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CONNECT THE WORLD
Thailand Goes After Child Sex Trade; Turkey, Israel Still at Odds Over Gaza Aid Ship Raid; Narco-Submarine Discovered in Ecuador
Aired July 5, 2010 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: This 90-year-old man accused in Thailand of having sex with children. He's just one of thousands of men arrested there for pedophilia, many of whom take part in what's become known as "sex tourism." Tonight, how countries around the world are going after alleged predators.
On CNN, this is the hour we CONNECT THE WORLD.
Well, the exploitation of kids is not just a problem in Thailand, which acknowledges that it's become a destination hotspot. More and more countries are going after their own citizens for even just viewing (ph) illegal sex half a world away.
I'm Becky Anderson in London with the story and its connections for you this evening.
Also coming up: We've brought you the drug trade from multiple viewpoints in recent weeks here on the show, but there's been nothing like this, a homemade sub designed to smuggle cocaine all over the world.
And it's become the sound of the South Africa World Cup, made in China, now spreading across the globe.
And you can connect with us in a somewhat quieter way on line via Twitter. My personal address is @beckycnn. Your thoughts and ideas on the day's stories always welcome.
First up this evening, a shocking criminal case in Thailand, where a 90-year-old man is accused of sexually abusing four young sisters after luring them with chocolate. Dan Rivers gives us a rare look inside the police investigation and their efforts to keep Thailand from being a pedophile playground.
DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He is 90 years old and under arrest. The police say Karl Kraus, a German-born World War II veteran, is a pedophile, just one of literally thousands of suspected child molesters arrested in Thailand each year. From his cell, he spoke to me off camera, denying the charges.
This is the mother of the girls he's accused of abusing. We've hidden her face to protect the identity of her children. She breaks down as she remembers how her children described the abuse allegedly carried out by Mr. Kraus.
(on camera): Mr. Kraus insisted to me that he's the innocent victim of a malicious blackmail campaign by neighbors near his house here in Chiang Mai, but this case does highlight the fact that the police here in Thailand are now putting many more resources into investigating allegations of child abuse in a bid to tackle a problem that has blighted this region for decades.
(voice-over): The police are putting suspects under surveillance. American Robert Cutler is one of their targets, the police giving us rare access to their files on him, including dozens of photos showing this university teacher with young boys. The police eventually raided his house, finding boys half-clothed in a bedroom. Cutler denies charges of child abuse and is facing 80 years in prison.
But experts say despite their best efforts, pedophiles are still flocking to Thailand.
RONNASIT PROEKSAYAJIVA, COUNTER HUMAN TRAFFICKING UNIT: Honestly, right now, I don't think it's getting better. I think it's getting worse because, I don't know, maybe they believe that Thailand is the best place for them to -- to come to have sex with children.
RIVERS: The police say the law needs tightening.
LT. COL. APICHART HATTASIN, THAI POLICE: There is no specific law about having child pornography in possession, so Thailand should issue a law about child pornography specifically.
RIVERS: So instead, the police are trying to catch pedophiles red- handed. Here former Swiss banker Cornel Wietlisbach is found with two half-naked boys in his hotel room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hand away, please! Put your hand down! You want me to handcuff you?
RIVERS: He later pleaded guilty to abusing children. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but got parole immediately and was deported to Switzerland. The police say it's tough getting a conviction.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are under arrest for the charge of sexually abuse boys.
COL. APICHART: The suspect might try to approach the victims or the family, the parents of the victim, to convince them or give bribery to make them change their statement. And if they change their statement, which mean the story would be different, totally different, I would say. That is the most challenge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you tell me that you don't recognize these pictures?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't recognize from the pictures.
RIVERS: But the police here are raising their game. In the past, 70 percent of their cases didn't result in a conviction. Now they've slashed that failure rate to 20 percent.
The case of 90-year-old Karl Kraus highlights the difficulties the police face -- little forensic evidence, and any conviction will depend on the testimonies of the children he allegedly abused. Persuading them to talk is never easy, but the police are hoping Kraus will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Government figures show he'll be just one of almost 3,000 pedophiles charged in Thailand each year.
Dan Rivers, CNN, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
ANDERSON: Well, as Dan notes, many alleged pedophiles travel to Thailand from abroad, so I want to show you how countries around the world are actually finding innovative ways to tackle this trend. Australia, for instance, has made it a crime for its citizens and residents to have sex with children under 16 even in foreign countries. Penalties include up to 17 years in prison. Corporations face fines of up to half a million dollars.
Now, in the U.S., it's even tougher, up to 30 years in prison for anyone convicted of traveling abroad to have sex with a minor. Now, here in the U.K., it's up to life in prison. You're also put on the sex offenders register. Germany, Canada, Japan all have similar legislation on their books.
Well, few people know this story better than Christine Beddoe. She is the director of in ECPAT. That stands for End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking. For more than 15 years, she's been traveling the world to campaign against the problem, and she joins me now, I'm pleased to say, here in London.
Around the world, how many kids are we talking about here, victims of sexual exploitation?
CHRISTINE BEDDOE, DIRECTOR, ECPAT UK: Well, the -- anecdotally, we think hundreds, possibly thousands of children. But the sad reality is that there is not enough information that's shared internationally to know the real picture. It's a systemic failure internationally that countries just aren't sharing this information.
ANDERSON: We so often hear the headline that is Thailand. The U.S. Justice Department says, and I quote, "While Asian countries, including Thailand, India and the Philippines, have long been prime destinations for child sex tourists, in recent years, tourists have increasingly traveled to Mexico and Central America for their sexual exploits, as well."
Aside from Thailand and Southeast Asia, where's the problem the worst?
BEDDOE: This is a global problem. It's not just one of Thailand's or Southeast Asia. Here in the U.K., for example, we've been monitoring over 120 cases of British nationals. They've traveled far and wide. The same with U.S. nationals -- Africa, South America. Not only that, but countries a bit closer to home. The first ever British national arrested for crimes against children (INAUDIBLE) was in France. It's not just developing countries. But those countries are the ones which obviously are the most vulnerable.
ANDERSON: (INAUDIBLE) the beginning of this, about what Australia's doing, about what the U.K.'s doing, suggested (INAUDIBLE) in Germany and in Japan. Some places are doing fairly well, I guess. Other places are doing absolutely terribly. Draw me a map, as it were.
BEDDOE: Well, the U.S. seems to be doing really well because it's got a system where it works in partnership with different countries -- so for example, Thailand and Cambodia. And the U.S. will go in, take its nationals and then prosecute them back home. They've had a lot of success with that way of doing things.
The U.K. hasn't had very much success, a handful of cases prosecuted under U.K. laws, really bad statistics. Why? Because they don't work so closely. They're getting better, but they're not working so closely. From this experience, we learn that it's working together, getting joint investigation teams, sharing intelligence, getting the prosecutors to work together. That's what makes the difference.
ANDERSON: Does a story like that which Dan reported on the 90-year- old man -- he's alleged to have been having sex with four young sisters, luring them with chocolate -- does that story surprise you or not?
BEDDOE: Sadly, not. This has been going on for years. I've been working on it for 20 years, and it was existing before that. But what is new is that offenders are using new technologies to get access to children in ways in which they might not have done before, networking together through chat rooms, the Internet, of course. They're knowing where to go because of the new technologies that previously weren't there.
ANDERSON: This is one of those stories where you just -- you just wish you could do something. You wish you could help. Is there anything that the sort of members of the general public can do better, as it were, to help prevent this sort of sexual exploitation of children in the future?
BEDDOE: Well, one of the things we ask, you know, the general public to do is to speak out. If you're in a destination, if you're on holiday, if you see something happening, report it to your travel agent. Report it to your tour operator and your hotel. Report it to your embassy. Get your voice heard. Bring that information to the police where you can. Don't just walk away and says it's inevitable. It's not. We've got to speak out. And use your voice to say so.
ANDERSON: It's a sad story, but some good advice. And Christine, we thank you very much indeed for joining us this evening.
BEDDOE: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Christine Beddoe's your expert on the story.
Well, Turkey issues a new warning over Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza aid ship, but Israel is having none of it. Coming up, a diplomatic crisis deepens as two former allies dig in their heels.
ANDERSON: Right (ph). Apologize or else. New demands from Turkey today that Israel make amends for its deadly raid on a Gaza aid flotilla. But as Frederik Pleitgen now reports, Israel insists it will never say it's sorry for acts of what it calls self-defense.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than a month after Israel's deadly raid on a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza, both sides are ratcheting up the rhetoric. Turkey's foreign minister has reportedly threatened to sever ties with Israel over the incident, which left nine Turkish citizens dead.
"Either they apologize or accept an international inquiry commission and its report, or relations will be broken," Ahmet Davutoglu is quoted as saying in the newspaper "Hurriyet."
Turkey later toned the statement down somewhat, but still says it wants to send a strong message to the Israelis. Jerusalem's reaction came promptly, the Israelis saying they would never apologize for the raid.
MARK REGEV, ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: Our positions are clear. As I say, I don't want a public ward -- word of word -- war of words with the Turkish government.
PLEITGEN: In late May, several aid organizations launched cargo ships from Turkey, looking to break Israel's blockade of Gaza. They were intercepted by Israeli commandos, and an ensuring confrontation on one of the ships, the Mavi Marmara, left nine Turks dead and several Israeli soldiers wounded. Both sides blame each other for the escalation, causing a rift between two countries that have been strategic allies in the Middle East for decades, a relationship that has been strained for a while, observers say.
DAVID HOROVITZ, "JERUSALEM POST": Israel does not want ties with Turkey to get any worse. It's pessimistic about relations with Turkey because it thinks that the Turkish prime minister, Erdogan, is identifying, if you like, with the Islamic leadership of Hamas in Gaza.
PLEITGEN: After the flotilla incident, Turkey canceled exercises with the Israeli Defense Forces, denied Israeli military planes the right to fly in its airspace and recalled its ambassador from Jerusalem. But both sides acknowledge that ministers have met behind the scenes to discuss the future of their relations.
(on camera): For the time being, neither side is willing to budge, at least publicly, threatening the very close and unique relationship between two of America's most important allies in the Middle East.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Jerusalem.
ANDERSON: Well, speaking of strained relations, Israel and the United States will attempt to patch up their own public rift when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visits Washington on Tuesday.
Joining (INAUDIBLE) on this story for you tonight, bring in Dan Lothian in Washington. And Dan, the last time that Bibi was in town, he was subjected to what some have described as the mother of all diplomatic snubs. (INAUDIBLE) White House suggest it's going to roll out the red carpet this time (INAUDIBLE)
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It does appear that they will this time, a much more warmer welcome than the sort of the frosty relationship that is said to exist between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama. Indeed, the last time that he was here, he was left to consult with his team while President Obama left for about an hour back to his residence. And in addition to that, he was not afforded the typical customary what happens here at the White House, a media availability, where world leaders get a chance to come out, get their photos taken, perhaps even take a few questions from the press.
This time, we are told that they will come out -- both Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Obama will come out. They'll make some statements, and they'll also take some questions from reporters.
ANDERSON: This (ph) is (ph) -- some people would call this politics of the playground! Meantime, nearly a year has been lost in (INAUDIBLE) all-important negotiations, getting the Palestinians and the Israelis 'round the table and getting them to talk! Where does the U.S. administration stand with those -- are we any closer to a kick-start, as it were?
LOTHIAN: Well, you know, I was part of a background briefing that took place late last week, and two senior administration officials said that a lot of progress is being made. They're much closer now. But you're right, it does remain a major challenge here because what exists now is what's called "proximity talks," or indirect talks, where sort of the United States is in the middle here, and all sides agreeing that there needs to be the face-to-face talks in order for peace to move forward.
The problem in all of this is, obviously, settlements. And the Palestinians are saying that Israel has to stop all settlement expansion in the West Bank and also East Jerusalem before they'll agree to sit down and talk face to face. But certainly, when Mr. Netanyahu come here -- comes to the White House tomorrow, sits down with the president, that is expected to be at the top of the agenda. He says that that will be his chief goal, is to push for face-to-face talks with the Palestinians, believing that's the only way to move forward on peace.
ANDERSON: All right. OK. Perhaps then hold your breath. But we'll see what happens. Dan Lothian, your man in Washington this evening.
Well, it's a game of narco-one-upmanship. Drug smugglers in Colombia used to use semi-submersible boats to haul cocaine. Now they've sunk to new depths.
ANDERSON: Well, the World Cup is the stuff dreams are made of, if you dream of cocaine, that is. Colombian airport agents got suspicious over the weekend when they came across this World Cup replica. Well, they sent it to a lab and learned it was made of 11 kilos of pure cocaine. Authorities say the drug was probably mixed with gasoline to make it easy to mold. (INAUDIBLE) had a street value of $1.5 million and was bound, we are told, for Madrid.
Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Turning the World Cup into cocaine is just one of countless ways people try to move the drug from where it's made to where it is wanted.
And this is another. It's a fully functional submarine. Drug enforcement agents found it Friday on the border between Colombia and Ecuador. They say the 30-meter-long sub is state of the art. It has twin screws driven by a diesel electric engine. It is air-conditioned, and it is fitted with a periscope. Well, the sub is light years ahead of semi- submersible boats now being used. The semi-subs are hard to spot. The sub would be even more difficult to detect.
Well, this is one of the first true submarines drug agents have nabbed. Most of the time, semi-submersibles are used. They're boats that ride very low in the water. Last October, CNN's Karl Penhaul looked at efforts to find these boats and to seize their cargoes. This is part of a report that he filed (INAUDIBLE) at that point.
KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Planes tracked something plowing through the choppy seas. The Columbia navy and U.S. Coast Guards are on the tail of a hand-built submarine. The cargo, eight tons of pure cocaine, according to Colombian authorities. That's almost half a billion dollars worth on the streets of Europe or America.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Hands are in the air!
PENHAUL: The crew surrenders without a fight, but the bust goes bad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going down!
PENHAUL: The traffickers scuttle the sub, sending the cargo to the bottom of the Pacific. The Coast Guard says it's a tactic to destroy evidence of the crime. Watch this crew bail out during a different chase. Minutes later, another six tons of cocaine sink.
Pursuits on the high seas like these are rare. That's because the subs are almost impossible to detect, even though few are designed to dive fully underwater.
CAPT. MARIO RODRIGUEZ, COLOMBIAN NAVY (via translator): The semi- submersible is more difficult to detect because it has a low profile in the sea. Criminals paint them a certain color to camouflage them and avoid detection from the air.
PENHAUL: The navy believes the cartels may now be smuggling out almost half their cocaine in fleets of narco-subs, using Colombia's Caribbean and Pacific coasts.
RODRIGUEZ (via translator): Narco-traffickers are looking for new ways to commit their crimes, and authorities are trying to prevent that. It's like a chess game.
PENHAUL: At a Pacific coast base, second mate Juan Carlos Nogeras (ph) shows me around some of the subs that have been confiscated -- fiberglass on a wooden frame, twin diesel engines. The price tag, around a million dollars. Most of that's not for materials but to buy the silence of the boat builders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Maybe they're not crazy, but just ignoring the danger.
PENHAUL: Under the hatch, it feels like a floating coffin.
(on camera): It's hot down here now. And once this is in the open waters with the sun beating down on it, the temperature could soar. And there are only a few breathing tubes throughout, here.
(voice-over): The semi-submersibles travel three main smuggling routes, according to the navy. Direct to Mexico or Central America takes around six days. The longest route, through the Galapagos Islands, takes more than two weeks. Along the northern reaches of Colombia's Pacific coast, speedboats remain the number one enemy. They dash into Panama or Costa Rica in as little as six hours.
RODRIGUEZ (through translator): They choose the route depending on the cargo they want to transport and based on their analysis of our ability to detect them in the area.
PENHAUL: I join a Coast Guard team on a speedboat they call the Midnight Express. Buenaventura's Colombia's biggest seaport, handling thousands of containers every day, all potential stowaway sites for drugs. There's a huge tuna fishing fleet, too. Ships' captains may be tempted by easy money but are wary of the consequences.
CAPT. EDWARD PICON, COLOMBIAN NAVY (through translator): They say they risk losing their families. And they know if the drugs get lost, their families will be killed.
PENHAUL: Night falls, and a navy patrol boat heads out on a fresh mission to board rustbucket cargo ships and hunt for cocaine. A captain radios word he's only transporting cattle, gasoline and food. Lashing rain and moving boats are making this a treacherous task for Lieutenant Dennison Ramirez (ph) and his men tonight.
Above deck, they urge passengers to report anything suspicious. There's a report of another vessel, dangerously overloaded with 70 tons of cargo aboard. In the dark, it seems almost impossible to check thoroughly for drugs. Nothing's found. One of the cargo ship's crew seems to resent the search.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The economy is real difficult right now. There's more unemployment than jobs. That's one of the biggest things fueling crime.
PENHAUL: For the Colombian navy, it's a war of stealth, trying to stem the tide of cocaine on and under the waters, a war in which traffickers are using homemade technology to sink to new depths.
Karl Penhaul, CNN, Buenaventura, Colombia.
ANDERSON: And that report filed, as I said, by Karl in October.
So what can anti-drugs agents learn from the first fully functional sub found on the Ecuadorian border just now? Jay Bergman is the Andean regional director for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He joins us now from Bogota.
A big deal for you guys, I guess, in your region.
JAY BERGMAN, ANDEAN REGIONAL DIR. FOR DEA: (INAUDIBLE) region of South America, that's correct.
ANDERSON: Right. OK. Talk to me about this sub found on the Ecuadorian -- on the Ecuadorian border. What -- what are you going to learn out of it?
BERGMAN: Well, that's exactly what we're doing right now. The Ecuadorian -- the Ecuadorians have already had one of their submariners from their naval service on board. They're looking at it. This is going to be a process of (INAUDIBLE) There's a sense of urgency to figure out what the capabilities of this submarine are.
I've seen some pictures of the inside of the submarine already that have been sent to me. I mean, there's -- there's pipes. There's tubes. There's air-conditioning. There's -- there's gadgets. There's -- there's electronics. This is -- this is a quantum leap in sophistication and in size than anything that we've seen previously. Certainly, it is -- it is completely different than the -- the self-propelled semi-submersibles. This is -- we've driven -- we've driven the traffickers underneath the -- underneath the seas.
ANDERSON: Jay, what's something like this worth?
BERGMAN: They're looking at the estimates now, you know, and it's going to be several days. It has to be in the millions of dollars. Not going (ph) to say (ph) tens of millions of dollars, but the -- but the rudimentary self-propelled semi-submersibles, the most sophisticated ones, were a million dollars.
BERGMAN: This is in a class by itself. It's the equivalent of taking a -- of taking a (INAUDIBLE) and comparing it to a Cadillac.
ANDERSON: So who financed its manufacture? And who's using it? Who's using it to traffic drugs?
BERGMAN: This is (INAUDIBLE) able to tell by the compartment, by the cargo compartment and the payload that it just -- this is going to be used for drugs. But it's got -- as much as it's got the counter-drug community concerned, it also has the intelligence community concerned because of the potential that this stealth-like (ph) submarine has the capability in terms of range, in terms of payload. It has everyone -- it has everybody paying careful attention right now.
ANDERSON: Brief -- briefly, do you think this is a unique case, or are there more of these out there?
BERGMAN: I would say that the Ecuadorian national police, they're very good at their job. DEA is very good at our job. To consider that we captured the very first one under -- that's been under construction -- I don't know what the mathematical (INAUDIBLE) Our job is not to -- my job is -- is never to underestimate the adversary. So we're going to work under the -- under the precept that we found one, so there's others out there.
ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff. Jay Bergman in Bogota for you (ph). Sir, we thank you for joining us.
Antonio Maria Costas is the executive director of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. He says pressure applied to cartels in Mexico and indeed in the U.S. has forced them to think of better ways to move their cargo. This is what he told me earlier on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO MARIA COSTAS, U.N. OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME: For sure, there have been because of tighter control and because of shift in markets, the market in the United States has basically collapsed or (inaudible) reduced by 50 percent in 10 years. They need a new market. They found new routes, and they found new instruments, whether submarines, whether new means of transport, like cargo planes. An important (ph) plane, Boeing 727, crashed in Mali (ph) six months ago with 10 tens of cocaine. Obviously small private jet planes that are rented or owned or perhaps also claimed (ph), leased or bought in order to crash-land and just deliver the drugs. It's a business model they are developing, as innovative as the one I would say the private sector looks for on a daily basis. Their concern being not reducing the cost of transportation, as the private sector would do, but reducing the chances of interception, which for them is a sort of cost of transportation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The fight against drug smuggling around the world. You're watching "CONNECT THE WORLD." I'm Becky Anderson. Right back with the headlines after this.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR, CONNECT THE WORLD: --Vuvuzelas that have made this World Cup distinct, to Ghana where football academies are ensuring the country remains a football power house of Africa. We are going to look at the secret of Germany's success, where recruiters look for youth and diversity. Also, explore the rise of the newcomers. Is the sport finally finding its feet in the United States? And the journey will end this week for us here on CONNECT THE WORLD, in Brazil where the game is bringing joy to the country's poorest kids, despite the performance of its team.
But tonight we are starting with the vuvuzela. It is an African tradition that China is playing a major part in propelling the noisy horns onto the world stage. This report from Mr. John Vause.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Like it or not, and many seem to not, this has become the unofficial anthem of the World Cup. One very loud note, B flat, to be precise, which to many of us sounds more like this. Well, if you happen to be in a stadium it probably sounds a lot like this. And all that noise comes from a lot of these. A piece of plastic tubing called a vuvuzela. Wooden versions were once used by African villagers to scare off baboons.
But now they are a case study in Chinese mass production. Nine out of every 10 vuvuzelas in the world are made in China, at factories like this one run by Mrs. Wu (ph).
"I'm very proud that our vuvuzelas made it all the way to the World Cup," she told me.
(On camera): So with just a few dozen workers, in this one small, hot and very sweaty factory, Mr. Wu (ph) says they are making more than 20,000 of these, each day. So far this year, she says, they've made almost 1.5 million.
(Voice over): Because it doesn't take much to actually make a vuvuzela. More plastic in, melted plastic out, into a mold and done. More plastic in, melted plastic out, into the mold and done. In another room the edges are smoothed and polished. Wholesale cost about 40 U.S. cents. And Mrs. Wu (ph) is hoping the vuvuzela will be the next must have for sports fans around the world. At the baseball, basketball, even the football, the next giant foam finger, perhaps.
"Before we received orders for the Asian games, which is why we're still busy," she says.
But go beyond sports and go online and the vuvuzela has gone viral with a rush YouTube postings. The most popular one, being dog versus vuvuzela.
And so long after the World Cup is over and especially if Mrs. Wu (ph) has her way, we probably haven't heard the last of this.
John Vause, CNN, Linbo (ph), China.
And that's really awful, God.
ANDERSON: That guy deserved to be bitten. You'd feel like that if you had a vuvuzela in your ear. We haven't heard the last of John's story either. Coming up on "BACK STORY" he really gives a sense of just how small this factory really is. And example of real entrepreneurship in China, that is "BACKSTORY" with Michael Holmes. Coming up in about 20 minutes' time.
And if Chinese fans had their way they'd be making noise about their own country. Strangely more people are watching this World Cup in China than anywhere else in the world. But the national team didn't even get a starting berth in the tournament. Gordon Chang is one of this show's big thinkers, a regular guest on the show, and he knows a thing or two about the not-so-beautiful game in China, joining us
Let's be frank. The national team is absolutely lousy. Why is that?
GORDON CHANG, CONNECT THE WORLD PANELIST: Well, you know there are a lot of reasons but I think it is because China is not writing on a blank slate. The origins of the sport in China are pre-revolutionary Shanghai, where players, coaches, referees, all bet on the game. And those are the same problems that plague China today. You know, China does very well in some sports. We saw that in the 2008 Olympics, but those are individual sports, where the state mandates success.
You know, where they are good in team sports, and there are a few of them like volleyball, they are just not really that important. I think the real issue here is that the Chinese say you don't sweep the snow from other people's front porches. And that mentality makes it very difficult to succeed in the ultimate team sport, which is football.
ANDERSON: How deeply embedded is corruption in this game? Because I've heard it said before that until you sweep corruption out of the game in China, it is never going to get any better, as it were. Is that right?
CHANG: Yes, that is absolutely right. There is, you know, you've got all sorts of players throwing games in China. The coaches are throwing games. The referees are making bad calls intentionally, because they are all making money. And you know this just poisons the sport, because people just disrespect everything about it. So, you know, you've got a lot of things working against it and corruption is certainly one of them. This is corruption though that-you know, there is a lot of corruption in the People's Republic, but this corruption goes, really, back to Shanghai in the Green Gang days of the 1930s. Well, before Communism took over.
ANDERSON: And will the arrests therefore-this is their-there is a legacy here. Will the arrests that have been in the last months or so, of a few people in the game, bring about any sort of change, Gordon?
CHANG: Yes, I mean, there have been those arrests recently. There have been arrests three or four years ago. There are arrests all the time. This isn't going to change until you have really a change in mentality and also a change in the government, I think, in China. There has got to be a lot that really occurs in the People's Republic before the Chinese are really, really good at the sport. And we have got to remember they are going backwards. You know, in 2002 they were in the Japan-Korea finals. They weren't in 2006 and of course, as you pointed out, they are not this year as well. So this is not going in the right direction.
ANDERSON: How painful was it for the Chinese the North Koreans play, and playing not badly in the first round, it's got to be said.
CHANG: Well, you know, it was really humiliating. And the Chinese netizens, the Internet community, are really talking about North Korea. You know, one of them said, look, we're a country of 1.3 billion people. Why can't we find 11 decent soccer players? You know? And that is absolutely right. Because you have the North Koreans, the Japanese, South Koreans, they all went to South Africa. You know, China, which has more people than anybody else, is nowhere to be seen.
ANDERSON: Yes, and we've got 60 million here, and we can't find 11 players good and true, so I know what the Chinese feel like. Listen, all right, so we are not talking 2014, as far as you're concerned? Are we looking as far out as 2015 for them?
CHANG: You know, that is entirely possible. You know, China, when it really wants to do something, you know, the People's Republic, the government, can often be successful. But the problem is that they are up against so many different things. And corruption, as you pointed out, is one of them. It is just the team mentality. There is just so much working against the government here.
ANDERSON: With that, we are going to leave it there. We do wish the best. Because we want to see everybody playing a decent game of football and perhaps described better as the ugly game, rather than the beautiful game in China.
Gordon, always a pleasure. Gordon Chang, one of our big thinkers on this show. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD; 47 minutes past 9:00 in London.
One team that has been making its fans proud is Ghana. They dispatched the U.S. and became African heroes until reality set in, of course, with that controversial clash against Uruguay. Well, tomorrow, on this show, at this time, we're going to find out just why Ghana has become such a football powerhouse. And why the future is looking ever brighter.
Well, it was Ghana, of course, who eliminated the U.S. in the World Cup, in what was a mixed campaign for the Americans. What is next for their coach, Bob Bradley? Will he be sticking around? His thoughts in your slot, this is your part of the show, it is your "Connector of the Day" and that is up next.
ANDERSON: This maybe the most popular sport in many parts of the world, but in America it is another kind of football that dominates. When it comes to national sports obsessions soccer isn't one of them. But USA soccer manager Bob Bradley is working hard to change that. This year, Bradley took the U.S. team through the group matches with a particularly exhilarating win against Algeria. The team lost in a heated overtime match to Ghana in the second round, but not before rallying American support around the world.
Bradley took over the team in 2006 and racked up some big wins, including second place in the Confederation's Cup. Beating out European No. 1 ranked team Spain. He also coaches his own son, who is on the team and plays midfield. Following his World Cup performance, rumors have emerged that Bradley is being tapped to coach one of England's prestigious club teams. Challenging the status quo, Bob Bradley is your "Connector of the Day".
ANDERSON: So, what is Bob's take on the U.S. team's performance in South Africa? Take a listen to this.
BOB BRADLEY, COACH, U.S. NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM: We certainly have mixed feelings. We were very proud of three strong performances in the first round. We won our group. We created high expectations, and yet, we were disappointed that we had a tough loss against Ghana.
ANDERSON: Yes, all right. Mike Gundlach asks, "Would you have done anything differently if you were to do it again?"
BRADLEY: I think that the main this is that when we got into overtime, we had momentum, and we lost it early with conceding that goal.
ANDERSON: Yes, you say overtime, we-this side of the pond-say extra time. There are a lot of differences between soccer here and in the States, for example. Why do you think it hasn't caught on as much as it has elsewhere around the world?
BRADLEY: I think we've shown, in the last two years, with our performance first in Confederation's Cup, and then in the World Cup this year, that U.S. soccer continues to grow and we have received a great deal of praise, internationally, for the way our team has performed.
ANDERSON: Yes, and got a lot of great athletes and great players these days.
Jered asks whether, "You think more American footballers or soccer players, should play abroad, as opposed to playing in the Major League, in the States." Would that help, do you think?
BRADLEY: Major League Soccer has been so important to the growth of our national team. And it will continue to be, but it is also great that we have players that are in Europe, and have dreams of playing on even bigger clubs.
ANDERSON: Sergio has written to us. He says, "Are you going to continue to be the coach of the U.S. squads in the coming year, and years to come?"
BRADLEY: I'm honored to coach the national team, and like any national team coach, after a World Cup, I think there is a process where both sides take a little time to assess. So we'll see what happens.
ANDERSON: Yes, and that is what is happening in England at the moment. Looks like Fabio Capello is going to stay. Do you think he should?
BRADLEY: Capello is still a great manager and I know his contract runs for a few more years, so I think he'll still be with England.
ANDERSON: Would you take the job, if it became available? It is not an easy one.
BRADLEY: It is not an easy one, but certainly there is always room for new challenges.
ANDERSON: Jurgen asks, "What is your opinion of the refereeing in this World Cup? Controversial one?"
BRADLEY: I think all coaches are always uncertain about certain calls. But it seems that there has been a few more than expected. I think that goal-line technology can help, because goals are not easy to come by in soccer, and certainly when a ball is over the line, everybody should recognize it.
ANDERSON: Well, tell that to Seth Blatter.
And what is it like coaching your won son, Michael?
BRADLEY: At this point it is not a problem at all. I've coached for a long time. He's been a professional player now for a number of years, so I think he understands that it is his job to earn the respect of his teammates. And he does a good job of that.
ANDERSON: Take your dad's hat off, for a moment. How would you rate him?
BRADLEY: He's a young player that I think showed in this World Cup that he's got the talent and the motivation. He certainly is hoping that he can continue to move along in his game.
ANDERSON: Did you ever truly think that the U.S. could win this World Cup?
BRADLEY: We did. We set our first goal on getting out of the group. We did it in good style. And then at that point we had big hopes, but we did talk about the fact that it needed to be done in 90, or in our case, 120 minutes at a time. And we all know that sometimes, the game doesn't go exactly the way you want. But we still believed we could go far and win.
ANDERSON: Coming to you a club near you in South London. They tell me, possibly. Bob Bradley, USA's World Cup bid is, of course, over. But Dutch hopes are still very much alive. And in tomorrow's "Connector" is a form European champion who is more than qualified to rate their chances against Uruguay in the first semi-final, he's none other than Dutch football legend, Ruud Gullit. Make sure to send in your questions, your part of the show, of course.
We want to know what you want to ask him, as many of those questions as possible. Get out and if you want to see your next "Connector of the Day", it could be anyone from a world leader to a cultural icon, to a local activist making a difference in your part of the world. Do leave your suggestions at CNN.com/connector. Remember to tell us where you are writing in from. That is all at the site, tonight. A couple of minutes left, we will be right back after this.
ANDERSON: Well, before we leave you tonight, let's look at what you've been saying about our top story. And that is the sight of Thailand's police, to stem the tide of pedophiles in that country. Now we have had several comments on the Web site so far. Here is what some of you have been saying.
Shawn44 writes, that while it is true sexual predators should receive the death penalty, "nobody should be incarcerated on circumstantial evidence and somebody's word against theirs."
Pocu321 says, "It is time for the world community to start pressuring for harsher penalties for human traffickers."
And someone called, ThisBS, calls for "castration for being caught. It's the best cure for this kind of unwanted tourism."
Whilst, Nowathriver, says, "They need to also provide therapy and assistance for those who have survived this hellish nightmare."
Do get yourself heard on CNN. Head for the Web site, on CNN.com/connector.
While you are there, a request, though, really. We need your help in putting a human face on the global recession. We are looking for people who have literally gone to great lengths to look for a job. As in packing up and moving to a new country. We want to know, why-if you've done it-you felt the need to take such drastic measures. What you miss most of all about home, for example, and what your new experience has taught you. The homepage for the show is where you can leave your details and your thoughts. You know the address CNN.com/connect.
And don't forget you can always contact us online, via Twitter. My personal address is, @BeckyCNN. Your thoughts and ideas on the day's stories are always welcome. I'm just looking at the -some of the comments there. Lots about football, and Thailand, and various else. So do get to @Becky@CNN.
I'm Becky Anderson, on CNN, of course. That's if for the show on the telly. Stay connected with us on line. "BACK STORY" is next, right after this quick check of the headlines.