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Your World Today
Death of King Fahd; Bolton Appointment; London-Italy
Aired August 01, 2005 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.
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PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PAKISTANI PRESIDENT: The courage of the people of Saudi Arabia who've sustained this great loss...
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JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: World leaders react to the death of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd.
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GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today I've used my constitutional authority to appoint John Bolton to serve as America's ambassador to the United Nations.
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ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: President Bush's circumvents many Congress to name a highly controversial figure to the United Nations.
CLANCY: And Sudan's ambassador to the U.S. says the violent riots that erupted in Khartoum have calmed the country that reels over the death of a key architect of peace.
It is 7:00 p.m. in Khartoum, 12:00 noon in Washington. I'm Jim Clancy.
VERJEE: And I'm Zain Verjee. A warm welcome to our viewers around the globe. This is YOUR WORLD TODAY.
CLANCY: World oil prices spiked briefly after Saudi Arabia announced the death of its king on Monday morning. They have since leveled off.
VERJEE: King Fahd's passing, though, doesn't come as a complete surprise because he's been in ill health for years. His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday. The White House says it's sending a delegation, but the president won't attend.
Crown Prince Abdullah has been named the new king. Abdullah has essentially been the de facto ruler for 10 years ever since Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke. So no major policy changes are expected. So what will happen, though, to the kingdom of the world's largest producer with the change on the throne? Our Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson reports now on the challenges ahead for the new monarch.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz bin al-Saud ascends to the throne at a time of relative prosperity. War in neighboring Iraq has driven up oil prices, but all is not well in this nation that sits atop one- quarter of the world's oil reserves.
Tiny al Qaeda cells target foreigners in the kingdom and pit themselves against the monarchy. And although this has little impact on daily life for most Saudis, stability in the kingdom is one issue that troubles western governments the most. Succession from King Fahd to King Abdullah has been carefully choreographed to head off those concerns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: King Abdullah worked closely with the late King Fahd in implementing the policies of Saudi Arabia, both external and internal. So I cannot imagine that there will be any particular change in that policy, but rather, a continuation of the policies.
ROBERTSON: Stability and transition is the watch word for Saudis. And nobody is watching more closely than oil traders.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The reason why the oil market is so (INAUDIBLE) at the moment because spare capacity is very tight, global spare capacity. So the world is looking to Saudi Arabia, who's really the only region who has got a bit of capacity.
ROBERTSON: Even as oil and gas exploration are being expanded to meet rising global demand, a key challenge for King Abdullah will be boosting unemployment for the booming young Saudi population. Three- quarters of all Saudis are younger than 27. Analysts predict to employ them, the kingdom needs to create jobs outside the petrochemical industry.
But King Abdullah's challenges will be broader and deeper than this. He faces external pressure to modernize and internals call for a greater adherence to the fundamentals of Islam.
(on camera): In Saudi terms, King Abdullah is seen as a reformer. He has championed national dialogues on women's issues and youth affairs. Critics argue these have been nothing more than talking shops with little to show for the debate. The question is, as king and not crown prince, will he have more power to modernize?
Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
VERJEE: For more now on reaction to King Fahd's death, I'm joined by Octavia Nasr. She's CNN's senior Arab affairs editor. Thanks so much for being with us, Octavia.
The Arab networks that you've been monitoring, what have they been saying? They're full of praise, from what I understand.
OCTAVIA NASR, CNN SR. ARAB AFFAIRS EDITOR: Full of praise, they're talking about the loss of a giant, a big man in Arab history, and so forth. You know, most Arab networks are owned by Saudis, so that is not surprising.
You watch networks like Al-Arabiya, which is based in Dubai but owned by Saudis, you see images like this, a lot of background information about the king, the late king, and the new king as well. Anchors are wearing black and they're looking somber. You see the black tie there. Reporters wearing black, female reporters and anchors, not much makeup.
Now, on other networks, like Al-Jazeera, for example, that is not owned by Saudis, you have the undertone. The future of Saudi Arabia, the future of the region with King Fahd gone. What's next for the region?
VERJEE: Presumably, they're not talking about or showing anything about his reputation in the early years as -- I believe it was the playboy prince, where there were many reports of drinking, of gambling, women on each arm coming out in someplace on the French Riviera?
NASR: No. Not now, not ever, Zain. That's on Arab media.
First of all, this is a time to reflect on the man and his legacy and pay respects. So a lot of reporting about who has called to offer condolences to the new king, and so forth. And also, who is going to be attending the funeral tomorrow.
And also talking about the challenges of the new king, especially the (INAUDIBLE) of terrorism that Saudi Arabia is facing these days, and not so strong economy. And -- but, you know, all that stuff. So that's basically what's on the minds of Arab networks right now.
VERJEE: Does anyone expect any real change under King Abdullah?
NASR: It doesn't look like it. If you listen to the experts and reporters, basically they're saying that King Abdullah is also an old man. He's in his 80s. And his health is not the best health there is.
You may remember when he was here in Washington meeting with President Bush, you know, the man could barely walk. President Bush had to hold his hand for a while there.
So basically, Arab networks are looking at King Abdullah as a transition, transitional king, and also hoping sort of that the future will bring in another generation. Not necessarily a brother, but maybe a grandson of the first king.
VERJEE: Islamist Web sites, though, posting messages cheering his death. Why? What are they saying?
NASR: You know, you have to remember, after the first Gulf War -- or before the first Gulf War -- let's go back to the invasion of Kuwait. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, King Fahd was very concerned that Saddam Hussein would continue towards Saudi Arabia. So that was what prompted his decision to allow the U.S. and the U.S. allies to enter Saudi Arabia and base -- it was the launching pad for the first Gulf War.
For that, Islamist groups, like the bin Ladens, like the al Qaeda, they cannot stand the Saud family, and they made it their target. So since that time, they've been attacking the family and wanting it removed from power.
VERJEE: Octavia Nasr, thanks -- Jim.
CLANCY: The committee drafting Iraq's new constitution says it will be ready for approval by the August 15 deadline. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, seen here meeting with the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, had urged the committee to try to meet that deadline. They had until Monday to request a six-month extension.
Plus, Iraqi police report 15 bodies discovered in southwestern Baghdad. Eyewitnesses say a minivan dumped the bodies on the roadside near Bayah (ph). Some of the corpses were beheaded. No further details are available.
Months of speculation has come to an end with U.S. President Bush installing his controversial choice for the U.N. ambassador, John Bolton, in a so-called recess appointment. It was a congressional recess; he used his constitutional authority to put him in place.
The president, of course, has that authority while the Senate is out of session. The White House announcement came just a few hours ago.
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BUSH: I'm sending Ambassador Bolton to New York with my complete confidence. Ambassador Bolton believes passionately in the goals of the United Nations charter to advance peace and liberty and human rights. His mission is now to help the U.N. reform itself to renew its founding promises for the 21st century.
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CLANCY: Now, Bolton will serve until the end of the current session of Congress. That comes in January of 2007, so a while that he will have there at the United Nations.
Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider joins us now from Washington.
Hello, Bill. What was this about? Is this about the failure of the Democrats, the success of the president? What's it all about? WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's about a political arms race going on in Washington that's been going on for some time. The Senate Democrats, who are the minority and do not have the votes to vote Bolton down, have been holding up his appointments.
They've been demanding more information, more documents from the administration. They are disturbed by their -- the argument that they make that he missed -- that Bolton misled the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in his confirmation hearings by saying he was not interviewed by any investigating committee when the State Department indicates that he was subject to an interview concerning intelligence information.
There are a lot of questions Democrats have insisted on answering, and they've held up to disappointment. The Republicans did not have the 60 votes they needed to be able to override a Democratic filibuster, so the president waited for the Senate to go into a recess. And using his constitutional authority, he went ahead and made the appointment, which I should point out is effective through the end of this Congress, which is until the end of 2006.
CLANCY: All right. Well, January 2007 is what I had.
CLANCY: I guess December would be about the best thing.
CLANCY: Was President -- is President Bush concerned right now that he -- Democrats are trying to paint him all over as a lame duck?
SCHNEIDER: Well, Democrats are making the argument that he as abused his power. You hear that from Democrats on the floor. They've issued statements.
And there are two words that come up in the Democratic criticisms. One is it's another instance, they say, of abuse of power by this White House. And they also raise questions about Bolton's credibility, saying that he clearly has the confidence of the president -- you just heard him say that -- but he hasn't been confirmed formally by the United States Senate. Even though the president said he would get a majority of senators approving him, he wasn't subject to a confirmation vote.
So therefore, Democrats say, if he goes -- when he goes to the United Nations, he will act without the full credibility that a U.N. ambassador should have, and perhaps, perhaps, that will limit his effectiveness in the mission that he was sent on, which is to reform the United Nations.
CLANCY: Now, could the president also use this same tactic in appointing someone to, say, the Supreme Court that he wants?
SCHNEIDER: It's been done. President Eisenhower did that it in the 1950s, but it upset the Senate. And even though there wasn't the same kind of partisan hostility, the Senate passed a resolution saying, don't do this again. And no president has done it again. The president could theoretically use it, but that would be a very daring move.
CLANCY: All right. Bill Schneider, as always, our thanks to you there in Washington.
CLANCY: Our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider -- Zain.
VERJEE: Jim, more details are emerging about the fourth London bombing suspect detained in Italy. Hamdi Isaac is in custody in Rome, where a source says he has confessed to carrying a bomb onto a London underground train on the 21st of July.
Alessio Vinci has more.
ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Italian police say they arrested a suspect in Rome after tracing calls he made from a cell phone monitored initially by Scotland Yard. Calls he made from Britain to Italy, and, police say, to Saudi Arabia. At least one intercept was recorded, and when Italian police compared it to a voice recording provided by British police, they knew they had found the man they wanted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We could immediately verify that the voice of the fugitive was compatible with the phone model sent to us by the Metropolitan Police. So we were almost completely sure were in front of the attacker.
VINCI: The suspect's lawyer has confirmed to CNN that her client told investigators that he was involved in the July 21 failed attacks, but he claimed the strike was meant to grab attention and not to harm anyone.
Italian officials say the suspect falsified his name and nationality when he applied for political asylum in Britain years ago. He was born in Ethiopia as Hamdi Isaac, but when he arrived in Britain, he used the alias Osman Hussain, claiming to be from Somalia.
Before moving to England, investigators say Hamdi Isaac lived in Italy, where two of his brothers still remain. Italian police have detained both of them. One is accused of destroying or hiding documents sought by investigators, but the charge does not involve terrorism.
CARLO DE STEFANO, CHIEF ANTI-TERROR POLICE (through translator): We find ourselves confronted with the element that very probably he seems to be part of an impromptu group rather than part of a structured group which is operating on an international scale.
VINCI: A judge is also expected to rule whether there is enough evidence in Italy to bring international terrorism charges against him here. The court-appointed lawyer defending the would-be London bomber tells CNN his client wants to remain in Italy and will fight extradition on the grounds he will not get a fair trial in Britain.
(on camera): Last week, Italy adopted the so-called European arrest warrant introduced by the European Union to facilitate the extradition of suspects who are wanted for serious crimes. This means that Hamdi Isaac could be sent to London within the next three months.
Alessio Vinci, CNN, Rome.
CLANCY: All right. We're going to have an update of the stories making headlines across the U.S. coming up.
VERJEE: Plus, riots in Khartoum in the wake of the untimely death of Sudan's new vice president. We'll bring you all those details next.
CLANCY: Welcome back. You are watching an hour of world news on CNN International.
We're going to go to Sudan now, where a peace agreement that ended what was Africa's longest-running civil war could now be in jeopardy. That's the fear of some.
Thousands of people rioted on the streets of Khartoum after hearing Vice President John Garang, one of the chief architects of that peace deal and the leader of the SPLA, the Sudan People's Liberation Army, had died.
Several people are reported to have been killed in Monday's rioting. Wire services, quoting government officials, say that number is 12.
Mallika Kapur explains that there are now fears about the future of Sudan's hard-won stability.
MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): On Monday, Sudan woke up to this message from state television...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The government has been following the news of John Garang, and it has been confirmed that the aircraft crashed into mountains in southern Sudan because of poor visibility. As a result, Dr. John Garang has died, along with six of his delegation and all the crew.
KAPUR: Garang's death raises questions about a key peace deal he signed in January ending a 21-year civil war between the mostly Muslim north and the Christian and animist south. It's estimated two million people died in the conflict. January's peace deal promised an end to the violence and gave the south a share of power in a new government. Members of Garang's Sudan People's Liberation Movement and the Sudanese government mourned his death.
SALVA KIIR, VP, SOUTHERN SUDAN: South Sudan, and indeed the whole Sudan, has lost its beloved southern, Dr. John Garang de Mabior.
KAPUR: Sudanese officials vowed to press on with the peace process, but in Khartoum, where a million people turned out to greet Garang last month, his death was marked by scenes of violence. Thousands of his supporters took to the streets, looting shops, smashing cars, clashing with the police.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's just a complete frustration that this certainly very charismatic leader who had been in the civil war for more than 20 years and had worked with the government here and with the United States and other countries pushing forward the peace process to bring about this peace, that he is now dead.
KAPUR: Garang's death comes just three weeks after he was sworn in as Sudan's first vice president. He was working with the president, Omar al-Bashir, to form a new power-sharing government by August 9, one that would bring Christians and animists into a government long dominated by northern Muslims, raising hopes of a lasting peace, a hope that may now be in question.
Mallika Kapur, CNN, London.
CLANCY: In the west African nation of Niger, rain could hamper the delivery of aid to thousands of people at risk of starvation. Now, ironically, one of Niger's worst droughts is what has destroyed much of its fall crops that has left more than 3.5 million people short of food. Tens of thousands of children could die without urgent assistance. Also at risk, the elderly.
The rain is turning roads into muddy quagmires, making it impossible to get those in rural areas food from the relief effort.
VERJEE: Let's take a look at some stories making news now in the United States.
Another successful space walk for the crew aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery. Astronaut Steven Robinson and Soichi Noguchi installed a new gyroscope used to help steer the International Space Station. NASA officials are now considering whether to repair damage to the shuttle's belly during Wednesday's next scheduled space walk.
Al Gore may be hoping he won't need a recount for this audience. The former presidential candidate has launched this new network called "Current TV" overnight. The channel is aimed at younger viewers, with the audience contributing most of the network's content. "Current TV" will show pogs, 2 to 7-minute-long pieces on topics such as jobs, technology and current events. And a popular diet plan goes belly up. Atkins Nutritionals, promoters of the low-carb Atkins diet, has filed for bankruptcy. Dieters apparently lost interest in Atkins popular meal plan.
CLANCY: Well, still ahead, we'll have the latest on some jittery markets.
VERJEE: Including oil prices. We're going to have business news from around the world when we come back.
Stay with us.
VERJEE: Time for a check on what's moving the markets in the U.S. For that, over to New York and to Kathleen Hays.
(STOCK MARKET REPORT)
VERJEE: We will take a short break.
Stay with us.
VERJEE: Welcome back to YOUR WORLD TODAY on CNN International. I'm Zain Verjee.
JIM CLANCY, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Jim Clancy. And these are some of the stories that are making headlines around the world. John Bolton, a critic of the United Nations, criticized himself for his management style, has now been installed as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. President Bush making what's called a recess appointment that is bypassing the Senate while its on its summer break. Bolton will serve in the capacity at least until January 2007.
VERJEE: Sudan's ambassador to the U.S. says violent riots in the capital of Khartoum have eased in the wake of the new vice president's death. Thousands clashed with police after learning of John Garang's death in a helicopter death. There are reports of casualties. Garang took office just weeks ago as part of a peace agreement ending a decades-long civil war.
CLANCY: The funeral for Saudi Arabia's King Fahd is now set for Tuesday in Riyadh in the kingdom. He died on Monday. King Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke back in 1995. He has been hospitalized in recent months. Fahd's half brother, Crown Prince Abdullah, succeeds him to the throne.
VERJEE: U.S. President George W. Bush called the new Saudi king to express his condolences. Washington is his sending a delegation to the funeral, but we don't know yet who will be among the group. The president, though, will not be heading the delegation to discuss the delicate, intricate relationship between the United States and the Saudi kingdom.
Nawaf Obaid joins us now from London. Thanks so much for being with us.
NAWAF OBAID, SAUDI SECURITY CONSULTANT: Thanks for having me.
VERJEE: Will there be any real change in oil policy, in foreign policy toward the United States by Saudi Arabia, especially given that King Abdullah has been de facto leader for a while?
OBAID: Not really. I mean, this is a transitional period, and all the policies that have been implemented over the last couple of years have really happened under the reign of King Fahd, who was the de facto head of state, Crown Prince Abdullah being at the head of those policies.
So the changes that people are talking about will not be happening. It will be a sustained, carefully planned, ongoing what has been already been done.
VERJEE: Does King Abdullah see the fate of the future of the Saudi kingdom as intertwined with an alliance with the United States?
OBAID: Well, obviously. I mean, the Saudi/U.S. relationship is vital for both countries, more importantly at the current time in the world. So it's not much as you see it. King Abdullah has always been a proponent of strong close relations with the U.S., and he obviously realizes the importance of it. So, again, on this topic, there won't be a lot of change happening.
VERJEE: There is pressure, though, on Saudi Arabia, isn't there, from the West, though, to modernize, to be a lot more progressive. Do you think that King Abdullah will now have a great opportunity to show really what he's made of and perhaps to quicken the pace of reform?
OBAID: This is an important fact that's been missed, that the reform has begun under the reign of King Fahd. I mean, the first really reform happened back in 1993, when the Mejishure (ph), which has developed since then to have much more powers, and is yet going to happen over the next couple of years.
VERJEE: Yes, but the municipal elections happened under Crown Prince Abdullah, which was...
OBAID: Oh, definitely, definitely. And this is a natural progression of events, so yes, King Abdullah will continue the reform unit that has already begun.
Now how fast it will go and at what speed, that will be -- time will tell, but it's important to note that this is a reform movement that's been begun and that basically cannot be stopped, even if one, or two or different leaders come to power.
VERJEE: But it can be slowed down, though, can't it, by pressure from religious Wahhabi leaders in Saudi Arabia that really want to go back to the fundamentals of Islam?
OBAID: Not really. I mean, the fundamentals of Islam don't really contradict the reform movements and the reform policies that have been implemented over the last decade, so not really. It will be -- on certain issues, there will be a lot of debates, as has been seen over the last couple years, but more importantly, on the real issues, such as social reform, such as economic reform, most importantly, the question of employment, and the role of women this is -- in a way, the movement has begun, and there's no turning back.
VERJEE: So you don't see the Wahhabi religious issue as a problem for King Abdullah in slowing down his perhaps desired pace of reform?
OBAID: Not at all. I mean, if that was the case, then there wouldn't have been any reform in the first place. And so the point here is that King Fahd began the reforms, then Crown Prince Abdullah went on with it, and today King Abdullah will basically go on with what has already been done.
And specifically, if we're going to talk about specifics, the main issue that will be looked into, and that's, you know, a major objective right now of the government will be on the economic front, and we can already see it happening as we speak.
VERJEE: Nawaf Obaid in London, thank you -- Jim.
CLANCY: Well, two weeks to go until the planed Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, and the tension palpable. Israel army and police have been drafted in, in unprecedented numbers to block any attempt by tens of thousands of settlers to stage a last-ditch march towards the Jewish settlements in Gaza. Meantime, as Paula Hancocks reports, the first few settler families voluntarily left Gaza.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was the scene two weeks ago, thousands of protesters rallying against the pullout of Israeli settlers from Gaza, their planned mass march into Gaza blocked by 20,000 Israeli police and military. Round two starts Tuesday. This time, there will be closer to 30,000 police and military. Security forces are worried this protest will be less peaceful.
The police have refused to issue a permit for the demonstration unless organizers promise not to try to infiltrate the Gaza Strip, which has been closed to non-residents for the past two weeks. Organizers refuse to make that promise. Police successfully surrounded protesters at the small farming community, Kafar Miman (ph), two weeks ago. This time demonstrator have picked Serat (ph), a town closer to Gaza and almost impossible to block off.
EHUD OLMERT, ISRAELI CABINET MINISTER: Under the circumstances it can end up with a big turmoil, in an area which is extremely sensitive, where mortar shells fall every day, and there can be many casualties and total disorder.
HANCOCKS: As protesters plan their moves, the pullout from Gaza has already begun for some settlers. This family is one of 160 moving to this caravan park in South Israel over the next 10 days, their temporary home for the next two years.
MARIA HALFON, SETTLER (through translator): The caravan that we are getting is 60 meters square. We are five people. It is very small. There's no space for the dining table, not for any of the furniture, for nothing, simply nothing.
HANCOCKS: One of the first families left Gaza last Friday. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon claims more than half of the settler families have now applied for government compensation.
(on camera): Settlers will have a 48-hour grace period after August 15th in which to leave Gaza, but failure to do so could be costly for them. Families could forfeit the right of a relocation grant of up to $6,000, and an additional $1,000 for each year they've spent in the settlement.
Paula Hancocks, CNN, Jerusalem.
CLANCY: A leading humanitarian activist is chastising the United Nations for acting too slowly to avert the hunger crisis in famine- stricken Niger. Bernard Kushner, the founder of Medecins San Frontieres, says the U.N. didn't give the international community enough warning about the dire situation.
In the meantime, torrential rains are now reported in parts of southern Niger after so much drought.
Earlier, Jeff Koinange filed this report on the fervent prayers for an end to that drought and the famine.
JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Praying for a miracle in a land where devastating famine has killed thousands and threatens millions more. Christians make up a small percentage of Niger's nearly 12 million people, but that's not stopping them from seeking answers to the country's crisis from a higher authority.
Father Jose Collado knows a thing or two about survival. He's lived and worked in Niger for nearly four decades, and says he sees no end in sight to the suffering.
"This year has been very difficult," he says. "Many have died and many more are dying nearly every day, especially in the countryside."
Islam is the dominant religion here, and signs of the faithful performing their daily rituals are everywhere. Here, the faithful too admit these are tough times in any language or religion.
"This famine has made us completely useless as a people," he says. "Our dignity, our pride, everything is destroyed."
Despite the bruised egos, some here say they aren't too proud to ask for a helping hand.
"The situation is catastrophic," says policeman Musa Jibu. "We urge the international community to help the people of Niger out of their misery. Please help us."
A short drive outside the main towns, and it's evident the famine is taking its toll. Man and animal find themselves competing for precious resources. Sometimes, the razor-thin herds of cattle get priority.
Other times, humans find themselves having to dig a little deeper. Dry riverbeds like this can only mean more doom and gloom for the people of Niger. And in village after village, it's the same story. Hunger has a way of making people turn to prayer in search of an elusive miracle.
"Our children are dying. Our elderly are dying. Look at us. We're all dying. We need help," he pleads.
As an entire nation prays for more rain, a group of nomadic women performs a rain dance, but even they know that a country cannot survive on hope alone.
Jeff Koinange, CNN, Maradi, in southern Niger.
CLANCY: CNN is planning a special report on the Niger famine. Our Anderson Cooper and Jeff Koinange will be reporting from that country. You can watch the special edition of "ANDERSON COOPER 360" at 0300 Greenwich Mean Time Tuesday.
VERJEE: Much more ahead here on YOUR WORLD TODAY, including Iran's nuclear ambitions.
CLANCY: Tehran's threat to resume uranium enrichment could lead to U.N. sanctions. We'll get the latest on the dispute coming up.
CLANCY: Welcome back. You're watching "YOUR WORLD TODAY," a survey of news around the globe.
Well, let's look at the nuclear dispute between Iran and the European Union. The E.U. has just hours to provide an incentive package to Tehran, as Iran announced it was ready to resume uranium enrichment. There have been some late-breaking details here, with the Iranians now saying they're responding to a U.N. plea not to take any unilateral action.
Robin Oakley joins us now with details -- Robin?
ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN EUROPEAN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, Jim, there's a lot of political posturing going on here, and not all of it, perhaps, confined to the Iranian side, because the Europeans are saying that if the Iranians do start again with the processing of uranium, which the Iranians say is just a technical detail and does amount to enrichment of uranium, then Europeans are saying that that is an unnecessary and backwards step. And the French spokesman today was saying that that was -- they would be very surprised and worried if this went ahead.
But, of course, this is the inauguration week for the new president in Iran, President Ahmadinejad And there is an issue of national sovereignity, national pride. The Iranians feeling that awkward conditions are placed upon them, which are not placed upon others. They're saying they have every right to go ahead with a civil nuclear program for nuclear fuel. And it's perfectly justified under the nuclear proliferation treaty for any country, actually, to enrich uranium up to the point of being able to use it for fuel, provided that's done under inspection from the U.N.
So I think we're going to see a lot of posturing going on during the course of this week, with the Europeans still about to produce their package of incentives for the Iranians, the Iranians saying they're being skeptical about what they're going to get, partly because they think the European Union can't deliver and that it's really what the U.S. has to say on this matter that is going to count -- Jim.
CLANCY: All right, Iran -- according to Iranian officials, Iran has agreed to a two-day delay. They were saying at the end of today they wanted to be able to reopen the plant. The IAEA said it couldn't put people in place perhaps for another week. Now they're saying it's going to be at least two more days before they would take any unilateral action.
What are the stakes here for the European Union? It's trying to do the negotiation. It has to provide financial incentives for Iran. President Ahmadinejad, as much as he can play politics with this, still needs to create jobs. The Europeans do have a lot of leverage here.
OAKLEY: Well, the Europeans have been saying all along that the way to solve this is by diplomacy. Remember, at first, the United States wanted to come in and get this referred to the security council because of Iran's past record in cloaking its nuclear activities. The European Union leaders persuaded President Bush when he was on tour in Europe in February to let them have another go at the diplomacy, to offer Iran incentives, to help it into the WTO, to offer guarantees of better trade, better technical exchange and security guarantees, too.
But what's at stake for the European Union, therefore, is that if all this falls apart, people will say, there you are, you were mistaken in pursuing this route. You should have taken the hard line to begin with. And, of course, the European Union leaders have come around to backing the U.S. in saying, look, if Iran does break the deal that was agreed last November, then it is now going to support reference to the security council, which could lead to sanctions -- Jim.
CLANCY: All right. Robin Oakley, or senior European political editor, taking a look at a thorny issue there. Iran's request to reopen its enrichment program there. Thank you, Robin -- Zain.
VERJEE: Jim, let's take a look now at some stories making news in the United States.
Sexual assaults and other illicit incidents of sexual contact are reported in juvenile prisons at ten times the rate at adult lockups. That according to a government study based on substantiated reports to corrections officials. The study acknowledges the results might be based partly on improved reporting at juveline corrections centers.
Another study finds that women who smoke during pregnancy nearly triple the risk that children will be born with Attention Deficit Disorder. Researchers report that the fetuses are exposed to relatively high concentrations of nicotine, and that affects brain development.
A climatologist says that his research shows that hurricanes and cyclones have grown more powerful over the past 30 years. That correlates to a rise in the surface temperatures of the world oceans, with warmer waters feeding a storm's energy. Many scientists blame global warming for that rise. They say if the trend continues, major storms will only get more destructive.
CLANCY: Coming up on YOUR WORLD TODAY:
VERJEE: Things are heating up at this Austrian museum, where the nudes you see may not be works of art. Back in a moment.
CLANCY: Well, imagine combining an age-old tradition with 21st century technology.
VERJEE: Well, That's exactly what happened at a recent marriage ceremony in India, where record rain forced a bride and groom to exchange wedding vows over their cell phones. But there was some good news.
CLANCY: Yes, that's right. Fortunately for the guests, the phones were kept on speaker mode, enabling both sides to hear the 30- minute-long ceremony. It took some of the fun out of it, I guess. It appears that at least in this case, love did truly conquer all. Good idea, huh?
Well, beauty, it's often said, is in the eyes of the beholder.
VERJEE: And some Vienna art lovers got to test that popular saying out on Friday. Capitalizing on the heatwave, the Leopold museum admitted hundreds of nude and swimsuited patrons for free.
CLANCY: Now on exhibit were nudes by such artists as Gustaf Clement (ph), which of course scandalized Vienna at the turn of the 20th century.
VERJEE: It appears times have changed, so some of the patrons have something in common, I suppose, with the works of art.
CLANCY: Yes, I don't know much about art, but I know what I like. I also know what I don't like, and you could run into something you don't like. Like him.
That's it for YOUR WORLD TODAY here on CNN International. I'm Jim Clancy.
VERJEE: And I'm Zain Verjee.
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