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Nigerian President Wins New Term; Crisis in Libya

Aired April 18, 2011 - 16:00:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The condition is very, very bad because we have been here this past two months. No medicine. Even food is very problem.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Fearing a massacre in Misrata, civilian casualties sail to safety. But as far away as the French border, those fleeing the carnage in Libya face another barrier.

Plus hailed as a hero in Afghanistan, but were parts of this author's best-selling book fact or fiction?

And behind closed doors, a university friend tells us what William and Kate are really like.

Those stories and more tonight as we CONNECT THE WORLD.

ANDERSON: Well, panic is spreading throughout the last rebel-held city in West Libya as the death toll rises from relentless government attacks. Residents in Misrata say that the situation has grown so dire that the entire city is a frontline with every man, woman and child now at risk.

Well, thousands of people are crowding the port area desperate to reach safer shores. Ben Wedeman was aboard an aide ship that evacuated some of the wounded to Benghazi.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One after another after another after another, the wounded arrived in Misrata's port to be carried gingerly on a ship bound for safer grounds in Benghazi. Some are fighters, others civilians - all in grave condition.

27-year old doctor Nabil Masrati is overwhelmed.

DR. NABIL MASRATI, TENDING TO WOUNDED: (INAUDIBLE) at him home (INAUDIBLE) elbow and lower limbs and we take (INAUDIBLE) below the knee - one of them above, another is below the knee. I'll show it to you. (INAUDIBLE) below the knee and amputation above the knee. OK? Other limbs are also crushed. Amputation of the ring and the little finger. On left side, amputation of the whole hand.

WEDEMAN: This case, wounded while cooking, doesn't wasn't his face to appear on television because his mother doesn't know how badly he was hurt.

Misrata is surrounded by Gadhafi's forces on three sides. The only route of escape is the sea. Some of the wounded were so badly injured they had to be turned back because doctors feared they wouldn't survive the journey.

This city has been under attack for nearly two months and increasingly, it's the civilian population that's paying (INAUDIBLE) price to price.

(on camera): The United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 talked about protecting civilians, do you think civilians are being protected?

MASRATI: They are not protected. Not protected at all. Every day bombing. Today, there is more than 20 cases in one hospital. More than 20 death cases in one hospital.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Hundreds of migrant workers from West Africa were trucked to the port to board the ship organized by the International Organization for Migration. They've been sleeping in the open - exposed to the elements, incoming rockets and artillery.

OKRA AUSTIN, GHANAIAN MIGRANT WORKER: The condition is very, very bad because we have been here this past two months. No medicine. Even food is very problem and water. And (INAUDIBLE) you see the place we are sleeping is very bad.

WEDEMAN: Their long wait is now almost over but they leave behind thousands more stranded in a city whose fate is precarious.

(on camera): These men from Ghana are just a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands of people who are desperate to get out of Misrata - a city that President Barrack Obama himself has said is under a medieval siege.

Much of Misrata is without electricity. Checkpoints have been set-up on almost every street. There is a pervasive fear of infiltration by pro- Gadhafi agents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was in the floor of house. Sniper shot him with (INAUDIBLE) injured.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): At the (INAUDIBLE) clinic near the port, all of the wounded are civilians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see the crushed chest (INAUDIBLE) wound?

WEDEMAN: The doctors here struggle to get by with barely the basics.

This is Doctor Ali Ramadan (ph). Unfortunately, he says, "We're suffering from a shortage of medicine and equipment and anesthetics and we're short of medicine for diabetes and high blood pressure.

Nearby, a school has been converted into a shelter for families driven from their homes by the fighting.

Malica (ph), from Morocco, fled her apartment in a hurry. We left, she says, because they were shooting. Tanks and snipers were firing around our house.

Sudanese accountant Al-Radi Abdallah abandoned his home after it was hit by a missile.

AL-RADI ABDALLAH, SUDANESE ACCOUNTANT: No, no, no. I want to leave Libya (INAUDIBLE). Want to go.

WEDEMAN: Back onboard the ship and on the way to Benghazi, hundreds of African workers sleep wherever they can find space.

There may not be many more such rescue missions, warns Jeremy Haslam of the International Organization for Migration.

JEREMY HASLAM, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: I mean, we are definitely doing one more. Beyond that, I'm not sure.

WEDEMAN (on camera): What's the constraint?

HASLAM: It's financial right now.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): At least for a lucky few, they can sleep soundly for the first time in weeks knowing they've escaped this war in one piece.


ANDERSON: Ben is now in Benghazi and joins us live.

Ben, you were talking now about the hundreds who were able to get on the ship. What about those who've been left behind?

WEDEMAN: Well, there is thousands more, as many as 7,000, who can't leave and I'm only talking about migrant workers or third country nationals and there are many Libyans who are desperate to leave as well. And, of course, the situation is precarious to say the least. There are shortages of basic medicine. Food seems to be in adequate supply because ships supplies are getting into the city.

But certainly in terms of the bombardment, it's interesting because certain parts of the city driving around, you wouldn't even know there's a war but for the fact that there's no electricity and there are checkpoints everywhere. But other parts of the city, in particular the Al (ph) Hikma hospital, is literally on the frontlines. I was speaking to somebody who said that Gadhafi's forces were just 250 meters from the front of that hospital. So a very dangerous situation at the moment. But the city does seem to be hanging on for now.


ANDERSON: (INAUDIBLE) remarkable stuff. Ben, we thank you for that.

And Misrata obviously a flashpoint in this entire civil war. More help could soon be on the way for civilians there. Britain says that it will charter a ship to rescue 5,000 migrant workers stranded at the port. So that announcement came today from British officials at the United Nations.

Let's bring out CNN U.N. correspondent Richard Roth for more.

What have you learned today, Richard?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Well, Britain's Andrew Mitchell, the Chief of International Development, met with key United Nations officials here - different agencies. Britain wants to get out 5,000 or at least help them get out through funding and the International Migration Office that we saw in Ben's report there and the official Andrew Mitchell said that it is - it is significantly urgent that these people are taken out, most of them from sub-Sahara and Africa.

Now in the region, Valerie Amos, the U.N. humanitarian chief, has met with Libyan officials in the last day or so and they've got an agreement - the U.N. says - for access in Tripoli to have humanitarian teams start setting-up there. It's very unclear whether they're going to have access to Misrata, this besieged western city where medical assistance is of paramount concern.

Mitchell explained his goal in coming here to the U.N. to talk to officials here.


ANDREW MITCHELL, BRITISH INTL DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY: We have called once again today for Gadhafi to allow unfettered access to the humanitarian organization. It is outrageous this access has been denied, as Valerie Amos made clear in Tripoli yesterday. And we call again today for it to be restored. The main effort that we're trying to coordinate today is to ensure that humanitarian support within Libya goes ahead under the intensified because that is what the need requires.

The U.N. resolution is having some effect. (INAUDIBLE) degrading Gadhafi's offensive capacity to wage war against his own people. We've already seen the work of the International Criminal Court gathering pace. We've seen defections from his regime. It's not only Moussa Koussa who came to Britain some three weeks ago. There's also others who have joined the interim transitional national council in Benghazi. So this is a regime of which has clearly failed. I don't think anyone believes that it is seriously a part of the future Libya and the sooner Gadhafi goes, the better.


ROTH: Of course, harsh criticism such as that aimed at the Libyan government makes it a little bit harder for the United Nations to remain what it says it is - neutral - in Libya despite that Security Council vote that authorized a no-fly zone and other violence here. As one former humanitarian chief of the U.N. said, "Access is what is important for any type of humanitarian relief effort."

Becky, back to you.

ANDERSON: Richard, Andrew Mitchell there is saying that the resolution is certainly having some effect. But the resolution was effected to ensure that civilians were protected and from Ben's report, it is absolutely evident that whatever we're hearing from the U.N., not all civilians are being protected at this point. What does the U.N. do next?

ROTH: They do - what they're trying to do in-person contacts, try as much as possible to highlight the problem here but they want a cease-fire - a humanitarian cease-fire - and then they want aid brought in and then political talks to settle the differences. But there is a lot of skepticism here, of course, maybe from reporters that how are you going to get this cease-fire if the Libyan government is going on the path towards the rebels and the rebels are fighting back. We've seen this in other conflicts before. Perhaps the resolution which left too many holes in this area or assumed that Gadhafi might have been out of power by now and now those poor people in Misrata are caught in the middle.

ANDERSON: Yes. All right, Richard. We thank you for that. Richard Roth at the U.N. with the very latest from there.

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson in London.

Well, as the U.N. prepares for humanitarian aid in Misrata, what about those who have fled North Africa? We're going to take a look at the challenges faced by Tunisian migrants who have made it out of their homeland and into Europe.

And the presidential future of Nigeria has been decided but will its people accept the outcome?

Thai's next here on CNN. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. It's 14 minutes past 9:00. In London, I'm Becky Anderson.

For you now, the European Union says it was legal for France to temporarily stop trains from Italy on Sunday. They were concerns that they were full of Tunisian migrants and protestors.

Now, let me get this straight for you. Thousands of people - many of them Tunisians - have been fleeing violence in North Africa and arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa since January. Now, in an effort to spread them throughout Europe, Italy has issued humanitarian residence permits which give migrants the right to move to other European countries.

But on Sunday, France prevented a train carrying some of those migrants from crossing its borders saying additional documentation was required. Well, that prompted a formal protest from Italy which has been begging for help in dealing with the 25,000 unemployed Tunisians who have arrived on its shores.

While France's action was apparently illegal, the E.U. says train traffic is now flowing normally again. But as CNN's Jim Bittermann reports - this incident represents just a tiny fraction of the growing migrant problem across Europe.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a train load of about 200 or 300 protestors and about 60 Tunisian immigrants who are trying to make their way into France to protest French immigration policies and the local authorities in the southeast corner of France stopped the train from coming across the border as well as all other trains for about five hours yesterday before letting the train traffic resume on a basis of the fact that the protest had not been authorized.

However, it did point out a much larger problem here that not only France but Germany and Italy also have to deal with and that is the number of immigrants coming across the Mediterranean and landing on the shores of Italy. The Italians that say that they have to do something with the problem and in fact they issued 20 - more than 20,000 temporary visas to Tunisian immigrants just a few weeks ago. Those temporary visas allow people to travel within the Schengen area which is a group of countries that don't have any borders within Europe. Once they get to one of the Schengen countries, the immigrants are perfectly free to wander into others.

France and Germany were furious with the Italians for granting those temporary visas and clearly, they need to talk things out because the French government is making it pretty clear that it would like to put a stop on the amount of immigration, even if it is legal immigration. The Interior Minister said he would like to see about 20,000 less immigrants come in to France each year - about 10 percent less than the current 200,000 that come in. Basically, they're saying that their lifeboat is full, that the number of immigrants here now amount to something like 20 percent of the population, according to the Interior ministry, and that the unemployment rate among the immigrants and sons and daughters of immigrants is about 24 percent, about three times the national average.

So he would like to slow down immigration and, of course, there's also a domestic political reason for this and that is this will help President Sarkozy with the extreme right voters here who are notoriously anti- immigrant. It's something that Sarkozy may be thinking of ahead of the 2012 presidential elections.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.

ANDERSON: That's the view from Paris, where many of the migrants arriving in Europe have fled from violence in Tunisia and in these - Libya. I was on the border of those two countries last month and saw the scale of the problem myself.


ANDERSON, MARCH 7/TUNISIAN-LIBYAN BORDER (on camera): There are now 10,000 evacuees on this Tunisian side of the Libyan border and half of those are Bangladeshi migrant workers since the time (INAUDIBLE) this is home. This is the U.N. temporary tented camp and this morning, we saw hordes of (INAUDIBLE) in a single line come and give (INAUDIBLE) but hordes of this size just walking in. There are now 10,000-


ANDERSON: All right.

But the story then. About four or five weeks ago, I recently spoke to the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini when he was in London about the influx of immigrants into his country. Now, he told me some 30,000 migrants have entered Sicily and the south of Italy since January and while his country is doing its bit, the rest of Europe - he says - is turning its back on these displaced people.

Have a listen to this.


FRANCO FRATTINI, ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: On the refugees, it is our moral and institutional obligation to keep them. If we take - if we talk about every (INAUDIBLE) or Somalis, they took refuge in Italy because they feel safe. So if they are true refugees, we don't have problems at all.

ANDERSON (on camera): What to do you want from other E.U. members? What sort of support are you looking for at this point?

FRATTINI: Well, first of all, we want to raise awareness about the European dimension of migration-related issues. It is not an Italian- French issue or an Italian-Maltese issue. It is a purely European issue and if Europe is not capable to show solidarity towards country that are defending the borders of Europe - Sicilian borders are borders of Europe, not only borders of Italy - this means that we failed talking about more integration of Europe. (INAUDIBLE) euro-enthusiastic and maybe I'm wrong but I continue to say we need more Europe not less Europe on that.

ANDERSON: Who are you pointing your finger at, specifically?

FRATTINI: No. There is a weakness of European institutions. I used to be - three-years-and-a-half - the vice-president of European Commission in-charge of immigration and security. I launched Frontex Agency (ph). At my times, there were 11 countries of Europe participating to patrolling missions in Mediterranean. Now, Italian-Malta - only two. What happened?


ANDERSON: All right. Well, that's the foreign minister of Italy speaking to me this time last week. I spoke a short term ago today with Michele Cercone who's a spokesman for the European Commission (INAUDIBLE) ask him what the E.U. is doing to help Italy with its migrant problem.

This is what he says.


MICHELE CERCONE, EUROPEAN COMMISSION SPOKESMAN: The E.U. and the European Commission especially is active on two fronts. On one hand, trying to help with the situation in Northern Africa and especially with the situation in Libya where many people have been fleeing the country and are now in Tunisia and Egypt and need humanitarian assistance. The European Union has been giving financial aid and financial support for humanitarian reasons. At the same time, we're working with Tunisia in order to make sure that we support the democratic transition but also that the Tunisian government commits in trying to avoid departures of irregular immigrants towards Europe and especially Italy. And then on the internal front, there is Frontex - the European agency for border control - mission that has been operational in Italy in order to help Italian authorities to cope with the inflow of migrants. So a number of actions and operational measures that have been taken together with financial aid.

ANDERSON: Even when I spoke to the foreign minister Frattini last week, he said the E.U. - as an organization - in effect wasn't doing enough. He said member countries weren't doing enough and now we see evidence of that at the border with France.

CERCONE: Well, one clear message that Commissioner Malmstrom but also Commission President Barroso sent is that we need solidarity between member states if we really want to cope with this situation. Now, we are dealing with irregular migration coming from Tunisia but we could - we might be called soon to deal with refugees fleeing Libya and coming to Europe to find shelter. In both cases, we need member states to take their responsibilities and to show solidarity - be it through more financial aid or be it in other forms, that's the real - the call that we've been making until now.

ANDERSON: Now, hand on your heart, will you say to me tonight that you see that solidarity? Evidence of that solidarity?

CERCONE: It's very difficult to say that we have full solidarity at this stage. But it's also important to mention the fact that the - given a concrete example - all member states have been participating with men - men human resource and technical resources - to the front technician to help Italy and all member states will be, of course, in favor of trying to resettle at least part of the refugees or the people who are now in camps in - at the border between Tunisia and Libya and Egypt and Libya.

We've had a strong support for this initiative. So I would say that there is an amount of solidarity. It's, of course, something that we can work on and we will need member states to show more solidarity in the future. But to do so, we will need also to put the basis of a true European policy of - for migration and asylum and that's a very important issue member states have to start building on.


ANDERSON: And we will continue to challenge Europe on the issue of migration. That's rounding out our coverage of Libya and the extended story tonight here on CNN, 23 minutes past 9:00. I'm Becky Anderson in London.

More on the Nigerian elections coming up. And your headlines will follow that. Stay with me.


ANDERSON: Welcome back.

Now, it is official. Incumbent Goodluck Jonathan has won Nigeria's presidential election but the votes could come at a cost. Post-election violence has already erupted in the north of the country. Let's get you back up-to-date in exactly what's going on.

Christian Purefoy joins me from Abuja.

Christian, what's the latest?

CHRISTIAN PUREFOY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, yes. Could President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria's new president, president of Africa's most populous country, largest oil producer and won by 22 million votes. But (INAUDIBLE) a celebration of his victory is coming at a price. Across the north, there's some widespread violence - a major flash point at the (INAUDIBLE). The military has moved in to try and secure the area and the new president, Becky, has released a press statement asking that the political leaders - especially the contestant - to appeal to their supporters to stop further violence (INAUDIBLE) stability.

And as importantly, he's been asking the opposition leaders to ask their people on the streets to stop the violence. But at the moment, Becky, that hasn't happened. (INAUDIBLE) that cooler heads will prevail and the security will be able to get control of the situation. The worry, Becky, is if they might not - and that his situation could continue to escalate particularly when they feel there's a very controversial high- stake elections coming up next weekend for the governorships.


ANDERSON: And what are the concerns about that? What's your sense at this point?

PUREFOY: Sorry. I missed that.

ANDERSON: What are your concerns about these following elections? What's your sense at this point and what we might expect next?

PUREFOY: Well, it seems the thing with the governorship elections coming up is that they matter a lot more to the people on the ground. The governor (INAUDIBLE) is at stake, Becky. Control, you know, healthcare, education - they're - they have much more access (INAUDIBLE) much more access to their governors than the president.

And what seems to be happening is that a lot of the governors that supported in the north Goodluck Jonathan who's a southerner and their people know feel resentment and discontent of that support and expected (INAUDIBLE), many of the people will try to take out that resentment in their governors in the vote and maybe on the streets. So we could expect this violence (INAUDIBLE) some highs and lows through the next week. Becky.

ANDERSON: Just stay with CNN for more from Nigeria. Christian Purefoy reporting from Abuja for you. So thank you for that.

Well, a double whammy for Europe's market and the global financial market. There's more Euros in debt turmoil and a bombshell out of the U.N. sent traders Monday into a tailspin.

I'll show you that and the bigger picture with the top expert from HSBC. That and your headlines after this.


ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back. You're with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson in London.

Coming up in the next 30 minutes, more debt worries. We find out why the markets are losing confidence in the US economy and why Portugal's bailout may run into trouble.

Then the humanitarian hero being hailed -- well, certainly labeled a liar. Is the inspirational story of a best-selling author really true? We're going to investigate the allegations.

And then, describing Kate.


RICHARD DENNEN, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "TATLER": I think her boring aspects are, in fact, actually what she's got going for her.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Measured and controlled.

DENNEN: Yes, measured and -- very measured. Very controlled. And again, that is perfect.


ANDERSON: A university pal gives us a unique insight into at least one member of the royal couple.

Those headlines are coming are coming up in the next 30 minutes as promised. First, a very quick check of the other news stories this hour.

Aid groups are scrambling to move as many injured as possible out of the besieged city of Misrata in Libya. Forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi hammered the city earlier today. The UN says the regime will allow it to set up a humanitarian office in Tripoli.

A Syrian opposition source says security forces killed as many as 24 people over the past two days in cities where protests have been underway. Some, reportedly, were killed when police fired on a funeral procession.

In Nigeria, election results and violence. Riots erupted across the north after a spokesman for Goodluck Jonathan said the incumbent president would win Sunday's vote. Nigeria's main opposition party rejects Jonathan's win and accuses the ruling party of vote rigging.

Heavy security at the Afghan Defense Ministry after a deadly attack at the compound. A gunman in a military uniform opened fire with an AK-47, killing two people. The attacker was shot dead before he could set of an explosive device that he had allegedly brought with him.

And a key credit rating agency has downgraded its outlook long-term US debt to "negative." Standard & Poor's says it's concerned that politicians in Washington can't agree on a plan to reduce the ballooning deficit.

Stocks on Wall Street dropped sharply on the news. Felicia Taylor is at the New York Stock Exchange with the details. Felicia?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky. We saw some pretty heavy selling right at the open after we heard about the downgrade, or the negative outlook, I should say, on long-term debt from Standard & Poor's.

Stocks did manage to climb back up. The lows of the session at the close, the Dow was down 140 points, but we were down about 240 points at one point during the day.

The S&P downgrade the outlook, not the actual debt itself, and that's very significant. It has maintained the US AAA credit rating, which is the highest one possible, but this warning, as you mentioned, is that the rating could be lower if policy-makers in Washington can't reach an agreement to cut the country's rising debt.

One analyst basically says, this is a reality check for Washington to get its act in gear. The move certainly puts more pressure on the Obama administration and Congress to agree on how to cut the nation's near $1.5 trillion deficit. It's a serious problem, and it has to be paid attention to sooner than later. Becky?

ANDERSON: What is the reaction from the US government, out of interest?


TAYLOR: Well, that's a good question, right? What are they saying about this? OK. So, the Treasury Department is actually pushing back, and it's saying, look, the negative outlook underestimates the ability of America's leaders to come to an agreement. We have to presume and hope that they will, indeed, do so.

The White House is taking a similar line. White House spokesman Jay Carney says he believes the political process will outperform S&P's expectations. What remains to be seen, though, is how much this move by the S&P will affect the stock market going forward.

I spoke to many traders earlier today, and they basically said this is likely a one-day sell off. Fingers crossed. Corporate profits are the real focus, now, because we're well into the beginning of earnings, and that's going to be where people are paying attention to -- to forward guidance for companies.

But again, like I said, this is a wake-up call to Washington about this ongoing debate. We've been discussing it long enough. Now, we need real resolution and a budget deal on the table. Becky?

ANDERSON: It might take the markets to get them into gear. All right, Felicia, thank you for that.

Well, it isn't the only -- the US -- oops. A bit of music for you. OK. Well, it isn't only the US having a blue Monday. The euro zone had a pretty tough day, today, as well, after Finland and Greece sparked new debt worries.

Let's start with Finland for you, where a major political upset could complicate Portugal's bailout. Now, stay with me, here. Or any future bailouts. In fact, the anti-European True Fins Party made big gains in parliamentary elections at the weekend.

Now, at the same time, Athens in Greece is denying a report that it may have to restructure its debt. Well, I sat down with our Jim Boulden and started by asking why it's all getting, well, slightly more complicated than we've seen before. This is what he said.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a couple of things are happening on the same day, that's why we're seeing this refocus on the euro.

You've got Greece saying "we're not looking for a restructuring of our debt, we're not going to fail paying back our bills," but the market doesn't believe Greece.

At the same time, you have talks in earnest, right now, in Portugal, IMF, the European banks, European -- all there in Lisbon trying to hammer out this 80 billion euro loan, this bailout. So, at the same time, the markets are saying, we're not sure this is going to make a difference in the long run.

ANDERSON: What are the markets doing? How are they reacting?

BOULDEN: Well, they show -- let me show you what's happening here. I think it's what's really interesting is, no matter all the bailouts and all the talk and all the help that we think we're going to be getting to help these countries, you just don't see it happening in the bond markets.

This is the Portugal 10-year bond. You see, toward the end of last year, obviously, zooming up. And even after we now know that there will be a bailout in Portugal, the 10-year continues to rise strongly, because the markets still think that Portugal will have trouble, and they just don't like the look of things right at this moment.

Of course, Greece was the first to look for a bailout, and Greece continues to rise even after it started to get the money, and even after it started to really restructure its economy.

In fact, right now, Credit Defaults Watch show that Greece has a 64 percent chance, a likelihood, of having to restructure debt, which means paying for European banks and paying for investors.

Now, we always look at the good old German 10-year bond, because this is our benchmark. Ten-year bond in Germany was falling throughout, of course, because it became the safe haven. But even it has seen a bit of a rise, there, just like we're seeing an interesting mark, I think, for the euro.

The euro has been gaining strength over the last couple of months because it was again seeing that the European Central Bank raising interest rates. But look what's happened just in the last week, here, Becky. What is happening here is the euro's starting to lose some of its luster again just as like we saw at the end of last year, when Ireland was in so much trouble. Because, now people are thinking wait a minute, maybe the euro isn't the safe haven we thought it was going to be.

ANDERSON: So, what do we take out of all of this?

BOULDEN: Well, it's so interesting, I think, is when you look at Finland and you the reaction, we're seeing this sort of bailout fatigue. So, we see a little bit of that in Finland over the weekend. Now, it's questionable whether they can actually stop Portugal getting a bailout, for instance.

But it's sort of symptomatic of what we're seeing in a lot of countries in Europe. We're just seeing a lot of people saying, "Maybe we shouldn't continue to just pour money into all these countries. Maybe there has to be a very, very painful restructuring.


ANDERSON: Well, Jim Boulden speaking to me earlier. The big question, now, of course, what's the significance of what we are seeing here? Well, I caught up with HSBC's economist Karen Ward and simply put that question to her. This is what she said.


KAREN WARD, SENIOR GLOBAL ECONOMIST, HSBC: Well, essentially, what the market's worried about is that the funds won't come together in a timely fashion in order to help Portugal out as it comes to the markets over the next few months to try and redeem some of the bonds that it has coming out.

So, that's the concern. I mean, we would caution against taking this news to -- too much at face value, because within Finland itself, there's still a long way to go before Finland itself says "no" to the package, and there are other ways in which the European authorities can provide funds.

ANDERSON: But there is a groundswell of anti-euro sentiment across the European space at present. Is there an implication, here, for the whole project going forward?

WARD: I wouldn't say that it is across the euro zone in its entirety. If we look at France, we look at Germany, obviously, they're the key parts of the region that will be providing the majority of funds.

And at the moment, there, it doesn't look, certainly, as if they're -- the tensions there are beginning to cause any significant cracks. So, to us, the key players in providing the funds are still very committed to the project.

Of course, this is all about politics rather than economics and, for that reason, the market's going to stay reasonably nervous.

ANDERSON: But we did see an uptick on Portuguese bonds, today. We've seen the euro down significantly against the dollar for the first time in some time and, given there's been interest rate rises, of course, by the ECB, you'd expect the euro to remain quite strong.

So, I put it to you again. There are naysayers out there who say you can't run a two-tier euro system. If the Portuguese were not given their bailout, they weren't able to get the funds, that would be very bad for the euro project going forward, wouldn't it?

WARD: Of course. And, obviously, with what's happened over the last few days, we've taken our attention back off the strength of the German economy and back onto the weakness of the core and the funding difficulties that they're going to have over the next few months.

So, it's -- I think, perhaps, the euro had got a bit ahead of itself in forgetting what was happening in the periphery, focusing too much on the strength of the core.

And therefore, over the last few days, we've just realized these problems aren't resolved. It's going to take a long time for them to be resolved. There's actually no silver bullet in getting to that resolution and, therefore, we've got a lot of uncertainty in the months ahead.


ANDERSON: Watch this space or, perhaps, more importantly, watch those financial markets.

Up next, a beloved and best-selling story now called into question. Indications that "Three Cups of Tea" may have stretched the truth. The publisher responds after this.


ANDERSON: His book is required reading for US service members headed to Afghanistan but, now, Greg Mortenson is being forced to defend the stories it contains. An investigation by a US television network alleges that "Three Cups of Tea" is full of lies.

Should that matter, when it's also done so much good? The background, CNN's Ralitsa Vassileva reports.


GREG MORTENSON, AUTHOR, "THREE CUPS OF TEA": I built a school and 78 more, and still doing it today.

RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Greg Mortenson has helped build schools in remote Afghanistan and Pakistan. He shot to fame with his autobiographical "Three Cups of Tea" about his failed attempt to scale a peak in the Himalayas, how he got lost and kidnapped by the Taliban, and later freed.

The account of his ordeal raised millions for charity, but was it all a tall tale? The CBS news program "60 Minutes" claims it found proof that key parts are not true. One of his alleged captors, seen here with Mortenson, adamantly denies his claims.

MANSUR KHAN MAHSUD, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, FATA RESEARCH CENTER: No, he's lying. He's lying. We didn't kidnap him. He was our guest, and we treated him as a guest.

VASSILEVA (voice-over): Fellow climber and author Jon Krakauer is raising the alarm.

STEVE KROFT, CBS CORRESPONDENT, "60 MINUTES": Did he stumble into this village in a weakened state?

JON KRAKAUER, AUTHOR: Absolutely not.

KROFT: So, nobody -- nobody helped him out and nursed him back to health.

KRAKAUER: Absolutely not.

VASSILEVA: Mortenson stands by his story, and one expert says his cause fills a critical need.

PETER BERGEN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: The guy has done quite a lot of good. Not as much good as, perhaps, he's claimed and as, perhaps, his charity has claimed, but he certainly built these schools, and that -- whether they defeat extremism or not, this -- providing girls education in parts of the world which have very little of that, that's just a good thing.

VASSILEVA (voice-over): Ralitsa Vassileva, CNN, Atlanta.


ANDERSON: Well, that's the background for you. One of the men who Mortenson says held him captive is vehemently denying that charge to CNN. You just heard from him briefly in Ralitsa's piece and, now, Nick Paton Walsh is live from Islamabad with more from that interview.

What did you learn, Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Mansur Khan Mahsud, who you heard from earlier, is in Islamabad, here, a researcher at an institute. And he is, he says, one of the men who allegedly held Greg Mortenson captive for eight days back in 1996 in South Waziristan.

Now, he fervently denies any such kidnap occurred. He said the author was his family's guest and had requested to come to their village, and he says that the episode on the book is a lie that was told, effectively, to make the story better. And he intends to sue for damages against the author over the damage to his image that's been done.


WALSH: Greg Mortenson says that you kidnapped him. Did you?

MAHSUD: No, he's lying. He's lying. We didn't kidnap him. He was our guest, and we treated him as a guest. Not someone -- we have not kidnapped him.

He used to move around with us to different places in Waziristan. He was even a chief guest in a football tournament.

WALSH: Why do you think he said this about you?

MAHSUD: Just to sell his books, because people in 2005 or 2006 wanted to know about Waziristan and the Taliban, so he thought that it's good to make this story.

WALSH: If you saw Greg Mortenson now, what would you say to him?

MAHSUD: I would just say that, "Why you have defamed me, my family, and my tribe? We treated you well. We housed you in our homes, so why have you made all these lies about us?" I intend to sue him because he has defamed me, my family, my tribe.


WALSH: Now, Mr. Mortenson has responded to "60 Minutes's" allegations by saying this episode in Waziristan with the kidnapping did occur. He says his passport and money were taken from him, he was not allowed to leave. And when he was moved around in a vehicle, his head was covered in a blanket. So, he's very much standing by that part of the book, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right, Nick. You've got a photo, I believe, which would see, at least, to support Mansur's claims. Show us that and talk us through it.

WALSH: So, here we see the author Greg Mortenson between the men who he has said, I believe, are his kidnappers. Here, he's holding a weapon with an ammo belt on him. You would think that would be, perhaps, surprising that his kidnappers, were they around him, would be letting him carry a gun.

Mr. Mahsud says that this is proof he is neither a kidnapper or a member of the Taliban, and that Mr. Mortenson was relaxed and happily there of his free will.

Obviously, as we said, Mr. Mortenson stands by his story that he was held there against his well. It's obviously two incompatible versions, there, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, all right. Nick Paton Walsh, there, in Pakistan. Thanks for that, Nick.

Let's bring in another point of view. Michael O'Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a public policy think tank. He's also, though, the author of "Toughing it Out in Afghanistan," and he joins us live, now, from Washington.

Whether you buy the charges against Mortenson or not, there is a bigger issue, here. How big an impact has Mortenson's work had?

MICHAEL O'HANLON, SENIOR FELLOW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: He's been quite influential and, I think, in ways that will stand up despite whatever happens with these allegations, which obviously are serious, because they involve, as you pointed out, possible defamation of other people, not just sort of good historical embellishment to sell a book.

So, if they're true, they're going to certainly hurt his personal reputation, but what he's done in the field is impressive and, in fact, is something that the US military, other forces, other foreigners in Afghanistan have tried to emulate.

I've seen briefing slides from military personnel and development personnel in Kabul that point out that Mortenson can build a school for $60,000 and it usually takes us a million dollars or more, and we've got to find how to be more like Mortenson, at least on this particular aspect of what he's done. So --

ANDERSON: It's -- it's not -- yes.

O'HANLON: I think that will stand up.

ANDERSON: It's not just the US army who hold Greg in very high esteem. Public policy, or certainly, foreign policy, to a certain extent, at the State Department, was sort of founded -- not founded, but it was helped to be written by what Greg Mortenson had -- was able to provide to the State Department, wasn't it? Am I right in saying that? He was -- he's pretty strategic in what the US is now doing in Afghanistan.

O'HANLON: Yes. I've heard a number of American and other NATO commanders talk about how it's time to have not just one, not just two, but three cups of tea in order to -- in other words, establish human bonds, to act more like Peace Corps volunteers might in some of their military campaigns to try to build bonds with local chieftains and other tribal officials as they carry out development, as they try to build community linkages in general.

The general notion of trying to counter insurgency through development projects, of course, is an age-old one. But Mortenson showed it could be done in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He gave the real know-how for how to do this pragmatically and in a way that no doctrine, no manual had previously accomplished to quite the same degree.

ANDERSON: So, Michael, what do you say to those who dismiss his work in the light of this CBS -- these CBS revelations?

O'HANLON: Well, I don't think his work should be dismissed. I think it's fair enough to look into allegations that he made that may not be true, especially if they besmirched other people who may be innocent. Obviously, there's a certain amount of proper payback that should occur, and maybe even a lawsuit is warranted, for all I know. I can't comment on that, I don't have the facts.

However, I think that Mortenson does deserve credit -- everything I know about him suggests he's very devoted to the cause of building schools.

Now, it's not a panacea to build schools. You've got to provide security, populate the schools with teachers, and provide jobs for the graduates. Many other things that Mortenson himself has never been able to do because he's got a limited mandate and limited abilities.

But what he's done has been instructive and, I think, will remain important.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right. Michael O'Hanlon at the Brookings Institute. We thank you for joining us this evening. Interesting story.

Just in the last few hours, the publisher of Greg Mortenson's book has responded to the controversy, and I want to read you exactly what they've said.

It says, "Greg Mortenson's work as a humanitarian in Afghanistan and in Pakistan has provided tens of thousands of kids -- or children with an education. '60 Minutes' is a serious news organization -- or a show, at least, and in the wake of their report, Viking plans to carefully review the materials with the author."

And we'll keep you bang up to date with this story as we get more.

Next up tonight, rare insight into Kate and William. Or William and Kate. We speak to a friend of the royal couple, who describes the bride- to-be as "boring but perfect." That up next.


ANDERSON: Drinks, parties, and ruined castles. Binge sessions after fashion shows and polo matches. Such is life at Scotland's University of St. Andrews, at least according to Richard Dennen. The "Tatler" columnist was there a decade ago when the romance between two fellow undergraduates, Prince William, or William Wales, and Kate Middleton first unfolded.

Well, in an exclusive interview, he gives my colleague Max Foster a unique insight into the royal couple.


RICHARD DENNEN, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "TATLER": They both have a really clear sense of their GTU, which is in a couple of years time, it's going to be hardworking royals. And as a result, they're not sort of messing around, they didn't have friends who are going crazy. It's not good for their look. It's not good for their business.

I've also heard that they're reluctant -- normally, when a prince gets married, the queen will make him a duke, would actually give him the grand title. I've also heard that they're really reluctant to be the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge or Clarence or whatever --


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is that because they want to sort of - -

DENNEN: -- catch of royal titles --

FOSTER: -- work on their marriage --

DENNEN: I think they --

FOSTER: -- in the early days?

DENNEN: I think they feel that having -- I think they really think it's a bit uncool to be a duke or duchess, it's going to age them 30 years. So, there's no reason why they can't stay Prince and Princess William of Wales. I think that fact that Kate's getting a car from the palace to the abbey sort of fits quite well with that.

FOSTER: So the thinking behind that was a reflection of the times, you would say?

DENNEN: I would say it's a reflection of the times, but also, it's a reflection of their personality as well.

You see from what she's wearing, what she wears out, she wears quite sort of simple, slow, sort of browns, like Esser. She's not embracing fashion. I think she specifically doesn't want to be a fashion icon.

FOSTER: What did you make of her engagement dress?

DENNEN: I thought it epitomized her style, which is extremely safe. She knows what she looks good in. It's -- she's perfect raw bride material.

FOSTER: Was that very Kate Middleton, that look?

DENNEN: I would say that was extreme Kate Middleton.

FOSTER: And how would you epitomize that look?

DENNEN: I'd say it was safe. Dare I say it? Slightly boring. I don't necessarily mean that in a negative way. I think her boring aspects are, in fact, actually what she's got going for.

FOSTER: Measured and controlled.

DENNEN: Yes, measured and -- very measured. Very controlled. And again, that is perfect, because you don't want someone who's going to be falling out on the King's Road face down, wasted after a sort of boozy session.

You want someone who's controlled and measured and dutiful and is going to spend endless days opening public swimming pools and opening agricultural fairs in Wales.


ANDERSON: A bit of a background there. Some unique insight. We are, of course, counting down the days until the royal wedding. Not long to wait, now. We're going to bring you extensive coverage of the pending nuptials, I promise you that.

To find out more about CNN's coverage, do head to our special unveiled website. It is packed with stuff that you may or may not know, more of what you do, and lots of what you don't. It's your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about William and Kate and their big day.

We will see you there. This show will be outside Buckingham Palace all week. You will miss nothing at this time.

I'm Becky Anderson, that is your world connected. Thank you for watching. It's Monday night in London, the world news headlines and "BackStory" will follow this short break. Don't go away.