. Brazil just beat Ghana, 3-0. No Cinderella story there. Ghana out, Brazil moves forward. And there you have pictures of celebrating Brazilians.
CLANCY: You know, I've got to say, as we look at these pictures, everybody is going it reminds me of this cartoon that I saw with Uncle Sam dressed up sitting on the doctor's table, and he says, "You know, doc, I just can't seem to catch this World Cup fever."
GORANI: All right. Well, maybe baseball will do it. You know when Brazil plays it's always exciting.
CLANCY: I doubt it, Hala.
GORANI: Come on. All right. YOUR WORLD TODAY is over for now.
CLANCY: "LIVE FROM" is up next for our viewers in the United States.
GORANI: For viewers elsewhere, around the world, another hour of YOUR WORLD TODAY is next. I'm Hala Gorani.
CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. This is CNN.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com