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Suicide Bomb Attack Kills Three in Israel; Battle Near Najaf; Iran's Plans; Italian Kidnapping Case May Result in Trial; Sinn Fein Votes to Back Police; International Group Prepares to Issue Global Warming Report

Aired January 29, 2007 - 12:00   ET


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The nine-month lull of suicide bombings inside Israel is over. The latest target, a seaside resort.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Iraqi and U.S. forces are in mop-up mode after a fierce battle in Najaf in which 200 insurgents were reportedly killed.

CLANCY: A Bollywood story with a Hollywood ending. Britain's new queen of reality television fends off "Big Brother" bullies and wins the hearts of the viewing public.

GORANI: And he shoots, he scores. Prince Charles hits the hardwoods and the awards circuit in two big northeastern U.S. cities.

It is 7:00 p.m. in Jerusalem, noon in New York City.

Hello and welcome to our report broadcast around the globe.

I'm Hala gorani.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy.

From Jerusalem, to London, to New York, wherever you're watching, welcome.


GORANI: Well, we begin this hour in Israel, where the Red Sea resort of Eilat is on edge after the first-ever suicide bombing there.

CLANCY: Now, that blast killed three people. It is also the first such attack in all of Israel since April.

GORANI: Two Palestinian militant groups are claiming responsibility for the bombing.

CLANCY: And Hamas is not one of them. A spokesman for the ruling faction calls it a natural response, though, to Israeli actions.

Atika Shubert has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): If the aim was to inflict damage and casualties, this seems an unlikely place for a suicide bombing -- a small bakery in a residential neighborhood of the resort town of Eilat. It is the first suicide attack in Israel in nearly a year.

The blast blew out windows, scattered body parts onto the street. And it was the first suicide attack ever in Eilat, though neighboring tourist centers had been targeted before.

Israeli police say they cannot verify yet who carried this one out.

MIRI EISIN, ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESWOMAN: It's not clear at this stage what the organ of this attack is. Israel is under constant terror attacks and terror threats. We are compelled to be on guard against such attacks.

SHUBERT: But within hours, two Palestinian militant groups had claimed responsibility -- Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Islamic Jihad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This operation is a blessed heroic operation. And it happened at the exact time it needed to happen.

SHUBERT: Lately Palestinian militants had been more preoccupied with fighting amongst themselves. In the last few days, dozens have been killed in the fighting, including two children.

A recent poll showed that most Palestinians feared the territories were falling into civil war. But Palestinians fighting each other does not mean Israelis will see less violence, this Palestinian lawmaker says.

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, PALESTINIAN LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL: It is very clear now that violence, wherever it starts, will eventually spread to affect everybody.


SHUBERT: Islamic Jihad says that the suicide bomber came from Gaza City, traveling through Jordan to get to Eilat. They also say that it was seven months in the planning with the help of a rival group, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. So in this instance, Palestinian militants working together to achieve this grisly goal.

CLANCY: Right now the Palestinians are not yet together in Gaza. The situation there?

SHUBERT: The situation there is still very fluid. Violence continues. Over the last few days, at least 28 people have been killed. Two of them children in factional violence between Fatah and Hamas.

There is tentative dates set for negotiations between the two for coalition government, but these talks have been on and off again. So no word yet on when a coalition government will be formed or when the violence will end -- Jim.

CLANCY: Atika Shubert reporting to us there live from Jerusalem.

Well, the United States says Israel may have violated an agreement with Washington during its war with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. The U.S. State Department saying Israel's use of cluster bombs during the final days of that conflict is likely in violation of a use agreement between the two countries on cluster bombs.

The classified report being sent now to Congress Monday. The United Nations says hundreds of unexploded cluster bombs litter south Lebanon. The bombs were fired into urban and rural areas where Israel says it was targeting Hezbollah guerrillas.

GORANI: Well, U.S. forces are taking the lead in a mop-up operation against a cult militia near the holy city of Najaf. Hundreds of guerrillas were reportedly killed there. Iraqi officials also say the cult leader of the group is among the dead. The gunmen were set to be plotting a massive attack on Shiite religious leaders in the city.

Arwa Damon joins us now live from Baghdad with more on this operation.

What started it and what brought about this -- this result with hundreds of people reportedly killed?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, let's first start off by saying that both U.S. and Iraqi officials had been bracing themselves for some sort of attack against the Shia community here, especially in this religious time. However, it is fair to say that many officials we are speaking to here are quite surprised by the nature of the enemy that they ended up fighting for over 24 hours on Sunday.

Now, what happened was that Iraqi police received a number of tips that armed gunmen were amassing just north of Najaf, with the intent to storm the city to kill Shia pilgrims, clerics, including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, as well as attack Shia holy shrines that are located in that area. Now, they respond to that intelligence, along with the Iraqi army. However, the enemy that they encountered was so fierce and was employing such sophisticated military tactics and weaponry that they ended up having to pull back and call in U.S. ground and air support.

In fact, in the clashes that followed, a U.S. helicopter did crash. The U.S. military confirming that its two servicemen on board were killed. But this was quite an intense firefight that lasted well over 24 hours.

Officials down there telling us that now they're in the final stages of cleaning up -- cleaning out that area of all sorts of gunmen. We are hearing reports of hundreds of gunmen being detained, hundreds more being killed in the fighting.

Now, Iraqi police are identifying them as being members, as you just mentioned, of this messianic Shia cult. Their intent is to try to create more chaos to accelerate the appearance of the Mehdi, whom they believe is their savior -- Hala.

GORANI: Now, this is a Shia cult attacking Shia religious sites with the plan to potentially take out the head -- one clerical head of Shias in Iraq. Why is that? I mean, is the goal just purely religious, or is there some political motive behind it here?

DAMON: Well, Hala, it does appear initially that this is pretty much a religious battle that is taking place. Officials we have spoken to, though, saying that they were quite surprised by the nature of the enemy that they face down there. There have been a number of insurgent groups who many here were expecting to attack at this time. A religious cult was not among one of them.

Now, all indications right now are that this was motivated solely by religion. However, we are hearing reports of them having been joined by foreign fighters, also Sunni extremists from areas of like Falluja and Ramadi -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. We'll continue following this story as we get more information on it.

Arwa Damon, live in Baghdad -- Jim.

CLANCY: Well, Hala, we have the first official confirmation now that Iran wants to play a larger role in Iraq. The plans outlined by Iran's ambassador to Baghdad in an interview with "The New York Times.

Hassan Kazimi Qomi says Iran is ready to offer Iraqi government forces training and equipment, as well as advisers for what he described as their "security fight." He said Tehran is also ready to assume major responsibility for some of the reconstruction in Iraq. Ambassador Qomi said Iran is ready to expand trade by opening the first of four banks shipping kerosene and agricultural products, as well as moving electricity to Iraq.

Now, also in that interview, Ambassador Qomi acknowledged Iranians detained by U.S. forces last week in Iraq are, in his words, security officials. He says they were engaged in legitimate talks, though. The Bush administration says there are limits to what it will tolerate.

Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr explains.


ROBERT GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: If you're in Iraq and trying to kill our troops, then you should consider yourself a target.

STARR (voice-over): That blunt warning from the new defense secretary, singling out Iran's growing involvement in the fighting inside Iraq. The State Department says it wants to unveil classified evidence that proves just that.

SEAN MCCORMACK, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: Where we are in the process is taking a look at the mountain of evidence that we do have.

STARR: Much of that information is already out there if you know where to look. Earlier this month CIA director General Michael Hayden said Iran is shifting weapons into Iraq that are killing U.S. troops.

MICHAEL HAYDEN, CIA DIRECTOR: The EFSs are coming from Iran. They are being used against our forces. They are capable of defeating some of our heaviest armor. And in incident for incident, cause significantly more casualties than any other improvised explosive devices do, and they are provided to Shia militia.

STARR: Hayden is talking about explosively formed projectiles, sophisticated manufactured explosives capable of penetrating even a battle tank. Back in November Hayden bluntly warned that Tehran was stepping up its supply chain to Shia militias inside Iraq.

HAYDEN: The provision of them -- to them to capabilities that have been used against the coalition...


HAYDEN: ... has been quite striking.

STARR: There is more. U.S. officials say in recent raids in Iraq they detained suspected Iranian operatives and found IEDs, rifles, mortar launchers, weapons with Iranian markings, maps, and shipping documents. They also say two suspects were senior members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

And there's further evidence still.

GEN. JOHN ABIZAID, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: It's clear that money is coming in through their intelligence services. Training is probably being conducted inside Iran through various surrogates and proxies.

STARR (on camera): U.S. troops are looking for other signs of Iranian involvement in the insurgency. But the evidence already in hand has played a crucial role in the decision to go public.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


CLANCY: Now, from the raging battle outside Iraq, to the political posturing by Washington and Tehran, what's really at stake? Earlier, we spoke with Juan Cole, professor of modern Middle East history at the University of Michigan, first asking him about that cult that was allegedly aiming to reshape religious and political history.


JUAN COLE, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: The Iranians are coming into Iraq for development aid. They've pledged a billion dollars, there are going to be joint refineries. And the U.S. announcement that it would kill or capture anyone that it thought was an intelligence agent has the potential for roiling relationships between the two.

CLANCY: Now, the U.S., Washington, clearly upset with Iran's nuclear program, but it's important to remember here there's a complete difference between Iran and other countries in the Middle East, and that's say it's not only because it's Shia, and these are Iranians and the other countries are Arabs. It's because if you go to the street in Iran, you will find people that are very supportive of Americans, want good relationships, while leadership is very anti- American.

This is the opposite what you find in other Arab countries. How important is it for Washington to take that into account as they go ahead with what appears to be confrontational policy?

COLE: Well, the Iranian public is very pro-American, and it's one of the few publics in the Middle East, I think, that would reform, if it could, in a way that was friendly to U.S. interests. If the United States goes into a frontal confrontation with Iran, however, it will push the Iranian public away. The Iranians are very nationalistic and they don't want to be dominated by the U.S.

CLANCY: Let's go back and focus though on the situation in Iraq. This short-term troop increase appears to be a last-ditch effort to improve security in the country.

What chance does this mission have and the overall mission in Iraq?

COLE: Well, I think it's very difficult for the United States to establish security in Iraq now. We simply don't have enough troops to do proper counterinsurgency. And the country really is now mobilized politically.

As we have just seen, you know, the Shiite south was considered to be relatively calm. Then out of nowhere you get this millenarian movement that thinks the promised one of Islam is about to come, and invades Najaf, so the country is really in a great deal of chaos. And securing a few neighbors in Baghdad just isn't going to do it.

CLANCY: What would do it? Will anything do it? Does anyone have an answer?

COLE: Well, I think the big Iraqi political leaders, who are usually communal leaders as well, need craft a national pact, a compromise that they can all live with and convince each other to put away their arms. This is the kind of thing that ended the Lebanese civil war in 1989. That's the only thing really that would work in Iraq.

CLANCY: We don't see much leadership there in Baghdad. Often the elected leaders wait until someone form outside the country comes in with these ideas.

Does Iraq have a leadership problem?

COLE: Well, there are big communal leaders -- Abdul Aziz al- Hakim of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Kurdish leaders. The problem is that they're not willing to compromise with one other.

They're pushing for their maximum goals. And I think the U.S. could do the most good by just knocking some heads together and getting them to compromise.


CLANCY: Some advice there for Washington coming from Juan Cole, a professor of modern Middle East history at the University of Michigan.

Hala, back to you.

GORANI: All right. Well, Jim, from tears of frustration to tears of ftriumph, the Bollywood actress bullied in Britain's "Big Brother" house -- how's that for an alliteration -- is now basking in victory. A look at Shilpa Shetty's long, strange trip through the wold of reality TV coming up.


PRINCE CHARLES: I find it rather strange after all these years of being -- of being at the end of a certain amount of abuse. And all I can say is, fame at last.


GORANI: Well, Britain's Prince Charles is now an award-winning prince. The story later on YOUR WORLD TODAY.


CLANCY: Welcome back to CNN International and YOUR WORLD TODAY.

GORANI: Well, we bring CNN's international and our U.S. viewers this hour up to speed on the most important international stories of the day. And some of the stories we're following for you, a suicide bombing in Israel kills three, a doomsday cult takes on U.S. and Iraqi forces in Najaf Iraq.

And the winner is -- we have a victor in Britain's controversial television show "Celebrity Big Brother."

CLANCY: All right. Shilpa Shetty's ordeal inside that "Big Brother" house really sparked a controversy, and it was on two continents.

GORANI: Well, after those nasty charges of racism and bullying, the viewing public rendered its ultimate judgment. And the result, no contest.

CLANCY: Alphonso Van Marsh has the story of Shetty's landslide win.


ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the end, the Bollywood film actress turned reality TV victim endeared a nation of television viewers emerging from the "Big Brother" house victorious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now reveal that the winner of "Celebrity Big Brother" 2007 is Shilpa!


VAN MARSH: By a 63 percent margin, reality TV viewers voted for Shilpa Shetty over her British competitors. Some accused of racially abusing the Indian beauty.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are the winner. Please leave the "Big Brother" house.

VAN MARSH: Shetty says she knew little about the international attention her experience had garnered until she left the "Big Brother" house. Shetty rarely lost her composure when rivals like Jade Goody made fun of Shetty's accent, culture and country.

SHETTY: I just want to put one thing -- address that things happen and people make mistakes and we're all human beings and we're all (INAUDIBLE). And I know one thing for sure, Jade really didn't mean to be racist.

VAN MARSH: The overwhelming vote for Shetty is seen as a slap against racially tinged bullying and against the "Big Brothers" Brits who left along or did little to stop it. Actions that mortified many Britains, including the country's top politicians traveling in India.

GORDON BROWN, BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER: We want nothing to interfere with Britain's reputation as a country of fairness and a country of tolerance.

VAN MARSH: Already a movie star in India, Shetty now has a British agent lining up what could be a multimillion-dollar career here.

MAX CLIFFORD, CELEBRITY PUBLICIST: In the next couple of days we'll be going through an avalanche of stuff which is coming. The idea is to be selective.

VAN MARSH: For Indians who have been following the drama back at home, Shetty's a cultural ambassador done well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Indians rock. And I'm proud of Shilpa being an Indian.

VAN MARSH (on camera): Now that she's out of the house, Shetty is maintaining the high road, refusing to speak ill of her former "Big Brother" tormenters and saying she accepts their apologies. Taking advantage of her newfound celebrity in Britain, Shetty may prove that the path to riches is paved with forgiveness.

Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN, London.


GORANI: Well, we really do live in the age of reality television.

Now, still to come, British Airways staff call off their strike, for now.

CLANCY: And a glut of college graduates. Is China's economy growing too fast?


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.

Two Palestinian militant groups now claiming responsibility for the first suicide bombing in Israel in nine months. Three people were killed in the southern town of Eilat when a man blew himself up in a bakery. Israeli leaders met in emergency session to consider a response. They say the blast jeopardizes a two-month-old truce in Gaza.

GORANI: Iraqi officials say as many as 300 insurgents have been killed in a battle near the city of Najaf. Wire reports say the cult leader of the group is among the dead. The guerrillas were said to be plotting an attack on Shiite religious leaders, as the city prepares for the Shiite holy day of Ashura.

CLANCY: Now to a major development in Northern Ireland's peace process. The IRA-linked Sinn Fein party has agreed to end its decades-old boycott of the police. This is a critical step towards power sharing between Catholics and Protestants.

As Harry Smith reports, it's now up to the pro-British Democratic Unionists to make the next move.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The motion is carried.

HARRY SMITH, ITV NEWS (Voice-over): There were wild celebrations on the floor of the conference hall. Among the party leaders, there was elation and relief. Not only had they carried the day, but they'd won by a bigger margin than anyone had predicted.

GERRY ADAMS, SINN FEIN: And the decision we have taken today is truly historic. But its significance will be on how we use this decision to move our struggle forward. Today, you helped create the potential to change the political landscape on this island forever.

SMITH: But just hours before, the outcome had looked far less certain. As Gerry Adams arrived, there was a sharp reminder how deep Republican emotions run on this divisive issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) free and independent Ireland!

SMITH: Inside the hall, party leaders argued that if they didn't try to control Northern Ireland's police, their enemies would.

MARTIN MCGINNIS, SINN FEIN CHIEF NEGOTIATOR: They want a resounding "No." So let us, at this hour, give them what they fear most -- a resounding Irish Republican "Yes." (Phrase in Gaelic).

SMITH (on camera): This is more than just a watershed for the Republican movement. Today they've thrown down a challenge to their opponents in the north. Pressure will now grow on Ian Paisley's BUP, to say whether they will or will not agree to share power with Sinn Fein.

(Voice-over): Both Tony Blair and the Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahearn, have welcomed the vote. Ian Paisley said it would have no value unless Sinn Fein delivered on its promise.

Harry Smith, ITV News, Dublin.


GORANI: The former head of Italy's intelligence service, facing a possible indictment in the alleged abduction of an Egyptian cleric, said he never participated in any illegal activity. On the opening day of a hearing in Milan, Nicolo Pollari said evidence that would prove his innocence has been excluded from the proceedings.

Alessio Vinci has more on the case that sheds some rare light on the shadowy war on terrorism.


ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Italian prosecutors say Hassan Mostafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was kidnapped in February, 2003, from this street in Milan, near a mosque where he once preached. He was under police surveillance because investigators say he was not just a cleric, but a recruiter of suicide bombers to be sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The kidnapping of Abu Omar was not only a totally illegal act that violated gravely Italian sovereignty, one of the prosecutors said in a statement, but it also was a damaging and counterproductive act in the fight against terrorism.

Court documents obtained by CNN revealed that prosecutors believe 26 Americans, mostly CIA agents, and nine Italians were among those who planned, authorized and executed the snatch. According to the documents, Abu Omar was first driven to the Aviano airbase in northern Italy, and eventually transferred to Egypt, where prosecutors allege he was interrogated.

An operation, prosecutors say, which was carried out with the knowledge and approval of Italy's intelligence leadership. The list of suspects, court documents show, include the former CIA station chiefs in Milan and Rome, and Italy's former spy boss, Nicolo Pollari.

The CIA did not comment on the alleged kidnapping of Abu Omar, but U.S. officials have acknowledged the secret transfer of terrorism suspects to third countries. However, they denied those individuals have been subject to torture.

If the case goes to trial, prosecutors plan to introduce as evidence an 11-page statement from Abu Omar, allegedly smuggled out of prison, in which the suspect says he was tortured with electrical shocks and threatened with sexual abuse.

None of the Americans are in Italy anymore. They would face arrest, if they returned. After the first hearing, the lawyer for the former CIA station chief in Milan withdrew from the case, saying her client disputed the right of the court to try him, suggesting the matter should be settled among governments.

DARIA PESCE, DEFENSE LAWYER: I'm a lawyer and I'm a defendant, so I can defend just in front of an authority that is judicial (ph). I'm not a political diplomat. That's why I withdraw.

VINCI: Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's prime minister at the time of the alleged kidnapping, has denied knowledge of the operation. And the current government, led by Romano Prodi, has yet to decide whether to forward prosecutors' request to extradite the American suspects, and has classified documents related to this case.

(On camera): The U.S. is not expected to hand over its CIA agents, and so if the case goes to trial, they would be tried in absentia.

Meanwhile, the former Italian spy chief says that if he is put on trial, he will call on past and present government officials, including the current and past Italian Prime Ministers, to testify as witnesses.

Alessio Vinci, CNN, Rome.

CLANCY: All right. There are some of the major stories in Europe this day. Let's take a look at Africa, other stories from the Middle East, as well as in China.

GORANI: We begin in Ethiopia, at an African Union summit there. Sudan has lost out to Ghana in its bid to assume the body's leadership. African leaders snubbed Sudan's president for a second time because of the continuing violence in Darfur. Omar Al-Bashir is opposed to U.N. peacekeepers taking over from AU troops.

CLANCY: The International Criminal Court has ruled there is enough evidence against a Congolese militia leader to proceed with a war crimes trial. The case against Thomas Lubanga would be the court's very first. Among those charges: recruiting child soldiers. Prosecutors say Lubanga trained children as young as ten to kill members of a rival ethnic group.

GORANI: Shiite Muslims are preparing for the holy day of Ashura. It is the high point of their religious calendar, marking the death of Mohammed's grandson in the year 680. Security forces are on alert for any sectarian violence that might erupt during Tuesday's services.

CLANCY: We all know the Chinese economy is booming now. It posted a better-than-10-percent -- that's right, 10 percent -- gain over last year.

GORANI: Yes, European countries dream of that kind of growth rate. But as with all forms of growth, there comes a certain amount of pain. And as Lindsey Hilsum explains, some of that is now falling on college graduates hoping to find a brighter future.


LINDSEY HILSUM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Too many students, not enough jobs. In the last seven years, the number of graduates has quadrupled in Beijing alone. No wonder the job fair is a bit overwhelming.

HUO JIAN GUO "MIKE", JOB SEEKER: I think there's so many people in the crowd. At the very beginning, I even wanted to get out. You know, but I think -- I've been here before, but I have never seen so many people here.

HILSUM: This is one of dozens of job fairs being held in the capital now. Huo Jian Guo calls himself Mike. He's looking for a job in sales, even though his degree is in electronic information.

The requirements are spelled out. Men must be tall, women good looking. But Mike has his own hurdles. In China, selling involves a lot of serious drinking with clients.


HILSUM: "I can drink little," he says when asked. "Three or four beers."

"I don't care how much beer you can drink," she replies. "I'm talking about hard liquor."


HILSUM: Oh, dear. Mike says he can't take that much.

In the afternoon, Mike goes for a job with a mobile phone distributor. This is the third round of interviews.

(on camera): I think Mike's got a good chance. He's been to a reputable university and he speaks English, which is a big plus. But not many of the five million Chinese students who are going to graduate in the next few months have got those advantages. The Chinese economy is out of kilter with the education system. There just aren't enough jobs being created for that many people with degrees.

(voice-over): Mike's parents live in a flat in Tinjin (ph), two hours drive from Beijing. He's their only child, in line with government policy.

The insecurity of modern China baffles them. In their day, everyone was assigned a job for life by the state, what used to be called the Iron Rice Bowl.

HUO YAREN, MIKE'S FATHER (translated): In our time, we had no dreams. We all belonged to one state-owned work unit. There were no choices, no flexibility.

HILSUM: Mike shows me the market by his parents' flat. He says his dream is to run his own company. The job search is just a start.

JIAN GUO: For the younger people, we better have hope in life to have our own dreams. If not, life is just meaningless, you know.

HILSUM: This is the new China, where everyone dares to dream. The reality is harsh and there's no safety net for those who fall.

Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 News, Beijing.


GORANI: Well, the evidence seems to grow with each passing day. The earth is getting warmer.

CLANCY: And now scientists responsible for collecting that evidence putting in a long awaited report.

GORANI: And coming up on YOUR WORLD TODAY, a preview of that report, and a live interview with an expert in the field of climate change. How worried should we be?

Stay with us.


GORANI: Welcome back to YOUR WORLD TODAY, everyone.

We turn now to global climate change and the environmental threat that it potentially poses. Hundreds of top scientists from around the world are working this week on finalizing a major report to be released on Friday. This week the assessment by the Inter- Governmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to give grim warnings of rising temperatures and sea levels worldwide.


KENNETH DENMAN, SCIENTIST: We're hoping that it will convince people that it's -- you know, that climate change is real and that we have a responsibility for much of it, and that we really do have to make changes in how we live.


GORANI: Well, scientists in recent years have documented a retreat of the Arctic Sea, the virtual collapse in some mountain glaciers around the world. A draft of the new report projects temperatures will continue to rise this century and warns of more heat waves, floods and droughts linked to greenhouse gases.

Just today we heard a tangible example what climate change could mean for one of the world's most populous countries. Indonesia said it fears it could lose about two thousand of its islands by the year 2030 to rising sea levels.

All right, for more now on the global impact of climate change and what we can do about it and whether or not perhaps we're exaggerating the potential impact of warmer temperatures, Christopher Field joins us. He's the director of the Carnegie Institute Department of Global Ecology in Stanford, California.

Mr. Field, thanks for being with us.

So, should we be worried, or is the gradual increase in global temperature something humanity should be able to deal with?

CHRISTOPHER FIELD, CARNEGIE INSTITUTION: I think we should be worried. One way to think about rising temperatures is that currently is as if we're standing in a swimming pool with the water up to our chest. When the temperature rises, now the water is up to our chin or our nose, and every little wave is going to mean that it's over our head, that we're really suffering damaging impacts from high temperatures.

GORANI: Now, how many degrees, whether it's Celsius or Fahrenheit, have world temperatures increased in the past 100 years? And is that pace accelerating? Can we measure that?

FIELD: Absolutely. Over the last 100 years, there's no doubt that the globe is approximately one degree Fahrenheit warmer than it was 100 years ago. And there's also no doubt that all of the warmest years on record have been in the last 15 years.

GORANI: One degree Fahrenheit, though, doesn't sound like a lot.

Why is it a lot in scientific terms?

FIELD: The earth tends to oscillate around a temperature that's relatively uniform. And it doesn't take very large amounts of warming to make a very different climbing -- climate. One of the best ways to think about this is during the last Ice Age, when the temperatures were about 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than now, there was a mile of ice on the northern U.S.

GORANI: Now, we have reports coming out, scientists around the world warning that the impact of these higher temperatures could be devastating for humankind. But yet, you know, we still see people driving their SUVs, CO2 levels -- very high levels, of course, around the world. What needs to be done to change minds, in your opinion as a scientist?

FIELD: I think it's important that people connect the evidence we're seeing with their own actions. Examples like in the very hot summer in Europe in 2005, there were over 30,000 extra deaths due to the extra warming. People need to understand that that's the kind of phenomenon that we're going to see more and more as the earth's temperature continues to warm.

GORANI: Now, I have to ask you about this particular winter. And I'm wondering, scientifically seeking, we can't really say, "OK, the winter of 06/07 was warmer, therefore, you know, we're all going to die in 20 years."

I mean, but you do see plants -- for instance, in my garden I have daffodils popping out of my garden in the middle January and I've never seen that before.

FIELD: Absolutely. And what you said is correct, that we can never attribute any single event, any weather epic, any single day to global warming.

But what happens as the climate warms is that we see more and more of these unusually hot periods, whether that's heat spells that are causing deaths, whether it's droughts or whether it's early blooming of daffodils.

GORANI: Now, looking towards the future, again as a scientist, projecting what needs to be done, but also what needs to be done to adapt, perhaps, human beings around the world not reducing their consumption of CO2, or of the kind of energy sources that produce CO2 gases. How can we adapt to higher temperatures? Can we do that?

FIELD: I think almost everyone feels like the solutions to the global warming challenge have to involve five components. One is adapting, getting changes in processes and in lifestyles that let us deal with higher temperatures. But there are other things we can do to actually minimize the amount of warming. And that includes at least four kinds of strategies -- conservation, making do with less sometimes; efficiency, figuring out how to do more with less; developing new technologies, technologies like wind and solar power and carbon storage and sequestration.

With all of those in place, we can hope to minimize the impacts of global warming.

GORANI: All right. Thank you very much, Christopher Field, director of the Carnegie Institution Department of Global Ecology. Thanks for being with us on YOUR WORLD TODAY.

FIELD: Thank you, my pleasure.

GORANI: By the way, there's a lot more about this on our website. Go to and click on "Changing Earth" to learn more about why it's happening and what we have to worry about.

YOUR WORLD TODAY returns after a short break.


CLANCY: Shooting hoops, getting hit and a miss, and also checking out the city where the colonists declared independence from Britain.

GORANI: Prince Charles and wife Camilla packed in a lot during their whirlwind U.S. visit. The British heir even picked up an environmental award.

CLANCY: But then back at home, some people thought that was a little bit hypocritical.

Alina Cho explains.


AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... to ask you to come forward and to accept this award as the Tenth Anniversary Global Environmental Citizen.



ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former Vice President Al Gore presented Prince Charles with a special honor for his efforts to protect the environment.

PRINCE CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: I can't tell you how touched and grateful I am for these extraordinarily flattering words that have been said about me. I find it rather strange after all of these years after being at the end of a certain amount of abuse. And all I can say is fame at last. It's rather encouraging.

CHO: It capped a whirlwind weekend for Charles and his wife Camilla. Earlier Sunday they visited a charter school in Harlem where they watched a group of middle school students pick stocks and perform a scene from Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream.

The prince decided to join the kids for basketball practice. He threw up a royal brick before banking one in.

Their trip has focused on education, urban renewal and the environment. While Charles has won praise for environmentalists, he's been criticized at home. There was a royal row over the so-called Green Prince flying to the U.S. in a private jet. In response, the couple flew commercial to Philadelphia. It was their first-ever trip to the city where Americans declared their independence from British rule, and their presence excited even some of the littlest Royal watchers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know he's the son of Queen Elizabeth II and he's the oldest of them all. I think he might be king one day.

CHO: Alina Cho, CNN, New York.


GORANI: Well, that's it for this hour of YOUR WORLD TODAY.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy, I think.

GORANI: And I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN.

The news continues.

CLANCY: See you tomorrow.