Return to Transcripts main page


Brazilian Plane Crash; Russian Businessman Says British Police Foiled Assassination Attempt on His Life; U.S. Worries New Allies Attacking Innocents; Sao Paulo Runway Crash Caused By Unfinished Pavement Work That Caused Hydroplaning

Aired July 18, 2007 - 12:00   ET


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Fiery disaster. An airplane crash in Brazil raising new fears and new questions about airport safety.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Assassination aborted. A Russian businessman says British police have foiled a plot to take his life.

CLANCY: Steered straight. A little boy's trek through the streets of Pamplona gets his father in big trouble.

CHURCH: And roll-playing. The secret to creating the world's most prized cigars may all come down to a good book.

It's 1:00 p.m. in Sao Paulo, 6:00 p.m. in Pamplona, in Spain.

Hello and welcome to our report broadcast all around the globe.

I'm Rosemary Church.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy.

From Pamplona to Prague, Sao Paulo to Seoul, wherever you're watching, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.

CHURCH: Well, witnesses say they heard an explosion, felt the ground shake, then saw a huge ball of fire.

CLANCY: And when the sad task of counting those killed comes to an end, a plane crash in Sao Paulo almost certainly will prove to be Brazil's deadliest ever air disaster.

CHURCH: That's right. And rescuers believe some 200 people were killed in that accident at an airport in the heart of Brazil's largest city. Critics have said for years now that its runways are too short.

CLANCY: Now, some are calling this crash a tragedy waiting to happen.

Sue Churten (ph) has more details.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): The red tail section of Flight 3054 engulfed in flames, driving back the fire crews. No one on board the TAM airliner had any chance of escape.

The flight had landed in driving rain during the airport's busiest time, skidding off the end of the runway and plowing into a gas station and the airliner's own cargo warehouse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The wheel hit the ground right near my taxi. The taxi driver stopped in time, and then I saw the wing swerve into TAM's warehouse. And that's where the plane exploded. When it exploded, I ran. Everybody ran.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This Airbus 320 flying in from Porto Alegre in the south is far from the first airliner to skid off the end of Congonhas Airport's runway 1. Experts have warned for years that it's too short for today's jets, leaving the pilots very little margin for error.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We were taking off when we saw the explosion. We were already on the runway, so the pilot continued to go. But the tower asked us to return to the gate. The pilot thought it would be too difficult, so he opted to take off anyway. I think that was the right decision.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fifteen bodies have been recovered so far from the petrol station and warehouse. The death toll could be as many as 200.

JOSE SERRA, GOVERNOR, SAO PAULO AIRPORT (through translator): At the height of the fire, I was told the temperature inside the aircraft could have been as high as 1,000 degrees. That gives you an idea of the magnitude of this accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Inside the airport, news of the crash reached those in the arrivals hall waiting to pick up their friends and family.

Valdamir Buzzanelli (ph) had frantically tried to call his son who he feared was on the plane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He called me around 7:50, saying he would leave around 8:00 and get here by 20 to 10:00. He asked me to wait for him. I got here and saw the accident. I've been calling him every minute and can't get through. It just goes to voicemail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Desperation boiled over in Porto Alegre, where relatives had rushed to departures to find out who was on the flight but was told the list wasn't available.

Another TAM airliner skidded off this same runway 10 years ago, killing all 96 on board. A federal court had banned large jets from taking off and landing at Congonhas in February, but the ban was overturned because of the impact it was having on the local economy.

As President Lula da Silva declares three days of mourning, pressure is already mounting on him to tackle the country's poor air safety record. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CLANCY: Over the past year, there's been growing concern about air travel safety in Brazil.

CHURCH: There certainly has. In September, a budget airliner collided with a corporate jet, crashing in the Amazon. One hundred and fifty-four people were killed.

CLANCY: And then in February, Brazil's airport authority said it would overhaul the main runway in Sao Paulo's Congonhas Airport. The runway was still undergoing some construction when this TAM plane crashed.

CHURCH: Now, about 100 air traffic controllers walked off the job back in March, protesting working conditions. The government suspended all flights at that time.

CLANCY: And then later, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said order was restored after sacking 14 air traffic controllers and arresting two of their leaders.

CHURCH: Well, President Da Silva has declared three days of national mourning as investigators piece together what exactly caused that TAM airlines crash.

Our Harris Whitbeck is in Sao Paulo and joins us now with the latest.

It is early at this point, but what are investigators saying about what happened here?

HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, first of all, as you can hear, there are planes landing and taking off from this airport. The airport was reopened at 6:00 this morning.

I spoke to one of those air traffic controllers who have been protesting conditions here. I spoke to her just a few minutes ago, and she was saying that Monday, last Monday, another passenger plane -- this was a smaller commuter plane carrying 25 people -- also skidded off the runway. It landed in grass and, therefore, there were no fatalities. But she said that that is another example of how dangerous the conditions are here at the airport.

As has been said, there has been construction on this runway for quite some time. That construction was finished just a short while ago. And the questions now are whether the airport authorities were too quick in reopening that runway for traffic.

The airport here is the busiest in Brazil, 48 takeoffs and landings take place in one hour. And there had been a lot of political pressure on the authorities to keep this airport open because it is so crucial to air travel in Brazil.

CHURCH: And Harris, how is the airport and the government there in Brazil coping with this crisis?

WHITBECK: Well, this is still the initial phase of the crisis. At this point, rescue workers are still in that burning building behind me.

As you can see, there's still smoke pouring out of the building where rescue workers continue looking for the remains of those who have been killed. And, of course, the emphasis now is on trying to identify the remains of those killed and to attend to the families.

We understand that the president of TAM Airlines will be holding a press conference later this afternoon. That will be the first official declarations from TAM since the accident occurred.

President Lula da Silva declared three days of national mourning. And all this happens, of course, as there are cries for better regulation of the air traffic control system and the air system in general here in Brazil.

CHURCH: And Harris, a little earlier, we saw pictures of friends and relative scrambling to get information who exactly was on that plane. Not a lot was coming out of airport authorities at that point.

Has that improved at all?

WHITBECK: Not really. And that's why people are waiting for this press conference that will be given by the president of TAM later today.

The problem the authorities are having, the rescue workers are having, is in identifying the remains. Many of the remains of those who were killed are burned beyond recognition. And it might be quite some time before the remains are positively identified.

We understand the relatives of the people who were on the plane are at a nearby hotel, and they are being accompanied and taken care of by employees of TAM. But we have no confirmed information that they've received the confirmation that their relatives were on that plane.

CHURCH: All right.

Our Harris Whitbeck bring us up to date there on the investigation and the aftermath of that air crisis.

Well, now we want to show you a picture of the crash site sent in by one of our viewers. Terry Desouza is Brazilian, but he lives in the United States. He happened to be at the Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo at the time of that crash, and he says he was about 30 meters from the crash site and he heard screaming.

Now, he took this picture with his cell phone. Of course, if you have any pictures yourself and you would like to share them with us, please send them to us.

Log on to And there are step-by-step instructions on how to upload your pictures. Don't forget to include your name and a description of what exactly you saw.


CLANCY: Also in London this day, a Russian businessman and self- imposed exile, one of the so-called oligarchs of Russia, says British police foiled an assassination attempt on his life. Boris Berezovsky says he left London after Scotland Yard warned him of the plot. He said it bore -- and these are his words -- all of the hallmarks of Russian security service activity. He laid the blame for the scheme squarely at the feet of Russia's president.


BORIS BEREZOVSKY, EXILED RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRE: It's very important that after (INAUDIBLE) recognized, who is Mr. Putin finally. And the answer is, Mr. Putin is criminal and the regime of Putin is criminal. And what is important, that Putin recognize, that West recognize that he's criminal.

Now, it's more dangerous because he doesn't have any more (INAUDIBLE) to do everything he wants. And it's simple logic, but it's correct logic.


CLANCY: Berezovsky fled Russia back in 2000. He's lived in self-imposed exile in London ever since. He spent much of that time lobbing verbal hand grenades at the Putin government, as you saw there.

Some perspective on the man and his latest allegations, well, we could use that. And we're joined by our longtime Moscow bureau chief and current U.S. affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty.

Jill, who really is Berezovsky?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN U.S. AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: You know, he's a man of many faces, many hats. In fact, Jim, you know, you go way back to the beginning of modern Russia, the end of the Soviet Union, Boris Berezovsky began as a car salesman, and he parlayed that into a series of different businesses, turning finally into what is called one of the oligarchs, the richest men in Russia. And because of that, he's been on both sides of the fence in an amazing fashion.

He has been a businessman, he's been involved in the media. He had media holdings -- major.

He's been accused by the Kremlin of helping Chechen terrorists. He helped Boris Yeltsin to get elected in a big fashion. And he also helped Vladimir Putin to get elected.

So, what happened? Well, he has been on the outs. He's been extremely critical of Putin, as you said.

He fled to London. And from there, the Kremlin, at least, would say that he has been fomenting or trying to foment revolution directly against the administration of President Putin.

CLANCY: Well, he actually called for the violent overthrow of the state, of President Putin, didn't he?

DOUGHERTY: Yes. And, in fact, of course, he would say the phrasing of that is question. But essentially, yes, he believes that Putin's administration is not democratic, should be changed, and the only way you can do it is by some type of force, as he put it.

And by the way, he is on trial in Moscow in absentia because of a number of things. And one of them is taking money from Aeroflot. And this is the other side of it, that he's been accused for many, many years of corruption. In fact, there is one book that's called "Godfather of the Kremlin," and that kind of gives you the idea of how he's interpreted, the godfather, but also with Kremlin connections.

CLANCY: Well, you know, you described that he started off as an auto salesman. He's accused of bilking $50 million out of investors for a nonexistent auto factory in relation to all of that.

A flim-flam man, but always with political connections that go all the way to the White House. Neil Bush, the president's younger brother, has an education project that is going -- nobody's questioning that, but Berezovsky's an investor.

Does he always see politics and economics, his own economics, going hand in hand?

DOUGHERTY: You know, he's an academic. He's actually a very intelligent person. And there's always something behind it.

Now, in the beginning, it was probably making money, and he did a very good job at that. Now, what it is right now? He seems to be fixated on changing the government of Russia, overthrowing, in some fashion or another, the Putin administration, and introducing what he would describe as democracy.

Now, the question is, what is democracy in Boris Berezovsky's terms? Democracy -- he's been on the other side of democracy, where he manipulated elections and helped to fund elections.

So it's a very murky world. And then, of course, you get into the fact that some believe, the Kremlin charges, that he is a British agent, or at least work for the British government in some type of intelligence capacity.

A very, very complex man, Jim.

CLANCY: And interesting, too.

Jill Dougherty, who was our Moscow bureau chief during a lot of the years when Berezovsky was really in his prime, whether it was an activist or flim-flam man in Moscow.

Thanks, Jill.


CLANCY: Coming up a little bit later this hour, our complex relationship between the United States military and insurgents in Iraq's Anbar province may be turning sour. We're going to explain why. It's an important story.

CHURCH: Now, one of the most visible faces in America's most visible sports league faces a federal indictment on dog fighting charges. Is the clock ticking on Michael Vick's career?

CLANCY: And record rainfall brings deadly flooding to southwestern China. We'll have that story and pictures when we come back.


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

CHURCH: Where we are covering the news the world wants to know and giving you some perspective that goes a little deeper into the stories of the day.

Well, another setback in plans to set a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq. Democrats in the U.S. Senate failed to rally the 60 votes needed to pass legislation that would have required all U.S. troops to be out of Iraq by April. The Democrats kept senators up all night debating that measure. The U.S. House of Representatives already passed similar legislation, but President Bush has threatened to veto it.

CLANCY: A potentially important announcement coming out of Iraq. The U.S. military saying an Al Qaeda in Iraq leader now in its custody is revealing some interesting information about that group.

The military says Khalid Al Mashadani says -- tells them that his group was little more than a front for foreign insurgents intent on putting an Iraqi face on the fight against the United States.


BRIG. GEN. KEVIN J. BERGNER, SPOKESMAN, MULTINATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ: Mashadani was a leader in the Ansar al-Sunna terrorist group before joining Al Qaeda in Iraq two and a half years ago. He served as the al Qaeda media emir for Baghdad and then was pointed the media emir for all of Iraq and served as an intermediary between AQI leader al-Masri, Osama bin Laden, and Ayman al-Zawahiri. In fact, communication between senior al Qaeda leadership and al-Masri frequently went through Mashadani.


CLANCY: All right. Now, it's important to realize that fewer than 1 percent of all the fighters captured or out there in the field are actually foreign in Iraq. Most of the opposition to the U.S. there coming from Iraqis themselves. But in recent weeks, U.S. officials have been pressed to explain the link between Al Qaeda in Iraq and the global network that was led -- is led by Osama bin Laden.

CHURCH: Now, one of the few bright spots for the American effort in Iraq has been in Anbar province. Sunni insurgents equipped by the U.S. and led by tribal sheikhs have taken on al Qaeda, and the U.S. says the results have been remarkable. But new evidence is coming to light that shows these insurgents turning their guns on an a new target, innocent Shiites.

We must warn you that this report from Michael Ware contains disturbing scenes of violence.


MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is one of America's new allies beating the suspected al Qaeda prisoner, threatening to kill him. He's part of America's success against Al Qaeda in Iraq.

A member of a U.S.-backed militia targeting al Qaeda, he was on this operation north of Baghdad. His group, without uniforms, their faces covered, working hand in hand with Sunni police and army units drawn mainly from Sunni insurgent groups and local tribes. Men who had been killing Americans now use some American-supplied ammunition and U.S. military support to turn on al Qaeda. And they're earning high praise.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In Anbar province, Sunni tribes that were once fighting alongside al Qaeda against our coalition are now fighting alongside our coalition against al Qaeda. We're working to replicate the success in Anbar.

WARE: This is Anbar. Grainy video posted two weeks ago on an Islamist Web site shows U.S.-aligned militia unloading another al Qaeda prisoner from a police pickup. The man in charge asks his prisoner if he killed someone called Khalid. And then taunting, tells him to "Say hi to Khalid for me."

Cursing their prisoner, the makeshift firing squad leads him to a spot near an embankment and he's executed.

Why would these insurgents and tribesmen turn on al Qaeda to work with the Americans? The answer, power, money, contracts, and control over their neighborhoods. There's no love lost in the deaths of al Qaeda fighters anywhere, but summary executions and excessive force by American allies is not something U.S. commanders say they condone nor seek.

BRIG. GEN. MARK MCDONALD, U.S. ARMY: We don't allow that. And we do not encourage that. We will stop that if we see it.

WARE: But it's hard to stop something you're not sure you can see.

Another senior U.S. official says the militia's methods are an ugly side of the war here in Iraq. Ugly, but effective. In the militia-controlled areas, al Qaeda may not be defeated, but it's certainly been blunted. The capital of Anbar reclaimed from its grip. And attacks across the province spectacularly reduced, with similar signs emerging in other areas. The successes, however, come at a price. The Shia-dominated government in Baghdad is not happy, weary of U.S. support for armed groups opposed to its rule.

"This report scares us," says Hadi Al-Amri, commander of the powerful Shia militia and Iraq's equivalent to the U.S. chairman of its Armed Services Committee. "Working with these people is very dangerous," he says. "We told the Americans we won't accept under any circumstances their being open to armed Sunni militia, like the Islamic Army of Iraq or the Brigades of the 1920 Revolution," two of the very groups the U.S. has been courting and supporting.

And this former national security minister now heading a parliamentary oversight body claims the U.S. is overstepping its authority. "That these tribes are armed beyond the government's control might lead to conflict," he says, suggesting they may be an American counterbalance to a government accused of links to an Iranian-backed militia from the Shia community.

LT. GEN. G.C.M. LAMB, BRITISH ARMY: There's nothing that the multinational force, the corps, is doing, with by name, by numbers, by place, by location, by intent that we don't share with the government of Iraq.

WARE: With few signs of progress from the central government, America's former insurgent enemies seem to have given U.S. commanders something the Iraqi government rarely has: a success story.

Michael Ware, CNN, Baghdad.


CHURCH: Now, we're just getting word here, wire reports, claiming that British police have arrested a man on suspicion of conspiring to murder Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky. Now, just about an hour and a half ago, we learned at a news conference that British police had foiled an assassination attempt on his life.

Now, Boris Berezovsky says he left London after Scotland Yard warned him of that plot. He said it bore "all the hallmarks of Russian security service activity," and he laid the blame for the scheme or the effort to kill him squarely at the feet of Russia's president, Vladimir Putin.

So, just repeating there that we're getting word that the British police have apparently arrested a man on suspicion of conspiring to murder Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky. There's pictures there from an earlier news conference about an hour and a half ago.

All right. We're going to take a short break now.

We'll have more of YOUR WORLD TODAY coming up after that.

Do stay with us.



CLANCY: Hello and welcome back to all of our viewers joining us from more than 200 countries and territories around the globe, include right here in the United States. This is YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Jim Clancy.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. And here are some of the top stories we've been following.

Rescuers in Brazil are recovering bodies from the smoldering wreckage of a plane crash in Sao Paulo. They fear some 200 people were killed when the TAM Airlines jet skidded off a runway and slammed into a building. Investigators say no one could have survived the resulting fire, which reached temperatures of 1,000 degrees Celsius.

CLANCY: British police report a man was arrested over an alleged plot to assassinate exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. But he was later released without charges and handed over to the immigration authorities. A Russian businessman, Berezovsky, living in Britain in exile, says Moscow sent an agent to London to kill him. Berezovsky is a harsh critic of the Kremlin. He says British Police warned him that there was an assassination plot against him. He claims Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind it.

CHURCH: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is calling on the Palestinian council to decide on early elections. Abbas made the comments during a news conference in Ramallah. He said, quote, "We will call for elections and not wait for approval from those sitting over there in Gaza."

Well, the tragedy at the Sao Paolo airport is highlighting the dangers pilots face there. Many have been worried about the location of the airport and have complained about the length of the runway. CNN's Aviation Expert Miles O'Brien is a pilot himself and he's here to give us a closer look at the dangers involved.

Miles, the intriguing thing here, is if you've got a wet short runway that's hemmed in there, a recipe for disaster it seems.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you could say it's a recipe that's been brewing for about 90 years. The airport was built in 1919. And imagine what the surroundings were like, and imagine what the airplanes were like. The needs of aviation have grown. And the city has grown up, and hemmed in this particular airport, leaving it with the slimmest of margins for today's modern day airliners.

Let's move into Sao Paulo here. This is a city of 11 million people, sort of the Southern Hemisphere, New York. Lots of skyscrapers, imagine if you put an airport in Central Park. That's sort of what we're talking about here. It's 2,000 meters in length for the longest runway. And on a good dry day, a sunny day, that's a fair amount of margin for Airbus A-320. On a rainy day, a heavy rain day, as we saw there yesterday, less margin.

As a matter of fact, I checked the tables for the Airbus A-320, as you take a look at what it looks like on approach from the other end to the other end of that runway. There you see the skyscrapers, in the foreground, the airport in the distance.

And we'll go to the other tape, I'll show you exactly -- this comes from YouTube, by the way -- which gives us this bird's eye view. Look what it looked like yesterday in bad weather as they came in. Look at the skyscrapers right near the airplane as they come down, giving you a sense of that narrow cone of safety that they have as they come down, pick up the lights and land.

Pilots call this the aircraft carrier. I guess that's an obvious analogy to give you a sense of what we're talking about here.

Here's the thing, the tables on the Airbus A-320, assume for a half inch of water on the runway. But look at this particular shot here, the lower part of your screen there, there are grooves in the runway. These are the two guys that invented the grooves on runways, NASA guys. At NASA, Langley, back in '60s. They figured it would cause less puddles and less hydroplaning by the landing gear.

Well, sure enough it works. But this particular runway was just resurfaced, and they hadn't grooved it yet. And so it is quite possible there was water that was built up, and the braking action capability of the airplane was significantly reduced and that 6300 foot, 2,000-meter runway was simply not enough.

CHURCH: Well, that really puts it in perspective when you look at that grooving then.

So they've gone ahead with operations regardless of the fact that really it was not a safe environment. Why wouldn't they then have then stopped the landing and taking off of planes of that size in the rain?

O'BRIEN: Well, you know, that would have been a good thing, or at least given pilots a notification of it. I checked all the -- they have what are tall NOTANs, notices to every airmen, for every airport. And prior to the accident, there was no NOTAN that indicated that this runway was not grooved.

So a pilot would like to know that. Now these -- this flight crew, this would have been home base for them, or a very familiar airport at the very least, they might have known that, but maybe they didn't fully account for the fact that those grooves are very important, and might have something to do with this.

Very early in the investigation there could be a lot of other factors that come into play here. Did the breaking system work well, properly, the reverse thrusters, was there some other factor that caused it to land long, for some reason? All of these things would get borne out. The cockpit voice recorder, the flight data recorder, had them recovered, I'm fairly certainly that investigators will get to the bottom of it. CHURCH: Absolutely Miles O'Brien, thanks so much.

O'BRIEN: You're welcome.


CLANCY: Well great, as always, to have Miles O'Brien with us. And he could probably weigh in on this one as well, it happened in Santa Marta, Colombia, a plane landing on a windswept wet runway, breaking though a fence and skidding off as you see it right into the water, it ended up in the Caribbean.

It proved to be a close call for the Aero Republica crew and passengers, who were aboard it. Only seven people were hurt. All of them just them minor injuries, the passengers were able to be evacuated through that emergency chute on the plane, which made it all possible. But you can see people gathered around it. Shot through a fence, right off the runway, Right into the Caribbean.

CHURCH: Wow, incredible picture there. Look still ahead, gruesome allegations against an American football star.

CLANCY: Quarterback Michael Vick, indicted for allegedly running a dog fighting ring. There's even more.

CHURCH: And the mother of a 10-year-old is seeing red after estranged husband took the child to Pamplona Spain. We'll tell you why she's so mad when we return.

CLANCY: He's in trouble.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, you're watching YOUR WORLD TODAY here on CNN International.

CLANCY: Seen live in some 200 countries and territories all around the globe. Well back to one of our top stories right now, that's the one of the U.S. football star accused of participating in a dog fighting ring.

CHURCH: That's right. Now, it's hard for many of us to understand this underground culture, and its' apparent appeal to some people.

CLANCY: Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin gives us an inside look of the brutal world of dog fighting. And we do need to warn you that some of the images are a little bit difficult to watch.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): What you are watching is a family vacation like none you have ever seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was filmed approximately an hour or so prior to the fight in a hotel room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stand up, Mark, let me get ya.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The person filming it is the dogfighter's wife.

GRIFFIN: The so-called fighter this undercover investigator is talking about is actually a dog owner. He's getting himself and his family prepared for the big event that brought them from Richmond, Virginia, to Columbus, Ohio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, we'll get him this time (ph)!

GRIFFIN: The big event is secret, a championship dogfight, the stakes high.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Each fighter put up $5,000. Winner take all.

GRIFFIN: They also know the looser may be left with a dog that may never recover.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very common for a championship fight to be videotaped. It's a marketing tool.

GRIFFIN: In all, 40 people have come to watch, which in Ohio, is a felony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You really run the spectrum. You know, there's actual business people who will frequent these. Street people, and everyone in between. One of the fighters brought his grandkids.

GRIFFIN: All will be arrested when the raid begins, but right now, oblivious to the police gathering outside. The ring is the only attraction. This undercover detective, who does not want his face shown, has been on 40 raids in the last five years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a largely underground, clandestine activity. People may hear about a dog fight, but, you know, they don't think well, it happens in my community.

GRIFFIN: Commander Jeff Shank with the U.S. Marshal Service in Chicago says it's not uncommon to find fighting dogs in raids he conducts.

CMDR. JEFF SHANK, U.S. MARSHALS: We encountered what we later found out was 13 caged pit bulls. And one of the interview -- people we were interviewing claimed to be called trainer. We put two and two together. Realized he was a quote/unquote, "dog trainer". We called the local Chicago police department. They were fully aware of who this guy was, told us they'd been looking for him for a couple of years.

GRIFFIN: Felons, gang bangers, drug pushers, all have been linked to dog fighting. More and more linked to inner city neighborhoods. Many fights happening in broad daylight. In Chicago's public schools, the problem is so extensive, school programs are being developed to try to tell children dog fighting is not OK.

DR. GENE MUELLER, CHICAGO ANTI-CRUELTY SOCIETY: The earliest surveys that we did showed about one in five grammar school children, in Chicago, were actively participating in dog fighting.

GRIFFIN: Dr. Gene Mueller, the head of Chicago's Anti-Cruelty Society says inner city dog fights have become entertainment and the dog owners have become in many cases, role models.

MUELLER: Kids are certainly involved, felons, gang members. So we have these felons there, who are fighting the dogs for entertainment, or gambling, well that means there's money there, which means somebody has to protect the money. So there's weapons there. And hey, it's an entertainment event so we better have some drug there.

GRIFFIN: Left out in all of this, are the dogs themselves. This pit bull dropped off for adoption may have a chance it has not been used for fighting. But authorities have little choice when it comes to dogs trained and raised for sport, usually vicious, they must be put to death.

They are the final victims whose owners have bred them to fight, and sometimes die, in a growing ring of violence. Drew Griffin, CNN, Chicago.


CLANCY: Now, currently there is no worldwide treaty that governs the protection of animals.

CHURCH: That's right, and that means dog fighting is legal in many parts of the planet, especially in Asia. Among the countries where reportedly taking place, Japan, Afghanistan, and in Russia.

CLANCY: And although it's illegal in Pakistan, it is apparently widely tolerated there. But, a problem in a lot of countries, and including, as you see here, in the United States.

CHURCH: Little boy lost, a Spanish man will lose visitation rights to his 10-year-old son for taking the child to Pamplona in the middle of the annual bull running festival. Al Goodman with the story of a dad who put this son in harm's way.

AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At the front of the pack, father and son, running in Pamplona, where authorities prohibit children. They're running in front of enormous steers; the father, pulling his 10-year-old son out of harm's way.

They were not running in front of Pamplona's famed fighting bulls which the father did a day earlier without his son. But with the pack of steers which run right after the bulls, it's thought to be a little less dangerous. But it was enough to make the boy's mother, who is separated from the father, see red.

She found out in a news media and went to police, arguing that any part of the running is dangerous. A judge agreed. ADOLIFO CARRETERO, LOWER COURT JUDGE (through translator): There is a risk to the boy's life. And I've issued a restraining order it takes away the father's visitation and vacation rights with his son.

GOODMAN (on camera): This is the industrial suburb south of Madrid where the boy's mother lives, and where the father returned the boy to her, as the court ordered.

(Voice over): The mother was staying out of sight with her son. But this woman in town was shocked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): She's 10 years old, and he's 10. My daughter, I wouldn't put her in front of any bull, or even a little cow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It doesn't matter that they weren't bulls and had their horns turned inward, if a steer falls on you, it could kill you.

GOODMAN: In Pamplona, not much sympathy for the father either.

"The boy isn't capable of reacting to the danger," he says.

The father told the Spanish media, he never meant to put his son in danger. On top of his other troubles, he had to pay a $200 fine for running with the bulls with a minor. Al Goodman, CNN, Madrid.


CLANCY: Well, experts say Cuba makes undoubtedly some of the best cigars in the world.

CHURCH: That's right, up next, some of the secrets to rolling their famous cigars. Stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

Well, Cuba is known for its cigars, but not much is known about how Cuba makes some of the best in the world.

CLANCY: Now, some say it is the climate, others chalking it up to, well, 100 years of craftsmanship.

CHURCH: That's right. Morgan Neil explains why the secret may lie between the lines.


MORGAN NEIL, CNN HAVANA BUREAU CHIEF (voice over): Gricel Valdes says when she started her job reading out loud here at the cigar factory, it was rough. Workers know what they like, and when they're not happy, they make it clear.

"I would leave crying and suffering", she says, "but the older workers told me not to give up."

Cuba's tradition of the lector (ph), or reader goes back to the 19th century. Here at the H. Upmann factory, the day starts with Gricel reading the newspaper. In the afternoon it's anything like the classics, like "The Count of Monte Cristo", to gritty detective stories. When the workers like a stories, this is now they applaud, banging one of their tools, the charretta (ph), on their desks.

Rolling cigars is a job that requires a delicate touch. And it sometimes seems the workers' hands never stop moving. But it's also repetitious, often dull work.

(on camera): An experienced worker here will make around 120 of these cigars a day. That means doing the same thing over and over and over. You can see why entertainment is so important. That's where Gricel comes in.

This morning, it's some very forthright sex education, straight from the state-run newspaper.

"It's very instructive," grins this palachero (ph).

"It breaks up the routine," says Migalis (ph), who has been here five years. When it comes to fiction, Gricel says workers like drama and suspense.

"They really like 'Les Miserables', she says, "and 'Romeo and Juliette'."

Today, instead of a novel she's reading short parables on life. And as they put the finishing touches on these world famous cigars, her audience is all ears. Morgan Neil CNN, Havana.


CLANCY: Well, finally, South Africa and the world celebrating the birthday of Nelson Mandela, a living icon of racial equality, reconciliation and freedom. He turns 89 today, he's marking the occasion by doing what he has always done, working to make the world a better place.

He marked the day by announcing the formation of a brain trust composed of what he calls elders that include Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter, who will work on solving the worlds most difficult problems.

CHURCH: Happy Birthday. That's it for this hour. I'm Rosemary Church.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. And this is CNN.