Return to Transcripts main page
Obama, Putin Meet in Mexico; France Goes Socialist; Military Grabs Power as Egypt Votes; Remembering Rwanda; Islamabad Fashion Week
Aired June 18, 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:
A crisis averted, at least for now.
Everyone was on pins and needles regarding the Greek election and how it could impact our financial markets here in the States. Greece's pro bailout conservative party won, but barely. That has calmed some world economic fears. But now Greeks, they got until Wednesday to create a governing body that will mostly likely embrace a bailout. More on this story in 10 minutes.
Folks celebrating in Egypt, but the military's power grab there has left this country with no constitution, no parliament and possibly no power for the guy who actually wins the presidency. The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, he is declaring victory. He's a conservative Islamist, but now says he's going to stand for democracy and women's rights.
But his rival, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, who was once Hosni Mubarak's right-hand man, has not eve yet conceded. The official vote is yet to be announced.
And today, China became the third country ever to complete a manned space docking. The three-person crew including the country's first woman to go into space successfully docked. Their spacecraft with the space lab and the crew will conduct scientific experiments and technical tests and some physical exercises.
G20 leaders gathered in Los Cabos, Mexico, with the crisis in Europe dominating the discussion. This is a group of finance ministers and central bank administrators from 20 countries, United States, Mexico, and China included, plus the European Union.
Now, what is taking place, though, on the sidelines, we are talking about President Obama and a meeting of Vladimir Putin for the time since Mr. Putin became Russia's president yet again. Strain relations between this two, there's no doubt about that.
In May, Mr. Obama waited days after Russia's election to congratulate Mr. Putin for his win. Later that month, Mr. Putin, he skipped the G8 meeting hosted by Mr. Obama and a planned by the Oval Office visit.
Brianna, Keilar, she's joining us from Mexico to talk a little bit about this.
Brianna, we know that there is some tension between these two. We know the most important thing however is really whether or not they were going to be able to end the civil war that is erupting in Syria. What they say today could make a big difference. What do we think is on the table?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, it could make a big difference and obviously, Syria is really the sticky issue they are going to deal with. You know, Suzanne, keep in mind that as the president meets with Vladimir Putin, this is all happening under the immediate backdrop of two Russian warships heading to Syria, to the naval base, the only naval base that Russia operates on the Mediterranean coast. So that will sort of be top of mind.
But this is going to be a tough meeting. I would say it will be awkward. We are expecting it to be tense, and Russia, at the same time, even though there is a lot of snubs as you have mentioned that have gone on between President Obama and President Putin, there is -- there really is a sense that Russia is key when it comes to Iran, and especially when it comes to Syria.
And so far, Russia has blocked some U.N. action on both of those things. I don't think that we are expecting a breakthrough. I think this is an important meeting, but I think it's going to be a tough one.
And right now on Syria, the U.S. and Russia are worlds apart. The U.S. wants Bashar al Assad out of Syria, and Russia looking suspiciously at the U.S., looking at what happened in Libya, which ended, of course, in the death of Moammar Gadhafi. And they're really suspicious that that's really sort of ultimately what could happen again if the U.S. is allowed to proceed.
MALVEAUX: And, Brianna, tell us about those ships you mentioned, the Russian ships. What is the purpose there?
KEILAR: Well, at this point, we are really trying to understand a little bit more about it, but there are these two Russian warships, and it's sort of when you look at the timing of it, I think that is the concern among U.S. officials. There is a Russian naval base and a lot of people may not realize this on the Mediterranean coast.
And so, Russia does have a military interest in Syria, which is one of its last really or the last Middle East ally that it has. But you look at the timing of it, and as Russia is backing up Syria, and that's really the concern here.
MALVEAUX: And, Brianna, real quickly here, if you can tell us about what's taking place in Russia, in Moscow. You've got these talks dealing with Iran and other world leaders to try to get them to curb the nuclear ambitions here.
Do we think that there is a chance, a stand that there is going to be some breakthrough in the discussions? It has been a very frustrating process and now you have Obama and Putin side by side and face to face today. Do you think they can make any headway?
KEILAR: I think that there is a process. I don't know that I would say that there is going to be a breakthrough. A lot of folks are looking at what Iran is doing in these talks, which include U.N. Security Council members, including Russia and the U.S. And they say that Iran is really trying to kind of keep the talks going, and kind of placate some of the parties involved.
But that really, there's not going to be a breakthrough in terms of saying that they will suspend enrichment or suspend it at a certain level and there's a lot of pressure on President Obama and his -- and the U.S. really to kind of stop Iran at that point. But I think that this is probably sort of one of the steps along the way in this process.
MALVEAUX: All right. Brianna, keep us posted on how that meeting goes between President Obama and Putin. We're going to have more in a little bit.
In a matter of months, what we've seen are new leaders elected all around the world. So, for example, you've got Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy all voting new governments in hopes that it's going to turn around the dire economic situation.
Last month, France elected Francois Hollande to replace President Nicolas Sarkozy. Well, Hollande is France's first socialist president, almost 17 years now. Just yesterday, his party won enough seats in parliament to form a majority. His main task like other countries is to get the finances back in order.
Joining us from Washington is Hala Gorani.
And, Hala, you've covered much of French politics. Tell us why, first of all, Hollande is gaining so much popularity now. Why is he in the forefront?
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPODENT: Well, it was a rejection, I think, of the previous government of Nicolas Sarkozy for one thing. And you showed the map there of Europe -- so many countries, those who have been suffering economically over the last several years have rejected the governments they blame for driving the economies of the region into the ground and elected a new government.
Francois Hollande benefitted from this wave of discontent. You mentioned the parliamentary elections in France -- well, French voters gave the socialist party an absolute majority in the parliament. This strengthens the mandate of Francois Hollande.
During the campaign, he said austerity is good, but growth is better. We cannot only tighten our belts. We also need a growth component to the way we solve and address this economic problem, this budget crisis in the eurozone, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: What makes him so different from some of the other European leaders?
GORANI: Well, compared to Angela Merkel, for instance, you have a leader who's promised the French people that he is going to make sure that the jobs are created; he's going to add some public service, teaching jobs, for instance.
He's trying to reassure French voters that this French way of life, I should say this, European way of life, that you can retire early, that you can take more holiday, that you don't have to work as many hours a week, that this is not in jeopardy. That is the message he was sending.
That said, Suzanne, the reality now is going to hit. These budgets are in deficit. They do need austerity measures. So, how many of these promises will he have to break is the big question.
MALVEAUX: And, Hala, you mentioned something. You talked about the European way of life and you listen and you hear about socialism in this country and it's hurled almost as an insult between President Obama and Mitt Romney here.
What does socialism mean in France? How is it different?
GORANI: Well, it's a very much a centrist party. I mean, the socialist party in France still embraces capitalism as, of course, the way of managing the economy. There are differences between the socialists and the right-wing parties. For instance, in the tax rate areas who to tax, how much to tax.
But overall, the differences between socialists and the right wing party, such as the UNP are not as big as Americans might imagine that they are. There are two centrists parties, and the way of tackling economic problems is, you know, there's not that much room for maneuver anymore in a European country.
MALVEAUX: All right. Hala Gorani, thank you so much. Good to see you.
Here's more of what we're working for the hour for NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL. A chain is only strong as the weakest link, so what does it mean to the eurozone now that Greece is sticking with the currency?
And later, we're going to show you a side of Pakistan that you have never seen, the fashion runways of Islamabad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the way against war. It is not against drones. This is the way that is going to eradicate the war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Welcome back to NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL -- where we are here to take you around the world this hour.
They say it is Paul McCartney's birthday today. The former Beatle and bestselling composer and recording artist of all time, still going strong at 70. In fact, he's going to be performing at the opening ceremonies in the Olympics in London next month. Happy birthday.
Let's get back to the big election in Greece over the weekend. Everyone was holding their breath to see who would win and how it would impact our finances here in the states.
Well, on one side, the conservative party who wants to hang on to the financial bailout of Greece being offered by its European partners, even if it means Greece going through deep painful cuts.
The other side was a left wing party that wanted a big renegotiation of the terms of the bailout some said that could have led to Greece pulling out of Europe's common currency.
The bailout for the party won, but barely.
Richard Quest is live in Athens.
Richard, great to see you. You and I have been talk about this for weeks leading up to this, and we have been talking about potential crisis here. I assume that we see that this is a crisis averted, right? Not happening.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR/CORRESPONDENT: No, I think that you've managed to leap across the fence a little bit early there, Suzanne. I would say that the immediate crisis has been averted and perhaps in a way that is familiar to yourselves that, you know, they have kicked the can down the road.
What is happening at the moment, Suzanne, is that the horse trading is under way between the political parties, although, we have a winner New Democracy. To go into the government and have an absolute majority, the leader of the party has to have a coalition partner, and all afternoon, they have been negotiating and trying to find out and trying to decide who that partner would be.
And if they don't, Suzanne, then he will probably have to go into some minority government on his own.
MALVEAUX: Does this mean that essentially Greece is going to stick with the eurozone, that they are not going to go do their own thing and go off with another currency, because a lot of people were worried. That was the main concern, that was going to have a major impact on Europe and the United States.
QUEST: I have no hesitation in saying for the time being, that's exactly what it means. The party who won is committed to the eurozone. By and large, the austerity -- you know, it's a misnomer to think that they want it all. They want to tinker at the margins of the austerity plan, and that's where this whole thing could spectacularly fall apart in a few months from now. Because once the government is formed in the parliament, they then are going to go to Brussels and say, take the foot off of our throat, give us breathing space, make it a little bit easier, we cannot cope with the austerity we've got.
And I think that Europe will give them a little bit of breathing space, because they know it is so critical. But ultimately, and this is what is being lost in this debate at the moment, be under no illusion, Suzanne, Greece stays with austerity if this continues. There is going to be no suddenly off to the races and massive stimulus spending. We are merely talking about drastic austerity or major austerity.
MALVEAUX: And, Richard, what does this mean for -- I've got to say, you know, I've got to ask, you know, what it means for me or what does it mean for us in the United States, our 401(k)s and the investments that we have made in this country. Does any impact at all, our portfolios?
QUEST: It does in the sense that the volatility that we have seen abates for just a while. But as long as Greece has still got long-term problems with banks, which translates to long-term problems for banks in Spain and elsewhere, we are not out of the woods. We are not in crisis like we were maybe two weeks ago, but I think that certainly, we are still sort of to use the proverbial, we are in it up to here, all that has happened is that we have come down a little bit.
MALVEAUX: All right. Still at there, still at this level. Well, crisis averted as we have said before.
Richard, thank you. Good to see you as always.
The chaos in Europe, what is going on in Greece right now -- how it could affect everything from the U.S. economy to who wins the White House. We're going to get a live report.
MALVEAUX: Welcome back to NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL -- where we take you around the world in 60 minutes.
Right now to Egypt where a power struggle is taking shape. On the one hand, you have military generals tightening the grip on everything -- we are talking about lawmaking, the national budget. On the other hand, you have the Muslim Brotherhood announcing its hard- line Islamic candidate has actually won the presidential elections. Nationwide, folks are waiting for the official vote count.
Our Ben Wedeman, he's joining us from Cairo.
Ben, first of all, obviously, people are tense there. They really want to get a sense of who is in charge. But explain to us whether or not the military is actually granting the power and the authority to whoever wins this election -- is that person actually going to be in charge of the government?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the real power in the country, there is no question about it, remains with the supreme council of the armed forces, which take over from Hosni Mubarak on the 11th of February last year. In effect, what has happened is that you have a fourth estate within the government, and that is the military, which is completely autonomous of the rest of the government.
For instance, parliament was dissolved as we know last Thursday, but parliament nor the president has any oversight over the military budget. The military decides all matters of promotions and whatnot within itself.
So, yes, Egypt may well, and it has not been officially declared, but may have Mohamed Morsi as the president, but he is a toothless president at best given the power that the military retains for itself.
MALVEAUX: So in light of that, Ben, in light of that fact, do people really believe that Morsi is going to have any kind of power? Do they believe it is a real election or this is just simply an exercise?
WEDEMAN: Well, depends who you speak to. Obviously, the Muslim Brotherhood is very happy that it won the election, and we saw hundreds of people in Tahrir Square from very early in the morning celebrating this victory.
But in effect, it's a hollow victory. They have lost control of the people's assembly or the parliament which they had controlled about 50 percent of the seats, and what they are left with is almost a symbolic position with very little power. Some people are quite happy with that.
The Muslim Brotherhood, its performance in parliament was not well reviewed by the ordinary Egyptians, and what is interesting is that the Muslim Brotherhood won half as many votes in the first round of the presidential elections as it did in parliament, because of the parliamentary elections -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Well, Ben, first of all, let me ask you about Mohamed Morsi, because this guy, he is a conservative Islamist and he has always talked about the role of Islam as being the law of the land here. Now, he is promising to promote democracy and women's rights.
Do people really believe that? Do they believe that's what they are going to get from this guy?
WEDEMAN: Well, obviously the hard core supporters do, but many Egyptians are highly skeptical, and what is interesting is that we attended one of the rallies before the first round of the presidential elections, and he was very much appealing to his base. Even though he, himself, did not call for the implementation of Sharia or Islamic law, others on the stage did, and many of the people in the crowd said that was their top priority.
When it came to the second round, and he had to broaden the appeal, he toned that down somewhat, but many people are simply not convinced. They feel that he is a hardliner within the Muslim Brotherhood which actually does have some liberals in it. But as far as he is concerned the feeling is that he is talking to -- for instance when he is interviewed on a Western media channel, he tends to be far more liberal than when he is speaking to Egyptians.
MALVEAUX: So, Ben, let's talk about the implications of all of this, because in the past, Morsi has called Israeli leaders in his words "vampires and killers". This weekend, you have a gunman who opens fire on Israeli construction workers, leaving an Israeli dead and the gunman dead as well, and it seems that this is going to have an impact on the relationship between Egypt and Israel. Does it look like a real concern that it's going to deteriorate?
WEDEMAN: Well, as far as this incident where two gunmen infiltrated into Israel from Egyptian territory and killed one Israeli construction worker, they were not Egyptians, but Palestinians. So let's not mix those up.
On the other hand, obviously, yes, in the past, like many members of the Muslim Brotherhood, he has spoken a fairly hard-line when it comes to Israel, but when the realities of power come face to face with these people, oftentimes, they change their opinion.
Now, they, Mohamed Morsi as well as other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have been speaking with American diplomats, and visiting American officials, and have constantly tried to reassure them that Egypt under a Muslim Brotherhood president will continue to respect for instance the Camp David Accord between the Israel and Egypt. if of course they say that Israel does the same -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: All right. Ben Wedeman -- thank you, Ben. Good to see you.
New immigration policy that allows hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants to stay in the United States is having a huge impact on Mexican families. We're going to have reaction.
MALVEAUX: You are watching NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL -- where we take you round the world in 60 minutes.
President Obama is at G20 Summit in Mexico, comes on the heels of his announcement join Friday that the U.S. is going to stop deporting young illegal immigrants if they meet age requirements and stipulations. But tell us how Mexico is responding.
I want to get to Juan Carlos Lopez.
What has been the reaction so far?
JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, Suzanne, as soon as this announcement came out, thanked President Obama because he said it was courageous knowing he was going to be criticized. He reiterated that gratitude today and it is an important development for Mexicans in the United States.
And why is that? Well, if you look at the numbers and we are talking about the number of undocumented, some say 10 million or 11 million, well, between six or seven out of every 10 Hispanics in the U.S. are either Mexican or of Mexican dissent and that is the same for the undocumented, and, for those who have been here for generations. So, this is seen as a very important development, and it comes at a time when many were expecting an announcement.
MALVEAUX: President Obama and Calderon have been working closely together over the whole idea of immigration, illegal immigration -- are Mexicans split over the issue or, and I learned and by large, see, this is something that is going to work in their favor?
LOPEZ: I'm pretty sure they see it as going to work in their favor. You have the between 800,000, and 1.4 million young people under 30, people who speak the language, who many of them don't even speak Spanish. So, going back to Mexico or one of other countries in Latin America where they come from would be a difficult proposition.
Now, having them integrate into the American society, at least with the knowledge that they're not going to be deported for two years, but they gave no expectation of getting a visa. That's a step. In all these kids behind the Dreamers' movement is a step and they are looking for something permanent and something that does not benefit only the students, but benefits the parents.
MALVEAUX: All right. Juan Carlos Lopez, thank you.
Rwanda's genocide in the 1990s took the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. And now the village courts that prosecuted the killers are officially closing marking the end of a terrible era.
MALVEAUX: Welcome back to "Newsroom International" where we take you around the world in 60 minutes. Genocide courts in Rwanda have finished the work and today the government officially closed the village tribunals and they were overseeing the prosecution of the suspects from the 1994 slaughter of some 800,000 people. The village courts were set up to ease the burden on Rwanda's legal system so that civilians who contributed to the attacks were sent to the village tribunals where leaders and masterminds of the genocide were tried by national and international criminal courts. Human rights groups say the tribunals fell short of international legal standards.
The trials are over, but the scars are still there. Can you imagine, living next door to somebody who kills your entire family? Could you even forgive that person? That is exactly what the tribunals have asked many people in Rwanda to do for the sake of peace. Rwandans are struggling to forgive those who took part in the genocide. On a recent visit to Rwanda I sat down face the face with a killer seeking forgiveness.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): These two grew up together as children and they lived and played together in the same neighborhood, but 18 years ago, something horrible happened between them. Frederick hunted down and killed Lauren 's family.
MALVEAUX: What specifically happened? What did he do?
TRANSLATOR: This group, they killed seven people. They killed them using the machetes. They cut them to pieces and took off their heads.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): Frederick is a Hutu, a member of the ethnic group in Rwanda who in 1994 killed more than 800,000 in just 100 days. Lauren is a Tutsi, a member of the ethnic group targeted. In the genocide ten of her family members were murdered including her parents and brother.
TRANSLATOR: She thought about her brother, she just prayed to god that she meet him one day in heaven.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): How did this happen? neighbor turning against neighbor? Frederick says he was brainwashed by the government to hate the Tutsis.
MALVEAUX: When he was doing this, what was he thinking? What was he feeling about this?
TRANSLATOR: He had no feelings at the moment, just the devil in his heart.
MALVEAUX: And he also killed women and children as well?
MALVEAUX (voice-over): Frederick served nine years in prison for the murders and after the release he agreed to participate in a program the reconcile with the victims' families starting with Lauren.
TRANSLATOR: He approached them and told them that he betrayed them and he told them that he is the one who killed their family. She fainted. She could not believe it. She could not talk to him. She said like she is talking to the devil.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): We found Frederick and Lauren living in a reconciliation village. It is a community of 53 homes that killers and their victims' families build together. The exercise is aimed at helping Rwandans move beyond the tragic past and leave the ethnic divisions behind and forgive. Why should the family forgive him?
TRANSLATOR: He repented and he realized that what he did was bad and he asked god for forgiveness. He is not expecting forgiveness but a miracle people forgave him.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): After three months of working together building their homes, Lauren says she did forgive. MALVEAUX: When you think about the brother and th -- brother and the way he was killed, would you want your brother to believe you should forgive?
TRANSLATOR: This is the power of god.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): But is this a really lasting peace? is the hatred really gone? do you ever see the faces of the people that he killed? do they haunt him?
TRANSLATOR: He is thinking about the kids that they killed. At the moment they could be brilliant kids, and they could be ahead in developing the country.
MALVEAUX: Would you ever kill again?
TRANSLATOR: He would not go back again to killing.
MALVEAUX: Do you ever think about seeking revenge?
TRANSLATOR: She never thought about that, because she saw how people died and blood all over those who put gunshots and those who put the machete, and she never thought about killing somebody else.
MALVEAUX: Our James Clancy and producer are being recognized in Rwanda for the 1995 CNN documentary "Rwanda, Cry Justice," which is set out to prove that the genocide was preplanned and deliberate.
Michael Holmes covered the atrocities as well and joins us here. It is unbelievable when you think of the things that you saw.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes.
MALVEAUX: And first of all doing this story of reconciliation, and is that what the courts were meant to do? Tell us what they were trying to accomplish.
HOLMES: It is great that you are covering this, because as you said I've covered wars from Iraq to Afghanistan and all over the world and I have never seen anything like I saw in Rwanda in 1994, and I will never forget it. It is 800,000 or a million people whoever's figure you want the believe who were butchered while the world stood back and did absolutely nothing.
There was an international criminal tribunal set up about 15 years ago and the locals on the ground say it did nothing as well. There were 38 people convicted in 15 years, and 2 million people accused of atrocities during the genocide. So what happened is they set up the organizations that is a village tribal setup and appoint somebody as the judge and the accuser and the victim would meet together, face-to-face, and it was all about reconciliation. And then that tribunal, it would have the ability to send someone to jail or punish them in some other way, be it community service or other sorts of ways. Now, they went through -- and you have to remember that waiting for the system to work, 10,000 people died in jail. Waiting to go to trial under the old system. So, what they did was they went through tens of thousand of people doing it this way.
MALVEAUX: And were they actually able to reinforce or even enforce this idea that people could live together side by side and those who had killed and those who were the victims? How does that work? Because I find that extraordinary they people can forgive and live together.
HOLMES: Well, it is a mix. No, it was not perfect and the system had the critics, too, often the people meting out the justice were not legally trained and those accused did not have legal advice. It was a grassroots system and done at the village level. Some people said, yes, some measure of reconciliation, and some of the killers are living in the communities alongside those who were victims or original targets, and it had the critics, too, that allegations of corruption and money was paid and some witnesses were killed before the tribunal got to hear the evidence. All sorts of criticism, but for Rwandans and those who supported the tribal system, it was better than nothing and certainly better than waiting for the world to do what they didn't do during the genocide which is to do something.
MALVEAUX: And why are they getting rid of it now? Is this a process they no longer need? Do they feel that they essentially have everything in place and gotten the people responsible?
HOLMES: Well, they worked through what they can work through. And the reason it was so slow also going through the Rwandan justice system is that the genocide killed the judges and the lawyers and so the whole judicial system was ruined. So have they gotten everyone, no. The main perpetrators and the brains behind the genocide fled the country and they went to other countries in Africa, and Europe and some to the United States. Some of the people have not been dealt with by any justice system, and that sticks in the throat of a lot of people in Rwanda. And look, those of us who covered that story at the time were furious at the time. I remember being as a journalist there, and I was there with Jim Clancy at the time, and I didn't know him at the time and being furious that nobody was doing anything about this, because the world was too gutless in my view to call it is a genocide. Because once you have called it a genocide, then under the heading international, you have to do something, and nobody did anything and 800,000 people died.
MALVEAUX: That is amazing, because you recently being there in the last couple of months, people still want to prove to you it was a genocide, and surprising that they still want to show you the skulls and show you the burials, because they still believe that people were not convinced that it actually took place. Michael, thank you.
HOLMES: And Suzanne, I hope I never cover anything like that again. It was awful.
MALVEAUX: Thank you.
More photos around the world that actually caught our attention up next.
MALVEAUX: Welcome back to NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL, where we take you around the world in an hour.
Now to China, where an historic space mission continues.
Wow! After a successful launch this weekend, a crew of three, which includes the country's first woman in space, docked with an orbiting space lab. China joins Russia and the United States as the only countries to do this. So what is next for China? They say they want to visit the moon and build their own space station by 2020.
There are several stories that caught our attention today. There are also some photos, too, that are absolutely amazing. Take a look at this.
London hosting the Olympics in 39 days. This woman took a picture of the new Olympic rings installed on the Tower Bridge in London while someone took a picture of her, probably didn't even realize it. The Olympics begin July 27th.
This picture -- refreshing. Probably looks like a pool in your neighborhood. Not really though. It is Iraq. Young children swimming in a lake near Baghdad.
And take a look at what is happening in India. These are holy men who are protesting today against dams being built on the Ganges River, sacred to millions of Hindus there. They believe the water can wash away their sins.
Check it out. Fashion show in Pakistan. We are not talk about burqas, we are talking about high heels, lipstick, short skirts. We're going to take you to a sexy new subculture that is defying the stereotypes.
MALVEAUX: Welcome back to NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL, where we bring you the world in an hour.
So, when you think of fashion, right, and fashion week, you probably think of this. Cities like Madrid, Paris and New York. Probably not this. This is the south Asian nation of Pakistan, in a country made more famous for drone strikes, terrorist hideouts than anything else today. And that is where many of its women cover up in traditional wear, like burqas. Well, you can find now bare backs, plunging necklines, high-cut hems. All right, not exactly a model runway, but hidden now away in the basements of luxury hotels, there's a fashion scene that is starting to thrive. We want you to check out the video. It is from vice.com. It's an online news and culture source.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHARLET DUBOC, VICE.COM CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is governed under Sharia law. Public display of flesh is a sure-fire way is get you on (INAUDIBLE) naughty list. What played out on the runway before me was a far cry from the Pakistan we see on the news. It would be unfair to judge the clothes by western standards. This is an industry in its infancy, catering to a tiny progressive wealthy elite in a country where the majority of women cover up.
Having said that, the boys looked like the your worst boy bands nightmares rolled into one. The most incongressed (ph) Steam punk max (ph) and cowboy boots. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly until --
DUBOC (on camera): What's going on? Power cut.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Power cut. All right, let's bring in Vice correspondent Charlet Duboc, who joins us from London.
So, first of all, the power outage. This is really unusual. I know it's a kind of an underground movement here. Do you think somebody was trying to sabotage, first of all, this fashion show that was take place?
DUBOC: No. I -- it would be unfounded for me to speculate about it being sabotaged. I genuinely -- Pakistan, Islamabad, is plagued with power problems. While I was there, you know, the hotel had a good backup generator, but, you know, no amount of money can buy you power all the way through the fashion week, unfortunately.
MALVEAUX: All right. No --
DUBOC: It just added to the atmosphere.
MALVEAUX: OK. OK. No conspiracy there.
Let me go in a different direction there. Tell us why this is actually important? Why is this catching on in Pakistan? What does it mean?
DUBOC: Well, in Pakistan there is, you know, a very wealthy elite that make up a very small portion of society. There's no middle-class as we know it. A lot of this elite, the young girls, they were educated abroad. And their -- and behind closed doors, they want to wear jeans and vests and, you know, they're interested in western fashion. It's a surprise because in Pakistan, you know, we know women wearing shawa kamis (ph), hijab burqa. But these girls, you know, they kind of want something to do. They want an event to go to. But they also genuinely want to be able to, you know, slowly be able to wear more western clothes in Pakistan. And it's a new thing. And they're trying their hand at a western template of a fashion week.
MALVEAUX: And, Charlet, I thought what was --
DUBOC: And I think they did a pretty good job.
MALVEAUX: I thought what was so interesting about your reporting here is that you talked to somebody who really thought this was way beyond what we think of when we think of fashion and what it means for people. I want to play a real quick clip here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So this is the way against war. It's not going to be drones. This is the way that is going to eradicate the war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: So talk about that, Charlet, a little bit. Is it really that serious? You know, lipsticks, heels, changing a country? But she says this is a way to change the country.
DUBOC: Well, I know, believe me, we put that quote in there, because I know it sounds so idealistic. But, you know, I think what she was alluding to is that the way forward for Pakistan has got to be creativity. It's got to be something else coming from the next generation. You know, something other than, you know -- prevention is better than cure I think is what she was kind of saying. But it -- she maybe was a bit overexcited.
MALVEAUX: Do -- well, I guess, do they think of themselves, these fashionistas, as revolutionaries in some ways that they are changing their society through this kind of underground culture?
DUBOC: Well, you know what, when I spoke to those fashion students, they were so much more inspired than so many fashion students I've spoken to in London, New York. They really -- it's a real outlet for them and it's a real way of expressing themselves in a country where individuality is suppressed. Where, you know, life is tough. It's hard. You can't go out and you can't -- to do what boys and girls want to do every day, you have to find ways -- you have to work ways around it. So, with fashion, it's kind of the same thing.
MALVEAUX: Charlet, my last question here. I wonder if there's a backlash to all of this? Do they get a pass because they are the rich and they are the elite? Or are there folks in the Pakistani government who are actually coming down hard on them?
DUBOC: Well, that's the thing, you know, I think anywhere in the world, you know, in developing countries especially, money can buy you a certain amount of privilege and you can create, you know, a western bubble for yourself where you can live out life the way you want to. But then I think an example with our edit, when we made this report, we had to cut so many things out because no amount of money can buy you out of the complications in Pakistani society. There were things that we quoted people saying and they called us up literally crying on the phone saying that we -- we had -- would have their blood on our hands if we printed what they were saying.
MALVEAUX: Wow. DUBOC: So, yes, there's only so much you can get away with.
MALVEAUX: Sure. Sure. Charlet, thank you so much. It's a really interesting story. We really appreciate.
DUBOC: Thank you, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: All right, thank you.
DUBOC: Thanks for having me.
MALVEAUX: Rocker Bono says he is one of her biggest fans. Find out the reason U2's front man and this prominent former political prison from Myanmar got together.