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Your World Today

Riots in Rome; Fuel Oil Oozing From Crippled Tanker in Black Sea; Memorial Rally for Yasser Arafat Turns Into Chaos; Musharraf's Plans Draw Mixed Reactions

Aired November 12, 2007 - 12:00   ET


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: An accidental police shooting triggers violence. Angry soccer fans releasing their rage in riots across Italy.
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A day of tribute ends in tragedy. Gunfire turns a memorial rally for late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat into chaos.

CLANCY: Barred from leading a march. Pakistan's government takes more measures to opposition leader Benazir Bhutto from a rally.

SESAY: And a monarch's words reverberate around the world. The king of Spain tells Venezuela's leader to shut up at the Ibero- American Summit.

CLANCY: It's 2:00 p.m. right now in Santiago, Chile, 6:00 in the evening in Rome, Italy.

Hello and welcome to our report seen around the globe.

I'm Jim Clancy.

SESAY: I'm Isha Sesay.

From Cape Town to Caracas, Madrid to Miami, where you're watching, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.

CLANCY: Police are calling it a tragic error, but facing up to the fact that it touched off riots that shocked the nation and triggered soul-searching about a problem that has tainted European football for some time, fan violence. The riots broke out all across Italy after a policeman accidentally shot and killed a fan while he was trying to break up a scuffle. Four people have been detained in connection with the violence, while the officer could face manslaughter charges.

More from our Rome bureau chief, Alessio Vinci.


ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF (voice over): Friends of Gabriel Sandri (ph) gathered outside his home the day after he was killed by a police officer. Some brought flowers, others offered each other comfort after another death has plunged Italian football once again into turmoil. "The first thing I did was to call his cell phone," says this friend. "When there was no answer, I called someone I knew was with him on the way to the game." He broke out in tears and told me Gabriel (ph) was dead.

The 26-year-old Sandri (ph) was killed by a police officer who fired shots in the air, trying to stop a brawl between soccer fans at this gas station. The officer says it was an accident, and police officials called the death a tragic mistake.

But news of the shooting spread, and soccer fans, already gathered in stadiums throughout the country, turned on police. In the northern town of Bergamo, a game had to be suspended. And in Rome, hundreds clashed with the police into the night, attacking police stations and the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee.

PATRICK AGNEW, ITALIAN SOCCER WRITER: Their actions showed that there is all across Italian football, north, south, east and west, there are factions of the hard-line fans, the so-called ultra, who, really, their relations with police are very bad, and they're almost looking for an excuse to pick a fight. And, yes, this killing, unfortunately, it gave them just that excuse.

VINCI: This is the second football-related death in Italy this year. Tough security measures were introduced at stadiums after a police officer was killed in rioting in February, but it may not be enough.

AGNEW: A lot of the clubs have maintained a very ambiguous relationship with the ultras, because ultras travel to an away match, and the club wants fans to go to an away match to support them when they're playing away from home. And in return for that sort of support, so the ultras have -- some of the ultras have practically held the clubs to ransom, earned themselves positions of power by (INAUDIBLE), by our merchandising the club's goods for things that really shouldn't happen.

VINCI (on camera): Police carried out several arrests following the clashes here in Rome. And to show that they are serious about fighting soccer violence, they are not ruling out the possibility to charge those individuals with terrorism, resulting in longer jail sentences.

Alessio Vinci, CNN, Rome.


SESAY: Now a part of the Black Sea is indeed black today, with fuel oil oozing from a crippled tanker. The ship was one of five that broke up in a fierce storm over the weekend.

The accident couldn't of happened in a worse place. The Kerch Strait is a busy waterway connecting the Caspian and Black seas.

Damon Green has more on the efforts to contain the oil before it can spread any further. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAMON GREEN, REPORTER, ITV NEWS (voice over): It's the worst storm in years and forecasters say it's only just begun. This just one of around a dozen ships run aground or sun, on the Black Sea coast by huge waves whose power no vessel could escape.

The crew of this freighter carrying agricultural equipment, lucky to escape with their lives. But many others haven't been so fortunate.

The word from Moscow is that as many as 17 ships are still fighting for their lives in the waters between Russia and Ukraine, with more storms still due to break. This sailor, one of just two survivors picked up from the wreck of a freighter bound for Syria. He showed his rescuers how many crew had been on board. The others have been lost.

One of the sunken vessels was a fuel tanker which broke up in the heavy seas, spilling at least 2,000 tons of oil into the narrow straits of Kerch. In places where the storm has died down, the cost of that wreck is just starting to become clear.

Overwintering sea birds condemned to die from the pollution thrown up on the shore. And with some forecasts predicting that the storm will continue in the Black Sea for another three days, many fear that the danger to human and to animal life is far from over.

Damon Green, ITV News.


CLANCY: We have another story for you here on YOUR WORLD TODAY, a story that takes us back in time to when Cambodia's countryside was known as "The Killing Fields."

More than 1.5 million human beings were killed by execution, starvation or succumbed to disease, and now two more members of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime blamed for those atrocities in the 1970s are in custody.

Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith were arrested Monday by a U.N.-backed tribunal on genocide. They face charges of crimes against humanity. And Ieng Sary also is charged with war crimes.

He is the former foreign minister of the Khmer Rouge and a brother-in-law of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot. His wife served as social affairs minister. The couple, now both in their mid-70s, eventually defected, earning them some limited amnesty.

SESAY: We want to take you to the Middle East now, and a deadly gun fight in Gaza City. At least seven people were killed when Hamas security forces and Fatah gunmen exchanged fire during a memorial for late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. It was the largest Fatah rally since Hamas took control of Gaza back in June.

Our Atika Shubert has more.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It started as a celebration and a show of force, tens of thousands on Gaza City streets to remember Yasser Arafat, father of the Palestinian national movement. But it quickly turned deadly.

Gunmen opened fire. The crowd fled for their lives. But not everyone escaped.

It's not clear what sparked the violence, but the rally was charged from the beginning, an unmistakable showdown between the flag- waving supporters Fatah, the group Arafat led and now controls the Palestinian Authority, and the uniformed forces of the Islamic militant group Hamas. Hamas accuses Fatah gunmen of hiding in the crowd, inciting violence.

"For the last two days, Fatah members have provoked the police," this Hamas spokesman said. "We did all we could to honor the blood of Yasser Arafat. What happened today was an attack on the principles and the honor of the late president," he said.

Fatah officials put the blame on Hamas.

HAZEM ABU SHANAB, FATAH OFFICIAL: The shooting against the Fatah supporters is something very, very bad that we are looking for. We think that Hamas should stop their actions against the Palestinians and against the Fatah supporters. We want everyone to get back to the unity.

SHUBERT: Clashes between Hamas and Fatah have been a recurring nightmare for Gaza. In June, Hamas violently ousted Fatah from the Gaza Strip and took control of the territory. Hamas continues to call for the destruction of Israel, so when the group took over Gaza, Israel sealed its borders, plunging the already stricken territory even further into economic despair.

Resentment against Hamas has been steadily building among many in Gaza. Monday's rally was the largest expression of that anger to date. Hamas forces cleared the streets with gunfire, tear gas and wooden batons. Within hours they had reasserted control, but for how long?

Atika Shubert, CNN, Jerusalem.


CLANCY: A scare for Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel. Take a look at this, a man lunging at Ms. Merkel as she walked with French president Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin.

The leaders were leaving a school. They had been discussing integration there. Security guards, of course, immediately overpowered the man. Witnesses say he shouted comments about Germany being a police state. SESAY: Ahead on YOUR WORLD TODAY, an update on Pakistan's political chaos.

CLANCY: Just a day before a planned protest march, there's word of new restrictions on this woman, Benazir Bhutto.

We'll have the latest.

SESAY: A large plume of black fills the skies above London, setting of a wave of panic.

CLANCY: And royal rebuke. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez isn't turning the other cheek after the Spanish king tells him to shut up.


CLANCY: Hello, everyone, and welcome back to CNN International and YOUR WORLD TODAY.

SESAY: A special welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States this hour.

Now, Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto will not be allowed to lead a motorcade protest against a military government state of emergency. That's according to a government spokesman who says any procession or meeting would be breaking the law. Official sources also tell CNN that Bhutto is now under tighter security because she may be the target of a suicide bomber.

For her part, Bhutto says she will go ahead with the protest even if police try to stop her. The former prime minister says she's done with power-sharing talks with President Pervez Musharraf.

The general said parliamentary elections will be held by January, but his emergency rule, along with wider military arrest powers, will remain in effect, and there's no word as yet on when that will be lifted.

CLANCY: General Musharraf's plans getting some mixed reviews outside his country. From Britain we have this -- some serious doubts this vote is going to be free and fair. From the U.S. side, Washington has big concerns over the pace of the change.

As Dan Rivers reports, it's getting more difficult for the Pakistani people themselves to follow it all.


DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): GEO TV is literally on the front line of a media war in Pakistan. In March, their newsroom was raided by police. According to the station, part of a concerted government campaign to silence this privately owned, independent news channel.

The most recent raid was just three days ago. Police looking for satellite equipment to stop one of Pakistan's best-known anchors from broadcasting his show.

HAMID MIR, JOURNALIST: One government minister told me just a few days ago that, "Mr. Mir, please behave. Otherwise you can be killed in a small road accident."

RIVERS: A government spokesman told CNN he was unaware of any such threats. Still, Hamid Mir goes to extraordinary lengths to get his show on air.

MIR: We go from a secret location from where we have set up our satellite system. And then we transfer our recorded program to our Dubai office. And then from Dubai, it is aired all over the world.

And I am also changing my sleeping place every night. I'm not sleeping at my home.

RIVERS: The show must go on, even though it's being taped in a safe house. Most Pakistanis can't see it. Cable transmission has been blocked by the government. This show was taped with opposition politician Imran Khan, who's in hiding.

Hamid Mir is used to taking risks. He was one of the first journalists into the remote Swat Valley after insurgents took control of some areas last month. And he managed to get an interview with Osama bin Laden after 9/11. Now he's taking a risk just visiting his own newsroom.

MIR: This is the assignment desk.

RIVERS: Conscious that that at any moment the police could burst through the door.

(on camera): Journalists like Hamid Mir are not only challenging emergency law in their broadcast, they're bringing their defiance out onto the streets. The black flags to mourn the end of freedom of speech.

(voice over): Hamid Mir has united rival anchors, writers and academics in his defense of independent journalism. Successive governments have tried and failed to silence him.

MIR: When Benazir Bhutto started fighting with media, her government was finished. When Nawaz Sharif started fighting with media, his government was also finished. Now it is Pervez Musharraf who is fighting with media like enemy, and I think his days are numbered.

RIVERS: And Hamid Mir is determined he'll be there to report it, even if he has to abandon his studio for a secret location.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Islamabad.


CLANCY: All right. Coming up in just a few minutes, we are going to bring in a guest for a view of what the United States should do, what can it do, and why President Musharraf is having so many problems trying to get all this under control.

SESAY: Indeed. And we'll have a check of U.S. headlines. That's up next for viewers in the United States.

CLANCY: For everyone else, an update of the financial news.

And then a bit later...

SESAY: Finnish police believe a school shooter there may have had links to another troubled teen in America.




SESAY: Welcome back to our viewers joining us from around the globe, including the United States this hour.


I'm Isha Sesay.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy, and these are some of the top stories we are following this hour.


CLANCY: Well, San Francisco, of course, known as a hotbed of environmental activism. So you can imagine how people there have reacted after a tanker slammed into the Bay Bridge and spilled its contents of fuel oil into San Francisco Bay.

SESAY: And as Vince Gonzales tells us, it didn't take long for California's elected officials to get into the act.


VINCE GONZALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Federal officials have taken over the investigation of the 58,000-gallon San Francisco oil spill and say early indications are it was caused by human error, not mechanical failure as originally thought. Senator Dianne Feinstein says there is no excuse for the ship hitting a support tower of the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: This is an incident, in my view, which should not have happened.

GONZALES: While the investigation continues, officials say saving the bay is the priority.

REAR ADM. CRAIG BONE, U.S. COAST GUARD: We have to move beyond the incident and the fact that it occurred and moved forward into the response. GONZALES: As part of that response, special teams and scores of volunteers have been working hard to contain the spill and protect wildlife. Birds have been affected the most so far. Volunteers have been collecting them and bringing them to cleaning centers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just drove in about seven or eight birds. And I'm going to go back and get some more.

GONZALES: At this center the birds are examined, cleaned and fed. Once they get a clean bill of health, they will be returned to the bay, where hopefully they will avoid the oil.

California's governor declared a state of emergency in the spill zone.

GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: The cleaning up of the beaches have to be taken care of. This could have an affect on tourism and all kinds of other things. So we want to make sure that everyone works together.

GONZALES: The spill has already affected the local economy. The swimming portion of a planned triathlon was canceled. So was the local sports fishing season. Local crab season has been delayed indefinitely.

Vince Gonzales, for CNN in Los Angeles.


CLANCY: Now just how big a threat are oil spills worldwide?

SESAY: Here's what you need to know. Spills from ships account for about 15 percent of the oil entering the world's oceans each year. Spills from pipelines and ground-based facilities are actually a much larger menace. They're responsible for about two thirds of all oil spills annually.

CLANCY: Now, you ask the most expensive oil spill ever? That's easy, the 1989 Exxon Valdez. It spilled some 34,000 tons of crude oil in Alaska. It's estimated to have cost $9.5 billion.

SESAY: Well, that may be the most expensive but the biggest spill in history came during the 1991 gulf war, when Iraq deliberately released about 800,000 tons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf.

Now authorities in Finland have detained a 16-year-old boy after he allegedly posted a video on the internet threatening a school. This just days after an 18-year-old student opened fire at another Finnish high school, killing eight people before fatally shooting himself. The detained teenager told police the video he posted was a joke and that he had no intention of carrying out the massacre.

CLANCY: And, Isha, there may be a relationship between at least a loose one between a boy there in Finland and a boy in the United States. People in Finland still on edge about the school shooting, now learning more about the suspect, his possible connection to another troubled teen in the United States. Our Jim Acosta is on that story.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Before he gunned down eight people at a Finland school, and before he left this cryptic Youtube warning of his campus attack, Finnish authorities suspect Pekka Eric Auvinen (ph) was a visitor to this Myspace page glorifying the Columbine massacre. It was there investigators in Finland say where Auvinen may have chatted with a 14-year-old Pennsylvania boy named Dillon Cossey who police say planned his own school shooting outside Philadelphia last month.

BRUCE CASTOR, MONTGOMERY CO. DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It's very sketchy. The Finnish authorities have said that there might be this connection but they don't cite what makes them think that.

ACOSTA: The district attorney handling Cossey's case says he just learned of the alleged connection in an article that appeared in "The Times of London" newspaper. The story quotes Finnish authorities saying the Pennsylvania teen may have used a previously unknown screen name, shadow19462 to visit that Myspace page dedicated to Columbine killers Dillon Clebold and Eric Harris.

CASTOR: We have a special unit of forensic detectives that deal with just computer cases and I asked them to tear down the computer and check for this other screen name.

J. DAVID FARRELL, COSSEY'S ATTORNEY: Knowing my client as I've gotten to know him I would be very surprised if he were engaged in any true planning or encouraging behavior to an individual in Finland who was planning some sort of school attack.

CASTOR: Cossey's attorney says any connection between his client and the Finland school shooter should serve as a wake-up call to parents that troubled teens my be socializing on websites that lionize campus killers.

CASTOR: Surely it's disturbing that online there is this hero worship of two killers.

ACOSTA: Is that poisoning the minds of some of these kids out there?

CASTOR: I would say it -- it reinforces their alienation and feeds into their violent fantasies, absolutely, it's poisoning them.

ACOSTA: Finnish authorities caution they have yet to definitively link the two teens, saying, "We are not in a state to confirm anything at this moment." If there is a connection, it raises the prospect that authorities could prevent the school shootings of the future by scouring the websites dedicated to campus killings from the past. Jim Acosta, CNN, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.


SESAY: Well, skies over London were darkened for several hours as an ominous black plume of smoke rose over the city. More than a dozen fire engines and two ambulances rushed to the scene of the fire in an area being redeveloped for the 2012 summer Olympics. Cal Perry tells us what we need to know and what we do know about the blaze so far.


CAL PERRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On a clear, sunny day in London, enormous smoke rises from a warehouse fire, engulfing almost half the city. From an eastern London industrial area, the smoke moved west, all the way to canary wharf, the famous financial district. People reporting ash falling from the sky. Police, fire brigades and choppers converged on the scene shortly after the fire was first reported, just after noon. Large barricades were set up, streets shut down. Some 75 firefighters battled the blaze, appearing to bring it under control within just a few hours. Metro police also deployed special hazard units, concerned about possible chemicals in the smoke. The area where the fire started has been picked as the future site of the 2012 Olympic Games. Construction and redevelopment in the area are already under way. Authorities say there are no reports of casualties, perhaps because the area is relatively abandoned.

(On camera): Within just an hour of the first reports coming in of the fire, Scotland Yard said it was not caused by terrorism, a relief to everyone in London who looked out their windows and saw unimaginable smoke over their city. Cal Perry, CNN, London.


SESAY: It was a real dramatic scene when that smoke started billowing over London this day.

CLANCY: Choking smoke.

SESAY: Yes, thankfully, no terrorism involved and it seems as if the situation is under control.

CLANCY: No injuries?

SESAY: No injuries.

Ok, Iraq is putting intense pressure on private contractors.

CLANCY: That's right. Ahead right here on YOUR WORLD TODAY, the rules, they're trying to change them in Baghdad to take away immunity from prosecution of private security firms like Blackwater.

SESAY: Also ahead, an international diplomatic rift rarely seen in public. When Venezuela's president verbally attacked Spain, the Spanish king forgot his royal restraints.


CLANCY: Hello everyone and welcome back. You're watching YOUR WORLD TODAY right here on CNN International. SESAY: We are seen live in more than the 200 countries and territories right across the globe.

Now, Broadway, the heart of New York City was more than half dark this weekend so if you are planning on heading out to catch a show, coming from abroad to spend those euros, well it's not looking good because a strike by theater stagehands forced performances of many hit shows to be canceled.

CLANCY: First it was the writers now it's the stagehands. They walked out on Saturday, their union says the action is all about a proposed change, they say, would hurt their livelihoods and, therefore, hurt their families. But they also hope the public will understand.


JAMES CLAFFEY, JR., THEATER EMPLOYEES' UNION: We truly regret that there is no show. Theater owners and producers are demanding a 38 percent cut in our jobs and wages. They have built a $20 million fund to be used against us in the sale of theater tickets to the public. Broadway is a billion dollar a year industry and has never been more profitable than now. Cuts in our jobs and wages will never result in a cut in ticket prices to benefit the public, but only an increase in the profits for producers.


CLANCY: All right. You travel halfway around the world, you came in, you should know that not every Broadway show is shut down. There are still some eight shows up and running and all off-Broadway shows remain open. You can go to Radio City Music Hall, we're optimists among us. You can also buy future tickets to the 28 productions that have been shut down. In fact we just looked online and we found two orchestra seats for tomorrow's performance of the usually sold-out "Wicked" though that may be a bit too optimistic.

SESAY: Maybe just a little bit optimistic.

CLANCY: Wickedly so.

SESAY: Oh you did it.

British singer Amy Winehouse is no stranger to trouble but this time she says she's not the one in trouble with the law, her husband is. As Winehouse looked on tearfully from the gallery, her husband Blake (INAUDIBLE) was ordered held in custody until November 23rd. He's accused along with four other men of assaulting a bar man last June.

CLANCY: Let's talk politics. There are two months left before the first presidential primary in the United States. There's a new poll out. It shows who's leading the pack up there in New Hampshire, the site of that first primary. According to a Maris College opinion poll of voters in the state, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney leads all the Republicans with 33 percent. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has 22 percent. He's followed by Arizona Senator John McCain with 13 percent. Let's look over at the Democratic side. Barack Obama closing the gap with front-runner Hillary Clinton. She leads with 36 percent to Obama's 25. Still a long way to go but that's down from a 40 to 20 percent difference just last month. Isha?

SESAY: Staying with Senator Clinton, at least one of her rivals is comparing her campaign with the tactics of President George W. Bush. "The New York Times" has reported Clinton aides encouraged audience members to ask specific questions at two events in Iowa earlier this year. Senator John Edwards told the Iowa newspaper "Des Moines Register" that Clinton's campaign is -- get this, Jim -- acting like Mr. Bush's because the president's camp has favored prescreened questions and even excluded people from events. Clinton says the incident was news to her and that it won't happen again.

Well, next up in our America Votes 2008 coverage, the CNN Nevada Democratic presidential debate, Wolf Blitzer hosts this round of political sparring among democratic presidential hopefuls. You can see it right here live from Las Vegas this coming Thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. For international viewers, that's Friday, November 16th at 01:00 GMT. You won't want to miss it.

CLANCY: Let's turn now to what is probably the number one story today in Iraq. Private contractors working there have been under fire for killing innocent civilians, no doubt about that. Now it seems Iraqi lawmakers have had enough. Parliament getting ready to debate a controversial new law that would lift the contractors' immunity from Iraqi law and Iraqi courts. Fredrik Pleitgen is there.


FREDRIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The air is getting thinner for foreign security companies operating in Iraq. Iraq's interior minister tells CNN private security firms must comply with Iraqi law or get kicked out.

JAWAD AL-BOLANI, IRAQI INTERIOR MINISTER: The way these companies currently operate will not continue, Jawad al-Bolani told us.

PLEITGEN: Iraq's government issued a memo to foreign security companies warning them, "The immunity from Iraqi law the contractors currently enjoy will end soon." Parliament could debate a new draft law as early as this week. That means private security convoys would have to stop at Iraqi police checkpoints, allow their vehicles to be searched and their employees could even be arrested by Iraqi officers. In a rare tour of the ministry's national command center, General Abdul Kareem Kalaf (ph) tells me he will enforce the new rules even if it means confronting the heavily armed security contractors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will stop them, he says. They will have to respect all the security forces on the streets and stop at checkpoints like all others. This is something we will insist on being implemented.

PLEITGEN: But many contractors fear fake checkpoints set up by militias posing as police officers, where contractors could be kidnapped or killed. Carter Andress is a contractor who says the new law could put him out of business.

CARTER ANDRESS, CEO, AMERICAN IRAQI SOLUTIONS GROUP: That's the real fear out there amongst us, and I think it could present a situation where we will be unable to function.

PLEITGEN: The Iraqi government's crackdown was sparked by an incident in Baghdad's new (INAUDIBLE) Square in September, where members of the U.S. firm Blackwater opened fire and allegedly killed 17 civilians in what Iraqi authorities say was an unprovoked incident. Many Iraqis say they feel threatened by private security convoys speeding through Baghdad. Some contractors fear the new rules could lead to violent confrontations between contractors and Iraqi security forces. A notion the interior minister dismisses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we say we ban such activities that does not mean we will employ the use of force. It means we will subject them to the law and they will be banned if they don't comply, he says.

PLEITGEN (on camera): Iraq's interior ministry says it will remain firm and force private security companies to comply with the laws of this country. The government's main obligation, it says, is the safety of the Iraqi people. Fredrik Pleitgen, CNN, Baghdad.


CLANCY: U.S. President George W. Bush returning to the White House today. Sunday, he attended a Veterans Day event at an American legion post in Waco, Texas. The national holiday Veterans Day, of course, dedicated to honor current and former members of the armed forces who fought in America's wars. This the fifth Veterans Day since the start of the war in Iraq and Mr. Bush used the occasion to single out the number for Texans who died there.

SESAY: But even as U.S. honored its veterans, some disturbing news. One in four homeless people in America is a veteran of the U.S. armed forces. And as Vince Gonzalez tells us, vets these days are falling faster and further than ever before.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's pretty much where we stay, at rooms like these.

VINCE GONZALEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former navy airman Ryan Sussman is part of a new troop surge at home that has government officials worried.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Better than a cold sidewalk, yes, definitely.

GONZALEZ: Sussman who served aboard the USS Karl Vincent quickly found himself homeless after his recent discharge. The same thing happened to Veteran Jason Kelly.

JASON KELLY, HOMELESS VETERAN: I got stuck in this situation where I couldn't get a job because I didn't have an apartment. And I couldn't get an apartment because I didn't have a job.

GONZALEZ: Kelly's job in Iraq was to patrol convoy routes for ambushes and roadside bombs.

KELLY: Basically, kind of attract fire, if there is any. So it doesn't hit the convoy.

GONZALEZ: Both men found it hard to readjust to civilian life. Su Sussman still can't fathom how he ended up in a homeless shelter.

RYAN SUSSMAN, HOMELESS VETERAN: There are alcoholics, hard core drug users that you're staying with in a small area and I'm like, what am I here for? I don't belong here.

GONZALEZ (on camera): But he's not alone. A report released last week by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, found nearly a quarter of the nation's homeless are veterans, on any given night that means nearly 200,000 without a home.

(Voice-over): Vietnam vets took years to slide into homelessness. But veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, who have higher rates of post-traumatic stress, are hitting the streets much more quickly. Sussman and Kelly eventually found a place at a government housing program run by the U.S. Veterans Initiative, which has seen the problem grow.

DWIGHT RADCLIFF, U.S. VETERANS INITIATIVE: The lack of the ability to go and get employment without having an address, we have hundreds of thousands of veterans at risk of being homeless.

GONZALEZ: In his weekly radio address, President Bush re- affirmed his commitment to veterans.

BUSH: Under my administration, federal spending for our veterans has increased by more than two thirds. We've extended medical treatment to a million additional veterans, including hundreds of thousands returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

GONZALEZ: But these veterans are bewildered by how quickly they fell through the cracks and worry they have been abandoned.

SUSSMAN: To a degree, yes. It, it -- not really abandoned but just currently ignored.

KELLY: It just makes you want to curl up into a ball and go into a corner and say forget it. Forget it, it's not worth it.

GONZALEZ: Vince Gonzalez for CNN in Los Angeles.


CLANCY: All right. We are going to take a short break here.

Coming up, a royal rumble -- well, of sorts.

SESAY: There's diplomatic fallout after a king and one Hugo Chavez mix it up in public.

CLANCY: Stay with us.



Well, it looks like the king of Spain told him to shut up. But you don't think that stopped Hugo Chavez. No, the Venezuelan president apparently wants to get in the last word. Now the spat all began at a summit and now it appears to be picking up a little bit of steam as President Chavez lashes back at King Juan Carlos. We're going to go to Madrid in just a moment to get a live update.

But first, Harris Whitbeck has details of the royal rebuke from Caracas.


HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Strong words from a king to a president, just shut up, Spain's King Juan Carlos ordered Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, at the closing ceremony of the Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile. Chavez launched into a tirade about former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. When he called Aznar a fascist snake while repeatedly interrupting current Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Louis Rodriguez (INAUDIBLE), the king apparently lost his cool. At a press conference on Sunday, Chavez was defiant. I think the king was really desperate, he said. He even looked like he was about to get up off his chair. I wonder if he wanted to hit me.

Chavez later said if relations between Spain and Venezuela were damaged it wouldn't be his fault. His supporters in Venezuela agree. Henry Quintero runs a government-sponsored vocational program for youth in Caracas. He says the socialist changes taking place in Venezuela are provoking reactions all over the world. He says people who are against the revolution are bound to get upset with Chavez. Latin America watchers say the incident won't be forgotten any time soon.

MICHAEL SCHIFTER, INTER-AMERICAN DIALOGUE: So I doubt it's going to hurt the economic part, but on the political side, it certainly introduces a lot more strain than there existed before between the two governments.

WHITBECK (on camera): While Chavez and his sympathizers minimized the effects of his exchange with the king, his detractors welcome it. Such a public royal putdown, they hope, will erode his credibility abroad. Harris Whitbeck, CNN, Caracas.


SESAY: Well for their part, Spaniards are standing by their king, one leading newspaper says President Chavez had it coming and the king was right to "put him in his place." Let's get more reaction now from our Madrid bureau chief Al Goodman. Al, just tell us a little bit more about the different reactions to this exchange.

AL GOODMAN, MADRID BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Isha, this is the second day -- this happened on Saturday, here we are Monday, two days later and it's still front page news in Spain. Take a look at this conservative daily, "ABC", full support for the king it says, that's what the Spaniards are saying. Here's a newspaper out of Barcelona (INAUDIBLE) Guardia, it says this incident reinforces the role of the king. So Spaniards are united. They generally fight about everything, especially on the left and right but they are united behind the king on this one. He really showed something that Spaniards rarely if ever see, people here cannot remember any time seeing the king coming out and saying these kinds of strong words to anyone, much less to the president of Venezuela. Isha?

SESAY: That was the question I was going to ask you, is this a departure for the king to be so outspoken? It begs the question, do we know much of the relationship between the king and Hugo Chavez up until this point?

GOODMAN: Well, the king has been going to these Latin American summits, which also have Spain and Portugal, the (INAUDIBLE) American summits. And he is a very well respected figure as far as we can tell here in Spain throughout Latin America, as well as in Spain. Of course, he helped put down a coup attempt after the death of Francisco Franco, he took over, he's been on the throne for about three decades, he's 69 years old and he speaks often in public, but typically he's reading out from a speech that the royal household has written for him. Sometimes he will give off the cuff comments but usually in a jocular way. He gets very close to the people. He's not a distant king. He gets very close to people. He engages you, he looks at you, he talks to people. He holds babies, he kisses people. This is a very unusual incident for the king. But he has been under pressure from a couple of flanks here in Spain in recent months. On the one hand, on the far right, a far right radio commentator on national radio has called for the king to abdicate in favor of his son, the crown prince. That's not going to happen. On the far left, some independence minded or republican minded people have been burning some flags over in the Barcelona area, but that's just some dozens or hundreds of people. So the king has very much been in the public eye for those reasons and then this comes out at the summit.

SESAY: All right, very interesting stuff. Al Goodman, our Madrid bureau chief, many thanks.

CLANCY: You know it's interesting because Hugo Chavez is so used to dishing it out, it's interesting to see how he's going to take it. I doubt though he will shut up.

SESAY: Well I doubt it, too. That's it for this hour, I'm Isha Sesay.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy and this is CNN.