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Connect the World

Julian Assange Seeks Asylum In Ecuador; Uganda To Ban 38 NGOs For Gay Rights Activities

Aired June 21, 2012 - 16:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World we're waiting to learn if WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be granted asylum in Ecuador. Right now he's holed up in the country's embassy here in London.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is connect the world.

FOSTER: Just ahead, one of his staunchest supporters tells us why he stands by Assange even though it could prove costly. Also, the emotional journey of an activist described today as a heroine of humanity.

And politics on the pitch, debt crippled Greece gets ready to take on the mighty Germany at Euro 2012.

Tonight, the founder of WikiLeaks is hunkered down in Ecuador's embassy in London planning to spend a third night to awaiting a decision that could decide his fate. That decision could break at any moment. Julian Assange says his life is on the line. He's the man who created a diplomatic firestorm almost two years ago when he posted thousands of secret U.S documents, many of them about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Separately, the WikiLeaks founder has also been trying to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sex crimes.

And at this hour, Assange faces arrest in Britain if he steps foot outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

This legal and diplomatic standoff is fast developing into a cliffhanger.

CNN's Nima Elbagir shows us why.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Watching and waiting: ever since Julian Assange's dramatic asylum application at Ecuador's London embassy earlier this week it's been a waiting game. The British supreme court rejected Assange's appeal seeking to prevent his scheduled July 7 extradition to Sweden for questioning on rape and sexual molestation allegations. He still had the option of taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights but would have had to act by a June 28 deadline. Instead, Assange walked into the Ecuadorian embassy and asked for asylum.

Ecuadorian authorities say they're assessing the merits of his application.

Even if Julian Assange is successful in his asylum application, that still doesn't guarantee him safe passage out of the United Kingdom, especially as the Swedish authorities have made very clear that they expect the British to act on their arrest warrant.

British authorities now want him arrested on charges of violating his bail conditions by moving out of the residents where a court ruled he was required to stay. Assange had said he fears that if he is extradited to Sweden, authorities there can hand him over to the United States where he then could be prosecuted for his role in the leaking of classified documents. As of now, there are no charges against him in the United States, though.

As for speculation that Assange could be granted some sort of diplomatic immunity as a way to resolve the current impasse, a foreign office source said Britain would have to agree before he could be given diplomatic immunity and that would be unlikely with the British arrest warrant outstanding against him.

If Ecuador grants the WikiLeaks founder asylum, what happens after that may require a delicate balance of diplomacy and court rulings. If asylum is denied, the outcome will be very simple. Julian Assange will walk down the embassy steps into the custody of British police.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.


FOSTER: The human rights group Washington office on Latin America says Ecuador's president is no fan of journalists, so why are Rafael Correa and Julian Assange on such good terms? Well, here are some possible clues. Perhaps the top of the list, Ecuador is -- has no extradition treaty with the United States. Mr. Correa and Assange also have mutual political interests. Ecuador's president has rallied against the U.S. in concert with his South American allies.

He's also no fan of the UK. In February, President Correa called for sanctions against Britain for its long running dispute with Argentina over who owns the Falkland Islands.

Now journalists and Front Line Club founder Vaughan Smith is a close friend of Julian Assange. He let the WikiLeaks founder stay at his home in Norfolk, England for more than a year. And Vaughan Smith joins me now here in the London studios. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.

What's your understanding of the latest situation on any decision about coming from Ecuador?

VAUGHAN SMITH, FRONT LINE FOUNDER: It's very unclear to me. I haven't got a clue what's happening. And I've not been to the embassy. Maybe I'll try and get in and find out, but I don't know what's happening on that.

FOSTER: Have you got any idea about what Julian may plan depending on which way this decision goes. If he's offered asylum or if he isn't offered asylum, what's the plan?

SMITH: I'm sorry, again I can't really answer that, because I haven't made contact with him. Julian stopped staying with me in December last year. And I last spoke to him two weeks ago.

It was a surprise to me that this happened, but I do understand it. You know, a lot of people might think that Julian was, you know, running from justice, but I think he was running for justice.

FOSTER: Explain that, because certainly people look at this situation and think at the very least it's rather odd that he's just gone into an embassy in London and he's hiding.

SMITH: Well, I mean, he's not hiding, he's seeking political asylum.

You know, maybe in the west we just can't get used to the idea that there are western dissidents as well as Chinese and other dissidents. And I think you know Julian has clearly, you know, run out of other options to keep himself from going to Sweden. And I'm 100 percent convinced, I know you know better than most -- you know, he feels that if he gets sent to Sweden, he'll get sent to America and what faces him is life imprisonment or perhaps even death.

FOSTER: Yeah, but that's your argument and his argument. Another argument is he's a bit of a coward. He won't face his day in court. He's a legal system coward -- Britain, Sweden, America, they have respected legal systems and independent groups all regard them as quality systems. What's he afraid of? Why can't he go in and have his day in court and address the allegations?

SMITH: Well, I mean coward isn't the word I think is reasonable to somebody who has taken on, you know, the strongest forces in the world. I mean, I don't think even his detractors think he's actually a coward.

FOSTER: ...say what he wanted to say in front of the court and have his voice heard?

SMITH: Sweden sent two asylum seekers to Egypt for torture and were widely condemned for it.

Look, let's look at it this way, I want to address this dissident idea. You know, there's a Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei who is accused by China of bigamy and pornography or something like that, poor guy. I mean it sounds awful. You know, my prime minister, you know, the British prime minister we've just seen on your program, you know, posing with Burmese -- a famous Burmese dissident.

I feel...

FOSTER: Both in countries which have questionable human rights records unlike Britain, Sweden and the United States...

SMITH: Let me just address this, because the reporters without borders index on freedom -- we're an independent body, assessed American -- America as the 47th country. So that means, according to this independent body, there are -- America isn't the freest of the free. We're 28th, by the way. America isn't the freest of the free, there are 46 countries with higher standards.

I think what we've got -- we've got a problem here, let me just finish. We are convinced in the west that everything we do in foreign policy is right and good for the world. The truth is the rest of the world are trying to believe that there is this thick and leathery hypocrisy is -- human rights for you, invasion for you. Liberty (inaudible), but not for you.

Now this is the reality of the way we approach our world. And I feel that if you can accept that maybe we should be a little bit tolerant and pause for thought when we have a western dissident. And perhaps consider that, you know, maybe we are slightly misguided about the world.

FOSTER: Have America asked him to be extradited to the United States?

SMITH: No. I'm not...

FOSTER: So this is a distraction.

SMITH: It isn't a distraction.

FOSTER: It is a distraction...

SMITH: All I'm telling you...

FOSTER: ...he keeps talking about...


SMITH: What I told you is I'm 100 percent convinced, and I know him well, but this is what he believes. I can't tell you that...


FOSTER: People believe different things.

SMITH: Well, that's perfectly reasonable...


FOSTER: supporters. And has worked very closely with him tweeted this tonight. I personally would like to see Assange confront the rape allegations in Sweden and the two women at the center have a right to response. There are two women in Sweden who feel they have a case against him are not going to get their day in court because he's holed up in an Ecuadorian embassy claiming that he's going to go to America when there is no evidence that America even wants him to go there.

SMITH: There's been a campaign of misinformation...

FOSTER: What about these women?

SMITH: No, I think the women are extremely important.

FOSTER: They are important. He should go there and prove his case. And they should have their say as well.

SMITH: ...allegations against him.

FOSTER: There are allegations. And that's how court systems work. You should go there...

SMITH: Let me answer your...

FOSTER: I've given you a lot of time to give your answers. I'm saying there are two women who aren't getting their voices heard, but you keep talking about Julian's. These are two women who are accusing him of serious allegations.

SMITH: Well, no. That's not entirely true. And don't get me wrong, I have great respect for the women and I'm not a legal expert. I don't know -- I wasn't there, I don't know the actual truth of this.

FOSTER: No, the court will decide that. You're not going to decide that.

SMITH: Well, the courts have come in question here.

FOSTER: It's not going to get a chance to decide it. Because he's holed up in an embassy and the British police can't get to him.

SMITH: You're sort of feigning indignant here. Julian is a person too. He knows -- he's had a campaign of lies that inform our views against him. And I just think it's a little bit unfair. I think we just can't hack the fact that there's a western dissident. And...

FOSTER: Going into a country's embassy which has highly questionable freedom of speech records, according to lots of different groups.

SMITH: Yes. It happens to be 104th on the Reporters Without Borders index. But, you know, we're 28th and America is 47th. I just think we have...

FOSTER: What about what Amnesty says about Ecuador and various other groups saying that the, you know, this should not be a first choice of someone on a freedom of speech campaign.

SMITH: I'm not -- it wasn't a first choice. I mean, Julian doesn't have any choices left, does he? It's clear that you know he feels that -- it's the resort left to him to go to the Ecuadorian...

FOSTER: Because he doesn't want to go to America.

SMITH: Yes, because he doesn't want to go to America.

FOSTER: ...they're not asking him to go there.

SMITH: No, hang on, there's...

FOSTER: There's no extradition request from America.

SMITH: No, there isn't. There's a secret...

FOSTER: Hang on -- for very good reasons.

SMITH: There are a lot of people that believe there is a secret indictment. There is some evidence to suggest...

FOSTER: Yeah, but (inaudible) believe lots of things, but lets look at the evidence and have a court...

SMITH: There are lots of people...

FOSTER: He's avoiding court.


FOSTER: Yes, he is.

SMITH: He's avoiding, he believes being sent to America. That's what he believes.

FOSTER: And lots of supporters have put up a lot of money in bail. And they've lost that money.

SMITH: Well, no, not necessarily. I -- well, no, I mean, hang on. I'm one of the people (inaudible), I put 20,000 pounds. So, you know, actually when I spoke with quite a few of them and most people have been pretty supportive of him. Most people feel that he's a western dissident and we should actually be able to accept that rather than assuming -- and assuming that you know necessary the Swedish thing is completely correct.

There are issues with it. It was brought up by a prosecutor, dropped, and brought back up by another prosecutor. They've had lots of issues questioning him in London. They could have done that. Surely they could be sensitive to the fact that he feels that he was going to be sent to America.

FOSTER: ...face allegations. And they just go into an embassy now and avoid facing justice?

SMITH: Do you think -- OK, so, you know -- what do you think about the Ai Weiwei allegations?

FOSTER: I think that's a different country. I'm talking about Britain right now.

SMITH: But hang on, this is about Sweden, we're talking about.

FOSTER: No. OK, Britain -- the British police can arrest him now because he's avoided bail. The Swedish.

SMITH: Well, they can't -- he's in...

FOSTER: Exactly. And as soon as he walks out presumably they will try to arrest him.


SMITH: If you've got his asylum, would that change your view at all?

FOSTER: It's not my view, I'm just putting different views to you, an alternative view to what you're saying.

SMITH: But do you not think that he would get asylum for Ecuador, that wouldn't determine him -- shouldn't we consider that possibly he's a western dissident?

FOSTER: We're waiting to hear from that, but the reason he's in there is because he doesn't want to go to a Swedish court.

SMITH: Yes, because he believes -- no, no, that's what you're saying. I'm saying that's not what he believes.

FOSTER: You said he didn't want to go to Sweden because...

SMITH: Because he will be sent to America. That is what he believes.

FOSTER: Well, he believes that. Lots of people believe different things, but there's a legal system in this world for a reason.

SMITH: But we're talking about a man who many people believe through his work in WikiLeaks that has served -- have done a great service to the public and the public interest. He's a public figure.

FOSTER: ...that great work. And one of your campaigning work, a lot of the other supporters around him have, you know, have very well regarded campaigners. Are you not concerned on the final note that all of this distraction and all the focus on Julian and the way he has just walked into the embassy without any of you knowing, he's going to damage your cause in some way?

SMITH: Well, you know, I think my causes are -- you know, is the same as hopefully yours as a journalist. But to be quite honest, it's the press that focus on him. They always allege that he's the one taking the limelight. If you do a Google search on the most British newspaper sites, there's about seven times as much interest in Julian Assange than the leaks.

If you go to AP, or Reuters, the wholesalers in this industry you'll find that it's more like three times.

If you go abroad and you'll find it's completely reversed. There's much more interest in his leaks. I think you have to assess that Julian Assange is not popular as he used to be in Europe and America. He is very popular in countries like India, Brazil and (inaudible). The (inaudible) have 20 front pages. He's had a direct effect in promoting, you know, those people fighting and the causes of those people fighting all sorts of ills in that country.

FOSTER: OK. Vaughan Smith, thank you very much indeed. Thank you for joining us.

Now still to come, almost a decade after the Bali night club attacks, the man behind the bombs which killed more than 200 people (inaudible).

The trial of this self-confessed mass killer is wrapping up in Norway, what prosecutors are calling for next.

And we hear from the director of the acclaimed film Call Me Kuchu.


FOSTER: A dramatic defection today from the Syrian regime. Not only did an air force pilot flee the country, but he took his MiG fighter jet with him. The pilot was on a training mission when he crossed over into Jordan. Here you can see his flight path from southern Syria to a Jordanian air base.

Jordan didn't waste any time granting him asylum. The pilot defected on one of the bloodiest days of the entire Syrian uprising. Opposition activists say at least 100 people have been killed today across the country.

And here's a look at some other stories that we're following this hour. Prosecutors have asked the court in the Anders Breivik trial to rule that he is insane and place him in mental health care. Prosecutors said they were not certain what Breivik was psychotic, but there was too much doubt to allow him to be sent to a standard prison. Breivik admits killing 77 people in Norway in July last year. He maintains that he is sane and has said an insanity verdict would be humiliating.

Aung San Suu Kyi has joined an exclusive list of people who have addressed both houses of parliament in UK. Suu Kyi is visiting Britain as part of her European tour, her first in 24 years. Speaking at Westminster Myanmar's opposition leader said her country needs support to succeed in its political reforms.


AUNG SAN SUU KYI, MYANMAR OPPOSITION LEADER: Our own determination can get us so far. The support of the people of Britain and of people's around the world can get us so much further. In a speech about change and reform it is very appropriate to be in Westminster Hall, because at the heart of this process must be the establishment of a strong parliamentary institution in my own country.


FOSTER: We'll have more on the emotional side of Aung San Suu Kyi's UK visit later in the program for you.

Now the last man to be tried over the 2002 Bali bombings has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. More than 200 people were killed in the suicide attack targeting night clubs in the resort town of Kuta (ph). Umar Patek admitted mixing the explosives, but denies he was involved in the attack plan. After the sentencing, one survivor said his life had been changed forever.


PETER HUGHES, TESTIFIED AT TRIAL OF UMAR PATEK: You're out and about having with your friends and you're walking into a bar, a night club just to have a couple of quiet drinks with a few of your friends and before you know something goes off behind the bar and it happens to be a suicide bomber. And as you get out the car bomb goes off and it was chaos. And, you know, I wouldn't wish that on anybody, but it was tough work to push through and to see a lot of people that were -- you know, just crying for help and not being able to do anything very quickly was heartbreaking. And I kind of wish that it never happened, but obviously it didn't. And it's a memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life.


FOSTER: We're going to take a short break now, but when we come back we'll take a closer look at why almost 40 organizations are being kicked out of Uganda.


FOSTER: Uganda banned more than 30 NGOs in the country for allegedly promoting homosexuality and recruiting children. This comes after the government raided a gay rights conference in Kampala on Monday. CNN's David McKenzie has the details.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Ugandan government says it will ban some 38 nongovernmental organizations for promoting gay rights and for recruiting children to homosexuality. The moves come principally from the ethics ministry. They say they've done thorough research, but don't name exactly who will be banned, but it would affect a broad spectrum of Ugandan civil society.

The moves comes just days after a police raid on a meeting near Kampala, the capital of gay rights activists. The activists say it chose a pattern of harassment by both politicians and the police.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a place where you keep threatening people all the time what would you expect where you know that if you are sitting somewhere you could be arrested, if you know that if you could be talking to someone you know perceived to be, you know, something might happen to you. Wouldn't you live in fear?

MCKENZIE: The fight against gay rights groups in Uganda could move to parliament. A long delayed anti-gay bill, which at one point included provisions for the death penalty for repeat offenders, could now be pushed through parliament say some politicians. Human right groups say that the bill and the recent police actions are illegal. There have been massive pressure building up from the international community.

Uganda is a largely conservative country, but not the only country where there is an anti-homosexual law on the books. Some 30 countries in Africa and in fact around the world have such laws, but often here in Africa they are grandfathered in from the colonial days and not acted upon actively.

Uganda, it seems, is a different story.

David McKenzie, CNN, Nairobi.


FOSTER: Well, earlier I spoke to Simon Lokodo. He's the Ugandan ethics minister to clarify what exactly the government disliked about these groups.


SIMON LOKODO, UGANDAN ETHICS MINISTER: They promote, they enhance and they support attitudes for lesbian, gay nature. And they provide this education to small children of below eight years (inaudible) and they're not acceptable.

FOSTER: When you say they've been recruiting children into homosexuality, what do you mean? Are you talking about prostitution?

LOKODO: No. They go and tell children that they can (inaudible) marry among themselves and the same gender that is a boy and a boy, a girl and a girl.

FOSTER: So they're really promoting awareness of homosexuality I suppose to...

LOKODO: Exactly, yes. They are telling them homosexuality is the way to go.

FOSTER: Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, but is the promotion of sexuality, as you call it also illegal or even discussing it?

LOKODO: A lot of different (inaudible) and promotion of homosexuality. It you tell me that it is unlawful to kill and then I go around and begin to tell people to kill am I not killing? So the same thing, if a homosexual is not allowed, then anybody promoting homosexuality is equally committing the same crime.


FOSTER: Well, bans against activists may be in place within Uganda, but a new documentary in showing the issue remains on the global agenda. The acclaimed film called Okuchu looks at the fight against anti-gay legislation led by activist David Cato who was murdered last year. Becky caught up with one of the film makers Malika Zouhali-Worrall.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone should report the person he knows to be gay. We are really going back into Amin's regime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going to keep on fighting until we see a liberated lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people in Uganda.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Malika, talk me through some of the challenges and difficulties that you face in shooting this documentary.

MALIKA ZOUHALI-WORRALL, DIRECTOR, CALL ME KUCHU: I think the main restrictions we did face were just trying to figure out who and how and whether to film that member of the community. And for the most part, we really tried to make sure we talked it through with everyone we were filming with and just make sure they really understood what they were getting involved with as members of the LGBT community some of whom obviously you know have to be careful about revealing their identity or revealing their sexual orientation in public or in front of the camera.

So for the most part we tried to focus on working with people who were already out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no longer a debate in Uganda. We don't recognize homosexuality as a human right here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Americans and Europeans -- they want us to eat their poison of homosexuality. We're saying no.

ANDERSON: There's been an awful lot of support for this legislation. You heard the arguments, those who are anti-homosexual. Is there anything that they say or do that you could empathize with?

ZOUHALI-WORRALL: The folks who are kind of leading this anti-gay push have been very clever about phrasing their arguments in a way that would, you know, basically instill fear in the general population. And the main way they've done that is by talking about recruitment which is this idea that gay people can't reproduce so they have to recruit people and they usually recruit little children. And so it creates this very scary idea of gay people going into schools and trying to like lure children into their lifestyle and ultimately raping them, which you know as soon as you tell any parent that their children are being raped by this group of evil people that are doing something that's against god's will that's going to terrify people and push them to support any bill that says it's going to, you know, do something to stop it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: yesterday, gay rights activist David Kato Kasule was attacked in his home by unknown assailants.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have come here to take our friend to his creator. Who are you to judge?

ANDERSON: What do you think or hope his legacy will be?

ZOUHALI-WORRALL: Everything that's happened over the last two years that has made this into an internationally recognized issue, whether it was at the UN or in the US State Department, has largely been a result of the work -- the incredibly hard and courageous work of the activists on the ground in Uganda.

To a certain extent, it succeeded, although obviously, tragically, it was also at the cost of David's life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As we grieve, we can't forget we've been empowered through the death of David. We will work to take back this struggle. It's time for us to fight.


FOSTER: Well, still ahead, it's been almost a year and a half since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown, and yet Egyptians are still demanding true democracy in Tahrir Square. What's really changed since the revolution? We'll asked acclaimed writer and commentator Ahdaf Soueif.


FOSTER: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Max Foster and these are the latest world headlines from CNN.

Plenty of pain today on Wall Street. The Dow plunged more than 250 points, the second-worst trading day of the year. Investors were spooked by word of a possible downgrade of all banks by -- a whole set of very large banks by credit ratings agency Moody's. They were also rattled by new concerns over global growth.

Crowds in Tahrir Square are gearing up for a major protest on Friday. They're upset by a delay in Egypt's presidential election results, fearing it's another signs of the military's reluctance to give up power. Election officials say they need time to investigate allegations of fraud.

No word yet from Ecuador's embassy in London on whether Julian Assange will be granted asylum. A decision is expected at any time. The WikiLeaks founder is trying to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he's wanted for questioning in an alleged sexual crime.

The trial of confessed mass killer Anders Breivik is wrapping up in Norway. Prosecutors made their closing arguments on Thursday and asked a court to declare Breivik insane. Breivik admits to killing 77 people in a rampage last July. He says an insanity ruling would be worse than death.

One of the two presidential candidates in Egypt's runoff just spoke to reporters. Former prime minister Ahmed Shafik said he's confident that he will be the new leader, but the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohamed Morsi, says the exact same thing. Results from the runoff were due today, but state media now says it looks more like Saturday or even Sunday.

The winner will replace Hosni Mubarak, overthrown in last year's revolution. His attorney has been downplaying a health scare after reports earlier in the week that Mubarak was clinically dead. The attorney says Mubarak actually fell in a prison bathroom, hurting his neck and developing a blood clot. He says Mubarak is now out of a coma and doing better.

Now, all the conflicting information just adds to the general confusion in Egypt. Many people don't know what to believe anymore, but they're increasingly concerned that their democratic revolution is being hijacked.

With me to talk about this is Ahdaf Soueif, the acclaimed Egyptian writer and political commentator, and she was amongst the crowds in Tahrir Square last year. She's author of "Cairo: My City, Our Revolution."

And the title brings us on to that very broad question. You must have been so hopeful last year. Has the revolution really lived up to your expectations?

AHDAF SOUEIF, EGYPTIAN WRITER AND COMMENTATOR: Well, if you put it that way, I think -- I think that, yes. The revolution itself is brilliant. The context and what it has had to fight has been really -- I think they've been worse than we imagined.

FOSTER: It must be so depressing for voters to be questioning why these results won't come out at this point, because they're full of suspicion anyway at the political system, aren't they? And now, that's being fueled even more and more, where these results should be out, they're not out, and everyone's coming up with all of these reasons why they might not be.

SOUEIF: Yes. Well, as you said, of course, the suspicion is that the powers that -- basically, the generals, are not willing to allow Dr. Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, to become president. There are the rumors that they're trying to pressure him to negotiate certain things with him. The Brotherhood have denied this.

But certainly, the effect of this plays into what I would say has been the strategy of the generals all along, which is really to divide the country. That's really been -- if you look at every confrontation, every move that they've made, it looks as if the aim of it has always been to turn the country against itself.

And so, what we have now is we've got this massive polarization behind two candidates. Although really I would say that on the whole, the country would far rather see Mr. Morsi as president, because at least he does represent a strand of the revolution, and at least he doesn't represent a return of the old regime.

FOSTER: But you're asking two previous enemies to come together, aren't you effectively? For the authorities to work with Muslim Brotherhood is a lot to ask them to do. Is that the concern that they have, that these were the people they used to work against so fiercely?

SOUEIF: The concern of the generals now is simply to consolidate their position. The amendment to the constitution that they put out, which really -- they really had no right to put out an amendment to the constitution so recently, put forward clearly for the first time what it is that they want.

They want immunity from prosecution, they want immortality for this 17-man committee, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, that it will never change, that it will always remain in power. They want complete independence of the military from the state, so they are not overseen by anybody, their budget is opaque. They want --

FOSTER: Is there worry about retribution from the Muslim Brotherhood?

SOUEIF: They're not -- not from the Muslim Brotherhood. They are worried about their interests.

They're worried that if you are really going to have a democratic Egypt, which wants to institute an economic and a cultural revival, which wants to be truly democratic and run in the interests of the people with transparency and accountability, then you cannot have the military as a state within a state running a business empire that could amount to about 40 percent of GDP and overseeing --

They've proposed this national security committee in which 11 would be military and 6 including the president would be civilian, and where decisions would be taken by an outright majority.


SOUEIF: How would that happen?

FOSTER: Just quickly, if you're right and the majority would like to see Morsi come out of this as the winner, if he isn't the winner at the end of all of this, at the end of the weekend, what do you think the reaction will be and the impact on the revolution?

SOUEIF: It's very hard to say. And when I say the majority of the country would like him, it's not because the majority of the country endorses whatever policies of the Brotherhood, because --

FOSTER: But he's the rightful winner.

SOUEIF: Because he's the rightful winner, exactly. And because the country -- the majority of the country doesn't want to go back to the old regime that it rose up against, which is Shafik.

Now, if these -- if this whole process had been conducted properly and the results had come out and Shafik had turned out to be the winner on the spot, then I think people would have accepted it and would have fought against it in civil and democratic ways.

But because it's been so soaked up, because it's gone on, because now they've postponed the declaration again, because people really do believe that Morsi is the rightful winner and that the military are trying to hijack the process yet again. Who knows how the country will react?

FOSTER: OK, we'll find out next week, I guess. Ahdaf Soueif, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

Quick correction to make. A moment ago, where we told you about how the Dow plunged more than 250 points, its second-worst trading day of the year. Investors were spooked by word of a possible downgrade of several major banks by credit ratings agency Moody's. Not all banks, as we stated, although we did correct it at the time, actually.

Also, the graphic we showed indicated that Bank of America gained for the day. In fact, it dropped close to 4 percent. Apologies for that.

Plenty more still to come here on CONNECT THE WORLD. He is one of the best footballers on the planet, but can Cristiano Ronaldo carry Portugal into the Euro semifinals? Find out in a sports update.


FOSTER: Quarterfinals at Euro 2012 are now underway, and it's started with a terrific clash between Portugal and the Czech Republic in Warsaw. I won't ruin it. "World Sport's" Don Riddell has details for you from the CNN Center. Hi, Don.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You'll let me ruin it. Max, thanks very much.


RIDDELL: Yes, the game's just finished, actually, in Warsaw, and Portugal are through to the semifinals. They beat the Czech Republic by a goal to nil, and they thoroughly deserved it, Max.

The game winner was provided -- scored by that man, Cristiano Ronaldo. He scored with a superb diving header in the second half. He'd already hit both posts earlier in the game. And although Portugal made a nervous start against the Czech Republic, they finished it really with their tails up.

In the end, when you look at the statistics, they could've had an absolute hatful. They had at least 20 shots on goal, many of them off target, but they definitely were in the ascendancy for most of this match. They thoroughly deserve their place in the semifinals, where they'll play either Spain or France.

And Cristiano Ronaldo, who all we know he's one of the best players in the world, he's just had a fabulous season for Real Madrid. He's had his critics, hasn't he? He's always criticized for not giving his best for his country, but he is starting to emerge as -- he is starting to emerge as one of the stars of the tournament.

Hopefully, we'll be speaking with our very own Portuguese "World Sport" man Pedro Pinto in just a moment. But first, let's look ahead to the next quarterfinal, which is going to be played on Friday. And as Fred Pleitgen reports, this is an intriguing clash in more ways than one.



FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "We have to defeat Germany! We have to defeat Merkel!" Greek fans chanted after their team advanced in the Euro 2012 championship, showing that Friday's quarterfinal match against Germany will be about a lot more than just soccer.

"Finally, we can show the Germans that they may have the money, but we have the team," this fan says.

But the Greeks currently need Germany's money to keep their country from defaulting, even though many scoff at Chancellor Angela Merkel for perceived tough conditions attached to financial solidarity.

Clemens Wergin of the Welt newspaper sees anti-German sentiment on the rise in Europe and questions whether it might be better of the Germans lose the soccer match.

CLEMENS WERGIN, DIE WELT: Of course, that's not he soccer fan in myself, but that's the foreign policy guy.

PLEITGEN: Germany is Europe's economic and political powerhouse, its economy virtually unscathed by the crisis. Berlin is setting the terms for Europe's bailout measures for troubled eurozone countries. And now, possibly soccer superiority. Wergin believes that could be too much.

WERGIN: If we appear too overpowering over Europe, then other countries will just team up against us and they'll try to counterbalance this kind of dominance. And I think a victory in the European soccer championship would probably drive home the idea that Germany's just too overpowering in Europe.


PLEITGEN: But the Germans have been waiting 16 years to win a major international soccer title and have big hopes for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

PLEITGEN (on camera): The public viewing fan zone in Berlin is ready to go, and hundreds of thousands are expected to come here for the decisive quarterfinal match. But while most Germans will tell you they believe that solidarity with Greece is a good idea, that solidarity doesn't extend to the football pitch.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Fans certainly didn't see the benefits of their team losing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, definitely not.


PLEITGEN (on camera): Why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because Germany is a much better soccer team than Greece is. We're, like, third place in -- worldwide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, football -- I think it's a different thing to the financial thing. So, I think football -- soccer -- soccer and that I think is politic.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Clearly a view many Greeks don't share. To fans in Athens, the Euro 2012 quarterfinal will be a big match with huge political implications.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


RIDDELL: I think Fred was being a bit cheeky there. What football fan is ever going to say that their team losing is a good thing?

Just a recap, Portugal have become the first team to make it through to the semifinals, Max, of Euro 2012. They beat the Czech Republic by a goal to nil earlier this evening. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner, his third goal of the tournament.

And coming up in "World Sport" in about 45 minutes, Max, we're going to be hearing from our very own Portuguese correspondent, Pedro Pinto, who was actually at the game, and will also be speaking to some of the Greek players about how they feel about that epic encounter tomorrow night.

FOSTER: Hopefully he's calmed down by then, Pedro. Good luck.

RIDDELL: I suspect he's just popped into a bar for a celebration tip on the way back to the studio.


FOSTER: It'll be a good live bit, I'm sure. Thanks very much, Don. He'll be back in about 45 minutes with "World Sport."

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, it's happy birthday Prince Wills, as Britain's future king reaches 30 and receives a substantial birthday present from his late mother.


FOSTER: Myanmar's opposition leader was given a hero's welcome in Britain today. Aung San Suu Kyi on her first trip to Europe after -- well, since nearly two decades under house arrest. She's revered around the world for her long political struggle. But as Dan Rivers reports, it came at a tremendous personal cost.



DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Her historic address to both houses of Parliament was surely the pinnacle of her official engagements in Britain.

AUNG SAN SUU KYI, MYANMAR OPPOSITION LEADER: I have been struck throughout my trip by how extraordinarily warmhearted and open the world has been to us. To experience this firsthand after so long physically separated from this world has been very moving.

RIVERS: But away from the pageantry, there is a personal journey of unimaginable poignancy and emotion. There's been time for her to reflect on her father. And emotional moment when she was presented this image of General Aung San, a photo she'd never seen before. Quite a present on her 67th birthday.



RIVERS: She later took time to pose in Downing Street, right where her father's most famous photo was taken while he was lobbying Britain for an independent Burma.

And for the first time in 24 years, a chance to visit her beloved Oxford. More ceremony, yes, but also behind closed doors, time to reflect on her late husband at the family's house.

She and Michael Aris met in Oxford and lived happily before she left for Burma to care for her mother in 1988. Michelle Yeoh's role in the 2011 biopic, "The Lady," showed Aung San Suu Kyi thought she was embarking on a short trip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "THE LADY": How long are you going to be away?


RIVERS: But once in Burma, she was thrust into frontline politics, campaigning for democracy and enduring years of house arrest.


RIVERS: Her family was left alone to collect her Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, her sons growing up cut off from their mother.

MICHAEL ARIS, HUSBAND OF AUNG SAN SUU KYI: We, here family, are denied any contact with her whatsoever, and we know nothing of her condition except that she's quite alone.

RIVERS: But eight years later, Michael Aris died from cancer. Aung San Suu Kyi was unable even to attend his funeral for fear she'd be refused entry back into Burma. Her personal life surrendered for her political struggle which, a quarter of a century later, is still not over.

Dan Rivers, CNN, London.


FOSTER: Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi shares her hopes for Myanmar's future with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Friday, 8:00 PM in London.

And in tonight's Parting Shots, Prince William through the ages, as the future monarch marks a major milestone today. The Duke of Cambridge has turned 30.

With that comes a hefty gift from his late mother. William will receive half of the value of Diana's estate, which is now worth around $30 million, according to estimates. His brother Harry gets his share when he turns 30 in a little more than two years.

So, does this mean a splash-out party? Not for the prince, who is busy taking part in a week-long piloting course in Gloucestershire. He's expected to spend the evening with wife Kate and close friends before taking time out with his family over the weekend.

I'm Max Foster, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you so much for watching. The world headlines are up next after this short break.