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Seizing Ground, Closing in on the Capital; Small Towns, Big Stakes; Cesc Fabregas Moves to Barcelona; Solid Gains for Wall Street; TV Cameras Banned From Mubarak Trial; Protester's Family Demands Action in Egypt; Egyptians Discuss Mubarak Trial On Social Media; Egyptian Blogger Favors Judge's Decision; Life After the CIA; Lavish Living in London; Parting Shots of Stolen Rembrandt

Aired August 15, 2011 - 16:00:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Libya's rebels on a roll as they close in on Tripoli. Colonel Gadhafi tells his people to prepare for a fight.

So are we finally seeing the beginning of the end game?

Plus, as Barack Obama takes to the road to sell his economic message, we'll look at the Republicans lining up to take his job.

And she was the secret agent thrust into the limelight -- find out what Valerie Plame Wilson has to say about the administration she blames for outing her.

These stories and more tonight as we connect the world.

First, though, seizing ground and closing in on the capital. Rebel leaders say they fought their way to the doorstep of Tripoli. This amateur video is said to show rebels celebrating in Zawiya, a western town just a short drive from the capital. Rebels claim to have captured most of the key port -- their biggest prize in a dramatic weekend advance from Libya's western mountains.

But today, fierce battles are reported as Moammar Gadhafi's troops fight back. We got an update a short time ago from a journalist who just returned from Zawiya.


DEBORAH HAYNES, "LONDON TIMES": At the moment, it's quite hard to say who is in -- is in complete control of the city. The rebels say that they have about 80 percent of it under their control.

But it's a very serious situation. There were snipers in the -- in the buildings around the main square. And the main square is really the key symbol for that town. Whoever controls the square controls Zawiya.


FOSTER: Well, if the rebels can seize all of Zawiya and hold onto it, the capture would not only be a huge strategic victory, but also a badly needed boost for morale.

Our Matthew Chance is following developments from Tripoli.

What are they saying from there, though -- Matthew.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're -- they're categorically denying, Max, first of all, in terms of the -- the officials here that we've spoken to in Tripoli that Zawiya is in the hands of the rebels. They say that town, which is about 50 kilometers to the west of the Libyan capital, is firmly in the hands of Libyan armed forces.

They do admit, though, that there have been clashes of what they called armed groups inside the city. They say that those armed groups are people who have risen up, locals who -- local residents who have risen up against the Libyan armed forces.

And the officials that spoke from here denied that there's been a rebel advance into that town of any sizeable proportions.

What we have noticed, though, of course, is that the road, the main transit route into Tripoli from the west has been severed. Obviously, the -- the assumption is that that's because that fighting it is taking place and the rebels may have some kind of control over that area.

In fact, we've seen compelling television, pictures of the rebels apparently in control of that main road bridge that runs through Zawiya, cutting off supplies from west to east.

But what the government is saying is contradictory to that. They say that, in fact, it's the government that's cut off the road, because, -- for the sake of the civilians, they say, because of rebel snipers that are taking pot shots at civilian cars along the road. They said they'd do whatever they can to protect civilians.

So we're going to get a lot of very different, shall we say, version of events coming from the authorities here in Tripoli -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Matthew Chance, thank you very much, indeed, for that.

So why is Zawiya so significant for the rebel forces?

Well, the city is some 50 kilometers there to -- to the west of Tripoli. As you can see, it's a major route for supplies -- all sorts of supplies -- into Tripoli. So it's vital. That road that Matthew was talking about is very vital.

If the rebels control Zawiya, they can hold the path of food and fuel from Tunisia into the capital. Tunisia just to the left there.

Now, Zawiya also has an oil refinery, the only one in Western Libya and an important supply for Moammar Gadhafi's forces. As you can see from the map, the rebels control Misrata to the east here and also Zintan down to the south.

They're also battling in Gharyan, just there to the south, which is another important route from the south into Tripoli. So all the routes into Tripoli being affected right now.

Finally, NATO ships patrol the waters along the coast.

So, if Zawiya falls to the rebels, Colonel Gadhafi and his forces will essentially be surrounded. But we're not getting a clear picture of exactly what's going on. It seems far too early to declare it's the beginning of the end for Moammar Gadhafi, but it is at least fair to say that the battle for Libya is entering a decisive new phase.

Let's put that to Dirk Vandewalle.

He is author of a history of modern Libya.

He's a professor of government at Dartmouth College.

And thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

What are your sources telling you about how isolated the capital is right now?

DIRK VANDEWALLE, AUTHOR, "A HISTORY OF MODERN LIBYA": Well, it seems quite clear that, in a sense, particularly if Zawiya, indeed, would fall to the rebels, that that would be a major setback for Gadhafi government. And as your correspondents have mentioned, the road through Zawiya into the left of Gharyan on the Tunisian border is one of the two supply routes that the regime has. And if, indeed, that is cut off, as I said, it would be a major setback.

Now, there is a bit of a problem here. Zawiya consists of two parts. There is the town of Zawiya and there is the actual refinery. Want we've heard so far are reports about the town itself. But as we know from previous battles, Misrata, for example, Zlitan and some of the other cities along the coast, these cities have gone back and forth between the rebel forces and between the Gadhafi forces.

And so the big question at this point is, will Zawiya, indeed, stay, first of all, in rebel hands?

But then secondly, also, will they be able to occupy the refinery, because the refinery is really what the prize -- the jewel in the crown is here.

FOSTER: It's interesting, isn't it, because we've also heard reports -- unconfirmed reports that some U.N. representatives are meeting Gadhafi in Tunisia.

Have you heard anything about that and what could that mean? : "

VANDEWALLE: I have not heard of these most recent ones. The United Nations, as your viewers know, have been mediating between the both sides, between the rebels in Sirinaka (ph), in the eastern part of the country and in Tripoli. And, of course, the United Nations, through Mr. Al-Attabi (ph) have been trying to come up with a diplomatic solution. But until now, both sides, so far, have really drawn lines in the sand, so to speak, red lines beyond which they won't go.

And until now, we've really had no progress on the diplomatic front -- talks. But those talks undoubtedly, both between the United Nations and the Libyan government, also between a number of bilateral governments and Tripoli and the rebels in Sirinaki (ph) will undoubtedly continue, because there is an interest here in settling this diplomatically rather than letting the civil war run its course.

FOSTER: Are we into the end game?

Do you think Gadhafi is coming close to looking at a diplomatic solution?

VANDEWALLE: I think what is happening around Tripoli is, in many ways, what the Chinese would call death by a thousand cuts. And that is -- and the regime still has a number of resources at its disposal militarily, political, to some extent, certainly financially. But those are very steadily being undercut.

So the regime is steadily losing access to its resources bit by it. And certainly the loss of Zawiya would be a significant cut undercutting the resources of the regime.

But whether or not we're close to an end point, I think it's still somewhat problematic.

This is a regime that still has access to a lot of money, still has an enormous amount of weapons at its disposal. And even though the situation in Tripoli is pretty dire, this could take for a much longer -- it's not necessarily yet the beginning of the end.

FOSTER: OK, Professor Vandewalle, thank you very much, indeed, for your unique insight.

Well, the U.S. says it's encouraged by the rebels' advance. It's a good bet that other NATO states are, as well. Many believe their bombing campaign in Libya would last just weeks when it began back in March.

Well, it's been months and still no end in sight. NATO faces a key test of its commitment in September, when the current mandate for its bombing mission comes to an end.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up, all aboard the Obama Express -- the U.S. president sets off on his three day, three state round trip. CNN's Wolf Blitzer will join us live from Iowa after the break.

Then in sports, the prodigal son returns -- Cesc Fabregas resigns with Barcelona. We'll have more on that long-running transfer in around 30 minutes.

And later in the show, Becky speaks to former spy, Valerie Plame Wilson.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is no shortage of ideas to put people to work right now. What is needed is action on the part of Congress, a willingness to put the partisan games aside and say we're going to do what's right for the country, not what we think is going to score some political points for the next election.


FOSTER: Small towns, big stakes -- the White House calls the U.S. president's three state trip to the Upper Midwest a chance to talk to everyday Americans about economic issues in their own backyards.

Republicans call this a thinly disguised campaign trip.

Wolf Blitzer will interview Barack Obama one-on-one on Tuesday.

He comes to us right now from Iowa.

Thank you so much for joining us -- Wolf.

How's he doing on the economic argument?

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Well he's got his arguments. He's got a long way to go because the U.S. economy right now is anemic. There is very high unemployment, at 9.1 percent. And he's got a - - a lot of convincing to do. He's got a lot of work.

The Republicans are trying to sort through their own process right now. They've got a whole bunch of candidates out there who are seeking the Republican presidential nomination. I think it's fair to say there are three top tier Republicans who have emerged.

There's Michele Bachmann. She won don't Iowa Straw Poll. He's doing very well, who ran in 2008, the former governor of Minnesota. And now Rick Perry, the current governor of Texas, he's been governor for 10 years and he's coming on.

So these are the three main Republican candidates. I don't know if there are going to be a whole lot of other Republicans who are going to jump into the race for the Republican nomination.

But it's clearly shaping up as a significant difference between what the Republicans, on these domestic economic issues, stand for, and the Democrats, led by the president of the United States. and he's beginning, as you just heard, he's beginning to get a little bit more feisty. He's beginning to lash back at the Republicans. They've been going full speed ahead against him over these past several weeks. And now he's beginning to respond. It's only going to get more intense in the coming weeks and months -- Max.

FOSTER: So what is it, Wolf, that you really want to get out of the interview tomorrow?

What do you want to find out?

BLITZER: We're going to try to go through all of the important economic issues, what can be done to start creating some jobs, to return the American economy to a pro -- a better growth level right now. It's pretty anemic, as I said before. We're going to go through all of that.

We're clearly going to go through the major national security issues facing the United States, what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and Syria. We'll go through at least of those major issues. And, of course, I can't ignore domestic American politics, the race for 2012. The president, as you pointed out, these three states he's going through -- he began today in Minnesota. Now he's in Iowa, heading toward Illinois. He carried all three of them in 2008. He's going to need to carry them again if he's going to get himself reelected next year.

The good thing he has going for him right now, there's still a long time between now and November of 2012. American politics are intense. The campaign season seems like it never ends. Eventually, it will, but it's -- it's going to be a long ride and he's got an uphill struggle. The most recent Gallup Tracking Poll shows him below 40 percent right now in terms of his job approval.

So he's got some stiff competition ahead of him irrespective of who the Republican challenger is going to be.

FOSTER: I guess if the economy does well, he's in a strong position, isn't he, because he can claim responsibility for that?

But has he got an argument for the opposite, if the economy starts doing badly, what would he argue?

BLITZER: He's going to have a tough time getting reelected no matter who the Republican candidate is going to be. If the economy is bad in November of 2012 and that right track/wrong track question that pollsters love to ask, is the country moving in the right direction or the wrong direction, if -- if most Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction and it's not upbeat about the future, see no great progress, he's not going to get himself reelected. It's -- it's the problem that Jimmy Carter faced back in 1980, a one term president who faced a stiff challenge from Ronald Reagan back in 1980.

It's the problem that George H.W. Bush faced in 1992, when the economy was in trouble. And then the then governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, who we are relatively unknown, challenged him and beat him in 1992. He became a one term president.

If the economy is not good and jobs, jobs, jobs -- if there's no hope in sight that it's going to get better, he's going to be in deep trouble getting himself reelected.

FOSTER: Wolf Blitzer, thank you so much for joining us.

Well, viewers in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America can see Wolf's interview with President Obama on THE SITUATION ROOM. That's on Tuesday night at 11:00 p.m. in London, 5:00 p.m. In Mexico City.

Our viewers in Asia will see it on "WORLD REPORT." That's Wednesday morning at 6:00.

Well, the -- the next U.S. presidential election is still more than a year away, but the political circus is underway. Barack Obama calls the White House his home now, but by November 6th, 2012, things could very much change.

Right now, there are 11 top Republicans, from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to liberation Ron Paul. And battling it out for the party's nomination, really, to challenge President Obama.

Many view Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann, as Wolf was talking about, as the frontrunner, especially as she won last weekend's Iowa Straw Poll, a nonbinding vote among Republicans in Iowa, but very crucial at this point in the process.

Rick Perry only just announced his candidacy last week. But the Texas governor is running on his economic track. He says he fixed his state's financial problems. He's riding on that economic ticket that was talking about just a few moments ago.

Now, Mitt Romney, he's always placed high among Republicans and is seen as a very strong contender. So never one to write off, certainly not at this stage.

And Sarah Palin, so many questions surrounding her.

The big question, will she run for the presidency or won't she?

Well, right now, she hasn't declared herself, says wait and see. But everyone pretty much assuming that she will enter the race at the time that works best for her.

In February, the election season kicks off with the Iowa Caucus. And it feels like it already has. But that's when it really kicks off.

During that Caucus and other primary elections, Republican primary voters pick who they want as their candidate. Then each state puts forward their winning -- or their winner during the Republican convention in August. The candidate with the most votes becomes the nominee.

So some way off, but it's going to be an exciting election.

Those Republican frontrunners are sharpening their campaign strategies and fine tuning their pitches, of course, as they try to navigate a new political landscape.

And CNN senior political editor, Mark Preston, joins us now from CNN Washington.

How would you sum up where we are in the Republican story for people that haven't been watching every twist and turn?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, you know what, Max, we're at this point in the campaign where things are really starting to gel. You know, before Rick Perry got into the race on Saturday, I think people had been looking for another Republican to come forward. They didn't feel like the field was strong enough and they were looking for an alternative.

Now, people think that they might have seen that in Rick Perry. And as Wolf had just said in the interview beforehand, we're looking at three candidates right now out of a very crowded field who we think are the leading candidates.

The first one, Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, a very successful businessman. He ran in 2008, did not win the nomination.

Rick Perry, the Texas governor, who just got into the race on Saturday, he's going to be running on a couple of themes. He's going to be talking about how well he has done as the governor of the state of Texas. He's also a darling of the Tea Party and social conservatives.

And, of course, Michele Bachmann, somebody who only announced her candidacy right here on CNN during a debate in June. She said she was officially running then. But within 50 days, she was able to put together a ground operation in Iowa to win the Iowa Straw Poll.

So those are the three that we're looking at right now. They're all focusing, really, on one overarching theme, and that's the economy -- Max.

FOSTER: Absolutely. And it's so vital, isn't it, at this time?

Let's hear -- let's hear from Michele Bachmann, because she's grabbing so many headlines around the world right now.


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As president of the United States, that's what I bring, is leadership, a core set of principles. That's what Ronald Reagan brought when he was president of the United States. It wasn't just being governor of California, it was a core set of principles that guided him.

And I think that's what I'm going to bring, as well. And it, for me, we need to have a decision-maker, because the president isn't just manager- in-chief, they're the leader and they set the direction. And that's what I can do.


FOSTER: She's very strong right now, but the question is can she carry it through? what's your -- your judgment on that?

PRESTON: Well, that's a -- it's a great question. And a lot of people don't think she can actually win the Republican nomination. You know, no surprise right here that she invoked Ronald Reagan's name, who is an icon of Republican politics here in the United States.

Her strengths are is that she is seen as a fighter with the conservative base here in the United States. Her weaknesses are that she really has no record. She hasn't done any big legislative accomplishments on Capitol Hill, right behind me. And she seems, as somebody who can be a stick in the mud, not somebody who's willing to compromise and get things done.

FOSTER: OK. Let's look at one of her main rivals, Rick Perry, of course, only recently announcing his candidacy.


GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: That big black cloud that hangs over America, that debt that is so monstrous, there's only one way you get rid of it that's practical, that makes sense, and that is going to free up American -- free up American entrepreneurs. Give them the incentives to go out and spend the dollars that they have and hire the people.


FOSTER: It's a very good strategy, isn't it, for any candidate right now, to go on the economy, because that's what's going to work against Obama. That's what he can't control right now.

And he's only got a year left, doesn't he?

PRESTON: Yes, that's absolutely right, Max. You know, close your eyes and if you replay that, you might think you're listening to George W. Bush. In fact, Rick Perry was George Bush -- George W. Bush's lieutenant governor. And when George W. Bush was elected president, that's when Perry took office down in Texas as the governor.

Now, Rick Perry is going to talk about how he has created the most jobs in the country down in his state. He's also going to probably very subtly talk about his family values credentials, which are very important in the Republican primary -- Max.

FOSTER: Mark Preston, thank you so much for joining us.

You've got a very, very busy year ahead. But you're gearing up at this point already.

Thank you so much for joining us with that.

Now, lots more ahead on the show for you, as well, including a hero's welcome in Barcelona wearing his new shirt. Footballer Cesc Fabregas waves to fans. What he had to say about his old team, Arsenal, coming up in 60 seconds.

Plus, Mubarak in the dock, but you won't get a chance to see pictures like this again in future. The judge in the trial of the former Egyptian president makes a controversial decision. That's coming up for you in just over 10 minutes right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.


FOSTER: In football, one of the longest transfer sagas of the season has finally come to an end. Cesc Fabregas is now a Barcelona player. After months of speculation, the former Arsenal captain was unveiled at the city's Camp Nou Stadium early on Monday.

"WORLD SPORT'S" Alex Thomas joins me in the studio.

It must be a relief to you -- Mr. Alex.

He's been chomping on it a while.



THOMAS: Because he's a big player. And he's gone from a huge club in Arsenal to one of the few clubs even bigger than them in Europe, which, let's face it, is where all the money in football is. It's such a global sport.

But, yes, we're rolling our eyes a bit because we've had such speculation for at least 12 months, I can argue for years, because let's not forget that Cesc Fabregas was, of course, playing for Barcelona as a boy.

Arsenal spotted him, whisked him from under Barca's nose. Because they were a bit miffed at the time. They've since gone on to build an amazing team that, of course, have won the Champions League trophy again this season, beating Manchester United at the Wembley Stadium earlier in the year.

Now Fabregas is back, but it's taken a year of painful negotiations to get this far.

FOSTER: The Spanish fans, I'm sure, are very excited.

What about Arsenal?

THOMAS: Yes, we can see what a great welcome back home Fabregas got. Back in Arsenal there's real concerns that for the first time, 15, 16 years at Arsenal, Arsenal then get -- may not have the score to keep them in the top four, which is crucial to getting into the Champions League the following season.

Fabregas still has fond memories of his former club.

And this is what he had to say at Barcelona today.


CESC FABREGAS, JOINS BARCELONA FROM ARSENAL: If it's not for him, I would not be here today, living my dream. And -- and I have to be forever. I will never have enough words to -- to be able to say what I think about - - about Arsene Wenger. And I think if Arsenal wants to be -- or wants to keep being the club they are, you know, they have to -- to deal with under -- under his control, because he is the best. Everyone respects him. And for me, he will always like be the best person that I've met in -- in football.


THOMAS: A new Barcelona signing, praising his former manager, Arsene Wenger, and urging the fans not to lose faith in him.

Let's move on to some other sport, because, well, he started PGA Championship ranked as low as 108th in the world. It was his first ever major appearance and he was trailing by five strokes with just three holes to play.

But unheralded 25 -year-old Keegan Bradley managed to emerge triumphant on Sunday. And 24 hours later, he talked to the CNN Center, where he revealed the help he's been receiving from veteran U.S. player, Phil Mickelson.


KEEGAN BRADLEY, 2011 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER: Just playing with in practice rounds has made me better. As a matter of, I played with him the week before I won Byron Nelson. And I played with him last week. So every time I play with him, I've won the week after.

And I -- I don't think that's a huge -- I think that that's something that happens. I mean he's -- he's got such a great influence on me and I'm proud to call him my friend. And he's been a -- such a great help to me in getting to where I am right now.


THOMAS: Now, you wouldn't think Novak Djokovic's year could get any better, but it has, because he's beaten Mardy Fish in the final of the Rogers Cup and become the first person to win five ATP Masters titles in a single season in the process.

The Serbian made to work hard in Montreal, spending five break points before taking the first set 6-2.

Fish hit back by winning the second set, 6-3. Novak had to really notch up his game.

In the third set, he won it 6-4 to rack up victory and improve his incredible record over the season of 53 victories and just one loss.

More on that, Fabregas and that Keegan Bradley interview, more sports in just over an hour's time -- Max.

FOSTER: There's very much to talk about, isn't there?

THOMAS: Right.

FOSTER: Lots to talk about.

THOMAS: Right.

FOSTER: Thank you very much, Alex.

Now, they -- they want members of Egypt's former regime punished -- families of those killed during the revolution talk about their -- their long wait for justice and why they're not sure it will ever arrive.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: History will judge that administration, I think, poorly.


A former U.S. spy outed by the Bush administration tells CNN about life after the CIA and the scandal.

Then, lavish living in London -- a glimpse of a grand estate that even rock stars can't afford.


MAX FOSTER, HOST: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN, the world's news leader. Let's get a check of the headlines this hour.

The battle for Libya appears to be edging closer to the country's capital. Rebel forces claim they control much of the strategic coastal city of Zawiya, just 50 kilometers west of Tripoli. Government forces deny the rebels' report.

Violence is continuing in Syria, with activists saying at least 25 people died in the port city of Latakia on Sunday. They say the Syrian navy shelled the city from offshore whilst ground forces also opened fire on opposition supporters. State media denied the claim.

The UN says it's gravely concerned about heavy gunfire into its Palestinian refugee camp in the town. Thousands of people have fled, and the UN doesn't know where they've gone.


CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS, UN SPOKESMAN: Some were fleeing the incoming fire, which came from the sea. Some which came from the land. Others were told by the Syrian security forces to leave.

We simply have no idea where they are, and of course we are the United Nations Humanitarian Agency charged with humanitarian conditions, so we need to know very urgently where they are.

That is why we have called on the Syrian authorities to tell their army, to tell their navy, to tell their forces to stop firing so that we can have immediate and unconditional access, because we need to know how many women, how many children, what medical attention do they need, how many dying, how many sick, how many wounded?


FOSTER: Iraq has had its bloodiest day in months. At least 75 people died and more than 250 were wounded in a total of 20 explosions. The most lethal attack was in the city of Kut, where two blasts rocked eight commercial streets, killing 37 people.

There's nothing wrong with American that cannot be fixed. That message from the US president during a stop in Cannon Falls in Minnesota. Barack Obama, whilst listening to Americans' economic woes, took swats at Republicans, saying some would rather see their opponents lose than America win.

And at the closing bell half an hour ago, solid gains for Wall Street. A flurry of deal-making sent the Dow soaring 213 points. The NASDAQ picked up nearly two percent, and the S&P added around 2.2 percent.

Felicia Taylor is at CNN New York. Felicia?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we saw three days of solid gains across the board, and today was no exception, so the bulls were definitely back in the marketplace.

What's interesting is that we've now erased all losses that we've seen since that S&P downgrade a week ago Friday, so that's very good news. However, the markets are still down for the year.

And it was back to the headline news. We did get a very disappointing number on the manufacturing sector, but what really propelled the bulls today was what we call "Merger Monday."

There was a deal on the table between Google and Motorola mobility solutions. And that''s what -- for a 63 percent premium, by the way -- Google is going to be paying $12.5 billion to pick up Motorola mobility, and that's extremely significant.

Some people are questioning whether or not Motorola -- excuse, me, Google -- is using its cash effectively, because that's a pricy -- a pricy price for Motorola.

However, what this does for them is a game changer in the SmartPhone market. Not only do they pick up the Droid, but they also get these 17,000 patents, which will help fend off any kind of legal challenges that may be coming from Google down the road.

But I kid you not. This is s game changer for the SmartPhone market. And that's very significant, because many people have been buying SmartPhones and, as you well know, Max, it's kind of the portable computer of the future.

So, a very good day on Wall Street and, hopefully, that sentiment will continue through the week.

FOSTER: Felicia, we'll see. Thank you very much.

Today was the second time we saw dramatic images of Hosni Mubarak in court, and it will apparently be the last, at least until a verdict is handed down. The ousted Egyptian president appeared on -- in an iron cage on Monday as his trial briefly resumed on corruption and murder charges.

The judge announced he's banning television cameras from further proceedings, declaring it in the public interest.

Outside, small crowds of Mubarak's supporters clashed with his critics. The demonstrators threw rocks and scuffled until riot police restored order.

Some Egyptians are furious with the court's decision to ban TV cameras, saying it's crucial that the trial remain transparent. Mohammed Jamjoom joins us, now, from Cairo.

You can see their -- their point, can't you? But then, the authorities are making it a point that it's causing all sorts of problems anyway. What is the general reaction there?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, we've heard a lot of people who've been outraged, especially the activists who've been closely following this trial and trying to galvanize support to continue the revolution, the uprising that happened in Egypt and that they say is happening right now.

A lot of outrage today because, as you say, many are saying that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces here -- this is the military council that's ruling the interim government -- promised that this trial would be conducted in a transparent way.

The fact that there were two hearings in which former president Mubarak actually was there in that iron cage being treated as a criminal defendant here in Egypt would be, that really gave promise to a lot of people here that this judicial procedure would be carried out.

Some people criticized it as a show trial, some were worried there would be procedural issues, but they were happy that he was actually in that court, because many feared that he would find a way to get out of actually being there.

Today, with this decision, the cameras will be banned from the rest of the procedures. A lot of outrage being expressed, as you said. People say that this means that this trial won't be as transparent as they promised that it would be initially.

But on the other hand, there were some people who said that it's a good thing that it won't be conducted live anymore because it will take people's focus away from the trial and back on to all the things that need to be fixed in Egypt, all the human rights issues that need to be addressed, and should try meet all the needs of the citizens here in this country. Max?

FOSTER: What are the -- what about the families of the victims? They would've been watching this very closely and, in a way, looking forward to seeing it unfold. What are they saying?

JAMJOOM: Well, Max, all the families of the victims of the revolution that we've spoken with in the past week, they expressed concern at how slow the court proceedings are going here, not just for the Hosni Mubarak trial and the trial of the former interior minister, but also the policemen that have been charged with killing the protesters and the people that were killed during the revolution.

Now, in the past week, we met one such family. We followed them and spoke to them, and here's their story.


JAMJOOM (voice-over): For Nasser's family, this holy month will go without celebration.

"Ramadan arrived, and I don't feel anything," Nasser's mother tells me. Then, she is overtaken by grief.

"The sight of my son in front of me is worth the world to me," she says. "They've deprived me of him."

Nasser is one of the Egyptian revolution's victims. His family says he was heading to a protest on January 29th when violence erupted in their neighborhood. He was shot in the head. Just 18 years old, he died four days later.

"The martyrs sacrificed their lives so that everyone could have justice," say's Nasser's brother, Galal. "We are the people who are suffering injustice the most right now. We're not able to get our rights."

Like so many victims' families in Egypt, they brought a court case against those they allege are responsible for the death of their loved one.

But they're frustrated at how slowly it has progressed. They want to see the culprits convicted and executed. They've waited six months and say very little concrete action has been taken by the court.

"I'd like to speed up these procedures for the families," says Ahmed Atta, an attorney for Nasser's family. "I want them to feel comfortable. If these people felt comfortable and secure and believed that justice had been served, then the country would begin to mend."

Some feel the only way to expedite things is to combine their efforts. At this meeting attended by Nasser's brother, family members of some of those killed during the revolution discuss ways to streamline the process.

"We felt that the lawyers were more concerned with getting us financial compensation," says Mohammed Gomaa. "This is irrelevant to us. We want them convicted."

JAMJOOM (on camera): Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces insists it's doing all it can to alleviate the suffering of these families, that among other things, funds have been set up to compensate and support them.

But for many victims' relatives, that's simply not enough.

JAMJOOM (voice-over): And even at a time when Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's deposed president, is being publicly tried for corruption and conspiring to kill protesters, when the Egyptian government is trying to convince its citizens that the crimes of the former regime will be punished, Nasser's family and the families of so many others like them remain skeptical.

"It's very sad," says Galal, "that my brother would die for justice, yet I am not able to get justice for him. That's very sad for us.


FOSTER: Well, that was Mohammed Jamjoom reporting for us, there. And Egyptians across the country turn to social media to discuss Mubarak's latest court appearance. Here's what some of them had to say on Twitter.

Yousif tweeted, "Why should Mubarak, an old man, have mercy when is regime showed no mercy to his people, regardless of their age?"

Aries wrote that "Suspending TV broadcasts doesn't change the fact that Mubarak and his sons are behind bars. History will remember him as a thief and a killer."

Omar tweeted, "Mubarak's trial will no longer be televised. This was all theater to psychologically appease the Egyptian public."

And finally, Mohamed Gohar wrote, "Mubarak is the best actor in the Arab world, but the trial movie is so ugly and cheap."

Also disappointed about the decision to ban broadcast of the trial, Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas. He's on the line with us from Cairo.

It is a mixed debate, isn't it? You have seen him lying in a bed in a cage, a lot of damage has been done to him already. Why do we need to continue to see those images?

WAEL ABBAS, EGYPTIAN BLOGGER (via telephone): We need to make sure that the trial of -- the trials are going all right, but there will be a lot of disappointment that it's not going to be live anymore.

But I'm convinced that what the judge did was right, because we have seen lawyers who have nothing to do with the case, and they just want to show up and pretend to be heroes in front of the cameras, and I think that the cameras are making some people crazy.

So, I think it's better, and I think as some other guest said before me, that people will need to focus on other issues, like building the state and the military council and the violations to our rights that the military council is doing now.

We have 11,000 people in the prisons now by the military courts, and we have activists being summoned every day. Yesterday, they have summoned an activist, and today they have summoned another.

And Asmaa Mahfouz, who's a member of the 6th of April Movement, was released on bail. That means that she is charged with something, and she has to pay a bail of 20,000 Egyptian pounds while the officers who killed the protesters, when they have to pay a bail, they paid only 10,000.

So, the --

FOSTER: So, what you're saying is there's so much to deal with in Egypt right now, and that this is just delaying things, everyone fixated on these TV images? And perhaps the country can get on with dealing with some of its immediate problems whilst the trial continues, because it's going to last a very long time, isn't it?

ABBAS: It is what, sorry?

FOSTER: The trial's going to last a very long time so, what you're saying is, that the country can get on with dealing with its current problems whilst the trial continues, and --

ABBAS: Exactly. We have no constitutions, we have no parliament, we have no -- cabinet that we agree upon. Most of the cabinet now is minsters from the National Democratic Party, and the -- the military council is taking away our rights and violating freedom of expression and the newspapers and arresting bloggers.

We have a blogger who is in jail now for three years for something he wrote on the internet. And yesterday, as I told you, this activist was arrested and put on trial because of a tweet. She just tweeted something, and now she has to pay a bail of 20,000 pounds, and she has to stand military trial. What is that? It's -- it doesn't seem like we had a revolution at all.

FOSTER: Wael Abbas, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. An Egyptian blogger with much on his mind right now.

Mubarak's trial is adjourned for now and scheduled to resume on September the 5th.

Next up, the spotlight is something undercover agents try to avoid, though this glamorous American spy had no choice. She was thrust into it. In just two minutes, we'll bring you our big interview with Valerie Plame Wilson, who tells Becky about her new overt mission.


FOSTER: Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has described nuclear weapons as a waste of money. The Iranian leader made the comments during an interview on Russian television as Tehran prepares to host talks with Russian diplomats this week over its nuclear facilities.

Iran has repeatedly denied accusations that it's planning to build nuclear weapons, saying its program is purely to generate power.

There are already seven countries around the world confirmed to have nuclear weapons, but the chorus of global leaders and experts calling for their elimination is growing.

Among them is the former American spy who was at the center of a political scandal that rocked the Bush administration and raised question about its case for war in Iraq.

In tonight's big interview, Becky talks to this glamorous mother of two about her new mission.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's the American housewife who was outed as a spy.

VALERIE PLAME WILSON, FORMER CIA AGENT: My name is Valerie Plame Wilson. And in the run-up to the war with Iraq, I served in the CIA's Counter Proliferation Division Iraq task force. We were looking for the alleged WMDs.

ANDERSON: Her exposure in 2003 engulfed the Bush administration in scandal. Her autobiography, "Fair Game," inspired the 2010 film of the same name starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "FAIR GAME": The vice president has received a report concerning the purchase of material to build nuclear weapons.

NAOMI WATTS AS VALERIE PLAME, "FAIR GAME": We need to get in close.

SEAN PENN AS JOE WILSON, "FAIR GAME": It is my opinion a sale that size could not have happened.

ANDERSON: The film and Plame Wilson claim that she was a victim of a government effort to discredit her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, who publicly challenged the Bush administration's justification for war in Iraq.

PLAME WILSON: We went to war, of course, in March of 2003. And just a few weeks prior to that, I and my former colleagues watched with particular interest then-Secretary of State Colin Powell make his case before the United Nations of why the United States should make this war of choice against -- to go to war in Iraq.

And we listened really carefully, and I speak only for myself, but I was profoundly disturbed because what General Powell was saying -- and his integrity and his service to his country is unquestioned -- and what I knew in terms of intelligence did not match up.

And I -- that was the first time for me, anyway, that I really -- I stepped back from the operational weeds, so to speak, and really tried to take a look at what the rhetoric was coming out of the administration.

ANDERSON: A special prosecutor investigated the leak, which lead to the conviction on obstruction of justice charges of Scooter Libby, then Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. President Bush later commuted Libby's prison term.

On the issue of Iraq, the administration maintained the war was justified.

ANDERSON (on camera): You've moved on, but have you forgiven?

PLAME WILSON: History will judge that administration, I think, poorly. I think Bush and those around him will think that history will in fact show that they were right, but here we are, ten years on, nearly, from 9/11, and how long? It's been our longest war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And the lives that have been lost, not only servicemen that have contributed, but the civilian loss of life, not to mention, I think, the degradation in the moral and political authority of the United States because of these policy decisions, particularly pertaining to the war in Iraq.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Plame Wilson's career as undercover operative was destroyed in the scandal, but she continues to work on countering the nuclear threat through the Global Zero movement, and the new documentary, "Countdown to Zero," in which she appears.

PLAME WILSON, "COUNTDOWN TO ZERO": Various groups have been focused on acquiring weapons of mass destruction, in particular, nuclear weapons.

ANDERSON (on camera): You talk in this movie of a truly existential threat of nuclear weapons. What do you mean by that?

PLAME WILSON: What it means is that if we don't get this right, all the other problems that this world faces really pale by comparison.

ANDERSON: When you talk about the threat, where? Where is this threat?

PLAME WILSON: The threat is everywhere. We now have nine nuclear declared states, and we have from a high in the Cold War days of 60,000 to 70,000 nuclear weapons, we are down, now, to about 20,000.

But that's still -- how many nuclear weapons do we need to fundamentally alter what we consider to be civilization here?

ANDERSON: Just out of interest, what is this industry worth?

PLAME WILSON: Well, Global Zero, the organization which I'm one of the leaders, I'm very proud to be involved in that, they have just released a study that over the next decade, the cost of maintaining and developing these nuclear programs will be over $1 trillion. $1 trillion. It's hard to comprehend that number.

RONALD REGEAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, "COUNTDOWN TO ZERO": Would it not be better to do away with them entirely?





UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "COUNTDOWN TO ZERO": We'd be better off without them.





ANDERSON: So what do you say to people who say Global Zero, you've got to be joking?

PLAME WILSON: It's not some crazy idealistic idea. Global Zero has come up with a really very stringent, robust, step-by-step phased plan of really strong monitoring, regime verification. How do you get buy in from -- and the different phases.

And it's not going to happen next Wednesday. It will take time. But we really are lucky because this is a moment of opportunity.

We have on one hand, President Obama, and we've just passed the -- ratified the new New Start treaty just a few months ago.

On the other hand, we have in Russia President Medvedev, who are equally committed to a world without nuclear weapons. And so, you've got to start somewhere.


FOSTER: Former American spy Valerie Plame Wilson speaking to Becky.

Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD, have a look at what $160 million will get you these days. We'll take a peak at some of the world's most expensive properties.


FOSTER: Welcome to sunny Louisville, Colorado. Why are we here? Well, it's apparently the best small city to live in in the United States. A report from CNN Money says Louisville has a low crime rate, great schools and, of course, world class mountain biking.

We haven't forgotten about you cashed up singletons. Manhattan Beach, California is apparently the best place for you.

Riots and looting aside, London is still one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Here at CNN London, we've been checking out some of the finest properties on the market for you. Well, Nina Dos Santos has. She's been looking at what you can get with $160 million.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Heath Hall. It's one of the most exclusive addresses in London, worth no less than $160 million. I'm hear to meet Trevor Abrahmsohn of Glentree International.

Very nice to meet you. You're the man who's handling the sale. It's beautiful.


DOS SANTOS: Gosh, that's a staircase.

ABRAHMSOHN: It is rather grand, isn't it?

This is one of the many salons. The furniture here is basically illustrative of what you can do. The wealthy person usually has their own entourage of interior designers, and they want to put their own home brand trademark on the property.

DOS SANTOS: Would a rock star buy a place like this?

ABRAHMSOHN: A rock star would love to live in this home but, sadly, there are very few rock stars that can afford this sort of price.

Now, for a little treat, we're going to show you the European kitchen, or the family kitchen, as colloquially understood. And this is as distinct from the catering kitchen, which would be used if they were having a banquet or a large dinner party.

DOS SANTOS: They say that it's kitchens and bathrooms that sell a house. Does that still apply to a kind of house of this bracket?

ABRAHMSOHN: To be honest, they're important, but pools, gardens, the frontages are just as important if not more so.

This is standard issue. It's the accoutrement that people would expect in a home -- a lavish home such as this.

DOS SANTOS: Now, this may well be a dream property, but it's not the only house on this particular street that has a price tag like this one. I'm off with Trevor to see some of the other properties that he's sold over the years that compare to things like this.

Off we go.

ABRAHMSOHN: This is Bishops Avenue, which colloquially is called Meet Billionaires Row, and maybe many years ago it was called Millionaires Row, but of course, we need to update that.

We recently sold this house on the right for 20 million pounds. We had the Brunei royal family that live in this road, the Saudi Arabian royal family.

London, you need to understand, is the happening place. It's the first or second choice of most potentates, monarchs, sultans, kings.

DOS SANTOS: So, as the British capital continues to attract the world's wealthiest, it's best bricks and mortar seem increasingly solid, even if the economy is on shaky ground. Nina Dos Santos, CNN, London.


FOSTER: Looking very comfortable, indeed, in their new home. Well, if Heath Hall isn't for you, there are plenty of other extravagant homes out there, if you want one.

Here's another one in London, Number One Hyde Park Corner. This penthouse sold for a whopping $220 million last year. A Ukranian billionaire bought the 1600 square-meter, six-bedroom apartment.

The most expensive penthouse ever sold was La Belle Epoque in Monte Carlo. A Middle Eastern investor bought it for $305 million last September. The more than 2,000 square-meter apartment has a great view of the French Riviera. I should think it does.

And the most expensive home in the US is still on the market. The Jackson land and cattle ranch in Wyoming is listed at a cool $175 million. There's plenty of room for your ponies. The property sits on more than 7900 hectares and features a 52-stall equestrian center. There you go.

Finally, our Parting Shots, and tonight, it's a case of now you see it, now you don't. This classic work of art by the Dutch master Rembrandt has been ripped of the walls of a hotel in California.

The Judgment, as it's called, was snatched from an exhibit in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Marina Del Rey on Saturday night. The drawing is worth more than $250,000.

Police say it was stolen when a curator got distracted by another person, and then turned back to see the drawing was actually gone. They say it was clearly well-planned and more than one person may have been involved. I think we can work that bit out.

I'm Max Foster, thank you for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" will follow this short break.