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Your World Today
Smooth-Talking Terrorists?; Jihad Video Distribution Techniques; New Charges that Iraq War Hurts Afghanistan Effort
Aired September 13, 2006 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A U.S. map engulfed in flames. A suicide bomber ready to strike. An al Qaeda tape illustrating the power of propaganda in the war on terror.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Can the creation of a new Palestinian unity government unite the Palestinian people?
CLANCY: And seeking a seat at the table. An outspoken critic of the United States pushes for a place right alongside his greatest foe.
GORANI: And the guitar performance heard around the world. How an Internet clip turned a mystery musician into an online obsession.
CLANCY: Hello, everyone. And welcome to our report broadcast around the globe.
I'm Jim Clancy.
GORDON: I'm Hala Gorani.
From Kabul to Ramallah, New York to Seoul, wherever you are watching, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.
They came with an urgent request but left empty handed. NATO generals have failed to muster more troops for an increasingly difficult mission in Afghanistan.
CLANCY: The Taliban have been fighting back. You've seen that here on our air. And it's been harder than anyone expected. More and more they are using tactics all too common in the Iraq war.
GORANI: Now, we'll look at the violence there as well as insurgents leave more evidence of brutal killings across Baghdad.
CLANCY: We are going to begin, though, with NATO's efforts to stem the resurgence of the Taliban.
GORANI: Now, new figures show just how dangerous Afghanistan has become. Especially for civilians.
CLANCY: NATO says 173 people have been killed in suicide bombings since January of this year. Eighty-seven percent of the victims civilians, including children. This is the deadliest year in Afghanistan since 2001, when U.S. forces went in and toppled the Taliban government for supporting Osama bin Laden. GORANI: Now, NATO has launched Operation Medusa to counter the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. It says the offensive is making progress but says several thousand more troops are needed to deliver a decisive blow.
CLANCY: NATO generals trying to convince member nations to contribute more forces. A NATO spokesman conceding, though, no formal offers have been made. That was at a meeting Wednesday in Belgium.
All right, Hala. We are going to begin, though, in Afghanistan, where the Taliban increasingly using tactics favored by the insurgency in Iraq. Like suicide car bombings. They also have been known to bomb schools that offer an education for women.
But the message to the outside world, and when it comes to getting recruits for some of these deeds, is very different.
Anderson Cooper reports that al Qaeda can be smooth-talking and calculated. Even slick. He shares with us an example.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The video starts with the animation for As-Sahab, al Qaeda's production company. A flag map of the United States blown up by missiles.
The tape, titled "The American Inferno in Afghanistan," first surfaced on the Internet and was translated by memory. An Israeli monitoring service. We found the translation pretty accurate but CNN could not determine where and when or even if the events depicted in the tape took place.
On the video, we see a man showing off a trunk filled with mortar rounds. Mortars like these are commonly used in suicide car bombs.
"I pray to Allah that this operation will be vengeance upon the American pigs and their apostate collaborator dogs for their assault on the home of Mulawi Nur Muhammad."
The would-be suicide bomber call Abu Muhammad makes a statement. From a name we hear later on the tape, he appears to be from Yemen.
"To my family and friends, I say: We will meet in Paradise, Allah willing."
The video then cuts to inside the bomber's car. A crudely rigged detonator is attached to a wooden board.
"This is the board that Abu Muhammad, may Allah protect him... we will carry out the operation within a few minutes. Test it for the last time, Muhammad. Only 10 minutes left until the operation."
"What do you feel, Abu Muhammad?"
"I feel a great calm."
"In your heart?"
"Yes. I pray that Allah accepts me. I've never felt so calm in my life."
For a brief moment, we see the man who recorded these pictures. He urges the bomber forward.
"Allah willing, your prayers and ours will be answered. Can you see the American cars?"
The two men survey their target. A voice says the vehicles are American.
"These are the American cars."
There is an edit in the tape. Now the suicide bomber is driving on the road. His white car clearly visible.
The video is shot from a distance while the bomber talks to the cameramen on a walkie-talkie.
"Can you see them in front of me?"
"Did you see the American in front of you? Go on a little further, and you will see them in front of you."
"Abu Muhammad, there are Muslims behind you. Move a little faster, they are in front of you now. Place your trust in Allah, Muhammad. Remember paradise, my brother. Remember paradise."
You can hear the cameraman's heavy breathing waiting for the explosion.
The U.S. military says it has no record of such an attack. It's not clear whether this video is purely propaganda or a blend of propaganda and an actual attack. On the tape, the cameraman drives off, rejoicing.
"Glory to Allah, His Prophet and the believers."
Anderson Cooper, CNN, eastern Afghanistan.
GORANI: Well, as Anderson noted, CNN can't independently verify that the suicide bombing took place. And the U.S. military says it has no record of the attack.
Well, the question, though, is, once such a tape is shot, how do they get into the public? Our senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, investigates.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It's Osama bin Laden in a now all-too-familiar al Qaeda message. But look at the logo at the bottom of your screen, "As- Sahab," Arabic for "The Clouds."
It screams al Qaeda, just as the roaring lion heralds an MGM movie.
Check out these other al Qaeda releases, this time, Ayman al- Zawahiri -- again, Al-Sahab is in the corner -- same here with one of the London subway bombers.
Al Qaeda has corporate P.R., even using English subtitles...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We haven't talked about American and British atrocities in the two Iraq wars.
ROBERTSON: ... and, sometimes, an American to get their message across.
The question is, just how and where on earth are they getting away with it?
(on camera): The where, now, they probably do it close to where they are. The As-Sahab logo used to have location Pakistan on it. The how, now, that is the easy bit. All they need is a little camera, a laptop computer.
After all, that is how we put our reports together, throw in some fancy graphics. Then, all you got to do is print off the CD or tape.
(voice-over): Then, al Qaeda hands off the tape to someone it can trust to get their message out.
Ahmed Zaidan was working for Arabic-language broadcaster Al- Jazeera in its Pakistan office when someone called offering a news story, and set up a meeting.
AHMED ZAIDAN, AL-JAZEERA: Somebody called us to a very busy market, you know? And he gave us a tape, and never, ever thought that it's Osama. I never, ever expected that it would be Osama bin Laden tape. But that man who deliver this tape, he was half-covered face, and he told me, look, this is Osama tape.
ROBERTSON: In its relentless drive to self-promote, al Qaeda had suddenly, for a moment, made itself vulnerable, starting a trail that could lead to bin Laden. But finding that trail has not been so easy.
(on camera): And, even if they had been here, intelligence officials say it would have been nearly impossible to track the person handing off the tape. They could have disappeared into the crowds, gone into a tiny alleyway.
(voice-over): Over the years, Al-Jazeera became a favorite outlet for bin Laden and Zawahiri, because it was nearby, with offices here in Pakistan, because it aired more of the tape than Western networks did, and did so in the original Arabic, and because, apparently, it didn't work with the authorities to help track them down. (on camera): On another occasion, al Qaeda came right here, into the heart of Islamabad, the capital, went to the Al-Jazeera office up there, dropped off a tape in an envelope, with a guard outside.
ZAIDAN: And he brought the, you know, envelopes. And we open it. And it was -- the tape was inside. When we -- what you call -- play it, we came to know that it was Osama bin Laden tape.
ROBERTSON: Not just any tape. It was late October 2004. Bin Laden had recorded a special message to release before the U.S. presidential election, and trusted Al-Jazeera to get the message out.
Over time, Al-Jazeera got more picky about the clips it broadcast. So, al Qaeda turned to the Internet. It was to be easier and safer than handing tapes to Al-Jazeera, just find an Internet cafe -- there are plenty in Pakistan -- and upload your CD.
(on camera): OK. So, imagine that I'm al Qaeda. I have just uploaded my disk. The guy behind me can see it now.
The guy in the corner over there can see it. The guy down at the Internet cafe down the street can see it. The guy at the Internet cafe across the town can see it. They can see it at the other end of Pakistan. They can see it in London. They can see it in Washington.
Within minutes, it is distributed on multiple Web sites. They get global coverage almost instantly.
(voice-over): Al Qaeda's new electronic trail is harder to trace. We may never know the intelligence opportunities lost before the terror network went high-tech. But some messages, it seems, still come the old-fashioned way. This one appearing before the fifth anniversary of 9/11 once again showed up on Al-Jazeera.
No one is saying this time either how al Qaeda delivered the tape.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Islamabad, Pakistan.
CLANCY: In Iraq, there was a much more grisly message that was delivered. Disturbing new evidence of the growing violence there.
Police have found the bodies of some 64 men over the past day in Baghdad. They had been tortured, shot and dumped around the Iraqi capital. All of it, of course, the hallmark of Sunni and Shia Muslim death squads.
Elsewhere in Baghdad, a pair of attacks on police targets killed at least 22 people, wounded more than 80. Police were the targets, but victims were mostly civilians.
GORANI: Well, critics say the war in Iraq, which is becoming increasingly difficult for the U.S., has diverted America in its military from the central battleground in the war on terrorism; namely, Afghanistan.
Our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre, looks at that debate.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As fighting rages in Afghanistan's southern provinces, and congressional elections loom in the U.S., the Democrats are making the same argument they made before the last election.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: They took their eye off of Afghanistan, failed to capture and kill Osama bin Laden when they had him in the mountains of Tora Bora, and that's why we are more threatened today with an al Qaeda that has reconstituted itself in some 65 countries.
MCINTYRE: The debate has been rekindled by the unexpectedly strong comeback of the Taliban in the south. Flush with drug money from a bumper opium crop and armed with new better weapons, Taliban fighters have shown a tenacity that NATO's top commander last week admitted was surprising.
The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan has grown to roughly 20,000, up from 8,000 in the summer of 2002, before the invasion of Iraq. Since then, NATO has added another roughly 19,000, including 6,000 fresh troops who arrived this summer to take over security in the south.
But the exit strategy in Afghanistan is the same as for Iraq, training local forces to take up the fight.
MAJ. GEN. ROBERT DURBAN, U.S. ARMY: It's a similar strategy, and it's the right strategy. It's a strategy where indigenous forces are trained and equipped to have the capability and sufficient capacity to provide for their own security in their nation. And I will tell you the Afghans are doing a superb job.
MCINTYRE: Some critics argue the reason the Taliban is back in force is that the U.S. declared a premature victory and shifted focus to Iraq.
THOMAS RICKS, "WASHINGTON POST": A lot of people in the military were worried about invading Iraq precisely because they thought it would be a diversion from the war on terror, and from especially dealing with al Qaeda.
MCINTYRE: "Washington Post" reporter Tom Rick's is the author of "Fiasco," a best-selling book sharply critical of the Bush administration's military strategy.
RICKS: What I'm hearing out of the military now is a feeling that we are reaping the results of those judgments that kind of took the eye off the ball in Afghanistan and tried to get away with too little there. MCINTYRE: The war in Iraq has cost more than $300 billion. Critics say a fraction of that money spent in Afghanistan would have gone a long way to undercut the Taliban.
(on camera): There has been a subtle shift of strategy in Afghanistan, with less focus on the hunt for Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders and more on reconstruction and providing social services. NATO and U.S. commanders believe that, along with strong local security forces, is the key to winning over the average Afghan.
Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.
CLANCY: The chief prosecutor in the genocide trial of Saddam Hussein demanded Wednesday that the chief judge resign. The prosecutor's office accuses the judge, Abdullah al- Amiri (ph), of being too easy on the former Iraqi president and allowing Hussein to make the courtroom his political podium.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUNGITH AL-FAROON, CHIEF PROSECUTOR (through translator): The prosecutor sees the trial (INAUDIBLE) we have here is in favor of the defendants and biased to the defendants' side. And thus, the prosecutor requests the presiding judge to step down from looking into this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: Well, the judge had his own opinion, saying he treats everyone equally. And he continued the proceedings.
GORANI: Well, up next, we're going to check in on how things are going for the Palestinians as they work to form a unity government.
CLANCY: We're going to move -- will the move to help ease the lives of Palestinians living under economic sanctions work?
GORANI: And international journalists in China feel like big brother is watching them like a hawk.
We'll explain after this.
CLANCY: Hello, and welcome back, everyone. You're watching YOUR WORLD TODAY, where we bring CNN's viewers all around the globe an international perspective on the day's top stories.
One of those important stories is what is going on in the Palestinian territories. Economic sanctions, of course, have been crippling. Public workers haven't been paid in more than three months. And there is now talk of a unity government that might end the siege, so to speak, by Washington and the European Union, and restore some of the hundreds of millions of dollars in aid money that has not been flowing.
But is this unity government going to work so long as Hamas remains in charge and refuses to recognize Israel or previous agreements with the Jewish state?
Let's bring in Paula Hancocks now. She is on with us via broadband from Ramallah, on the West Bank.
Paula, what can you tell us?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, at this point, we know that President Mahmoud Abbas this Wednesday had said that he's asked the prime minister from Hamas, Ismail Haniya, to form a unity government. Now, this would mean that he has suggested Haniya would keep the top job and would stay on as prime minister. But it does also mean that the other top jobs, the likes of foreign minister and finance minister, could be taken by other parties and other factions. And what the Palestinian leaders are hoping is that if they have this national unity government with other parties very much involved in the decision-making as well, then this would lift the international isolation the Palestinian people have been under for about six months now.
Since Hamas won the election, the surprising win for many people, and they took power back in March, there have been hundreds of millions of dollars in direct aid from the EU, from the U.S. that has been held back and has not being given to the Palestinian Authority. And we have been hearing from one U.N. agency report recently that the Palestinian economy is "on the verge of collapse."
So many Palestinians are praying that this unity government is going to make a difference and is going to mean that these international sanctions will be lifted and there will be a chance for money to filter down to those who haven't been paid for six months, some of them -- Jim.
CLANCY: But doesn't -- doesn't this unity government need a reality check? With Ismail Haniya in charge of this government, a member of Hamas, he has already said that they are not going to recognize Israel. He has already said that they are not going to force where violence being used against what he says is the occupation by Israel.
And that event, it's a nonstarter. Israel doesn't recognize them. The tax revenues don't come in. Very unlikely, too, that Washington will go along.
HANCOCKS: Well, that's right. Palestinian sources that we've been talking to say it is very early days. This they see as the only way out of this particular situation, the fact that they will bring this unity government into being.
They say it could be two weeks, it could be three weeks. And then what could happen in the future, we know that the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, of the more moderate Fatah party are willing to meet. They are willing to talk. They have said this publicly. And Hamas itself has said they are happy for Olmert to meet with Abbas himself.
So what people are hoping is that with this unity government, and with more parties involved, that maybe somehow there could be an implicit recognition of Israel. No one's expecting Hamas to stand in front of a camera and say they recognize Israel. That's not going to happen. But maybe implicitly there could be a way around this and a way out of this six months of deadlock -- Jim.
CLANCY: All right. Standing by there in a Ramallah, looking to see if a party platform or if a government platform emerges there, Paula Hancocks.
Thank you -- Hala.
GORANI: The Israeli military says the man in charge of Israel's northern command during the war with Hezbollah has resigned. Major General Udi Adam (ph) has asked -- has been asked to leave his post as soon as possible. And the army accepted his request. Israeli media reported that Adam (ph) had disagreements of the army chief of staff during the war.
CLANCY: Syrian officials are saying this hour that the four men who attacked the embassy in Damascus were Syrian nationals. They say Syrian security teams killed three of the four before they made their way into the embassy compound. The fourth man was wounded. He died later at a hospital.
Now as a precaution, the embassy and its affiliated school are going to remain closed for another day.
GORANI: Now we're going to take a short break.
When we come back, will Apple succeed where others have failed?
CLANCY: Well, the computer giant is confident it can take a nation of iPod addicts to the next level.
Coming up on CNN, Apple's new adventure in bringing Hollywood movies into our homes.
GORANI: And later, Chinese media have long been under government control, of course. Now international news operations are feeling the effects of what some are calling a renewed media crackdown.
Stay with us.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And hello, everyone. I'm Tony Harris at the CNN Center in Atlanta.
More of YOUR WORLD TODAY in just a few minutes. But first, a check of stories making headlines here in the United States.
The war in Iraq and the battle lines on Capitol Hill. A short time ago, Democratic leaders demanded the Bush administration chart a new direction on national security. They joined former military and diplomatic officials from the Clinton and Carter administrations. One specific target, the president's primetime speech marking Monday's anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: A week ago Democratic senators and representatives who are here today wrote to President Bush urging him to work with us to chart a new course in Iraq. Judging by his comments to the nation Monday night, the president isn't interested in working with us. Regrettably, President Bush is still determined to stay the course, even if the course is making America less safe and Iraq, of course, less stable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was among the party leaders to accuse the president's speech of being too partisan. The White House maintains the speech was non-political.
New developments today in the trial of former House majority leader Tom DeLay. The highest criminal appeals court in Texas has agreed to hear an appeal from prosecutors in the case. The prosecution wants to reinstate a conspiracy charge against DeLay.
A grand jury indicted him and two others last year on charges stemming from fund-raising in a 2002 legislative races. A state district court judge threw out one of the two conspiracy charges. And prosecutors want it back.
DeLay has denied any wrongdoing.
New developments reported in the death of Anna Nicole Smith's son. An official in the Bahamas coroner's office tells The Associated Press Daniel Smith's death is "suspicious," and he says an inquiry could lead to criminal charges.
The 20-year-old passed away Sunday. He was found unresponsive in his mom's Nassau hospital room three days after she gave birth to a baby daughter. The coroner says she knows what killed Smith but says she's waiting for final toxicology reports before going public.
A man in military fatigues creates a ruckus on a cross-country flight, and passengers aboard the United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Washington took matters into their own hands. They moved in and subdued the man after he tried to open an exit door.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAOMI RODRIGUEZ, PASSENGER: It happened so quickly. There was a passenger about 6 feet tall. He, like, just jumped on top of him.
I felt like crying because I was thinking of my daughter, but I didn't cry. I was trying to compose myself because I thought, "Just, you know, calm down, it's going to be OK."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: Well, the flight landed as scheduled at Dulles last night. The unruly passenger was taken into custody by federal air marshals.
A big battle raging this hour in southern California. Firefighters are working to try to contain a wildfire north of Los Angeles.
It's threatening to shut down one of the state's busiest freeways. That's Interstate 5. The fire has scorched about 25,000 acres, and right now it's only about a quarter contained.
The blaze broke out Labor Day. Officials say someone burning debris started the fire.
It seems like an appropriate time to get a check of conditions out West and beyond with Reynolds Wolf in the CNN weather center.
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Tony.
WOLF: For now, let's send it right back to you at the news desk.
HARRIS: Reynolds, appreciate it. Thank you.
Now to the shuttle mission. Can we mix -- oh, there we go.
Live pictures right now, NASA TV. And the case with the shuttle now is, well, kind of lost in space. Another bolt went flying today as astronauts are working to put together an addition to the space station lost that bolt. NASA managers said the bolt that popped off yesterday didn't pose any big threat, and they figure it's the same for the one that floated away today.
The Pentagon under fire over the war in Iraq. Next hour, outspoken war critic, Congressman John Murtha, releases a report on military readiness. See it live in the "NEWSROOM."
And a feminist icon and an activist/actress team up. Gloria Steinham and Jane Fonda talk about their new all-women talk radio network. That and more in the "NEWSROOM" in just about half hour's time.
Meantime, YOUR WORLD TODAY continues after a quick break. I'm Tony Harris.
CLANCY: Welcome back to our viewers in the U.S. and around the globe. This is YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Jim Clancy. GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani. Here are the top stories we're following for you this hour.
We start in Iraq and in Baghdad. Some 64 bodies were found dumped in the streets in the past two days. Police say they all appear to be victims of sectarian violence. Police also say 1,500 bodies were delivered to Baghdad's central morgue in August alone. That is the second highest toll of the year.
CLANCY: While a new Palestinian unity government is taking shape, Hamas insists Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas can negotiate with Israel. But it says it will not recognize Israel's right to exist, and that likely means that Israel will not talk to the Palestinians or see economic sanctions lifted.
GORANI: NATO says 173 people have been killed in suicide car bombings since January. Most of the victims are civilian, and many of them are children. It's the first time such figures have been released.
CLANCY: Businesses once outlawed by the Taliban have been returning to Afghanistan. While some people don't like what they see, they also don't want to return to the so-called vice and virtue police.
Anderson Cooper is there.
COOPER: The video is grainy, taken surreptitiously in an illegal Kabul brothel. The women are Chinese prostitutes. The men, Afghans and westerners paying for sex. A brothel in Kabul would have been unthinkable under the oppressive rule of the Taliban.
Now it's one sign of how much things here have changed. In the markets there's music. Once outlawed by the Taliban, CDs are everywhere. You can also buy DVDs. Jean-Claude Van Damme is popular. So is American wrestling.
There are beauty parlors and bridal stores, even a modern mall where 21-year-old Narula (ph) sells perfume.
"Under the Taliban," he says, "I couldn't have had this business. They would have taken all of this from me."
(on camera): Despite democratic reforms and newfound freedoms, Afghanistan remains a very strict Islamic society. And many people here are simply uncomfortable with the pace of social change.
There's widespread corruption, the drug trade is booming and Taliban is on the rise.
Now the government of Hamid Karzai is threatening to crack down. Police are raiding restaurants that are accused of serving alcohol to Afghans. They've arrested dozens of suspected Chinese prostitutes, and now they're threatening to bring back a government ministry which under the Taliban became synonymous with human rights abuses, the so- called Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Discouragement of Vice.
(voice-over): Under the Taliban, the vice and virtue police controlled the streets, enforcing strict, sometimes arbitrary Islamic law. Women could be beaten if their ankles or wrists were visible. Men could be arrested if their beards were too short.
The government minister who'd be in charge of the new Vice and Virtue Department insists the mistakes of the past won't be repeated.
"We wouldn't be punishing anyone," he says. "All we'll do is advise people and show them the right way."
While most Afghans are outraged by the growing corruption and illegal activity, some are afraid the move to police morals will once again go too far.
"The Taliban doesn't have a presence here," she says, "but their mentality is present here. Members of the parliament have a Taliban mentality. Sometimes they're worse than the Taliban."
Malaka Diama Amin (ph) was whipped by the Taliban and worries the few rights Afghan women have won in recent years may now be in jeopardy.
"Women are still scared of intimidation," she says. "They don't feel comfortable when they're outside. Afghan women haven't received 10 percent of their rights."
While the resurgence of the Taliban is not yet a threat to the democratically elected government of Hamid Karzai, it may yet threaten many of the freedoms that have come along with it.
Anderson Cooper, CNN, Kabul.
GORANI: Well, U.S. and NATO troops are hard at work in a counterinsurgency effort over there in Afghanistan. One of their major endeavors is building schools. But as Nic Robertson reports, that makes the schools a prime target for the Taliban.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT (on camera): If you want to see what the Taliban are attacking, just check out the remnants of this school. The U.S. military had just finished helping fund and get it built.
(voice-over): That was several weeks ago, when the class was not in session.
LT. DANIEL GORDON, 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION: Once we heard that actual explosives were placed into it, it just -- just kind of took the wind out of all of our sails because we had high hopes for this place.
ROBERTSON: High hopes because the Army is running a counterinsurgency and that means showing Afghans they're here to help. It's exactly what the Taliban is fighting to stop and they're ratcheting up their campaign.
(on camera): Back down there, there's two classrooms. They haven't been too badly damaged. This is where the major destruction begins. The roof has been blown off, the walls completely blown apart. And this appear to be the spot where the explosives were placed. This crater in the ground here, that's where they were placed. Up there, shrapnel splattered on the freshly painted walls.
(voice-over): The Afghan government says this isn't the only school that's been attacked this year. They say so far 150 have either been attacked or threatened. That's a 70 percent increase over last year, they say.
Soldiers say villagers already offered to help rebuild the school. But ask them who did it, and you can see the Taliban tactics of fear and intimidation are paying off.
GORDON: The villagers haven't said really anything to point it out. You know, they still live in a lot of fear due to the large amount of activities that happen in this area.
ROBERTSON: As we drive towards the nearby town, I see more of the Army's efforts to win the people over.
(on camera): The army is also helping the townspeople build a new road. It's vital to improve the economy and the security. Its classic counterinsurgency techniques, as the Army says, to separate the people from the enemy.
(voice-over): The center of the town running through the bazaar is now paved, courtesy of U.S. tax dollars. Afghan contractors built it and made money. Everyone seems to have made friends. This is how a counterinsurgency is supposed to work.
(on camera): I notice we're walking around, you're not wearing your body armor here, you've taken your helmet off?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes. None of the local people have it on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They feel safe enough to be in here. I'm in their community. I'm secure. If they feel secure, I'm secure.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): According to this traitor, everyone does feel secure and is grateful to the U.S. army. I look for another traitor to ask about the school attack and suicide bombers I'm told operate in the area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you, my friend? ROBERTSON (on camera): Your English is better than mine.
He's very friendly, but will he tell me who's behind the attacks?
God knows better than us, he says. We are scared of them.
Army Translator Asad Ahmadi, an Afghan-American from Glendale, Arizona, has been here two years helping to win the local population over.
Today, handing flyers out, explaining who attacked the school. He understands better than most why people are afraid to talk.
ASAD AHMADI, ARMY TRANSLATOR: The bad guys are here. A lot of people are afraid to do anything about it. They control most of the places around here.
ROBERTSON: With sharp lessons in non-cooperation, it's clear counterinsurgency here is only just beginning and has a long way to go.
Nic Robertson, CNN, close to the Afghan-Pakistan border.
CLANCY: We're going to take a short break here. When we come back, Venezuela's president wanting to sit down with the big boys at the big table at the United Nations.
GORANI: But will he able to achieve that? Easier said than done, it seems. We'll explain.
GORANI: Welcome back. You're with YOUR WORLD TODAY. seen live in more than 200 countries across the globe.
Now we're going to go to this story. China's Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, is visiting Downing Street. Critics there are demanding that Prime Minister Tony Blair challenge Mr. Wen on Beijing's attack on freedom of speech, civil rights activists and the rules of law. Two journalist working for foreign media outlets have recently been jailed in China.
WEN JIABAO, CHINESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The Chinese government will ensure the freedom and rights of the news foreign media and foreign financial information agencies operating in China. And we also hope and trust that these foreign news media and foreign financial information institutions will also observe the Chinese law and regulations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, the official news agency in China, Shin-Hua, announced that rules requiring foreign media to seek approval to distribute news have changed. It says sensors reserve the right to delete forbidden content -- Jim.
CLANCY: All right, turning now to Latin America. Well it's nothing new to say that the president of Venezuela is no friend of the United States, particularly the Bush administration. Hugo Chavez leading a crusade against U.S. dominance of Latin America for the past several years. Just after the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, well, he's added a bit of fuel to the fire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUGO CHAVEZ, VENEZUELAN PRES. (through translator): The hypothesis that is gaining strength, which was said on television last night, and which could soon blow up, was that it was the same U.S. imperial power that planned and carried out this terrible terrorist attack, or act, against its own people and against citizens all over the world. Why? To justify the aggression that was immediately unleashed on Afghanistan, on Iraq and the threat's against all of us, against Venezuela, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, the outspoken Venezuelan president is also pushing to get a seat on the U.N. Security Council. Well, the U.S. isn't thrilled with the idea, and has some ideas of its own, as our Richard Roth tells us.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's the president who is a growing concern of the United States. No, not the Iranian on the right, but the Venezuelan on the left. Hugo Chavez is challenging America on many fronts, but hasn't had many opportunities to directly blunt Washington's global influence. Until now, at the u.n. Venezuela and its president is actively campaigning around the world for a seat on the prestigious United Nation's Security Council. The U.S., to no one's surprise, opposes Venezuela.
JOHN BOLTON, U.S. AMB. TO U.N.: We expect countries, obviously, on the council will speak their minds and nobody expects anything like complete unanimity on our issues. But there's a difference between constructive discussion and unconstructive behavior. And on that basis, we think Venezuela would not be helpful.
ROTH: The Security Council race fits with Chavez's theme of the imperialist America bullying the world.
CHAVEZ (through translator): The United States says Venezuela will not go to the Security Council. And we say Venezuela is going to the security council. We accept this challenge and we open the battle in the world.
ROTH: To stop Chavez's oil-rich Venezuela, the U.S. is strongly supporting the candidacy of smaller Guatemala. This is the room where most U.N. countries wants to be, the Security Council, 15 nations at the seats of world power. But there's only one available chair from the Latin American region up for grabs starting next year. And that's what Venezuela and Guatemala are fighting over.
Venezuela will not have veto power in the council. None of the 10 nonpermanent members do, but can use the form as a platform or to obstruct the U.S. agenda.
Guatemala's ambassador notes his country is a founding member of the U.N., yet has never served on the Security Council.
JORGE SKINNER-KIEE, GUATEMALAN AMB. TO U.N.: The bilateralation (ph) between Venezuela and the United States is something that's poisoned the atmosphere here. This is a multilateral forum and countries should look at who makes a better candidate.
ROTH: Venezuela threw a party at the U.N. Friday night, part of the tradition of lobbyings countries use to win favor in Council elections. The U.S. is flexing its power more behind the scenes to stop Venezuela.
ROY CHADERTON, VENEZUELAN AMB. TO U.N.: They are the ones who are showing the muscle, like the bully on the beach.
ROTH: The race serves as a referendum on U.S. popularity on the world stage. The October 14th vote among the U.N.'s 192 members is by secret ballot. And when the music stops, Venezuela or Guatemala will be without a Security Council chair.
Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.
GORANI: All right, a short break. When we come back, the young man who became an Internet sensation.
CLANCY: He shows you how it's done. You need an electric guitar. We'll explain when we come back.
GORANI: The Web site YouTube keeps making a name for itself with the amazing videos that ordinary people put on it.
CLANCY: (INAUDIBLE) do you see one contribution was by a young classical guitar virtuoso, and it's -- he's developed now until a worldwide phenomenon.
GORANI: Well, that guitarist has simply known as just the gifted young man in a baseball hat.
CLANCY: Well, that's until now. Let's take a soulful look at this in Seoul with Sohn Jie-Ae.
(GUITAR MUSIC) SOHN JIE-AE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mystery began late last year. A young man sat on his bed, recorded himself playing guitar and posted it on a local music site. An unknown fan transferred it to the globally popular video sharing site YouTube. The rest, as they say, is Internet history.
That five-minute video has become one of the site's most popular ever, with about 7.5 million views. Guitar fans were bowled over by what many call the awesome technique of the guitarist, plucking an exceedingly difficult rock arrangement of Johann Pachelbel's Canon. With his face hidden under a baseball cap and light glaring from behind, there was no way to identify the player, who simply called himself Funtwo. Except, that is, for the fine fingers and the intricate notes.
Well, now the mystery is over. A "New York Times" reporter tracked down Funtwo to the South Korean capital of Seoul. And very quickly, 22-year-old Lim Jeong-Hyun became one of the most famous Koreans in the world. Lim's story was plastered all over the South Korean media.
"I was so embarrassed, because all of a sudden I had too many phone calls and too many visitors," he says. Lim first picked up the guitar six years ago and is mostly self-taught. He said he practiced for only three weeks before recording the now famous video.
"If I were to grade my playing, it would only be 50 or 60 points out of 100 at best," he says. Maybe that's Lim he doesn't plan to turn professional. He expects to head back to New Zealand, to continue studying information technology. But who knows what lies ahead for the aspiring computer scientist with such nimble fingers.
Sohn Jie-Ae, CNN, Seoul.
GORANI: Love YouTube. Very entertaining, stuff like that in there as well as other fun stuff. All right.
Well, we are going to talk about something completely different now, a new report.
CLANCY: Says climate change is to blame for what could be detrimental to Latin America's landscape.
GORANI: All right, and that new report is the topic of this week's "Changing Earth" segment with Guillermo Arduino. Hi, Guillermo.
GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. You know, a coalition of environment and charity groups in Britain says now that some of South America's Andean glaciers may disappear in 15 to 25 years. And if true, this new revelation could trigger crises in many Latin America states.
According to a new report by the group, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and other countries would face major consequences if the Andean glaciers continue their rapid retreat. Cities like La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia rely heavily on the glaciers as a source of fresh water, but the agricultural industry and wildlife also depend on glacier water.
The findings were published by the Working Group on Climate Change and Development, the report entitled "Up in Smoke" attributed the glacier loss to climate change, and it notes that snow and rainfall patterns in South America are becoming less predictable.
Since 1980, most of the world's glaciers from the Arctic to the Alps have seen significant reductions. Although a few glaciers in southern Patagonia are increasing in size, almost all near the tropics are in rapid retreat. And again, this is according to a U.K. document just released to the public. Many questions still there -- Hala, Jim.
GORANI: Indeed, many questions. And that's it for this hour of YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Hala Gorani.
CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. This is CNN.
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