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CONNECT THE WORLD

Victims of Pakistan's Flood Face New Threat; Meteor Shower Streamed on Internet

Aired August 13, 2010 - 16:00:00   ET

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


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: As if things weren't bad enough, millions of victims of Pakistan's floods now face a serious new threat -- waterborne diseases.

The last time the world faced a similar crisis, it was the citizens of New Orleans who were at risk.

Tonight, with more monsoon rains forecast, we ask, are there lessons to be learned from Hurricane Katrina that might ease the pain in Pakistan.

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

Well, the U.N. warns of a second wave of deaths in Pakistan as the disaster there continues to unfold.

I'm Becky Anderson in London for you with a look at what the world needs to do next.

Then, a meteor shower delights skywatchers the world over, and it was streamed in real time on the Web -- how the rest of us benefit from citizen scientists.

And...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMA THOMPSON, ACTOR: Though it's absolute heaven for me, because I just turn up looking terrible, and you walk out of the make-up room looking even more terrible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Your connector of the day, Emma Thompson today, talking about prepping for her new role as Nanny McPhee and all things thespian.

And we want your questions and comments on all of these stories. My Twitter address is @beckycnn as a log-on, and do join in the conversation.

First up, Pakistan is in dire straits, reeling from catastrophic flooding. Hundreds of thousands of people who have lost everything are waiting and waiting for even just one bag of flour. Why is help taking so long to get to them?

We're going to kick off tonight with Reza Sayah in the flood zone.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, PABBI, PAKISTAN (voice- over): When flood waters swept through Pakistan, the devastation was often quick and complete.

"The floods left nothing in my home, except my wooden door and parts of my roof," says Rewat Shah (ph). For Shah (ph) and millions of flood victims, the wait for help has been equally agonizing. Rewat (ph) says it took two weeks before he received a bag of flour from an aid agency.

"This is the first time I'm getting help," he says.

The Pakistani government has received sharp criticism for its perceived slow response to the floods. But aid groups say international aid has also been too slow and too small for a disaster this big.

One private aid official tells CNN the European Union and the U.K. have pledged millions, but aid groups have yet to see all the cash.

SAYAH (on camera): The biggest donor in the world is the U.S. humanitarian assistance agency, USAID. This is some of the flour they've donated. But private aid groups here in Pakistan say they're often the slowest to respond to emergencies. Those groups say they sent proposals to USAID as far back as August 4th, and they have yet to hear back.

SAYAH (voice-over): A U.S. official tells CNN, USAID is assessing scores of proposals to avoid waste and duplicate projects, and that takes time. The official defended USAID, pointing to pledges of more than $70 million in relief goods, much of it to private aid agencies.

That's not nearly enough to meet the needs, says Daud Jan.

DAUD JAN, RELIEF INTERNATIONAL: More aid (ph) is required, actually. I think only one person has been provided so far.

SAYAH: Jan heads a team of aid workers from Relief International in northwest Pakistan. The U.S.-based foreign aid group has teams deployed in four districts, helping 30,000 floods victims -- a tiny fraction of the 15 million who need relief.

JAN: Actually, it destroys you from inside that you are unable to help these people, this community from this, to relieve them from the disaster.

SAYAH: Jan says, if international aid doesn't significantly increase, and soon, Pakistan's most vulnerable flood victims could begin losing their fight for survival.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Pabbi, Pakistan.

(END VIDEO)

ANDERSON: Well, there is mounting concern waterborne disease and other illnesses could add to Pakistan's death toll. Aid workers say fever, stomach problems and skin diseases are spreading among the flood victims. And those victims, as you saw, are very little.

Health authorities report some 36,000 potentially lethal cases of acute diarrhea, so far, with many more children at risk. All the flooding also raises the risk for diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis and hepatitis A. And health officials are also looking out for mosquito-borne illnesses, including malaria, dengue, yellow and West Nile fever.

Aid agencies are warning that the number of people with potentially fatal infections is rising fast. They desperately need clean water and medical supplies.

Well, earlier, I spoke to Mohammed Qazilbash of Save the Children about the challenges that they are facing in the flooded regions.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

MOHAMMED QAZILBASH, SAVE THE CHILDREN: One is that not enough assistance is currently being provided for this relief effort. And as soon as that is made available, we should be able to reach millions and millions of people as quickly as possible in order to prevent any widespread disease outbreak.

The second biggest challenge, of course, is that it's still raining in many parts of the country, and the floods are still happening, and new areas are being flooded. So, we're in a constant race to try and beat the surge before it inundates more and more areas.

ANDERSON: I know that kids are most at risk. How many children are we talking about here?

QAZILBASH: We're talking about an estimate about six million children that are directly affected by the flooding. And these children are in all the three provinces, you know, as well as in the territories of Kashmir.

So, and we have children from small infants as well as young adults, who have all been impacted by the floods. And not only are they susceptible to diseases, but also, there is tremendous psycho-social trauma that most of these children are going through.

(END VIDEO)

ANDERSON: Well, survivors of one of the deadliest storms to ever hit the United States are all too familiar with what Pakistan's people are going through right now.

Remember back in August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans. Well, at first, the city thought it had escaped with just a glancing blow. Then, New Orleans' levees failed, engulfing much of the city with water that quickly became contaminated and a potent breeding ground for diseases.

William Schaffner, an expert on waterborne disease, spoke then with CNN's Elizabeth Cohen about the dangers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Older people, people who are frail, immuno-compromised, and, of course, the tiny infants, they don't have the margin of safety, right. So, any kind of illness can be really serious and potentially deadly with them.

We're hearing about small outbreaks of gastroenteritis -- nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: William Schaffner there talking about the dangers of waterborne disease, especially for the vulnerable, elderly and kids.

Let's talk to William now. He joins me today from Nashville, Tennessee to connect the dots on this.

From Hurricane Katrina to what is going on in Pakistan right now, how big a concern do you think the potential for illness and disease at this point is in Pakistan, sir?

SCHAFFNER: Betty, it's much larger in Pakistan than it ever was in Katrina. There are many, many more people involved. It's a much more prolonged circumstance.

I suspect many of those people do not have access to pure water, and so, they're drinking polluted water. And so, that's an extraordinary set- up for the development of intestinal disease of various kinds.

ANDERSON: And for those, doctor, who aren't -- who are watching you don't know how debilitating much of this disease, malaria and cholera can be, can you describe some of these illnesses for us?

SCHAFFNER: Yes, for sure.

Remember, young children, infants who don't get enough water start to get dehydrated. Then, if they're fed polluted water, infections can take place in their intestinal track, and they can then develop really a very profuse diarrhea, which will dehydrate them further. And that dehydration will upset their body's chemical balances and can lead to death.

ANDERSON: Yes. Also, looking at the risk of malaria, for example, as well, how concerned would you be about that?

SCHAFFNER: I'm absolutely concerned. That's kind of a stage two problem.

With all that standing water, the mosquitoes, which transmit the malaria, can breed. And then, if they infect people with malaria, then you can start getting those kinds of infections in addition to the intestinal infections.

ANDERSON: All right. So, what lessons can be learned? I know that you say you don't want to draw too much of an analogy with Hurricane Katrina, but we went through sort of similar type diseases there, although not on the same scale.

What lessons might we learn from Hurricane Katrina? And what do we need to do next?

SCHAFFNER: Well, as you've heard in the set-up piece, what we need is external assistance. First, pure water, and then access to medical care, to look for women who are pregnant, infants, very young children who are dehydrated, to replete their fluids and start to get them on a feeding program, because this is now becoming much more prolonged.

ANDERSON: Let me just ask you about the situation in China while you're with us, where there have been torrential rains and landslides, both in the northwest and, indeed, in the west. Local health officials are really worried about the spread of disease there, too.

What should they be doing to prevent epidemics from breaking out?

SCHAFFNER: Well, the first thing in landslides and such, you have the complication of injuries. You have a lot of people who have fractured their bones and have other kinds of injuries.

And then, same thing. What you have to do is get out and make sure that they have pure water supplies, and then, if necessary, access to further medical care.

ANDERSON: All right. We're going to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us tonight, talking about your experiences of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina, what might happen next for those who are suffering in Pakistan and, indeed, with the floods in China.

So, we thank you for joining us.

Well, Pakistan needs your help right now. Find out how you can get involved. Head to cnn.com/impact. You'll find a range of ways there to help out and give money through a charity of your choice. Remember, it is your choice. That's cnn.com/impact.

Now to move on tonight, it's Friday night, out of London. Now, did you notice anything interesting up in the sky this week? Well, a lot of people did. And their pictures, videos and tweets of the meteor shower providing illumination far beyond the night sky.

This is CONNECT THE WORLD on a Friday night. From London, I'm Becky Anderson. We'll be back in about 60 seconds. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, you are looking at time-lapse video of the Perseid meteor shower taken by iReporter Kevin Palivec in Texas overnight. And that was -- to capture the footage, he used motion detection software and a black-and-white, closed-circuit security camera designed for low light. He set the camera on a pole and didn't check it until the next morning.

In rural Indiana, iReporter Steve Gifford captured these photos, showing streaking meteors in the middle of the night. He spent the past several nights using two cameras to capture the meteor shower, which happens every August as the Earth passes through debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Fabulous stuff, isn't it?

Gifford says this was one of the best meteor showers he's shot, because the weather was so good, and the meteors were so very bright.

Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

Meteors and the media -- social media, to be precise. I want to show you how social media sites are helping scientists track these showers, something that wasn't possible just a few years ago.

Take a look at this. It's a Twitter trends map showing how users followed the nighttime event around the globe. Many tweets coming from North America. Also, a lot of activity from Europe and Brazil.

All this tweeting has created what you could call a cache of citizen scientists. And there's practical value to all of this, apparently. It provides astronomers -- professional ones, that is -- a good idea of the best places on Earth to view future events.

I want to talk about other potential scientific benefits of the Web, social media, both real and imagined, with Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Before we do that, though, just remind me and our viewers why it was that North America and Great Britain and Brazil were the best places to see this shower?

ROBERT MASSEY, ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY: Well, actually, Britain was well placed, because that's where the peak of the shower was absolutely aligned.

And I think what the map reflects, as well as the high profile of the meteor watch project in the U.K. and on Twitter, particularly in the English-speaking world. So, that's probably why you had a lot of impact in North America, as well. But generally, the Northern Hemisphere was the better place, and is the better place to see it.

ANDERSON: We're looking at pictures as we speak. But we are -- we've just taken a look at what is a trending map by Twitter. An awful lot of other sites around doing similar sort of work.

Just how important are these sites? What role does social media play for you guys these days?

MASSEY: Well, it's an increasing one. At least there are lots of astronomical researchers who think one way of tackling the vast amounts of data they have to process, you can perhaps do robotically and with computer software to get (ph) churned (ph) through.

But you can also get people to do it. And it's been burgeoning, really. And it dates right back to the stuff like the SETI@home screensavers, which people downloaded back in the early part of the decade. They could -- you know, in the background their computer would look for detections of alien life. Extraordinary stuff.

And now, you can identify galaxies, you can look for craters on Mars. And there's a discovery a couple of days ago of a pulsar. All of these things are being driven, actually, by the Web and by mass participation, the idea that you can just get hundreds of thousands of people to...

ANDERSON: So, you have been in the industry for years, the Royal Astronomical Society. You've got respect for these citizen scientists, have you?

MASSEY: I have tremendous respect for people who are prepared to do this in their spare time, enjoy it -- because actually, it is a lot of fun if you get into this stuff just a little bit. You know, you can do as much or as little as you want. You can be as shallow or as deep as you like about it.

And frankly, it's a nice little (ph) hobby (ph).

ANDERSON: And are we learning more as a result of these new tools (ph)?

MASSEY: A lot of these projects, actually, did have really serious discoveries. I mean, Galaxy Zoo, you know. And Einstein@home, I think, was another one that delivered something only in the last couple of days.

The meteor watch project is very much in its infancy, but it's already connecting. I think something like 30,000 or 40,000 people took part last night around the world, doing this stuff live, sending in what they were seeing. And there's a real potential there to convert that into something even better, which will leave us even more data.

ANDERSON: Yes, on what, I mean, is the question, I guess.

MASSEY: Ultimately, you could set it up in such a way that I think there's an opportunity for someone to develop an iPhone app, or something like that, where you can basically click your sightings in real time and get that stuff in there. And then you could monitor source cams all over the world. And that would be really quite an exciting prospect.

But the meteor watch is a real pioneering project for that.

ANDERSON: And this is fascinating stuff. Ultimately, though, what is all of this teaching us? I mean, this is a fantastic project, but what are we attempting to learn here?

MASSEY: If you get meteor source counts, if you get them time calibrated, if you look at the brightnesses of the meteors, it tells you something about the dust that's in the solar system, something about the material that's coming out of the comet.

So, it's really quite important in understanding the composition of the solar system, because there is an awful lot of dust and crud up in space, actually. You think of it as empty, and by our standards it is.

But there's still a lot of material there. It tells us something about that.

ANDERSON: And finally, just how often can we see these showers?

MASSEY: This shower is once a year, but there are a number of good ones throughout the year. There's a bright one in December. There's quite a few in the autumn, as well. And, you know, I don't know.

Watch the astronomy press, have a look on the Web and you'll find out when these things are happening. It's a really nice, free spectacle. You don't need a telescope or binoculars, just a set of working eyes.

ANDERSON: And this project here, meteorwatch.com, I guess -- is it?

MASSEY: Exactly, yes, meteorwatch.org. And if you look at it, then you can find everything about the shower tonight, as well, because it's on over the next few days.

ANDERSON: Fabulous stuff. Good stuff. Thank you very much indeed, Robert Massey, for joining us this evening.

It is a day of special significance for Muslims, the first Friday during the holy month of Ramadan. We're going to see how faithful -- how the faithful, sorry -- in Jerusalem's Old City are observing Friday's prayers, as we wrap up our week-long focus on Islam.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Ninety-nine superheroes endowed with the 99 attributes of Allah, called simply "The 99." This team of characters was the focus yesterday of our special week-long look at Islam.

These superheroes are inspiring millions of kids with their message. They teach tolerance, teamwork and impeccable morals as they take on the world.

Wrapping up our special theme week this Friday, on a Friday, the most sacred day of the week, of course, for Muslims. This particular Friday is the first during the month of Ramadan, a time for sacrifice and spiritual reflection.

Paula Hancocks tells us about Friday prayers at one of Islam's holiest sites, in Jerusalem.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, JERUSALEM: Friday prayers on the first Friday of Ramadan are now over, and there have been concerns of clashes within East Jerusalem or along the border with the West Bank. So far, those have not materialized.

Now, reports say initially that there was something like 80,000 Muslims who were actually on the al-Aqsa compound just behind me, what Israelis call Temple Mount, what Palestinians and Muslims call Haram al- Sharif, the noble sanctuary.

Now, of course, it is very hot here at the moment. This is a concern that many people have had during this Ramadan across the whole of the Arab countries. We're probably in the mid-30s Celsius here, so a particularly difficult time for many Muslims to be fasting.

Now, there has been extra Israeli security, we understand, throughout the city. The police spokesman, Mickey Rosenfeld, telling me that there was approximately 3,000 extra policemen -- or 3,000 policemen in all -- in and around Jerusalem. The main emphasis of that would have been around the Old City.

Now, we do understand that all Muslims who live in Jerusalem or who live in Israel were allowed into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which is slightly different than last year, and we saw clashes breaking out as Muslims were angry that they weren't allowed their freedom to worship.

But Israel says that they do need to restrict somewhat the people coming in from the West Bank, they say, for their own security. But again, this does anger many Muslims.

Now, we know that all men over the age 50, all women over the age of 45, were allowed into Jerusalem to pray. And also, a little bit of conflicting information from the military and the police. But we understand women over the age of 30, if they were married or had a permit, were allowed in, and again, men over the age of 45.

So, on this very hot Friday afternoon, things do appear to be pretty peaceful in Jerusalem.

Paul Hancocks, CNN, Jerusalem.

(END VIDEO)

ANDERSON: We began this week's focus on Islam with controversy, looking at the plans to build an Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero in New York. Well, the debate has been fierce.

Some New Yorkers argue that it's an insult to the victims of the September 11th attacks. But others, including New York's mayor, support it as a symbol of religious freedom and tolerance -- the very ideals that al Qaeda despises.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria is in the supporters' camp. He recently took a strong stand against one group opposing the Islamic Center.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Perhaps the most puzzling stand was taken by the Anti-Defamation League, which was founded to support the freedom of religion. The director of the ADL, Abraham Foxman, explained that the victims of 9/11 had feelings on this matter that should be respected, even if they were irrational.

First of all, there were many dozens of victims of 9/11 who were Muslim. Do their feelings count?

More important, are irrational feelings, prejudices, hatreds OK, because those expressing them are victims, or see themselves as victims? Will the ADL defend the rights of Palestinian victims to be anti-Semites?

I have to say, I was personally, deeply saddened by the ADL's stand, because five years ago, the organization honored me with its Hubert Humphrey Award for First Amendment Freedoms.

Given the position that they have taken on a core issue of religious freedom in America, I cannot in good conscience keep that award. So, this week, I am going to return to the ADL the handsome medal and the generous honorarium that came with it.

I hope this might spur them to see that they have made a mistake, and to return to their historic, robust defense of freedom of religion in America -- something they have subscribed to for decades, and which I honor them for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Fareed Zakaria. The ADL responded by saying it was, quote, saddened, stunned and somewhat speechless by the decision. They're hoping that Fareed might change his mind (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

Next Monday on CONNECT THE WORLD, we embark on a two-week special event that explores biodiversity hotspots around the world, from the Aral Sea and the Amazon rain forest, to the first comprehensive census of marine life around the world. It's all part of Earth's Frontiers. And you can see it right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

I'm Becky Anderson in London. Half-past nine. Lots more to come on the show. Your world news headlines also up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson for you in London. A very warm welcome this Friday.

Coming up, on the trail of human trafficking. We uncover the shocking underground world of forced labor in India's carpet industry. And it's kick-off time for the English Premier League. We're going to have a preview of who to watch this season. That's coming up.

And finally, our connector of the day, today, well, she's a superstar. Emma Thompson, the beautiful film star, tells us why she loves to play ugly characters. That's coming up in the next 30 minutes, of course. Let me get you, though, a quick check of the headlines this hour.

The United Nations says it's racing against time to get aid to survivors of Pakistan's devastating floods. A second wave of floods is expected to batter southern Pakistan this weekend, just weeks after waters engulfed the north, killing more than 1300 people.

China is risking -- facing a risk of disease due to floods and mudslides. Officials say health facilities and water resources were damaged in the disaster. Authorities say the death toll has risen to nearly 1200 people.

Germany's economy posted outstanding growth in the second quarter of this year. Its GDP surged 2.2 percent. That's the best quarterly growth since reunification two decades ago. Economists say Germany is better positioned to recover than other leading economies, which are actually showing signs of slowing.

Almost 500 Tamils from Sri Lanka are asking the Canadian government for asylum. Their ship docked at a Canadian naval base a couple of hours ago. The public safety minister says Canada will ensure that its refugee system is not hijacked by criminals or by terrorists.

What we eat, what we wear, what we decorate our homes with. It is all made somewhere by someone. And in many cases, those who produce our comforts are shockingly exploited. For the past four weeks or so, CONNECT THE WORLD has been investigating human trafficking. Harvard researcher Siddharth Kara has been traveling through south Asia helping us gauge the extent of the problem there.

His trip began in New Delhi, where he spoke to entire families lured to the city on the promise of work only to be cheated of their earnings and left penniless. From there, Siddharth traveled to Bangladesh, where he witnessed kids working in the shrimp industry. They were brought in from around the country, working for a pittance.

Now, he's back in North India in the state of Uttar Pradesh, a region known for its carpet-making industry, an industry built on a pint-size workforce. When I spoke to Siddharth a little earlier about his investigation into India's carpet belt, and began by asking him what evidence he's found of human trafficking. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SIDDHARTH KARA, RESEARCHER, HARVARD UNIVERSITY (via telephone): The region is literally scattered with thousands and thousands of little hidden carpet looms that are inside huts. And I sent you a photo of one of these random huts in a village, inside which -- in the next photo, you see three teenagers in dark, cramped quarters weaving a giant carpet.

Typically, these are either bonded laborers, so they're weaving these carpets for months and years on end to work off some small debts. Or they're children who have been trafficked into looms, most of which might be larger than the one you see in the photo there. You'll have 15, 20 plus children working at 10 or 12 looms, 18, 20 hours a day in very difficult conditions.

ANDERSON: You say they've been trafficked. What is the evidence?

KARA: I've actually met my second trafficker of children in this region just a couple of days ago. And he explained in fairly candid terms, he's been doing this for 11 years, he's trafficked roughly -- well, he doesn't use the word "trafficking," but he's trafficked, basically, 400 children, boys and girls. Girls typically too brothels and boys to carpet looms.

It's a very formalized system set up. Parents will often approach him looking for some opportunity for their child. He will take the child to Varanasi and hand it off to an agent. That agent will purchase the boy for $90 to $100, the young girl for $150 or more. The boys all get sent to carpet looms, and he gives 20 percent of the price he's paid back to the parents.

And this is actually the second trafficker I've met and interviewed in this region. And, of course, many of these children are also subsequently rescued by activists, who put their lives on the line to try to go into some of these carpet looms and get some of these children out. And I've sent you some photos of some of these rescued children as well.

ANDERSON: Yes, you have, and we're looking at that now. What is their narrative, those who are actually trying to help out?

KARA: These are people who I -- it's no joke, they literally put their lives on the line. The looms that have the trafficked children are heavily guarded. They are guarded by gun-toting goons. So, you have to go at the right time, and I've known people who have still suffered serious injury, but they go in there and try to get the children out, and then go through the painstaking work of reintegrating them.

The children may have been brainwashed, they suffer severe physical ailments, spine deformation, respiratory ailments. They've been brainwashed into thinking that their parents hate them and never want to see them again. All kinds of psychological and physical traumas. And these people are literally every day going through the work of rescuing these children and trying to get them to get back in school and build their lives again.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: The latest from Siddharth from Northern India. Now, you can follow Siddharth's journey online. He's been writing a blog for us, and we've been posting these interviews that we've been doing here on the tele as well. We're also giving you a chance to sound off. Many of the comments that we've received so far defend -- in fact, defend the use of child workers.

Abbirr is from Bangladesh and writes, "Don't call it child labor. Rather, call it child feeder. They do work for rice, bread, and meat."

Bbadger also reasons that "The kids work so that their families can eat," and says, "The real problem isn't child labor, but the conditions that encourage it."

Siddharth's journey through south Asia continues next week. You can keep track of it on the website, and of course, leave your own questions and comments. It's all at cnn.com/connect.

We've just got our hearing back after the World Cup in South Africa, thanks to the vuvuzelas. Well now we are tuned in and getting ourselves ready for the English Premier League. We're on the eve of kickoff, and we're going to find out what we should expect in the season ahead, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS SMALLING, DEFENDER, MANCHESTER UNITED: Obviously, they won the championship, and we're going to be looking to get that back. And they're one of the biggest rivals, but this time, we have team that in terms of this league has been getting stronger of the years. It's going to be few things to watch out for this evening.

RAY WILKINS, ASSISTANT MANAGER, CHELSEA: We want to see teams really giving everybody game. Not so much us, but the rest. And see where it goes. But we need strong other -- we need other really strong team. Because this has to be very convincing. We've got fantastic fullbacks, and we do need those other teams to compete.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: It's nearly kickoff. Man United predicting a close rivalry with their defending champions, Chelsea, this season, and the Premier League does, indeed, kickoff tomorrow. It's only been five weeks since the end of the World Cup, and it's already a distant memory for English players as they look to the start of the English Premier League.

One player who knows what it's like to lift the Premier League trophy is the German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. He was between the posts when Arsenal won the title back in 2004. A distant memory, of course. And CNN's Justin Armsden caught -- got his thoughts on the season ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JUSTIN ARMSDEN, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Jens Lehmann may have retired from the game, it doesn't mean we can't put him to work looking ahead to the Barclay's Premier League season. Jens, thanks very much for joining us.

Let's start with a team that's close to your heart. Arsenal playing Liverpool tomorrow. Is that the sort of game that you would have looked forward to at the very start of the season, to put yourself to the test straightaway?

JENS LEHMANN, FORMER ARSENAL GOALKEEPER: Of course. I always thought that these big games would be placed later on the season, but it's a perfect start for the season, like Manchester against Spurs as well.

And for Sunday, I hope that Arsenal is going to win this change, whereas, at Liverpool, you don't know, there's a new coach, there's the turmoil they had during the summer break, what's going on there. And it's going to be an exciting one.

ARMSDEN: How do you see Arsenal going this year? How do you see Arsene Wenger and his troops working towards the end of the season this year?

LEHMANN: Since a couple of years, you know that they're always capable to win something. But, unfortunately, they didn't do it. When you talk to opponents, they know on a good day, they can play you out. And so I think that the transition from the old team that I was part of to the new team, there's young players, young talent, now a couple of new signings, could be finished when they win something this year. And I hope it's going to be this year's Barclay Premier League trophy.

ARMSDEN: You've come back -- it must be a good feeling when you get towards the end of the season and get your hands on that.

LEHMANN: Yes, I didn't know before that only a player who has won it is allowed to touch it. So I touched it.

ARMSDEN: Yes. Well, I'm not going to go near it, because there's some security guards behind us that are a lot bigger than me and probably not as big as you, but anyway.

Let's look at Arsenal. I'm interested to talk about the transfer strategy. Because Arsene Wenger's always been quite resolute in not spending quite big, but going for a youth policy, and cherry-picking young players, if you like.

And it seems to me that, perhaps that policy may be coming into play with Manchester United if we leave Manchester City out this year, because it appears to be the only team with a lot of money. Do you feel that Arsene Wenger's policy in that regard has been somewhat vindicated with going through his youth policy and not spending big on players?

LEHMANN: I think he always is judging how to spend and when. And when he sees a great quality, who actually could improve his team, he would do that. But with the technical ambitions and the quality of players he's got in his squad, it's very hard to find a new player, probably age by 28, 30, to improve his team. Because when he educates players, most of the time they're technically perfect.

And that's his policy, just to bring in young talent, and he's done remarkably well, because they always got those champions league players. And sometimes they were close to win the trophy, as in the last years. Unfortunately, they didn't win it.

And this year, it could be different, because I think, or what I've thought is that the club is a little bit pressurizing itself. The supporters are demanding a trophy. Arsene Wenger anyway is very ambitious anyway. The players know, and it's put to you, they're good and decisive seasoned players.

ARMSDEN: When you see the Premier League unfolding this year, and we know that Chelsea and Man United and Arsenal are going to be in the mix. Is there another team in there that you think could poke its head up this year? Something that you've taken notice of?

LEHMAN: Of course, you're waiting for Manchester City. How they're progressing.

ARMSDEN: Yes.

LEHMAN: But in my mind, unfortunately for these guys who are investing, there are too many other good players playing for different teams. So it's not only about the individual quality of the players, but as well about the brain of the coaches, like you have with Ancelotti, Wenger, and Ferguson, and the infrastructure of different clubs. The setup of the team. There's the good atmosphere in the dressing room, good togetherness on the pitch.

And there's a club like Manchester City buying, buying, buying, they cause, or they will be causing some problems inside the dressing room I can see. Because there are just too many good players who are used to play. If they can't play, they will have some problems.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: The thoughts of Jens Lehmann there, speaking to my colleague, Mr. Justin Armsden.

That's the English Premier League. What can football fans expect with the start of league play in Europe, then, in a couple of weeks? Starting in another couple of weeks, our own "World Sport" team is putting together an hour-long it-depth preview for each of the five major European leagues, including an extended interview with Manchester United's Alex Ferguson, who is still going strong at age 68, despite almost retiring back in 2002.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEX FERGUSON, MANAGER, MANCHESTER UNITED: I tried that a few years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Yes, I remember that, we followed that as well.

FERGUSON: It was an absolute -- absolute disaster. And --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: It was only a long farewell tour, wasn't it? That didn't --

FERGUSON: All places. Agony. It was absolute agony. And my wife, she made me change my mind, though, she was dead right. I think she'd been -- she was just so fed up with me in the house.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well the house. Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho -- or Jose Mourinho, as he's known -- weighs in, too, on his time in England and his special nickname. You can see much more on "The Contend -- "

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSE MOURINHO, COACH, REAL MADRID: And a special one, because in England, they used to call me that nickname, which is not a problem. But no, I won lots of things. I won 17 titles in the past 10 years, and I'm one of three coaches that won two champions leagues with two different teams, so I'm one of the good ones. But to say I'm a special one, I prefer not to say that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Who would want to compete with him? You can see much more on "The Contenders," Sunday at 20:00 in London, 21:00 in central Europe here on CNN.

We haven't finished tonight. We've got about ten or so minutes left. And coming up next, our Connector of the Day, actress Emma Thompson. She's going to tell us all about her new film, "Nanny McPhee Returns" and why characters like those are her favorite ones to play. That is coming up after this short break. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): She's one of Britain's most celebrated actresses and has played everything from a Jane Austin heroine to an unsightly nanny. But whoever Emma Thompson's portraying, she certainly makes us watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "NANNY MCPHEE")

NANNY MCPHEE: I understand you have extremely ill-behaved children.

(END VIDEO CLIP - "NANNY MCPHEE")

ANDERSON (voice-over): Growing up in a theatrical household, it didn't take long for Thompson to hone her acting skills.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "STRANGER THAN FICTION")

KAREN EIFFEL: The publishers thinks I have writer's block.

PENNY ESCHER: Do you have writer's block?

(END VIDEO CLIP - "STRANGER THAN FICTION")

ANDERSON (voice-over): After a series of stage and television gigs, she went on to star in more than 30 films, including hits such as "Love Actually," and the Harry Potter series.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "LOVE ACTUALLY")

KAREN: You're secretary is very pretty.

BILLY MACK: Is she?

KAREN: Be careful there.

(END VIDEO CLIP - "LOVE ACTUALLY")

ANDERSON (voice-over): And off the screen, Thompson has been just as influential. In 2007, she established the project "Journey" to bring the troubling issue of child trafficking to light.

A tireless campaigner, a star, and even a screenwriter. Her latest project is the self-written sequel to "Nanny McPhee."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "NANNY MCPHEE")

SEBASTIAN: Actually, I'm not sure it is measles.

NANNY MCPHEE: The chalky, white faces. The livid spots. The temperatures of 120 degrees.

(END VIDEO CLIP - "NANNY MCPHEE")

ANDERSON (voice-over): Making success look effortless, Emma Thompson is your Connector of the Day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "NANNY MCPHEE")

NANNY MCPHEE: Definitely.

(END VIDEO CLIP - "NANNY MCPHEE")

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Let's find out what the audience has got in store with the new "Nanny McPhee" movie. I spoke to Emma earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EMMA THOMPSON, ACTRESS: When I'd finished the first one, I thought, "Ooh, I'd like to return, because I love that character. I love her wisdom and her wit and her -- the way -- the rather subversive and interesting way she helps the kids find their solutions.

And I thought what I'd like to do is have a single mum, but not necessarily because of death or divorce or anything like that. So I thought, well, if I set it in wartime, which -- because we're still prosecuting wars, unfortunately -- then there's that underlying tension. But we have two sets of children, cousins, town children and country children who really don't get on. So there's this war that starts with the children, and that's when everything falls apart and chaos ensues. And Nanny McPhee turns up and interesting things happen.

ANDERSON: All right, --

THOMPSON: Mostly involving piglets.

ANDERSON: Well, we'll look forward to it. The first was a roaring success, and you've written these, of course, as you said. Is it very different, starring in something that you've written yourself?

THOMPSON: Yes, it is. It's very -- satisfying, because you spend -- Well, the first one took seven years to develop the script. And then, this last one took four. So if you're sitting alone for -- not consistently over four years, because I do other stuff as well. But you spend a long, long time creating something. When you get to the point where you're actually making it, it's so interesting and so engaging when you're casting these people who suddenly give these characters that you've been writing and thinking about for years three dimensions. And you've got a caution tale. It's a fantastic thing to do.

ANDERSON: And then what --

THOMPSON: And then, as you're making it, each scene you're thinking, "OK, this is funny, but it's also got to have drama and it's got to have real emotion, it's got to be very profound. So it's a challenge, but it's one of my favorite things to do.

ANDERSON: And she's a rather ugly character. Is there something freeing in dressing up as a silly and rather ugly character?

THOMPSON: It's absolute heaven for me, because I just turn up looking terrible and you walk out of the makeup room looking even more terrible, which is great.

ANDERSON: Ali wants to know, one of our viewers, has a question I want to ask as well. "Which role have you enjoyed playing the most? And, perhaps, how does Nanny McPhee stack up against others?"

THOMPSON: Well, Nanny McPhee is pretty near the top, actually. And then I played a terribly dysfunctional writer who smoked all the time. I loved playing in "Stranger Than Fiction," because she was just so baleful and utterly anarchic. And, again, also not someone who had to look glamorous. I hate it if I have to look glamorous.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. "What's your favorite memory of working on 'Harry Potter'?" is a question from Jeff from Cincinnati today.

THOMPSON: I just like the fact that when I wave my wand, things like Dementors and big men, stunt men, in black things fall backwards down the stairs. Great fun. To go, "Ooh," and all these huge guys just go "Ugh!" If only that happened in real life. You know? I love that.

ANDERSON: How was "Harry Potter"? Did you enjoy it?

THOMPSON: Yes, I did. I mean, it's just a few days. So it's -- my entire, as it were, career on that series of films was about ten days work. So it's like a sort of nice, little visit to, of course, the entire -- collection of equity, because everyone in Britain's been in it. You've probably been in it --

ANDERSON: No, not quite.

THOMPSON: You've probably just forgotten about it.

ANDERSON: But I've --

THOMPSON: Everyone's been in it. So, it's fantastic. You just turn up and say, "Oh, hi." Because everyone you know is there.

ANDERSON: What are you up to next? Because I've heard a little bird say that you're going to take a bit of time off after this latest "Nanny McPhee." Is that right?

THOMPSON: Yes, I am. I'm going to -- because Gaia finishes her -- her little school this -- next year. But I'm going to give her a break from education and take her and show her the world a bit and take a break myself. I just thought it was really good timing in between those two schools to have a bit of a break.

ANDERSON: Where are you going, out of interest?

THOMPSON: Well, I'm not telling you.

ANDERSON: Oh, good. OK. Why should you?

THOMPSON: I don't know, actually. I really don't know. Probably in -- I've never been to India. Yes, and maybe, I don't know, East Grintstead sounds nice.

ANDERSON: That is, for our viewers, just south of London --

THOMPSON: And Atlanta's got a lot going for it as well, I've got to tell you. I might bring her here to CNN.

ANDERSON: I wouldn't, my love. I wouldn't.

THOMPSON: There's lots to look at.

ANDERSON: Listen, Susan's asking a couple of questions here about your charity work. And I know -- my friend says you were even taking a break from that next year. But the "Journey" campaign has been a really important one for you, hasn't it? Is it still your number one priority, do you think?

THOMPSON: No, no, no. That's all going to go on. In fact, in a moment, we're raising money to take "Journey" all around the States. And we take it to The Hague in December. So it's all still carrying on. And it's very exciting, because it's such an interesting article to take about. Because it generates so much discussion and conversation about the difficulties and the problems.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Talking about "The Journey," there, Emma Thompson. Always a pleasure to talk to Emma. And starting off, of course, talking about the new "Nanny McPhee" movie coming to a screen near you soon.

Now Monday, our Connector of the Day is one of the most famous athletes in Britain, but he's also strongly linked with his Pakistani heritage. World champion boxer Amir Khan will tell us how his life is being affected by the devastating floods in Pakistan and what he is doing to help victims there. Plus, he is answering your questions about all things boxing. Head to cnn.com/connect to get involved. Do remember where -- to tell us where you are writing in from.

That's Amir Khan Monday for you. Tonight, we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Forty-one years ago, police on this date in one city raided a pub in a crackdown on homosexuality. But the patrons resisted arrest in an event now known as the Stonewall uprising. The rebellion on Christopher Street is widely considered the start of the gay rights movement.

Every year since, the uprising has been recognized with gay pride parades around the world, from the city of Hamburg in Germany, to Jerusalem, where this year's march coincided with the anniversary of a fatal shooting rampage in a Tel Aviv gay bar.

In Iceland, the festival was opened by the city mayor. The father of five dressed up in drag for the occasion, complete with blonde wig and bright red lipstick. And four years after Nepal's first gay marriage, the country is now preparing for its first gay pride parade through the streets of Kathmandu.

In many parts of the world, gay rights have come a way, but in others, homosexuality remains a taboo. We took a special look at this debate on last night's show here on CONNECT THE WORLD to coincide with California -- a California judge's controversial decision to overturn a ban on same-sex marriage.

The issue attracted an unprecedented response from you around the world. Our digital producer, Phil Han, has been sifting your questions and comments and is connecting us now with your thoughts.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL HAN: Last night, we brought you a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD, which streamed live online, as well as on our CNN iPhone app. Throughout the debate, we also had a special live chat on our website, and let me tell you that the response was huge.

Over 13,000 of you viewed discussion and left hundreds and hundreds of comments. People were writing in from as far away as India, Brazil, Iceland, and Canada. All of the views were extremely diverse and very passionate, and the reasonings behind your comments touched everything from religion, tradition, human rights, and personal freedom.

I want to read just a few of those comments to you right now. Anna said, "Some of my best friends are gay, and I wish them the best. They deserve equality, but not to invade the sanctity of a religious ritual. Get real."

Dustin wrote, "I don't know how people think they can win an argument by bashing gays. In fact, it turns me off to their argument altogether."

Chris wrote in our debate that "Same-sex marriage is totally out of order. Why should men and women want to live in perversion?"

Allison also wrote, "That while everyone is screaming about the Bible, this is all about gender identity and not about sexual orientation."

C-Ditty said, "I'm all for gay people getting hitched, but just call it something else."

And finally, Ken wrote that "Marriage is a right," and that "voters do not have the authority to decide whether one group gets to enjoy that or not. You can't apply some rights to some and not to others."

Now, we've also had people Skyping in their views on this issue from all over the world. And I just want to bring you two very interesting points of view from two Australians who are both gay, but they have rather different views. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHAUN HERON: Yes, I live in Sydney, Australia, and of course, I fully support gay marriage. I think for a basis of equality, it's a human right. We should be treated equally, same as straight people. Our love isn't any different to straight love. It's the same bond between two human beings, so we shouldn't be treated as unequals.

RYAN HOWARD: I'm from Australia, and I am -- I'm gay. I am and always have been against gay marriage because I think there is a big difference between what marriage is and what civil unionism is. I don't want to be married because I don't want to be part of a religious sect, which is completely against what I am naturally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAN: So the debate is still happening right now, and you can still get your voice heard just by visiting our website at cnn.com/connect.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Yes, it is still happening, as Phil says, so do get involved. Your questions and comments are really appreciated. We read -- do read them all and try to get as many as we can on air.

That is your world connected this Friday. I'm Becky Anderson. "BackStory" is up next here on CNN right after this quick check of the headlines for you. Stay with us.

END