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Syrians Holding Syrians Prisoner; Syria Execution Posted on Web; U.S. Gymnasts Win Gold
Aired August 1, 2012 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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:
Booted from the games. A scandal erupting on the badminton court, crushing the dreams of eight Olympians.
And tough times in Europe. One woman's so desperate to make ends meet that she is now selling her eggs.
And this -- this is Syria. Very, very hard to watch. This is something that only you're going to see here on CNN.
Our cameras, our reporters, getting explosive access to makeshift prison in rebel-held northern Syria. This is a schoolhouse where the rebel fighters have locked up government troops and officers and some of them badly hurt and all of them desperately afraid.
Here is Ivan Watson.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are in a rebel-controlled makeshift prison in a school where they are keeping 112 prisoners. They are going to show us the prisoners' conditions right now.
(voice-over): Instead of schoolchildren, this crowded classroom holds at least 40 prisoners. We won't show their faces, because most of them clearly don't want to be filmed, perhaps fearing retribution against their families.
The prison warden accuses these men of being members of the Shabiha, Syria's much feared pro-government militia.
He ordered one of the prisoners to stand up for the camera and take off his shirt. He limps, unable to stand flat on his feet.
This prisoner has the face of the Syrian regime tattooed on his chest. Portraits of the family that's ruled Syria for more than 40 years. Former President Hafez al Assad, his long dead Bassel, and the current, Bashar al-Assad. On his back, a greeting in Arabic to Hezbollah, the Shiite movement in Syria.
But someone has got cut (INAUDIBLE) into tattoos showing Bashar al-Assad's face. Allahu Akbar, "Allah is great" is all that the prisoner says.
This prisoner is a Shabiha member who used to beat protestors at demonstrations, says the warden, a former employee of the agricultural ministry who asked only to be called Abu Hatamb .
(on camera): It looked to me that somebody deliberately cut on the tattoos of the Assad family.
(voice-over): This man confessed to committing crimes Abu Hatam tells me, so he cut himself because he wanted to show loyalty to the rebels.
It seems an unlikely account.
The warden shows us the food his men feed the prisoners. Jailers bring us another suspected Shabiha member. The man trembles, glancing terrified at his captors every time he speaks.
He says he worked as a bureaucrat in the state finance office in Aleppo until rebels blow it up. Desperate to pay for his wife's cesarean section, the man took a job as a guard at the checkpoint for about $190 a month. He said he'd only been on the job for five days when the rebels captured him.
The top enforcer in the facility is a hulking man nicknamed "Jumbo". He says he endured days of torture in government prisons.
In another room, he seems to treat captured soldiers and army officers with more respect. Just days ago, these were men in uniform fighting for the Syrian government. Now they are captors of an increasingly confident rebel movement that's determined to destroy the Syrian regime.
Ivan Watson, CNN, reporting from northern Syria.
MALVEAUX: We have another story out of Syria. Again, we have to warn you about some of this video that we are showing out of Syria. It is quite frankly brutal. It is very graphic. It appears to show people being killed, and some say executed.
This is really at the heart of the conflict here, this is the city of Aleppo. This is where things are rapidly deteriorating.
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MALVEAUX: You are hearing massive gunshots ringing out there. You are watching what apparently looks like some kind of execution. We cannot confirm this 100 percent, the authenticity of this video. We are told that these are members of Syria's rebel movement.
Now, what they are doing, and what appears to be is that they are lining up militia men loyal to President Bashar al Assad, these are the rebels, and they are killing them with machine guns -- the crowd of rebels cheering and chanting.
I want to bring in Hala Gorani from CNN International to walk us through what we are actually seeing here, make some sense of this, because now, we are not talking about Assad's forces, we are talking about the rebels here on the ground and what they are allegedly doing.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Right. This is the biggest fear for Syria, that this country, and in this case, we believe it happened in Aleppo, that this will all spiral into sectarian killing, revenge attacks based on sect, and based on religion. In this particular instance, we believe that these men who the rebels accuse of being Shabiha, the Ghosts, the Assad militiamen and regular army, that these are revenge executions, because they blame this particular family and group for having killed protesters and having killed rebel soldiers.
So, let me try to walk you through this and again, a fair warning to our viewers if you have children or if you are sensitive to violence and bloodshed, you might want to turn away at this stage. But this is what we are seeing in the first bit of this video. It shows the moment of capture, Suzanne, of these militia men or what the rebels say are militiamen. They are members of the Berri clan, are captured. They are kicked as you see them there lying on the ground, their faces bloodied.
And then another piece of video here of the captured men held in a room there. We are showing their faces, because we can see the fear on the faces of some of these men in this case. And we are showing you the moment where they are rounded up in what we believe to be a classroom.
Then, and this is really the difficult part to watch. We have blurred some of the faces there. Now, you can clearly identify some of the men who were in the room, and now lined up against a wall, outside. We can hear some of the men saying, don't shoot, don't shoot. They know what's coming. They are lined up against the wall.
And then at this point, we hear a hail of gunfire, automatic gunfire as the men are cut down.
And eventually, bodies are piled up on top of each other in the video, and we are not showing you the most graphic content here, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Hala, this is absolutely horrifying. And we are talking about a situation that is obviously devolving on the ground, because you look at this, and there is no clear cut picture here, who is the good guy? Who is the bad guy? There is killing, brutal killing going on both sides.
So, who are the rebels? These people who essentially desperate and picked up the weapons. Are these criminals? Is this a situation that is blowing up and is out now of control?
GORANI: It seems that might become the case very soon, where the opposition and the rebels are not united, where you have some groups motivated by sectarian hatred and other groups motivated by the desire to overthrow a dictatorial regime and a police state that has brutalized its own citizens for 40-plus years.
You have to remember where it all started. Sometimes we forget that 17 months ago, this all started within the context of the Arab Spring, when parents from Daraa in the south said, enough is enough, you cannot torture our children, we are going out in the street and we are openly defying the regime. They were killed by regime forces. They were shot to death.
And little by little, what the situation has turned into is an armed rebellion with groups now apparently, as we have seen in the video, if it is authentic and we believe that it is, apparently using some of the same extrajudicial tactics of the regime that they are fighting.
MALVEAUX: This is not the first time we have seen this. We actually saw this played out in Libya when you had the group of people, that crowd. They went after Gadhafi. They dragged him into the streets. They ultimately ended up killing him.
MALVEAUX: That is somewhat that we saw there. There is some stability there. How do they turn a corner? How does it change where you have all of these different groups, now these revenge killings that are taking place in the very much same execution style as the Assad's forces?
GORANI: Well, that's a good question and I think one of the activists I was speaking to from Aleppo said something very interesting. He said when the United States and its allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, decide to arm, either financially help, with communication equipment, or to arm really with heavy duty weaponry, perhaps part of the condition should be to require some training, some knowledge of what the rules of warfare are.
In other words, when you capture soldiers, or when you capture your enemy what to do. Because in this case, if this is indeed authentic and these are Berri clan Shabiha executed against the wall of a schoolhouse in northern Syria, and if this is authentic, this is only going to open up the door to more sectarian bloodshed.
MALVEAUX: This is -- this kind of video and this kind of scenario that's playing out here is exactly why the Obama administration is not arming the rebels. They don't know who the people are, they are disparate groups, they don't know if they can trust them. You have the Turks who are actually arming them, we are giving intelligence, but we have not gone that far.
MALVEAUX: How the people who are aligned with the rebels make sure that they get into the right hands, that this thing does not happen?
GORANI: Well, go all of the way back to Afghanistan during the Soviet era and arming those against the Soviet Union and Afghanistan and what that led to. I mean, you had Western nations helping the mujahidin against the Soviets. That certainly turned around against them and didn't lead to kind of positive picture that would help the West.
But I want to add one thing about the Free Syrian Army, we do have a piece of video that again with all of the elements, it's very difficult to authenticate -- but a Free Syrian Army, identifying himself as a Free Syrian Army officer promising to treat all captives humanly. And I think we have that video of him saying that we treat all captives from the regime and it's Shabiha by international law.
Who this person is? We don't have that specific piece of video, but it's out there, where the Free Syrian Army, at least one wing of it, trying to reassure the international community that this is not how we are going to operate.
MALVEAUX: You and I have been talking about this for days and weeks, and we've seen what we thought was going to be a turning point in this crisis, that perhaps Assad's regime would crumble, that the rebels were going to really make some sort of headway. When you take a look at what is happening on the ground and you look at -- this is at the hands of the rebels who are doing this kind of thing, do you think that now the Assad gain some momentum or even maybe some breathing space here for people here who look at that and wonder, should I be supporting this movement?
GORANI: Well, at this stage in the Syrian crisis, it seems as, though, no outside pronouncement or statement matters anymore. This crisis has become internal. It has become -- it is starting to spiral in the cases of these kinds of extrajudicial killings into something that is out of control.
So, and long ago, the Assad regime has signaled to the international community that they don't really care what kind of pressure is coming from the outside, they rely on their allies. That is Russia and Iran.
And on the other side of this conflict, you have allies of the rebels -- those who are saying openly they would like to help them, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
So, this is turning into a conflict that is internal with certainly outside elements and forces playing into what's going on.
MALVEAUX: It is hard to watch. It's hard to see. It is important to see however.
Hala, thank you much. Really appreciate it.
GORANI: Thank you. Yes.
MALVEAUX: Here's more of what we're working on for this hour of NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL:
A new TV channel in Egypt featuring female anchors, veiled head to toe. It never would have happened under the former President Hosni Mubarak. We're going to take a look at just how deep the cultural shift has been since the revolution.
And Philippe Cousteau, he is joining us on why luxury resorts in the developing world are leaving the locals high and dry and desperate for clean water.
MALVEAUX: Scandal and annihilation at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The U.S. women's gymnastics team wins gold of course. First time in 16 years the women's team has taken the top spot at the Olympics. White House just confirmed President Obama called the team to congratulate them on their remarkable success. He spoke one by one to all the Fab 5.
And also, we are watching eight women, badminton players, have been booted for allegedly trying to lose matches.
Our Zain Verjee, she is live at London's Olympic Park.
Zain, let's start, first of all, let's with the scandal here, and who knew that badminton was so controversial, but I guess, now, there are repercussions here, because they tried to lose and now they are being penalized. Tell us what happened.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: When you come to the Olympics, Suzanne, you want to win. Now they are being accused of deliberately losing matches. We are talking South Korea, China, and Indonesia. Eight of those players have been suspended, and then ultimately after decision and a disciplinary hearing, they were disqualified.
What is argued is that they deliberately missed some easy shots and deliberately served into the net. The idea that many people are saying is that they had already qualified for the next round. And what they wanted to do is lose these matches so they could play the weaker teams. So what's happened is, is that they have been booted out, and there is a little bit of cloud over those three countries. And that's what's making the headlines.
MALVEAUX: Was the idea they didn't want to compete against each other, their fellow badminton players?
VERJEE: Yes. Well, if China won one particular match they would have competed against China, so it was not necessarily about the badminton, but the strategy, you know? So, yes, one of the arguments is that that was what they were thinking.
MALVEAUX: OK. Are they able to actually appeal the suspension or are they done for this go-around?
VERJEE: According to some of the latest reports, they are done. You know, there was some talk of an appeal, but the federation here is not accepting any appeals, and Indonesia has reportedly withdrawn its appeal. It's only China who is saying they are going to launch an internal investigation.
MALVEAUX: All right. I want the talk about the Fab 5. I love these women. They are awesome.
MALVEAUX: It was so fantastic to see.
This is coming from Jordyn Wieber -- she's one of the American gymnasts, of course, on the team. She just tweeted this out, Zain. She says, "Just talked to the president on the phone. Pretty much the coolest thing ever."
That is pretty cool.
MALVEAUX: What are they doing today?
VERJEE: Well, that is. That's just icing on the cake. They were so amazing. It was such a solid performance.
I was just looking at some of the things they're doing. Gabby Douglas, Gabby the flying squirrel, as well as Alexandra Raisman are going to be having competitions tomorrow in the individual all-around.
So I think they are celebrating, but trying to refocus. But it was a pretty amazing competition and they got the gold since '96.
MALVEAUX: Let's see -- what's happening with Michael Phelps? Because obviously he is pretty awesome himself. He broke all of the records, of course, 19 medals, but not getting a lot of love from the head of the London Olympics.
VERJEE: Yes, you know, Sebastian Coe basically was asked, is he the greatest Olympian ever? And Sebastian Coe said, probably not. He is very successful, but not necessarily the greatest.
So he's been getting a lot of flak especially from the U.S. on this. People watching might go, what do you mean? Is he crazy? Michael Phelps has 19 medals -- of course, he is the greatest.
On the numbers count, yes, you know? But what Sebastian Coe was trying to say was that, you know, in swimming, for example, you have more opportunities to get more medals. You can swim into the relays, and get more medals from that, too.
You know, can you really compare who is the best and who isn't? Look at Jesse Owens. Look at Nadia Comaneci, the gymnast from Romania -- Carl Lewis. So, it really depends who you ask and what you think.
But Michael Phelps is amazing and nobody can walk him out of the history he's made.
MALVEAUX: Yes, no hating allowed.
How are the Brits doing? They got their first gold.
VERJEE: Oh my gosh! Everyone went nuts. Yes.
They got their first gold in rowing. The whole country is toasting that. Two women won that.
And then Bradley Wiggins won the cycling. He won the Tour de France and he got a second gold. So, everyone is really happy.
I just want to show you the mood this morning of some of the newspapers, "Here We Go". That's in the "Daily Mirror". And then "The Sun" has headline here, saying, "Going For Wiggold".
And the interesting thing here, Suzanne, is that they are saying, "Everybody, cheer for Bradley and cut out the sideburns that they put on front pages here.
So, you cut them out and the idea is to just support him and hope that he wins. So, little bit of fun, but it worked.
MALVEAUX: Absolutely. And we know that the mayor of London got to zip lining. We're going to get to that in the next hour.
Thank you, Zain. Appreciate it.
Fancy cocktails and luxurious soaks in a crystal clear swimming pool. Well, all in the far-flung corner of the world sounds like a great vacation?
Well, Philippe Cousteau, he's going to tell us why luxury hotels in the developing world could be costing the locals their clean water supply.
MALVEAUX: Luxury resorts and exotic locations like Bali, they attract tons of tourists who may not realize that all of the amenities they have come to enjoy -- we're talking about the golf courses and the infinity pools and the spas, we love that stuff, right -- using a lot of fresh water that's having serious impact on the people who live outside of those resort gates.
Joining us to talk about this from Los Angeles, CNN correspondent and renowned environmentalist Philippe Cousteau.
Philippe, good to see you.
PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning or afternoon for you.
MALVEAUX: Good morning. Afternoon, yes.
The charity group Tourism Concern, they put out this report and essentially they blast the beach resorts in the developing countries, talking about what is taking place when it comes to water. We are talking about Bali in Indonesia, Gambia, the island of Zanzibar off Tanzania, and India.
And it says that the tourists, those spots, they are using way too much water. And what's happening? We are talking about the disease. We're talking about poverty. And the local communities end up suffering.
Explain to us why.
COUSTEAU: Well, Suzanne, it's important to remember that tourism is the largest transfer of wealth between the rich and the poor in the history of humanity, but it is a double-edged sword. There are certainly a lot of concern not only in the resorts, but in resorts around the world, to the degree to which fresh water is being used for the convenience of the guests versus the use of the locals. And in some cases, it can be 10 or more times as much water, 20 times as much water as the average local is using the guests use.
So there is a great concern not only about the water use, but also electricity use. We are seeing a big challenges in electricity and the generation of electricity in some countries around the world and how much is used in tourism and fresh water pollution, sewage pollution going into the coastal rain habitats, affecting coral reefs.
There's definitely a lot of challenges to tourism.
MALVEAUX: And, Philippe, you bring up a good point, because this resort in Zanzibar, they say that the locals use 24 gallons of water a day compared to 844 gallons a day for each room at a five-star hotel. What does that mean for the local population?
COSTEAU: Well, it can mean serious hardship for a population that's already struggling with lack of access to clean water. Of course, up to 1 billion of people every single day in this world today lack access to the clean water. It's one of the greatest, if not the greatest crisis that we face in the 21st century.
That being said however, and I have consulted with various hotels around the world, there are opportunities to do better. I think that it is up to resort operators to look at how they can use many of the same technologies that we use in this country, rainwater catch man systems, onsite re-nourishment and on site gray water systems to use toilet water or bathtub water to water plant plants -- those types of things. It can really reduce their impact.
And not all tourist operators are bad egg, but there are some out there trying to do the right thing and being successful.
MALVEAUX: I feel I want to give just a couple of the numbers. Pretty staggering here when you look at it. One in six people worldwide don't have access to clean water. It's a total of 894 million folks, 24 percent that is, the people in developing nations.
If you are a tourist, you're going to some of these resorts, you want have to have a good time, what should you do? What can you do to actually help out the local population?
COUSTEAU: Well, being informed. Knowledge is power, Suzanne, and the key for tourist -- you know, I tell people all of the time everything we do makes a difference, all of our choices have a consequence. So when we're going to go on vacation, make the effort to find out what kind of operations and what kind of behaviors the resort that you're planning on going to is engaging.
And Tourism Concern is certainly an organization that looks at that and list tourism operators that are doing good work.
The United Nations Foundation has started the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. That is another great resource, in partnership with a lot of tourism operators and nonprofits around the world. Simple Google search will bring up great resources that people and prospective tourists can engage in to make sure they are having a great time on vacation, but also having a positive impact on the community in which they are visiting.
MALVEAUX: All right. Philippe Cousteau, appreciate it.
Lights back on for most people in India. But for how long? What caused the massive blackout for over half of the grid and half of the country?
MALVEAUX: Now, looking at what is topping the charts around the world. In Argentina, this song is No. 1.
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The song is by a Puerto Rican artist Daddy Yankee. The song means runway in English like a fashion runway. And it had nearly 2 million hits on YouTube.
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MALVEAUX: Lights back on in India. Crews restored full power to the northern half of the country. The vast area lost power yesterday after three electricity grids failed.
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MALVEAUX: 600 million people were left in the dark because of an aging grid and overwhelming demand. To give you some perspective, that is more people than U.S., Mexico, and Canada combined. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Another bizarre case of a sewing needle found in a sandwich on a commercial airlines. The latest incident happened on Monday aboard Air Canada flight en route to Toronto. Passengers found the needle in a catered sandwich. Police are investigating, and Air Canada is saying it is checking with the caterer, but declined to name the company. Two weeks ago, needles were found in sandwiches on Delta flights from Amsterdam to the U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Senegal this hour. It is the first stop of an 11-day tour across the continent. Her trip will take her to South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, and Ghana. In Senegal, Clinton will sit down with leaders there. She's also going to address the nation, offering praise for its work to promote Democratic stability in West Africa.
In April blind Chinese dissident (inaudible) captured our attention with his escape from house arrest and eventual flight to the United States. Today, he is on Capitol Hill for a meeting with Republican house speaker John Boehner and Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Both lawmakers, they are outspoken critics of China's alleged human rights abuses.
Imagine being so desperate for money that you have to sell your eggs? That is a decision this woman in Spain has had to make five times, and she is not alone.
MALVEAUX: Europe's economic crisis forcing people to make drastic steps to make ends meet. Some are donating their eggs and sperm to bring in extra cash. For women, the process is painful and there are risks. Still, Spain is seeing a huge jump in such donations, as one woman has done it five times. Isa Soares has her story.
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ISA SOARES, CNN REPORTER: This female donor does not want to be identified for fear of being stigmatized. She's hear at the clinic in central Madrid to donate her eggs. A process she's been through four times before.
TRANSLATOR: The first donating I made when I came to the clinic I was accompanied by my mother.
SOARES: Today, she's come alone. Knowing that while donating will help others start a family, it would also help her family survive financially.
TRANSLATOR: I work at a house. I also do manicures and I work as a cleaner.
SOARES: Her husband works as a taxi driver. But the economic crisis here in Spain has severely impacted their income. So she made the decision to begin to donate her eggs for cash. A process that requires a series of hormone injections and the surgical removal of the eggs.
TRANSLATOR: Once I made two donations and I got 3,000 euros.
SOARES: Women receive up to 1,000 euros per donation. The process is long, painful, and carries risks. Once accepted as donors men can give sperm once a week over a period of three months, and they will receive 50 euros every time.
TRANSLATOR: When you don't have enough money, you take the donation money and you pay all of the bills.
SOARES: But this is her fifth donation and it will be her last.
TRANSLATOR: They only recommend a maximum of six donations so it doesn't affect your health.
SOARES: Doctor Rocio Nunez says she is surprised by the number of donors walking to her clinic. However, the industry is closely regulated so they don't take everyone who comes through the door. Apart from physical testing, potential donors must also undergo thorough psychological evaluations.
ROCIO NUNEZ, TAMBRE CLINIC: The number of donors increased because there are more people that need the money to survive.
SOARES: According to the body that monitors reproduction clinics in Spain, in the last year alone there has been an almost 30 percent increase in egg and sperm donations, and once finished here, some go elsewhere selling their hair or even breast milk. Either way you look at it, look closer. These are signs of hardship, desperation, and need. Isa Soares CNN, Madrid.
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MALVEAUX: If you can't beat them, join them. That is the idea behind one south American country's plan to stop the deadly drug war.
MALVEAUX: Uruguay wants to take on the country's drug kingpins by taking a huge bite out of their business. The south American nation is proposing legalizing every aspect of the marijuana trade. So what are we are talking about? We're talking about growing the drug, selling it, smoking it, all of it. The government would regulate all of it. Joining us CNN En Espanol anchor, Fernando Del Rincon. Fernando, tell us why the president has decided this is the way to go? Why is he taking this approach?
FERNANDO DEL RINCON, CNN EN ESPANOL ANCHOR: There are some interesting points, Suzanne. First of all, they believe they can separate the market, users from the traffickers. That will be the first step of the first reason they think it will work for them and also separating the drugs like marijuana from heroin or cocaine, and the other important point is that they say that the professional farmers growing it on small parts of land will help them control and have more security in terms of arms and traffic control. They will have also some sort of system to regulate how many - the amounts of drugs that people buy just like a national regulation system, and also control the THC which is the active ingredient of marijuana. Those are like a few one of the reasons that they think it will help them to work.
MALVEAUX: This not the only Latin-American country - we're talking about Brazil, Argentina - why do they think this is the right model? The correct model to go in that direction?
DEL RINCON: Well, let me tell you something about this. It's having a regional debate. It's not just Uruguay. President Otto Perez Molina from Guatemala has been talking about this during the American summit in Cartagena, Colombia. He brought that to the table. Also ex- presidents like Vicente Fox has been talking about it, Mexico. We have intellectuals like Mario (inaudible). So it's been around for a while but the thing is this is the first time that an actual law is being drafted to make it pass - to go all of the way through the Congress and make it real. The other presidents have been talking about it, but there is no action in terms of lawmakers working on it.
MALVEAUX: Why do you suppose there is this action that's taking place there where it has not made that kind of progress in other countries? What is it that makes it unique? That it's actually going to go through the system, the process?
DEL RINCON: Well, first of all, everything goes down to politics, right? the president is --
MALVEAUX: Not surprising.
DEL RINCON: So the president has a slight majority in the parliament so it could work because of that. Anyway, there is some opposition, and they have been fighting against it. But, I mean, real, the real matter of this thing is that if the parliament approves it, it is going to go, and it is going to be a reality for Uruguay and it might be copied - talking about Otto Perez Molina from Guatemala.
MALVEAUX: And we know that the personal marijuana use, it's already legal there. Do we think that the rest of these regulations, that they, too, will follow suit? That they will pass in Uruguay?
DEL RINCON: Yes, well, that is what they think. I mean, there is a first step about talking about the individual persons that use marijuana, it is legal over there, and it is not like in Mexico or some other countries in the region. It is not legal actually, so there is a first step over there that can tell us the possibility, and the flexibility and also the perception of the people over there in Uruguay about this topic, because there is a big difference of the other countries in the region.
MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you very much. Very interesting story, Fernando.
DEL RINCON: Thank you very much.
MALVEAUX: And imagine a talk show host who looks like this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: It is a news station in Egypt where all of the hosts wear veils. It could signal a massive cultural shift in the biggest country in the Arab world. We're going to take a look.
MALVEAUX: Welcome back. When you see TV talk show hosts you don't normally see them covered, but that is exactly what a new TV station in Egypt is now featuring. It is something that you would have never seen actually under Hosni Mubarak's regime. (Inaudible), he takes us behind the scenes in Cairo.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Talk naturally" says Islam Abdullah , "as if you're talking to your sister." Advice to a new presenter, because on Maria TV, it's all about her voice. The audience will never see her face.
All the women from the presenters to producers are veiled from head to toe. A first for Egyptian television. Camera woman Heba Seraq- Eddin says she couldn't get a TV job after graduation just because she was veiled.
"I was told that a macabre existence in television is rejected. I felt despair because I couldn't work in my field," she says. "The door of my employment was closed until I came across an ad for this channel."
Maria TV gives Seraq-Eddin and others like her a voice for four hours a day on the anti-Christian and Al Umma Satellite Channel. It's mission, to give the women's conservative Islamic message a greater presence in post-Mubarak Egypt.
"We are trying to create a better society after the earthquake of freedom that was January 25," says this station manager Alaa Abdullah. "Egypt should be greater. It should be more constructive. Freer."
While Abdullah fights for greater freedoms for voices like hers, she warns of giving too much freedom the others.
"We have liberal and secular channels that destroy Islam," she says. "They want to influence society to create one with ideas not its own and create new customs and traditions.
The man behind Maria TV is her father, Abu Islam Abdullah, who blames Christianity for what he calls society's loose morals. He says he created Maria TV to help put women back on what he sees as the right path.
"Maria TV is my rejection of the discrimination that is inherent in the heretical system of democracy," hey says. "Democracy lets women dress immodestly, work as dancers and even be members of parliament. For Muslims and me, this is sheer madness." The unique channel has already developed a devoted following. Until advertising revenue starts coming on, viewers' donations are keeping the lights on and the cameras running, bringing in around $33,000 a month. Women are working for free, hoping that some day Maria TV will be able to spread its conservative message 24 hours a day.
MALVEAUX: We are joined by Ian Lee, who is in Cairo.
Ian, first of all, I used to live in Egypt and most of the women, they had some sort of head covering. Some did not have any covering at all. But it was pretty rare to see the total head-to-toe -- the burqa, as it is called. So now that Hosni Mubarak is no longer in power and you have this new Egypt after the revolution, what does this mean to the people in Egypt that you have this kind of station with women wearing the full burqa?
LEE: Well, there's kind of a mixed reaction here in Egypt. People who support this say this is one of the things they were fighting for in last year's revolution, freedom of speech, especially for women like this. You don't see them much in the media. So this has been a marginalized group in society that hasn't had their voice heard.
But then you have another section that says that they're spreading conservative values that do not mesh well with Egypt's moderate views -- historically moderate views. So people are saying that they don't have a place in society because they're breeding intolerance and sectarianism and these are things that Egypt doesn't need right now.
MALVEAUX: Who actually is watching this station? Is this something that is being broadcast in Egypt? Is it being broadcast throughout the Middle East?
LEE: Well, they are broadcasted across the Middle East, all the way from they say western Iran, all the way to Morocco. So it covers the entire Middle East. And this show -- this channel runs completely on donations. So they do have enough people watching them that it can keep it -- keep it running and keep the people working there.
MALVEAUX: I notice in your script you said that had an anti- Christian -- it was an anti-Christian station. So what is their message when they actually have this broadcast? Are they broadcasting tolerance? Are they broadcasting hate? What are they saying?
LEE: Well, definitely, if you're a Christian, this isn't something that you're going to want to hear. They are -- if you're a Christian, they're going to -- this is hatred toward them -- towards them because they're basically blaming Christians for all of the problems in society. And when you listen to the preacher actually talk to people over the telephone, he says he tries to blame whatever problem they have on Christianity or the Christians in Egypt. So this is definitely, if you're a Christian, this is something that they're -- they're going to be worried about.
MALVEAUX: And if -- just by the people you talked to, when they see something like this, does it concern them, does it worry them that you have a conservative group that's on TV or is this really a test for them for all of the groups to have more religious tolerance?
LEE: Well, right now what we're seeing in Egypt really is a lot of soul searching for what is their religious identify. And so we're seeing right now kind of a tug of war between the moderates and the conservatives, where the moderates want to have a more inclusive society where everyone can express their opinions, where the conservatives are saying, no, this is the way that Islam tells us that we need to run a country and this is the way that we're going to do it.
So you have this kind of battle in between. But the people that are really going to watch are the minorities. Egypt has a lot of minorities.
LEE: They have about 10 percent Christian population. They also have a very small Jewish population. So these are the people that are going to ultimately be affected by what comes out.
MALVEAUX: All right. It will be very -- it will be fascinating to see how they sort it all out there and whether or not there is tolerance all around.
Thank you, Ian. Really appreciate it.
If you're going to shell out the dough for the trip to the London Olympics, you might want to do it in style. We're going to give you a tour of these super yachts. They're pretty cool. They're docked around the city just in time for the games.
MALVEAUX: Want to go to the Olympics in style? Well, why not take a super yacht? Erin McLaughlin, she shows us how.
RORY TRAHAIR, EDMISTON & COMPANY LIMITED: They're here for the Olympics, obviously. A pretty key event. And why not bring your boat here?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a private yacht that someone has hired. It's actually one of the smaller super yachts here, but it will still set you back $50,000 to $75,000 a week.
This particular yacht would have crew of 18 to 25?
MCLAUGHLIN: What would be the price tag to own something like this?
TRAHAIR: It would be in excess of -- in excess of 60 million euros.
MCLAUGHLIN: And how much would it cost to charter something like this?
TRAHAIR: Approximately half a million euros.
MCLAUGHLIN: And what kind of amenities would you get for that amount of money?
TRAHAIR: Everything. You name it. A yacht can have anything you can imagine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the lives of the rich and the famous, I suppose, and this is what they like to do.
MCLAUGHLIN: So this is an unusual site for London. How unusual is it?
TRAHAIR: Well, it's right in the center of our (INAUDIBLE) main financial district. So to turn it into a sort of super yacht marina is pretty bizarre really.
MCLAUGHLIN: Why would you choose a yacht?
TRAHAIR: Because your boat has -- or your yacht has all your crew, all the people you know, all your amenities and you can move it. It goes wherever you go.
MCLAUGHLIN: And these are big party magnets as well?
TRAHAIR: Yes, absolutely. Well, it depends on the owner. But you can have some pretty good parties on these boats. Optimums , for example, has got a huge off deck. They've had some pretty spectacular parties onboard.
MCLAUGHLIN: So it's safe to say that this is the ultimate status symbol here at the Olympics?
TRAHAIR: Certainly here at the Olympics. Arguably in the world. I mean, in terms of toys, you don't get much bigger.