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Your World Today
Nuclear Double Standard?; Lawmakers Still Haven't Agreed on Government in Iraq; Still Protesting in Nepal; Questions About Israel's Secret Nuclear Program; Vehicle Cameras Tell The Real Story
Aired April 13, 2006 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to Tehran. The U.N.'s top nuclear watchdog official is being closely watched himself as he arrives in the capital on a very difficult mission.
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Life or death? The defense making its case for the former in the trial of the September 11th conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. Prosecutors seeking the latter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa!
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GORANI: "I should have been dead," a common thought of people who have been in these kind of situations and watched it later on video.
It is 7:30 in the evening Tehran, and noon in Alexandria, Virginia.
I'm Hala Gorani.
CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world.
This is YOUR WORLD TODAY.
We begin with another step in the diplomatic dance surrounding the nuclear standoff with Iran. All eyes are on the director of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, who's just ended a high-level meeting in Tehran on the issue.
And Mohamed ElBaradei says he can't yet confirm what Iran dramatically announced earlier this week, that it's achieved a breakthrough on uranium enrichment. The U.N. expert is on a very tough mission to urge top officials to spend uranium enrichment activities and restore the confidence of the international community. But the Iranian president will have none of that.
He sent a message to those who oppose his country's nuclear ambition. He was quoted by the official Iranian news agency as saying, "Be angry and die of this anger if you disagree."
Meanwhile, Beijing says it is worried about Iran's announcement that it had enriched uranium, but it still opposes punitive measures favoring the diplomatic approach instead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIU JIANCHAO, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN (through translator): We express concern about Iran's announcement. We express worry about where this issue is heading. We hope that relevant parties can overcome difficulty, take measures to prevent the issue from escalating, and rely on discussions to resolve the issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: Iran says it has every right to the nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. But Tehran's problem is that the international community, for a variety of reasons, just is not buying the claim that it is for peaceful purposes.
Many wonder why countries like Pakistan and India are allowed to have nuclear technology, while Iran is singled out and under fire for doing what appears to be the same thing.
European Political Editor Robin Oakley looks at the issue up close.
ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN EUROPEAN POLITICAL EDITOR (voice-over): From the outside looking in, an Iran believed to be seeking nuclear weapons can look pretty frightening. All these countries would be within range of an Iranian weapon, coupled with a standard missile delivery system. But what if you are inside Iran looking out? Then you see yourself surrounded by countries which already have nuclear weapons.
Pakistan has them. So does India. So does Russia. Much closer, so does Israel.
Iranians have to be seen in context.
ROSEMARY HOLLIS, ROYAL INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: They have the Americans on their western border in Iraq, on their eastern border in Afghanistan. They have India and Pakistan standing off against each other with nuclear power to the east. They have a very suspicious Arab world to the south.
They want to assert their regional influence, but history tells them that they cannot trust anyone.
OAKLEY: The Western world's voice is clear: Iran is entitled to a civil nuclear program, but not a drop more.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons. OAKLEY: But how consistent is the West? Not so long ago, President Bush was in India, offering them nuclear cooperation. Unlike some neighbors, Iran has never yet attacked anybody, and it signed up to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
HOLLIS: Countries which have not signed the nonproliferation treaty, like Israel, like India, like Pakistan, have been able to develop the bomb, whereas Iran, which has signed the nonproliferation treaty, is being more seriously dealt with, more stringently dealt with than those who have flouted the whole principle.
OAKLEY: That treaty called, too, for existing nuclear powers to whittle down their nuclear stockpiles.
So how much has been done?
HOLLIS: There has been no progress on those powers in the world that have already developed the technology and have nuclear weapons arsenals, giving them up or scaling them back, or, indeed, demonstrating to non-nuclear powers that you are perfectly safe without them.
OAKLEY: Iran hasn't made life easier for itself by supporting terrorists outside its borders or by electing a president who says Israel should be wiped off the map.
(on camera): It hasn't helped either that Iran lied to the International Atomic Energy Agency for two decades about its nuclear program. But if that past dishonesty has convinced others the country is lying now when it says it's developing only nuclear power, not weapons, there's a whiff of hypocrisy, too, about those making the case against Iran.
Robin Oakley, CNN, London.
CLANCY: Well, as that is being debated in the Middle East, like no place else, questions about Israel's secret nuclear program. John Vause will be along in a moment with more on that.
GORANI: All right. And this all brings us to our inbox this day.
Today's question: Should anything be done to stop Iran from pursuing this nuclear program?
CLANCY: What do you think? You can e-mail your comments, suggestions, your answers to that question, YWT@CNN.com. Don't forget, include at least your first name and where you are writing from.
GORANI: Now, the aftermath of the Italian election is turning bitter. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has denounced the results as fraudulent and is considering issuing a decree to order a partial recount. His opponent, Romano Prodi, had this to say about Mr. Berlusconi's recalcitrant.
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ROMANO PRODI, ITALIAN PM CANDIDATE: Boy, he's unable to lose, to admit that we won. He would never do it, you know? He's absolutely unable to admit the truth. He's did so 10 years ago. He's doing the same now. No surprise, but, you know, it's only a problem of few days in which everything will be tempered.
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GORANI: Prodi confident there. Well, his center left coalition party won the lower house of parliament by just 25,000 votes out of 38 million cast. Italy's high court must certify the election by April 20th.
CLANCY: Well, Hala, we have heard the U.S. government's case for why Zacarias Moussaoui should be put to death. Now the September 11th conspirator is taking the stand in his own defense. It's the penalty phase of the trial, when the jury must decide, does he get life in prison, or does he get the death penalty?
Moussaoui launched into a criticism of his defense attorneys. He claims they're more interested in keeping the case in their hands than really saving his life.
This is the first day the defense has presented its case. It's expected to call witnesses later who are going to be testifying about Moussaoui's troubled childhood and about his alleged mental problems.
Now, prosecutors rested their case on Wednesday with some dramatic and emotional testimony that was really the first public airing of the cockpit voice recorder from United Airlines Flight 93, the one that the passengers attempted to take over, apparently were on their way to doing that. They, of course, crashed in Pennsylvania and all lives were lost.
A military court in Britain convicting an Air Force doctor of disobeying orders after he called the Iraq war illegal and then refused to return for a third tour of duty. Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith (ph) was dismissed from the service and sentenced to eight months in prison after a court-martial. Kendall-Smith said U.S. actions in Iraq were on a par with those of Nazi Germany.
GORANI: And in Iraq itself, frustration, the feeling that things are at an impasse and questions about the country's future. Lawmakers still haven't agreed on a government more than three months after elections. Now a top Shiite lawmaker says the names of key candidates for top posts must be agreed upon for parliament can even convene next week.
Many Iraqis are none too happy.
Aneesh Raman talked to some of them.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They were images of hope, Iraqis in December defying the odds, voting in millions. Four months later, hope has become frustration, with Iraqi politicians stuck in a stalemate.
(on camera): This is Rasheed Street (ph), the oldest street in Baghdad. And everyone here knows that to talk politics, you go here, to Zahawi Cafe (ph).
(voice-over): This afternoon, it's packed. Men smoking water pipes, reading the paper. And in the front, two old friends talking politics.
Monthir (ph) is Sunni. Kais (ph) will tell me only that he's Iraqi. Both feeling the collective anger.
"We voted in three different elections," says Kais. "We risked falling victim to bombings and assassinations. And since then, nothing, nothing has happened."
Iraqis feel they've done their part in this democratic process and now it's up to the politicians to do theirs, do deliver on the basics.
"We just want to live. We want to work. We want security. We just want security and the chance to provide food for our families. That's all."
As we were talking here, a sign that security matters more than anything else. Forty miles north in the Shia town of Witer (ph), they were burying the dead after a car bomb late Wednesday killed close to 30.
It is amid this rising sectarian strife, amid a country struggling to stay together, amid a power vacuum left by a government still yet to form, that Iraqis know they now have no other choice but to keep waiting. "If we get angry," he says, "if we turn violent, we lose our right to be part of this democracy. We've waited now for three years, and if we have to wait a few more days, we have to."
Everyone here at the Zahawi Cafe had but one message to Iraqi leaders. "Remind them," they told me, "we risked our lives to vote them in. Remind them of that."
Aneesh Raman, CNN, Baghdad.
CLANCY: Australian Prime Minister John Howard says he had no knowledge that an Australian organization may have been involved in the scandal over the U.N.'s oil-for-food program in Iraq. Mr. Howard testifying Thursday that diplomatic warnings of possible multimillion- dollar kickbacks never reached him. There were more than a dozen cables, but he's the third Australian government official to testify this week, he never saw any of them.
GORANI: Now a major story in Asia. There have been crackdowns by police, but despite all that, more protests.
CLANCY: Coming up right here on YOUR WORLD TODAY, the people of Nepal continue to demonstrate for democracy. This time, it's attorneys taking to the streets.
Stay with us.
GORANI: More clashes in Nepal as an opposition strike enters its second week. Police in the capital city fired rubber bullets and tear gas at lawyers protesting the king's absolute rule. It comes a day after the daytime curfew was lifted there.
Now, Wednesday, one activist was shot dead by police west of Katmandu.
As the strike drags on, some analysts are saying the monarchy that has ruled the mountain kingdom for more than three centuries may be -- may be in its final days.
Satinder Bindra is looking into that.
SATINDER BINDRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A curfew is relaxed in Nepal's capital, Katmandu, but peace remains nowhere in sight. On Thursday, police arrested at least 70 protesting lawyers, among those who want Nepal's King Gyanendra to restore democracy. He assumed direct control of the country last year.
ANJAI SAHNI, ANALYST: The king has even begun to lose the most secure royalist constituencies that his dynasty has controlled for generations. Today, the king is a thoroughly unpopular monarch.
BINDRA: The monarchy has been part of life in this picturesque Himalayan kingdom for over 300 years. Many Nepalese the king is an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. King Gyanendra isn't the first king of Nepal to exercise full control.
But in 1990, after facing a long campaign of street violence, Nepal's then monarch King Birendra set up multi-party democracy. He remained head of the army. The arrangement lasted until 2001, when the popular king, his wife, Ashwariya (ph), and several other members of the royal family were assassinated by a drunken crown prince.
Within days of the massacre, and a huge outpouring of public grief, the King Birendra's brother Gyanendra was crowned king.
In February 2005, after accusing an elected government of failing to reign in a growing Maoist insurgency, King Gyanendra assumed full political powers. Since then, the Maoist insurgents who want to set up a communist state have become more even powerful, and Nepal's political crisis has worsened.
SAHNI: I would like to suggest that it is only a question of time before the Maoists take over the entire power structure in Nepal.
BINDRA: Faced with such prospects, and with continuing street violence, the U.S. canceled a visit by American lawmakers and is allowing all non-emergency embassy employees to leave. Few expect the king to make any many conciliatory gestures when he addresses the nation Friday, and some analysts say King Gayandendra and the monarchy's days may now be numbered.
Satinder Bindra, CNN, New Delhi.
CLANCY: The southern Indian city of Bangalore is virtually shut down now as millions of people are mourning the death of a famous regional actor. Reuters is reporting that police opened fire on some of the people who had come for the funeral procession. They say that four people were killed. Reuters also reporting police statements that earlier, one of their own officers was beaten to death by the crowd.
Raj Kumar was the star of more than 200 films in his native state of Karnataka. He died Wednesday of natural causes at the age of 77.
Thousands of fans smashed cars, burned buses and battled with police in the streets of Bangalore. Family members of the actor implored that they just make a peaceful and a respectful show. They were upset, though, that they had been unable to see the body of the south Indian film icon.
The state government has declared two days of official mourning for the star. Many businesses, including some of those that do technology, phone call centers, things like this for companies around the world, have shut their doors this day, saying they don't want to take a chance.
GORANI: In Africa, an attempted coup. The president of Chad says government troops have repelled a rebel attack on the capital.
Idriss Deby went on state radio to announce that he remains in control after several hours of intense fighting. President Deby says rebels tried to infiltrate in N'djamena before dawn in what he called the second attempt to overthrow him in a month. He claims the rebels are backed by neighboring Sudan, a charge that government denies. The rebels have bases in the border region with Sudan, where tens of thousand of Sudanese are seeking refuge from the Darfur conflict.
France has sent more troops to Chad, bolstering its military contingent there. But it says it's not taking part in any fighting, only in protecting French civilians in the country.
A lot more ahead. We check financial markets for you after a break.
CLANCY: Yes. Talk about financial markets, Hala, how about the finances of a pop -- well, the king on pop, we should say. Michael Jackson's money problems may be solved. Is a bailout coming up? We'll have the report next.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Daryn Kagan at CNN Center in Atlanta. More of YOUR WORLD TODAY in just a few minutes. First, let's check on stories making headlines in the U.S.
First, to these live pictures from Economy, Pennsylvania. A bridge collapsed, and on it, a utility truck. Now that utility truck, as we'll see, perhaps, as the camera pulls out, is -- these were taped pictures from a little bit earlier -- on its side. And we are getting word that a man might be trapped inside of that. The bridge appeared to be a one-lane span carrying traffic across a large creek to a neighborhood with a handful of houses. More on that as that information becomes available.
Other news today.
Admitted al Qaeda member Zacarias Moussaoui took the stand today in his federal death penalty trial. At issue, whether he can be executed as a 9/11 conspirator.
He was already in custody at the time of the attacks. His attorneys want the jury to send Moussaoui to a maximum security prison for life, instead of death row. They say Moussaoui is mentally ill and execution would only make him a martyr.
A yard stick, that for many in New Orleans could make or break the decision to rebuild or walk away. And it could just be three feet.
Federal officials are out with guidelines for rebuilding after the flood. The rules mean that many homes may have to be raised 36 inches off the ground. The process could cost a homeowner tens of thousands of dollars. Louisiana's governor says at least the guidelines let residents know where they stand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. KATHLEEN BLANCO (D), LOUISIANA: I believe that people can use them to make their future plans. I know that was one of the big uncertainties.
A lot of people just wanted to be able to make a responsible decision. And they need to have this solid information to be able to proceed and make their decisions accordingly.
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KAGAN: But critics say the guidelines are too lenient, considering water was up to the rooftops of many homes. Last hour on CNN LIVE TODAY, I spoke to a former federal insurance administrator. He says the three-foot rule just doesn't add up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) J. ROBERT HUNTER, CONSUMER FEDERATION OF AMERICA: It makes so innocence. They should apply the science. They shouldn't be doing this.
This is inviting people to come back in and build unsafely. And in addition, charging very low rates based upon unsafe building. It means that we as taxpayers all over the country are subsidizing unwise construction in New Orleans.
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KAGAN: The guidelines don't apply to homes with less than 50 percent damage.
And we're getting word of out Iraq that there's been a car bombing in a marketplace just outside of Baghdad. At least 10 people so far counted as dead. More on that as it becomes available.
First, now, though, back to the U.S. And police in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, saying a 21-year-old nephew has been arrested in the deaths of six family members. Their bodies were discovered yesterday in the small town of Leola, which is in Amish country.
The youngest victim, five years old; the oldest, 64. Police say some of the bodies were found in the basement, wrapped in sheets and blankets. The suspect is identified as Jesse D. Wise and is now in custody.
Another death at Disney World, and it might be linked to a popular new ride at the theme park. This time, a 49-year-old woman became ill and died after riding Mission Space. The journey to Mars adventure closed overnight for inspection. It reopened this morning. A 4-year-old boy died last June after passing out on the ride.
If you drive a Ford SUV, listen up to this. The car maker is recalling the 2005 Escape and Mercury Mariner. Ford wants to adjust the padding on the driver's side to help prevent injuries during a collision. About 134,000 vehicles are affected.
Put the pedal to the medal in one muscle car and it might just stay there. Dozens of Mustang Cobra owners say that's what happened to them.
Ford confirms that the gas pedal can get stuck on the carpet of the 2003 and 2004 models. Owners of nearly 20,000 Mustang Cobras will be mailed details on how to get that problem fixed for free.
Toyota is out with a recall of its own. About 29,000 Lexus vehicles in North America need fixing. There's a problem with the device that winds the seatbelt. The recall also affects the luxury cars in Japan and Europe.
Americans are getting too much of a bad thing, the artery- clogging goo called trans fats. Listen to this. It comes from a Danish study. American fast-food restaurants serve up more trans fats than those in Europe. You can blame it on the partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil. Companies like McDonald's and KFC say Americans prefer the taste of foods fried in the bad oil. Critics say companies use it because it's cheap.
A beauty school in the most unlikely place, Kabul, Afghanistan. What happens when you mix hair spray and nail polish with burkas and Islamic tradition?
That story at the top of the hour on "LIVE FROM."
Meanwhile, YOUR WORLD TODAY continues after a quick break.
I'm Daryn Kagan.
GORANI: Welcome back to YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Hala Gorani.
CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy, and these are some of the top stories we're following right now.
The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog has concluded his first round of meetings in Tehran in hopes of diffusing the nuclear standoff. We'll be talking live with a member of his staff, coming up here shortly on YOUR WORLD TODAY. Mohamed ElBaradei saying he will urge top officials to suspend uranium enrichment activities. He added that he cannot confirm Iran's claim to have enriched uranium. He's scheduled to report back to the U.N. Security Council by the end of this month.
GORANI: Also in the headlines, Zacarias Moussaoui is now testifying before jurors who will decide if he lives or dies. The September 11th conspirator took the stand a short while ago in the penalty phase of his trial outside Washington. This is the first day that the defense has presented its case. Moussaoui is the only person ever tried in the United States in connection with 9/11.
CLANCY: After a hard fought election, nothing but bitterness in the aftermath. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi still saying the vote is the fraudulent, and he is hinting he might order a partial recount. Meantime, his opponent, Romano Prodi, is calling Mr. Berlusconi a poor loser. Prodi says he is confident his party will prevail, despite having won by a razor thin margin of just 25,000 votes out at 38 million cast.
CLANCY: More now on the nuclear standoff with Iran. We can go live to Tehran, where the IAEA spokeswoman, Melissa Flemming, is standing by, talking to us live.
Melissa Flemming, what were the tone of the discussions between Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the IAEA, and the Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani?
MELISSA FLEMMING, IAEA SPOKESWOMAN: Well, it was a long meeting, and it was a positive meeting. He came -- Mr. ElBaradei came here to discuss ways and means for Iran to accelerate its cooperation, to resolve the kind of gaps in its history that still remain. And this two weeks before a key report is due by ElBaradei to the IAEA board and the Security Council.
What he got is a renewed commitment from Larijani, from the Iranians, to accelerate this cooperation, to work with IAEA inspectors over the next couple of weeks, to clarify these issues.
GORANI: Melissa Flemming, this is really at odds, at least seemingly, with some of the statements that we heard from the Iranian president. And even statements that have been -- that have come out on the Iranian news agency saying all of those of you who disagree with what Iran is doing, be angry and die of this anger. So was the tone of the meeting different from what officials have been saying?
FLEMMING: Well, one has to also separate the two. There are two issues that we're talking about here. One, the technical inspection issues, where IAEA inspectors are working to investigate the 18-year Iranian program, where there are still gaps that remain that need to be cleared up. As long as those gaps and the history are there, there is a big confident step with Iran.
The other issue is the uranium enrichment program and the suspension of that program that most member states want to have. That's what they are referring to, this renewal, this -- what they call achievement of enrichment at Netame (ph). Mr. ElBaradei did discuss that with them. He did bring the message here to Tehran that it would be important to resume suspension at a time when confidence needs to be built. This is an issue that they listened to. They did not, however, make any commitments.
GORANI: So let's just briefly talk about this second issue of uranium enrichment, which has provoked reaction, really, around the world. Did they seem, the Iranians, in that meeting, open at all to the idea of halting uranium enrichment?
FLEMMING: What Mr. ElBaradei reported was that they listened constructively. There was a good exchange of views on possible processes or modalities, should they consider resuming suspension. No commitments,, however, were made at this point.
CLANCY: All right, Melissa Flemming, talking to us live from Tehran. IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Flemming. Thank you very much.
CLANCY: Well, all across the Middle East, one of the main objects of anger right now is Israel's believed nuclear program that gets no scrutiny at all. Or does it?
John Vause went to Dimona.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the only fleeting glimpse Israeli sensors have ever allowed of their country's nuclear reactor. It was built with the help of the French more than 40 years ago, near the town of Dimona in the Negev Desert. Seen here in commercially available satellite photos, nuclear experts say it's the cornerstone of Israel's nuclear arsenal. This is where the plutonium is produced for a nuclear program which Israel has never confirmed, never denied.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is some speculation, based on the amount of estimated plutonium that Israel has produced over the years, but there are many uncertainties about that. And therefore, some people go as little as to say 75 or 90 weapons, and some people go as high as 300 weapons or more.
VAUSE: Most estimates put the stock pile at more than 100 bombs. If true, Israel would the sixth ranked nuclear power in the world, just after Britain. The Israeli government has never deviated from a policy of nuclear ambiguity, and has never signed the nonproliferation treaty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israel must appear as (INAUDIBLE). We never said that we should introduce nuclear weapons. Israel declared and repeated -- repeatedly declared that we are not going to introduce nuclear weapons. Israel has never made any test of nuclear weapons. And we are very confident about it.
VAUSE: Shimon Peres is seen as the father of Israel's nuclear capacity. During the 1950s, he won French help to build the reactor at Dimona. For decades, it was referred to as a textile plant.
(on camera): Mr. Peres, how is the textile industry these days at Dimona?
SHIMON PERES, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Well, textile is out of business. You know, people are going for high tech today. But the textile business achieved its basic aim as a deterrent.
VAUSE (voice-over): In the early years of Israel, a nuclear capability was seen as an insurance against a second Holocaust, the ultimate weapon for a country surrounded by hostile Arab neighbors.
Louisie Evin (ph) was a young engineer who worked at Dimona.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was pioneering atmosphere, because we were really sure that we were doing something that would safeguard the future of our country. Remember that in those days, the Holocaust memory was still very fresh, and we believed that Holocaust can happen again.
VAUSE: Since then, Israel has become a regional superpower, its conventional military far superior to any Arab country. And the Israeli military is believed to have air, land and sea capability for launching a nuclear attack, with long-range fighter jets capable of reaching Iran without refueling. There's the Jericho medium-range ballistic missile, which may have been adapted to make the three stage Shevit (ph) satellite launcher. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so if you add other stages from the Shevit to the Jericho missile, some people say it can have ranges of up to 3,000 or even 4,000 miles. So, clearly, they have both the missile and the aircraft capability to hit any potential enemy.
VAUSE: Add to that Israel's fleet of German-built Dolphin class submarines, which have reportedly been modified to launch nuclear missiles. Israel continues to deny that report.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Essentially, it's a message that Israel will never be, so to speak, eradicated, removed from the face of the Earth. It will be there as an independent nation, and even its enemies should recognize that fact.
VAUSE: It's believed Israel has gone full nuclear alert three times: on the eve of the Six Day War in 1967, during the 1973 Yom Kippur War and for the entire Gulf War in 1991. But now, especially after Libya announced it was abandoning its program of weapons of mass destruction, there's increased pressure on Israel to do the same.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time for Israel to take its nuclear weapons out of the basement and put them on the table.
VAUSE: The argument goes that the neighborhood has changed. Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat. Israel has peace pretties with Jordan and Egypt, and nuclear weapons are no use against Palestinian terror attacks. After all, you can't nuke Bethlehem without Israel being exposed to nuclear fallout.
(on camera): Those who want disarmament argue that Israel's very existence is no longer under threat, and they say the presence of an Israeli nuclear stockpile, real or perceived, is destabilizing because it promotes an arms race among Arab nations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For us, it's really a matter to be or not to be. It is not a simple story. And everybody knows Israel, knows that Israel is so far from being aggressive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All nations think they are responsible, and it's the other guys that are irresponsible.
VAUSE (voice-over): For Israelis, even talking about the country's nuclear capability is illegal. Twenty years ago, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Dimona, revealed all to "The Times of London."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vanunu in the eyes of the Israeli pubic is the biggest Israeli traitor ever been.
VAUSE: He was later nabbed in Rome by Israel's secret service and thrown in jail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He paid a very high price. Maybe it's a lesson to other people not to follow his tracks. VAUSE (on camera): The nuclear plant is just a few miles from here, but this is as close as we can get. It went into operation more than 40 years ago, and under U.S. or European standards, by now, it would probably be shut down. So, opponents argue, why not take it off line anyway and use that as part of a deal for a nuclear-free Middle East?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the Middle East, it is an untenable position for the next decade to maintain that no Arab nation can have a nuclear weapon, but Israel can. Perhaps we can delay Iran's program, but in the long run, as long as Israel has these weapons, others are going to rise up to challenge them. Maybe not next year, but certainly next decade.
VAUSE (voice-over): How can a country begin talking about disarmament when it can't acknowledge it has nuclear weapons? While the nuclear version of don't ask, don't tell may have worked for the last 40 years, the question facing Israel now is, how much longer can they keep a bomb in the basement?
John Vause, CNN, Dimona, Israel.
CLANCY: Coming up next, seeing what happened to you on the highway.
GORANI: It can be agonizing to relive. But people who've lived through such scenes and accidents can now see it with their own eyes.
CLANCY: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is YOUR WORLD TODAY.
Let's go to the important case, the trial just outside of Washington, where a jury has to decide whether September 11th conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui should serve life in prison or be put to death. This is the first day for the defense to present its case.
Kelli Arena has been covering the case. Kelli, the demeanor of the defendant in all of this, I understand he's taking the stand now. What is he saying? Has he changed from the dramatic and emotional testimony that was heard as that tape was played yesterday?
KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, his demeanor hasn't changed. All along, he's sort of been disinterested, and defiantly looking at the jury, but he's pretty much kept quiet, pretty much.
And he, of course, today is testifying, so, it's different in that he's talking.
What he's basically arguing today is that he's not had a good defense. He proceed to tell the defense attorneys how they should have run his case. He said that they should have told the jury that to kill him would make him a martyr, and that probably wasn't a good thing to do. He also said that if he was in jail he might be used as a bargaining chip if there were American hostages taken in the future, that they could have offered him up as an exchange to get the Americans back, and so, he says, well, you know, I could have been used to save a U.S. life down the road. You are just not doing your job. He's admitted that he's called them names. He's admitted that he doesn't think that they're working in his best defense. But his demeanor is very much like it was the first time, that he testified, very measured, a little sarcastic, but not at all emotional or crazy.
CLANCY: Well, Kelli, he said in the past, hasn't he, that he wants the death penalty? Now, it could seem that he's saying that, no, he wants to save his own life.
ARENA: Well, he has said in motions that he thought the greatest jihad was to tell the truth and be executed. But ever since he's plead guilty, he has said that he would fight the death penalty with everything that was in him, and that sort of has been pretty consistent up until this point.
As a matter of fact, when he was asked, well, you know, do you think that going on the stand in the first phase of this trial, where you said you were supposed to be 9/11, do you really think that that helped you, and he said, well, at that point, I just put my trust in my god. He said that made sense from an Islamic point of view. It didn't make sense, though, to you, because you're not Islamic, and you'll never understand that.
So as far as him saying that he doesn't want to be put do death, that's been pretty consistent for the last, you know -- since he's pled guilty. But before that, you are right, he did say that he would be put to death, and that that was fine with him.
CLANCY: All right, Kelli Arena outside the courtroom. We'll be checking in with Kelli in the hours ahead.
We're going to take a short break. We'll be back right after this.
CLANCY: All right, we want to open the "Inbox" now. We have been asking this question.
GORANI: OK, our question. Should anything be done to stop Iran from pursuing it's nuclear program? Here's how some of you replied.
Emmanuel says, "If the diplomatic plans, let the only option be to stop them, and such shouldn't be America's or Israel's burden only."
CLANCY: Reinhard from Germany writes this: "To make a defiant country a respected partner, the West has to take steps, but in the way of understanding."
GORANI: Maziar (ph) from Iran writes, "To us Iranians, it's obvious that this government has no intention other than building an atomic bomb. The international community has to stop this defiant government."
CLANCY: All right, a lot of different opinions there. Thank you for sharing them. Now, we want to conclude our report by telling you the story of how -- it was true at one time that most police vehicles had a camera of some kind. But now, it's really expanded to include many other kinds of vehicles.
GORANI: Indeed. And some people who say they didn't have any time to realize what was going on to them, now can relive accidents as they happened. Take a look.
GREG HUNTER, CNN CONSUMER CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was another busy morning on New York's Long Island Expressway, thousands of commuters making their way to work.
BRYAN PACELLI, CAR CRASH VICTIM: I should have been dead. There's no doubt. I still don't understand how I'm not. Don't understand it.
HUNTER: The last thing Bryan Pacelli, a father of two, remembers is traffic slowing down. Bryan is driving the black Audi. Watch the semi-trailer on the right, all of a sudden, cutting through two lanes of traffic. Bryan's car is trapped.
PACELLI: They put a blanket over me and I saw them starting to cut up the car. I remember that. I remember...
HUNTER (on camera): Did you think it was bad?
HUNTER: When you saw them starting to cut you out of the car?
PACELLI: Yes, I knew something was bad. I knew it was bad.
HUNTER (voice-over): But it could have been worse. Safety experts say that all too often, the drivers of private cars in accidents with trucks or larger vehicles don't live to tell their story.
Bryan Pacelli was lucky to survive, although he doesn't remember much of the accident. But he knows exactly what happened, thanks to a video camera installed on the windshield of this bus traveling in the left lane. The bus ended up pushing Bryan's car under the semi- trailer.
(on camera): Every year, the most accidents in New York state happen in Long Island. In one year, there were 45,000 crashes. Many of those happened right here behind me on the Long Island Expressway. More and more of those wrecks are being caught on video and it teaches us two things: what happened and, more importantly, how they might be prevented.
(voice-over): For example, driving in the rain, distracted driving, or not keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front -- mistakes, which could be avoided.
Bill Schoolman owns a New York transportation company. A few years ago, he installed cameras in all his vehicles.
BILL SCHOOLMAN, PRESIDENT, CLASSIC TRANSPORTATION: It's a great business decision because we save lots of money on our insurance and all direct costs also of operating a bus. You save money on front ends, tires, fuel. There's lots of direct benefits that operationally you get when people drive more safely.
HUNTER: Schoolman says he saves up to $250,000 a year on insurance. He's so enthusiastic about the cameras, he's now working as a part-time consultant for the company that makes them. The cameras help him keep an eye on his drivers.
SCHOOLMAN: This camera, when mounted on the windshield, is the cop in their rearview mirror. They drive more safely, and this camera is on all the time and watching.
HUNTER: That metaphorical cop in the rear-view mirror didn't keep this taxi driver from dozing off at the wheel while he was working. Watch what happens next. As soon as he falls asleep, he loses control. It's hard to believe he walked away unhurt. But when his boss saw the video, he lost his job.
We asked Joan Claybrook, a long-time road safety advocate and former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to look at some video like this one from a camera in this New Jersey limousine. The driver says the car on the left was trying to cut him off and almost crashed into him. He slammed into the pole on the side of the road. The car caught fire.
JOAN CLAYBROOK, PRESIDENT, PUBLIC CITIZEN: Incredible, just coming out of nowhere and passing on the right.
HUNTER (on camera): Totally out of control.
CLAYBROOK: Right, going too fast.
HUNTER: And then blows up.
CLAYBROOK: It blows up.
HUNTER (voice-over): How did this end? The limo driver jammed his brakes on to avoid crashing into the car. The driver of the car that blew up walked away with no real injuries.
Next, we asked Claybrook to review Bryan Pacelli's accident.
CLAYBROOK: I don't think in all the years that I've driven, I've ever seen a truck behave that way. This video tells the real story, that's why it's so valuable.
HUNTER: Safety experts, like Claybrook, believe video cameras can help keep all of us safer.
CLANCY: Whoa. Greg Hunter there, and what videotape.
GORANI: Absolutely. And that cab driver without the seat belt, definitely a lesson in there, as well.
All right that is YOUR WORLD TODAY for this hour. I'm Hala Gorani.
CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. Stay tuned. CNN "LIVE FROM" with Kyra Phillips is next for our viewers on CNN USA. Another hour of YOUR WORLD TODAY straight ahead for everyone else around the world.
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