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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
CNN International's World One
Aired March 29, 2011 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Of course, there is no question that Libya and the world would be better off with Gadhafi out of power.
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MONITA RAJPAL, CNN ANCHOR: As U.S. President Obama outlines his position --
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN ANCHOR: -- delegates from dozens of countries arrive in London to discuss Libya's future.
RAJPAL: Hello. It is 5:00 a.m. in Washington. It's 10:00 a.m. here in London. I'm Monita Rajpal.
VERJEE: And I'm Zain Verjee. You're watching WORLD ONE live from London.
Also ahead --
RAJPAL: The familiar sight of demonstrators in an Arab. But this is a pro-government rally, organized to show support for Syria's President Assad.
VERJEE: More trouble at the Japan Fukushima nuclear plant. A plutonium leak and tons of contaminated water are the latest hazards.
RAJPAL: And some good news out of Denmark. Watch this.
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RAJPAL: Delight for police searching for a missing 3-year-old as news comes in that he's been found.
VERJEE: We begin with the crisis in Libya and foreign ministers from more than 40 countries are meeting in London today to talk about how Libya can move ahead without Moammar Gadhafi. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's going to be there, so will the British Prime Minister David Cameron and the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
There's also going to be a strong showing from the Arab world with representatives from Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco and Tunisia. The talks are coming at a really critical time for Libya, an uprising that began in mid-February snowballed into a civil war and there's no end in sight just yet. Rebel fighters are slowly forcing back Gadhafi loyalists and advancing toward the capital Tripoli. But the closer they get, the more resistance they meet.
U.S. President Barack Obama, too, coming in for criticism about military strikes on Libya but he's been defending U.S. action.
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OBAMA: To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and, more profoundly, our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And, as president, I refuse to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.
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RAJPAL: At today's summit, they'll be discussing the process of change, as well as how to get aid to the people of Libya.
We want to get more now from CNN's international security correspondent Paula Newton. She's outside 10 Downing Street in London -- Paula.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Monita, leaders will be meeting in a few hours. And, certainly, what they want to do is stress the fact that they're going to speak with one voice, that they are trying to continue to pressure the Gadhafi regime to really give up, to negotiate, to try and get beyond the military situation on the ground and come to some kind of negotiated settlement.
But clearly, Monita, what's hampering them is the situation on the ground. The coalition right now is starting with the air strikes, although NATO does have control now of the arms embargo and of the no- fly zone. But, critically, those airstrikes continue on the ground.
I want you to listen now to the U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague. We just spoke to him in the last hour.
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WILLIAM HAGUE, BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: We all want a cease-fire and really, the start of anything like that is a cease-fire. That's what the U.N. resolution calls for. That's what we're trying to bring about by making airstrikes and missile strikes on Gadhafi forces who have been attacking or threatening to attack the civilian areas of Libya. And so, we all want to see that cease-fire. And I think we all want to see Gadhafi go.
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NEWTON: You know, what's interesting, they continually say that they want to see Gadhafi go, and yet at the same time, we heard from President Obama that, look, this is not the aim of this mission. Many people are still asking what are you going to be able to do on the ground if it comes to house-to-house fighting in a lot of the cities that we've already seen a lot of interaction between the rebels and the Gadhafi forces -- Monita.
RAJPAL: See? That's really interesting because all the communiques have been coming out, the reports have been coming out. They've been talking about military operations would continue as long as civilians were under threat from any sort after attack -- adding on to what Mr. Hague was saying, though, we understand that Mr. Cameron, the British prime minister, along with France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, had issued a statement that military airstrikes would continue if even if Colonel Gadhafi would ask for a cease-fire because they just don't trust him.
NEWTON: Well, that's definitely been going back. When they say a cease-fire, they're speaking not just to Colonel Gadhafi and his allies. They are speaking to the military, Monita. NATO officials told me quite clearly, look, these guys have to take off their uniforms, they have to go home, they have to step away from their tanks. As long as there are any movement on those forces on the ground, the air strikes will continue.
But it's starting to become a lot more murky, Monita. And, you know, today, they really want to put the emphasis on this partnership with the Arab world and also on the humanitarian effort going forward. But that becomes increasingly difficult to do because when you talk to them about the actual tools they will have at hand to be able to do anything about street-to-street fighting in a place like Sirte or Misrata, they clearly don't have an answer for that yet -- Monita.
RAJPAL: Paula Newton at 10 Downing Street -- thank you.
VERJEE: In just a few minutes, we're going to be talking to former NATO commander, General Sir Mike Jackson.
But, first, let's take you to Libya. Rebels are saying that coalition airstrikes are helping them gain ground. They are advancing toward Colonel Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte. But they are facing much more resistance.
CNN's Arwa Damon reports.
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Firing wildly at Gadhafi loyalists, they thought were chasing them, opposition fighters beat a hasty and chaotic retreat, scanning the desert for Libyan army forces who might be trying to outflank them. Throughout the day, the opposition says it had been successfully pushing the Libyan army back. But, now, it seems they're going to have to confront civilians as well. (on camera): The fighters were all the way up in an area that's called (INAUDIBLE) and they say that the residents in that area were given new weapons by Gadhafi.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
DAMON: He says this is a weapon that was one of those that was given to these residents. And as they went in, the residents began firing on them. But they say there were families in this one area, so they did not want to fire back. And then as they were -- as they were retreating, they began getting fired on even more.
(voice-over): Until now, the opposition had encountered little resistance or sign of Gadhafi's troops. Coalition airstrikes had pounded loyalists' military positions, clearing the way for a rapid advance through territory where the opposition had the population's support -- until the fighters began to close in on Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte.
On the side of the road, Naji's (ph) face is hastily bandaged.
(on camera): So, what he's saying is that they basically advanced quite a ways down the road and they came across a unit of Gadhafi forces that has raised a white flag. And when they approached them, they were fired on.
(voice-over): Now trying to penetrate the tribal lands of Gadhafi's loyalists, it's clear that the battlefield dynamics have changed once again. And it sounds like the real street-to-street battle is about to begin.
Arwa Damon, CNN, eastern Libya.
RAJPAL: Colonel Gadhafi has called for a halt to what he called a, quote, "barbaric offensive" in Libya, meaning the airstrikes by coalition forces. NATO will take full command of those operations on Wednesday.
We can speak now to a former commander and the former chief of the British army, General Sir Mike Jackson.
Sir Jackson, thank you very much for being with us.
There's been so much confusion, I guess what has been described as a murky agreement by all in terms of what is actually happening over the air and what the actual mission is for NATO when it comes to protecting civilians. We understand that there's -- NATO's job is to enforce the no-fly zone. But they also say that they will do what they can to protect civilians.
What does that mean when the battle that happens on the ground?
GENERAL SIR MIKE JACKSON, FMR. COMMANDER, NATO ALLIED RAPID REACTION CORPS: Well, the U.N. Security Council resolution 1973 is very clear. It says all necessary measures to be taken to protect civilians and civilian areas. I mean, that to me is very clear.
And "all necessary measures" is a very broad mandate for the use of military force. And it seems to me that what has been going on is the use of airpower, first of all, to draw down Gadhafi's own air defenses and, frankly, the skies of those coalition, and to draw down his ground forces, which let's not forget, only a few days ago were about to assault Benghazi. We've come a long way since then.
RAJPAL: So, it's one thing to launch air strikes on to targets on the ground.
JACKSON: Indeed. Against military targets, Gadhafi's own forces.
RAJPAL: Military targets on the ground. What happens when Gadhafi forces enter into populated cities? Now, launching an air strike from the sky, it'd be very difficult to protect civilians from being collateral damage in that strike. So, can you actually see ground operations taking place? A ground offensive by NATO taking place?
JACKSON: I think we're a very long way from that. I mean, let's take the two points separately. The first point you make is the problem of using military force against opponents in a built-up area without bringing civilians into danger. That is a real conundrum.
Rest assured, from what I can see, every effort is being made by the pilots of the coalition not to incur civilian casualties.
Now, the Geneva Conventions do allow military targets to be engaged even if there is a risk of civilian casualties, provided it is -- in the words of the convention -- proportionate. So, there is that dilemma. It's a very difficult call.
Sorry, I've forgotten your second point. Let's go back to it.
RAJPAL: In terms of the military ground offensive --
JACKSON: Yes. Well, the Security Council resolution is an interesting document. I've already stressed it says all necessary measures. But then paradoxically it rules out one measure or apparently rules out because it t goes on to say there will no occupation of any part of Libyan territory. And then we could get into a debate what is meant by occupation here.
RAJPAL: What would look -- before I let you go, what would be considered in your mind a successful operation there in Libya?
JACKSON: Well, I think we need to think outside of day-to-day events on the ground. What is being sought here is a future which is stable for Libya, stability and security. I find it personally difficult to see how that can achieved with Gadhafi in either actual or notional power.
But the end state is a political one. It's not a military one. The military can enable politicians both within Libya and without to come to a settlement -- whether that includes Gadhafi or not, we shall see -- which will provide Libya with a stable future. RAJPAL: All right. Sir Mike, stand by. We'll be coming back to you a little bit later on in the show. We appreciate your thoughts right now.
VERJEE: You're watching WORLD ONE live from London.
RAJPAL: More rallies in Syria, only these demonstrators are turning out to support the government. We're live from the Middle East, next.
VERJEE: Rallying in support of Syria's president. Supporters of Bashar al-Assad are holding public demonstrations in parts of the country at this hour. They come hard on the heels of violent clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters. Damascus has promised to lift the state of emergency that's been there for nearly 50 years, but it isn't saying when.
Our senior international correspondent Stan Grant is watching all of this unfold from CNN Abu Dhabi.
Stan, there are dueling demonstrations today, right, in Syria.
STAN GRANT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We're seeing the pro-Assad demonstrations as well. And, of course, this contrasts with the anti-regime protests we've seen now for well over a week -- particularly in the southern part of the country where the protests have been at their fiercest. And we're hearing rights observers and activists say that state security -- Syrian state security has opened fire and the rising death toll seemingly by the day.
Now, of course, there's been a real difference of opinion in Syria depending on who you speak to. The government, the regime -- they've been quick to blame the protest in Daraa and other areas in the south on outside influences. They say it is foreign meddling.
However, the people who are involved in the protest say that no, it is local issues that have motivated them and it's now getting to the point where they're actually starting to call for the overthrow of the regime itself.
If you look at what's happening in Syria, Zain, it's what we've seen throughout other parts of the Middle East, throughout the so-called "Arab Spring" of unrest. The protests begin in a regional way, a localized way, they gather momentum. Each crisis seems to bring more people out on the streets.
We see a crackdown from state security. And then an offer ever of some concession and then, of course, the protests themselves rejecting those concessions. We're seeing that again in Syria right now.
You mention the offer of repeal of this emergency law -- the law that's been in place for 48 years now. And it's been used in the past to crash dissent. Well, that's been one of the demands of the protesters. We've been hearing of this concession for the government. But still no official word on that. No date on that, detail about what that will actually involve.
Now, President Assad has been rumored to be preparing to speak to the Syrian people now for the past few days. That also has not happened. But what we're seeing now is on the one hand, the hardening of protests against the regime in the south and now, these images today as we've seen in other parts of the Middle East as well, images coming out in support of the president himself -- Zain.
VERJEE: CNN's Stan Grant reporting -- thanks, Stan.
We just want to be really clear that it is not possible for CNN right now to confirm all of the reports that we are hearing out of Syria or to verify that videos that people are sharing online are actually showing what they appear to show. There's an article on CNN.com that I write with my colleague Tim Lister where we take this in-depth look at the unrest in Syria and some of the challenges confronting President Assad. You can read that piece. Just go to CNN.com/international.
RAJPAL: Emergency workers at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant face a tough balancing act. They are trying to keep the reactors cool by dousing them with water. But that brings a risk that contaminated water will spill out into the ocean.
The radiation warning comes a day after news that the containment structure surrounding one reactor is damaged. Workers found small amounts of plutonium that have leaked out from the reactor core.
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YUKIO EDANO, JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY (through translator): If you look at the types of plutonium, the composition is different from the fallout. Because of this, we believe this plutonium is likely to come from the reactor, which is troubled today. If we are going to detect higher level of plutonium we need to take additional measures. So, our intention for now is to continue with the monitoring on the site.
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VERJEE: You're watching WORLD ONE live from London.
RAJPAL: Up next: the CNN's Freedom Project signs a light on modern day slavery.
VERJEE: We're going to head to New Delhi and talk and meet the people that are trying to end the suffering there.
RAJPAL: Hello. This year's CNN is throwing light on the dark world of slavery in the modern world with our Freedom Project. VERJEE: Yes. It's an initiative that we've launched to try and help expose an inhuman trade that continues even in the 21st century. We know that it's not a problem we can solve just with CNN's coverage alone, but we want to put it firmly in the spotlight with the stories and interviews that we're showing you that you're not going to see anywhere else.
RAJPAL: Yes, the next report is kind of a thing we're talking about.
Becky Anderson has been finding out about the lives of women forced into the sex trade in India and meeting some of the people trying to help.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These women are singing for freedom and through their lyrics raising awareness on the issue of sex trafficking in India.
Once a month, women's rights group Apne Aap organizes meetings like these. So that women can share stories of pain and courage.
Singing right along, this gathering women's rights advocates Zainab Salbi. Based in the U.S. Salbi is visiting India to meet with victims.
And the a one-woman army she says she's determined to save sex trafficking victims one by one. Victims like Mina Hasina (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When I was 8 years old I was kidnapped and sold off. In the beginning, I did household chores then I was made to sleep with a brothel owner's son. They told me he was my husband.
After he would go to sleep, I was forced to sleep with other men, about five to 10 a day. I then accepted prostitution as a way of life. I began to think this is what I was born to do. I had nowhere else to go.
ANDERSON: Mina's story is all too common here. We spoke with India's undersecretary for trafficking. He points to an anti-trafficking law that's been on the books for more than 50 years and says many programs are in place to help rescue and rehabilitate victims.
But it only takes a short drive through New Delhi's red light district to see that many victims fall through the cracks.
ZAINAB SALBI, WOMEN'S RIGHT ABUSES: This is the brothel area. You see it on the top, up right the top of it.
ANDERSON: We follow along with Salbi. She's been granted a rare glimpse inside a brothel. And even more rare, the brothel owner agrees to sit down and talk to her on camera.
SALBI: You said some of the women come to the red light district through trafficking. What happens? IQBAL AHMED, BROTHEL OWNER (through translator): You can't say that 100 percent of these women are trafficked here. But yes, the girls are often tricked into marriage and sold by their own husbands. Other times, they're abducted or fooled.
ANDERSON: He readily admits there's no way to verify who's being trafficked. But he says it's not fair to blame the buyer and brothel. It's the traffickers, he says, who should be prosecuted.
AHMED: Every single one of these girls comes through a pimp or a madam, very rarely, say, 5 percent of the time, does a girl come on her own.
ANDERSON: Ahmed's wife Nasrin (ph) agrees. And she should know, she was once a sex worker herself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Only helpless women come here, not women of choice. And the ones who traded in are bond forever.
ANDERSON: Ahmed is not only a brother owner. He's also an activist. He says he's trying to help prostitutes and their children by allowing them to live together in his brothel, a better alternative to living on the street.
There are those who make it out on their own. Like Mina. She eventually escaped and is now working at Apne Aap to rescue others. The organization has reached out to more than 10,000 women since it was created eight years ago. Its premise is based on self-help.
RUCHIRA GUPTA, APNE AAP WORLDWIDE: We organize women into small groups all over the country and these groups are like support groups where the women help each other by sharing stories of pain and courage and discrimination and also of success. And through that, they empower each other.
ANDERSON: Empowered, hopeful and free.
Becky Anderson, CNN, London.
VERJEE: Zainab Salbi is the founder of Women for Women International. She's the women's advocate that you saw in that report.
And Zainab spoke to Becky Anderson about what she'd learned from the brothel owner about how the trafficking system actually works. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAINAB SALBI, FOUNDER, WOMEN FOR WOMEN INTL.: And this guy is open -- he's very open about it. So, he says, the trafficker brings me the girl and usually the younger she is, not only the more desired she is, but the harder the possibilities of her getting out of it is because she just, you know, becomes imprisoned in that environment. So, he said, I buy her in front of her, you know? I buy -- and it's like here, I'm just buying you, just so you know. And he said her price she has to work about five years for free to pay off the price that I bought her. So, for him, it's a very open process.
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RAJPAL: This is the type of story you might want to I mail to someone so they can see it, too. You can find this at CNN.com/Freedom, where you can share it by e-mail or social media. Next to each video, you can click on the "share" button. That's at CNN.com/Freedom.
VERJEE: You're watching WORLD ONE live from London.
RAJPAL: As NATO gears up to take command of air operations over Libya, what's the future for Moammar Gadhafi?
VERJEE: Delegates from all over the world are converging right here in London to deal with that question. We're going to hear in just a minute from the former chief of the British army.
RAJPAL: Hello. This is WORLD ONE, live from London. I'm Monita Rajpal.
VERJEE: And I'm Zain Verjee.
Here are our top stories:
Representatives from 40 countries and organizations are meeting in London to discuss Libya's future without Moammar Gadhafi. Leaders of the African Union, the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are all going to be here.
On Monday, the British Prime Minister David Cameron and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy called on the Libyan leader to step down.
RAJPAL: The Libyan rebels are meeting strong resistance from government forces as they try to advance on Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte. Government troops are still entrenched in western Libya. The rebels control most of the east of the country.
U.S. President Barack Obama said in a speech on Monday, history is not on Colonel Gadhafi's side.
VERJEE: Pro-government demonstrations are being held in Syria's capital, Damascus. And in other parts of the country, state TV's broadcast this video of what it calls a demonstration of loyalty for the union of the country. And Syria is the latest of a host of Arab countries where opposition to the government has broken out into public protests.
RAJPAL: Japanese officials are concerned that more contaminated water will leak from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as workers try to cool the overheating reactors. That warning comes a day after news that the containment structure surrounding one of the reactors is damaged. The plant's owner says small amounts of plutonium have also been found in the grounds of the plant.
VERJEE: Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi is calling on international powers to end what he calls their barbaric offensive. But the coalition airstrikes just keep coming, clearing the way for a major advance by Libya's rebels. Still, there was some resistance on Monday by forces loyal to Gadhafi.
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VERJEE: Exclusive CNN video shows opposition fighters being forced to retreat near Colonel Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte. Rebels have seized control of the coast as far west as the oil town of Ras Lanuf. They are saying that they are also now in control of Nafalia (ph). It's really unclear though who is in charge of Misrata. The opposition forces are trying to fight their way into Libya's capital Tripoli.
U.S. President Barack Obama, though, is defending the multinational intervention in Libya and he's arguing that it's a unique opportunity to stop a wave of violence. He says NATO will take control of the allied operation from Wednesday and that America's role will be limited.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
OBAMA: It's true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. And given the cost and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action. But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what's right.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It's clear that we are on the side of the rebels in this conflict. We're wiping out Gadhafi's armor and we have prevented them from having the advantage in the air. In fact, they stopped flying as soon as we declared the no-fly zone.
So, it's clear that we are acting on the battlefield, on the side of the rebels. And that we can, by keeping up this sustained pressure and movement, that Gadhafi can be removed. If we tell Gadhafi, don't worry, you're not going to be removed by force, I think that's encouraging to Gadhafi.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
RAJPAL: As NATO and the coalition meet here in London, we want to take a look at what world newspapers are saying about their strategy in Libya.
Here in the U.K., "The Guardian's" headline is "Narrowing the options." The paper goes on to say, "The main issue before them is to decide at what point NATO action ceases to be about protecting civilians from Gadhafi and begins to be about prosecuting a war on behalf of Libyan insurgents."
In the United Arab Emirates, "The National" paper there says, "As Libyan crisis deepens, West's role must grow." It goes on to say, "A more aggressive military strategy may not be what the international community had in mind. The longer Colonel Gadhafi stays put, however, this is a question that will be strenuously debated."
And, finally, "Gulf News" with the headlines, "Clever Brains, Not Smart Bombs." The paper says, "The longer this goes on, the coalition's resolve is likely to crack. U.S. President Barack Obama, with the albatrosses of Iraq and Afghanistan around his neck, is an unwilling war president."
And you can find all of those articles and more of the top stories online at Facebook.com/W1CNN.
VERJEE: As you can see from those headlines, there's no shortage of opinion on how attacks on Gadhafi's forces should be carried out, and even whether they should continue at all. At the end of the day, it comes down to what the leaders of NATO plan to do.
For a little bit of insight, we turn now to Retired General Mike Jackson. He's the former chief of the British army. And he was the commander of NATO's allied rapid reaction corps.
We're also joined by CNN State Department producer and my good friend, Elise Labott.
Elise, let's start with you. A big conference in London today on Libya. What does the U.S. hope to achieve?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT PRODUCER: Well, now that they have the coalition, the no-fly zone in place, NATO has taken control of the mission, not only of the no-fly zone but also of protecting of civilians, the talk turns now to what's next. And this is all about building political support for a transition in Libya.
It's not just about the military coalition but about how they're going to build a democratic transition, how they're going to work with the opposition. Are they going to train the rebels? Are they going to arm the rebels? What about humanitarian assistance?
These are some of the things they're going to be talking about today. But I also think they're going to be talking about what the end game is in Libya. If we talk about that the mission is really just to protect civilians, we see the rebels going on the offensive. So, I think there's going to be a lot of discussion in that room about just how far we're willing to go to -- although the military objective is just to protect civilians, how do we achieve our political objective of getting rid of Moammar Gadhafi?
VERJEE: And with all the politics back and forth, with the wrangling that we've been seeing over the past few weeks, has that affected the military operation?
As a military guy, that's got to be frustrating.
JACKSON: But rather familiar. We've been here before.
JACKSON: Multinational operations by their very nature bring friction. And you have different politics, different political prisms through which congregating governments see the problem. So, there is never going to be a tidy, complete consensus. There's always going to be differing views. And that's partly, I suspect, of what today's conference is there to hammer out.
VERJEE: Elise, you know, one of the things, too, is what is the U.S.'s interest in Libya? You know, Barack Obama said yesterday when he spoke that it was really a vital part of U.S. interest. Is it?
LABOTT: Well, his defense secretary, Robert Gates, on Sunday said not so much. I mean, although the Middle East is of vital interest to the United States and some of the countries surrounding Libya, Egypt, Tunisia are in the throes of their own revolutions -- this was about humanitarian intervention. And also because of the Europeans and the Arabs who wanted the U.S. to get involved.
LABOTT: You know, U.S. is part of NATO. When the U.S. needed all the countries in NATO to side with them on 9/11, they did so. And so, Secretary Clinton the other day was saying, listen, we need to stand with them. This was a humanitarian intervention.
But there are a lot of critics of this policy that say Libya is not vital interest of the United States. And if Libya goes, so does Libya. It really doesn't fit into --
LABOTT: -- really what's going on in the region right now.
JACKSON: Well, I think it's -- I think, yes, humanitarian intervention without doubt. And I think Benghazi would be a grim place had events not gone as they did.
But I think it goes also beyond humanitarian intervention. I think it is in the U.S.'s interest to have a stable Middle East. And that's such that stability an all of this maelstrom now of popular dissatisfaction we see throughout the Middle East, I think to get stability is very much strategic interest.
VERJEE: One of the big hopes is that with all the military support from NATO, that the rebels can pull through and actually march on Tripoli and it gives them the kind of cover to be able to do what the rest of the world wants. Can they do it?
When you look at the military make-up on the ground, Gadhafi's ground troops, the rebels, their make-up, their military organization, can they do it?
JACKSON: We will have to wait and see, because -- I mean, you make a very fair point, that the military competence of the so-called rebels --
VERJEE: Right. JACKSON: -- anti-Gadhafi forces perhaps leave something to be desired. But at the same time, Gadhafi's own forces have been badly hurt by what has been going on in terms of the no-fly zone and the offensive action taken in the words of the Security Council resolution to protect civilians.
VERJEE: Final thought?
JACKSON: But I think when this happens, when these troops are on the offensive, it ceases to be about protecting civilians. And I think -- this is what a lot of the discussions are going to be about. At what point does it end protecting civilians? And at what point are we going on a larger offensive against Gadhafi under the realm of a humanitarian intervention?
And so, I think there's a lot of disagreement among members of this coalition, about just how far they should go.
VERJEE: CNN's State Department producer, Elise Labott, General -- we're going to have to leave there.
JACKSON: I have one final thought, that the U.N. secretary general was musing that they may have to go back to the Security Council if Gadhafi does not comply.
VERJEE: All right. We'll see what happens. Today is a really important day. We'll have our eye on it. Elise will be there.
This is WORLD ONE, live from London.
There are more concerns about radiation in Japan. Next, we're going to look at the possible dangers and the very real fears. That's ahead here on WORLD ONE.
You're watching CNN.
RAJPAL: Japanese officials are concerned that more contaminated water will leak from the Fukushima nuclear plant as efforts to cool down its overheating reactors go on. The plant's owner says small amounts of plutonium have also been found close to the reactors.
Martin Savidge joins us now from CNN Tokyo with latest on that -- Martin.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Monita. Well, you're right, the plutonium issue came to light overnight actually here, Tokyo time. And the issue has been that they have discovered in five different places out there at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility plutonium, three different types of plutonium.
Now, today, the chief cabinet secretary pretty much said, you know what, we believe that plutonium is from our own nuclear facility. There had been some debate early on that perhaps this was plutonium that had come as a result of atomic testing back in the '70s and '80s. But now, they say, no, the make-up chemically appears to indicate that it does come from one of the reactors, which, of course, means which reactor? Well, the possibility is it could come any reactors out there.
There is one specifically, number three, that uses plutonium and uranium mixed. But, quite frankly, one of the byproducts of running any nuclear reactor is plutonium. So, we don't really know which one has come from. We do know it's very bad stuff. But the good news is, it's in very small quantities.
And then, it's the water. That's what we've been talking about -- water, water, everywhere. And the reason for that is because they've been trying to cool down the fuel rods and the reactors for weeks now, dumping water.
Well, no surprise here, you got a lot of water sloshing around all over that site. And it appears that much of it is heavily contaminated and maybe getting into the ocean. And that is the other real concern. The water that is now flowing apparently through tunnels outside of the reactors that has the ability to get to the ocean.
And the levels of radioactive iodine that have been found in the ocean, now about 1,100 times normal up to a mile away from the nuclear facility. It's a concern but TEPCO just doesn't seem to know exactly where it's coming from, Monita. They continue to have to balance between putting more water to cool the reactors, but not so much that it floods into the ocean.
RAJPAL: Martin as all of this comes out, little bits of information that we get, little developments here and there that we're getting from Fukushima, how is this playing out in the rest of the country, in Tokyo, where you are? How are the, I guess, Japanese looking at what's happening there, you know, hundreds of miles away as to what possible dangers they may be facing or feeling?
SAVIDGE: Well, it's not the panic stage that it was say 10 days ago when people clearly had apparently stayed indoors or left the city altogether. You do find that Tokyo is more back to normal.
However, there are people who are taking precautions. A lot of pregnant women have decided that it would be best to have their babies in other prefectures, away from Tokyo. Of course, there's concern about the drinking water safety, even though the government levels say it's pretty much back to normal.
So, I think it's in the backs of people's minds. They are well aware and they follow the story, but they're not as panicked as they used to be, Monita.
RAJPAL: All right. Martin Savidge there in Tokyo -- thank you.
VERJEE: Let's take a look at the global forecast now, let's start in Japan, where the weather is actually looking fairly quite right now.
Our meteorologist, Jen Delgado, is poring over the weather maps there to give us more detail -- Jen.
JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Zain. You're right.
And weather has been quiet over the last several days. But we are going to see a weak area of low pressure moving through. You can see right there on our graphic. And that is going to bring with a chance for some snow in some higher elevations as well as some light rain. And that includes parts of Sendai as well as Miyagi prefecture.
Here's the forecast for Sendai, as we go through Wednesday, we'll see a lot of sunshine out there. Early on, you can see the temperature right around 11 degrees and then comes that chance of rain as we go into the evening hours. So that also is going to be shifting those winds that are going to become a little bit variable. We could see those winds coming onshore as we go through tomorrow. So, certainly, we'll be watching that for the potential to push the radiation in the wrong direction toward a populated area.
Shifting gears for you, we're going to talk more about what's happening in Asia. Heavy rainfall is coming down. Notice 225 millimeters in parts of Thailand. That works out to be eight inches.
Let me show you some images coming out of Thailand. We're talking flooding, mudslides across the region. We've had reportedly three people who died, including two months who died in a mudslide. Well, the problem is the rain has been coming down for days.
And we're also watching this system. It has a fair chance -- as I take you back over to our graphic -- to become a tropical circulation. And you can see right now, the center of that storm spinning on top of the Malay Peninsula. That's where we're going to see the heaviest rainfall as we go through today, as well as tomorrow.
Potentially, we could see about 25 to, let's say, 35 centimeters. This image right here also captures just how bad it is across the region. People are getting around in boats. And here's the proof for you, more of the heavy rain in an area that certainly does not need it and we're not even in rainy season yet.
Zain, Monita, back over to you two.
VERJEE: Jen Delgado, thank you.
DELGADO: You're welcome.
RAJPAL: You are watching WORLD ONE, live from London.
VERJEE: Coming up soon, you know there's a snake on the town, right, Monita? This cobra -- it was missing and now, it's become a social media sensation. We were laughing our heads of in the newsroom. You'll want to hear this.
RAJPAL: Welcome back. This is WORLD ONE, live from London. We got a pretty interesting story for you. An Egyptian cobra missing from a zoo has become a bit of a social media star. The venomous snake now has a Twitter page, of course, so that people can follow her adventures.
She's on the loose after disappearing from her enclosure at New York's Bronx zoo on Saturday. Staff at the zoo think the cobra is hiding out somewhere in the reptile building and will come out when she feels safe. The spoof Twitter account at Bronxzooscobra was set up 16 hours ago and already has more than 20,000 followers.
And let's look at some of these sample tweets here. So, the first say, you know, very first tweet, "I want to thank those animals from the movie 'Madagascar,' they were a real inspiration." The next one, "Gonna to listen to some jazz tonight. You know I love some great flute work. Do they provide it or is it bring your own basket?"
And another one, here's another sample of the tweet that they're getting. "It's getting pretty cold out. I think it's probably time to crash. Oh, look, an apartment window someone left open just a crack, perfect."
So, of course, just some of the sample items that we got there from that page. We got a link on our Facebook page if you want to read more about the missing cobra.
You know, you're not anyone unless you got a Twitter page, right, Zain?
VERJEE: Yes. And that missing cobra has got more Twitter followers than I have got in two years, OK?
Well, you know, if you're on the list by now, you have probably received your invitation to the royal wedding next month in London, but only a few of the guest are going to be invited back to the palace for a reception hosted by her majesty.
But Max Foster has got a little treat for you because he was actually allowed in to take a look at the preparations.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the basement of Buckingham Palace, a team of 21 chefs will make nearly 10,000 bite- size canapes for the 600-odd guests invited at the reception. That's about 16 canapes each.
MARK FLANAGAN, ROYAL CHEF: Any canape event is all about fine detail at the last minute. There's a lot of preparation but there's lots we would like to do earlier that we really can't do until, you know, we see the guests coming into the room. It will be about double checking, triple checking and checking it again and making sure that we've got everything in the right places.
FOSTER: There will be 10 to 12 savory varieties, five or six sweet, some hot, some cold, but all personally approved by Kate and William. The canapes will be carried upstairs on trays and plates to the spectacular state rooms.
This is home to arguably the finest private art collection in the world.
JENNIFER SCOTT, ASSISTANT CURATOR OF PAINTINGS: In the 19 state rooms which are used during state functions drip with opulence. They really are intended to make people think, "Wow, this is an incredible palace."
And I think that's very much part of its history. This is a place that was intended to impress.
FOSTER: But this is also a working palace. A staff of 60 upstairs will attend to the guests' every need.
EDWARD GRIFFITHS, DEPUTY MASTER OF THE HOUSEHOLD: For any event, we're going through every single detail that we possibly can so that it's planned in advance and we don't leave anything to chance.
FOSTER: And this is the level of detail we're talking about -- using an antique measuring stick to make sure every glass sits a certain distance from the table's edge, a perfect line, of perfectly polished glasses, ready to be handed to the guests, including monarchs, prime ministers and diplomats. Around 300 close family and friends will have the added privilege of going on to a sit-down dinner hosted by Prince Charles.
(on camera): But during this most exclusive of wedding receptions, the public will get a chance to see the newlyweds. At about half past 1:00, local time, we expect them to come out on the balcony over there for what's bound to become an iconic moment in British history, when Prince William kisses his princess.
Max Foster, CNN, Buckingham Palace, London.
VERJEE: Not long to go now.
You're watching WORLD ONE, live from London. I'm Zain Verjee.
RAJPAL: I'm Monita Rajpal. Thank you for watching CNN.