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CONNECT THE WORLD

Global Betting Scandal?

Aired August 30, 2010 - 16:00:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECKY ANDERSON, HOST (voice-over): Well, it's just not cricket, Pakistan sends investigators to England to probe what looks like a global betting scandal.

The game in question, a test match at Lord's, the sports virtual home watched by millions around the world.

Tonight, we travel to the games financial capital in Mumbai, India to find out who's betting, where and why.

On CNN, this is the hour we "Connect the World."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: We'd be naive to think that old sports were clean, but the latest sport fixing allegations are a brutal reminder for the (cancer), the very core of what's supposed to be the gentlemen's game with murky global connections.

I'm Becky Anderson in London for you. Whether you're in Pakistan, India, Australia or South Africa for example, we want to hear from you. I'm on Twitter, beckycnn. We'll be reading out some of the best comments on cricket in the next 10 minutes or so.

Also tonight, a Nigerian governor responds to our reports on child witches in his country. We'll have the stories and his defense.

And it might be stuck deep underground in a cold, dark mine, but love is in the air. In Chile, you don't want a miss a rabbit of good news from the trapped miners. That all coming up in the next 60 minutes here on CNN.

First up tonight, the betting scandal in golfing Pakistani Cricket. Now a British tabloid newspaper reported over the weekend some Pakistani players deliberately made mistakes in the team's match with England last week. The paper released video to back it up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAJEED: That is going to be Amir. Amir's going to bowl the first over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the first ball of the third over. Is there any signal?

MAJEED: No signal. It'll just happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a no ball. OK.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Well, the "News of the World" says that was an undercover reporter meeting with businessman, Majeed (ph) in Wednesday in London.

The following day, his predictions played out on the Cricket pitch. The players performed as Majeed said they would.

The alleged ring leader of the scam supposedly made more than $200,000 from that deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: This is a story that resonates the world over. The investigators are now on their way from Pakistan to England to look into the allegations.

Some Cricket insiders say spot fixing is nothing new and it happens all over the world including what many consider the epicenter of the Cricket universe.

Here's CNN's Mallika Kapur in Mumbai.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the way Cricket used to be played. Over five days, by gentlemen in white who would pause for a tea break.

Their motivation says one of Cricket's greatest legends was simple.

KAPIL DEV, FORMER INDIAN CRICKET CAPTAIN: A majority of the people were - during that period is pride to take play for your country and that was very, very great.

KAPUR: Former Indian Captain Kapil Dev says the game has changed. There's big money in it now and with that big problems. The game has been rocked by allegations of corruption, greed and most recently spot fixing in which a player performs a certain in exchange for massive amounts of money from a bookie or middleman. Fans in Cricket crazy India are disappointed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a good game and they are spoiling the game.

KAPUR: There's big money on and off the pitch. People have bet on Cricket matches for years in countries like the U.K. where it's legal and the subcontinent where it's not, but where Cricket is a religion.

This man who did not want to be identified says he's been betting on the game for 30 years. He says it's common practice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) in India. It's a huge game, big money. (Betting) on it is not official.

KAPUR: The introduction of the fast-paced 20-20 format in which matches last for just a day and the well be Indian premier league has made Cricket much more popular around the world.

It's also made irregularities within the game, easier to hide says this sportswriter.

AYAZ MEMON, CONSULTING EDITOR, I.M.N. NEWS: (Inaudible) the center of the game lend themselves to, you know, betting sort to speak. It doesn't mean match fixing, but betting can happen on any event.

(Inaudible) of this delivery, you can bet on it. Is he going to - made a hole, you can bet on it. Whether the player is involved in it or not is a different issue that's where fixing comes in, that's sports fixing.

KAPUR: A bet between two people is one thing, a bet that tries to influence players another matter.

DEV: It's wrong, not bad. It's totally wrong. Any weak moment to all these Cricketer can be bought and that should be - should be stopped and try to get them lectured and talk to them and try to say, you know, how much big pride to play for your country. Those type of things should be continued doing - brainwash them.

KAPUR: You can buy a match he says, you can't buy pride. And that's still a difference between a gentleman and a player even in an age when the gentlemen's game has evolved into a mega money spinner. Mallika Kapur, CNN, Mumbai.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: All right, Imran Khan is a Cricket legend in Pakistan and the former Captain of the national team. We spoke to him by phone earlier today and I talked about whether he was ever aware of bribes or match fixing when he was in charge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

IMRAN KHAN, FORMER PAKISTANI CRICKET CAPTAIN (via telephone): I played for 21 years and I captained for 10 years, and in those 10 years, you know, most of the time these things cannot happen if the captain is not involved.

And I considered no one ever approached me and there was just one time in those 10 years that I was told that the bookies could have approached my players. And there was just that one incident of where - of course, I confronted the (tee) man and actually we won the match easily. So if the players were approached, the bet off didn't work out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: All right, Imran Kahn's voice. So this isn't the first time a betting scandal is undermined. The public face in a sport in July, you may remember this Japanese sumo wrestling's rocked by revelations.

Some of its stars wrestlers and coaches have ties to gangsters and have been betting on baseball games. As a result, big sponsors pulled out in a key tournament. It was not shown live on television.

In 2007, NBA referee Tim Donahee, pled guilty to charges that he bet on games he officiated to during his 13-year career although the scandal led to strict rules for referees. It did not seem to harm the sport as NBA ratings went up in the years following the scandal.

The most infamous betting scandal occurred during the 1919. World Series of baseball, eight members of the Chicago White Sox were bribed to throw games against the Cincinnati Reds. The scandal led to the creation of baseball's first commissioner.

So betting and fixing might have been around to almost as long as sport itself and Cricket, I guess is no exception. For my next guest says, it's still a shocker whenever stories like this emerge.

Edward Craig is Deputy Editor of the Cricket magazine, "The Wisden Cricketer." He joins me now live here in London.

I've got to say I do feel a sense of deja vu here. What do we - what do we understand to have happened?

EDWARD CRAIG, THE WISDEN CRICKETER: Well, what seems to have happened is a bit of sports fixing has gone on at the very least, which is, well, allegedly, this is all according to "News of the World."

That a few Pakistani players who've committed sort of misdemeanors in the field that are considered nobles and things, which are minor events on the field that don't really affect the outcome. Toward basically from a third party who is being paid and maybe receiving payment and passing payment onto those players.

That seems to be what's happened here although these are allegations at the moment and it isn't anything new in Cricket as -

ANDERSON: Yes, and you're not surprised and - but just (inaudible) going on I guess?

CRAIG: Well, it's difficult to say. I mean, earlier this year, in the domestic game over in the U.K. The season starts in April and they were allegations as some of the domestic players involved in sport fixing then.

It's been knocking around this country for a bit and it blow up 10 years ago, that's when it started really.

ANDERSON: Imran Khan is saying in the 10 years he was captain of the Pakistanis and then he was aware of some sport fixing or match fixing once in a decade so that's patchy?

CRAIG: I can't tell because I wasn't in the Pakistan dressing room when he was captain, but what did happen a decade ago was sort of the led blow up on this and that was a huge match fixing scandal involving the South African - South African Captain Hansy Cornei (ph) around the year 2000.

A load of Pakistani players, Indian players and South Africans were implicated in that and some of them would have played with Imran Kahn in his time. He certainly not saying he was involved in it.

ANDERSON: The Crickets governing body has said it will act and I quote, "promptly and decisively as charges of cheating are proved against the Pakistani test Cricketers."

They told them to just continue and the teams have just arrived in (inaudible) in the south of England to face (inaudible). A sure reaction is needed immediately if this game's reputation is to be saved, isn't it?

CRAIG: Well, yes, no. I mean, the players involved - certainly one of the players involved is very young. He's a real talent. He's one of the huge star in the making.

ANDERSON: He's cheating, isn't he?

CRAIG: He maybe cheating. We don't know yet.

ANDERSON: Right, sure.

CRAIG: If he's proved to be cheating then I would really take all the - the whole circumstances into account and that he's a bit very young man. He's looking up to some other individual who are older than him and wiser than him and he's taking advice from them.

ANDERSON: Why do you think it's happening in the game?

CRAIG: Well, one of the fundamental problems with Cricket is that it's very easy to do it. It's lends itself to the rules of the sport, lends itself to it. The other thing is, especially from the Pakistani team, these players aren't as well paid as some other nations.

The Indian players for instance are very well paid. Pakistani players aren't so well paid. The English players are very well paid and that - and they're coming from a place which is quite poor.

ANDERSON: So you say the rules of the game (inaudible) allow it. I mean, they don't allow it, but the rules - the way that the rules of the game setup allows for some to loop holes. So you can imagine where people might think they could create some money.

So should the rules of the game need change or should we accept that this is going to happen again and again and again?

CRAIG: I think you can't change the rules of the game that is too fundamental. It's a bit like change the rules of baseball or something like that. It's like how many runs you're going to get to win in a baseball match or whatever.

It doesn't work like that. The rules of the game - the game is made up of tiny little moments that amounts to a greater hole. You can affect those tiny moments and without affecting the greater hole, just a few of them, without affecting the greater hole hugely.

And that's what happening so they're taking tiny moments and making sure they know what's going to happen on those. Taking the sporting element out of it, but it doesn't affect the greatest side of the game. The greater results of the match and that's why they can get away with it.

And there's very little you can do about - about that beyond trying to play a different sport. I mean, that's just the nature of the sport. That's the way it is.

ANDERSON: And neither of these is going to stop?

CRAIG: I've - I don't even know it started to start. I don't know, all they can do is police it as fast as they can. Maybe this is going to be a good thing. Maybe this is going to be a massive shake up for the game.

ANDERSON: Is the game need a commissioner like the game of the baseball of the 1919 series of events?

CRAIG: It's already got - it's already got an anticorruption unit. The ICC -

ANDERSON: It doesn't work very well.

CRAIG: It hasn't worked very well here and when it was setup, there were criticisms on it and there have been criticisms ever since and this might be the kick it needs to really get it - get it kicked into gear and working.

ANDERSON: Then leave at that. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.

CRAIG: Thanks.

ANDERSON: The wisdom of Wisden as you might imagine this story has kicked up quite a response in the web site. Many of you commenting are focusing the same thing with flood waters making millions of people in Pakistan homeless and sick, this cricketing scandal is the last thing the country needs.

Have a listen to a couple of these thoughts coming and lsfeder writes, "Millions of flood refugees, a country with a collapsed infrastructure, people with no food or water to eat, and this is what the Pakistani government is focusing its efforts on! Unbelievable."

Res786 wants justice writing, "I think the cricketers that are accused should be suspended pending further investigation to send a message that such activities are intolerable in the game."

In Fyzi has tweeted me writing, "We can't be naive about it, but I wonder why only Pakistan is involved in this or do other have a better cover up."

What do you think? Join the conversation. I'm on Twitter at beckycnn. Online, head to the web site, cnn.com/connect. Don't forget to let us know where you're writing to us from.

One story getting a huge online reaction deals with children abused in Nigeria accused to practicing witchcraft. It is an absolutely heartbreaking story.

One regional leader says the media are completely overplaying the incident. He tells me the problem has been minimized if it still exists at all. That is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're back with "Connect the World." I'm Becky Anderson for you here on CNN. Now, the fear of black magic can and does lead to the abuse of children accused of being witches?

Nigeria's Akwa Ibom State has a law in place to prevent this type of crime and yet it continues without a single conviction on the books there.

Today, we asked the government why, but first though, a look at the problem from Christian Purefoy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTIAN PUREFOY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His name is Godswill (ph) and he's been beaten and abandoned. Cast out by his own family and society at large accused of being a witch. No matter that he's a five-year-old boy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The boy said that, the woman said that he is witch.

PUREFOY (on camera): He's apparently being here for three days and from what everyone here is saying his mother abandoned him accusing him of witchcraft. You can see he's got some scars. He even doesn't want me touching him.

Sam Ikpe Itauma believes there are thousands of children like (Godswill) in this region of Nigeria, and he's trying to rescue them. Using a little care and attention, Sam's start the process of trying to restore Godswill's trust in the world around him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see from here, he must have undergone some torture. You can see these are all some injuries and scars all over his body meaning that he must have passed through some level of - high level of torture and traumatization.

PUREFOY: A mother casting her three children. Accusing them of being witches and causing the premature deaths of their two siblings with black magic.

CHRISTIAN PUREFOY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A mother casting out her three children accusing them of being witches and causing the premature deaths of their two siblings with black magic. She is crying out of fear.

(on camera): How did she feel that her three children are witches?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Afraid - that they can also kill her too.

PUREFOY (voice-over): Child rights advocate Sam Ikpe-Itauma tipped off by someone in the community has come to join convince this poverty stricken widow to take back her children.

(on camera): If you don't come here to help these children, what could happen to them?

SAM IKPE-ITAUMA, CHILD'S RIGHTS AND REHABILITATION NETWORK: If we are not here, there's a possibility of them being thrown into river, buried alive or stabbed to death.

PUREFOY (voice-over): But no one believes him and he's forced to take them to his orphanage in safety.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: We can meet more about this story online at cnn.com/connect. You can leave your own thought there as well. Today, I talked with Godswill Akpabio. He's a governor of Akwa Ibom, the state where Christian was filing his report.

I began by asking whether he accepts there are cases of child abuse associated with witchcraft in his state.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GODSWILL AKPABIO, GOVERNOR, AKWA IBOM STATE, NIGERIA: I was running actually governor in 2007 and I was confronted with that issue in 2008. And of course, though the proportion is on as much as was reported that really I was surprised and I was amazed. That there were incidences of children been abused on grounds of witchcraft.

ANDERSON: We've seen evidence ourselves of children being thrown into the streets by their parents because they believe they are witches. So what are you doing to tackle child abuse in the name of witchcraft?

AKPABIO: The first thing I did was to sign a new bill into law, the Child Rights Protection law and then within that law, we embellish a provision that makes it a criminal offense for any parents or guardian to (label) or stigmatize a child.

And then, of course, the carries sentences of up to 15 years imprisonment if that should happen, and that brought the situation immediately under control.

ANDERSON: How many people have been prosecuted -

AKPABIO: Well, so far, we have about five people in the court who have been, more or less, who are undergoing (inaudible) prosecution on grounds of that.

ANDERSON: Nobody is being prosecuted as of yet?

AKPABIO: No, they - they are being prosecuted. I mean, you know, there are processes. They are passing through due process and they're been charged.

ANDERSON: -- convicted at this point?

AKPABIO: As I speak now, I haven't seen any conviction because the law just came last year in 2008, but what I can tell you is that even the government has about three (inaudible) that we (inaudible) our children without the actual (inaudible) grounds of witchcraft or on grounds of death (inaudible).

That we are getting for those children. There are about three different (inaudible) and we have insured that with this law, nothing like that can happen again. Nobody can traumatize her child again.

(Inaudible) we now address the main issue, which is the revision. Most of these things are happening of ignorance, illiteracy. The level of education of the society, I'm sure, you used to hear (inaudible) in the U.K. and other countries in the world.

So we now declare free and composite revision for children in this state in addition to free health care and we have two (inaudible) situation by continues publication we are getting. We believe there's (inaudible) -

ANDERSON: But aren't these being conducted since the law was brought in and we still we see evidence of abuse of children on the streets of your state? (Inaudible) nobody's being convicted as of yet?

AKPABIO: No.

ANDERSON: (Inaudible) completely minimized at this point -

AKPABIO: I can tell you the situation is simple. If there's any evidence of a child who has been molested, it should be reported to the authorities and of course, it will ensure arrest as well.

ANDERSON: How pro-active are you in seeking those who maybe abusing children as a result of witchcraft. Just a couple of facts - a report by the Charity Stepping Stones documents child witches who were taken to the forest and slaughtered, bathe in acid, burned alive, poisoned to death with a local poison, buried alive, drowned or imprisoned and tortured in churches to extract a confession.

This is a source from a report by Stepping Stones to the U.N. in 2009.

AKPABIO: That report is part of the media propaganda (inaudible) and was done for picking out (inaudible).

ANDERSON: Why would they do that?

AKPABIO: Because they went around - when they brought out that report. The solicitor falls from - on suspect in members of the public and today, there are about 2 million (inaudible).

So that report is totally false and baseless. There is no (inaudible) life that was featured in (inaudible), you know, being killed without (inaudible).

Death is a global offense all over the world. There is no such thing. That report is basically false. It is meant to elicit sentiments, to elicit sympathy from members of the republic.

And please, I'm still insisting CNN will do a follow up on this report. I welcome you to my state. You come (inaudible) and we are going to take necessary actions. I'm calling for international (inaudible) into that report, which is false.

ANDERSON: And CNN welcomes what you say today. I must put it back to you that our reporting (inaudible) here on CNN evidence children on the street being abused as a result -

AKPABIO: Well - as I said - it was the same group of people that invited your reporter, and of course, the same set of children who have been used right from 2007 with the same set of children that were shown to your reporter.

I'm (inaudible) to myself. I made a donation of $10 million (inaudible) I made a donation of about 20,000 pounds, those things were not reported. What did they do with that money?

The witchcraft story is all over the world. It's not (inaudible). You have it in (inaudible) countries including the U.K. So, of course, you knew very well (inaudible) I identified it that the source is nothing but -

ANDERSON: All right.

AKPABIO: And therefore, I had to address the issue of poverty and address the issue of literacy and declare free and compulsory revision. I need to know why (inaudible) children are being shown all over the world.

With the same story for over three years so far, from 2008, 2009, 2010 the sense of the children. The sense of our children, these children are being used for money (inaudible).

And that's why you are the (first) media, the first international media to call our attention to this. I'm showing that not only am I prepared to open myself to international investigation, I want to bring this situation to a close.

No person - I'm a parent. I have five children. I will never be happy to see a child abuse or a child stigmatize.

ANDERSON: Do you believe in witchcraft?

AKPABIO: I don't believe in witchcraft. They don't believe. Even here in the 16th Century, the world of United Kingdom, there was prevalence of witchcraft. But with (inaudible) increase in income, all that went --

ANDERSON: So what do you think that your government needs to do specifically to stamp this issue out? Whether you like or not, it's not a minimal issue at the moment. There's a lot of it going on. Do you accept that?

AKPABIO: You know, I would love (inaudible). I would say that to be honest with you. Akwa Ibom is a state in Nigeria. We have about (32) states in number so like I said, it's a very, very minimal situation. This situation is not -

ANDERSON: -- you see there are hundreds or thousands of children are being abused - AKPABIO: No, not thousands --

ANDERSON: Hundreds of children?

AKPABIO: No, (inaudible) for them, but I'm going to show that (inaudible) children who have been stigmatized and who have been abused. It's my responsibility to take care of them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Apologies for the technical glitch. We are back with you before that very short break. You heard the governor of that state saying the charity in question, Stepping Stone, has made 2 million pounds in the back of propaganda on this story.

That is more than $3 million. The group wrote to us today strongly denying that saying that their annual reports are publicly available on the internet.

Stepping Stone said and I quote, "The Akwa Ibom State government under leadership of Governor Godswill Akpabio has made some significant progress in improving the lives of children accused of witchcraft. However, there was clearly much work that needs to be done especially with regards to securing successful convictions of perpetrators of child abuse and educating the public about child rights and the consequences of stigmatizing children as witches."

Well, we've also heard the governor challenge CNN to dig deeper on the issue to see for ourselves the extent of the problem. We will, of course, be doing just that. Child witches and child abuse, the story.

Well, after seven years and more than 4,000 troops. This week at America's military mission in Iraq officially changes from combat to support. Well, Vice President Joe Biden has landed in Baghdad.

He's going to hold talks with the country's leaders during a state of political deadlock. Almost six months after an inconclusive election around 24 hours from now, Operation Iraqi Freedom becomes Operation New Dawn. Fewer than 50,000 troops will remain to focus on training Iraq's security forces.

Tomorrow on "Connect the World," we'll take an in-depth look at Iraq in transition from the human cause of the war and living conditions on the ground to how Iraqi's view their own future.

We also want to hear from you. Join our live web debate and tell us what you think. It's a special one hour edition of "Connect the World." Right here, this time tomorrow.

Well, thousands of flood victims in southern Pakistan are now starting to return to their homes. But the receding waters are exposed in some painful discoveries. That story and more right ahead this hour here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back. It's just about half past nine in London. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, Pakistani officials say as the water recedes, the death toll could dramatically rise. We're going to have the latest on catastrophic flooding affecting 17 million people.

Also ahead, setting their sights on their ninth tour-level title of season. The world's leading tennis doubles players just happen to be identical twins and our Connectors of the Day. We'll put your questions to the Bryan brothers.

And then, each family member had only 20 precious seconds to send their love. Trapped miners in Chile finally get to talk directly with their relatives for the first time in weeks. We're going to hear how one couple made wedding plans.

Those stories are just ahead. First, let me get you a quick check of the headlines this hour.

Federal investigators from Pakistan are on their way to London to dig into an alleged betting scandal related to the Pakistani cricket team. The trip comes after reports that gamblers fixed part of the Pakistani match against England last week. None of the players have been arrested.

Hundreds of protesters rallied in Berlin against the controversial book by a member of Germany's central bank. Critics say it contains racist and anti-immigrant remarks. Author and politician Thilo Sarrazin denies the claims and is urging people to read the book for themselves.

Officials in Chile still expect to get started today on an escape tunnel for 33 trapped miners. They were supposed to start drilling this morning but a power source for the drill was late arriving from Germany. Officials say the rescue could take up to four months.

And water levels along the Indus River are slowly receding, and thousands of people who fled Pakistan's floods are starting to return home. The government is counting more than 1600 flood-related deaths over the past month, but that number is expected to rise as more bodies are recovered. Sara Sidner visited one community that's mourning the loss of several young lived and praying for the safe return of other loved ones.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(CRYING)

SARA SIDNER (voice-over): Aslam Noon cries out to God. The mound of dirt in front of him is his little boy's fresh grave. He is one of several grieving fathers from the same extended family. There are four new graves here. Each mound covering a young child.

All four drowned in Pakistan's receding floodwaters when the family returned home after fleeing to Karachi during the initial flooding weeks ago.

"I returned from Karachi to make my family safe and secure," he says. "I ran away from the floods. We just came back three or four days ago."

This is the third day of mourning. In keeping with Muslim traditions, only the men visit the grave site, while the women mourn together inside.

Samina Noon lost her only son. He was eight. "I had only one. He was my life," she says. "I loved him so much. She is my cousin. She lost her two children."

At least they found their children's bodies. Shaazadi Banglani hasn't. Two of her children are still missing.

"We tried to get out, and I could only grab a few of my children. We couldn't grab two of them," she says. "They went in the water." Shaazadi has not filed a missing persons report.

SIDNER (on camera): Villagers tell us they don't tell the government often, because they don't believe anyone from the government is going to do anything anyway. So instead, they hire gentlemen like this. He's a fisherman, and instead of getting fish, he's fishing out bodies here.

SIDNER (voice-over): Dargahi Marani says he's found about 16 or 17 bodies. He's lost count. The government expects the death toll to rise significantly because families have not filed missing persons reports and floodwaters are still too high and vast to reveal the dead.

The Noon family says even they have not reported their dead to authorities. The grief is all-consuming. The father, Aslam Noon, said it's overwhelming. He collapsed at his child's grave site, only to be revived to the same cruel reality. Sara Sidner, CNN, Shikarpur, Pakistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: All right. We are launching a brand new segment today on CONNECT THE WORLD, and we need your help to make it happen. It's called Global Connections, and each week, we are taking two countries that at first glance may appear to have very little in common. We need you to tell us where the connections lie.

So maybe it's an historical tie, or a cultural bond, or something else altogether unexpected. We're kicking off with two giants on their respective continents. Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, also home to the world's second-largest film industry, known as Nollywood. And strangely, it's the highest rate of twin births in the world.

Across the Atlantic is South America's biggest country, Brazil. Considering that it's home to one third of the world's rain forests, it's no surprise it's the most bio-diverse nation on earth. Brazil also home to one of the new seven wonders of the world, Rio de Janeiro's iconic Christ the Redeemer statute, reflecting the country's status as having the world's largest Catholic population.

That's what makes them unique. In a minute, we're going to tell you how you can help us find out how they are connected.

First, we want to bring in the founder of the website that you will be well aware of, and see whether he can make some contributions for us. Jimmy Wales heads up Wikipedia, the online user-generated encyclopedia, joining me here in the studio.

So our viewers during the week have got to come up with some connections between Nigeria and Brazil. Kick us off.

JIMMY WALES, FOUNDER, WIKIPEDIA: Well, I've done a few little things. I did a little looking around on Wikipedia and elsewhere. One of the interesting little quirky, fun things is that both Nigeria and Brazil have fairly new capital cities. They're both planned cities. Abuja was built mainly the 80s and became the capital in the 90s. And Brasilia in Brazil was built in the 50s and became the capital in the 60s. So they're both brand new cities, and neither of them is really the major city of either country.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating stuff.

WALES: So it's -- that's a funny little quirky parallel.

ANDERSON: There's a quirky little link. All right, what else?

WALES: Well, of course, since I'm from the internet, I did some research on internet usage in both Nigeria and Brazil. Just to give you some quick numbers, 37.8 percent of Brazilians are on the internet.

ANDERSON: Yes?

WALES: And only 28.9 percent in Nigeria, which may be higher than people might expect, given there is a very large disparity of wealth between the two countries. And, in fact, the key to understanding the internet in Nigeria. In December, the rate of penetration was 16 percent. Now, as I've just said, now it's 28 percent.

ANDERSON: Wow.

WALES: There's a huge explosion going on in Nigeria of internet usage. And it's even going to accelerate because just now, in July, two major international submarine cables have been dropped into Nigeria, into Lagos, and broadband prices are dropping like crazy.

ANDERSON: So by the end of the week, possibly, we could imagine that those two numbers are going to be even closer.

WALES: They are going to be even closer, even closer, that's right.

ANDERSON: All right, go on, what else?

WALES: So, both of these countries are -- they can be very strongly internet connected.

Finally, I tweeted about this, that I was going to be on here, and I asked people out on -- who follow me on Twitter for some ideas. A guy named Andy Monam (ph) said to me, "Brazil and Nigeria had a land boundary about 100 million years ago." This is when Godwana was the -- Gondwana, Gondwana, I'm sorry, was the sort of unified southern continent.

And, in fact, if you look at a map, as every school kid has, it does look like they fit together. And they, in fact -- it is theorized that they were together at that time. So you could at one point, maybe, have walked from one to the other.

ANDERSON: Listen, how much fun did you have making those connections.

WALES: Oh, I had tons of fun, tons of fun. Because I think what's interesting about this is Brazil, Nigeria, you just think, wow, what could they possibly have in common? Turns out there's quite a bit that they do have in common.

ANDERSON: Yes, sure. And that is what we want the viewers to do, have as much fun with it as you can, of course. Jimmy, thank you very much indeed for that, kicking off --

WALES: Thanks for having me on.

ANDERSON: Our new segment, or new part of the show, Global Connections, a sense of what connects Nigeria and Brazil. But as we said, we want to hear from you. So tell us what Jimmy and we have overlooked. Maybe you've got a personal tie. You live in one, but the rest of your family lives in the other. Maybe your company does business in both.

On Friday, we're going to feature the best of the submissions that we've received. So go to cnn.com/globalconnections for the details. And as an added bonus, we have an interview with one of the most famous Brazilians in the word. Author Paulo Coelho. He's up this week for you. Tonight, we'll be right back after our Connectors of the Day.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): Meet the dynamo duo, who've smashed their way into the tennis record books. In July, identical twins Bob and Mike Bryan became the most successful doubles pairing in history when they won their 62nd ATP title.

Heading into the US Open, the Bryans are on an eight-match winning streak. And overall, they've had 64 doubles championships. Bob and Mike won their first tournament when they were six, and since then, the twins haven't looked back.

But the Bryans don't just serve up winning performances on the court. They're also a musical duo and part of the Bryan Brothers band.

When they're not rocking onstage or playing tennis, the Bryans are being with their foundation, which is dedicated to helping kids in Ventura County in the US and around the world. A powerful double act on and off the court, the Bryan brothers are your Connectors of the Day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: All right. We spoke with the Bryan brothers late last week as they were gearing up for the US Open, which, of course, kicks off today. And I started off by asking them what they were hoping for out of the doubles draw. This is what they told me.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE BRYAN, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: We're hoping that we go through. We're seated number one, and we've had a great summer, so we're hoping that we continue our run.

ANDERSON: Do you think that you've actually both boosted the popularity of doubles. After all, it used to be the sort of game that was tossed off to one of the outside courts. These days, it's -- we're all abuzz.

BOB BRYAN, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: Yes, we're trying to help doubles. That's one of our big goals, is to increase the popularity of doubles, and, yes. The singles guys are playing a lot, with the exception of Federer, who only plays a couple tournaments a year. All the guys are jumping in. And so, it's getting attention, it's getting on stadium court more. There's huge crowds. And yes, our goal's kind of, spread the gospel.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. Liz says, "Good luck in the Open," and asks, "How long do you see yourselves playing professional tennis for?" Because you're getting on a bit for tennis players, aren't you?

BOB BRYAN: Yes. We've played for 12 years now. It's amazing, but the time flies. We're 32 years old. We're still having a great time. In doubles, you can play it a lot longer. At 32, the singles guys are kind of on their way out. In doubles, there's guys pushing 40 who are still playing great tennis. So, we're having fun, we want to keep doing this as long as we're contending.

ANDERSON: Listen, it's fascinating to interview you two guys. You work like clockwork. We've got a question from Swingle, he says -- sorry, Alice Beattie, from the UK, says, "Have you ever considered what it would be like if you hadn't been twins?

MIKE BRYAN: Yes, that would be weird. We're always together, we're a package deal. We live in the same house, we practically share everything. So it makes it definitely a lot more fun when we're on the tour. We can share all these moments together.

ANDERSON: Sure.

MIKE BRYAN: And, as you can see, we kind of finish each other's sentences. But if we weren't twins, I don't know how it would be. We get along pretty well for brothers.

ANDERSON: What's your favorite identical twin story, out of interest? All twins seem to have them.

BOB BRYAN: We actually try to downplay the twin stuff a lot. We've had some -- we've had some mixed up with our girlfriends, actually. Mike's girlfriend at one time came up and kissed me on the back of my neck and I had to set her straight, but -- we check it out.

We dress the same on the court, but we try to be our own people off the court as much as we can. It's kind of -- we do get a lot of attention for being clones. So out there, it's tough.

ANDERSON: Listen, you're -- you've got a song called "Autograph," which featured stars Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Is it safe for us to say that Djokovic was a better rapper than Murray?

MIKE BRYAN: Yes, Djokovic did pretty well. Murray, we just got him into his hotel room, and we just put the mike up to his face, and he did it on one take. So he got a lot of heat back in London about rapping on an album. But we're having fun doing the music. We're actually playing tomorrow at the US Open on Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, and Novak's going to join us. Murray declined, but I understand.

BOB BRYAN: He hasn't texted -- he hasn't texted me back yet.

ANDERSON: Listen, you're mum and dad, I know, played a huge role in your tennis career. Your mum, I believe, taught you the strokes, and your dad coached you for a long time. Are they still very involved with the game with you today?

BOB BRYAN: Yes. My dad and mom, they write us e-mails right after we win or lose. They're the first person to get an e-mail to us, or a call, after a tough loss. So they're always -- they're a big support to us. We started working with other coaches in 2001. But they know our game better than anyone. If we have a tough patch, we'll go back to California, and they'll look at our strokes and try to turn it around. So, they're really supportive and we love them to death.

ANDERSON: Last question tonight from Jack Swingle. He says, "Best of luck in the Open. Who is your favorite tennis personality of all time, and why? Both of you.

MIKE BRYAN: I think we idolize Andre Agassi. We had posters on our wall, just covered. We actually were lucky enough to play him. I got drilled by him in the US Open in my one and only singles match here at the Open. But he's been really nice to us.

He started a foundation where he raises millions of dollars for kids, and he inspired us to start a foundation. We just think he's a great human being. And he was awesome to watch, too.

ANDERSON: Yes, good stuff.

BOB BRYAN: Yes.

ANDERSON: So Agassi for you. And you?

BOB BRYAN: Yes, I like Agassi, too. But if I'm going to go the doubles route, I would go with the Woodies, who were -- Everything was so precise. And then the Jensen brothers, who you might know. They gave us the chest bump. And they made doubles big in the 90s.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: The big chest bump. You've got to love them. Good luck to them. Our Connector of the Day tomorrow is trying to unite people in one of the most dangerous places in the world. As a priest as the only Anglican church in Iraq, Andrew White has earned the nickname of the Vicar of Baghdad. He's going to tell you about his struggle to do his job in a war zone, and about his battle with Multiple Sclerosis.

Do send us questions for our Connectors of the Day, and remember to tell us where you're writing in from. Head to cnn.com/connect. You're with us here on CNN. Tonight, we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: They've been trapped underground for almost a month, but today, officials in Chile finally expect to get started on a shoulder-width escape tunnel for the 33 miners stuck deep underground. The drilling was supposed to be under way this morning, but operations have been delayed while workers await a missing part. Officials say the rescue could take up to four months.

Family members had their first chance to speak with the miners on Sunday, keeping their conversations short and delivering only positive news. As Karl Penhaul reports, one woman received the message of a lifetime. A proposal 25 years in the making.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A procession and a prayer to St. Lorenzo, patron saint of miners. Jessica Yanez watches and thinks about her man, Esteban Rojas, trapped with 32 others far underground,.

"Imagine how happy we were to find out they were alive. We know the rescue will take a long time, but we won't lose hope," she says.

Amid the anxiety, a love story is blossoming anew.

"I think he thought about his family at that moment, and he knew he had to survive, and that gave him the strength to fight on," she says.

Jessica and Esteban have been together 25 years, have three children, and two grandchildren. But they never got married in church.

Now, in this dingy cavern, the miners are calling it Refuge 33, Esteban has had time to think. In a letter to Jessica, he proposed they have a full Catholic wedding. "Please keep praying that we get out of this alive, and when I do get out, we will buy you a dress and get married. Good-bye, Esteban Rojas."

Jessica, of course, said yes. "I've read what he had to say, and it made me shout with happiness," she said.

On Sunday, families had the first chance to speak one-on-one to their loved ones. It was Mines Minister Laurence Golborne himself who dropped the phone line into the ground.

PENHAUL (on camera): This is what rescue workers are calling the umbilical cord. This is how they are keeping the miners, trapped 700 meters or 2200 feet under ground alive.

PENHAUL (voice-over): A metal cylinder dubbed "the carrier pigeon" takes down food, water, clothes, letters, and now, a phone line. Each relative had only about 20 seconds to speak.

"I was the last one to speak, so I just grabbed the phone and didn't want to let go," she said. But in those few brief seconds, Esteban and Jessica found time to make some marriage plans. "I asked Esteban if I should buy the dress and be ready waiting when he came out, or whether we should buy it together. He asked me to wait so we could organize things together," she says.

It's impossible to set a date. Experts don't know for sure how long it will take to drill a whole wide enough to rescue the 33 men. One thing Jessica does know for sure is that more than three weeks into this ordeal, her feelings for Esteban are stronger than ever.

"He always said he planned to grow old with me, and I planned to grow old with him. Our love is very deep," she says.

It's a love that's half a mile deep, that stretches from the desert above to the very bowels of the Earth. Karl Penhaul, CNN, San Jose Mine, Northern Chile.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Amazing story, isn't it? Well, you've clearly been touched by what's going on. We've had loads of comments about what we are seeing on the website. Here's some of what you've been saying.

Shirini says, "This brought tears to my eyes. Hope that you can do a short writeup on their wedding ceremony soon.

Someone called 1Coyote writes, "I can only hope this story will have a good ending, with al miners eventually rescued. I'm voting on the human spirit to win this one. Every one of the 33 is a hero."

We have another commentator taking a bit of a lighthearted view. "As if he wasn't in enough trouble already, now he does this."

Myview2009 says, "So beautiful, in the midst of al of this, definitely a bright light fort he family. I just pray God keeps them both until that glorious day."

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. We'll be right back with our World in Pictures.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Let's get you through the lens this evening. Europe's largest street festival just a few Tube stops from our studios here in London. Well, the streets of West London coming alive as performers get ready to take part in the Notting Hill Carnival. It's an annual event samba. The carnival has a distinctly Caribbean feel. The West Indies community in Notting Hill set it up 44 years ago.

Now, it's gone global. Over a million people come from all over the world to experience the colorful costumes, floats, food, and stalls.

And don't forget the music. Performers use traditional steel drums, 41 sound systems, and 16,000 records to entertain the crowds.

Dancing in the streets in our World in Pictures this evening. I'm going to tell you, it's still going on out there.

Before we go, let's hear more from you on one of the top stories tonight. The betting scandal that's sending shockwaves through the world of cricket. Earlier, we took you to Mumbai, the financial center of the sport, and spoke with a bookie there, who said the practice has been going on for years. Many of you are outraged at allegations in a British tabloid that members of Pakistan's national team made mistakes on purpose during a match recently with England.

But FroOtherSide writes on our blog, "Right now, these are just allegations. Until they are proven right, these players should be deemed innocent. And even if the allegations are proven right, they should not be banned for a long time."

Another viewer says that "their deed might be wrong, but their intention could be right. Maybe they need money to help the poor."

Checking some of the tweets that have been coming in tonight. Keira from New York has tweeted me @beckycnn. She says, "No, it's not just cricket. It happened in L -- MLB, it happened in the NBA, I think it's the exception, not the rule. Sad," she says, "but true."

Laura the ex-pat writing in from Switzerland @beckycnn. "If it's an uncertain outcome and there's money to be made, there will be betting nonsense in anything."

Get your voice heard on CNN. Head to the website, cnn.com/connect, or tweet me @beckycnn. I'm Becky Anderson, that is your world connected this evening. "BackStory" is up next, right after this quick check of the headlines.

Pakistan is sending investigators to England to look into allegations of sport-fixing, possibly involving some players on the Pakistani national cricket team. British tabloid reports that gamblers fixed part of the Pakistani match against England last week.

END