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CONNECT THE WORLD
Israeli, Lebanese Troops Exchange Fire; Counterfeit Bust
Aired August 3, 2010 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAX FOSTER, GUEST HOST: A deadly exchange of fire between Israeli and Lebanese troops. Each side is blaming the other for the flare-up. It's the most serious incident across that border since 2006, when Hezbollah clashed with the Israeli military. Tonight, the link to Damascus -- we ask Syria's man in London why his president is touting the possibility of another war in the region and what can be done about it.
On CNN, this is the hour we connect the world.
Now, a misunderstanding on the border. Well, the drumbeats of war -- breaking down tonight's story with the view from Jerusalem, Beirut and Damascus.
I'm Max Foster in London.
Also tonight, a counterfeit bust...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MORTON, IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT: Coach handbags, Armani, Disney products, perfumes, jewelry, scarves -- you name it, they were selling it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: U.S. authorities seize fake brands from China worth millions of dollars. We explore the global counterfeiting industry and how to stop it.
In sports, the global connections in the English Premier League. Liverpool's football club has a new suitor from China, while Abu Dhabi funds a spending spree at Manchester.
And you asked for him, so here he is, the most decorated American Winter Olympic athlete, Apollo Anton Ohno is your Connector of the Day. We'll ask him the questions you've been sending us via our Web site.
Keep getting involved in the show, CNN.com/connect.
First, a deadly exchange of gunfire, now an escalating war of words. Israel and Lebanon both accusing the other side tonight of unlawful aggression after the deadliest violence across their border in years. Unlike many previous clashes, this one involves Lebanon's army, not Hezbollah.
Paula Hancocks joins us from Jerusalem now with the details -- Paula.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Max.
Well, this was really just a reminder of how volatile that Israeli- Lebanese border is. We haven't heard too much over the past four years. This was a reminder. And, as you say, very significant that it wasn't Israel versus Hezbollah, which we have seen in the past. And certainly that bloody 2006 war was between Israeli and Hezbollah. The Lebanese Army stayed out of it.
And that was only the time, at the end of 2006. After that cease- fire, that the Lebanese Army moved into Southern Lebanon. So this is significant that it is the armies of these two sovereign states that are clashing and not Israel and Hezbollah.
Now, there are two very different narratives, as you might expect. Israel saying that it was in Israeli territory the whole time and that Lebanese troops just opened fire so they had to retaliate. Now, they say that they were just carrying out a routine -- routine maintenance along this border. They had coordinated it in advance with the U.N. peacemakers -- peacekeepers on the ground, they have said.
And we've seen photos which look like there is an Israeli engineer who's actually trying to uproot the tree. Of course, the Lebanese are saying that tree was in Lebanese territory, so the Israelis were actually violating the U.N. security resolution, 1701.
Let's listen to what the Israelis have to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN MERIDOR, ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE MINISTER AND VICE PREMIER: After four years of a quiet border, the Lebanese Army has violated their commitment and killed one of our soldiers, a higher ranking officer, and wounded another for no reason whatsoever. It was planned. We not only believe, I think we can say we know, the people on our side never crossed the border. The border is not disputed. It's -- the border is set by the UN. We abide by it. They abided by it.
What makes it very, very dangerous is it was the Lebanese Army, not only Hezbollah. I think that Lebanon should take this very seriously. This should never happen again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANCOCKS: And Israel says it's also filing a protest with the U.N. Security Council and with the secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon -- Max.
FOSTER: Paula, thank you.
Well, let's get the version of events from the other side of the border now.
Nicholas Blanford is Lebanon correspondent for the "Christian Science Monitor."
He joins me on the line from Beirut.
And what's the government saying about all of this today from there?
NICHOLAS BLANFORD, "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR": Well, the -- they're blaming the Israelis, of course. And they're saying that the Israelis crossed the border fence into Lebanese territory to cut down the tree. And they also claim that the Israelis were the first to open fire.
FOSTER: OK. And what sort of support are they getting from other countries in the region?
BLANFORD: Well, they've had very, very core support from Syria. Syria has promised to stand by Lebanon in the event that there's escalation of -- this incident on the border should escalate, which doesn't look very likely at the moment. It's calm down there.
The United Nations peacekeeping force in the south is conducting an investigation to find out exactly what happened and how this fighting got started in the first place.
FOSTER: Any suggestion that this isn't the end of the matter?
BLANFORD: No, I -- I think it probably is the end. This was a -- an isolated incident that is kind of symptomatic of the tensions that's been running along the border for the last four years. The -- the 2006 war, as you recall, ended inconclusively. But Hezbollah claimed victory. The Israelis were a little bit embarrassed by the outcome of the war.
But there's been expectations of another war ever since then. And with each passing year, those expectations intensify.
So I think that what we had today was an example of the underlying tension along the border. But there's no reason to suggest that it's going to escalate from here.
FOSTER: Nicholas Blanford in Beirut.
Thank you very much for that.
Well, no side wants to see hostilities escalate to the level of 2006, when Israel launched that punishing offensive. The target was Hezbollah militants, but Lebanese civilians bore the brunt of that war.
Our Matthew Chance filed this report near the front lines four years ago.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm going to step away from the camera for a moment to show you from this position that we're in right now. As you can see, that's the valley that leads right into the south of Israel. We're standing here in the north. And you can see the plumes of smoke billowing up throughout that valley and, also, very fierce fires raging, as well.
Because what happens is when those rockets land -- and they've been landing dozen by dozen here over the course of the past several weeks -- they ignite the brush and they -- they set off these enormous fires.
They're also extremely deadly, as we've seen, particularly today, in the deadliest rocket attack that Israel has suffered since this war began 24 days ago.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FOSTER: Matthew Chance there four years ago.
Well, the situation on the Israeli-Lebanon -- Israel-Lebanon front has been largely quiet since 2006. But the International Crisis Group -- excuse me -- calls the border exceptionally calm and uniquely dangerous. In a new report, it says no one has risked war because all parties fear a new confrontation could be far more violent and may spill over regionally.
The ICG speculates Israel will be less likely to distinguish between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government and would be more likely to take aim at Syria, calling it a more vulnerable target and principal supporter of Hezbollah. The prospect of a regional war also troubles Syria's own president himself.
Let's talk about all of this with the Syrian ambassador to the U.K., Sami Khiyami.
Thank you so much for joining me, Mr. Khiyami.
First of all, your reaction to that report today and the fact that Syria may be targeted.
SAMI KHIYAMI, SYRIAN AMBASSADOR TO UK: Well, I think that Israel is - - is preparing for a series of these incidents in the real preparation of a major attack. I think that Israel has become a country that wages war whenever it thinks it can win it. And, therefore, it is a source of danger and instability in the region.
FOSTER: If you have that perspective, are you preparing in a similar way, then?
KHIYAMI: We are preparing to defend ourselves, of course.
FOSTER: How would you do that?
KHIYAMI: This is not...
FOSTER: What sort of preparations can you tell me about?
KHIYAMI: Well, exactly maybe like the Lebanese are doing -- joining the efforts of the people and army in order to defend the country.
FOSTER: But you're not communicating with Israel, I presume, at the moment.
KHIYAMI: No, not at all. We never communicated in the past, except when there were the Madrid talks. Otherwise, the negotiations were indirect negotiations.
FOSTER: Your president, Bashar al-Assad said just on Sunday -- here's a quote -- that "the possibility of war is increasing in the region."
What does he mean by that?
KHIYAMI: Well, precisely this, that, essentially, Israel wants to go into war. And it has always wanted to go into war. The only problem it has is probably, for the time being, the Lebanese resistance, which is a valiant resistance that is causing a lot of...
KHIYAMI: -- trouble to the expansionist policies of Israel. And therefore, Syria, of course, supports the Lebanese resistance, supports Lebanon in its quest to regain its occupied territories. Syria has also important occupied territory, which is the Golan. Unless Israel decides to become a -- a normal state again, come back to the original borders of 1967, give the Palestinian...
FOSTER: Which were the Golan Heights (INAUDIBLE) to Syria?
KHIYAMI: Exactly. And give the Palestinians a state with their capital in Jerusalem, then probably causes of war will always be hanging in the Middle East. And...
FOSTER: When you talk about support for the resistance for Hezbollah, what sort of support can you tell me about that you're giving Hezbollah right now?
What sort of...
KHIYAMI: Essentially, it is political support. Hezbollah doesn't need support...
FOSTER: Not (INAUDIBLE)...
KHIYAMI: -- of any other kind, because it is a mature resistance that can get whatever it wants from all over the world.
FOSTER: The concern of Israel, the suggestion is that Hezbollah is building up an -- an armory over this period. And -- and the more it builds up that army, the more vulnerable it is, getting more and more concerned about that.
Can you tell us about any sort of weapons that Hezbollah has managed to build up since that last conflict?
KHIYAMI: I have no idea about that. But coming from...
KHIYAMI: -- coming from a state that has hundreds of nuclear warheads targeting the whole Middle East and endangering its peace and stability, this seems really awkward to talk about an armada of weapons from somebody else.
FOSTER: OK. Well, the U.S., of course, has resumed diplomatic ties with Syria.
Listen to this from a State Department spokesman in February of this year.
Let's just hear how he -- how he sees the relationship right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK TONER, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: The decision was made last year to return an ambassador to Syria and it's a commitment -- it's a sign of the administration's commitment to use all the tools, which includes dialogue, to address our concerns.
It also reflects the administration's recognition of the important role that Syria plays in the region and -- and as well as our hope that the Syrian government will play a constructive role to promote peace and stability in the region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Would you describe Syria's role as -- as a peacemaker or are you simply taking sides with Lebanon against Israel?
KHIYAMI: Absolutely. The key to peace in the whole region is today Syria. And the key to war...
FOSTER: -- isn't it?
KHIYAMI: And the key to war is Israel. And, in fact, the Americans are still viewing Israel from an angle of the extreme ally that echoes the positions of Israel. The West in general has to look at the Middle East in a different way, from a different angle. They have to look at all the peoples of the Middle East, and not only the people of Israel.
FOSTER: The concern is that if there are no one representing Israel or Israel's in Lebanon or Lebanon's views is speaking to Israel, then no progress is going to be made and whenever there is a skirmish, it's going to just escalate into war.
Is there no sort of channel open or any possibility that you can talk, maybe via the U.S., to Israel?
KHIYAMI: Well, there are always prerequisites for peace. You can always enter a negotiation with demands. But the demands do not include occupying land. You have to withdraw to your normal borders and then negotiate, or at least prove that you are going to withdraw and then proceed into negotiations about what you want.
You cannot just ask for land, occupied land, illegally occupied land, by negotiations.
FOSTER: And in terms of Iran, is Iran working with Syria on the Lebanese situation right now?
KHIYAMI: No. Each party is working alone. But in all cases, Iran seems to be the -- the feared state, although we really fear the Israeli nuclear force rather than any potential futuristic Iranian force.
FOSTER: OK. And, finally, is there likely to be any escalation of what happened today on the border?
KHIYAMI: Well, it really depends on Israel. As I said, it is the key to war in the region. So one has to observe what the Israeli administration is planning to do in the future.
FOSTER: Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much, indeed for joining us on the program tonight.
KHIYAMI: Thank you, Mr. Foster.
FOSTER: Well, we heard from the Israeli vice premier last hour. We'll hear more from both sides in the coming hours on CNN.
But next up, what's real and what's fake?
US officials bust a counterfeiting ring based in China. It's the latest example of a growing global problem. Details straight ahead.
FOSTER: Gucci, Rolex, Prada -- familiar labels appear on thousands of products sold in the United States.
But are those products legit?
Jeanne Meserve joins me now from CNN Washington with news of a huge counterfeiting ring in China in the crosshairs -- Jeanne, you'd better tell us about this.
JEANNE MESERVE, HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, this afternoon, federal authorities announced what they say is the largest law enforcement action ever taken against retailers on the West Coast suspected of trafficking in counterfeit goods.
MESERVE (voice-over): San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf -- a tourist Mecca with plenty of shopping. But now 11 owners and employees of eight small stores there are charged with smuggling and selling counterfeit goods. In the course of a two-year investigation, more than $100 million worth of merchandise was seized with 70 different trademarks.
MORTON: Rolex watches, Coach handbags, Armani, Disney products, perfume, jewelry, scarves. You name it, they were selling it.
MESERVE: The 11 people charged are all of Chinese origin and the goods they sold came from China. No surprise. Seventy-nine percent of the counterfeit goods seized entering the U.S. Do.
The vast Chinese counterfeiting industry is fueled by consumers here and elsewhere hungry for a bargain. Some know they're buying bogus designer labels, others do not. But the ultimate price is high -- hundreds of thousands of American jobs, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
MORTON: Do you think the counterfeiters pay legitimate wages or taxes? Do they invest in factories or American jobs?
No. They're all about stealing. They're all about promoting organized crime. They're all about getting rich at America's expense.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
MESERVE: This year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement expects to bring 40 percent more counterfeiting cases than it did just two years ago. But experts say it's not really putting a dent in the problem. Part of the problem is the economy. They say consumers are trying to stretch every dollar and buying counterfeit goods is one way to do it -- Max, back to you.
FOSTER: Jeanne Meserve, thank you so much for joining us this hour with that story.
Well, all those counterfeit watches, jewels and handbags may be costing jobs in the United States. But someone is making them somewhere in the world.
In China, counterfeiting rakes in big money and that complicates efforts to stop it, as Eunice Yoon now explains.
EUNICE YOON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Hong Kong and cities all over the world, people buy fake DVDs, luxury watches and designer handbags. And chances are, they're made in China. The U.S. Customs Office says over three quarters of the bogus goods stopped at American borders are manufactured by Chinese factories. And despite Beijing's attempts to crack down on fakes, counterfeiting in the country is still big business.
Counterfeiters are making high end goods like Luis Vuitton and Prada bags, as they have for years. But they're also broadening their range to more ordinary but popular brands. Those brands are easier to pass off as the real thing online and oftentimes the companies behind those brands don't have massive budgets to go after the fakers.
Washington is impressing Beijing to do more to protect intellectual property rights. But Chinese authorities are sensitive about a tougher crackdown. The factories that make counterfeit goods employ a lot of people. And officials in China want to keep as many of their citizens working as possible.
Some of the people who sell the fakes tell us they're aware of the controversy, however, their explanation is that in this downturn, selling knockoffs is a way to make a living, especially with demand from overseas customers so strong.
Eunice Yoon, CNN, Hong Kong.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FOSTER: Counterfeiting is big business across the globe. Take a look at the some examples. Here in Europe, authorities seized 118 million bogus articles last year, about a quarter of them clothing. In South Africa, more than five-and-a-half billion cigarettes are either counterfeit or smuggled. That accounts for 20 percent of all cigarettes sold there.
In the Philippines, officials seized $121 million worth of counterfeit goods last year. The nation is on a U.S. watch list for intellectual property enforcement.
And those are just a few examples. In fact, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates the global market for counterfeit good is worth up to $250 billion.
I want to talk about this with Bob Barchiesi.
He's president of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition.
He joins me now from CNN Washington.
Bob, these are enormous figures.
They're guesswork, though, I guess, aren't they?
BOB BARCHIESI, INTERNATIONAL ANTI-COUNTERFEITING COALITION: Yes. And I think they're actually very conservative, Max. China is the epi -- epicenter of -- of the production, distribution, retail and wholesale of counterfeit good across the globe.
FOSTER: All right, what amount of jobs would you say they account for in places like China?
BARCHIESI: That's hard to say. But I -- I would say that it's an enormous underground economy and -- and, obviously, the Chinese officials, with a wink and a nod, allow these factories to stay in business. They want to avoid civil unrest and they want to avoid the closure of factories and want to keep people working.
FOSTER: That's quite an accusation about the China -- about the Chinese authorities, which we can't stand up. We haven't spoken to them about that today.
But in terms of law enforcement, what's your frustration about that?
Why do you feel enough isn't being done in China?
BARCHIESI: Well, if you take a look and you go into places like the silk market in Beijing and -- and other places -- and I was recently in China. Their wholesale markets, the goods aren't -- they're available to anybody. I could have bought and ordered containers full of any type of product that I'd like shipped to the United States when I was out there.
FOSTER: OK. Well, we will try to get some sort of response from China on that.
But in terms of the products being made, I understand that they're not always luxury products these days. Increasingly, they're mid-market products, because that's what Americans want, because it's a reflection of the times.
Is that correct?
BARCHIESI: Well, I -- I think that's partially correct, Max. It cuts across industries. If -- if you can make it, they'll fake it, everything from high end good to brake pads to batteries to power strips to music and movies. It just cuts across indu -- industries. And wherever there's a demand, they'll reverse engineer it and they'll make it.
FOSTER: And what can you actually do about that, because the products, often, are of comparable quality, aren't they?
BARCHIESI: Yes. And I think, you know, the end game is the -- to get some consumer awareness out there. And if people think it's a bargain, they really need to think again. The societal costs of knock-offs are enormous. And you -- it can be measured by jobs, tax revenue, health and safety issues and even national security issues.
FOSTER: OK. Well, thank you very much, indeed for joining us, Bob with that and those fascinating insights into what appears to be a growing job problem around the world, certainly in the United States.
Now, Liberia is a nation known more for its civil war suffering than its surfing. Well, that could be about to change. Just ahead, we meet Swiss tourists escaping a crowded beaches of Indonesia and Australia to catch some waves in Western Africa.
FOSTER: Vacations -- for many of us, they are a time for rest and relaxation. But not, it seems, for everyone. All this week, we'll be taking you on some unusual trips from Tunisia to Argentina to explore the growing market for extreme tourism.
Our first stop, though, the small West African nation of Liberia, a country perhaps best known for its bloody civil war.
But Christian Purefoy met some surfers from Switzerland who say it's also a surprisingly good place to catch some big waves.
CHRISTIAN PUREFOY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Before the day gets too hot and the tide gets too high, they trek down the beach to their secret spot. And by 9:00 a.m. A handful are in the water -- a small group by most wave riders' standards. But here, in a country known for its suffering, not its surfing, they are pioneers.
(on camera): How do you feel when you're out there on the waves?
ALFRED LOMAX, LIBERIAN SURFER: I feel so happy. Like I -- I feel like I'm in heaven when I'm surfing. No. I wasn't (INAUDIBLE) there's surfing, I feel so much happy.
PUREFOY (voice-over): Alfred Lomax is popularly known as Liberia's very first surfer. He started the sport five years ago, shortly after the end of Liberia's 14 year civil war that left the country in ruins. And with the end of the war, Liberia's first surfing tourists are starting to arrive.
(on camera): Describe what it was like out there today.
PATRICK LOFFEL, SWISS SURFER: It was rough and bumpy and fat waves. But the tide was good. Yes. Yes. Usually takeoff is fine, then you have to manage to avoid the slow sections and avoid those big rocks there.
PUREFOY (voice-over): Going off the beaten track for six months, these Swiss surfers have come to Liberia not just for the big waves, but to get away from the more popular and more crowded surfing spots in Indonesia and Australia.
JULIAN SACCARON, SWISS SURFER: We already talked with each other and said oh, just breath it in, suck it all up and it will be not the same when you come back.
PUREFOY (on camera): Do you think the crowds will come?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a good chance. There is a good chance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope not.
PUREFOY (voice-over): The local surfers, though, hope their beaches will attract more tourists and more money. These young men and their community depend on fishing for survival. But Alfred says this sport could change all that.
LOMAX: My dream is that, you know, I -- I look at more all sports in my country. We should like do it now. And more other sports. People play soccer, basketball or games and stuff. And surfing is not part of that. So I decided I want to bring surfing like (INAUDIBLE) and make it (INAUDIBLE) we want it big -- bigger, surfing (INAUDIBLE) every country in the world.
PUREFOY: A new wave that Alfred hopes will only get bigger.
Christian Purefoy, CNN, Robertsport, Liberia.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FOSTER: Well, from the sea to sand dunes, tomorrow, we'll be saddling up for some camel trekking in Tunisia. Ben Wedeman discovers that you can't get much further away from civilization than the Sahara Desert. A back to basics experience as our week of reports exploring extreme tourism continues.
Now, their homes are gone and they're hungry for food and shelter. Thousands of Pakistan's people try to make their way to safety after perilous floods.
But will heavy rains play one last card against them?
FOSTER: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD.
I'm Max Foster in London.
Coming up, a sea change could be on the way for the largest economy in Africa. Kenya is just days away from voting on a new constitution and the whole world is closely watching.
Then, an offer they can't refuse. A businessman from China offers to bail out England's football club in Liverpool, Liverpool football club. But he wants something valuable in return.
And finally, Olympic gold medallist Apolo Anton Ohno is our Connector of the Day. He's already the most decorated Winter Olympian in US history, and he'll tell us about his inspiration -- his new inspiration a little later in the show.
All those stories ahead for you, but first, let's check the headlines this hour.
Israel and Lebanon are blaming each other for the deadliest cross- border violence in years. An Israeli army officer, several Lebanese soldiers, and a Lebanese journalist were killed when Israeli and Lebanese troops exchanged fire. Lebanon accuses an Israeli patrol of crossing the border to uproot a tree, while Israel maintains its troops were fired on inside Israeli territory.
BP has begun its much-anticipated procedure to permanently seal that ruptured underwater oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. It what's known as a "static kill," workers began pumping special drilling mud into the well just a short time ago. The broken well saturated the Gulf with oil after an April 20 oil rig explosion.
Rains are once again falling on Pakistan, but they're not as torrential as last week's downpours, which caused massive flooding in the northwest. Government officials say they fear as many as 1500 people may have been killed, and as Reza Sayah now reports, getting survivors to high ground is a daunting task.
REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some are too weak to walk. But to escape Pakistan's deadly flood zones, they find a way to an army helicopter that airlifts them to safety. The rescue operation, one of hundreds in northwest Pakistan, where the UN says the region's worst floods ever have damaged or destroyed more than 100,000 homes and displaced an estimated million people.
"It was a bad flood," said this teenager who was rescued. "Many buildings were destroyed. I don't know what's going to happen to us."
With a helicopter tour of the hardest-hit areas by the Pakistan army, the scope of the damage comes into focus. Entire villages and farmlands that used to line areas rivers, now under water. Few have suffered more loss than the people of Nowshera, a city just east of Peshawar. When record-breaking rains broke the banks of the nearby Indus River, entire neighborhoods were flooded.
The Pakistani government insists it's doing all it can to get help to flood victims. The army says it has rescued more than 30,000 people and set up several relief camps. But many victims continue to complain they're not seeing the help.
SAYAH (on camera): One of the reasons help isn't getting to the victims is because bridges have been demolished by floodwaters. We're at a village in the northern parts of the Swat Valley, where so many bridges connect roads and go over rivers. And military officials say almost all of them have been demolished. And that has meant that victims in these areas haven't been able to get out, and relief hasn't been able to get in.
GHAYOUR MAHMOUD, MAJOR GENERAL, PAKISTAN ARMY: So this was the enormity of the task. That every person and every problem could not be mitigated so soon.
SAYAH (voice-over): With the army unable to reach everyone, desperate villagers in Swat Valley often risk their lives trying to flee by whatever means necessary. For them, help could no longer wait. Reza Sayah, CNN, Swat Valley, Pakistan.
FOSTER: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Now, voters in Kenya's Rift Valley are bracing for possible violence ahead of Wednesday's constitutional referendum. Tens of thousands of police will guard polling stations across the country. As David McKenzie reports, memories of disputed presidential elections three years ago still cast a shadow even as Kenya pushes for change.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kenya's leaders know how to make an entrance. Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki arriving at a final rally in Nairobi. Former political foes now banding together to push for a new constitution. And most Kenyan leaders are lining up behind them.
MCKENZIE (on camera): In some ways, the proposed constitution doesn't look like much, but it's proponents say it will bring in a change to the political landscape. It has a bill of rights that will devolve power from the presidency and should strengthen the judiciary.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Prime Minister Odinga is hoping that such proposals will bring about a peaceful revolution.
RAILA ODINGA, PRIME MINISTER OF KENYA: The vote itself utterly is in that transforming the Kenyan society. We are reconstructing the country, the architecture of our country. And we're going to create legacy to our second republic with this referendum.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The republic that was almost torn apart. In 2007, a disputed presidential vote ended in chaos and led to over a thousand dead, hundreds of thousands homeless. It shook the confidence of east Africa's largest economy. Some observers fear a repeat, and western powers are watching closely.
JOHNNIE CARSON, US ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR AFRICAN AFFAIRS: Political reform is crucial for Kenya because it will put to an end some of the causes of the violence that followed the last presidential election in December of 2007.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Many Kenyans are singing to a very different tune. They say foreign forces are interfering, and that the constitution is flawed. Particularly in the rest of Rift Valley, they fear that the proposed policy of stricter land enforcements could force them off their land. Led by a breakaway minister, they want key changes made on the land issue.
Another contentious part of the constitution has some proclaiming that God is on their side.
MARK KARIUKI, BISHOP, DELIVERANCE CHURCH: I am so glad that my mother did not abort me.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The proposed constitution says that life begins at conception, but most church leaders say that it will create loopholes that could allow abortion on demand. Important, because in this mostly Christian nation, the bishops are a powerful voice of their flock.
KARIUKI: We don't think it's right to pass a constitution that is so faulty and will bring problems in the nation after it is passed.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): In Kenya, the wounds of the recent past are still raw. Most Kenyans, whether they want the new constitution or not, are praying that the vote will be peaceful and that this time around, it will show off the best of this nation's democracy. David McKenzie, CNN, Nairobi, Kenya.
FOSTER: Well, why then is Kenya key? It is east Africa's largest economy and a crucial trade route into the rest of Africa. It also provides an important buffer of stability against Somalia in the north and Sudan in the west.
Kenya's top trade partners include neighboring Uganda and Tanzania, and among its top exports, tea, coffee, and cocoa. They're all sent to the UK, Holland, and the US, for example, which is why Kenya is key.
Now, CONNECT THE WORLD is on the trail of human trafficking. We're following one of the world's leading experts at Harvard Research, Siddharth Kara, as he travels through the south Asian region. Siddharth isn't just documenting what he finds, he's blogging for us.
His travels find him in Bangladesh, from where he writes, "'I catch around 30 or 40 baby shrimp each hour,' A 12-year-old boy named Abdul told me. Children like Abdul will spend much of the day collecting shrimp, then return to shore to sell their -- sell those catches to the shrimp farmers. They make around one cent for each baby shrimp that they sell." These are children, Siddharth tells us, often separated from their families and far from their homes.
Read more of his blog, check out his pictures as well, and tell us what you think needs to be done to stop this practice. We'll put your comments to Siddharth when we speak to him a little later on this week. On the Trail of Human Trafficking starts at cnn.com/connect.
Asian interest in the English Premier League. Just ahead, a Hong Kong businessman's goal is owning one of England's top-flight football clubs.
FOSTER: The clock is ticking in the race to take over English football Club Liverpool. With less than two weeks to go before the soccer season kicks off, global interest is intensifying. Hong Kong tycoon Kenny Huang has reportedly offered to acquire Liverpool's $376 million debt in order to gain financial control of the club. Liverpool says Huang is just one of several bidders.
Well, the Reds have been up for sale since April by their American owners. For more on the interested parties, let's cross over to "World Sport's" Mark McKay at CNN Center. We're getting close, aren't we, Mark?
MARK MCKAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We certainly are, Max. Liverpool supporters have long protested against the Gillett-Hicks regime. The club finished a disappointing seventh in the English Premiership last season, missing out on qualification for the lucrative European Champions League as well.
Let's look into the club's potential future, starting with that bid from Kenny Huang. It is thought that he's backed by Chinese state investment funds. He made the bid to gain financial control of the club by approaching the Royal Bank of Scotland to buy up Liverpool's debt.
Yes, there is some urgency to this. Mr. Huang's bid -- he wants his bid accepted before the end of the football transfer window, so that new manager Roy Hodgson can go out and spend some of the club's new funds on players, to perhaps persuade the likes of Spanish striker Fernando Torres. He returned to training this week after winning the World Cup with Spain. He says he wants to remain at Anfield. And the new potential owner wants to promise him that the club has a better and brighter future, Max.
FOSTER: And Huang isn't the only one in the frame. So who else are we looking at?
MCKAY: No, there are apparently a few more in the mix. As according to Liverpool's chairman, Kenny Huang's bid isn't the only one currently on the negotiating table. One of the team's current owners, George Gillett, has already said that a Syrian businessman, the former soccer player Yahya Kirdi is also in the running. Some newspaper reports put his bid at over $600 million.
"The New York Times" also suggests Nasser al Khar-afi, the Kuwaiti industrialist who once studied in Liverpool, has twice shown interest in buying the club as a possible counter-bidder. And the Dubai International Capital Group, which broke off negotiations for the team two years ago might be back in the picture as well. The New York based Rhone Group put in a $159 million offer earlier this year, but that was since withdrawn, Max.
FOSTER: OK, Mark. Thank you so much for that. Well, whoever takes over at Liverpool faces a challenge, not just financially, but professionally. If it is Kenny Huang, that will effectively pit the funds of the Hong Kong businessman against the hundreds of millions of dollars that are fed into the fellow Premiership site, Manchester City from Abu Dhabi.
With so much money to play with, Patrick Snell tells us now, Man City manager Roberto Mancini is under serious pressure now to perform.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Roberto Mancini's preparing for his first full season in charge of Manchester City in the full knowledge failure of any kind simply won't be tolerated by the club's Abu Dhabi-based owners. After failing to break into the lucrative European Champions League at the tail end of last season, the Citizens had to settle for a fifth place finish.
However, despite the seemingly bottomless pit of a transfer kitty, the former Inter Milan coach denies he's feeling the strain.
ROBERTO MANCINI, MANAGER, MANCHESTER CITY: I'm under pressure. This is my job. I know very well, I would think. For me, it's important to be -- rebuild a good team for the future. Now Manchester City is very different from the other years.
I think that this year for us will be an important year.
SNELL (voice-over): What makes Mancini's job harder still is the fact that City's neighbors happen to be a certain Manchester United. While City are trophy-less in over three decades, Alex Ferguson's old conquering squad have had huge success, netting a glittering haul, including 11 English Premier League titles and two European Cups since 1993 alone.
Mancini, whose huge squad means competition for places is intense, to say the least, remains confident, though, the balance of power can eventually turn City's way, though he concedes it's no simple task.
MANCINI: I think that after many years, the situation in Manchester can change. We have a lot of respect for Manchester United. But I think that if we work well this year, we can change the situation. And if I don't make a mistake, Manchester United to win people after seven years later, Sir Alex worked with the club. It's not easy to do this, but we try to change the situation.
SNELL (voice-over): City has spent huge sums trying to compete with the likes of United and Chelsea. A key off-season acquisition has been Kolo Toure's brother, Yaya, recently arrived from Barcelona.
But one of Mancini's biggest headaches right now is trying to sort out the long-term future of the talented, though at times apparently unsettled Brazilian superstar Robinho, who's still contracted to the club. Like the South American, Mancini himself, who made his name as a player with Sampdoria and Lazio, has had to adapt to new cultural surroundings.
MANCINI: It is so different because I was born in Italy, I worked in Italy for many years. Now it's a different country, a different situation, different mentality. But after this first six months, I -- my feeling is good in this moment.
SNELL (voice-over): There's little doubt, though, Mancini's settling in period is well and truly over. The Citizens' long suffering fans are desperate to see some silverware in the club's trophy cabinet. Since winning the League Cup in 1976, they've failed to win any major honors, while the wait for a top-flight title dates back over 42 seasons. Patrick Snell, CNN, Atlanta.
FOSTER: Coming up next, he is the face of Olympic speed skating. Now, Apolo Anton Ohno is teaming up with his father to fight the serious issue of underage drinking. You asked him to be your Connector of the Day, and we delivered. Apolo Anton Ohno is up next.
FOSTER (voice-over): He's one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history in a sport that few recognized before he arrived. But sports legend Apolo Ohno has now forever put speed skating on the map.
Raised by his Japanese father in Seattle, Ohno started skating at the age of six. He's gone on to win a staggering eight Olympic medals and nine international championships.
But he's also done a lot off the ice, including a famous stint on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
And this year, he's teamed up with his father in a campaign to eliminate drunk driving. A legend in an unlikely arena, Apolo Ohno is your Connector of the Day.
FOSTER: One of our viewers asked us to get Apolo Anton Ohno as our Connector of the Day, and we delivered. We even got his father along for the show as well. The duo have teamed up to fight underage drinking. I asked them recently what inspired them to do that.
APOLO ANTON OHNO, OLYMPIC SPEED SKATER: When I was in middle school, I was faced with the same challenges that many kids are facing with today. And luckily I had a great father in my life to push me in the right direction. I had the sport that found me, and I found the sport. And we made that connection, and then ultimately I went on to pursue my Olympic pursuit and realize all of my dreams come true.
YUKI OHNO, APOLO'S FATHER: He can really relate to those middle school students in a gymnasium because he went through that very, very tough time, eleven, twelve, that era. And then we struggled, and we almost felt that we lost each other in our relationships.
FOSTER: Clare wants to know, "What do you do to keep perspective and to find balance?"
APOLO OHNO: To find balance, well, my life, I think, has not let me have a ton of balance in my life. But I'm one for living in the moment, I enjoy every single day that I'm here. Life is too short not to be that way. And just try to be my best in every aspect possible. No matter what situation's going on behind the scenes, I still want to be able to put on a smile and do the things that I can do best, and hopefully inspire people through some way, shape, or form. That's what's meaningful to me.
FOSTER: This from Sam in New York. "If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?"
APOLO OHNO: Wow, that's a good question. Maybe I'd be my dad for day. Just kind of see what he goes through, what his life is all about. I have a -- somewhat of a feeling, but I'm very content with who I am and where I'm going in my life. Everything from this great campaign that I'm working on to my nutritional supplement line called 8 Zone.
Everything in my life has meaning. I have eight Olympic medals, I launched a nutritional supplement company called 8 Zone. It's really been a blessing in all aspects, and now it's my time to give back to these kids and try to get these kids on the right track again.
FOSTER: Well, it's quite a schedule. He keeps himself busy, doesn't he, Yuki?
YUKI OHNO: I don't know what else he can do or when he's going to sleep, but he's got a lot of things on the plate.
APOLO OHNO: Need more sleep.
FOSTER: Are you famous for speed skating, and speed skating is now famous because of you. Do you think the sport will grow, continue to grow?
APOLO OHNO: We hope so. We hope so. Short track is really an amazing sport, and when people see it live and in person, they get hooked. And I've never met one person who's seen it and said they didn't like the sport. It's got everything people want in a sport.
FOSTER: Vicky asks what your favorite food is.
APOLO OHNO: My favorite comfort food. Oh, I'm a big food person, so it just depends on the type of food that I'm in. I love all types of Asian food. I love Italian food. It just depends on what kind of food I'm into.
FOSTER: Was he a big eater, Yuki?
YUKI OHNO: Yes. He was a hefty eater. I packed lots of things in the blender. He'd get tremendous energy out of it. But he can go to his friend's house and still have another supper. So that's where his nickname came from, "Chunky."
APOLO OHNO: Thanks, Dad. Appreciate it.
FOSTER: The risks of having your dad on as a Connector of the Day. Well, tomorrow, the Connector is one of the biggest pop stars in the world now. Natasha Bedingfield rocketed to the top of the British charts four years ago, and then did the same in America. Sold more than ten million singles and albums worldwide.
But she has interests beyond music, too, in working with children and other humanitarian causes. And she'll answer your questions, get involved, cnn.com/connect. Remember to tell us where you're writing in from. We'll be right back.
FOSTER: Well, it is the best answer yet to what lives under the sea, or at least at the bottom of it. A worldwide network of scientists, the group is called the Census of Marine Life, has just published a preliminary list of all known ocean creatures. Three hundred and sixty scientists slaved away for a decade on the project, and here's a snapshot of what they saw as we go through the lens tonight.
This dragonfish lives so deep, it never sees the light of day. A fierce predator, it even has teeth on its tongue. Lives in the Australian waters, which the study found have the richest diversity. Quite a looker.
Thirty-three thousand sea species live there. The area's tied first with Japan's waters, where scientists found this red-lined paper bubble in the carcass of a sperm whale. It's miniature eyes are protected by shields.
Just off Japan's eastern coast, the scientists came across this creature, a brittle star, they call it.
And not too far away, a deep sea jellyfish. It lights up to scare off predators.
An aquatic cousin of the notorious land species, this one a sea anemone called a Venus Fly Trap. It closes its arms to trap its prey deep down in the Gulf of Mexico.
And this fish is Australia's great -- on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Although 70 percent of all fish species have been found, the survey reports that four out of five sea creatures are still undiscovered. Lot more to find out there.
The wonders of life 20,000 leagues under the sea, our World in Pictures for you tonight.
Finally tonight, a face-off like you've seen between two countries almost constantly at odds with each other. But when the United States took on Iran on Iran's home turf over the weekend, both sides were only focused on one thing -- taking the other to the mat.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like any good sparring match, these two opponents fought hard for the take-down. But this isn't just any wrestling match, and these aren't just any opponents.
This is Iran, and among the competitors vying for this freestyle wrestling title, Americans.
Tensions between the US and Iran may have reached a fevered pitch over nuclear sanctions and human rights, but in Mazandaran Stadium in the heart of a country known in the wrestling world for its prowess, the focus was squarely on the spirit of healthy competition.
RAYMOND JORDAN, US WRESTLER: It's in a rich tradition place in Iran, where the wrestling is a national sport. And I just think it's a great tournament, great wrestling. Great people.
HOLMES (voice-over): And far from wanting to raise eyebrows for their participation, the US team looked instead at what it says is an opportunity.
VAN STOKE, US WRESTLING TEAM LEADER: Sport brings people together. It takes down barriers. And when you compete against a strong team like Iran, you have a kindred spirit that comes out amongst sportsmen. And this is good.
HOLMES (voice-over): More than ten countries participated in the Habibi Movahed Tournament, named after two of Iran's most legendary wrestlers. But in the end, the title match came down to a face-off between Iran and the US.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (voice-over): The Iranian team won six gold, two silver, and ten bronze medals to become the champion in the first international freestyle wrestling Habibi and Movahed Cup in Iran.
HOLMES (voice-over): Despite losing the title match to Iran, the US team, with four total medals, far from being sore losers instead championed the sport and proudly relished holding their own against those wrestlers they say are the best in the world. Michael Holmes, CNN, Atlanta.
FOSTER: We want to connect you now to a story we've been covering tomorrow -- we will be covering tomorrow and in the coming days. And we covered it yesterday as well. Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari is visiting the UK. On Friday, he'll meet with the British prime minister David Cameron.
And there's some tense recent history here, because last week, Mr. Cameron suggested that Pakistan exports terror to places like India and Afghanistan. And the fallout has caused quite a stir and a debate on cnn.com.
Commentator FroOtherSide writes, "They are justified to be angry at Cameron. Cameron should not have said those things. Pakistan is an important ally in this war."
But jslam disagrees, writing, "Pakistan has been training and supplying guerrillas, terrorists if you will, to commit acts of violence against India for decades. It's an outright lie for Pakistani officials to say they don't assist terrorists in any fashion."
And chitownvoter says Cameron was speaking the truth, writing, "It was Pakistan that has been playing both sides for their own benefit. Mr. Cameron just happens to be the only leader with the guts to tell it like it is."
Get your voice heard on CNN, join the conversation, cnn.com/connect.
I'm Max Foster, that is it for the show on the TV. Do stay connected with us, though, online. "BackStory" is next. We're going to check the headlines first.