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Sino-Russian Gas Deal Signed; Ukraine Picks New President; Interview with George Soros; The Power of Liberal Arts Education

Aired May 25, 2014 - 10:00   ET


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.

It's Election Day in Ukraine and we will start the show there with a live look at how the struggles between east and west are playing out at the polls.

Next, a version of Nazi is afoot in Russia. That is the explosive allegations you will hear from the billionaire investor George Soros when he sits down with me.

Then Narendra Modi. Tomorrow he will become officially the Indian prime minister. Is he going to usher in a golden age of growth or a nasty turn to nationalism?

And finally, this used to be the only way to see TV. Now there is this, and this, and this and more. So what is the future of TV? I will ask the CEO of the media and entertainment giant Time Warner, my boss, Jeff Bewkes.

But first here's my take. Vladimir Putin might be a 19th century statesman using old fashioned muscle to get his way but this week it has become that China's president, Xi Jinping, goes one step further, comfortably embracing both the 19th and the 21st century. This also means that the challenge from China is going to be more complex than one the United States has ever faced before.

Let's start with the 19th century aspect, the huge Sino-Russian natural gas deal signed this week is perfectly understandable in terms of old-fashioned real politics. Beijing has long sought secure energy supplies and it places that vital interest above any desire to punish Russia for its annexation of Crimea or strengthen global norms against aggression. In fact, the Chinese recognize that the Russians facing sanctions were anxious to diversify away from their dependence on European customers and so Beijing probably got a good deal.

While the gas agreement has received all the attention, it's also worth studying Xi's future Shanghai, given the same day that the deal was struck. The venue was the gathering of an obscure Asian regional group, the one that includes Turkey, Iran and Russia, and not the United States. His message was that Asians should take care of their own security. Xi presented the Chinese view of the region, which he calls Asia and never the preferred U.S. term Asia Pacific. That term excludes the United States and implies that Washington as an outside power should not play a major role in Asian affairs. But this week, we also saw a new world of great power intrigue. The Justice Department filed former charges against five officials in the Chinese military and detailed the economic espionage that they allegedly have conducted against American companies over the last eight years.

The action is unprecedented, especially since these officials are never going to be arrested and will probably never leave China, and no one believes it will make a difference because the Chinese officials aren't likely to face any kind of sanction at home. In fact if anything, they might regard being on this list as a badge of honor.

Now some experts believe that the scale of China's cyber espionage is staggering. Quote, "It is the largest theft in human history," unquote, says Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution. And he points to one specific example. The United States will spend about a trillion dollars developing, operating and maintaining the F-35 fighter which will be its most advanced weapon system.

Singer says, "We can now see clearly that elements of the F-35 have made their way into a similar Chinese plane. American investments that were meant to give it a 15-year battlefield advantage have been totally undermined."

And Singer points out, China targets everyone from defense contractors down to small furniture makers whose chair designs get stolen and copied within a year.

Cyber attacks are part of a new messy chaotic world fueled by globalization and the information revolution in a wired networked world, it is much harder to shut down this kind of activity and it certainly will not be possible to do it using traditional mechanisms of national security. Notice that Washington is using a legal mechanism, which will be ineffective and largely symbolic for what is really a national security issue.

The Sino-Russian gas deal reminds us that traditional geopolitics is alive and well and Washington knows how to work its way in that world, but cyber espionage represents a new frontier and no one really has ideas, tools or strategies to properly address this challenge.

For more, go to, and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.

Today is Election Day in Ukraine. That nation is of course in the midst of a tug-of-war between east and west, and voters there are at the polls to elect a new president. The previous president, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted in February.

CNN's chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto is in Ukraine and joins us now live -- Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Fareed, Ukrainians have a choice today between unity and division, between closer ties to Russia or the west, and between the status quo of corruption and mismanagement and a new, more accountable cleaner government.

The stakes are very high after six months of violence that started with protest in the Maidan just behind me here in Kiev, which removed pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, and killed more than 100 people.

Today's voting is proceeding well in the west and here in the capital. In fact the first resident to cast his ballot in Kiev raised his hands and shouted "democracy," perhaps speaking for the hopes of so many Ukrainians today. But in the east, which we just returned from, it is a very different story. Only one-fifth of polling stations are open in Donetsk region. Witnesses at several polling places told us how they were forced to close them at gunpoint by pro-Russian militants. And in the days leading up to today's vote, separatists declared a new state, a new Russia or Novorossiya they called it, aspiring to join the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk into an independent country.

I interviewed a man who wants to be a leader of this new state, former Ukrainian deputy, Oleg Caryov, and asked what he thinks of today's election.


OLEG CARYOV, LEADER OF SEPARATIST MOVEMENT (Through Translator: I think they are illegal, but it's not important what I think. It's important what the people of Donetsk and Lugansk Republic think and they think this election is illegal, too.

SCIUTTO: Why should have the right to vote in the referendum a couple of weeks ago but not in tomorrow's president elections?

CARYOV (Through Translator): I think that to provide an election when an army is fighting its own people is illegal, according to our constitution. That's why as a presidential candidate, I withdrew from this election.


SCIUTTO: We're getting our first reports of turnout today. As of 3:00 local time, that's about halfway through the voting day, turnout national 41 percent, a good start but in those eastern regions of Donetsk only 9 percent.

The Ukrainian officials there blaming criminals.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in Donetsk today.

Nick, only a fifth of polling stations open, intimidation of voters. Many stations closed, layered by militants. Is anyone turning out to vote there today?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not indeed. In fact the last count suggested about a quarter of polling stations opened. That's the best in a local government can put. And even there, only 11 percent of registered voters have actually turned out. But we've seen something quite different today, Jim. A remarkable sign potentially of how involved Russia actually is in the unrest given Vladimir Putin said today's elections should be respected. But in the last protest in the center of Donetsk here, I met a Chechen militant working with the separatists, a large group of militants here. He must be a Russian citizen, said he was a former policeman for the Russian federation and they were there to serve the Russian federation's interest.

Let's hear exactly what he had to say to me.

It's almost impossible to imagine how a Chechen militant like that, a former policeman armed could have even gotten into Ukraine given the tight security around Chechnya where he says he's from without one -- some sort of Russian government acquiescence here, Jim?

SCIUTTO: Nick Paton Walsh in Donetsk where it's hard to see how a successful election at least in that region of the country can take place today.

This just some of the many challenges to today's crucial national vote, a chance to restore peace and a functioning government to Ukraine after so many months of instability, of violence. We've spoken to many Ukrainians who have high hopes today but others who are very skeptical this will bring real change -- Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Thanks, Jim.

Next on GPS we will have more on the region. Billionaire investor George Soros says that he sees signs of what looks like a version of Nazism in Russia.


ZAKARIA: George Soros has made one of world's great fortunes betting on global trends, and he is deeply troubled by events and political trends in Ukraine, specifically, but Europe more broadly. He's just back from the region and he joins me to talk about what he saw, what he thinks and where he's putting his money.

George Soros, pleasure to have you on.


ZAKARIA: First on Ukraine, one of the things that many people recognized about you was that you during the revolutions of 1989 funded a lot of dissident activities, civil society groups in eastern Europe and Poland, the Czech Republic. Are you doing similar things in Ukraine?

SOROS: Well, I set up a foundation in Ukraine before Ukraine became independent of Russia. And the foundation has been functioning ever since and played an important part in events now.

ZAKARIA: Do you think Ukraine will be able to assert a kind of independence from Russia and an alignment with the West not -- but not a specific alignment as NATO but a kind of orientation toward the West or will the Russians always stop them?

SOROS: No. Putin will try to destabilize Ukraine, but the Ukrainians, the large majority of Ukrainians are determined to be independent of Russia. It won't be easy because Putin has staked his regime on destabilizing Ukraine because it's a threat to his regime in Russia. If you have freedom, free media and so on and a flourishing economy, that would make his regime unsustainable.

ZAKARIA: He accuses the Ukrainians of being anti-Semitic, of them being full of anti-Semitic fascists. You operate in Ukraine. You're of Jewish origin. Have you detected virulent anti Semitism in Ukraine?

SOROS: Well, anti-Semitisms means collector of the DNA of that part of the world. So there is anti-Semitism. But there is much more in the east, in the Russian dominated part. That is this so-called independent republic. But there's actually atrocities against Jews and gypsies.

ZAKARIA: You have been very pessimistic or gloomy about Europe. Do think that in this Ukraine situation you're seeing another aspect of the tragedy of Europe, the lack of collective action?

SOROS: Unfortunately, Europe is very weak. It's preoccupied with the eternal problems which are unresolved. The euro crisis is no longer a financial crisis. It's turning into political crisis and you're going to see in the elections and Putin --

ZAKARIA: Explain what that means. It's going to be -- you're going to see it in the elections because you're going to see the rise of nationalist anti-European forces?

SOROS: Yes, and interestingly, they are supported by Russia and pro- Russian. So Russia has emerged as an alternative to the European Union. Putin has sort of come out of the closet in Ukraine. With their ideology that is nationalist , be some ethic nationalism, you could call it Russism.

ZAKARIA: That's right.

SOROS: It's a new word to describe it because I don't want to call it Nazi because it is very similar to what you had in the end of warfare and fascism, you know --

ZAKARIA: Connecting your ethnic groups with military force if necessary?

SOROS: But it's more than that. It's a new theology. You saw the myth of Russian superiority. If you -- those who watch Putin's speeches, he actually has revealed this new myth of Russian genetic superiority. You might have heard that previously from someone else. It's a new ideology based on ethnic Russian superiority.

ZAKARIA: And as you saw a lot of these nationalists who are -- who are doing well in European -- the European-wide elections seemed very pro-Russian whether on the left on the right. Do you think nationalism could break up the European Union?

SOROS: Yes, it's that and Europe needs to recognize it, and we need to recognize it, actually. We need to have bipartisan foreign policy. We used to have that, and we have lost it. So we need to reestablish it because there is a real threat. And so that is a threat to America also. Because what's happening in Ukraine and in Europe is having repercussions in Asia, you know, the Chinese -- that is establishing facts on the ground.


SOROS: Consequences and Putin just being in China and they have a common interest they are establishing one of -- which isn't actually anti U.S.

ZAKARIA: Sobering words, George Soros. Thank you very much for coming on.

SOROS: Pleasure.

ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, my advice to young people. Forget what President Obama recently said about the benefits of a technical education over a liberal arts education. If you want to succeed in today's world you will need to know how to think, how to write, how to speak.


ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. It's graduation season in the United States, which means the season of commencement speeches.


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT: Not much going on these days.


ZAKARIA: A time for canned jokes and wise words. This year I was asked to do the honors at Sarah Lawrence in New York, a quite essential liberal arts college. So I thought it was worth talking about the idea of a liberal arts education, which is under serious attack these days. The governors of Texas, Florida and North Carolina have all announced that they do not intend to spend taxpayer money subsidizing the liberal arts. Florida's governor, Rick Scott, asks, "Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don't think so."

Even President Obama recently urged students to keep in mind that a technical training could be more valuable than a degree in art history.

I can well understand the concerns about liberal arts because I grew up in India in the 1960s and '70s. A technical training was seen as the key to a good career. If you were bright, you studied science. So that's what I did. But when I got to America for college, I quickly saw the immense power of a liberal education.

For me, the most important use of it is that it teaches you how to write. And my first year in college, I took an English composition course. My teacher, an elderly Englishman with a sharp wit and an even sharper red pencil was tough. I realized coming from India, I was pretty good at taking tests, at regurgitating stuff I had memorized but not so good at expressing my own ideas.

Now I know I'm supposed to say that a liberal education teaches you to think but thinking and writing are inextricably intertwined. When I begin to write, I realize that my thoughts are usually a jumble of half-baked incoherent impulses strung together with galling local holes between them.

Whether you're a novelist, a businessman, a marketing consultant or a historian, writing forces you to make choices and it brings clarity and order to your ideas. If you think this has no use, ask Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. Bezos insists that his senior executives write memos often as long as six printed pages and begin senior management meetings with a period of quiet time, sometimes as long as 30 minutes, while everyone reads the memos and makes notes on them.

Whatever you do in life, the ability to write clearly, cleanly, and I would add quickly, will prove to be an invaluable skill. And in many ways this is the central teaching of a liberal education.

The second great advantage of a liberal education is that it teaches you how to speak and speak your mind. One of the other contrasts that struck me between school in India and college in America was that an important part of my grade was talking. My professors are going to judge me on the process of thinking through the subject matter and presenting my analysis and conclusions out loud. Speaking clearly and concisely is a big advantage in life.

The final strength of a liberal education is that it teaches you how to learn, to read in a variety of subjects, find data, analyze information. Whatever job you take, I guarantee that the specific stuff you will have learned at college, whatever it is, will prove mostly irrelevant or quickly irrelevant, even if you learn to code but did it a few years ago before the world of apps, you will have to learn how to code anew.

And given the pace of change that is transforming industries and professions these days, you will need that skill of learning and retooling all the time.

These are liberal education strengths and they will help you as you move through your working life. Of course, if you want professional success, you will have to put in the hours, be focused and disciplined, work well with others and get lucky. But that would be true for anyone, even engineers.


ZAKARIA: Congratulations and Godspeed. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAKARIA: Anyway, that is a piece of the graduation talk I gave at Sarah Lawrence College on Friday. You can watch the whole thing, which is much more, online. Go to our Web site and we have a link to it.

Up next, what to think of India's next prime minister. Should the word be worried or excited?


ZAKARIA: On Monday here in the (INAUDIBLE) court of the presidential palace in New Deli, Narendra Modi will be sworn in as India's 15th prime minister since the partition of the British Indian Empire. That act in 1947 led to the creation of a mostly Muslim Pakistan and a mostly Hindu, but secular India. Modi, the leader of India's Hindu nationalist BJP party has inspired strong emotions in the country I was born in. His supporters are certain that he will restart India's engine of economic growth. His detractors are worried about what they see as nationalist and sectarian tendencies. So, let us hear from both sides. Arun Shourie is a former World Bank economist who today is a senior leader of Modi's BJP Party and Shashi Tharoor is a leader of the opposing Congress Party and a former Under-Secretary General at the United Nations.

Shashi Tharoor, you said it is my dream that Modi will never become prime minister and you have eluded to the fact that you worry a great deal about a dark sectarian streak. Do you believe that Modi will focus only on growth and will abandon Hindu nationalism or the things you were worried about?

SHASHI THAROOR, CONGRESS PARTY: Right. Well, let me start of by saying that comments about the dream was actually a repost to a comment of his that he didn't dream of becoming prime minister. And I said nor do I. I don't dream of him becoming prime minister either. It was just a jibe of the sort that happens all the time on our 24/7 television channels. But I have congratulated him on his victory. And it was a hugely impressive win. And I must say that since his election on the 16th of May, we have seen a different Narendra Modi from the one who stoked the fears and anxieties that I have had occasion myself to express both personally and on behalf of my party. We had a great deal of worry about the so-called Hindu nationalist Modi, the one who was sending thinly veiled signals of seeming bigotry towards our Muslim population and the one who seemed to be on a sort of relentless drive for exclusive power, but on the 16th of May after his sweeping victory, he struck a very conciliatory and accommodative note. And for the last five days, six days, we have been hearing nothing but Narendra Modi 2.0. He even congratulated me on Twitter, which was a bit of astonishing - a bit of astonishment for me and said let us work together to move India forward. So, I guess the question is, what are we going to see when Mr. Modi actually assumes the reins of office on Monday. Are we going to see the Modi we all feared? Are we going to see the Modi we are hearing today? And if it's the latter, than, I think you know, as Indians we would applaud if he succeeds in actually governing for the benefit of all Indians. ZAKARIA: Arun, what about this issue of representing all Indians?

ARUN SHOURIE: Could I just ...

ZAKARIA: Sure, sure.

SHOURIE: Fareed, I think one is that many of these fears were stoked for electoral purposes by his critics. There is such of them. They made an industry out of it. Second is, that I'm certain that a person like Modi would not like to be distracted by other things. He wants to focus on economic development. He wants to be remembered as the builder of a new India and to get -- let loose or let others just run amok on the types of things that Shashi was eluding to. Would be just not right. He would not allow it, and the third is, we must have faith in the vastless and diversity of India. Anybody who tries - who has tried to put India into a strait jacket or put it down has had his hand singed and has had to reter (ph) it. I am certain that he will not attempt it, he will not allow others to do it, distract from the agenda he wants the country to pursue and third, if either of them does it, the rest of India will discipline them.

ZAKARIA: Shashi, let me ask you, you may not consider it part of your portfolio to offer foreign policy advice to Mr. Modi. But how should he respond to the United States? The United States placed him on a sort of black list for eight to ten years, (INAUDIBLE), it has moved very rapidly to reverse that. Of course, President Obama congratulated him and invited him to the White House, but do you think he should get over this and try to forge a better relationship between the United States and India?

THAROOR: I will say that from what I've gathered on Mr. Modi, he has decided to put a lot of his grudges behind him. He and I have spot quite a bit in the campaign and before that, and yet he's being, as I said, very gracious to me. I think that he will want to reach out to the U.S. politically. But I think his priorities with the U.S. are more likely to be economic. I think he sees far more benefit and encouraging American businesses to come to India by creating the (INAUDIBLE) - the climate for them to come and invest. Then he would see value in rushing off to a photo op in the White House.

ZAKARIA: Arun, final word, will the United States as it were have to pay a price for its frostiness towards Mr. Modi over this last decade?

SHOURIE: No, he's now the prime minister of a large country and he has to and must reach out to the United States, not just for the good reasons that Shashi was just now mentioning, but also for geostrategic reasons. Look at China, China avert (ph) aggressiveness and therefore partnership with Japan, partnership with other Asian countries, especially Vietnam, with Australia and certainly with the United States. I think if you ask most Indians, they would not want the United States to retreat from the Pacific or even - they are in reprehensions of what should happen when the United States leaves Afghanistan. So, the United States is an important player, and I cannot imagine a pragmatic person like Mr. Modi, you know, because of some foolish step by their U.S., about not giving him a visa or something just because some chaps (ph) keep sending telegrams to the senators or to the State Department. He's going to keep that in mind. If U.S. shows steadiness of purpose, you can be certain that an Indian government, especially an Indian government led by Modi will want to partner

ZAKARIA: Arun Shourie, Shashie Tharoor, thank you very much. One of the great pleasures of discussing India that we get, two people speaking English better than we would on American TV in general. Coming up next, the future of television, what will you watch, where will you watch it and how will you pay for it? A fascinating conversation with one of America's most powerful CEOs.


ZAKARIA: In 1950 there was only one way to watch TV, on an actual TV and only nine percent of American households had them. Today around 95 percent of homes have televisions, but they can also watch shows like "GPS" on cell phones, on tablets and on their desktops among other places. You can get me on iTunes, and Amazon, other shows are available on websites like Hulu and streaming devices like Roku to name just a few of the options without paying cable or satellite fees. The broadband and mobile revolutions have brought us to an inflection point in the television business of the kind we haven't seen for 40 years since cable first took off. It's all about viewing shows when it's convenient, not when they are scheduled and viewing them on any device, not just that TV in your living room. I wanted to talk about the future of television and I could think of no one better to talk about it than my boss - well, actually, my boss' boss's boss. Jeff Bewkes is the chairman and CEO of Time Warner, which is CNN's parent company. Under Bewkes' purview are not only channels like CNN and HBO, but also TBS and TNT, two of the five top rated U.S. cable channels as well as the world's highest grossing movie studio Warner Brothers. Jeff, when you look at it, what is the big difference between television in the 1960s and television today?

JEFF BEWKES, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TIME WARNER: Back in the '60s, TV was new and it was exciting because it was new. But if we all remember this, there were three channels, mostly in black and white. We forget TV was interactive back then. You had to get up and wiggle the antenna to see if you could get a picture. But what the world of TV has become today and the United States more than any other country is hundreds of channels with your show of whatever interest have a lot more quality in the television, and the reason that this has happened is basically, that television is a thriving business, not just in America but all over the world. Advertising, revenue, subscription revenue has all come in to create much bigger TV budgets, much more participation of movie actors in TV, and just to think of one show, which is dear to my heart, "Game of Thrones" for example, I think it has the biggest cast of any show that's on TV today. And this is all about the kind of budget that television can support. So TV is now in a second golden age, and ...

ZAKARIA: And you think that golden age is mainly because of what forces? What's making this happen?

BEWKES: Well, really, one of the secrets about television today, there's all these channels. Everybody loves their favorite show, but as I think most people know, your favorite channel now may be different than your brother's or your father's. So, in the old days, everyone was sitting around and every TV had - every house had one television. And today there is a screen for everybody. There is not only TVs across every room, but now, this is probably the untold story, television is taking over the Internet, and what the Internet does is ...

ZAKARIA: Say that again. So the Internet is not taking over television, television is taking over the Internet.

BEWKES: Television is taking over the Internet. You know, what does that mean? Well, that means every one of the people watching this show cannot only watch it on their television screen, they can watch it on any electronic screen they have and it means that all of television, all your favorite shows are now on demand. You cannot only watch what you want when you want, but you can take it with you. You can be watching "GPS" on a subway or in a car driving down the highway.

ZAKARIA: So a lot of people look at that and say, so what is now going to happen is the great unbundling of television. That what you - when you make a lot of money because the cable companies provide a bundle product, 189 channels or whatever it is. But there is this - the study I saw, which said- Nielsen (ph) says most Americans watch just nine percent of that TV channels available to them, that's 17 channels out of 189. Doesn't that mean that what's going to happen is there is going to be an unbundling and those who don't want to watch sports don't have to pay this big fat cable fee that encompasses everything?

BEWKES: Yeah, here's the fact about it. The package of all these channels where everyone watches a different set of their favorite channels is what allows the whole package to be cheap. So what gets lost in the debate is that the amount of time people are spending watching television as it gets better and it's on demand, it's about six hours a day. And they are spending to do that, the best channels in high-def on demand, they are spending less than half the cost of one Starbucks latte. So the actual price for viewing hour per channel that you're watching is actually a very good bargain and the proof of it is that 85 percent of the homes in the United States are subscribing to some package of television. And it's getting more effective.

ZAKARIA: What do you say to those who say you are watching - people who cut the cable cord as they are able to find ways to watch on streaming ...

BEWKES: Yeah, yeah, well, if you do that and cut the cord, you have less choice of what you can get. There is some of it happening mostly among younger people. We think the reason is that we haven't really made all the channels, the hundreds of channels on your television, they are not that easy to access yet on an on demand basis. And we believe that's the industry. Think of HBO Go as a good example. If you're an HBO subscriber and you're used to going to the broadband and watching HBO Go, that is the future of TV. Every channel on television, the whole TV dial is going to work the same way that YouTube works or that Netflix works.

ZAKARIA: You call Netflix, very famously (NO AUDIO) the Albanian Army. Since then its stock has done remarkably well. It's booming. Do you feel like maybe it needs an upgrade? Maybe it's the Italian army?

BEWKES: You know, that would be fair. I think they've done a great job. It's a great product. What Netflix has accomplished and we think it's great and they have become a good business partner of ours, is that they are subscription video on demand service and they have joined the ranks of HBO, show time as a good subscription offer. Back in the, you know, what people want is they want more choice of what they can get. Netflix does a good job of making a strong library service of a lot of classic and older shows and movies available in a very, very effective way to find them.

ZAKARIA: And that's all good for content providers like Time Warner.

BEWKES: Absolutely. Because one thing we haven't touched on is this TV revolution is going global across the world. Right now, if you have a show like "Big Bang Theory," "GPS" on CNN, it's being watched all over the world and it's being watched on demand, not always at the scheduled time.

ZAKARIA: Well, on that happy note for GPS, Jeff Bewkes, pleasure to have you on.

BEWKES: It's nice to be here, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Now, if you enjoy thinking about the future of TV, we will show you you want to watch the premiere of CNN's terrific new series "The '60s", executive produced by Tom Hanks. The episode on TV of "The '60s will air this coming Thursday at 9 p.m. for viewers in the United States.


ZAKARIA: News out of Nigeria, Thailand and Libya may be grim this week, but the majority of the world has something to smile about, this week Gallup announced that seven out of ten adults around the world reported experiencing positive emotions like laughing a lot, feeling well rested and being treated with respect the previous day. It brings me to my question of the week, which country has the highest positive experience rating? Is it Bhutan, Paraguay, the United States or Sweden? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. This week's book of the week is "The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941- 1942 by Nigel Hamilton. This might seem like an obscure topic, but it is a brilliant examination of the remarkable skills of Franklin Roosevelt during World War II. He was constantly overruling generals, firing them when they underperformed and keeping larger strategic issues at the center of his approach. It's a super (ph) book. Anyone interested in understanding the nature of good leadership should read it.

And now for the last look. In 1714 the British government passed the Longitude Act, which offered a prize to anyone who solved a great challenge of the time. Accurately determining a ship's longitude. Navigation problems caused wrecks and trade disruptions so the prize was large 20,000 pounds, $3.5 million by today's standards. A working class clock maker eventually won after years of developing reliable marine clocks or chronometers that allowed sailors to pinpoint their position at sea. Fast forward 300 years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're at the door of a new world.


ZAKARIA: Britain is offering the longitude prize again, this time it is $17 million for solving one of humanity's biggest problems and a group in the U.K. is letting citizens fix the problem this time. Asking them through a BBC poll if it should be flight, how can we fly without damaging the environment? Food, how can we ensure everyone has nutritious sustainable food, antibiotics, how can we prevent the rise of resistance to antibiotics, paralysis, how can we restore movement to those with paralysis, water, how can we ensure everyone can have access to save and clean water, or dementia, how can we help people with dementia to live independently for longer? It will be interesting to watch what happens. Visit our Facebook page,, so that you can vote on which problem you think the prize should try to solve. Remember, the last problem was solved not by a highly educated expert, but a man with a limited education, but a passion for clocks.

The correct answer to the "GPS Challenge" question is B, for the third year in a row, Paraguay is the global (NO AUDIO). In fact, nine of the top ten countries surveyed, are Latin American. Syria, marred by civil war has the lowest ranking by far. If you guessed Sweden hoping that good quality health care and free college might influence these rankings, you might be surprised to learn that Sweden is tied for 19th with the Netherlands, Argentina and the United States. Bhutan, the nation known for its gross national happiness index, ranked a disappointing 82nd out of the 138 countries surveyed. The Bhutan (ph) is reported feeling well-rested, but not well-respected. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.