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YOUR WORLD TODAY

Portuguese Police Refocusing Efforts in Case of Missing British Girl; Residents, Tourists Flee Catalina Blaze; Victims to be Remembered at Virginia Tech Commencement Ceremony

Aired May 11, 2007 - 12:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The search for a missing toddler shifts, and one of the most recognized men in the world lends his time to help the investigation.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Surrounded by water, and still burning. Wildfires force hundreds of people to leave a posh resort island off the U.S. West Coast.

CLANCY: A necessity of life can also bring death. Iraq's failing infrastructure exposes children to deadly disease.

GORANI: And we'll tell you why a rare and somewhat unsightly bird found itself very far from home and became a celebrity.

It is noon here in Atlanta, 5:00 p.m. in London.

Hello and welcome to our report broadcast around the globe.

I'm Hala Gorani.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy.

From Lisbon to Los Angeles, Baghdad to Beijing, wherever you are watching, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.

The big story this hour, a little girl. She's been missing now for more than a week. Tomorrow, her parents face the prospect of marking her 4th birthday without her.

GORANI: Now, this story has gripped Europe and regions beyond.

We begin with the case of Madeleine McCann, the British girl who vanished during a family holiday in Portugal.

CLANCY: Police, though, refocusing their efforts. They're winding down the search now. They're trying to concentrate on pursuing some of the leads they have.

GORANI: Well, they're also getting more help from the public, including another high-profile appeal.

CLANCY: Cal Perry has the details for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CAL PERRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The story of 3-year- old Madeleine, now missing for over a week, continues to grip a nation.

KATE MCCANN, MADELEINE MCCANN'S MOTHER: We would like to say a few words to the person who is with Madeleine or has been with Madeleine. Madeline is a beautiful, bright, funny and caring little girl. She is so special. Please, please, do not hurt her.

PERRY: Police say they think the 3-year-old from rural England was abducted from this holiday resort in southern Portugal last Thursday while her parents were out having dinner.

The story of Madeleine has grown throughout the week. Friday, international football star David Beckham videotaped a statement.

DAVID BECKHAM, FOOTBALL STAR: If you have seen this little girl, please, could you go to your local authorities or police and give any information that you have, any genuine information that you have. Please. Please help us.

Thank you.

PERRY: And this e-mail chain started by Madeleine's uncle arrived in thousands of e-mail boxes across the U.K. today.

Hundreds of police and volunteers have scoured the countryside, searching from land, sea and air. But while the Portuguese police and British volunteers fanned out to find young Madeleine, the British press descended on Portugal, fanning out in search of anyone with an opinion on the police effort itself.

The tone and comments have grown more frantic and judgmental as the week has passed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, to be honest, it seems as though there's very little going on. Today is the first time I've noticed anything happening.

I hope they find her, but, you know, it seems as though -- I'm sure they are trying, but the police presence doesn't seem to be massive, which I thought that, you know, maybe it would be. You know.

PERRY: The missing girl's father spoke in defense of the effort.

GERRY MCCANN, MADELEINE MCCANN'S FATHER: We have now seen at first hand how hard the police are working in the search for Madeleine and their strong desire to find her. We have also seen the resources being put into the investigation.

PERRY: With public pressure escalating, the police push back.

OLEGARIO SOUSA, CHIEF INSPECTOR, PORTUGUESE POLICE: Some details of the investigation can't be brought to public because of the law. I have said it yet, and I ask for all the British people special cooperation for this fact: Things are not equal in legal system in U.K. and in Portugal.

PERRY: The criticism has even diplomats playing mediator.

Portugal's ambassador to Britain made the following statement, saying, "Trust the authorities. They are doing their best."

The international media going so far as to stake out the Portuguese police along the border with Spain. Cameras recording police sitting in their cars during a rain shower while vehicles go unchecked. When the rain stops, police start checking cars again.

Two nations spar while a tragedy plays out in the public forum. At the center of it all, a little girl, now missing for over a week.

Cal Perry, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: All right. Well, you can follow all the developments on this story on our Web site. Just head to cnn.com/international.

CLANCY: All right. Let's turn our attention now to Iraq.

The White House and the U.S. Congress continue their standoff, and so far, it doesn't appear that anybody's blinking. Thursday, the House passed another spending bill for Iraq. This one makes continued funding for the war dependent on a July progress report from the administration. President Bush has made it abundantly clear he will veto the bill, just like the last one which contained a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq.

Funding the war is one thing. Fighting it, entirely another.

Troops in Iraq are getting a reminder from the top American general there, fight by the rules. General David Petraeus distributed a memo after the Pentagon's first ethics study on troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. That study showed a surprisingly high number of soldiers and Marines who support the idea of torture in some cases. Ten percent admitted to personally abusing civilians.

In his letter to the troops, General Petraeus says this: "We must observe the standards and values that dictate that we treat noncombatants and detainees with dignity and respect. While we are warriors, we are also human beings."

GORANI: All right. Let's turn now to some other stories making news this day.

(NEWSBREAK)

CLANCY: Take a look off the coast of Los Angeles, where an unwelcome repeat performance of wildfires ravaged about 4,000 acres, or 1,600 hectares, of Catalina Island. Firefighters have just brought another blaze under control in the city's historic Griffith Park area in Los Angeles.

Joining us now for details on the Catalina fire is Ted Rowlands.

And Ted, the people that got out of there last night described it as an inferno. They were choking on the ash and the smoke.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And what a difference a little change in the weather makes. As you can see, it is now beautiful.

The hillside, which is scarred and obviously was hit by the fire, just a little smoldering here and there, was, last night, a wall of flames. And people were forced out of their homes, down to the beach.

There's about 3,000 homes in this little town of Avalon on Catalina Island. This is a tourist destination for people from around the world. About 3,000 people live here full time, and the majority of the folks were evacuated out of their homes, came down to the beach, and literally, ash was raining from the sky and a wall of flames was coming down that hill.

Most -- a good portion of the tourists that were here left, via ferry. They ran ferries all night long and brought them back to the mainland.

Residents, many of them, stayed in hotels along the beach here, going to bed not knowing what the fate of their homes would be. But when they woke up this morning, there had been a significant change in the weather. The wind change is now pushing the fire back on itself, and the humidity has gone way up.

And we just talked to firefighters just a bit ago, and they say they are very optimistic that they are going to be able to exploit this, this opportunity from Mother Nature to get a handle on this fire. They are getting some help from the U.S. military, as well.

Hovercraft from Camp Pendleton sent L.A. County firefighters and fire rigs all night long, multiple trips, bringing the much-needed equipment and personnel to handle this fire. They are in place now, and as we said, a break in the weather is giving them a good chance of getting a hold of this fire sooner than later -- Jim.

CLANCY: Ted Rowlands reporting there live from Catalina Island.

Well, thousands of people are going to be making their way to Virginia Tech in just a few hours. It's going to be graduation day.

GORANI: Well, the commencement ceremony comes less than a month, of course, after the U.S. campus massacre that claimed 32 lives.

CLANCY: Jim Acosta reports that school officials are planning tributes those who would have been graduating today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Set in this rolling countryside, the scene for this year's commencement at Virginia Tech is almost picture-perfect. Almost will have to do this year. Everybody will be missing somebody.

BRICE BRADFORD, GRADUATING SENIOR: It's really hard to feel accomplished or self-congratulatory right now when you know that there should be a dozen or so other people walking across the stage with you that aren't even alive anymore.

ACOSTA: Many, including graduating senior Brice Bradford, will remember Ryan Clark, the larger-than-life student everyone called "Stack," and a fellow member of the school's marching band.

BRADFORD: He was the spirit of the band. The band's the spirit of the school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having a five-minute walk from here to Burris Hall with him turned into a two-hour meet-and-greet, because literally he knew so many people on campus. He'd walk two steps, meet somebody else.

ACOSTA: The marching band's director, David McKee (ph), will present Clark's uniform to the slain senior's family at graduation. He says Stack would have wanted this weekend to remain a celebration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stack would want us to dance. He'd want us to smile at one another. He'd want us to greet one another.

He's not a guy we're going to replace. You don't replace any of these people.

ACOSTA: Ad the campus is still mourning them. At Tech's student center, banners willed with signatures from colleges across the country are everywhere. And at commencement, the university plans to hand out school rings to the families of the slain graduates.

PROF. NIKKI GIOVANNI, VIRGINIA TECH: I'm not seeing a whole lot of joy. I'm seeing the sadness that is going to surround this occasion.

ACOSTA: The school's renowned poet, Nikki Giovanni, is reminding her graduates to take time to heal.

GIOVANNI: People say move forward. But we haven't moved backwards. So what...

ACOSTA (on camera): What does that mean, you haven't moved backwards?

GIOVANNI: We haven't. We haven't moved backwards.

We -- here we stand. We just have to find a way to continue to wrap the love around ourselves.

ACOSTA: Jim Acosta, CNN, Virginia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CLANCY: He concedes -- he concedes that mistakes have been made. GORANI: All right, but don't expect a change in policy.

Straight ahead on YOUR WORLD TODAY, the expected successor to Tony Blair talks about Iraq.

CLANCY: And then a bit later, don't drink the water. It's a maxim usually applied to tropical tourist destinations, but it's proving to be a sad truism in Iraq.

We'll explain.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CLANCY: Hello, everyone, and welcome back to CNN International and YOUR WORLD TODAY.

GORANI: And we're taking a closer look at some of our top stories this hour. And we start with Gordon Brown.

A day after he announced that he's stepping down next month, the British prime minister, Tony Blair, has formally endorsed a replacement -- Gordon Brown.

CLANCY: Yes. He's been waiting in the wings for years now, and not always patiently, just for the chance to take over affairs at 10 Downing Street.

GORANI: Well, officially he launched his campaign today, signaling how he might handle some of the major challenges the country faces, including, of course, its involvement in the Iraq war.

CLANCY: Paula Newton, our correspondent on security affairs, is in London. She has some perspective and details on this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For a decade, Gordon Brown has been Britain's money man. As finance minister, he was the number cruncher. But now new figures will worry him -- 148, the number of British troops killed in Iraq; 1,647, the number injured; and 61, the percentage of Britons that want their troops out of Iraq now.

GORDON BROWN, CHANCELLOR OF EXCHEQUER: I accept that mistakes have been made.

NEWTON: After that active contrition, Brown said things will change.

BROWN: I do think that over the next few months the emphasis will shift. We've got to concentrate more on political reconciliation in Iraq. We've got to concentrate more on economic development.

NEWTON: But that may already seem a bit naive. As prime minister in waiting, Brown has spent months poring over his options for tackling the war on terror. But the man now in the job has only sobering insights.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The blowback since from global terrorism and those elements that support it has been fierce, and unrelenting, and costly. And for many, it simply isn't and can't be worth it.

NEWTON (on camera): And that's Brown challenge in a nutshell. Not only are many Britons now convinced that the war isn't worth it, they fear that it's actually making them a bigger target for terrorists here at home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there's a way sort (ph) of that in the back of my mind, am I really safe from what's -- what happened in Iraq? Are they going to retaliate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't envisage that London is particularly -- will feel any safer under Gordon Brown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not a winnable war. Anyone with half a brain realizes that. You don't need to be a military strategist.

NEWTON (voice over): And yet, those close to Brown insist a major policy shift in the war on terror is not in the cards.

ALISTAIR CAMPBELL: In terms of a basic approach to the transatlantic relationship, in terms of seeing the whole thing through in terms of commitment, to try and take forward peace in the Middle East, I have got no doubt Gordon Brown will be every bit as committed to that as Tony has been.

NEWTON: But Brown will be under mounting pressure to come up with a timetable for troop withdrawal in Iraq. And more than that, prove British efforts in Afghanistan are working, and the war on terror at home is under control.

JOHN KAMPFNER, "THE NEW STATESMAN": In the way he deals with security, there won't be any great relaxation. Far from it. There is a major security threat. But he won't be using such colorful, inflammatory language about war on terror, or this or that, and he will also be seeking a broader international consensus, which is absolutely vital.

NEWTON: Gordon Brown has proven credentials on the economy, but how he will manage the war on terror at home and abroad could well be what defines him as a leader in the months to come.

Paula Newton, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: And another question, according to analysts, is, how will the relationship between the U.S. and U.K. change with Gordon Brown? It won't change fundamentally, say many, but the tone might change a little bit. CLANCY: It might. And it's going to be something that people wait and see, because he's under pressure. So that's going to affect the way he will run his office.

GORANI: Under domestic pressure, for sure.

A short break here on YOUR WORLD TODAY.

When we come back...

CLANCY: Apple iPods and the music that made Apple Records famous could be on track for a match made in heaven?

GORANI: Well, that and other business headlines when we return.

And Beijing undergoes a major facelift for the Olympic games. But will the newfound beauty come at a price there?

Stay with us.

(NEWSBREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Welcome back to our viewers joining us from more than 200 countries around the globe, including this hour the United States.

CLANCY: This is YOUR WORLD TODAY.

I'm Jim Clancy.

GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani.

Here are the top stories this hour

(NEWSBREAK)

GORANI: Well, as if life in Iraq wasn't dangerous or difficult enough, people are now being killed by the very water they drink.

CLANCY: That's right. Hugh Riminton, our correspondent there right now, says the most helpless Iraqis are the most likely to become victims, and the situation is only getting worse.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HUGH RIMINTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The victims of this war are not only the kidnapped and tortured, or the people blown up in market squares. There are those who simply drink. The hospitals are filling up.

"I'm doing my best to keep her alive," says Ina Awad (ph), but often the water we buy is green. Iraq is approaching summer, and that is diarrhea season, the biggest killer of Iraq's children. One child in 20 in Iraq, on some claims one in eight, dies before reaching 5. It is in the children's wards, as much as in the trauma rooms, where Iraq's tragedy is seen.

"It's pollution in the drinking water," says Dr. Saad Mehdi (ph), a pediatrician at Sadr City's Ibana Baladi (ph) Hospital. "The water contained parasites," he says, "and brings diarrhea and fever, also typhoid and hepatitis. They have gotten worse since the invasion."

(on camera): For thousands of years, this has been the glory of Iraq. In a desert country the water of the river Euphrates these and this, the River Tigris, that flows through the center of Baghdad.

But have a look over here, into this waterway, where so many millions of people drawing their essential needs, putrid, stinking effluence.

(voice-over): It is liquid death. Not only sewage, but frequently, bodies float in the Tigris. The original U.S./Iraq construction plan prioritized a quarter of the budget for water. But within months, $2 billion was shifted out of that allocation as security became the pressing issue. Almost all of that money is now gone.

UNICEF runs a tanker program. It's safe to drink this water when it comes. And people -- women chiefly -- come a long way to get it.

"Thank God there's this water," says this woman. "This is my only container, god willing, it will not be too heavy. This is our suffering."

But UNICEF's water reaches less than 3 percent of the population, and its future budget is uncertain. And in Baghdad, children still skip school to scrounge the most basic human resource. The Iraqi government is now under pressure to spend billion of dollars of its own money on infrastructure projects, but there is no transparency, no timetables, no sign of work being done. Sometimes lost among the bangs, the whimpers.

Hugh Riminton, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: There is nothing normal about living in a war zone. There is nothing normal about reporting from one either. Our Michael Holmes spent a lot of time covering Iraq, and he joins us now with a preview of his special documentary this weekend -- Michael.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Hala. Thanks very much for that.

When we were there in January and February, it was interesting that we saw a lot of children laughing. We saw and adults offering traditional Arab hospitality, despite the horrors surrounding them. That's part of our special report "On Assignment: Month of Mayhem."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES (on camera): It can be a bizarre sight, troops cautiously running through the streets, sometimes using smoke to hide from potential snipers, and all the time followed by laughing kids.

We sometimes call ourselves the Pied Piper, because wherever we go, with the soldiers, there are 20 kids behind us. And it can be an amazing sight, where the soldiers, quite rightfully, are very aware and very alert, and there is all this sort of military maneuvering going on. Meanwhile, behind you, there's 20 kids running along, laughing, saying, what's your name, mister?

it's quite a bizarre reality, when you are doing that, you're looking for snipers, and telling the kids to keep it down. The soldiers will tell you it is reassuring. Often if the kids disappear, it can mean something bad is going to happen. Word gets out, streets empty, and something blows up.

It's a great Arab tradition that you show hospitality to guests. We've just come in here with dozen soldiers, people going house to house, asking questions, and they make you chai. So everyone get as little cup of tea if they want one. It's traditional Arab hospitality.

The incredible hospitality and generosity that these people sometimes display to us, you know, we're going in, with the soldiers sometimes, doing searches, and looking for weapons and stuff like that. And many times, the people, they invite you in to sit down on the sofa, bringing you cups of tea, because that's the Arab thing. If you have a guests in your house, you must give them something, you know. So they come out with glasses of Pepsi, and glasses of tea and cookies for these guys who just basically invaded their property. But that's the Arab way. It's a hospitality thing. And, you know, it's an extraordinary thing.

I wonder how most Westerners would react if 12 soldiers came into their house, made themselves at home. I dare say probably most Westerners wouldn't be offering cups of tea.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: It's often amazing how those children, most of them anyway, maintain a pretty happy disposition, despite what they see and they experience in neighborhoods that are often essentially mini war zones. So many of them don't go to school because of the security situation, and I think in some ways, soldiers and even the media become a distraction from their daily routine when they are passing through the neighborhood -- Hala.

GORANI: I imagine there was something surreal reel about walking with your flak jacket and your helmet and going into people's homes and they offer you team and your drinking tea, so you have two worlds colliding here, the war zone an the hospitality.

HOLMES: Yes, and it doesn't necessarily mean that those people, as you know, that, whose houses you're in, like the occupation, or the invasion or anything like that, but it's just part of their culture to make sure if you have a guest, they're looked after. It's equally bizarre walking down the street with a company of soldiers running across the street, the soldiers looking up, and looking around for snipers, and behind you, you've got 20 kids laughing out and calling out your name or whatever.

GORANI: Well, yes, human beings adapt to very difficult situations. We see it all the time in our line of work.

All right, well, your special documentary, and very interesting and one hour of personal accounts airs this weekend.

HOLMES: Yes. All about sort of behind-the-scenes stuff, as well as a look at how we do what we do, and the situation on the ground. International viewers have five chances to see it. Try to catch one. Saturday, 1400 hours GMT. Viewers in the U.S. can tune in for this special one hour documentary, too, Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 p.m., and again at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Try to catch it.

GORANI: All right, look forward to it. Michael Holmes, thanks so much.

CLANCY: We talk a lot here about the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan. We don't often talk about what's happening today in Sri Lanka. It has a civil war under way. The peace process of several years ago has completely unraveled. The U.S. is trying to press the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers to go back to the bargaining table. But many analysts worry now this conflict is about to escalate. U.S. assistant secretary of state Richard Boucher just finished a three-day visit there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD BOUCHER, U.S. ASST. SECY. OF STATE: The other thing that we've talked about quite a bit -- excuse me -- has been the human rights situation. And there are two aspects that concern us most -- one is abductions and killings, and the second is freedom of the press.

CLANCY: He announced that the U.S., like Britain, was cutting back on some of its assistance money going to Sri Lanka, because of currents about the government or government-aligned paramilitaries. But there are concerns on the other side, too, about the Sri Lankan rebel force, known as the Tamil Tigers. Many families abandoning their homes to save their sons from being forced to fight. The civilians are trying to find an exit from all the bloodshed.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CLANCY (voice-over): Sri Lankan army troops bristle with guns. They cut off the main route to the Jafna (ph) peninsula, and isolated an estimated half million ethnic Tamils. Tamil Tiger rebels responded with bomb attacks, and they continued fighting with government troops in thick jungles.

As the peace process between the Tigers and the Sri Lankan government hits a dead end, tens of thousands of Tamils have fled the battle zone. They weep as government troops arrest young men, husbands and sons, suspected of fighting with the rebels. The irony is that some who are fleeing, are doing so precisely because they don't want family members forced into battle. CNN has obtained video of some of those who fled the fighting, speaking of about their plight.

"Because of government shelling," this woman says, "they had to flee with only their children and their clothes on their backs."

Another speaks cautiously, only hinting that many parents have to wait outside schools to pick up their children out of fear they will be snatched by the Tamil Tigers to fight on the front lines.

The United Nations says about 300,000 Tamils have fled their homes in the last year. They gather in camps run by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Thousands more are believed taking shelter with relatives. Away from the camps, some will speak if their identity is hidden, telling stories of fleeing to save their teenage sons from war.

This man's story -- he fled his village with his family without telling anyone. First, afraid he would be turned in as a traitor to the cause, for shielding his son from forced conscription. Then, he feared if caught by rebel patrols, his entire family might be killed. But as they cross the front lines, another fear: running into government troops who might mistake them for infiltrating rebels.

"We were so sorry to leave without saying good-bye to anyone," he says, "but with the children with us, we had no choice."

The battle between minority ethnic Tamils and Sri Lanka's Sihalese majority has sometimes raged and sometimes simmered for the past 24 years. But with a peace deal now in tatters, the Sri Lankan army is desperate to end the fight, seizing rebel arms and territory. The Tamil Tigers are desperate to hold them off.

As both sides vow a fight to the finish, the civilians are desperate to get out of the way.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CLANCY: Seventy-thousand people have been killed in that civil war in Sri Lanka, and as we said, the analysts fear it's about to get worse.

GORANI: Well, 3,000 years after ruling ancient Egypt, she's now at the center of an international dispute.

CLANCY: Right where she would want to be.

Still ahead on YOUR WORLD TODAY, should a bust of Nefertiti stay in Germany or be returned to her native land, Egypt?

GORANI: Also ahead, a rare Mongolian vulture -- Mongolian vulture somehow made its way to Thailand. Now, a scientist must find a way to send it back home. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CLANCY: Hello, everyone. Welcome back. You're watching YOUR WORLD TODAY, right here on CNN International.

GORANI: Well this hour, we're seen not only in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe, but we add the U.S. viewers to that. And you're very welcome.

CLANCY: Well, two of those countries are locked in a dispute -- a dispute over a 3,000-year-old woman. A likeness of her, anyway.

GORANI: Right. Germany and Egypt are at the brink of a culture war over a bust of Queen Nefertiti.

Frederik Pleitgen reports from Berlin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than 3,000 years old, but Queen Nefertiti's beauty still captivates millions. In her day, the Egyptian ruler was said to be the most gorgeous woman alive.

(on camera): Nefertiti is the centerpiece of the collection here at Berlin's Egyptian Museum. Her name literally means a beautiful woman has arrived. And now, this beautiful woman is at the center of a dispute between Germany and Egypt.

(voice-over): The Egyptians want her back. If not forever, then at least as a temporary loan. But the Germans say that's not going to happen. Transporting the exhibit would simply be too dangerous, Dietrich Wildung, Egypt Museum's director says, while the Egyptian experts strongly disagree.

DIETRICH WILDUNG, EGYPTIAN MUSEUM: The bust of Nefertiti is in a delicate state. She consists of a core of limestone, and considerable additions in plaster. And the limit between plaster and limestone is a critical place where the two parts could disintegrate.

ZAHI HAWASS, SUPREME COUNCIL OF ANTIQUITIES: This bust of Nefertiti has been exhibited by Berlin in many other museums, and even as so, one of the creators of the Berlin Museum holding the bust of Nefertiti in his hand, inside a car, and on the other side, I saw him putting the bust of Nefertiti above an ugly bronze body.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): That's Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities. He's threatening to start a culture battle between Egypt and Germany if the bust isn't returned.

HAWASS: We will win. This is a part of the Egyptian heritage. This is the icon of beauty, the icon of beauty. The bust of Nefertiti should be exhibited in Egypt and not in Germany.

WILDUNG: Nefertiti is first of all, property of mankind, and her role outside Egypt to propagate the impact of ancient Egypt on world civilization is enormous.

PLEITGEN: The bust has been in Germany since 1913, after a German archaeologist discovered it the year before. Hitler was obsessed with the artifact. He wanted the Egyptian beauty to be the cultural centerpiece of his thousand year empire. By a legal agreement with Egypt, Nefertiti belongs to the Germans. The Berlin Museum says she'll stay here forever. But the Egyptian authorities vow they'll fight on.

Frederik Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CLANCY: Now, we told you a little bit earlier about Gordon Brown launching his campaign for prime minister. He wants to succeed Tony Blair, and all that. But there was another prominent Brit who made some news this week.

GORANI: Queen Elizabeth visited the U.S., and there was a lot of talk about her travels, her hats, and a now notorious presidential wink.

CLANCY: And all of that did not escape the notice of Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." Let me show you what we mean.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, HOST, THE DAILY SHOW: Anyway Mr. President, it's all going very well so far. Perhaps you'd like to offer some remarks.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17 -- 1976.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: She -- she's old!

BUSH: She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child.

STEWART: She did -- she did give that look. Only in this case, the mother is the Queen of England, and the child is our president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Well, can you watch the rest of "The Daily Show" global edition with Jon Stewart starting Saturday at 15:30, 3:30 p.m. GMT.

Well, a bird is flying home. Now, what could be unusual about that?

CLANCY: Well, the journey is thousands of miles long and it almost happened by plane.

GORANI: Straight ahead on YOUR WORLD TODAY, the long, strange trip of a vulture on his way back to Mongolia, and who ended up somewhere completely different. Didn't get the right directions before heading home. We'll bring you that story, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CLANCY: Well, this isn't our question of the day, Hala, but you know, what is a Mongolian vulture doing in Thailand?

GORANI: That's said if you have strong opinions about Monoglian vultures, go ahead and write in. Hopefully, that vulture is heading back home, but bird flu concerns scuttled plans to put the bird on a plane for the trip.

CLANCY: Our own correspondent out there, Dan Rivers tells us Anakin the vulture is making the trip the old fashioned way.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet Anakin the vulture, named after a "Star Wars" character, but with a sense of direction that would make even Darth Vader blush. That's because Anakin is a rare cinereous vulture from Mongolia, but somehow he's ended up in Thailand.

Ornithologists found him just before Christmas, emaciated and bewildered. They nursed him back to health, and in the process, Anarkin's become a bit of a celebrity.

PHILIP ROUND, BIRD CONSERVATION SOCIETY: The arrival of Anakin has really promoted a lot of interest in the fate and the conservation of vultures, I mean, he's quite a handsome looking bird.

RIVERS: Officials were unable to fly Anakin back to Mongolia due to bird flu fears. So, they've tagged him with a satellite tracking device in preparation for his release in northern Thailand, hoping he'll fly himself back.

So, with some indigenous vultures to keep him company, Anakin was finally set free. The only problem -- Anakin and his friends didn't seem that keen on leaving. But eventually, the birds of a feather decided not to stick together. And soon, it was just Anakin left on his own. Drastic action was called for, resulting in a rather less than graceful departure.

Now, scientists will track Anakin via satellite and hope this lost and lonely bird works out how to find his way back home.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Bangkok.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: All right.

CLANCY: There he goes into the sunset. Well, wasn't really a sunset, was it, Hala? He was a beautiful bird, don't you think?

GORANI: Well -- yes, he didn't mapquest his trip. Yes, poor thing. Anyway, we hope -- it, he, she, finds its way home.

CLANCY: Shame about the bird flu thing.

GORANI: Right. Could have been once in a lifetime opportunity for a bird to take a flight home. All right, a plane home. Now, women around the world are taking the spotlight this weekend.

CLANCY: That's right. It's Mother's Day, it's coming up. Husbands, sons, daughters, all getting ready to pamper the queen of the house.

GORANI: Now, here's a world tour of Mother's Day celebrations. In Mexico, one group is aiming for a record, with their sweet treat. Dozens of families cut into a giant cake Thursday, as the country marked Mother's Day.

CLANCY: That's right. The two-ton confection, mom might put on a couple of pounds, could be considered guilt-free. Organizers say they're trying to register this cake with the Guiness Committee as the world's biggest cake made with no calorie sweetener. So, good news there for mom this weekend, although ...

GORANI: You know, one of the issues I have is that Mother's Day is celebrated on a different day depending what country you're from, what region you're from. In the Middle East, it's I think weeks before it is in the U.S. In France, it's different. My mother lives in Paris. I always get the Mother Day's days confused. So, I think I'll just play it safe this year and call this Sunday, just in case.

CLANCY: That's right. Well, you know, Mother's Day is for mother, and that's all that counts. What day we do it on, not as important.

GORANI: Absolutely. So, we are going to be bringing you the latest on a developing story at the top of the hour. But for this hour, that will do it for us. I'm Hala Gorani.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy, and this is CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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