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Top Syrian General Defects; Women Gaining Power in Cartels; Libyans Go to the Polls; Protest in China Turns Violent; New Lost Boys Fleeing Sudan; Kenyan Mothers Secretly Taking Birth Control; South Korea Resumes Whaling; Argentine Dictators Guilty of Baby Stealing; Rwandan Genocide Survivor Goes to the Olympics; Arms Control Activists Rally; London Skyscraper Seeks Tenants

Aired July 6, 2012 - 12:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. We're taking you around the world in 60 minutes.

Here's what's going on right now. These two men are found guilty of stealing babies. That is right. This is Argentina, a court case going back to the late '70s. Now, these two men both ruled Argentina as military dictators during the conflict known as the "dirty war."

They were charged with stealing dozens of babies from political prisoners and giving them new identities. Stay right here. We've got much more on the case and these two former dictators in just a couple of minutes.

British police have now arrested seven more men on terror charges. Police say they were rounded up this week after weapons were found hidden in a car. Just yesterday, London police arrested six other terror suspects. Now, police say those arrests were not related to the Olympics, but the security has been stepped up across Britain -- the games only three weeks away.

Tokyo bursting with excitement, squealing even. It is the first baby panda in 24 years born there Six-year-old Shin Shin, who is on loan from China, gave birth Thursday to this little cub. So far, the sex of the baby panda is not known and the cub has not yet been named. All over Japan, shops are selling panda cakes, rice balls, other treats in celebration of the cub's birth.

This is news top story, the news from international, involves Syria, the headline not about the rising death tolls or fighting in the streets. Now, something happened today that could actually have major damage to the Syrian government that is on the brink of an all- out civil war.

A senior army general, a close friend of the president, fled the country. So this is the man I'm talking about, standing behind Bashar al Assad before he became president. This is Brigadier General Manaf Tlas. There are not many pictures of him because he is not a public figure. This photo was taken more than 10 years ago.

General Tlas -- he defected. He slipped out of Syria, and we are told now he's in Paris, or on his way. We don't know why he defected or exactly how damaging this is to the Assad government, but it certainly is significant. We're going to have much more about the general and the defection in a moment.

But also, want to talk about something that is also happening today. That is in Paris. There's a meeting of an international group. They are called the Friends of Syria. These are Western. They're Arab leaders. They're frustrated that they can't intervene more in what is taking place in that country.

Two senior-level American officials -- they are telling now the rest of the world they got to get off the sidelines.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: This is a regime with a massive war machine.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Their world and the people in this part of the world are waiting for American leadership, which is lacking.


MALVEAUX: Want to go to Ivan Watson in Istanbul, who's watching everything out of Syria. First of all, I want to talk a little bit about this general who fled the country and what that means for the Assad government.

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's the first sign we've seen, Suzanne, of what has so far been a tightly knit and tightly disciplined inner circle around Bashar al Assad, the first sign after 16 months of uprising that that circle is cracking, or at least has one crack.

This man, Manaf Tlas, comes from the closest thing you have to Syrian aristocracy. His father, Moustafa (ph), was the defense minister for more than 30 years. And photos on Syrian history sites show Manaf, the son, is from the same generation as the current president, Bashar al Assad, and they may have even been friends.

They're said to have been confidants and in the inner circle. We don't know if their relationship has deteriorated or not over the last year, but this is definitely a psychological blow, the fact that this man appears to have abandoned...


WATSON: ... the regime. He could be a big gain for Western intelligence agencies, from governments who are calling for Bashar al Assad to step down. And we do not know whether or not he is going to embrace the Syrian opposition and the rebels.


WATSON: That could be a big propaganda win. We don't even know if they want him because this man is so closely associated with the regime that's been killing them.

MALVEAUX: So Ivan, let's talk a little bit about this because one of the downfalls with Gadhafi and one of the tipping points, really, in that conflict was when his own -- his generals and those who were close to him in his military circles, his inner circles, started to leave the country, started to defect and turn against him.

Do we think this could be the beginning of a threshold moment like that?

WATSON: I think it's too early to say because in the Libyan example, we started seeing high-ranking officials, ministers, generals, commanders defecting within the first couple of months, and ambassadors, as well. And we just haven't seen that in the Syrian example.

It's been 16 months of killing, more than 16,000 dead, and most of that inner circle has stayed with the regime. The opposite has happened in Syria. This has been an uprising from the ground up. You could almost call it a peasant revolt of farmers and university students and conscript soldiers who have been defecting and protesting, not the higher echelons of Syrian society and power.

MALVEAUX: And Ivan, tell me a little bit about this meeting that is taking place in Paris. Clearly, they're called the Friends of Syria. We don't really know whether or not there are any tangible results that are going to come out of this meeting.

What are they at least hoping to accomplish?

WATSON: Well, I call these guys the anti-Assad coalition, more than 100 countries and organizations that are all calling on Bashar al Assad to step down. This is their third meeting.

And I guess the most tangible thing they came up with was that they want top have a new United Nations Security Council resolution under Chapter 7, which could call for the use of force against Syria.

But here's the problem. To get a resolution through the U.N. Security Council, you need all the members to sign onto it and not veto it. And the problem is, is Russia and China still do not seem to want any kind of intervention into Syria, and there still seems to be a very sharp split between the West and those two countries which seem to be defending the Assad regime.

MALVEAUX: All right. Ivan Watson, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Want to talk a little bit about Mexico's drug cartels. They are run, obviously, by ruthless kingpins who stop at nothing to get drugs across the border. Right? Well, some of the most vicious members we are now learning are actually women. Mexican officials say one of the worst is called "la bonita," or "the pretty one." Twenty-seven-year- old Anel Violeta Noriega Rios was arrested last week near Los Angeles and sent back to Mexico. Now, Mexican police say she is a top member of the La Familia cartel. Joining us from Washington, Josh Miller. He is a security expert. He lives in Mexico. He's also a former intelligence officer with the CIA.

Josh, thanks for joining us here. First of all, tell us a little bit about "la bonita." What is her relationship with La Familia cartel? What is her role?

JOSH MILLER, CONTROL RISKS, FMR. CIA INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: Yes. Absolutely. Thank you, Suzanne. "La bonita" -- it's interesting. She was recently arrested in Los Angeles and she was promptly extradited back to Mexico, which indicates that the U.S. and the Mexican authorities had closely cooperated on this operation.

Her role, as we understand it, was to act as a liaison and a negotiator between cartel groups, and she -- indeed, she represented La Familia, which is primarily responsible for amphetamine trafficking in the United States.

MALVEAUX: Josh, I understand she was petty tenacious. She was arrested in the U.S. She was repatriated to Mexico five different times between 2004, 2005, a top priority for even Mexican police. How was it that he able to live out in the open in LA for so long?

MILLER: Well, it's pretty remarkable, and I think it's indicative of some of these cartels' attitudes. They tend to operate largely with the impression that they can operate with impunity, not just Mexico, but unfortunately, in parts of the U.S.


MILLER: And it's part of the culture. Yes?

MALVEAUX: And I didn't mean to interrupt there, but she is not the only one who allegedly is in one of these top positions in the cartels. It seems like it is a growing trend. Can you give us a little sense of what is behind this now, that you have more women who are gaining power in these dangerous cartels?

MILLER: Yes, indeed, it is a trend that we're noticing more and more of. In fact, some statistics are quite telling. In 2008, 194 women were killed in criminal-related drug activities. Fast forward to 2011, and that number jumps to 904. And so you see a fivefold increase in the women involved in these activities in just three years. And so we're definitely seeing a growing trend all over Mexico.

MALVEAUX: Are they the ones who are involved in the most violent activity? When you talk about what is taking place there, the beheadings and some of the brutal killings, are they getting caught up in the violence themselves as victims?

MILLER: It's a good question. We're not seeing indications that they're involved in some of the most heinous acts, some of the most outrageous things taking place in Mexico. Those seem to be still perpetrated largely by the male members of the cartels.

The roles that we're seeing them involved in is the liaison and negotiation between cartels, which, indeed, was "la bonita's" role. We see them distributing and we see them distributing resources and revenues between groups. And perhaps most importantly, we see them provide a measure of social cohesion, which -- you know, these groups often operate as families, in a sense.

MALVEAUX: You're a security expert. You know the situation in Mexico. We have heard figures up to 47,000 people killed in drug violence since 2006. Can you give us a sense of whether or not there are really safe places in Mexico, or if this is a very isolated place where this is taking place?

MILLER: Yes, I would just comment and say that Mexico is a very large country. And while, indeed, there are some areas, particularly along the northern border and in some other states that are, indeed, quite dangerous -- Michucan (ph) -- the majority of -- you know, Mexico City, where I live, and the majority of the major tourist areas are actually quite safe.

And this is a -- the reason behind this is because they often are not sitting in the geographic routes that these cartels prefer to use, as well as the Mexican government's interest in keeping these areas safe.

And so yes, Mexico gets a lot of attention, a lot of negative attention. However, I think that there's large parts of the country that are quite safe and quite, you know, good places to visit, such as they were in the past.

MALVEAUX: All right, Josh Miller, thank you very much, Josh. Appreciate it.

Here's more of what we're working on for NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL.

They fought their way to freedom. Well, now Libyans -- finally, they're going to the polls. Hundreds of the candidates on the ballot are women.

And later...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The (INAUDIBLE) are completely crammed together like this, sometimes six, seven, even eight people of a family living together in just one room.


MALVEAUX: A battle is brewing of whether or not to bring birth control to the developing world. We're going to show you what life is like in countries where it is most scarce.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MALVEAUX: Libya is taking a major step toward democracy. This weekend, voters across the country -- they're going to choose their congress. Now, the elections comes nine months after Moammar Gadhafi was captured and killed -- you're taking a look at those pictures -- you may recall, ending more than 40 years of his repressive rule.

Michael Holmes is joining us to talk a little bit about this. And first of all, explain to us -- because you and I were talking about this before -- there is no democratically elected leader of the country yet.


MALVEAUX: So tell us what these elections are about first.

HOLMES: Yes, these are really important elections because it's the first time that Libyans have had a chance to vote in anything since the 1960s. And what it is, is it's a first step. They're going to vote for a congress. That congress is then going to oversee the election of the people who will then write the constitution. The congress will also pick a government.

And then there's going to be main parliamentary elections next year because up until now, of course, we've had the National Transitional Council, which was a group that was formed in Benghazi, went to Tripoli when Gadhafi fell, and basically have been running things ever since.

MALVEAUX: And how do they run things? How is that possible...


MALVEAUX: ... a kind of a council that's running the country and not really an organized leader per se.

HOLMES: That's exactly the problem. I mean, the National Transitional Council has had its leaders, and the problem is that most people in -- look at it this way. Libya does not run like a normal country. The loyalties are all tribal. The tribe is above everything else. It's above national loyalty, sense of country or anything like that.

So you've got people in the east, like in Benghazi, they're saying, We don't want Tripoli telling us what to do. The people in Misrata, they're saying the same thing. They all want decentralized government.

But yes, there is going to be a government and they're going to try to run the country from there. It won't be easy. It won't be our style of democracy. And there's a lot of problems.

MALVEAUX: And you have three million people so far who've registered to vote. Is there a sense, at least, that there's confidence in this process...

HOLMES: Yes. MALVEAUX: ... that they're going to move forward and that people will have a voice in some way?

HOLMES: Well, international observers are there, and they say they're pretty happy with how it's all been set up so far. But talking about embracing democracy -- you've got 3,000 candidates for 200 seats.


HOLMES: They all want to have a go at it. But you know, as, again, we were talking in the break, one of the main problems there are these militias that are still there.

And you know, when I was there covering the war from the rebel side, I was with the Zentani (ph) brigades, who are up in the Nafoussa (ph) mountains, and these are the guys who were all driving around in pickup trucks. They had the anti-aircraft guns on the back, you know, shooting away, and they had rocket launchers on the back of the pickups.

They're still there. They all got together, these disparate groups from various tribes in different parts of the country -- got together with a common cause, Get rid of Gadhafi. They did that, and then they went back to their old ways of their enmities. They hate each other, a lot of these people.

MALVEAUX: Well, right, because they're divided here. I mean, these are groups that don't get along. They're all armed.

HOLMES: Armed to the teeth.

MALVEAUX: You know, I mean, so...

HOLMES: They haven't given up anything, yes.

MALVEAUX: ... so -- is there a sense of worry or concern...


MALVEAUX: ... that even if these elections go forward, you still got these kind of armed bandit groups hanging around?

HOLMES: Absolutely. No, it's a real problem. And the idea initially was that those in these militias who wanted to become part of the national army would, and that was a great idea. It hasn't happened. And you still see all these guys driving around, and they have their own little areas.

I remember being with the Zentani brigades, and we went down with them as they and neighboring towns got together to take this big city, Bir al Ganim (ph), it was called -- it was a huge battle that went on. It was amazing stuff.

MALVEAUX: Sure. HOLMES: And I said to him, That's good that, you know, everybody's working together. And he said, yes, but we hate these guys. We wouldn't have a cup of tea with them until all this happened. And this is a town that's, like, five kilometers away. Hate them.

They still hate them. And now these little groups are all sectionalized in Tripoli and elsewhere. And they clash and people die and it happens all the time. They take their own prisoners, hold them so the legal system hasn't been able to really run itself. It's going to be a very difficult place to run in an organized sense while those guys are still doing what they're doing.

MALVEAUX: Yes, it is, a lot of work to be done. And finally, I do want to ask you, Michael, because you talked about, like, all of these candidates, 3,000 or so...

HOLMES: Yes, 3,000!

MALVEAUX: So 500 of them are female candidates.


MALVEAUX: They are women. How does that work? I mean, will they actually be able to participate in full equal ways with men?

HOLMES: It's a mixed thing, you know? And it is -- it's heartening that there are 500 of the candidates are women, and in a very traditional sort of Islamic society. A lot of the candidates are Islamic, as well, it's important to note.

But you have seen the negatives, too. There's posters around town of some of these female candidates, and the faces have been cut out because, you know, the people say women shouldn't be doing this. So there is that (INAUDIBLE) sort of cultural and religious side to it, too.

And as I say, a lot of these candidates are Islamists. A lot of the country's reasonably secular, very moderate.


HOLMES: Other parts of the country, particularly in the east, are quite hard-line religiously. You know, one sidebar. You know, most of the al Qaeda Islamist fighters who went to Iraq, the foreign fighters, were from that eastern part of Libya. So I mean, there's some real hard-liners in that part of the country.

MALVEAUX: It's an incredibly dynamic situation that is going there...


MALVEAUX: ... in that country. It is totally fascinating, and we're going to be following this, obviously, to see how these elections turn out... (CROSSTALK)

HOLMES: ... positive.

MALVEAUX: ... cultural change.


MALVEAUX: And you say it's positive, and that's -- that's...

HOLMES: It's a step. And let's see how it goes. You know, fingers crossed.

MALVEAUX: All right...

HOLMES: But those guys with the pickups, I'm telling you from personal experience, they're crazy.


MALVEAUX: OK. We're going to keep a close eye on what's happening in Libya.


MALVEAUX: Thank you so much, Michael, as always.

HOLMES: Good to see you.

MALVEAUX: They are running from the constant threat of war and hunger. We're going to introduce you to the new lost boys of Sudan.


MALVEAUX: Activists in Beijing are claiming victory today, but not before a peaceful protest took a violent turn. The marchers came together to speak out against plans for a new chemical plant. It is the latest in a series of "not in my back yard" grass roots efforts that have grown along with China's expanding middle class. Eunice Yoon reports from Beijing.


EUNICE YOON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) peaceful protest in China turned into a bloody battle, tear gas and stun grenades used by anti-riot police on residents angered over the planned construction of a chemical plant in their city. Home videos like this one posted on line captured this standoff in the southwest, evoking outrage and a rare win among the nation's growing environmentally conscious urban class.

Many in Shifung (ph) feared the copper processing plant could pollute their town and wreak havoc on their health. Thousands gathered. Similar to a protest a year ago in the coastal town of Daoyang (ph), the middle class residents who marched to stop a petrochemical factory built in their back yard. This one turned violent. "Somebody is going to die," an onlooker shouts. The authorities deny anyone has died, but a dozen were hospitalized and several detained. Officials warned residents to stop what they described as illegal protests. But eventually, the government called off the project, the pressure overwhelming.


YOON (on camera): ... to get together and voice their concerns, and that trend is unnerving Chinese authorities who are determined to keep any protests under control.

(voice-over): On-line discussion of this protest was allowed, hinting Beijing may be unhappy with the local government response. Officials had just broken ground on the $1.6 billion facility and argued it would have brought in billions of dollars to a city ravaged by a major earthquake in 2008, a potential boost for the local economy, but money these residents decided isn't worth the environmental risk.

Eunice Yoon, CNN, Beijing.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back to NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL, where we go around the world in 60 minutes.

In South Sudan, history is repeating itself 20 years later. Thousands of boys, girls, too, as well, are flooding into refugee camps. They're coming to escape war, disease, famine. And they're following the same dangerous path that was forged in the 1990s by young male refugees who became known as "the lost boys of Sudan."

They are the civilian targets of war in Sudan. It happened in the 1980s, the 1990s, and in Darfur in the early 2000s. Well, today, the new generation of "lost boys" is in the midst of a massive humanitarian crisis.

CARE International, one of the aid agencies that's offering assistance -- Geoffrey Dennis -- he is the CEO at CARE International. He joins us by phone from Uganda.

Geoffrey, first of all, the way that Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes this situation in Sudan is an unbearable catastrophe. Tell us what's going on.

GEOFFREY DENNIS, CEO, CARE INTERNATIONAL (VIA TELEPHONE): It really is very difficult there. The government is working extremely hard, but the government is going through austerity measures at the moment.

We're talking about something like 400,000 returnees, which is an enormous pressure on any country. And the total needing emergency (ph), I reckon -- my assessment, having been to South Sudan in the last few days, is about 10 percent of the population, so that's about 800,000. The big issue is water, health -- CARE International doing a lot of work on the health side. I traveled right up to the north of the country. And should I give you a brief synopsis of what I found there?

MALVEAUX: Yes, please. Tell us why this is happening again and describe for us those camps.

DENNIS: Right. Well, first of all, what happens -- I went to Unity (ph) state, which is in the north of South Sudan, and there are kind of three stages. The first one, which I watched, were new returnees coming in by boat.

Now, these people have traveled for days. They carry whatever they can, but they quite often have no food and no water when they arrive. And already, it's the beginning of the rainy season there. It's a mess. It's really filthy, muddy conditions.

Now, CARE International has set up a clinic in that area, and we're addressing some of the really serious health issues. But as you would imagine in those situations, it's waterborne diseases and it's malaria.

I've watched children drinking water straight out of kind of palms (ph). I mean, this is what we've got to stop. We're doing the best we can there, and we're also working on training people to tell them, You've got to boil water.

Now, the next days -- just let me finish -- there are two other stages. The next one is they go to a way station, so within a day or two, they go to a reception area where they then receive regular food, water and help (ph), and then they go to the camps.

And I went to one camp which is about one hour's drive away, which has got 63,000 people in it, at the moment, with about 350 to 500 people a day still arriving. The conditions in the camp was good. I mean, I was quite pleased with that. But you have got, as you mentioned in your introduction, unaccompanied children. There are about 2,000 out of that 63,000 are unaccompanied children. It's a desperate situation.

MALVEAUX: And Geoffrey, what happens to those children who don't have parents, who come to those camps by themselves?

DENNIS: Well, one of them is, of course, they're registered, and then we will look after them and we will try to find families or associated (ph) families. And we are quite successful at doing that.

But I don't want to underestimate the issue or the fact that the government is working very hard on these issues there. We're working alongside them in many areas. But there are serious conditions.

My biggest concern would be water and health, obviously food, and so on, as well. But I mean, some people -- estimates are that one in nine children could die before they're the age of 5. I mean, these are some people's estimates. It's a serious situation. CARE International along with a number of agencies there are doing the best we can, and the government is working very hard. But it's an enormous pressure on a relatively small country to have 400,000 returnees coming back.

MALVEAUX: All right. Well, Geoffrey, we appreciate the work that you do, and obviously, people who want to get involved, you know, are looking at that situation, looking at your organization as just one of many to help in that area of the world. Thank you, Geoffrey. Appreciate it.

It is a flashpoint between religion and the fight against poverty. We're going to take you to a part of the world where the battle over birth control now boiling over.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back to NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL, where we take you around the world in 60 minutes.

So what does Finland's pop rock sound like? Take a listen.

All right, kind of cool. That was PMMP singing their smash hit "Russki (INAUDIBLE)" Interesting.

Melinda Gates getting some flak from Catholic bloggers now about a new birth control program that she is promoting. They say that the Gates Foundation's plan to provide contraception to 120 million women in developing countries not only violates church's teachings but could also result in population control.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- he spoke with Gates in an exclusive interview ahead of the International Family Planning summit, which the Gates Foundation is hosting in London next week. Take a listen.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You're completely comfortable being a practicing Catholic and advocating for this and obviously encouraging and funding it.

MELINDA GATES, BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION: To hear a poor woman say to me, I can't find the means to feed this child, and if I have seven children, there's no way I can feed and keep alive seven children -- I think that somebody needs to give voice to that, and I think it's important that I do that.


MALVEAUX: You can see more of Dr. Sanjay Gupta's interview with Melinda Gates on "SANJAY GUPTA MD." That is this weekend, tomorrow at 4:30 Eastern and Sunday at 7:30 in the morning.

All right, now I want to give you a very personal look at this problem through the eyes of a Kenyan woman who has five children. Now, they live in one of the largest slums in Nairobi. It is Korogocho, which means literally "standing shoulder to shoulder." David McKenzie -- he takes us there.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lucia Kinyi (ph) is hiding something from her husband, and she wants to share her secret.

LUCIA KINYI, MOTHER (through translator): He wanted all these kids so he can name them after the mother, other family members, who knows who else. It's like he married me just to get pregnant. It's a secret. It's a total secret.

MCKENZIE: After five children, Lucia took the risk of upsetting him, sneaking off to a clinic for a contraceptive injection. Every three months, she sneaks off again. The little she earns washing clothes is barely enough to feed her children.

KINYI (through translator): I am the one who has the problem. It is my body that has deteriorated. He doesn't know what the kids eat. He doesn't know what they wear. And this house isn't a house that should be having seven people. I am the one who worries about the kids.

MCKENZIE: Lucia says she's up against a community, not just her husband. In Korogocho slum, many believe that contraceptives can lead to deformities, cause cancer, and not only for prostitutes. And then there's the local church.

FATHER JOHN, ST. JOHN CATHOLIC CHURCH, KOROGOCHO: I tell my congregation that contraceptives are dangerous. They are dangerous to them and also to the generation (INAUDIBLE) They need to bring children in the world whom they can afford to take care of.

MCKENZIE: He says that means that the couples should practice self-restraint. But Lucia and the women here will tell you it's not that simple. They say the power relationship between men and the women isn't equal. So they band together to learn about contraceptives and gain the courage to use them.

But often, that isn't enough. Government clinics, hampered by underfunding and logistical problems, frequently run out of contraceptives.

JANE OTAI, SR. PROGRAM ADVISER, TUPANGE: So that really becomes a tragedy because here she is. She has decided, I only want five children, and I have the number of children I want, or I even have more than what I would have loved. And she goes to the facility, and there is no (INAUDIBLE) there is no contraceptive. There is no family planning method that she would like to use.

MCKENZIE: The shacks in Korogocho are completely crammed together like this, sometimes six, seven, even eight people of a family living together in just one room. And mothers say they can't cope. (voice-over): In the daytime, it's OK. But at night, the children come back from school or day care. This is Lucia's worst time. It's when she feels overwhelmed. All she wants is the best for her children, she says, and she's willing to risk everything for that.

David McKenzie, CNN, Korogocho, Kenya.


MALVEAUX: South Korea is ready to start whaling again for what they call scientific research, but that explanation not cutting it with animal rights activists.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back to NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL, where we take you around the world in 60 minutes.

Romania's president may soon be fighting to stay in office. President Traian Basescu faces an impeachment vote today. The ruling coalition is accusing him of violating the constitution, abusing his power. If impeached, Basescu could be suspended for a month. Country would then hold a vote whether or not he should even keep his job.

South Korea says it plans to start hunting whales again in the waters off its shores. They say it is for scientific research, but environmental groups and countries around the Pacific Rim -- they're not buying that explanation.

Paula Hancocks -- she's in Seoul with views from both sides of the issue.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Japan insists it kills whales for scientific purposes only. South Korea has now signaled its intention to follow suit.

HAN HYE-JIN, SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN (through translator): Scientific whaling is the right of the members of the International Whaling Commission. We think the scientific whaling will take place.

HANCOCKS: The move has outraged conservationists, nations and environmental groups alike.

JULIA GILLARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: I am very disappointed by this announcement by South Korea. We are completely opposed to whaling. There's no excuse for scientific whaling.

HANCOCKS: The Korean delegation announced its intentions to the International Whaling Commission in Panama Wednesday, saying stocks of minke whales have replenished in Korean waters, and the Korean fishing industry is suffering as whales are depleting fish stocks, two claims rejected by Greenpeace, who believe scientific whaling is thinly disguised commercial whaling. JEONGHEE HAN, GREENPEACE KOREA: There's no scientific evidence that the minke whales in the Korean waters have recovered. And it's still being assessed by scientific committee, the IWC. And also, whales do not cause the decline of fish stocks. It's actually human being who's doing overfishing with mismanagement of fishery.

HANCOCKS: More than 90 minke whales were accidentally killed by fishermen in 2010, according the a joint Korean coast guard and Whaling Commission report, with over a dozen more believed to have been illegally hunted. All of these ended up being sold and eaten.

(on camera): Whale meat remains popular here in South Korea, particularly in the southern port city of Ulsan. Now, this is where the meat from whales accidentally caught is sold. (INAUDIBLE) government insists that in this country, there is a long tradition of hunting whales for food.

(voice-over): "I do not have anything against eating whale meat," this customer says. "I think it's OK to resort to a variety of food if food resources are shrinking."

South Korea continued whaling after a 1986 moratorium went into effect, but stopped after one season due to international pressure. Environmentalists are hoping similar pressure will make South Korea reconsider this time, as well.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


MALVEAUX: When they were only babies, they were stolen by the military in Argentina. Well, today, they are finally getting justice.


MALVEAUX: As I mentioned earlier, two elderly men in Argentina, both of them former dictators, both of them already in prison for horrific crimes -- well, today, they've got new sentences to keep them locked up even longer. A court found them guilty of stealing babies. That's right, literally taking children out of their mothers' arms, changing their names and then changing their identities.

This happened during a particularly brutal time in Argentina's history. It was called the "dirty war."

Want to talk about this with our own Juan Carlos Lopez in Washington. And Juan Carlos, first of all, it's a little odd, right, because these are guys who might have spent the rest of their lives in jail, in prison. Why did they even bother to put them on trial?

JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Because the Argentinians, who are looking for answers, wanted to demonstrate that this was a government policy, that the dictatorship that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983 had a deliberate policy of separating children from their mothers. Now, there is the official number of victims for that period is that about 13,000 people were either disappeared, or detained, tortured by the dictatorship. And the goal was to eliminate what the government at that time, the dictatorship, considered was the leftist inclination in the country. They wanted to eliminate any traces of links to the left. Remember, it was a very different time than it is today.

But what this ruling does, apart from convicting not only two of the former presidents under the dictatorship, two former dictators and other members of the military, it establishes that this was a policy carried out by the government, that the government deliberately separated between 400 and 500 children from their mothers and handed them over to other families.

Now, over 100 have been reunited with their families, but many more still don't know who their real families are.

MALVEAUX: And Juan Carlos, explain this to us. Help us understand what is actually taking place there, the fact that you have adults now who are discovering that these parents are not really their parents at all, that these children, really, they are sent to the enemy, essentially.

LOPEZ: Yes, there's a group, the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, the square, they started protesting and they were looking for their children. They were looking for their grandchildren. And they knew that there was a pattern. They knew what was going on. And they were successful after many years in identifying at least 105 of these kids.

Now, many of them have been submitted to DNA tests. That's the only way they've been able to confirm that they weren't raised by their families. Some are very vocal. Some are part of the movement. And it's been a very difficult experience for Argentina to look back and to relive this part of their history.

But even Estrella Carlotto (ph), who heads Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo was ecstatic at the fact that now nobody can deny that the government was doing this deliberately. And they believe this brings closure and it brings the possibility of looking for more of these children and trying to reunite them with their biological families.

MALVEAUX: It's just an incredible story. Thank you so much, Juan Carlos. I appreciate it.

LOPEZ: My pleasure.

MALVEAUX: Six of his brothers were killed in the genocide. That was almost two decades ago. Well, now he's riding for Rwanda, proudly carrying his country's flag at the Olympics this summer in London.


MALVEAUX: Mountain biker Adrien Niyonshuti is an Olympic hopeful with an inspiring story of survival. Six of his brothers were killed in Rwanda's genocide. That happened in 1994. Well, in two weeks, he's going to carry the flag for his country at the 2012 London games. His remarkable story in his own words.


ADRIEN NIYONSHUTI, OLYMPIC HOPEFUL: My name is Adrien Niyonshuti and my age is 25 years old. I'm a cyclist for team (ph) of Rwanda.

I was watching (ph) (INAUDIBLE) Rwanda (INAUDIBLE) the stage (ph) in a car with my uncle and my brother from the (INAUDIBLE) I tell them I wanted to be cyclist one day. And then my uncle said, yes, you can. You can do it.

In 2006, I met Jock Boyer and Tom Frischknecht. They come in Rwanda. They organize (ph) for mountain bike tour. It was the first time I competed for mountain bike, actually. If it was not for those guys, of course (ph), impossible for me to get professional cyclist.

The memory of the genocide is a very hard time for me and for a lot of people in Rwanda. Cycling gives me opportunity to keep my past time away and really focus what I want to do. My best inspiration is to work hard and not to give up, to focus. To everything, I say, I can do it. And I will never give up of trying my best.

Since I started preparing for Olympics, I training between four hour and three hour by day. I'm not going over 2,000 calories. I like to eat some rice, sweet (ph) butter, too, spaghetti and chicken and fish and tea without sugar.

I had my first injury last year in Rwanda. I had a bike crash and hit my shoulder, was a little bit cracked. Then I take a little bit long (ph) to come all right.

My favorite music is country music and reggae music. I like Bob Marley.

I'm very proud of myself to carry flag for my country in London. Everyone in Rwanda say, We are behind you. Go there, get medal. I know (INAUDIBLE) my dream.


MALVEAUX: Good for him. Adrien Niyonshuti -- he is the first Rwandan to qualify for the Olympics in mountain biking.

Activists in New York going bananas, literally. They're outraged there are more regulations for produce than for weapons that kill and are traded around the world. Here's Richard Roth.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should be their advocates!

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These activists are going bananas in Times Square, warning New Yorkers and the rest of the world about the danger of the global arms trade.

AQUIP YACOOB, ACTIVIST: Bananas. There are more global regulations on the trade of bananas than there are on international -- on weapons, you know, things that are used to kill people, to commit mass atrocities.

ROTH: The United Nations is discussing a first ever global arms treaty to regulate and reduce the flow of weapons around the world.

SUZANNE NOSSEL, EXEC. DIR., AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: It's a huge problem that the international community has never really come to grips with. Now is the moment.

ROTH: Current regulations do not force states to approve an international transfer of arms.

BAN KI-MOON, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: We need to act now to end the widespread of human suffering caused by the unregulated international arms trade.

ROTH: The conference has been given added urgency by the vivid violence inside Syria.

RAY OFFENHEISER, PRESIDENT, OXFAM AMERICA: If we'd had a treaty in the past in place that would be governing the movement of weapons one way or another, into or out of Syria, would we have the situation we have now?

ROTH: The U.S., Russia and China are some of the leading sellers of weapons. They are expected to try to remove different weapons categories and ammunition during treaty negotiations. Critics say the whole idea of a weapons treaty is fantasy, placing all countries under one weapons treaty.

TED BROMUND, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: This is not a treaty that is going to clamp down on the arms trade except for democracies in well- meaning states.

ROTH: Even if there is an agreement after one month of wrangling, each country still must win ratification back home.

Richard Roth, CNN, New York.


MALVEAUX: It's the tallest building in all of Europe, but despite the stellar views, there are few people who seem interested in buying up the office space inside. We're going to tell you why.


MALVEAUX: It took five years to build. Now London has a new skyscraper. The Shard, as it's called, stands at more than 1,000 feet tall, but there is a problem now, finding tenants. Here's Issa Suarez (ph).


ISSA SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The London skyline has a new giant, the Shard, Europe's tallest building, towering 310 meters high. Despite its impressive proportions and striking presence, its ability to attract tenants has been somewhat lacking. The construction of skyscrapers in London often only begin once developers have secured a pre-let, the guarantee of an occupier (ph) signing a lease.

PETER REES, LONDON PLANNING OFFICER: Pre-letting of buildings has always been a difficulty. The amount of investment involved, of course, for a skyscraper is enormous, and very few developers are in the position, even if they wished to, to fund the development until they have a guarantee of occupation of at least a third of the building.

SUAREZ: The Shard had only two back in 2006 before building work started. The developer wouldn't tell CNN how much the building is already let, but the latest media reports put it at 30 percent.

This is the first time a building in Europe is being used for so many purposes -- from the 2nd to the 28th floor, office space, 570,000 square feet of it. Media companies and several banks are rumored to be interested.

Floors 31 to 33 are earmarked for Michelin star restaurants. Then there's a hotel, the Shangri-La, with a pool and a spa and over 200 rooms with a view. The 53rd to the 65th floor can be yours if you have enough money to spare for a luxury apartment. And there's a 360- degree view of London from the 68th to the 72nd floor. Just don't look down.

With this impressive resume, finding a tenant may not be a problem.

IRVINE SELLAR, SELLAR PROPERTY GROUP CHAIRMAN: This is a global landmark building. It will attract tenants who want that recognition to say, My address happens to be in the Shard of London. They don't have to say any more.

SUAREZ: It has taken five years to build. It'll be another year before they find out whether the Shard can really live up to their high hopes. Issa Suarez, CNN, London.


MALVEAUX: Several stories caught our attention today, and photos as well. Take a look at this. In Spain, coal miners are staging a nationwide protest against government cutbacks. They burned a pile of wood and car tires to close off roads.

This aircraft has the wingspan of a jumbo jet, but runs only on solar power. The plane is making its return voyage home to Switzerland. It traveled more than 1,500 miles between Europe and north Africa.

And believe it or not, take a look at this. It's the birthday celebration in Nepal. It's exiled Buddhist monks celebrating the 77th birthday of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.