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CONNECT THE WORLD

Nations Weight Benefits, Drawbacks of Minimum Wage. Leonardo DiCaprio Discusses New Film "Incentive." Highlights of the 2010 World Cup. Viewers Offer Suggestions for Future of Paul the Octopus; Bombing Rocks World Cup Viewers in Uganda. Six Months After Quake, Haiti Still in Dire Need. Environmentalist Takes on Ship-Breaking Industry in Bangladesh.

Aired July 12, 2010 - 16:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN ANCHOR: Pour a cup on Wall Street. The closing bell on the first day of trading in the week. Let's see how the stocks have been doing. They're still above 10,000 mark, but operating, as we reported earlier, within a very tight margin as investors wait for more earnings reports to come out.

Let's move on with the headlines now. Israel's army has released its investigation into a deadly confrontation on the high seas. It finds that mistakes were made on the planning and execution level, but also that troops operated with, quote, "professionalism, bravery, and resourcefulness." On May 31st, nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed when Israeli soldiers boarded a boat loaded with aid for Gaza.

Crews working on the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico may have a new containment cap in place by the end of the day. It's possible the new cap will stop the flow of oil completely, but until it is secured, oil is flowing freely.

Switzerland is refusing to extradite Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski to the US to face child sex charges. The Swiss say the US failed to supply all legal records Switzerland was asking for. Polanski fled to Europe after admitting to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Well, those are the latest headlines. CONNECT THE WORLD is next with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: A deadly triple-bombing rocks World Cup viewers in Uganda's capital, Kampala. Responsibility for the attack claimed by a Somali militant group to the east.

Tonight, what's the message from al-Shabab? And what are the implications for Uganda and beyond?

On CNN, this is the hour we CONNECT THE WORLD.

The al-Shabab group is waging a relentless war against Somalia's weak transitional government. Now, that fight is spinning across borders, with Uganda in its immediate crosshairs. With that story and the ripple effects, from London, I'm Becky Anderson.

Also tonight --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RIZWANA HASAN, ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY: The reality is that the industry is being allowed here to operate because European countries need to find a place to dump their ships, and because it brings in so much money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: We reveal an industry in Bangladesh that the powers that be don't want you to see. And it's a problem many other countries face, too.

And --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: I have to say, for me, being able to exorcise those demons onscreen is actually quite therapeutic.

ANDERSON: Really?

DICAPRIO: Yes, it is. I was doing therapy unto myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Leonardo DiCaprio tells me all about his new film, "Inception," and answers your questions as your Connector of the Day. And that is your part of the show, of course. And if you miss out on quizzing Leonardo, check out who's next on the website, and you can tweet me @beckycnn. We'd love to hear from you.

First up this Monday out of London. New fears of instability across East Africa tonight after a Somali group linked to al-Qaeda carries out its first terror attack away from home. Al-Shabab says it's behind Sunday's bombings in Uganda, killed at least 74 people. They attacked crowds of people watching Africa's first-ever World Cup final.

The militant group had threatened to attack both Uganda and nearby Burundi if they failed to withdraw troops from an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia. Let's kick off now with the very latest on these attacks in Uganda, from journalist Samantha Asumadu. She joins us on the line from Kampala. What do we know at this point?

SAMANTHA ASUMADU, REPORTER (via telephone): Hi. Basically, what's happening -- the word on the ground with the Ugandan people that I'm talking to. People are very angry, not only at al-Shabab, but also at the government. They're wondering why on Earth the government sent troops to Somalia now.

It is a peacekeeping mission, and that's what it should be, but they - - now that the trouble has come to their own quarters, they're very angry that their soldiers are in Somalia and that these sons of all people have died.

ANDERSON: Samantha, what do we have from the government?

ASUMADU: The government -- basically, I spoke to the department earlier, and they are increasing security. You see on the streets, there are three different uniforms. You have the anti-terrorist squad, the police, and the army on the streets just looking out and keeping the streets safe, and also making sure that they look for any other bombs that might be secondary.

ANDERSON: All right. With that, we're going to leave it there. We're going to move on. We thank you very much, indeed for that. That's the view from the ground. Many countries, many countries have a vested interest in seeing Uganda remain stable. Uganda attracts billions of dollars, for example, in foreign investments and it's East Africa's third- largest economy. Could also become a major oil exporter within several years after discovering vast reserves.

The United States recently chose Uganda as the location for its largest military exercise in Africa, highlighting the country's strategic importance. Uganda also on the UN Security Council and has shown a willingness to intervene in regional affairs, recently pushing for sanctions on Eritrea. And finally, it's also a part of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somali. That force defends the weak western-backed government that al-Shabab, the militant group, is trying to overthrow. So that's why you and I need to care.

Militants from all over the world have joined up with al-Shabab, coming from countries like Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, even the United States. Nima Elbagir traveled to Somalia recently and tells us more about the militant group's deadly mission.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The latest volley in the war for Mogadishu. Last week, the al-Shabab militant group released a video what it claims was a successful operation against African Union peacekeepers in Somalia.

In this never-before broadcast footage, you can see insurgents attacking a peacekeepers' convoy made up mostly of Ugandans. Over images of the attack, an al-Shabab commander can be heard rallying his troops.

They called the video a warning to the African crusaders. And after yesterday's attack in the Ugandan capital, it's even more chilling.

Seeing here training, al-Shabab was part of the Islamic Courts Union, a loose coalition of Islamist groups that briefly ruled Somali in 2006 before being driven out by Ethiopian troops. Some of its former allies in the Union are now in power.

Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda and now desperate for support, is portraying this conflict to the rest of the Muslim world as a jihad. An easy victory against America's proxy.

The attacks in Uganda have served to raise the group's profile, but it had already stepped up a public relations campaign that included a march in Mogadishu last weekend protesting the African Union presence. A show of force, and a message to the wider world.

While the peacekeepers remain, the insurgency has been unable to take the capital, and it now seems ready to do whatever it takes to tip that balance of power and break the deadlock on the streets of Mogadishu.

Nima Elbagir, reporting for CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: So that is al-Shabab, you've heard about the strategic importance of Uganda. Let's do more on this story, shall we? Nima joins us now live, along with Alex Vines, head of the Africa Program at Chatham House. He'll talk about how Africa might respond to these brutal attacks on what were civilian targets.

Firstly, to you, Alex, before I come to you, Nima. Were you surprised by these attacks?

ALEX VINES, HEAD OF AFRICA PROGRAM, CHATHAM HOUSE: No, I wasn't. I've been surprised there hasn't been an attack like this. Particularly against Uganda, given its engagement in support of AU forces in Somalia. But also the EU training mission of Somali forces in Uganda that's ongoing at the moment.

ANDERSON: And certainly, that was reflected, Nima, in your report there. A word from al-Shabab that Uganda were in their crosshairs.

ELBAGIR: Well, definitely. We've been hearing a lot of reports from both the al-Shabab press office and the Somali government that al-Shabab has consistently been warning Somali and Burundi that they need to remove themselves from what they say is an inter-Somali conflict. And if they don't, then they're going to portray it as jihad, and they're going to send out a call around the world to foreign fighters.

ANDERSON: Let's get micro before we get macro. I spoke to the interior minister of Uganda earlier on. When I put it to him, or asked him, whether they would be withdrawing their troops as a result of this, from Somali, he said no. Not yet.

VINES: Yes, that's what one would expect from the Ugandan government in this stage. They're certainly not going to pull out at the moment. It's important in terms of a projection of Uganda's role. Your earlier commentator, one of them spoke about the importance Uganda sees as it's trying to emphasize a leadership role in the African Union.

But longer term, I think there will be some reflection now in Kampala. Is this a worthwhile endeavor? How costly can this get?

ANDERSON: And that is, of course, what al-Shabab will want.

ELBAGIR: Absolutely. But also, I think, for Uganda and for the rest of East Africa, the conversation has started to become, "We are the front line on the war on terror. We're bearing the brunt of protecting Europe and America. When are they going to start stepping in?"

You have to remember, Uganda's been doing this for the last four or five years.

ANDERSON: Some exclusive footage in your report, footage which is fantastic for our viewers to see. Tell us what you know about al-Shabab very briefly. Who are they? What is their mission, effectively? And how does Uganda, Burundi, and the rest of that part of the region, if not elsewhere, fit in?

ELBAGIR: Al-Shabab are interesting because, as their name reflects, they are the youth. They are very young fighters. They're very easy to control. That's really where al-Qaeda has come in very strong. They've managed to build on the mythology of Somali and having a militant arm in Somalia, and really take that on to the next level. Where they've been losing a lot of ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, Somali, I think, definitely for the jihadi community, is the new front in the war on terror.

ANDERSON: What are the implications here, Alex, for Uganda and beyond?

VINES: First of all, I'd like to say I don't think al-Shabab is monolithic. And it's even talking to the transitional federal government in Somalia. So, I think the implications are that we may be seeing more effort to dialogue with groups related to al-Shabab. I think we'll see that.

I also think the implications for the region are that there's going to be far more due diligence and risk-appraisal, especially from investors on what the risks might be for these types of attacks that you've seen in Uganda now.

ANDERSON: Is that part of the mission for al-Shabab, aside from killing innocent people? It's making sure that areas are not those that are even willing to either go to or invest in in the future? Is that part of the deal?

ELBAGIR: Absolutely, Becky. At the moment, Somalia is really the only clear territory for recruitment, for training. It's really the only safe haven that the jihadis have in the world. And with this hit, I think they're trying to prove, "Come to us. We are a safe place for you. People are afraid to come in and take us on."

ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff. I have to leave it there, but thank you very much indeed, both of you, for joining us.

Next up this hour here on CONNECT THE WORLD at 12 minutes past nine in London. Living in Haiti's sweltering tent cities.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WYCLEF JEAN, MUSICIAN, ACTIVIST: This is where the people wake up, they eat, they sleep, everything that they want to do. I just went down there. Very terrible conditions, to see little babies inside of these tent foils. And right now, you can see as I'm sweating, it feels like it's over 100 degrees. So you can imagine what a little child that's not even one year old is feeling in these tents behind me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Musician and activist Wyclef Jean talks to me from Port-au-Prince six months to the day since a killer quake devastated his homeland. He tells me what Haiti needs now most of all. That is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're looking at images from the day that everything changed in Haiti. It was 4:53 P.M. local time on Tuesday, January the 12th. Haiti was shaken to it's core by a ferocious magnitude 7.0 earthquake. The damage, catastrophic. The loss of life, immense.

Today marks the six-month anniversary of Haiti's horrific earthquake. So is the situation much improved? Ivan Watson is in the capital, Port-au- Prince, and he tells us, when you walk through the city, it's as if time stood still.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On January 12th, 2010, the earth shook Port-au-Prince. More than 220,000 people were killed. More than 300,000 injured. The city and large stretches of surrounding countryside were devastated.

Six months later, not much appears to have changed. It still looks like a bomb just dropped on this city.

WATSON (on camera): When you walk around Port-au-Prince, it often looks like the earthquake just happened yesterday. The government has barely begun the cleanup process, roads in the center of the city are still blocked by debris, and some experts predict that at the current rate of removal, it could take up to 20 years to remove all the rubble from that terrible earthquake.

IMOGEN WALL, UN HUMAINTARIAN SPOKESWOMAN: We have moved 250,000 cubic meters of rubble. Which sounds like a lot, until you realize there's 20 million cubic meters of rubble here.

WATSON (voice-over): United Nations estimates 1.5 million people currently live in camps. That's roughly one in nine Haitians homeless.

Can we expect things to continue looking like this six months from now, when we come back?

WALL: Realistically. With the numbers that we are coping with here, and with what we know it takes to do long-term reconstruction well, it will take time to get 1.5 million people back into the kind of long-term living arrangements that they want and need.

WATSON (voice-over): Most Haitians are left fending for themselves. In this impoverished hilltop slum, they live side-by-side with the rubble of their neighbors' homes. On Saturday, locals made a terrible discovery here.

WATSON (on camera): This is a neighbor of this young woman, Angela (ph), who was pregnant in her 20s, who disappeared in the earthquake in her house. And they found some of her body parts today, six months later. And that kind of thing is happening still all over this city.

WATSON (voice-over): The Haitian government says it can't tackle debris cleanup or the resettlement of homeless right now, because it faces more immediate threats.

JEAN-MAX BELLERIVE, PRIME MINISTER OF HAITI: The real priority of the government is to protect the population from the next hurricane season. And most of our resources are going right now in that direction.

WATSON (voice-over): Many Haitians are now taking matters into their own hands. Jean-Jacques Gerome (ph) is building a new house to replace the one that was destroyed in the earthquake.

"I couldn't afford new construction material," he says, "so I scavenged parts from the street, from junk piles, and from rubble."

From the rubble of a devastated city, a new generation of makeshift housing is going up, which will likely be even more vulnerable to the floods and killer storms that plague this country.

If it sometimes feels like Haitians are resigned to their fate, it's perhaps because the presidential palace is still in ruins. Even the most powerful people in this country have barely begun picking up the pieces six months after the earthquake. Ivan Watson, CNN, Port-au-Prince.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Let's join the dots on this story, shall we? Many are still helping to distribute aid across Haiti. The US has donated more than $1.1 billion. The most of any country. Canada comes in second with a commitment of more than $137 million. Now, add up the numbers from dozens of others countries, plus the UN World Bank, and others in donations, and donations have now surpassed $4.5 billion.

So why is the situation in Haiti still so grim, despite the billions of dollars of aid being promised. I spoke a short time ago with star musician and producer Wyclef Jean. He's in Port-au-Prince where he's been tirelessly working to help his homeland recover. He's been talking to many people living in tent cities in the capital, and I asked him what his fellow Haitians are telling him. And this is what he told me.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEAN: Basically right now, the people are frustrated. They feel that we're six months in. They said with the amount of money that was pledged, they can't understand why are they still sitting in tents? They want to know what would be the solution, just an alternative to start --

The population, the kids are less -- 65 percent of the population are less than 21. So they're saying, Clef, we need jobs, we want to go to school. These are the kinds of things we're hearing. We don't have no bathrooms. It's six months. What's going on? That's the frustration of the youth in the back of me right now.

ANDERSON: Does Haiti not need to also sort itself out? The international community gave large amounts of money, a wide clip of aid. Were they not spent properly? What more can the world do?

JEAN: First of all, the money, there's a certain amount of money which was pledged through donors, that money has not been received. I think what the world can do right now is put an emphasis on saying that the money that we did pledge, can we start to put that money in action? That's what I need the world to do right now. Can we use that money to start to provide jobs and education?

ANDERSON: How much are we talking about? How much of the donor money is still uncollected, as far as you know? And what does the Haitian government need to do to get its hands on it?

JEAN: I don't know the accurate number. I know there was 5.2 billion, if I'm correct, that was pledge. That money is -- what they can do as policy is very important. The money is going through a lot of red tape right now. We need to get past, through the red tape. There is a commitment that was given for this money. President Clinton is actually in Haiti today to see how he can help move the progress forward.

ANDERSON: Do you get the sense the world is still paying attention to Haiti? And let's throw forward six months. Are things going to be any better, do you think?

JEAN: Right now with the oil spill and everything going on, we saw Chile down here with a quake, I think the world definitely has moved on. But as the world is moving on, I just want the world to understand that 1.2 million people are still living in the same conditions that they were in when the quake was still there. So we can't have you all forget Haiti. Haiti has to stay in the forefront. The money that is pledged has to be committed. We're urging the international community to work with the plan with the Haitian government so we can start getting these people out of these tents.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Wyclef Jean, talking to me from Port-au-Prince six months to the day since that catastrophic earthquake. And if you want to get involved, do take a look at the website, CNN's website, cnn.com/impact. You'll find a list of charities there, with ways in which you can get involved, send money, or other forms of aid. They need it. Still, they need it.

Ahead here on CONNECT THE WORLD. It's the beginning of a new week, and for us, that gives us the opportunity to kick off a new series of reports focusing this week on the environment. With a focus on people who are devoting their lives to fighting pollution. We'll start in Bangladesh, the home of dangerous ship graveyards. That's ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(AUDIO GAP)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iron-eaters graphically shows how low-tech ship-breaking is. Rizwana [Hasan] says it risks workers and the environment.

HASAN: There is huge amounts with oil and water. That will eventually be released into our coastal environment. In the process, our soil gets contaminated, the air gets polluted. And we're all inhaling it without knowing the affect of it.

RIVERS (voice-over): Rizwana's led the legal battle against ship breaking, obtaining a landmark injunction against one company in 2008. For the first time in Bangladesh's judicial history, a polluter was actually fined.

But despite her continuing efforts, the problem seems to be getting worse.

RIVERS (on camera): The number of ship-breaking yards is not going down. It's going up. Bangladesh is now the world leader in this trade, and its people are bearing the brunt of the massive environmental impact.

RIVERS (voice-over): The casualties of this trade are easy to find. Muhammad Murad (ph) worked in a ship-breaking yard for ten years, until a 20-ton slab of metal fell on his leg last year.

He explains that with Rizwana's help, he got some compensation, but the company had originally refused to pay anything after he lost his leg.

"It's too dangerous, too dangerous," he says. "The company doesn't give us any security. They tell us to do it quickly, to cut quickly. If you die in the field, no problem, but you have to work quickly," he says.

The International Maritime Organization describes the industry as ship recycling, and says it provides valuable jobs.

NIKOS MIKELIS, INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION: It's a benefit to the country. All that's missing is order, and order can be brought by suitable regulations and enforcement. And I believe it can be done. You don't close down the industry because it's not doing it correctly, no. You adjust it.

RIVERS (voice-over): An international treaty that (audio gap) regulate the industry, but experts admit it's not perfect.

SUSAN WING, FIELD LINEP: There are difficulties, however, in enforcing the Basel Convention. Particularly due to the unique nature of international shipping. It's not a case where there's a shipment of waste going from country A to country B. You have flag states involved, port states involved. So the enforcement of the convention.

RIVERS (voice-over): Last year, a new convention was agreed in Hong Kong, but Rizwana says it fails to tackle the fundamental problem.

HASAN: The reality is that the industry is being allowed here to operate because the European countries need to find a place to dump their ships. And because it brings in so much of money.

RIVERS (voice-over): Ship-breaking is unlikely to end soon, but Rizwana says simply putting a spotlight on this controversial trade is an achievement in itself.

HASAN: We have been able to give a bad name to the industry, and the industry deserves the bad name.

RIVERS (voice-over): And Rizwana will not give up until the ship- breaking is done responsibly and safely. She insists profit must not come before impact on the environment and on workers' lives. Dan Rivers, CNN, Bangladesh.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, Bangladesh is just one of several nations that are home to these so-called ship graveyards. What's thought to be one of the world's largest is in Mauritania in western Africa. Another large depository for ships is in Alang in India along the Arabian Sea. Workers toil in dangerous conditions there for extremely low pay. And ships are piled up along the coast near Karachi Pakistan. India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan responsible for the majority of the world's ship scrapping.

And apologies if you lost the shot there briefly.

Well our theme week continues tomorrow in China with the emotional story of Wu Lihong, a man hailed as an environmental warrior for his efforts to clean up a polluted lake. He ended up spending three years in prison. Now free, he vows to continue his cause.

And later this week, green crusaders in the United States, in Poland, and in Germany. That's all coming up for you this week. Tonight, we'll be right back with the headlines.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Welcome back, you're with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson in London, just after half past nine here in the evening. Coming up, we're going to be taking a look at what most employees are entitled to at the very least, and that is the minimum wage. We ask how it works in different parts of the world, and whether there is a case for lowering it in the light of the economic downturn.

Then, sit back and get out your popcorn. Connector of the Day Leonardo DiCaprio answers your questions and talks about his new movie.

As the Spanish football teams returns home on top of the world, we're going to take a look back at the best bits from the last months in South Africa.

Those stories are just ahead in the next 30 minutes for you. First let me update you. A quick look at the headlines.

Israel's army has released its review of May's deadly confrontation on the high seas. It finds that mistakes were made on a planning and execution level, but also that troops operated with, quote, "professionalism, bravery, and resourcefulness." Nine Turks were killed when Israeli soldiers bordered a boat loaded with aid for Gaza.

A Somali militant group with links to al-Qaeda is claiming responsibility for its first-known terror attack away from home. Al-Shabab says it was behind Sunday's bombings in Uganda that killed at least 74 people. Al-Shabab calls it retribution for Uganda's military presence in Somalia.

Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski will not be extradited to the United States to face sentencing for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year- old girl. The decision by Switzerland's justice ministry means Polanski is free. He was released on bail last December awaiting ruling.

Well, let's face it. Most of us want to make as much money as we reasonably can expect to. But for many people, it is a matter of making enough to just get by. And that amount can differ greatly depending on where you live. Currently more than 90 percent of all nations institute a minimum wage.

Here are a few examples for you, and I want you to think about how far that would go wherever you are watching this show. For example, in Thailand, it ranges from 148-203 baht a day, depending on the province. And that is currently between $4.50 to just over $6.00.

Compare that to France, where it's 8 euros 82 cents, or $11.10 an hour.

Nigeria has set its minimum wage at 8625 naira, or $57.21 a month. Wow.

For example, in Mexico, you'd start as low as 54 pesos and a half a day. That's $4.25.

It differs greatly, doesn't it? Perhaps no surprise, though. We're going to focus, though, on two economic giants right now. As much partners as they are rivals. We're going to give you a sense of what it means to make minimum wage in each place, and how far it goes. Jaime Florcruz has the view from China. First, though, Maggie Lake, my colleague, hits the streets of America's financial capital.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The average minimum wage in New York City and most of the US is $7.25 an hour. Now, that may sound like a lot compared to the rest of the world, but in an expensive city like New York, it's only going to buy you about two lattes from Starbucks.

Now, you might do a bit better at lunch if you hit a place like Subway. You can get a sandwich and a drink for about $7.25. Still, on a weekly basis, it's only around $290. And when you're talking about the essentials of life, a studio on any of these streets in Manhattan, a one- room apartment, is going to run a minimum of $2,000 a month.

And if you're trying to save up for university? Well, universities in the US are anywhere between $7,000 and $25,000 a year. That's why a lot of people say it's pretty hard to get by on minimum wage here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAIME FLORCRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Jaime Florcruz in Beijing. Since the beginning of this year, 11 Chinese provinces and regions have raised the worker's minimum wage by an average of 15 percent. The new standards vary, but here in Beijing, it's now up 20 percent to 960 yuan, or US $141 per month.

With that extra 20 percent, a local resident could get a new electric fan, or 10 McDonald's meals. The increase is meant to offset inflation and boost domestic consumption. The hope is, by raising the minimum wage, more people will have more money in their pockets and will spend more, boosting the economy. They say it's also necessary to keep factory owners from keeping workers' wages extremely low to maximize profits. This has triggered has triggered a series of strikes by workers who are more assertive of their rights.

But keeping workers' wages rising rapidly, experts say, China could use its competitive advantage as the world's leading exporter of cheap goods.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Jaime Florcruz for you there out of China, and Maggie on the streets of New York. Clearly minimum wage is a hot-button issue. You want to make more money, of course. Your boss wants to increase profits, while your government wants to create an attractive investment climate and minimize political risk so few wins.

Let's turn to one of our big thinkers on this show here, on CONNECT THE WORLD. How difficult is it to strike a balance? Chrystia Freeland is the Global Editor-in-chief of Reuters news. Before that, she was US managing editor for the Financial Times. Just so that you realize just how good it gets, we got her on this this evening. We'll do the CV before we do the actual story.

Chrystia, joining us from New York this evening. Jaime alluding to something which is important here. It's where I want to start. We all know the arguments for minimum wage. Perhaps we don't understand as well the arguments against. And certainly the Chinese government has one.

CHRYSTIA FREELAND, GLOBAL EDITOR-AT-LARGE, REUTERS: Well, look. The argument against minimum wage, particularly at a time like the one we're living in right now, where we're worried that there aren't enough jobs, where countries are fiercely competitive with one another in an economy that's really tough, is if you set a minimum wage, maybe you will have less employment. People will be less willing to hire because it costs them more money. And your country ultimately will be less competitive.

Having said that, I think the situations of the US and China are very different approaching this issue. In the US right now, the debate is really not about whether you need to lower the minimum wage. As your correspondent pointed out, it's really not that much money in the US economy. And the problem is not so much that companies feel workers are too expensive. The problem in the US is really companies don't feel they need more workers.

And a really good way to think about that is, if you look at corporate balance sheets, you look at how companies are doing, they have a lot of money right now. The problem isn't that US companies are financially in trouble. Really, apart from some banks, corporate America really is very, very well-positioned. It's that corporate America right now is not sure the US economy and even the world economy is robust enough to make it worthwhile to hire more people.

ANDERSON: Chrystia, do minimum wages, when you look at them around the world, and we just gave four or five examples there. Do they reflect the state of the economy and the way that the economy is run? And I'm talking about whether an economy is, perhaps, more financially or manufacturing oriented.

FREELAND: You know what? I think that your US and China examples are really well-chosen in that what they illustrate is different parts of the world are moving up the food chain of economic complexity at different speeds.

So you talked at the beginning about China and the US being economic rivals. In one way, that's true, but in another way, China and the US are just in totally different places economically.

China really is still a country which is industrializing. China is a country which has hundreds of millions of people mired in agricultural poverty, without electricity, without running water. And so, for those people to go to a city to work for very, very little money is still a huge improvement in their economic conditions. That's obviously not true of the developed western countries.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. We're going to leave it there, but we thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. One of our big thinkers, a regular guest on the show. Chrystia, we thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. I'll do the rest of her CV next time she joins us on the show.

We're exploring the often ambiguous nature between the world of our dreams and the real world. How his latest movie role helped this Hollywood star realize -- release his inner demons. Realize and release them at the same time. Leonardo DiCaprio is your Connector of the Day and he is up next.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "TITANIC")

JACK: Keep your eyes closed. Do you trust me?

ROSE: I trust you.

ANDERSON (voice-over): 1997's "Titanic," a moment in movie history that cemented Leonardo DiCaprio's status as one of the world's most sought- after actors.

JACK: Open your eyes.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The blockbuster kick-started a fan frenzy that would be dubbed "Leo-mania."

(END VIDEO CLIP, "TITANIC")

ANDERSON (voice-over): But it was far from the star's first taste of the limelight. DiCaprio won his first Oscar nomination at the age of 19 for his role in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE")

ARNIE: My heart loved until now.

(END VIDEO CLIP, "WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE")

ANDERSON (voice-over): And earned acclaim for bringing Shakespeare to a modern audience in "Romeo and Juliet."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "ROMEO + JULIET")

ROMEO: I never saw true beauty until this night.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SHUTTER ISLAND")

TEDDY: A lot of people know about this place, but no one will talk, you know? It's like they're scared or something.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Never shy of taking on a challenge, more recently, DiCaprio's roles have taken on a darker hue. Working with director Martin Scorsese, he starred in the likes of "Shutter Island," "Aviator," and "Gangs of New York."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Going somewhere?

(END VIDEO CLIP, "SHUTTER ISLAND")

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "INCEPTION")

MILES: Mr. Cobb has a job offer he would like to discuss with you.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Now, he's fronting new sci-fi thriller, "Inception," portraying a skilled thief set on stealing valuable secrets from people's dreams.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Then you break in and sue us.

ANDERSON (voice-over): A star, firmly at the heart of the Hollywood mindset, Leo DiCaprio is your Connector of the Day."

COBB: I'm ready.

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ANDERSON: He certainly is, and I caught up with DiCaprio in London earlier and began our chat by getting him to tell me exactly how he prepared for his latest role with director Christopher Nolan.

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LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: I really wanted to tap into Chris Nolan's mind to try to understand some of the visuals that I'm sure had been swirling around in his head for a long period of time. There's only so much you can extract from a screenplay. You have to tap into the director's mind. And this was something that he'd been contemplating for ten years. He'd always been fascinated with the human subconscious and the dreamscape.

And a lot of the preparation for me was just months of conversation with him, and trying to create a very intense, realistic, emotional cathartic journey for this character to go on. And I realized I couldn't prepare for this movie in the traditional way that I've done in the past. It was all locked in Chris Nolan's mind, and it was about putting those little pieces together to create my character.

ANDERSON: What did you learn from Chris Nolan as a director, and for you as an actor?

DICPARIO: Well, he's just incredibly calm and confident. He knows what he wants, and he's prepared for those moments on film to be surprised. He leaves himself open for that. He gives his actors the responsibility of their character. And really never gets incredibly stressed out about the filmmaking process because he feels like things will take care of themselves if everyone's done the proper preparation. And he's done -- he does an incredible amount of preparation.

ANDERSON: "Inception" and "Shutter Island," you play characters with deep psychological problems. How exhausting is that? And what happens after those two movies? Did you take time off?

DICAPRIO: I'm taking time off now. Yes, they were both pretty exhausting. But I have to say, for me, being able to exorcise those demons onscreen is actually quite therapeutic.

ANDERSON: Really?

DICAPRIO: Yes, it is. I feel after a hard day's work, after some pretty intense stuff on set that day, I get to leave work and feel like it's been a good day. And I continue to look for roles like that and challenges like that. Because, when you're there for four or five months at a time working on one thing, you want something to think about. When a character has a line and they say exactly what they mean, it can be quite boring at times.

ANDERSON: Mariam has written to us. She wants me to ask you if playing dumb Cobb in "Inception" presented any challenges that you hadn't experienced before.

DICAPRIO: It did. I mean, there were sequences especially with Marion Cotillard in this film, because she's my shade. She's a reflection of my own nightmares, and my own, sort of, psychosis. The demons that are plaguing me throughout the film. She's a reflection of me. She is my own creation.

So I had kind of a very existential conversation with Marion about how to play out certain sequences, because it was almost like a reflection of myself. She had to be a reflection of me. And she was -- I was doing therapy onto myself. So we had to figure out how to actually execute some of those sequences. I've never had conversations like that, and it was fascinating. I don't know if I ever will again.

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ANDERSON: And fascinating talking to him for you. We're spoiling you this week with glitz. Tomorrow's Connector is another Hollywood star who's made his name in films such as "The Godfather Part Three" as well as "Ocean's Eleven." Can you guess? In his latest release, Andy Garcia, who's won much acclaim for his portrayal of a New York City corrections officer. The movie also features his own real daughter. You sent us your questions.

We also want to know whom you want to be a Connector of the Day. It can 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/connect. Do remember to tell us where you are writing in from. That's the site, cnn.com/connect. Tonight, we'll be right back.

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ANDERSON: Hail the champions! Spain returning home today to a hero's welcome after their nail-biting one-nil victory over the Netherlands in the World Cup final. Hundreds of thousands packed the streets of Madrid. The victory gives a needed boost to a country where unemployment hovers at around 20 percent, and the economy remains in dire shape.

But today, at least, everyone there is celebrating. Thirty-two nations, one goal. That's how it started. Now, with the final match in the books, or on the books, it's time to look back at the first World Cup ever played in Africa. From the ear-splitting vevezelas, to the shocking early departures of some of the traditional powers, to the officiating controversies, this tournament had everything. It really connected the world. And here are some of the top moments.

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STEPHEN APPIAH, GHANA: No, let's enjoy this moment, and we'll see what will happen in the future.

GEOFF HURST, ENGLAND: We should be very confident at the very least of getting to the semi-final.

KOBE BRYANT, USA: I said, let me play. I never heard of this game. Let me play. They said, "OK, but you go in the goal."

UNIDENTIFIED ITALIAN FAN: Azzurri!

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So, who would you point the finger at, then?

MARCEL DESAILLY, FRANCE: The management.

Remember, football is also there socially to bring hope to people.

(SOUTH AFRICAN FANS SINGING)

CLINT DEMPSEY, USA: That's part of their culture. That's what you come to different countries for World Cup, to experience their culture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: I expected England to get to the quarter- finals, and I still expect them to get to the quarter-finals.

UNIDENTIFIED GERMAN FAN: No, it was a goal, we admit. But now we are even for the 1966 team.

HIDETOSHI NAKATA, JAPAN: This World Cup will be the best World Cup ever in history. Because, really, World Cup -- football, is used more than just sports.

RICHARD KINGSON, GHANA: It was very sad, but all the players consoled him.

FRANZ BECKENBAUER, GERMANY: I have to look back maybe 20 years to realize that it's the best German team since 20 years.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've had 63 games in 31 days, 32 teams started the World Cup with a dream. It all comes down to this.

RUUD GULLIT, HOLLAND: We've got, you'd rather be lucky than good. So therefore, this applies also to this team.

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ANDERSON: What a tournament. And now that the 2010 World Cup is in the books, we can look ahead to the next tournament, which is in Brazil.

Brazil will become the fifth nation to host a World Cup twice. As the host, the country is assured of a World Cup spot, but it was likely to get there anyway, of course, wasn't it? And the squad is expected to be one of the favorites to win it all in 2014.

Brazil entered the 2010 World Cup as FIFA's top-ranked team in the world. Their quarter-final loss to the Netherlands was one of the tournament's biggest disappointments. The coach, Carlos Dunga was dismissed after the defeat.

Well, Brazil going to host the next World Cup. The question is, which nation will win it? Well, no doubt our eight-legged predictor who shot to international fame knows the answer. So your comments on Paul the octopus. They're coming up, next.

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ANDERSON: The sights of summer in Your World in Pictures tonight. First up through the lens, the royal botanist, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II plants a tree during her visit to the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, in Scotland.

Well, the weather's much wetter in the Netherlands. Still, a cyclist doesn't let the high waters keep her from riding her bike through a flooded neighborhood.

Sun, though shining in southern Germany. A youngster takes a cool dip in a lake near the Alps under what is a blueish sky.

Well, a polar bear named Churchill might wish he could join him. He basks in the sweltering sun in eastern German city of Rostock. Germany has been simmering under a heatwave, with temperatures reaching 37 degrees. Poor thing.

Sights of summer in Your World in Pictures this evening.

Well, there's only one story that has got you talking at the website. It's about Paul. He's got eight legs and he's become an international psychic sensation. Well, Paul, of course, is the octopus who correctly predicted the results of eight World Cup matches, including Sunday's final. Now his owner says he hopes to make an announcement on Tuesday about Paul's future. And you've been offering him plenty of advice.

Itamar says he "should be renamed 'calamity calamari,' killed with Spanish Fly and served with Hollandaise sauce." You're not very nice, are you?

Asgarshill writes, "Why not just release him into the wild? He's done his bit for king and country. Free Paul!" he says.

Somebody who goes by the name of "hateyourface" says, "Let's give him a hotline so we can all benefit from his powers."

And lastly, amyntas, I think that's how I would pronounce your name, suggests, "CNN should hire him as a financial advisor." No doubt a future psychic for our very own Richard Quest, I guess.

Your voice can be heard on CNN. It's the website cnn.com/connect. I am Becky Anderson, that is your world connected this hour. "BackStory," with Mr. Michael Holmes is up right after this very quick check of the headlines. From us in London, it's a very good night.

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