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Libyan Army to Leave Misrata?; Unrest in Syria

Aired April 22, 2011 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. We begin "Keeping Them Honest" with blood on the streets in Syria and blood on the hands of a dictator who promises reform but continues to kill his own people. Watch.

Local human rights organizations put the death toll today upwards of 75. That number appears to be rising. Peaceful protesters fired upon. It's impossible to independently confirm the number of people killed. One protester whom you will hear from shortly tells us it was like hell today. There were protests throughout Syria. Watch as one person tried to retrieve the body of a dead protester driven back by more gunfire.

The violent response to the protests comes just one day after the Syrian regime lifted its state of emergency which has been in effect since 1963. Syria now claiming people have the right to protest peacefully, but that claim is clearly false. Under the new guidelines, the Syrian dictatorship must approve any demonstration.

This is, of course, the same dictatorship that says the protesters are part of a conspiracy of Islamic militants and foreign forces. So who would apply for a permit to protest and risk being labeled a conspirator? As for those government gunmen who fire into crowds, security forces in Syria still have legal immunity, so they can do whatever they want and not be prosecuted. That's how Syria's dictator, Bashar al-Assad, rules, through fear and his security services.

Nevertheless, what we are all witnessing is extraordinary, that so many are still demonstrating, even though the government continues to crack down. Here's what one protester told me earlier today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two months ago, it was like a dream that Syrians have the courage to go to the streets and protest. You know, more than 48 years under the emergency law, it was no way to protest. And I thought that the Syrians will never protest.

What I see now in those day is like a miracle. It's unbelievable.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like a miracle, unbelievable he says. This evening the White House issued a statement condemning Syria's crackdown.

"The Syrian government's moves yesterday to repeal Syria's decades old emergency law and allow for peaceful demonstrations were not serious, given the continued violent repression against protesters today."

They went on to say, "The Syrian people have called for the freedoms that all individuals around the world should enjoy. President Assad and the Syrian authorities have repeatedly rejected their calls and chosen the path of repression."

In a moment, I will talk with a former U.S. ambassador to Syria, but first another protester I talked with earlier today, he says two protesters next to him were shot dead in Syria's third largest city, Homs, today.


COOPER: What have you seen today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a peaceful demonstration. We were protesting against the government. They were about 200 or 300 meters away from us. And when we started to move to catch or to connect with other demonstration, they start to shoot toward us.

COOPER: How many people did you see getting hit?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two, two. They get shot in the head by snipers, because they open live bullets against us. They were shooting and aiming to our heads and chests. They weren't aiming at our legs or in the air.

COOPER: I see a video that I think is video you shot of a person who looks like they're dressed in black laying down on the ground. Is that the person you saw being shot, one of the people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes, that one got shot in the head.

COOPER: And what happened to that person?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know. Really we don't know, because people it in the car and then we don't know where they took it, to hospital or to house. Really we don't know. I even don't know his name.

COOPER: I see another video also where I believe taken by you where it's your perspective just running down the street. What is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. They were shooting and people were running like hell. Everyone was screaming and they were holding the injured one and put it in a car. And everyone was running because they are shooting everywhere. It was really like hell.

COOPER: So there's an injured person in that car?


COOPER: Are you frightened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, of course. Everyone is frightened. Today it is a ghost city. No one ever went out. No one gets out to the streets. All the city is closed, all the city restaurants, everything. Every kind of shop is closed today. Earlier I was frightened, because I was running, bullets everywhere. People were in the house, children were crying. It was like hell today.

COOPER: You're frightened and yet you're speaking out and you're demonstrating. Why is that so important for you now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because the world needs to know of our cause, our rights for demands. I am 25 years old and I never lived in freedom. I'm afraid now to speak by my real name, speak to you through my phone. The only way is to protest. We need our rights. We need our peaceful, rightful demands, like our brothers in Egypt and Tunis and everywhere.

COOPER: Do you think freedom will come? Do you think it's possible?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope so. After all this blood, I hope so. Really, I hope so. Because they didn't leave us any way just to protest. To tell you something it's better to die than to live without freedom. That's what every Syrian people say today. I prefer to die than to live without freedom.

COOPER: It was said to be the bloodiest day so far in Syria. Do you think the protests will stop?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, of course, not. Today, 88 people died. People are angry, all this blood, the government is lying to us. They say they took off the emergency law. They got it off yesterday and they are killing all these people today? So everybody, I assure you, is going out tomorrow. We have funerals. We have dead people. We can't betray this blood.

COOPER: You can't betray the blood of those who have died?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. That's right.

COOPER: Thank you for your bravery. Please be careful. Be well. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.


COOPER: I want to bring in someone now with deep knowledge of Syria just Assad regime. Ted Kattouf served as American ambassador to Syria as Bashar al-Assad was consolidating power.

Ambassador Kattouf, do these people stand a chance against such brutal violence? THEODORE KATTOUF, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SYRIA: Well, first of all, you have to admire their courage.

I can't tell you how much I respect what they're trying to do. But at the same time, unfortunately repression, if used repeatedly, ruthlessly, brutally, can work. We saw that in Iran and I'm afraid we could see it in Syria.

COOPER: And yet, we're still seeing demonstrators pour into the street. Has it not reached a critical mass that could really create cracks in the regime?

KATTOUF: Well, as you know all too well, Anderson, we don't have a foreign press, a free press in there covering the events. So it's hard to know.

But what I do know is that we have not really seen massive demonstrations in Damascus and Aleppo. Many of the people demonstrating in Damascus have come in from the countryside or the surrounding villages, like Duma and Harasta. And there are millions of people in Damascus, most of them Sunni Arabs, another couple million in Aleppo, again most of them Sunni Arab. And we have not seen them yet cast their vote, if you will.

COOPER: And the free press is another thing this regime lies about. I talked to a Syrian, a employee of the British Embassy, a spokesperson for the British Embassy a couple of weeks ago, the only Syrian government official we have been able to get on the program, and he claims, look, we're just processing foreign journalists' paperwork. We're just understaffed.

Clearly they have had time to let foreign reporters in. And even those who are there, they won't let them leave Damascus. It's just another lie coming out of this regime. Assad has talked about reform through the years. He talked about it when he came into power 11 years ago. He talked about back in 2005, I think around the time of the Baath Party conference, and he's still promising it. It doesn't take 11 years to actually make some kind of reform, though, does it?

KATTOUF: Of course it doesn't. He looks to the Chinese model as his guide. He thought, well, I can bring some prosperity to Syria, I can ease things economically, create a stock market, some private banks, more licenses for business and the like. But he still wanted to keep an iron grip on the politics of Syria. And that's the way things have played out over these 11 years.

COOPER: What would it take for protesters to be able to really make some sort of crack in the regime? Because they have now, as you well know, when they started this they weren't calling for, you know, the downfall of the regime, they weren't calling for Assad to be out of power. Now you see them we're looking at them right now, breaking statues of him, of his dad, actively calling for that.

KATTOUF: Yes. It's tragic, but the fact of the matter is that Syria is not a homogeneous population. About 70 percent of the country is Sunni Arab, but you have Kurds, you have Christians, and you have heterodox Islamic groups, offshoots of Shiaism, like the Druze and of course the Alawis, who were at one time the most downtrodden group in Syria, but now a clique of Alawis, a large clique, controls the security services, key positions in the military.

And they have plenty of allies. I don't mean to suggest it's all Alawis. Indeed many Alawis have never benefited from this regime and many urban Sunnis have. So there's a coalition of interests here. And the demonstrations would have to get much, much larger and stretch the capacity of the regime's security services to the point where some people thought about maybe making their own deals and abandoning Assad.

COOPER: Ted Kattouf, appreciate your expertise, Ambassador. Thank you.

KATTOUF: Thanks.

COOPER: Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook. You can follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. Breaking news next, out of Libya as more airstrikes hit Tripoli tonight. The question is, was Gadhafi targeted tonight? Getting late word of a strike near his compound. The Libyan regime says there were fatalities. We're trying to find out the details on that.

Also, will Gadhafi's troops actually pull out of Misrata? They say they're going to. The opposition forces there are said to be celebrating. We have live reports on both after the break.

And later, Sebastian Junger and I remember photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington killed this week in Libya. Tim and Sebastian worked together in Afghanistan, documenting the humanity amid the inhumanity of war.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What just happened?


TIM HETHERINGTON, PHOTOJOURNALIST/FILMMAKER: I think we were their target (INAUDIBLE) very close over our head incoming, like a kind of sniper or something. It was like five rounds or so.


COOPER: That's Tim Hetherington. Hard to believe he's gone. My conversation with Sebastian Junger shortly.

Also tonight, we will have an update on the royal wedding. Isha Sesay is following that -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, just ahead, a preview of the royal wedding and a closer look at how the soon-to-be royal couple fell in love, how their love survived a few bumps along the road to Westminster Abbey. That's coming right up.


COOPER: We have breaking news tonight out of Libya. New airstrikes on Tripoli just a short time ago and a very interesting item about one of the earlier strikes tonight. No confirmation from NATO but the Libyan government says three people were killed near Moammar Gadhafi's compound.

They say a parking lot was hit. Now, in Misrata, there's smiles and victory signs after Libya's foreign minister said that government forces, Gadhafi forces will withdraw from the city. He says it's to let local tribes finish off the opposition. Of course, you can remember now for weeks the Gadhafi regime has been saying they control all of Misrata. So yet again another not true statement from the Gadhafi regime.

An opposition spokesman saying the regime is simply trying to save safe by saying they're going to leave it up to the tribes.

Meantime, Senator John McCain made a surprise visit to Benghazi, meeting with opposition leaders and calling for greater commitment from the White House.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We have prevented the worst outcome in Libya. Now we need to increase our support so that the Libyan people can achieve the only satisfactory outcome to this mass protest for universal rights: the end of Gadhafi's rule and the beginning of a peaceful and inclusive transition to democracy that will benefit all Libyans.


COOPER: Well, Senator McCain says the international community needs to speed the flow of weapons and training to the opposition, but doesn't favor putting American troops in Libya.

More now on the breaking news. Fred Pleitgen is in Tripoli, where the airstrikes have been happening and in Benghazi Reza Sayah.

Fred, are you still hearing planes in the skies?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We're absolutely still hearing planes in the sky. And it looks as though those air raids seem to still be going on here over Tripoli. The last very big explosion that we had was less than a minute ago. So it does appear as though those explosions are still going on.

I would say we have heard close to a dozen pretty big explosions in and around the Tripoli area tonight. One of those, of course, apparently coming the government here says from the Bab Al Aziziya compound, which is Gadhafi's compound. And you mentioned they said that there were fatalities in that airstrike, the government saying that three people killed when a bomb or rocket hit a parking lot.

And I can tell you we go into that parking lot sometimes when we enter that compound and there are anti-aircraft guns in the direct vicinity of that parking lot. So we're not exactly sure what happened, whether it's true that people were actually killed in that airstrike. However, there are airstrikes going on and it does appear as though there were some in central Tripoli tonight. We are still trying to get more information on whether or not people were killed, though, Anderson.

COOPER: Fred, and what do you make of this the Libyan government saying they're pulling out of Misrata? They say they're leaving the fight to the tribes. The spokesman for the rebel military command is saying now that if Gadhafi leaves Misrata, that the game is over, that it's a significant move. What do you make of it? Does it make sense that they would leave this up to the tribes, is this just face-saving?

PLEITGEN: Well, we can tell you...


PLEITGEN: ... could be face-saving. It does look like a lot like that is exactly what it could be.

It comes at an interesting time. It comes on a day when the rebels say that they have essentially taken over most of central Misrata, that they have ousted Gadhafi's forces from there, that they have ousted the snipers who were causing a lot of havoc for the people there.

And now today comes a statement that the army is withdrawing and the tribes are taking over. Essentially what the deputy Libyan foreign minister told me is that he said the tribes had approached the Libyan military and told them that clearly they weren't making headway, and therefore the tribes which he says are loyal to Moammar Gadhafi would have to take over, they would hold negotiations with the rebels and if the rebels didn't respond to those negotiations, then they would move in and use violence.

The big trouble with that is that the deputy foreign minister always seems to make a differentiation between the rebels as he called them and the people of Misrata. But clearly, many of the folks that I met in Misrata said that it is all the people who are actually doing this uprising. And so therefore, they say, as you said, that this is clearly a fact that Moammar Gadhafi's army has lost the battle inside central Misrata. They have been forced to withdraw from that area and are now trying to make that retreat look as though it's a responsible withdrawal and some sort of negotiation, Anderson.

COOPER: Reza, what do you make of Libyan forces pulling out of Misrata, if in fact they do this, and obviously it remains to be seen whether or not they're going to do it?

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We can tell you the reaction of the rebel leaders were. They actually laughed at this. They're extremely skeptical at this news, they're skeptical that it's true.

They suspect it could be yet another ploy by the Gadhafi regime and trap them in some sort of way. They do believe that they're making significant progress in Misrata capturing, securing, holding on to key spots. But as far as the regime forces pulling out and handing over the reins to the tribes for them to take over, they're extremely skeptical.

And as far as the tribes go, they continue to say the tribes are one of us. They are with us. They would never fight us. They're on our side. So they're happy with the progress that they're making, but they're not celebrating as of yet. They say Misrata is in their control, that they don't believe that this is a retreat by the regime forces and then handing over responsibilities to the tribes.

COOPER: Reza, how was McCain greeted in Benghazi today?

SAYAH: Well, they liked him before, but I think they're going to like him more than ever, because he came in here and he really energized the opposition.

Don't be surprised if you see American flags waving here in the next few days in the capital of Benghazi. Because he came here and essentially told the opposition everything that they wanted to hear. He praised the uprising. He said it was a powerful example of what freedom can be. He said he was here to find out what the opposition wanted and he was going to go back and press the Obama administration to do more.

Of course, Mr. McCain wasn't here as a representative of the White House and the administration. Everything that he said should be done will not automatically be heeded by the Obama administration certainly. But he said the U.S. should finally recognize the opposition officially as the legitimate authority of the people, that NATO should step up air attacks and he said the U.S. should facilitate the delivery of weapons to the opposition. And when we pressed him on exactly what he meant by the facilitating of weapons, he drew a link to the 1980s and how the U.S. spent a lot of money in helping the jihadists during the Afghan jihad against the Soviets get weapons,.

He said something similar like that could happen here. But it's not clear if the administration is thinking about that or how close they are to getting something like that done here on the ground.

COOPER: Right. Obviously some of those weapons that were given to what were then called the mujahedeen ended up in the wrong hands down the broad.

Fred, appreciate the reporting, Reza as well.

Still ahead tonight, British photojournalist Tim Hetherington died in Misrata this week. Anyone who saw Tim at work knew he was an extraordinary photographer, a remarkable human being. Sebastian Junger spent months with Tim in Afghanistan making an Oscar-nominated film. I will talk to Sebastian coming up in a little bit about moments like this one he spent with Tim.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right 20 meters, solo. Good shot, good shot.



COOPER: Well, it's impossible to know how many people have died in Libya since February. There's so much we can't confirm firsthand.

We do know though two more journalists were killed this week and one of them was a friend. Tim Hetherington on the left in this picture, and Chris Hondros on the right died from shrapnel wounds while covering the story. Both were extraordinary photographers, fearless and deeply talented.

I didn't know Chris personally, but I had spent a week with Tim with the Marines in Afghanistan and I had seen him just a few months ago as well. In a few moments, we will talk with Sebastian Junger, who was very close with Tim, a friendship forged in a lot of very dangerous places over the years.

For many who knew him, it is incredibly hard to believe that Tim is gone.


COOPER (voice-over): Of all the places Tim Hetherington had been, the wars others had forgotten, turned away from, of all the risks he had taken and luck he had tested, it's hard to believe his life ended this week in Misrata.

This is the last known photograph of Tim before he died, climbing a ladder with rebel forces. A famous war photographer, Chris Hondros was with Tim and the rebels and took these pictures. He died as well. In places like this, there are no rules, no clear lines. Death is near. Life pulses through your veins.

That is where Tim wanted to be. Tim Hetherington was the kind of person you felt lucky to be around. He was smart, funny, quick to laugh, even though he had seen things few people can imagine. He wasn't just a photographer. He was an artist. In still photos and videos, he took you into the action to the front line of a conflict. But he wasn't just there to capture the fighting. He wanted to learn about people and his pictures are intensely personal.

In "Restrepo," the movie he made with Sebastian Junger, the movie nominated for an Academy Award, he spent months living at a U.S. Army outpost in Afghanistan under constant attack.

TIM HETHERINGTON, PHOTOJOURNALIST/FILMMAKER: I think we were their target. (INAUDIBLE) very close over our head incoming. COOPER: It's a film about the war in Afghanistan, but it's really a film about young men in combat and the bonds that exist between them.

Tim lived and worked in Liberia for years during and after the civil war. This is him there. I like this photo because you really see how he worked. There he is, this tall dashing white guy and yet in a weird way he totally blends in. He would immerse himself in a place, with a group of people, he would lose himself, and his subjects would let down their guard. Peeking out from their rifles, they would allow Tim to see who they really were.

HETHERINGTON: I make pictures to try to understand what is happening there for myself.

COOPER: A few months ago, Tim put together a short film called "Diary," weaving together images he had taken over the last 10 years. In it, you see the disparate strands that tugged at Tim's heart, his fascination with conflict, his desire to document and wit it, but also the disconnect, distance and danger can make you feel for your own life back home.

I saw Tim a few months ago. We joked about a photograph he had taken of me in Afghanistan that I have never shown anyone. This is it. I really like the photo, but I have always worried people would think it was somehow posed or that the helicopter had been Photoshopped in. It wasn't, of course. Tim had just been a few steps ahead of me and seen something I hadn't.

Tim was always a few steps ahead of everyone. All good photographers are. They see the possibility of the picture before it even happens. Tim saw things others didn't. And he was willing to risk everything to make some semblance of sense out of it all for himself and all of us.

Tim was just 40 years old. I told myself he died doing what he loved, but that doesn't really help. Tim is dead. He shouldn't be. I hope he didn't suffer. I hope he didn't feel alone at the end. He died in a faraway place. I hope, soon, he will finally return home.


COOPER: Well, "Restrepo," the documentary that he made with Sebastian Junger is an amazing film. If you haven't seen it, you should.

Also, the film "Diary 2010" that he made is also available. It's on YouTube. I urge you to watch it.

Tim and Sebastian spent months in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley filming a platoon of U.S. soldiers. It was one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan at the time. They didn't win an Oscar, but they gave the world a vivid view of war and the people who fight it.

I talked to Sebastian Junger earlier today.


COOPER: Where were you when you heard about Tim?

SEBASTIAN JUNGER, WORKED WITH HETHERINGTON ON "RESTREPO": I was at my home, in my apartment in New York City. And -- and I got a phone call that Tim might have been injured. I knew he was in -- he was in Misrata, and I was very worried about him in Misrata.

And I've never done this before, but I searched for his name on Twitter, and immediately it came up, Tim Hetherington, killed in Misrata.

COOPER: That's how you found out about it?

JUNGER: I didn't know it was true yet, but that's how I found out.

COOPER: What do you think -- what was different about Tim? What made you work with him for so long?

JUNGER: God, what was different about Tim? He -- you know, he was interested in human dignity. I mean, you know, he was a war photographer, and you know, he and I made a movie together, and you know, he did a lot of very amazing things. But ultimately, he was interested in human dignity around the word.

And that was true in the, you know, the destroyed streets of Monrovia in Liberia, where he lived for years after the war. I mean, who covers a war and then lives in that country for a few years just as a resident? You know? And in on the streets of New York. I mean, he just carried this with him everywhere. And it affected his work profoundly, and it just made people want to be around him.

COOPER: It's interesting. I mean, in "Restrepo," in -- in his still photographs, even though he is covering conflict, and "Restrepo" is a film about the war in Afghanistan, it's really a film about people. And it's a film about the bonds that develop between brothers in arms.

And a lot of his work seems intensely -- it's focusing on individuals. You really get a sense of the people behind the rifles in a way that you don't in a lot of -- a lot of other war photographers are covering, like, the bang-bang stuff. And Tim was there in the midst of it, but his pictures are intensely personal.

JUNGER: You know, we realized when we were out there that the actual combat was pretty repetitive. I mean, guys shooting guns look pretty much the same everywhere, you know. It's falsely -- I mean, it's dramatic, but it's only dramatic for a certain amount of time. And then what really is interesting out there is how people connect with each other in that situation.

And he had this idea, I think it's true, that war is one of the few situations where men are free to really express their affection for each other. I mean, not just the like of each other, but physically, like hugging each other, touching each other. And a lot of his work showed that. It showed soldiers with their arms around each other, young men who were lonely or scared and just wanted to grab somebody for a moment and give them a hug, you know. You see that in his work.

And suddenly, you understand his work wasn't about war. It was about young men and how they relate to each other. How they relate to the world.

COOPER: Tim wrote and said in interviews that, I mean, his work was very personal, that it wasn't just about being an objective reporter, that it was a search for finding his own place in kind of the order of things.

JUNGER: Yes. He -- I think Tim was a bit of a mystery to himself at times. I mean, he was so incredibly functional. I mean, he -- he multitasked at a higher RPM than anyone I've ever met. I mean, I don't know how he did it actually. And I think in all of that brilliant activity, he sometimes would kind of lose himself a bit.

And I think in his work, he was trying -- I mean, he was trying to get at the humanity of these stories. And personally, as his friend, I feel like he was also trying to sort of get at his own humanity. I mean, what -- the heart that was in there, inside this incredibly sort of functional machine that he was as a reporter.

COOPER: I was saying that, at least in the brief time we spent together in Afghanistan, I felt lucky to be in his company, because he -- I mean, he had this great laugh, this -- you know, this great smile, and you felt like you were in the right place when you were around him.

JUNGER: Yes. Everyone that I know who knows him felt lucky to know him. And I -- when I started working with him, I mean, I hope, I think the feeling was mutual, but I just thought, this is -- this is the guy.

Like we were trying to do something very difficult with this movie "Restrepo," and I don't think there are many people I could have worked with where it would have worked. You know? And I met Tim and instantly I was like, he's thinking differently. He's very -- he's incredibly brave.

COOPER: I want to play just some of Tim talking in an interview I think he did with Becky Anderson at CNN about -- about his work and how he worked.


TIM HETHERINGTON, FILMMAKER: Often when I'm working in a very pressured situation, I can almost flip the off switch and go into a default of filming. And later on I come to, and it shocks me what I've done. And that's just something I've been able to do, and that's perhaps why I continue -- why I realize that I'm good at what I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire! HETHERINGTON: But it does have a side that it is very dangerous. I remember being in the Congo and firefights and realizing -- a guy said to me -- I was filming at close range, and he said, "Did you see the tracers pass between our heads?" And I hadn't. And you know, later on, I saw the trees behind me all shot up, and I realized we were very exposed. And I'm in default, and that can be a funny thing later to understand.


COOPER: What was he like to work with? He and I worked together just briefly in Afghanistan. And to me he always seemed a few steps ahead and kind of visualizing photographs before they -- before they actually occurred, he was sort of in the spot to capture the action once it got to that photograph.

JUNGER: It was very reassuring working with Tim. Because on the one hand you knew he was this big, strong, capable, courageous guy and just physically, he would get the job done.

And -- but he was also -- he had this mind -- I don't know what -- what he ate as a kid, but his mind was incredible. And he could sort of track -- he was like a brilliant chess player, except he was playing chess with reality. He was playing chess with the story. And he could kind of track visually what was happening and what was going to happen and where we all needed to be to shoot a scene or to -- he just had it all going on in his headway way before it was even happening. And he would kind of orchestrate it.

I mean, I know how to turn on a video camera and point it at someone shooting a gun. A monkey could do that. But Tim had the whole thing played out ten minutes in advance, and, you know, without that, there's no art, there's no -- there would be no "Restrepo." You know, he really was understanding the world in a very, very profound way.

COOPER: Sebastian, thanks.

JUNGER: Thank you.


COOPER: Well, as you may have heard by now -- maybe you haven't -- this time next week, Prince William and Kate Middleton will be husband and wife. They'll be married next Friday morning at historic Westminster Abbey in London. The wedding will probably be pretty much of a lavish royal affair watched by people all over the world.

And despite the extravagance that's expected of the wedding, it seems that everybody who knows the couple say they're pretty down-to- earth people. One correspondent for a British newspaper says that William doesn't even like to be addressed as "His Royal Highness" or "Prince," that he simply likes people to call him William.

The bride and groom met as friends in college and found romance, which hit the skids at one point before they got back together. Tom Foreman tonight with a look at their relationship.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana drew one of the biggest global TV audiences ever. And now their first son's engagement appears to be setting the stage for much the same.

William is just behind his father to become king of England. And his engagement to a woman who grew up in the middle class is a sensation.

KATE MIDDLETON, ENGAGED TO PRINCE WILLIAM: It's quite daunting (ph). But I take it in stride. William is a great teacher. So hopefully, he'll get to help me along the way.

FOREMAN: Kate Middleton grew up just outside of London. Her parents, self-made millionaires from selling children's party supplies, raised Kate and her two younger siblings in a modest household.

William met Kate when they were university students at St. Andrew's in Scotland. It's rumored that he caught his attention in this see-through dress at a charity fashion show. They were friends first, sharing an apartment with two other students for a year before dating.

She was studying art history. He was, too. But she is widely credited with convincing him to change to geography when he seemed ready to drop out altogether.

They were first seen as a couple at the end of 2004, skiing in Switzerland. First broke up about four years ago.

PRINCE WILLIAM, UNITED KINGDOM: We were both very young. It was at university, and we were sort of both defining ourselves as such and being, you know, different characters and stuff.

FOREMAN: It led to a summer of on again, of again dating.

MIDDLETON: At the time, I wasn't very happy about it. But actually, it made me a stronger person. You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realized. Or I think you can get consumed by a relationship when you're younger. And I really -- I really valued that time, for me, as well. Although I didn't think it at the time.

FOREMAN: The two were seen during the split at a concert honoring the late Princess Diana, but sitting rows apart from each other. Then, months later, this video surfaced of them leaving a nightclub in London.

William proposed to Kate in October of last year, while on vacation in Kenya. Since their engagement, the couple has been spotted at various public events, including a boat naming and dedication. Now they live with one another on the island of Anglesey, off the coast of Wales.

William is 28, and Kate is 29. Both still speak of life goals like any 20-somethings. He has his military career and several charities. She's shown past interest in photography. So why the long wait for engagement? The gulf between his royal life and her regular upbringing is at least part of it.

PRINCE WILLIAM: I wanted to give her a chance to see and to back out if she needed to before it got too much, because you know, I'm not trying to learn from lessons in the past and I just wanted to give her the best chance to try and settle in and see what -- you know, what happens the other side.

FOREMAN: As for children in their plans?

PRINCE WILLIAM: I think we'll take it one step at a time. We'll sort of get over the marriage thing first and then maybe look at the kids.

FOREMAN: For now, the next big step is down the aisle.

Tom Foreman, CNN.


COOPER: Then...

ISHA SESAY: The tale of two loves.

COOPER: Yes. I must say, Isha, I'm getting kind of excited about the wedding.

SESAY: You are?

COOPER: Yes, it's just a week away. But I'm going to be going there. I'm looking forward to helping in our coverage, and it's going to be exciting.

SESAY: I think it's going to be really, really exciting. I think that everyone is really looking forward to just seeing this happen. It will be a great moment. It will be a moment that is just full of joy away from a lot of the things that have been in the news cycle.

COOPER: They also seem like two nice people who one could actually talk to. They seem very down to earth, you know, especially given his background and, you know, how he could have turned out. He's like a very much a genuine person.

SESAY: And the thing with Kate is, I mean, the comments made by her close friends really do paint the picture of a very level headed, hardworking, diligent young woman. You know, Anderson, some people are saying that they're a little bit boring. I think that's unfair.

COOPER: Well, as a boring person, I'm fine with people being boring. They're not boring. I mean, the whole world is interested in them. They're not looking to make news, which I think is a wise thing.

SESAY: And how is your -- how is your prep going? You've been away from us for a week. I assume that's because you've been...

COOPER: Actually, I was of for a couple days, but I actually brought my binder of royal information and read it a lot. So I'm much more up to date, though I still am having trouble with how you -- what you call the queen on the second reference.

SESAY: Anderson, because you claim to have made progress, I'd like to remind our viewers or show our viewers the state you were in, just a couple of days ago. Let's roll the tape, guys.


SESAY: Here's the thing.


SESAY: You know the royal wedding is coming.

COOPER: Right.

SESAY: It's just days away, and I'm kind of worried about your preparation.


SESAY: You see, the last time you covered a royal wedding...

COOPER: Right.

SESAY: ... it didn't go so well.

COOPER: What do you mean just go well? It went very well.

SESAY: Remind me. Remind me exactly of what happened the last time.

COOPER: I don't really recall. But first of all, it wasn't a royal wedding, it was Prince Charles marrying Camilla Parker. Yes, but it was sort of, you know, it wasn't quite like -- like the second wedding. So they rode shuttle mini buses to and from the church. It wasn't like they rode in a big carriage.

SESAY: OK. So I'm going to take you through today's lesson of royal protocol 101. Put it down. Put it down.

COOPER: I like this.

SESAY: You can have to afterwards, if you're a kid student. The first thing is this is just in case you meet her majesty the queen.

COOPER: That's not going to happen, but go on.

SESAY: I'm just making sure you're prepared. And you need to write down the no-touch rule.

COOPER: The no-touch rule?

SESAY: Yes. Don't touch the queen, OK? And that means no fist bumps.


SESAY: No kissing on the cheek.

COOPER: Right.

SESAY: No touches on the shoulder. And you know what...

COOPER: You don't offer your hand unless she offers her marinade.

SESAY: Correct.

COOPER: And apparently she gives a little kind of push which means you're done.

SESAY: If you meet Queen Elizabeth II, you say, "Your majesty."

COOPER: Your majesty.

SESAY: On second reference, you say mom.

COOPER: You say ma'am?


COOPER: Mom. Not ma'am like ma'am?

SESAY: There's a difference. There's not ma'am like ham. It's ma'am. There's a difference. It's not ma'am like ham, it's mom.

Attire. Can we talk clothes quickly for this one?

COOPER: I am tired.

SESAY: Not "are you tired?" Attire.

COOPER: Attire. Like what I'm wearing? Yes.

SESAY: You're going to be with other....


SESAY: Is Piers Morgan wearing one of those morning suits?

COOPER: Morning suits?

SESAY: I don't know.

COOPER: I wouldn't put it past him. I bet he is. SESAY: Would you wear a morning suit?


SESAY: Why not?

COOPER: I don't see the point. First of all, I'm not going to spend money buying a morning suit. First of all, I don't know what a morning suit is.

SESAY: This is what it says on the invitation for this wedding. It says, "Uniform, morning coat or lounge suit."

COOPER: Right. OK, first of all, we're not invited to the wedding. None of us are invited. We can all pretend we're...

SESAY: Technicality. You should wear a morning suit, because I...

COOPER: That's like a leprechaun hat you bought at some -- some Halloween costume store.

SESAY: Be quiet and put it on.

COOPER: This is not a real top hat.

SESAY: Put it on.

COOPER: You didn't take the tag off, because you're going to return it. And it's 100 percent polyester. Like you really -- CNN went all out.

SESAY: Put it on.

COOPER: I have a big head. It doesn't fit. See? I could wear it at a rakish angle like this. Top of the morning to you, ma'am -- mom.


COOPER: So it is -- mom? You say "ma'am," it sounds like you're saying mom, like M-O-M.

SESAY: No, it sounds nothing like that.

COOPER: Say it again.

SESAY: It's mom. You just have to be...

COOPER: Say it again.

SESAY: Ma'am.

COOPER: You're saying "Mom."

SESAY: I'm not saying "Mom." Look, I tell you what, we're going to be in London.

COOPER: Say "Mom" like "Mom" and say what would you say to the queen. Seriously.

SESAY: I would say "Ma'am."

COOPER: I really cannot tell the difference. People on Twitter, please respond to me. Can anyone understand what the difference Isha is saying? Ma'am -- say "Mom" like you'd say to your mom and then say what you'd say to the queen.

SESAY: I don't say "Mom." I say "Mummy."

COOPER: Well, just for the point of argument...


COOPER: ... say "Mom" and then say -- say what you would say to the queen.

SESAY: I would say "Mum." And then I'd say "ma'am." You see, it's too long "A's." "Ma'am." You'll get it. We'll be in London in a couple days.

COOPER: I'm not going to meet the queen, so it doesn't matter. It's not going to happen.

SESAY: You know what? I really want...

COOPER: I might scream at her from, like, far away, "Mom"! I think when you're yelling, it doesn't really matter.

SESAY: Will you understand anything anyone else is saying?

COOPER: Will I what? I have a hard time with British accents. So you've just got to say things twice.

SESAY: All right. I'll work on that.

COOPER: All right. You can actually see the entire -- there was more to that etiquette lesson. You can see it online. The new, improved AC 360 Web site. Check it out.

Stay with 360 for our special coverage. We're live next week in London with all the magic and flourish of the royal wedding. "The Marriage of William and Kate," I guess we've officially titled it. Ten p.m. Eastern, 7 Pacific right here on CNN. Of course, we'll be doing live wedding coverage, as well.

Serious stuff ahead. We've got breaking news. A tornado touching down, doing damage at the St. Louis Airport. Video information just coming in. We'll bring that to you next.

And a judge throwing the book at Lindsay Lohan, orders her to jail. What happens with that? Also tonight, the very specific tattoo. This is a bizarre story. A tattoo that got a gang member convicted of murder. May it's not such a good idea to have the crime scene inked on one's chest. Note to self.


COOPER: Following a number of other stories tonight. Let's check in with Isha with the "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.

SESAY: Anderson, more breaking news. A tornado touched down a short time ago at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, causing considerable damage. With all, a roof, or part of it has come off one terminal. The windows have been blown out, leaving glass everywhere, and there are power outages at the airport. And some people were injured.

The FBI has released three photos of a man they call a possible suspect in what appears to be an attempt to bomb a shopping mall in Colorado. These surveillance photos were captured on a bus leaving the shopping center on Wednesday. Turns out that day was the 12th anniversary of the massacre at nearby Columbine High School.

Lindsay Lohan was taken into custody today in L.A. and ordered to spend four months in jail. A judge said she violated probation in connection with her necklace theft case. But the judge reduced the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Bail was set at $75,000 on the probation violation, and the actress is expected to post it and be released.

A California gang member was convicted of murder, thanks to his tattoos. KTLA reports that Anthony Garcia's body art predicts a man being shot by a helicopter under the heading "Rivera killed." That very crime happened in 2004. The helicopter image, his gang name is chopper.

Drivers are facing gas prices hitting $5. But get this, a gas station in Florida is charging $5.69 for a gallon of regular, and $5.79 for premium, said to be the highest prices in the nation.

And last week we reported that Farouk Abed (ph), who was sentenced to 23 years for plotting to blow up train stations in Washington, D.C. Now, during this report, we showed video of this man, who is not Farouk Ahmed. Nor was he a defendant in the case. We apologize for this error -- Anderson.

COOPER: Isha, thanks very much. We'll have you -- well, have a great weekend. I forgot. It's Friday already. Not sure why I just came back for one day, but I'm glad I did.

SESAY: We've been working a full week.

COOPER: I'll see you Monday.

A lot more at the top of the hour, starting with a Syrian dictatorship promising reform but killing its own people today.