Return to Transcripts main page

Your World Today

At Least 74 Dead in Baghdad Mosque Attack; Italian Election; Judge Dismisses Copyright Infringement Suit in 'Da Vince Code' Case

Aired April 07, 2006 - 12:00   ET


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Friday prayers bloodied in Baghdad. A suicide bombing inside a Shia mosque raises more troubling questions about Iraq's deep sectarian divide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For the time being, there are no payments to or through the Palestinian Authority.


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A clear message to Hamas from the European Commission.

CLANCY: Later, murder, mysticism, code breaking, and now a court ruling. A new chapter is added to "The Da Vinci Code."

It is 8:00 p.m. in Baghdad.

I'm Jim Clancy.

GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani.

Welcome to our viewers throughout the world and the United States.


CLANCY: We begin our report with a violent end to Friday prayers at a Shia mosque in Baghdad. This the deadliest suicide attack Iraq has seen in months. Three people blew themselves up amid crowds of worshipers inside and outside that mosque. The toll now, 74 dead, 136 wounded.

Aneesh Raman joins us now with details from Baghdad.

This mosque had heavy protection because the imam there is also an elected members of the Iraqi legislature. How did the suicide bombers manage to gain entry?

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, Iraqi police tell us that the first suicide bomber detonated essentially at the blast walls that surround the mosque perimeter security, given its prominence, as you mentioned. In the ensuing aftermath of chaos and carnage, the other suicide bombers were able to break further in closer to the mosque and kill even more. It is, as you say, the Baratha mosque, one of the most prominent Shia mosques in the capital. It is also where Shia believe Imam Ali once visited.

The carnage left at least 74 people killed, 138 others wounded. Iraqi police say two of the suicide bombers may also have been wearing women's cloaks, perhaps as a way to mitigate suspicion against them.

Now, this will undoubtedly have -- lead to calls for restraint from Shia leaders. We have heard from a few.

Also, in just the past hour, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, issuing a statement, offering his sincerest condolences to the people of Iraq, also urging all Iraqis to exercise restraint in the wake of this tragedy. We've heard from a spokesman from Skiri (ph). That is the party whose imam at this mosque is a member of parliament. He has urged restraint as well.

But the biggest fear, Jim, of course, is that the Shia militia who are out operating throughout the country, who have long said that if Iraqi security forces cannot protect the people, it will lead to scenes like this of anger, of pain, they will do that job, they will fill that void. They are also, though, senior U.S. military commanders say, the biggest threat Iraq faces behind a number of reprisal attacks against Sunnis and in recent weeks have shown themselves essentially beyond the control of the Iraqi Shia leaders -- Jim.

CLANCY: An important distinction here. Those militias and certainly the Shia with relatives, friends, family killed here at this blast attack, would say they need the protection of these militias. But do the militias really protect or do they just simply lash out and retaliate?

RAMAN: Well, the militias are a complicated issue in Iraq. In some areas of the country they have provided valuable protection on the streets. But in the aftermath of the bombing of the Shia Askaria mosque some six weeks ago, they have become notorious, especially the Mehdi militia, those loyal to Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, for reprisal attacks against Sunnis.

We have seen in recent weeks large numbers of bodies turning up in the capital and elsewhere. Bodies that have shown torture, their hands bound become their backs, all of them executed.

And so, while militias have provided security in areas where Iraqi security forces don't have the numbers or efficiency to do so, many have said that it's really a job of the Iraqi government to get the Iraqi security forces out there, to undercut the argument of Shia militia leaders that they are providing security that does not exist, because the Shia militia have turned violent. They have turned against the Sunni community. And many of them are not heeding the calls of restraint. They are acting of their own accord, fueled by anger after attacks such as this -- Jim.

CLANCY: Aneesh Raman reporting to us there live from Baghdad. And we're going to ask you, our audience, what you think about this situation in Iraq. Today's "Question of the Day" looks at the possible responses to this sectarian violence.

GORANI: Now, we're asking you, what can Iraqi politicians do to pull their country back from the brink of civil war?

E-mail us your answers, Include your name and where you're writing us from. We'll read a selection a bit later in the program.


CLANCY: That's right. And keep your comments brief, if you can. We'll be reading some of them right here on the air -- Hala.

GORANI: Now to the Israeli Palestinian politics. A senior Hamas official says the militant group is ready to accept a two-state solution to the conflict. The Hamas official says the idea will be raised by Prime Minister Ismael Hania in a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Meanwhile, in Brussels, the European Union said it will cut off direct aid payments to the new Hamas-dominated Palestinian government. The EU wants Hamas to renounce violence, recognize Israel, and abide by agreements made by previous Palestinian administrations. A Hamas spokesman says the decision amounts to "collective punishment of all the Palestinian people."


MUSHIR AL-MASRI, HAMAS LEGISLATOR (through translator): This is a hasty move. We call on the European Union not to go in this direction, which denies democracy and cuts ties with the Palestinian people for merely exercising their democratic right.


GORANI: EU foreign ministers are expected to meet today -- Monday, rather, to decide how to deal with the issue in the longer term.

CLANCY: Well, now to Italy and politics. It's been a campaign laced with barbs and bitter attacks. It's one of the only things Silvio Berlusconi and Romano Prodi, the two main candidates can agree on. They're glad it's almost over.

GORANI: Well, the men battling it out to become the next prime minister are making their final pitch to voters before the general election begins this Sunday. Conservative incumbent Berlusconi is at a rally in Naples, while Prodi, his center left opponent, is in Rome.

CLANCY: All right. Now, let's take stock of the opinion polls.

They have the prime minister's bloc now trailing the coalition led by the centrist leftist, Prodi. But we don't know the impact of the most recent campaigning. There is now, of course, a polling blackout under way. It began two weeks ago.

GORANI: Well, the economic concerns that many Italians have dominating the campaign. Italians say they're frustrated with Mr. Berlusconi's inability to kick-start economic growth.

CLANCY: Observers, at the same time, say this election will turn on the ballots of the many voters who are still undecided.

GORANI: Although the economy, taxes and jobs are all important issues, of course, no doubt, personalities also play a role in this race. One Italian newspaper says, for better or worse, Prime Minister Berlusconi, has turned the election into a referendum on himself.

Let's get more perspective on the election from Alessio Vinci. He's in Rome.

The role of personalities in all of this, Alessio?

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF: Well, very, very important, Hala, because, of course, the prime minister is known as a very flamboyant and charming campaigner, a master of communication, and his opponent, Romano Prodi, a former university professor, is a lot more dull. But some people say that his perceived seriousness perhaps is indeed his biggest asset.

The two candidates are in their final hours of campaigning. This, of course, are live pictures from Rome here in Piazza (INAUDIBLE), one of the most beautiful piazzas here in Rome where Prodi is leading this final rally. And these are pictures, of course, of Naples, where the Italian prime minister is leading the final rally.

This has been a very acrimonious political campaign. It will end officially tonight at midnight local time here in Rome. Tomorrow, Saturday, is a day of silence and reflection, a day many people are looking forward after this long political campaign that has seen Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi very much at the center of it.





VINCI (voice over): Silvio Berlusconi knows how to steal the headlines. Hardly a day went by in this election campaign when the conservative prime minister did not say something that made Italians clap or cringe. He vowed to give up sex until election day, compared himself to Jesus and Napoleon, promised he would abolish taxes and homeownership, and branded those who would not vote for him as "morons," using a vulgar Italian slang word for testicles.

The prime minister has been trailing in the opinion polls, but in January he began to narrow the gap by embarking on a month-long media blitz that put him on television almost every night. On one occasion he stormed out of a television studio after being pressed on why his media company posted large revenues while others in the same sector did not.

LUCIA ANNUNZIATA, CHANNEL RAI 3 JOURNALIST: If you are the major owner of a major television network, and you also hire the head of the government, obviously there is some sort of a fatal attraction between you and the people who give money for advertising.

VINCI: Berlusconi's allies reject allegations the prime minister adopted legislation favoring his businesses and that parliament passed laws to help him avoid a trial on charges of false accounting. A judge in Milan is to decide if Berlusconi will have to stand trial in which he's accused of bribing a British lawyer with $600,000 in exchange for favorable testimony.

Berlusconi, who has never received a definitive guilty verdict in any trial so far, accuses judges of being politically motivated.

"It is an infamy (ph)," he said, "that magistrates use these means to persuade citizens to vote for someone else during an election campaign."

Judges in Milan did not comment. Berlusconi's office, meanwhile, turned down numerous CNN requests for an interview.


VINCI: And, Hala, with these two final rallies here in Rome and in Naples, the two candidates, the two coalitions, as a matter of fact, are trying to convince an estimated 25 percent of Italians here who are still undecided. This country is very much split between those who love Berlusconi and those who loath him. And so we have to see how those who are not planning to vote at all or those who are still undecided, how they will go.

Usually, a high turnout would favor the center right coalition led by the prime minister. But in this country, usually there is a high turnout, but there are a lot of people, of course, who used to Berlusconi's voters who are dissatisfied and may plan not to vote at all.

Hala, back to you.

GORANI: All right. It sounds like a cliffhanger. Suspense out there.

Can Mr. Berlusconi pull off another election victory? We'll find out on Sunday. We have a whole team of correspondents, including Alessio Vinci and others. They'll be live on the ground with coverage.

Do join us for that.

CLANCY: Well, it has traces to Rome. A high-profile courtroom drama ended with a verdict, and for some, a big sigh of relief in the plagiarism suit connected with "The Da Vinci Code."

Paula Newton is in London right now.

And Paul, you look at this case, it was about plagiarism on the surface, but really it's about ideas and really who has the right to the money from those ideas.

How does the case layout?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it really was unprecedented, because what the authors of the "Holy Blood, Holy Grail," were trying to prove was that Dan Brown didn't steal their words but their ideas, and that really is something that hasn't been challenged before at this high a level in a court, in a British court.

They lost that case. Dan Brown, in fact, won. The judge threw out the case, saying that, look, there were no grounds here of any kind of copyright infringement. Dan Brown said in a statement that he was still astonished that this case ever made it to trial, and he said that he thinks it was an important victory for all novelists.

You know, it's really interesting, Jim, that the authors up against him, Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent, said the exact same thing, that they are claiming a moral victory here and say that on certain grounds they believe that this case was still redeeming.

In an interview earlier with CNN, Michael Baigent said from Toronto that he had no regrets.


MICHAEL BAIGENT, CO-AUTHOR, "HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL": I'm not sorry I brought the case. It was -- we felt that we had created intellectual property. And what do writers own but intellectual property? And we have to defend it.

If this happened again, I would do exactly the same thing. And I think we've taken the stand for every other writer who is trying themselves to protect their intellectual property.

I think we won a moral victory. We lost in the courts because it didn't constitute sufficient to be a legal infringement.


NEWTON: That moral victory came with a huge price tag. The legal bill could be as high as $3 million, Jim. And those authors are on the hook for much of it.

CLANCY: Paula, as we look at the case here now, obviously it's not going to go any further than this. And we heard from Dan Brown earlier. He said this was a great day for novelists and people who like to read novelists.

Has there been any reaction just from the passersby there outside the courtroom to how they think it was resolved? NEWTON: There were a lot of people here from the legal community who were interested parties, whether it be the publishers or lawyers, copyright lawyers, and it really does mean that if you're an author and you're looking at a nonfiction work, a history book, or what have you, that you really are free to create, to come up with your ideas and let those ideas run wild on the page, and you don't have to be looking over your shoulder the entire time. And that seems to be what is redeeming out of this case, was a person's freedom to continue to do that was certainly what the high court upheld here today -- Jim.

CLANCY: Well, there's a lot of people that liked to read it, and I want to thank you very much for being with us.

Paula Newton and the latest there, a verdict in "The Da Vinci Code".

GORANI: Apparently, both books doing well on the bestseller list in the U.K. and elsewhere.

CLANCY: Well, "The Da Vinci Code," what, 20 million copies sold or something? That's a lot.

GORANI: Any publicity apparently is good publicity sometimes.

Just ahead, more on the situation in Iraq.

CLANCY: As we've told you, Friday prayers brought more suicide bomb attacks in Baghdad. The target was a Shia mosque. This not the first time that religious sites have been targeted. More on the raging insurgency when we come back.


CLANCY: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world.

We want to update you on our top story. That is, a Shia Muslim leader in Iraq appealing for calm now after the second major attack against a Shia target in just two days. At least 74 people have been killed after three suicide bombers, some of them believed dressed as women, attacked a mosque in Baghdad.

It was right after Friday prayers, 136 other people wounded. The mosque has close ties to Iraq's largest Shia political party.

GORANI: Insurgents have been increasingly targeting mosques in their campaign to spread the conflict. For more on the insurgency we go now to Zaki Chehab, political editor of the London-based Al Hayat/LBC. He's also the author of "Inside the Resistance: The Iraqi Insurgency and the Future of the Middle East."

Thanks for being with us. Why this mosque in particular, Zaki?

ZAKI CHEHAB, POLITICAL EDITOR, "AL HAYAT/LBC: This mosque is one of the most important mosques for the Shia in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The imam of the mosque is a member of parliament. His name is Jalal (ph) -- Sheikh Jalal Savir (ph). He is well-known for his statements in terms of, you know, asking or calling for revenge against -- whatever -- whenever an attack happens against any of the Shia mosques or any of the -- you know, in the past.

Last week, for a different reason, Sheikh Savir (ph), the imam of this well-guarded mosque, have chose to criticize al-Jaafari, the prime minister, and ask him to leave the job to somebody else in the alliance, Shia Alliance. So definitely the kinds of attacks, you know, against -- against this mosque today have -- must be carried by al Qaeda organization led by al-Zarqawi. And the reason is, in my belief, that al-Zarqawi is willing to see Iraq slipping into a sectarian war between Sunnis and Shia, especially after he have managed to realize that Sunnis in Iraq have opened some kind of communication with the American forces and with the American diplomats on the ground which might lead, in my belief, to some kind of stability in the near future if it succeeded.

GORANI: So, let's take a step back. So, you're saying the Zarqawi-inspired al Qaeda insurgents in Iraq are doing their very best to spark a sectarian war because Sunni politicians are starting a dialogue with the American forces and they want to make sure that dialogue does not work, does not produce anything positive?

CHEHAB: The only one who can lose from any kind of dialogue or any kind of political discussions and negotiation between the different Iraqi political parties or between the Sunnis and the Americans is al-Zarqawi, because whenever some kind of agreement reached, and kind of stability been established, especially in the Sunni areas, I'm sure that Sunnis, influential Sunni tribes, will ask Zarqawi to leave, or some might ask -- you know, call for betraying him and he will end up leaving the country.

So, it's in the interest of Zarqawi to see Iraq slipping into sectarian war, where he will find the environment to where he can stay longer in this country.

HESS: Here is the million-dollar question. Will all these attempts at sparking sectarian strife, in fact, an all-out civil war, because we're already seeing a low-level sectarian conflict, will it work?

CHEHAB: I believe it's not going to work. For one thing, the reasons (ph).

The majority are Shiite. And some of them, their religious leaders, always they came -- said they came out to call on their supporters to -- for calm and not to take revenge. The same thing for Sunnis, because, you know, both of them, they would be losers.

For so many reasons, Iraq will not slip into a sectarian war, first of all, because of the kind of mixed marriages between Sunni and Shiite in Iraq. Large numbers of Iraqis, up maybe between 30 to 50 percent of mixed marriages between Sunnis and Shiite.

The other thing, the kind of relationship everyone would be losing. I mean, the moderate and the responsible Sunnis and Shiites. So the only one who can benefit from a sectarian war is the extreme element. And these ones definitely are led by Zarqawi and his group of foreign fighters.

GORANI: One quick question. I mean,, you have been following the insurgency, reporting on, you have spoken to insurgents in Iraq. You're well aware of the mindset. Now, what do you make of those reports that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi essentially within Iraq has been demoted and replaced by a local Iraqi? And if you agree with that, how will that change things?

CHEHAB: Nothing really confirmed that any changes have taken place in the organization of -- led by al-Zarqawi. Iraqi -- some of them who was -- one of them who was quoted saying (INAUDIBLE) denied that they make this specific comment, and maybe the biggest change is that the kind of dialogue, the major Sunni insurgency groups have start with American commanders on the ground. That's what really -- this angered Zarqawi.

If we go back for election day on 15th of December, it was a very interesting day, because a few days before the election in Iraq, last election, Zarqawi had threatened to carry out an all-out war against that day. But never happens, nothing materialized of Zarqawi's threats that day because he realized that the majority of Sunni insurgents in Iraq and the majority of Sunnis want to participate in the political process which was taking place. And I'm sure any kind of agreement between the different Sunni tribes in Iraq will put Zarqawi aside, if not kick him out of the country.

GORANI: All right. Zaki Chehab, the view of Zaki Chehab, the political editor for Al Hayat/LBC, speaking to us live from London.

Thank you, Zaki.

CLANCY: Well, a disappointing business forecast.

GORANI: Coming up on YOUR WORLD TODAY, a bit of bad news for the BlackBerry. Oh, no! We'll explain.

Stay with us.


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Daryn Kagan at CNN Center in Atlanta.

More of YOUR WORLD TODAY in just a few minutes. First, though, a check on stories making headlines in the U.S.

It could have rivaled the Columbine massacre. Four New Jersey teenagers could be the first people ever convicted on terrorism charges in that state.

They're accused of plotting to kill 25 people during a school lunch period massacre. Police heard about the alleged plot from administrators at Winslow Township High School. The four boys are age 14 to 16. They were arrested this week. Police upped the charges against them yesterday.

Just about an hour ago, a court ruling related to the September 11th attacks, specifically a lawsuit by family members. The judge in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial ruled that those families can see sensitive aviation documents, papers that were provided to attorneys for Moussaoui, a confessed al Qaeda operative. The families claim airline negligence led to the deadly hijackings.

While Congress is packing up for spring break, the road ahead is looking as long as ever for an immigration bill. A compromised measure failed to move forward in the Senate this morning. So did a bill on border security proposed by Majority Leader Bill Frist.

This after President Bush urged lawmakers to keep working on a deal. Congress now takes a two-week recess.


SEN. BILL FRIST (R-TN), MAJORITY LEADER: We found ourselves today where we're going to have to take a pause where a pause was not necessary. And in truth, the Democratic leadership, by putting a stranglehold on the amendment and debate process, are causing us to postpone a very important issue.



SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: So I'm -- I'm disappointed, but not discouraged. I'm sorrowful, but not without hope for the future. And I'm concerned about the lost opportunity, but absolutely determined to keep right on fighting with Senator McCain and our other colleagues here. We don't intend to give up, and we don't intend to give in.


KAGAN: This Saturday and Sunday night, "CNN PRESENTS" takes an in-depth look at both sides of the immigration debate. Are illegal workers stealing American jobs or energizing the U.S. economy? Which ever side you fall on, this is one special report you won't want to miss.

"CNN PRESENTS: Immigration Nation," this Saturday and Sunday night, 8:00 Eastern, only here on CNN.

President Bush invited business reporters to the White House today, and that includes our own Gerri Willis, who is just outside.

Gerri, nice to see you there. That's a big house.

GERRI WILLIS, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, it's amazing. I have to tell you, we were actually in the Oval Office sitting with the president. He was addressing the economy.

And Daryn, it's full-court press here on the economic news. They feel like they've got a good story to tell and they're not getting credit for it.

The numbers today on the economy, starting with joblessness, the rate at 4.7 percent in March. That matches a four-year low.

Two hundred and eleven thousand jobs created in the month. Very good numbers there.

But the president admits that he's not getting credit for all the good news. He told us that it's the war, in fact, that is taking Americans' minds off their pocket books. He said that Americans are exposed to death and destruction nightly on their television screens, and he says, I have -- "It's troubling to them," and he said, "I understand why they're concerned."

Of course, it's a very big topic for the president. Members of the Treasury are out talking about this, stumping about the economy, telling Americans that the economy is really doing well.

And another bit of news out today. Treasury Secretary John Snow, a lot of conversation about whether he'll be able to hold on to his job or not. In fact, a newspaper story today describing him as "dead man walking. " The president says, no. He says John Snow is doing a very good job; a good job, he said, in the meeting we had today. So it looks like John Snow going nowhere right now, continuing to run Treasury. But I guess we'll just wait and see, Daryn. But as you can see, we're seeing the rain right now.

KAGAN: Raining really hard. I have to ask you really quickly, did the president answer any questions on noneconomic issues, including the word of the leak?

WILLIS: No. There was no word on that today. He declined to talk about it. He said it's -- an investigation that's ongoing and that he would not comment.

KAGAN: All right. Gerri, I'm going to let you get out of the rain there. Thank you.

WILLIS: Thank you.

KAGAN: And that's going to wrap up U.S. headlines. We'll rejoin world news in just a moment. I'm Daryn Kagan.


GORANI: Welcome back to YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Hala Gorani.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. These are some of the stories that are making headlines around the world.

A Shia Muslim leader in Iraq urging followers to show restraint after another major attack against a Shia target. At least 74 people now reported killed after three suicide bombers, some dressed as women, attacked a mosque in Baghdad after Friday prayers. One hundred and 36 other Iraqis were wounded. The mosque has close ties to the largest Shia political party. Its imam is a member of parliament. GORANI: The European Union says it will cut off direct aid payments to the new Hamas-dominated Palestinian government. The E.U. wants Hamas to renounce violence, recognize Israel and abide by agreements that were made by previous Palestinian administrations. A Hamas spokesman says the decision amounts to, quote, "collective punishment of all the Palestinian people." Meanwhile, a senior Hamas official says the militant group is ready to accept a two-state solution to the conflict.

CLANCY: Campaigning coming to a close in Italy. The men battling it out to become the next prime minister are both trying to rally their faithful now. Conservative incumbent Silvio Berlusconi is in Naples. Center left challenger Romano Prodi is in Rome. Opinion polls are showing that Mr. Berlusconi's bloc is trailing the coalition that is led by Prodi, but many Italians still undecided. Voting gets underway on Sunday.

GORANI: Well, it is World Health Day today, but a new report paints anything but a healthy picture for dozens and dozens of countries out there.

CLANCY: According to the World Health Organization, 57 nations, most of them in Africa, are suffering a serious shortage of health workers. The WHO reports more than four million additional doctors, nurses, midwives, and other health workers are urgently needed in those 57 countries.

GORANI: Now, listen to this number. Worldwide, at least 1.3 billion people lack access to the most basic health care, often because there is simply no health worker available, let alone medicines and facilities.

CLANCY: Shortages most severe in Subsaharan Africa, which you might expect. It has 11 percent of the world's population, but 24 percent of the global burden of disease and only 3 percent of the world's health workers.

GORANI: Well, this picture made even more bleak by the AIDS epidemic and fears over health issues, some of those health issues like bird flu. Now, a dead swan in Scotland has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus.

European political editor Robin Oakley joins us now from Scotland with more with this story.

So a dead swan testing positive for the deadly H5 virus. How worried are people in Scotland today?

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN EUROPEAN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, Hala, inevitably, people involved in the poultry industry are worried. The dead swan was found just here on the shore in the beautiful little harbor here at Cellardyke on the east coast of Scotland. And it was really the news that everybody had been expecting in Britain, but dreading at the same time, because 12 of the 25 E.U. countries have had examples of the H5N1 virus now. And it is, of course, a massive threat to the poultry industry should it spread to domestic poultry, to the large-scale farms that dot the whole of Britain, really.

And here in Scotland, there are 16 million birds on the poultry farms, so they've reacted very quickly here. They've got a three- kilometer protection zone immediately around this village, a ten- kilometer zone beyond that in which there are restrictions. Birds now having to be kept indoors, all the free-range birds, in order to prevent any mingling of wild birds carrying the H5N1 virus with the domestic fowl.

But across Britain as a whole, there are 200 million birds in the poultry industry, so there's an awful lot of people's livelihoods involved. What must be stressed, though, at this stage, is that there isn't any threat to human health at all -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Robin Oakley reporting live from Scotland. Thank you -- Jim.

CLANCY: Rwandans this day mark a tragic anniversary: 12 years since a genocide was unleashed that killed at least a half a million people, probably upwards of 800,000. A week-long mourning period is underway. Ethnic minority Tutsis were the main target of the massacre. It was orchestrated by an extremist Hutu government, members of which really believe that they were going to lose power. The massacre lasted some 100 days, until rebels led by the current president, Paul Kagame. The Rwandis' patriotic front ousted the regime.

Many of the victims were buried in mass pits, and part of the anniversary observances do involve providing a decent burial for some of them. There will also be vigils held in public and private.

As part of the 12th annual genocide commemoration ceremonies, many films have been screened in New York. Among them, "Through My Eyes" by Eric Kabera. The Rwandan filmmaker is perhaps better known for his movies "Keepers of Memory." He joins us live from New York.

It is a bitter memory, what happened in Rwanda. President Habyarimana's plane was shot down within hours, the killings got underway at road blocks. And amazingly, some of that was documented. Eric, for our audience, explain how it was unleashed and why.

ERIC KABERA, RWANDAN FILMMAKER: I mean, it's going to be very difficult in less than two minutes to explain, literally, the magnitude of the genocide. From April to July, literally in 100 days, you know, a million people got killed. You know, children, women, old men. I mean, the mob gang of militias took on the streets and killed children, you know, helpless people who were not -- had nothing to do with the fighting. People who had literally nothing to do with anything that you would ever imagine that it would be of this magnitude.

And that's the reason why I tried my best from 1994 until today to sort of, you know, be part of the keepers, be part of the people taking part in the commemorative process.

CLANCY: Eric, let's listen to a little bit of "Keepers of Memories," to some of the victims, speaking in their own words.


ANGELIQUE, SURVIVOR (through translator): This is where they tried to kill me as I carried my baby on my back. When I regained consciousness, my child was dead. I covered it and went back to hide in the bush. My mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and even my own parents all lie there. They all died.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): These people were the victims of a grave injustice. They came here to take refuge in God's sanctuary, thinking they would be safe, and yet they were coming to their deaths. There are 12 members of my family here. They were all living in the same house, my father, my mother, my sisters, my younger brothers, my cousins. They're all here.


CLANCY: Every year at this time, people remember the victims, but how about the survivors when you talk with them? Does anyone remember them? How bad are their needs?

KABERA: I mean, the need is just -- the magnitude of the need is huge. And I cannot literally be here to explain literally the impact of the genocide, but I'm literally trying my level best to explain the magnitude of their suffering 12 years down the line, because these are women, these are children who are in need. You know, the basic health care, education and things like that, and they confronted me. They said, you guys come and make films and write books and talk about -- give us big speeches, but you know, you just go away and leave us in pain. So in the hills of Rwanda, there's still many, many people in pain and agony.

With due respect to all the films, including "100 Days," which I co-produced with Nick Hughes, which was the first feature film on the genocide. But at the end of the day no one can speak volumes than the survivors can do it in the way how they did in keepers of memory, and literally my words, my English words cannot simply sort of translate to the magnitude of pain and the betrayal that they experienced in 1994, until now because there is no reparation in prospect. You know, yesterday I was at the U.N. and people were talking about prevention. Yes, prevention to other genocide, but reparation now for the Rwandan victims because they're in need, and they're not going to be -- and they're pain and their suffering is not going to be looked at again as a betrayal 20 years down the line. The need is now.

CLANCY: You know, one of the things the Keepers of Memory managed to do, too, was to talk about some of the people that actually carried it out, and to stare into their faces. Let's once again take a look at that documentary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You know, I can say I'm personally involved in the death of nine people. I acknowledge it. and I ask for forgiveness from god, the Rwandan government and all Rwanda in general.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Nobody was supposed to survive, and that is how they hoped to later deny that anyone had been killed here. My wish is that they would come themselves to see the carnage they've wrecked here, that they come to understand that the people they killed were human beings like them. Our parents, our family members, and even our children were among them. There was a room filled with children on the other side, children who were probably playing like the ones you see here today.

We can only pray to god that this will never happen again, and that the children can grow to forge a stronger country.


CLANCY: There you got to look right at the faces, and there's so many of them, the prisons in Kobongo (ph) and Kengali (ph) and elsewhere around the country, and there still is a problem with people accepting responsibility. Some of the victims, the survivors, have been killed to prevent any of their testimony, haven't they?

KABERA: Correct. I mean, that's the complexity of the Rwandan genocide, whereby, you know, victims and killers are literally meant to live together, because the Rwandan government cannot simply afford to have over 100,000 people in jail, and that's the role of the Gecharter (ph), to sort of participate a (INAUDIBLE) to get people literally to feel remorseful.

But at the end of the day, it's such a painful experience to have people who sort of, you know, took part, actually took action into the killings of their neighbors, of their friends, people they lived with for years, to sort of confront that and sort of, you know, try to give it a sense, and some sort of comprehension is just behind any, you know, journalistic or intellectual justification, and that's the complexity of the whole thing, and that's where literally, you know, the sort of sense of normalcy that is taking place in Rwanda should be given credit, given bigtime.

But again and again, I repeat it, you know, the survivors in Keepers of Memory said one thing: You look at us, you talk to us every time, but do you care, and that's the very message that this film is sending across, and that's the kind of representation of this up-close testimony that the survivors managed to unleash literally into this film, which is now in distribution.

CLANCY: Eric, let me ask you another question, and it really has to do with Rwanda, a tiny country, poor, as you've explained. And yet when, you know, the whole world was standing by, looking on at Darfur, the first nation to stand up and say, we will send peacekeepers to Darfur was tiny Rwanda. And some people are saying today, that if you really want to remember the genocide in Rwanda, the least you can do is stand up, call genocide for what it is today, and address the situation in Darfur, something the world has not been able to do until this very moment.

KABERA: Yes, correct. I mean the world sort of gives a lot of terminology about all calamities, but the bottom line is to step to the plate and go and do it. And you know, credit for Rwanda, our young boys and girls stood up and went up front, and went for the rescue of poor Sudanese who were sort of being sort of, you know, massacred by the Janjaweed.

And in Darfur, I mean the crisis has been sort of, you know, received the first response, as you said, by the Rwandan army that went and said, you know, we know what genocide is, and we're not going to wait for somebody to give us a mandate. We're not going to wait for somebody to give us sort of, you know, the full authority to do it. You know, as human beings I think we were let down and we cannot sort of let it happen to others. You know, the slight contribution is needed, and the slight contribution does not need to have sort of a memorandum of understanding and big speeches and big drafts, as was the case for Rwanda. It took three months for people literally to decide, who is going to pay for the tanks to go to Rwanda, who is going to foot the bills, and who is going to wear which uniforms. And that's quite ridiculous and that's very regrettable.

But again and again, what is most regrettable is to see that 12 years down the line, the survivors' plight is of utter betrayal, whereby, you know, no health care. Basic health care is still a huge problem. In the film, the woman who begins the film crying in tears and in pain. She says, I've been having a problem to get a surgery, and 12 years down the line I am still struggling to speak to anyone to care to open his door to give me a surgery. And those are just the simple individuals who are trying to reach across and to say enough of complacency. It's not a matter of intervention. Intervene other places, but you know, help us now.

CLANCY: Eric Kabera, I have to leave it there, but thank you for keeping the memory, sharing it with us today about the victims there, about the needs elsewhere to remind us of the responsibilities the world shares.

YOUR WORLD TODAY continues right after this short break.



GORANI: Indeed. The Rolling Stones perform their first ever concert in China Saturday night, but it may not give them much satisfaction, apparently.

CLANCY: And that is because Chinese authorities are going to be watching the show in Shanghai, going to be keeping close watch to see if the legendary rock band crosses the line with raunchy lyrics or rude behavior.

GORANI: Who else but Richard Quest about the potentially offending licks in question.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There were no giant crowds and no screaming fans when the group arrived in Shanghai, just the press to record the fact that after years of trying, The Rolling Stones have finally got permission to play in Mainland China.

MICK JAGGER, LEAD SINGER, THE ROLLING STONES: I want to say on behalf of The Rolling Stones that it's very exciting for us to be here in Shanghai on our first trip to this town, our first trip to China to play as a band, and this is always a great challenge for us to go to a new place, and we're very, very excited to be here.

QUEST: For the four members of the group, this was a unique occasion, even though they'll just be 8,500 concert-goers at the event, almost intimate by the normal standards of a Rolling Stones gig. There was a price to pay for this permission. The band agreed not to perform risque songs like "Beast of Burden" and "Brown Sugar." Now so much censorship, more rock and roll diplomacy.

KEITH RICHARDS, GUITARIST, THE ROLLING STONES: We looked at each other and said well, we hate to be told what to do. You know, I mean, and obviously it's going to be a bit antsy, but let's just go there, put our foot in the water at least so we can get in. I mean, if it means you can't play two or three songs or whatever it is, there's no skin off the nose.

QUEST: Few people here know about The Rolling Stones, even though the concert will be shown on Chinese television. Oh, that's another first for a western group.

(on camera): Politics and rock and roll will come together at Saturday's concert. The Chinese government will claim that it proves the country is opening up to new ways. The Rolling Stones claim it proves the band is still rock and roll's pioneers. In some ways, both are right.

Richard Quest, CNN, Shanghai.


CLANCY: And on that note we will take a short break.

GORANI: I think we should tell Richard to shed the trench for a rock and roll story. All right, we'll e-mail him. When YOUR WORLD TODAY continues, we'll open the "Inbox" and read some of your e-mail.