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CONNECT THE WORLD
Cholera Outbreak Spreads in Haiti; Interview with Ayad Allawi; Will Aung San Su Kyi Be Released?
Aired November 12, 2010 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: The U.N. warns that up to 200,000 people could fall victim to a cholera outbreak in Haiti. With rubbish piled high on the streets, it's not hard to see why the disease is spreading so fast.
So where is the development money pledged by the world to help Haiti get back on its feet?
Going beyond borders on the day's biggest stories for you, on CNN, this is the hour we connect the world.
Well, the U.N. says it urgently needs more than $160 million to combat the cholera outbreak. But with $2 billion pledged to help Haiti rebuild still unpaid, will the calls for help be heard?
Joining the dots on the day's biggest stories for you in London, I'm Becky Anderson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AYAD ALLAWI, FORMER IRAQI PRIME MINISTER: We think the concept of power sharing is dead now. It's finished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A grim outlook from one of the men at the center of Iraq's political future. We hear exclusively from the former prime minister, Ayad Allawi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really felt like it was everyone on the set, the cast, crew, the lot wanted to make sure this was the, you know, our finest hour.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: hmmm, the end of an era -- the stars of Harry Potter reflect on their final adventure together. And we have been asking you all week -- we want to know what the films meant to you. Head to our Facebook page, Facebook.com/cnnconnect.
First up tonight, the cholera outbreak in Haiti has escalated. As it stands, nearly 800 peopled have died and more than 12,000 others are battling the disease. And now, the first confirmed case in the country's overcrowded capital.
Let's kick off tonight with OXFAM spokeswoman Julie Schindall, who I spoke to earlier from Port-au-Prince.
She told me about the gravity of the situation and the desperate need for aid.
JULIE SCHINDALL, OXFORD: Clearly, we had a lot of rain and flooding after the hurricane over the weekend. And we were fully expecting the cholera to spread from the center of the country, where it had been, farther out, and that seems to be what is happening now.
I think the biggest concern -- and we've been preparing for this for several weeks now -- is that we would have a national outbreak.
ANDERSON: Is that likely?
SCHINDALL: At this time, we can't make those kinds of guesses, but for our cholera experts, it would not be surprising.
ANDERSON: What do you need at this point?
SCHINDALL: We -- here at OXFAM, we need resources, supplies and staff. We are really stretched at this point and we're responding to three simultaneous emergencies -- an earthquake, a hurricane, cholera. We already launched a cholera response in Central Haiti three weeks ago, but now -- and we've been reinforcing in camps where we're working here in Port-au-Prince, which was part of our earthquake response. But now we are looking at other parts of the country where we need -- where there's a huge need for water and sanitation actors like -- like OXFAM. And we have to decide if we can even respond to that.
ANDERSON: You are on the ground.
Tell our viewers, are you getting the aid that was promised?
SCHINDALL: Clearly, donor pledges from governments have not come through. I think recently -- the U.S. government recently put a little bit of money through. But -- but what has to happen is that those pledges to the Haitian government have to happen so that we can actually have reconstruction here so we don't have a million people living outside and hugely vulnerable to the spread of water-borne diseases, storms, etc. We have to get these people into safe shelters.
ANDERSON: What's the risk of cholera spreading not just in Haiti, but -- but further afield?
SCHINDALL: At this time, I'm not the best person to answer that question. I -- I know that our neighbor, Dominican Republic, is concerned about this. I think for someone like OXFAM, mostly we're concerned about preventing the spread in Haiti. I think Haitians have suffered enough. We have to stop the spread. We have to make sure that we're getting medical attention and preventative measures to people in very rural areas who are still not receiving the care that they need.
ANDERSON: At this point, how long do you see this being a problem in Haiti?
SCHINDALL: This will be a problem for a very long time. As soon as you have cholera coming into the country, especially as we have here -- this is the first time cholera has been seen here in decades, it is not typical in Haiti to have cholera. And we are planning a long-term response, many months long. It could go out to years depending on how this outbreak pans out.
ANDERSON: All right. So that is the situation on the ground and it is chronic.
What makes cholera so deadly then?
Well, according to the World Health Organization, the disease is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingesting contaminated food or water. Now, it has a short incubation period, from less than one day to five days and causes diarrhea and vomiting that, without treatment, can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death.
Well, disaster-struck Haiti couldn't be more vulnerable to the disease, could it?
Paula Hancocks recently filed this report, which gives us just a sense of what's going on on the streets of Port-au-Prince and just why the outbreak is so dire.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is no delicate way to put this -- Port-au-Prince looks and smells like a dump because it is. Ten months after the earthquake, the city has denigrated into a filthy cauldron of water, garbage and human waste. The garbage situation has always been a problem here, but now no one pays any attention to where they dump it and the government makes virtually no effort to pick it up.
(on camera): Don't you think that Haitians could do better than this?
JUNIOR RIDORE, PORT-AU-PRINCE RESIDENT: Because we got used to it. We got used to it. We grow up -- everybody grow up with this kind, so we got used to it.
NEWTON (voice-over): But the stakes are higher now. As cholera stalks the city, these are the conditions that so worry health experts. Just look -- Haitians desperate for water collect it from a pipe right next to a burning collection of waste.
(on camera): The city is like an open garbage pit. This is a central canal. It cuts right through the middle of the city and garbage of all descriptions flows right through it. And this is where it ends up -- right down the canal and piled up -- tons of garbage just laying waste here in the canal that no one ever seems capable of collecting.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Paula Newton reporting for you.
Well, CNN spoke with Haiti's environment minister about the garbage problem there. He said the government is working on it and plans to partner with the private sector to deal with the issue. But the key problem here is funding. Back in March, governments around the world pledged more than $5 billion to help Haiti rebuild. Now, it is worth remembering that in addition to the emergency aid money that had already been donated, well, the UN's special envoy to Haiti, Bill Clinton, has been tracking the top 23 donors of 2010. They pledged just under $2 billion for development. By September, only $730 million had actually been sent to Haiti. That is under 38 percent of the total.
Now, the U.S. originally pledged to send more than $1.1 billion during 2010 on redevelopment and debt relief by September. None of that cash has left the country. And the U.S. moved the pledge to fiscal year 2011.
Now, the U.S. says it has, just this week, released the first $120 million for development and $204 million for debt relief.
The European Commission pledged over -- just over $200 million in 2010. By September, about $45 million had been distributed in Haiti.
Well, the U.N. has now launched a new appeal, $164 million specifically to tackle the cholera epidemic.
The U.N. deputy special envoy to Haiti, Dr. Paul Famer, joins me now on the line from Boston.
Let's start with the new cholera appeal.
What's the response to that, at this point?
PAUL FARMER, U.N. DEPUTY SPECIAL ENVOY TO HAITI: Well, this has just been launched, the new cholera appeal, a couple of days ago. And, you know, I -- I would -- I think it's likely that it will be successful in the sense of -- the sense of having a very specific appeal for a very specific problem.
ANDERSON: All right...
FARMER: But, of course, this is what doctors would call an -- you know, an acute chronic problem, that is, there's an acute problem, which is a new problem, which is cholera, but the chronic problem is really basic water security. And Haiti needs to build that. And to build that requires a long-term development approach...
FARMER: -- with a real commitment to building the -- the public sector complicity.
ANDERSON: Yes. And that was what the money in 2010 had been pledged for.
What has happened to the $2 billion originally pledged?
FARMER: Well, as you said, you know, it's been very difficult to -- to -- to even identify how these different monies, you know, what they mean. And we've been trying to track this full time. Some of the pledges have just been solved by local, you know, political processes, not in Haiti, but in the country that pledged them. Others are forthcoming.
But, really, most of the money pledged at the end of March is just now being -- some of it's just now reaching Haiti and others will have to be pried loose from the donor governments and still other monies are slowed down by what is called, in development circles, a lack of absorptive capacity.
FARMER: And, you know, even though, you know, 20 years ago, I wouldn't have liked that term, I -- I get how it's -- it's going to be very difficult to absorb this money without the -- the right infrastructure in place.
ANDERSON: yes, I can imagine some of our viewers really wanting us to get pretty basic tonight. I hate to point fingers, but let's do it tonight.
ANDERSON: The U.S. originally pledged $1.1 billion. Here is a statement from the U.S. State Department that we got earlier today. It said: "Earlier this week, $120 million was transferred to the World Bank for the Haiti reconstruction fund."
Now, what has been the delay, because, frankly, that is unacceptable, isn't it?
FARMER: Well, yes. I mean if you're a doctor, as I am, and you're -- you know, I'm actually an infectious disease doctor -- anything that would slow down the necessary and urgent response would seem unacceptable. So, yes, of course, I think that's un -- unacceptable (INAUDIBLE).
But I'd like to make a distinction between the acute relief effort and the development effort, which you did just now.
And a lot of money did go from many countries, including the United States, to help Haiti right after the quake. A lot of that had to go through NGOs and other relief organizations. And almost none of it went to the Haitian public sector. And that's tough because -- and tough -- in a tragic sense, because, of course, all of Haiti's federal infrastructure was destroyed in the earthquake -- 27 out of 28 federal buildings, about 20 percent of the federal employees died just then.
So rebuilding that is really the long-term development effort. And that really is only starting now. And, of course, you know, we need to speed it up. There's no doubt about that.
ANDERSON: And CNN has been very committed to this story. And we were there right at the beginning of the disaster.
ANDERSON: Many of my colleagues who spent time there say that many Haitians have completely lost faith that the pledged money will help even if it arrives at all. They say this money is going to be for the rich people. That's what those who are living in impoverished conditions in some of these tented camps are saying.
Is there anything that you can say to them tonight that's going to make them feel any better?
FARMER: I don't know if there's anything I could say that would make them feel better. I -- I would -- I would gather that the only thing that we can really do is actually show that we can use these resources to improve their lives. I'm -- I'm not even sure that -- that someone like me ought to waste a lot of time trying to say something.
And, but I do think that we can show something by actually putting in place, in the case of cholera, of course, better water programs, cholera treatment centers, etc. Which are going up in some of the areas where I've worked.
But I really think that's the -- that's the game now, to -- to avoid saying things and just to really do things and communicate as -- as honestly and effectively as we can what has been done.
ANDERSON: And there's a man who's dedicating his life to the cause. And good for you.
Dr. Paul Farmer is the UN's deputy special envoy to Haiti.
It can't be an easy job at the moment, but you heard him there talking honestly about the situation on the ground.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.
From the health crisis in Haiti to political paralysis in Iraq, after a agreement to finally share power, a walkout threatens to unravel all that was achieved.
And we watch and wait -- will Myanmar's long suffering symbol of democracy finally go free?
We'll have more on Aung San Su Kyi's story, after this.
ANDERSON: Well, barely a day old and already Iraq's critical power sharing deal is in jeopardy. This is the moment when it all began to unravel. Members of the Sunni-backed Iraqiyah bloc staged a dramatic walkout, saying that the terms of the pact were violated.
Well, CNN's Arwa Damon has been following the parliamentary session over the past few days. And in a CNN exclusive, she just sat down with the head of the Iraqiyah bloc, the former Iraqi prime minister, Ayad Allawi.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, the dramatic walkout from parliament by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's cross sectarian, Sunni-backed Iraqiyalists underscores the deeply rooted mistrust amongst Iraqi politicians. Iraqiyah wanted to see a vote on a critical power sharing agreement. The vote important because they wanted guarantees it would be implemented. It is an agreement that Iraqiyah says is key in national reconciliation.
DAMON: And what went through your mind as you were walking out of parliament?
ALLAWI: I felt sorry for my, frankly speaking. I felt sorry for the betrayal of the -- of what we had decided upon. And I felt sorry for the Iraqi people, that the Iraqi people ultimately will be the sufferers of what is going to happen.
DAMON: So what is your position now?
Where do you go from here?
ALLAWI: We still are persisting, of course, to find out what is happening. Of course the -- this council which was supposed to -- to be a proper power sharing vehicle, I think it's out of the way now. I don't think it's going to take place. I don't think it's going to happen.
I think it was probably more fictitious than real, because in certain quarters, they don't want this. And, indeed, Iran, we feel, had been putting a lot of obstacles from the beginning. And they were causing a delay of the formation of the government because they were siding with our -- with some groups and being against other groups in the -- in the political spectrum in -- in Iraq.
DAMON: If this council doesn't happen, does this mean the end of the entire power sharing agreement?
Or is there something that could somehow be done to salvage it?
ALLAWI: But we think the concept of power sharing is dead now, is finished, because they don't want to work on that, they don't want to form such a council. And they are not interested in this.
DAMON: So then what does the government look like if it's not a power sharing government and then what are the consequences of it?
ALLAWI: It will be a sectarian government. It will be a government based on non-reconciliation, a government which would have no identity and a government that would continue to -- to raise tensions in the country.
DAMON: So what does that mean for Iraq?
ALLAWI: For Iraq, there will be tensions and violence, probably.
DAMON: If the government goes forward and it's not a power sharing government, will Iraqiyah still be a part of it?
ALLAWI: Well, there may be some members, but the main bulk of Iraqiyah is not going to be a part and I'm definitely not going to be part of this government. We agreed on principles and concepts of power sharing and the devolution of power. And those -- those things have not happened.
Well, I think it's truly it for me. I think, frankly speaking, you know, the -- the issue of power sharing came out of another issue, which is the absence of trust between the various groups. And we wanted clear checks and balances within the -- the government and the institutions of the -- of the government, because we don't have full blown institutions.
DAMON: Do you think that if you do not partake in this government and that does lead to more violence, you would bear some responsibility?
ALLAWI: The avoidance of Iraqiyah and the key leaders of Iraqiyah and not incorporating them in a government based on power sharing definitely it's going to be a big blow for democracy in this country. And to blow democracy without any substitute, then you will only end up on having a dictatorship in this country.
And this is where I feel the danger will be coming from.
DAMON: So from where you're sitting right now, what do the next three or four years look like?
ALLAWI: Well, I don't know. It's still early. But we have to see over the next two or three weeks what's going to happen. I don't think the -- the process is looking that healthy and that good and that promising. And if this does not happen, then, you know, God help us all where this country will be heading.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
DAMON: A very bleak and chilling assessment of Iraq's future there, Becky.
Now, parliament is expected to convene on Saturday. And Iraqiyah is saying that it still hopes its demands will be met. But as we've heard there, Mr. Allawi saying he will not be partaking in a government. Instead, he'll be forming an opposition in parliament -- Becky.
ANDERSON: The state of affairs as it stands today, Friday, in Iraq.
Well, she and her supporters have waited years for his moment. Now it could be just hours away -- maybe. Anticipation is building in Myanmar that democracy icon, Aung San Su Kyi, could soon be free. We're going to have the very latest on that.
Also ahead, has Harry Potter worked any magic in your world?
Well, we've asked what the series means to you and we're about to share some of your responses this Friday evening.
At 21 minutes past 9:00 in London, you're watching CNN.
Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Well, speculation in Myanmar about the possibility of the imminent release of the democracy icon, Aung Sang Suu Kyi. Her latest term of house arrest comes to an end on Saturday, six days after Myanmar's first elections in 20 years.
Now, her supporters want to believe she'll finally be freed, but they've been through this before only to have their hopes dashed.
Well, Myanmar, of course, is one of the most secretive states in the world and its military junta makes sure it stays that way. It's refused to allow CNN and other foreign news organizations into the country to cover last weekend's election and its aftermath. The regime also stopped international monitors from overseeing the vote.
Our next report is from an unidentified correspondent inside Myanmar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (voice-over): With opposition icon Aung San Su Kyi due to complete her sentence soon, many are wondering whether Myanmar's military rulers will, indeed, release her from house arrest.
We managed to speak to a monk close to Aung San Su Kyi's political party, the National League for Democracy. We're protecting his identity because he's living in hiding, afraid of the military authorities.
He says, "The junta seems tense. I wouldn't say they're afraid," he says, "but they are worried about her release. If she starts campaigning and the people will follow her, then the military's shortcomings will become very clear. They are very afraid of the truth coming out."
Aung San Su Kyi has spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest. Supporters say in the past, the junta has come up with reasons to extend her detention. Still, the monk says she has not lost her standing among the people of this reclusive country. "Not only her party membership, but the general public are hoping for her release and they place a lot of hope in her," he says.
But the opposition in Myanmar is divided. Parties close to the junta say they have won a recent election by a landslide. Myanmar's state media is calling the vote free and fair. International observers are calling it a sham. And while some opposition groups decided to participate in the election, Aung Sang Suu Kyi's NLD boycotted the vote and was officially dissolved.
"Her original party, the NLD, is losing power day by day," the monk says. "Members of the NLD have been hoping to get her back for the past 20 years. They still rely on her. As soon as she will get out, she will be back in politics, I believe, and she will try and rebuild her party."
The monk we spoke to says there is very little hope for change in Myanmar. He took part in a pro-democracy uprising by Buddhist monks in 2007 that was brutally crushed by the junta and has been living in hiding ever since.
"If we protest again now, we would lose again," he says. "The government has the military and they can suppress us easily. We have to change the minds of the people and the rulers through negotiations."
And so it seems that even if Aung Sang Suu Kyi is released when her detention order expires on Saturday, it could take years before Myanmar's opposition might be able to challenge the military rulers, whose grip on power seems stronger than ever before.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Inside Myanmar.
Well, it is unclear whether the military junta would try to impose conditions on her release. But one of Suu Kyi's attorneys says she will reject any and all restrictions.
Well, she's a remarkable woman in her own right, but Suu Kyi also has quite a -- a lineage. Her father was the independence hero of Myanmar and served as the country's first prime minister when it was called Burma. He was assassinated in 1947.
Her mother was a -- a diplomat and later ambassador to India. Well, Suu Kyi has called the fight for freedom in Myanmar the second struggle for independence. She won the Nobel Peace Prize, you may remember, back in 1991, in recognition of her non-violent movement for change.
Well, fully aware that Suu Kyi is such a powerful advocate for freedom and democracy, why would the regime agree to release what they, one assumes, believe is a threat?
Well, our next guest has some thoughts on that.
Suzanne DiMaggio is director of policy studies at the Asia Society in New York.
Listen, I mean, you've got to reel it into what's going on into what's going on in -- in Myanmar.
From your sources, what are you hearing about her release?
SUZANNE DIMAGGIO, DIRECTOR OF POLICY STUDIES, ASIA SOCIETY: Well, all sources we're talking to are indicating that her release is imminent. Of course, we've been through this before, so we're all waiting with bated breath.
ANDERSON: She says that she will have no restrictions put on her release.
What have the junta got to fear, at this point, by releasing her?
DIMAGGIO: Well, as your profile mentioned, she is a living icon. She represents democracy and human rights. Her -- her very person is -- she enjoys immense credibility not only in Burma, but around the world.
ANDERSON: These latest elections, I'm assuming that you are going to tell me that they were a sham. Certainly, the U.S. president has said words to that effect. China, however -- another big superpower with an interest, certainly economically, in Burma -- doesn't -- doesn't necessarily agree.
So -- so how should we read these latest elections and what is the state of the opposition in Burma today?
DIMAGGIO: Well, first, it's striking that, yes, President Obama did say this was a sham. He said it was unacceptable that the Burmese government stole the election. Meanwhile, the Chinese government welcomed the election and they said it was a step toward elected government in Burma.
So there's clearly a difference of opinion in this area.
In terms of what we're hearing about the election itself, there are widespread reports of voter fraud and rigging, especially concerning the advanced ballots. So most of the reports out there say this was not a free or a fair election.
ANDERSON: I'm wondering, then, what the -- what the junta will -- will gain by releasing Aung Sang Suu Kyi at the moment. They've won the election -- the first election in 20 years. There probably, well, may not be one for another 20 years, who knows?
What are they going to gain by releasing her at this point?
DIMAGGIO: Well, amid all this criticism and reports of fraud, this could be a calculated move by Burma's generals to deflect attention away from all those issues. Her release will bring a lot of joy and attention from around the world on a very positive aspect that has happened in Burma. So it could be a very calculated move to do that.
ANDERSON: And very briefly, do they care about their image, out of interest?
DIMAGGIO: Well, the fact is, it's one of the most isolated countries in the world. So I think when push comes to shove, no, they do not care about their image. But I think as the generals are thinking about their future, they're in their 70s. They realize their time is waning. They're looking for a golden parachute to get out. And I think they have -- may have come to the realization that they have to start thinking about that.
ANDERSON: Your expert on the subject tonight, Suzanne DiMaggio.
We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us on what may be the night before or just hours before the release of Aung Sang Suu Kyi.
Coming up here on CNN, teenagers and alarm clocks -- well, they don't often get along, do they? So, to avoid having grumpy, tired students who stare off into space each morning -- you know what I'm talking about, don't you? One school decided to adapt to their needs instead of the other way around. We've got a great report coming up for you after your headlines, after this short break. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: At just after half past nine in London, you're back with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you on CNN. Coming up, double agent on the run. What now for the Moscow spy who exposed a Russian espionage ring in the United States?
Then, it's past 8:00, 9:00 AM, even, and the -- this British student is only just heading off to school. Find out why he and his classmates are allowed to be such late starters.
And then, the soldiers of Slytherin. They may be blond, but there's darkness in their hearts. Meet the actors better known by "Harry Potter" fans as the Malfoys.
Coming up in the next half hour for you here on CNN. Let's get you a check, first, of the headlines at this hour.
Haiti's cholera outbreak escalates. Almost 800 people have died, and thousands more are battling the disease. And now, the first case confirmed in the overcrowded capital. The crisis prompting a new UN appeal for an urgent $160-odd million.
We've got a CNN exclusive. Former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi warns there is a new dictatorship happening in Iraq. His Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc walked out of parliament on Thursday over claims other lawmakers violated a power-sharing deal.
Waiting for release, supporters of Myanmar's democracy icon are hoping Aung San Suju Kyi will be free within hours. Her house arrest is scheduled to end on Saturday. Myanmar's military rulers have said they plan to release her, but did not say when.
A Moscow newspaper has outed a double agent who reportedly tipped off US authorities to that Russia spy ring last summer. The paper says he's a marked man. Our Matthew Chance is in Moscow with more.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The name is Shcherbakov. Colonel Shcherbakov, at least, that's according to this prominent Russian newspaper. Here it is, it's called "Kommersant," and its exposure of the double agent who betrayed Russia and identified the ten secret agents who were arrested in the United States earlier this year.
The ten, including, of course, the glamorous Anna Chapman, of course, were sent back to Moscow in the biggest spy swap between the two former rivals since the end of the Cold War. Colonel Shcherbakov, according to "Kommersant," and later confirmed by Russian officials, tipped off the United States about the spy ring. He fled to the US just before the spies were arrested, and he was a senior figure in Russia's overseas intelligence agency known as the SVR.
Now, as you might expect, the security services here in Russia are furious at the betrayal. The paper is quoting an unnamed security source who's vowing retribution. "We know where he is," says the source. "He betrayed for money, or was caught doing something. He doesn't have an enviable fate, though. He will drag this with him," it says, "for the rest of his life, and every day, he will fear vindication."
I know that it reads like a page from a Cold War spy thriller. But, of course, this is very real. Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
ANDERSON: You're with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. Coming up next, lessons in discipline. Should teenagers be forced to get up early and go to school. Well, if your answer is yes, you're going to be a bit surprised by our next report. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.
ANDERSON: Right. If you have teenagers in your house, or you remember what it felt like to be one, you probably know how much they sleep. And you probably also know how difficult it can be to get them up and off to school. But a revolutionary program here in the UK is trying to make that process a little bit easier for students and for their parents. CNN's Phil Black went to check it out.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To track down one of the world's most cutting-edge schools, I had to leave London and travel by train to northern England. Outside Newcastle, in a suburban area not far from where the River Thames empties into the North Sea, stands a building unlike any school I've ever seen.
This is Monkseaton High School. One enormous structure, designed to feel like a village, under one roof. It's a deliberate attempt to break with the old and develop a new model of school for the future, using the latest building and educational technology.
But that striking design isn't the most innovative thing about this place.
Look around. It's just before 8:00 in the morning, and it's empty. There are no students. This is the time when most British high schools are opening for early classes, but there's no one here.
(ALARM CLOCK RINGS)
BLACK (voice-over): Because most of Monkseaton students are just waking up. Thirteen-year-old Liam McClelland gets to sleep until 8:00 because classes don't start until 10:00.
BLACK (on camera): So, Liam, it's just a little bit after 8:00. Did you get a good night's sleep.
LIAM MCCLELLAND, STUDENT: Yes.
BLACK: Yes. How you feeling?
MCCLELLAND: Feeling refreshed. No headache or anything.
BLACK (voice-over): Mum Alison says more sleep has changed her son for the better, and his grades are up, too.
BLACK (on camera): Is it hard to get him to go to bed on time?
ALISON MCCLELLAND, MOTHER: It is, but it's the same with every teenager, isn't it? They've got Facebook going on and MSN, but he does go. And he does seem to have enough sleep, and as I say, when he gets up in the morning, he appears to be more refreshed.
RADIO ANNOUNCER: It's 9:00, for BBC News with Howard Richardson.
BLACK (voice-over): Well-rested and fed, Liam finally begins the journey to school, one of 900 local students who are just starting their day. Monkseaton High experimented with the late start time for a few months earlier this year, and has now decided to go with it full time.
PAUL KELLEY, HEAD TEACHER, MONKSEATON HIGH SCHOOL: I'm from America. In high school in America, I had to go to school at 8:00 in the morning and 7:45.
BLACK (voice-over): Head teacher Paul Kelley grew up in California, but his whole teaching career has been in Britain. At Monkseaton, he's the driving force in overturning one of education's most enduring laws, the children must start school early in the day.
BLACK (on camera): To what extent are you aware that what you're trying to do here is very different to what the rest of the British education system has accepted?
KELLEY: I'm very aware of it. It's a big change in the way that we think about students. Looking at their health and their mental health before we decide how the school system's going to work.
BLACK (voice-over): Paul Kelley says he was persuaded by the science, and the lesson is simple. Teenagers are programmed to sleep longer. He was introduced to the latest research on teenage sleeping by neuroscientist Russel Foster.
RUSSEL FOSTER, NEUROSCIENTIST, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: There's a remarkable body of evidence, now, which suggests that teenagers genuinely have a biological predisposition to go to bed late and get up late.
BLACK (voice-over): I traveled to Oxford University in southern England to meet Professor Foster. He's an expert in circadian rhythms, the scientific name for sleep patterns. Foster says he wants all governments and schools to learn what he's taught Paul Kelley. He says the changes taking place in teenagers' brains and the hormones flooding through their bodies mean most of them are incapable of functioning during regular work hours.
BLACK (on camera): What would you say to a cynical parent, of which I am sure there are a few, that --
FOSTER: Including myself sometimes, yes.
BLACK: That say that teenagers are just lazy and moody, and the last thing they need is to be indulged in this way. What are the scientific indicators that say what you believe is true.
FOSTER: Well, empirically, we know that performance will move -- will improve throughout the day from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.
BLACK: Education systems around the world are built on the idea that teenagers should go to bed reasonably early and then get up very early, like everyone else.
BLACK: By enforcing that, what are we doing to teenagers, do you believe?
FOSTER: Well, we're not sort of allowing them to fulfill their full potential. They are not at their best cognitive abilities when we're trying to provide them with information.
BLACK (voice-over): Back at Monkseaton, it's hard to find a student who doesn't like the extra sleep.
BLACK (on camera): They reckon it makes a real difference to how you feel during the day. Is it true? Do you think that --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT: Yes. I think it does, because, you feel more awake.
BLACK: What time do you get up every morning?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT: About half eight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE STUDENT: And an hour extra in bed in the morning. Can't complain.
BLACK: I wouldn't think so.
BLACK (voice-over): The teachers and scientists agree the late start isn't an excuse for going to bed much later. Some haven't learned that yet.
BLACK (on camera): Are you staying up later? A little bit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT: Yes.
BLACK: Yes, you are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDNET: Yes, I am.
BLACK: You're not supposed to, though.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT: No, I'm not. But I -- yes, I do.
BLACK: Are you getting nine hours sleep? Because they say that's what you're supposed to get.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE STUDENT: No.
BLACK: No. You're staying up later still?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE STUDENT: Yes, well -- even when I go to bed a bit early, I, like, just sit up and watch the tele.
BLACK: About 3:45 in the afternoon, and school is out. Despite the one-hour delay in the morning, the school day is extended by only 30 minutes. Now, when parents, teachers, students, all voted on this issue, 70 percent voted yes, let's go for it, 30 percent said no. And the school says the majority of that "no" vote were parents.
BLACK (voice-over): Working mum Julie Dixon was one of them.
JULIE DIXON, MOTHER: Ridiculous. How on earth do you expect children to get into a routine when they're coming into school later? When they start work, they'll be starting work as late as 9:00 AM.
BLACK (voice-over): Paul Kelley admits the idea has been a tough sell. The school says attendance is already up, but the big goals are long-term. Producing graduates who are healthier and happier at school and are better-prepared for facing the real world. Phil Black, CNN, North Tyneside, Northern England.
ANDERSON: All right. Well, across the Atlantic from that high school, American high school students, well, they are not so lucky. There, a typical day starts around 7:30 and finishes around about 2:30. Those times can vary, and researches have discovered a benefit to starting later. A study in the state of Virginia, for example, found that students who got more sleep had fewer car crashers than their peers who woke up earlier.
In Finland, everyone starts school later. In life, kids actually don't start until the age of seven. The typical day lasts from about 8:00 to 2:00, but despite spending less time in the classroom, Finish students consistently score top marks on international exams.
In Japan, students attend a full day of classes and, then, more than half of them go to after school programs, some supplemental lessons. They also spend 240 days a year in the classroom, that is 60 days more than their American counterparts. Thank goodness I didn't go to school in Japan.
After the break, we are heading into the fantastical world of "Harry Potter" for the last time this week. For you, our series -- special series continues with a slightly evil twist tonight. Yes, it's the dreaded Malfoys. They'll be answering your questions about the dark arts, and what the turning point was of the whole film experience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON ISAACS, ACTOR, LUCIUS MALFOY: Every time the say, "You can go back to your trailers for a while," which is most of the time on a big special effects film like "Harry Potter," I took a family size bar as big as my leg of butterscotch chocolate.
TOM FELTON, ACTOR, DRACO MALFOY: It's true, I can second that.
ISAACS: And that will be the overriding memory from that.
FELTON: What a great memory that is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Don't go away. We're going to have more on those sweet- tooth villains after this.
ANDERSON: Just after quarter to ten in London, I'm Becky Anderson with CONNECT THE WORLD for you. Now, the "Harry Potter" franchise is a phenomenon without equal, transcending the boundaries of age, race, gender, and nationality. Tonight, in the final of what's been a three-part special this week, we're going to begin with some of the darkest and most evil characters in the film. Welcome to the Malfoys.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Voldemort might be the chief villain of "Harry Potter," but that certainly doesn't mean he's the only one.
LUCIUS MALFOY: So, Potter. Lucius Malfoy.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Second in line would be the Malfoy father and son duo. Played by Jason Isaacs and Tom Felton, these two are the blond villains who will do anything and everything to deliver Harry to their dark lord.
For Isaacs, the "Potter" series is one of many blockbusters he's played a role in, including hits such as "The Patriot," and "The Green Zone."
But Felton was just a kid when he landed the role as the Hogwarts bully. And for many around the world, he'll always be the boy tasked with killing Albus Dumbledore.
I asked the devilish duo whether it was hard playing these evil but conflicted characters.
FELTON: No, it's not.
ISAACS: It's a gift.
ISAACS: We get to play -- I don't want to speak for Tom, but I get to play something that I've not played before. We see Lucius as one color, really, and now we see him crushed and broken from prison, and you see him humiliated at his own dining room table in his own house in front of his son and his wife, and actually, he thinks he's about to be slaughtered by Voldemort, and terrified. So, he's a shadow of a man, and that's -- it's not just not difficult, it's juicy for an actor.
ANDERSON (on camera): And none too confusing.
FELTON: No, and certainly, I can second that. If it was -- as much fun as it is play just the evil guy, it's always nice to have the back story as well, of why, potentially, he's been like that. So, yes, we thoroughly enjoyed this one.
ANDERSON: We're coming towards the end of the franchise, guys. Do you have any favorite moments in this film or the franchise as a whole?
FELTON: It's so hard to pick individual -- I know I should have some good ones ready for you. Jason, do you have any on the tip of your tongue?
ISAACS: They introduced on the fifth film free Green and Blacks chocolate in the canteen for the actors.
FELTON: Oh, I remember.
ISAACS: And that, for me, was the turning point of the whole experience.
FELTON: Fateful day it was, yes.
ISAACS: Every time the say, "You can go back to your trailers for a while," which is most of the time on a big special effects film like "Harry Potter," I took a family size bar as big as my leg of butterscotch chocolate.
TOM FELTON, ACTOR, DRACO MALFOY: It's true, I can second that.
ISAACS: And that will be the overriding memory from that.
FELTON: What a great memory that is. Actually, I can remember we had -- we used to have lots of snacks and food for the children when we were young. But they actually banned that, because I think we were getting a little --
ISAACS: The teeth were dropping out.
FELTON: Teeth dropping out, we were getting a bit hyperactive as well, yes. So, they banned that for healthy substitutes.
ANDERSON: What was it like, knowing that you were filming the last story?
FELTON: Epic, really. I mean, it's hard to muster the words.
ISAACS: It doesn't actually feel real. It doesn't -- if some -- it's only real when it's no longer in your life. It's like someone saying, "Bye-bye, I'm going away to live in Australia for ten years," you see them at the airport, and you haven't missed them yet. You only start missing it when it gets to summer, and then there's another summer, and you go, "Blimey, I'm not going back there. I'm not going back to that party anymore."
FELTON: Yes, sure. At the time, I actually remember trying to enjoy every moment and revel in it, really. It was very different from anything previous. I really felt like the passion level had gotten -- not that it was ever below par, but it really felt like it was, everyone on the set, cast, crew, the lot, wanting to make sure this was the -- our finest hour. And I think they achieved that.
ANDERSON: If JK Rowling were to write another book, and she certainly hasn't closed the book entirely, as it were --
FELTON: As it were.
ANDERSON: Ah ha. Would you want to be involved again?
ISAACS: Can you imagine asking that question and anybody saying "no"?
FELTON: No. It's like, --
ISAACS: Absolutely no chance. She's clearly got no talent, and it would never sell. She's got now idea how to tell a story, that's the main problem.
FELTON: She struggled with that. Obviously. It goes without saying.
ISAACS: I hope she does. I hope she's watching.
FELTON: Please, Jo. I feel very lucky that she's several --
ISAACS: She'll be better.
FELTON: We'll see, we'll see. You never know, right?
ANDERSON (voice-over): From acting the part to directing it. As we end our special Connectors on "Harry Potter," who better to close out with than the man bringing the magic to the screen?
David Yates is the director for four of the films. He took on the franchise with the fifth installment, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." And, for obvious reasons, hasn't left since.
In this last film, Yates has a difficult task of spreading it out over two feature-length productions. He also bears the burden of disappointing millions of fans, who probably wouldn't mind it being spread out over six.
He spoke to me about what it was like to put the lid on this giant.
VOLDEMORT: I have seen your heart.
DAVID YATES, DIRECTOR: This one stands out because we're away from the school. The school's such an important character in these movies. It's this place of magic and safety. And you take these three iconic characters, you take them out of the safety zone and their comfort space, and you put them in a place of real jeopardy and danger, and something really interesting happens.
That's what is exciting about this film is that they're on the run and they're in a very threatening world, and they have to learn to survive and trust each other. And in that journey that they take, there's a kind of breaking of innocence. They do things that they would never have done at Hogwarts. And that's what's fun about it.
ANDERSON: Is there a standout moment for you?
YATES: Do you know, there are so many moments in the film I'm very -- I enjoyed directing. But there's a moment where two of the characters, Harry and Hermione, get to dance. And I know it's a scene that's going to divide the audience, and some people will love it, and some people will hate it. But I find it very tender and very true. It's kind of awkward and a bit fumbly, but there's something about it that feels very moving.
But there are lots of things I love about what each of them do, Dan, Rupert, and Emma. I love the fact that Rupert gets to play quite a lot of straight acting. Because he's always perceived as the funny guy in the trio, and in this movie, he gets to play these intense moments. And I sort of cheer when I see that, because he's such a clever actor, you know?
And Dan's terrific, always brings so much to the table. And Emma really ignites as well.
ANDERSON: Lianne, one of our viewers, asks whether you worry that what you've done now can match up to the success of this incredible franchise?
YATES: Do you know, in a way, I'm going to finish -- I finish in about six months. I deliver part two, which is this big spectacle. And I -- in a way, I don't -- every day I go to work, I pour myself into it. You have to, as a director. You make so many choices and decisions. But in a weird way, it doesn't belong to me. I don't identify myself with it in a strange way.
Because "Harry Potter's" oddly -- everybody owns it. Everybody belongs to it, everybody has an opinion about it. And I'm very proud to have made four films and delivered my vision of it.
But when I leave, I feel I'm almost like a first time filmmaker again, because it's "Harry Potter." It has its own odd, cultural place, its own place in the landscape that's bigger than any director, and you can't compete with that, and I would never try. It's "Harry Potter."
ANDERSON: What a nice guy. And a brief reminder, here, that the "Harry Potter" are made by Warner Brothers, which is part of CNN's parent company, Time-Warner.
Now, "Harry Potter's" magic has, indeed, touched so many of you around the world. We thought that we'd find out what it is that you love about this series. And in case any of you aren't quite up-to-date with the final plot, here's a little spoiler alert, because some of our viewers maybe about to give a little too much away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ CUMMINGS, "HARRY POTTER" FAN: "Harry Potter" is just one of the best books. I am a teacher, I'm a choir teacher, and I have never in my life seen kids so interested in reading until "Harry Potter" came out. So, as a teacher, it's really great to see that books that adults and kids can enjoy to read.
And, for me, personally, it's just been such a fun thing to read as I grew up, because the first book came out when I was younger. And now that I'm older and I'm finally getting to finish the series and then see all the movies come together, it's pretty cool.
AMRUTHA PRASAD, "HARRY POTTER" FAN: Harry has, obviously, had a lot of problems in his life. He's had to deal with a lot. And, unfortunately, so have I. So, I can see how he has handled himself, and that actually kind of gives me inspiration for how I should deal with the problems in my own life. Because everybody has problems.
And so, the way -- he's an orphan, he's a marked man, and he has to deal with all that. And still, he manages to be good, and he managed to kill Voldemort. So, it's actually kind of inspirational.
JOHN ROBLES, "HARRY POTTER" FAN: It's an enchanting world, and I think it really makes us all, adults, touch base with our childhood again. With that imaginative world that a lot of us lose.
KATE MURTAUGH, "HARRY POTTER" FAN: The characters are all so wonderfully written, and I feel connected to every single one of them. And the more I read, the more I discover. And I learn something new every time I read them. Which is just a wonderful experience, to be able to continue learning like that, even from age 11 to age 22.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Fantastic. Always good to hear from you. And we hope you enjoyed what was a three-part special on "Harry Potter." You can find it online, cnn.com/connect, featuring all your favorite actors from the series. It's there online, you can see it again. Tonight, we'll be right back after this.
ANDERSON: Just before the top of the hour for you. I'm going to get you some headlines at this point. Just a quick reminder about your Connectors of the Day here on CONNECT THE WORLD. Next week, we've lined up quite a lineup of super-talented stars for you.
First up, he's living la vida loca. Puerto Rican pop singer Ricky Martin. Then, there's music legend and founding member of the Rolling Stones, Mr. Keith Richards. And don't forget to tune in and watch one of the most stunning supermodels on the planet right now, Britain's very own Agnyness Deyn. All three answering your questions, right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
And to check out more of who's coming coming up in the weeks ahead, and to see what we've done in the past, log onto cnn.com/connect and do send us your questions.
On a Friday evening, it's 10:00, that is your world connected here in London. "BackStory" up next, after this quick check of the headlines.