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CONNECT THE WORLD
Terror Arrests in London During Pope's Visit; London Murder of Pakistani Politician Sparks Violence; Diaz Swims to End Poverty
Aired September 17, 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: British investigators arrest six men on the suspicion of planning a terror attack. It comes amid a high-profile visit from the pope, but police say they are satisfied with their security plans. Well, the real shadow that won't disappear remains the global abuse scandal. Tonight, what the pope can do to help the world's faithful move on.
Going beyond borders on the stories that matter, on CNN, this is the hour we CONNECT THE WORLD.
In his remarks to reporters last night, the pope said the church needed to ask how victims of abuse could repair and re-find (ph) their lives. Well, finding an answer to that could be the key to drawing a line under a scandal that resonates from Northern Ireland to Nigeria and beyond.
I'm Becky Anderson in London for you.
Also ahead, a murder in London reverberating on the streets of Karachi. We'll explain what happened to Imran Farooq and tell you about his connection to India.
See this sign being put up? Well, if you can't recognize the language, I'll tell you it's Klingon. Our week-long series on languages ends with fantasy and fiction.
Well, if it's Friday, it is time for global connections. You got Panama on the left and you got the UAE on the right. What connects those two countries. We've been getting tons of suggestions from you, and this hour, the very best of your responses. You keep getting involved in the show. I'm on Twitter @beckycnn. Log on and do join in the conversation.
Well, first up tonight, a feared (ph) terror plot during the pope's visit to the U.K. has forced a review of the pontiff's security. It follows the arrest of six men on suspicion of terrorism. Atika Shubert has the latest.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's the second day of the pope's visit, and as you can see, there was very tight security on the streets, and perhaps with good reason. The pope was notified during his first event this morning at a Catholic school of several terror-related arrests by police very early this morning.
We have very few details of those men. However, what we do know is that police tell us they were age between 26 to 50, and Westminster City Council has confirmed to CNN that those men were working with a local cleaning company, apparently working here as street cleaners. But that's about all the details that we know.
Police have not confirmed any link between those arrests and the pope's visit here. However, they did say that the arrests triggered a review of the pope's security here and his itinerary. In the end, however, police say that they were happy with the pope's security as it is and that his itinerary would continue as scheduled.
The pope's spokesperson told us a little bit about the pope's reaction to those arrests. Here's what he said.
FEDERICO LOMBARDI, VATICAN PRESS OFFICE: We are totally confident in the work of the -- of the police, of Scotland Yard, and then we have no particular preoccupation (ph). The police has already said that the information that they have until now collected demonstrated there is no need to change anything about the program (ph) of the pope.
SHUBERT: Despite several terror arrests happening very early this morning, the pope went ahead with his scheduled itinerary, including one of the highlights of his visit, a speech that was delivered here at Westminster Hall. Here's what he said.
POPE BENEDICT XVI: God wants your friendship. And once you enter into a friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know him better, you'll find you want to reflect (ph) something of his infinite goodness in your own life.
SHUBERT: As you can see, plenty of the pope's supporters are here today, and the crowds are expected to be even bigger tomorrow when he holds his mass, prayer vigil. And protesters against the pope will be taking to the streets of London. Security is tight today, and it will be even tighter tomorrow.
Atika Shubert, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: That's right. So I'm joined again tonight by CNN's senior Vatican analyst, John Allen. First your reaction to what we've seen and heard today, John.
JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, it's been an extraordinary day, I think, for the 83-year-old pontiff, a very busy day, highlighted, I think, by the events this evening, his visit to Lambeth Palace to meet the archbishop of Canterbury to try to overcome the differences both historic and of recent vintage between these two churches, and also by this remarkable speech that the pope gave tonight to really the cream of the crop of political life in Britain, including four former British prime ministers, in which the pope essentially argued that reason - - and by reason, he means sort of secular society -- that reason and faith need one another, that reason without faith becomes destructive ideology, faith without reason becomes sectarianism and fundamentalism.
You know, I think it remains to be seen what the sort of eventual response to that speech will be, but certainly, talking to people -- and I was on the scene -- talking to people coming out of Westminster Hall, the general impression was that this was a remarkably thoughtful speech from a pope who is also, of course, a world-class intellectual.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right, stay with me, John, because while the terror arrests threatened to overshadow day two of the papal visit, of course, it's still the clergy sex abuse scandal that is dogging the pontiff everywhere he goes. And it's not just here in the U.K., but around the world.
Let's take a look at how the controversy is playing out in two very different countries, corners of the earth. Rafael Romo reporting to you from Mexico -- first let's begin with Christian Purefoy, who is in Nigeria.
CHRISTIAN PUREFOY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. I'm Christian Purefoy in Lagos, Nigeria. Africa is the fastest-growing region in the world for the Catholic church. In Nigeria, there's an estimated 20 million Catholics. And yet the sex abuse scandal rocking the Catholic church worldwide has had little impact here, where people turn to the church for spiritual help to overcome the challenges of day-to-day life -- no electricity, bad roads, collapsed infrastructure and corruption.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS PRODUCER: The Mexican Catholic church has also been rocked by multiple scandals related to pedophilia, but one case has been at the center of the controversy in Mexico. Marcial Maciel, a world-renowned Mexican priest, was accused of abusing multiple minors, using drugs and fathering several children. Maciel, who died in 2008 when he was 87 years old, was no regular priest. He was the leader of the Legion of Christ, a conservative Catholic order, and he was very close to the Vatican under Pope John Paul II.
His order apologized for Maciel's reprehensible behavior. As a result of this and other cases, the Mexican Catholic church sent six bishops to Rome earlier this month to learn, among other things, how to proceed in cases of sexual abuse committed by priests against children.
Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.
ANDERSON: (INAUDIBLE) on the day's big story. John, these visits have in the past certainly helped improve the pope's popularity. But does that popularity last? After his visit -- we talked about this last night - - to the U.S., his popularity rating actually increased. In 2008, it jumped with, I don't know, some 63 percent of Americans saying they approved of the pontiff. But since then, there's been a dramatic shift. We've got a poll that I want to show the viewers here, the same poll, showing Benedict's approval rating dropping to a new low of just 40 percent.
It's a difficult (ph) one, isn't it. We talked last night about how he certainly got a flip on the numbers when he's been in the States. What ought we to expect post this visit, do you think?
ALLEN: Well, Becky, of course, we're still just at the halfway point, but I think there are some indications that the kind of doom and gloom predictions of disaster at the beginning of this trip have certainly not been realized. I think many people would say that the pope has yet to put a foot wrong. He has come off as a largely warm, kindly figure, and his message has been broadly positive. At the very beginning of the trip, he actually began by praising the Christian and humanitarian traditions of Britain, praising the Northern Ireland peace accord, and even as a German, thanking the British for helping to defeat the Nazis.
So you know, to date, I think most people would say that it's gone better than they might have expected. But you know, as you -- as you indicated, that's been the pattern before on these trips. He often comes in to somewhat tense and difficult environments, he exceed expectations, but then the problem is that those newly positive impressions often run afoul of whatever the next Vatican crisis or public relations meltdown may be. Remains to be seen if that will be the pattern once again in the wake of his trip to the U.K.
ANDERSON: Listen, I mean, everybody's asking whether you can draw a line under this global sex abuse scandal. We also had a look at what he said during some of his visits abroad, as the sex scandal broke. During a U.S. visit, for example, John, he said, and I quote, he would "absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry."
In his visit to Malta in April, he met and wept (ph) with victims of clergy sex abuse for the first time. In his visit to Portugal in May, he laid blame for the truly terrifying clerical sex abuse crisis squarely on the Catholic church. He said the greatest "persecution of the church does not come from enemies on the outside but is born from these sins within the church."
Your sense of whether we will get a definitive line drawn under this on the back of this trip, John.
ALLEN: Well, you know, Becky, I mean, "definitive" is one of those words that's in the eye of beholder. I mean, what sort of church people and defenders of the Catholic church will tell you is that however horrifying this phenomenon of the sexual abuse of minors by priests has been, it is largely in the past, that most of the cases that are coming to light today are decades old, and that the church in the meantime has cleaned up its act. It's embraced a zero-tolerance policy. It's committed to prevention of abuse as much as possible and in swift justice when it happens.
Now, what the critics will say is that there has -- there may have been some marginal progress but that there are huge pieces of the puzzle still missing. One of the things they will point to, for example, is the lack of a uniform global policy. This is still something that is largely happened by -- handled by local bishops in their own dioceses. And they will also say that while there is now strong accountability for priests who abuse, there is no similar accountability for bishops who cover it up.
So I suspect, Becky, that the take-away from this trip will be, for those who are inclined to give the pope the benefit of the doubt, they will say that his language was very helpful. For those who have, on the back of bitter experience, become cynical about such assurances, they will say that words don't mean anything to them, they're waiting for action.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. John, we do appreciate your thoughts. Thank you for being with us here on CONNECT THE WORLD, our senior Vatican analyst John Allen.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson live in London for you.
Up next, a murder mystery spanning two continents. Why was this key Pakistani politician stabbed and left to die on the streets of London?
And later, the story of one man who swam around the world to end poverty.
ANDERSON: Well, a murder in Britain sparks violence on the streets of Pakistan's biggest city. Shops in Karachi were set alight by crowds angry at the killing of a prominent Pakistani politician. Imran Farooq died after being stabbed in London on Thursday evening.
Farooq was a key figure in the powerful Muttahida Quami movement, so why was he living in Britain? And why could he have become a target? Jim Boulden explains.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On this quiet north London street Thursday night, the Urdu-speaking community in Pakistan lost one of its guiding lights, its dominant force. Imran Farooq of the MQM political party was found by police stabbed and suffering head wounds. He died at the scene.
MOHAMMAD ANWAR, MQM: We never believed, we never conceived that Imran Farooq or other members of the coordination (ph) committee's life would be -- or liberty here in U.K. would be at risk. It's so (ph) inconceivable.
BOULDEN: Though the MQM is part of the current Pakistan government, Farooq and other members of the party have sought asylum in London for years, establishing an office in north London, near where he died.
SAJJAN GOHEL, PAKISTAN ANALYST: Members of the MQM have been charged under the allegation of trying to foment violence and conflict inside Pakistan. Those charges have never been proved, but nevertheless, they still remain. So for the leadership of the MQM, it remains a concern to go back to Pakistan.
BOULDEN: In London, the MQM works freely on behalf of Muslims who moved to Pakistan from India after the 1947 partition and who say they have suffered discrimination ever since.
ANWAR: If there is any conspiracy behind this assassination, that should be brought to fore so that people throughout the world and particularly in Pakistan and Britain, they know.
BOULDEN: If and when the London police pinpoint who was responsible for Farooq's death, what happened on this London street could be felt throughout the streets of Pakistan. Jim Boulden, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: And what was the reaction in Pakistan, and most specifically, or more specifically in Karachi? Fred Pleitgen is in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, with more on that.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's certainly eerily tense there in Karachi, is what we're hearing from the ground there. There was some violence earlier in the day, where some -- several cars were set on fire. Also, several shops were torched in that area. What has happened since then is that, basically, throughout the day, there were very few people on the streets. There was no public transport, no school. A lot of the shops and bazaars were also closed.
That, on the one hand, is due to the fact that, of course, people are very worried about the security situation there. The city is very volatile on a good day, and certainly, on a day like this, the volatility just rises up that much more. On the other hand, also, the MQM itself has called 10 days of mourning for the killing of Imran Farooq, and a lot of people are honoring that. And certainly, the authorities there in Karachi are honoring that, as well.
So right now, the situation can easily be described as very tense but still very calm, Becky.
ANDERSON: How is this story playing out nationally?
PLEITGEN: Well, there's massive reverberations nationally because what you have to know is that while this party's power base, the MQM, is really very much in Karachi and also in the Sindh (ph) area, they are also a member of the federal government here in Pakistan. And so certainly, this is massive national reverberations. They're a huge political movement here in this country, wield a lot of political power. We've already seen the prime minister of Pakistan make a statement on this issue, of course, condemning the murder and calling an assassination. So this is really something that all of Pakistan is looking at right now. And one of the things they're also looking at is, of course, the investigation that's going on in the U.K., Becky.
ANDERSON: There's an Indian connection here, as well, isn't there, Fred.
PLEITGEN: There certainly is. I mean, if you look at the base of this party, it is really one that came forth from Muslim immigrants from Indian, if you will, people who emigrated here to Pakistan around 1947, when Pakistan was founded. And they came into that area of Karachi which already had quite a diverse ethnic mix, and it's really -- has made that ethnic mix even more diverse. Of course, you have Sindhi (ph) down there, and over the past really 10, 20 years, also a massive influx of Pashtuns.
And there have been a lot of ethnic tensions in that area before the Indian immigrants -- the Muhajeers (ph), as they're called, really didn't feel fully accepted there, which led to violence also in the '90s, which led to the government, the army going into that area, and which ultimately led to accusations of murder against people like Imran Farooq. So this was certainly someone who you can say had a lot of enemies not just here in Pakistan but among these groups globally, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen for you in Pakistan.
Well, here's a treat. From connecting the world to connecting continents, we're going to show you how one man is making a splash to end poverty.
ANDERSON: Well, just like here at CONNECT THE WORLD, swimmer Marcos Diaz likes to go beyond borders, quite literally. He's been swimming the planet -- that's right, the entire world -- to connect the continents. Now, the final lap of his mission came under the gaze of Lady Liberty in New York. Well, he made a splash, getting to the United Nations. Marcos is raising awareness of the millennium development goals, the world's big push to end poverty.
MARCO DIAZ, SWIMMER: Swim Across the Continents with the United Nations (INAUDIBLE) millennium development goals started this past May, was the one (INAUDIBLE) crossing each month from May to August. We started in Papua New Guinea to connect Oceania to Asia. Then in June, we moved to connect Asia to Africa, swimming from Jordan to Egypt, in July from Morocco to Spain, and just a couple of weeks ago, we swam from Europe to the Americas, from Russia to Alaska.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marcos Diaz!
DIAZ: What bring us here is actually because this is the 10th anniversary of that agreement that was signed right here in New York. And (INAUDIBLE) the best way to end the project than swimming from Statue of Liberty to the United Nations building and being received by the secretary general and have a document, a petition in which brings (ph) the will of hundreds and millions of people from around the world that wants the leaders of the world that will be meeting in a few days to make the right decisions towards (INAUDIBLE)
Swimming (ph) to (ph) New York, very special one (ph) since (ph) conscience (ph) has been connected already, and this is a celebration. For the first time, I'll be in the Hudson River, in the New York waters, without having a competition or a big challenge in front of me. And although this is the last strokes for Swim Across the Continents, so we finish right here the project, my responsibility and my commitment to the MDGs does not stop here. It will continue, and I will push as hard as I can to promote this urgency and, hopefully, inspire many other people, many other athletes to do the same, to take positive actions for change to happen soon.
ANDERSON: Well done, Mr. Diaz. Well, positive action for change, their mantra also giving strength to a grandma from Wales. Rosie Swale Pope also triumphed in her round-the-world attempt, only she did it in running shoes. Rosie survived freezing cold and too-close encounter with a bus during her five-year trek across the globe, finishing in August 2008 on her 62nd birthday. Cancer (ph) has turned Rosie into a widow and a campaigner for change.
Then while Carlos Diaz swam the seas, Jessica Watson shipped (ph) to the boats (ph) -- sorry -- to the water in a boat to become the youngest person ever to sail around the globe solo and unassisted. The 16-year-old Australian racked up nearly 23,000 nautical miles during a stormy voyage that ended in May in cheers. And don't even think about taking 80 days to go 'round the world in a balloon, Bertrand Picard (ph) and Brian Jones (ph) were showered with awards when they did it in under 20 back in March 1999. Then again, their balloon was the state of the art and art -- and didn't include a basket.
Connecting the dots on the day's best stories, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson in London. A lot more ahead on the show. We'll be back with world headlines.
ANDERSON: Just before half past the hour (INAUDIBLE) I'm Becky Anderson for you in London. Coming up, the final chapter in a story we are dedicated, if not obligated to tell. Human trafficking is a scourge through South Asia, and we are on the trail of those promoting this modern- day slavery.
Then what could the desert cities of the United Arab Emirates possibly have in common with the rain forests of Panama? Well, you've helped us make the connections, and tonight we'll highlight those for you.
And ever heard of the expression "Qapla'?" Well, it's alien to me, too. But apparently it means "good-bye" in a new language. Stay with us, you'll find out which one.
Those stories are ahead in the next 30 minutes. First, let me get you a very quick check of the headlines this hour here on CNN.
Six men have been arrested in Britain on suspicion of terrorism, forcing a review of security on day two of the pope's visit. Some news reports said the arrests involved the potential threat to the pontiff, but police have declined to comment.
Hurricane Karl is being downgraded to Category 2 strength after making landfall near Veracruz in Mexico, moving inland from there on. Hurricane watches and warnings are in place along significant parts of Mexico's east coast, and forecasters warn that the storm surge could reach four and a half meters.
A strong earthquake has struck Afghanistan. The US Geological Survey measured it at a magnitude of 6.3. The quake's epicenter is the Hindu Kush region 265 kilometers northeast of Kabul. There are no reports of damage at this point.
This is CONNECT THE WORLD, and it a journey that's exposed some of the darkest investigations imaginable. Here on the show, we've been On the Trail of Human Trafficking, following one of the world's experts on the subject as he crisscrosses South Asia, documenting the business of modern slavery.
Now, what Siddharth Kara has brought us so far has been nothing short of remarkable. From children working in India's carpet mills to laborers toiling on roadside projects in New Delhi. He's looked to the shrimp industry in Bangladesh's coast, and in Nepal he found an entire social class of women practically destined from birth to be trafficked into the sex industry.
Well, tonight, Siddharth's incredible journey comes to an end. He's home a couple of weeks early from his last stop in Pakistan. The dire humanitarian situation there, he said, made it too difficult to conduct his research. So I caught up with him in Los Angeles a little earlier and started off by asking him for some reflections on his time in South Asia.
SIDDHARTH KARA, HUMAN TRAFFICKING EXPERT: We had a fairly comprehensive summer and, I'd say, three main takeaways from the journey.
The first is, poverty is such a primary factor, and it's at the root of all these issues, be it human trafficking, debt bondage, or child labor. There's no way of escaping the role poverty plays.
Number two, the lack of alternatives is a major issue. We saw that time and again, people were rendered very vulnerable to trafficking because they didn't have a good alternative.
And finally, bias against caste, ethnicity, or female gender, also renders people very vulnerable throughout South Asia and many other parts of the world. We saw this just last week with the stone-breaking community and the Janajati caste group, where that minority status made them very vulnerable to forced slavery in the stone-breaking industry.
ANDERSON: And we had an e-mail from one of our viewers on that. Albuterol writes to us, "Let's keep in mind that families doing this type of work for some 70 cents a day do so because that is the best option they have." And this e-mailer goes on to say, "If you shut down the stone- breaking industry, those families must resort to whatever their next best option would be." Does that resonate with you?
KARA: These people -- remember, when we were there, they were in forced labor. They -- the food was withheld if they did not do this work. The guards -- the contractor had guards, who kept them doing this work. So, in a sense, they had absolutely no choice.
Now, even if those forced labor conditions weren't present, their alternatives were bleak to nil.
ANDERSON: A couple of e-mails to your blog reflections. Kraznodar says, "There are already laws in place in the US and the EU to prohibit business importing products made by slave labor. If the names of the companies doing business with the slavers were made public, then something would likely to be done." I'll get your reaction to that in a moment.
A second one here, JRauz, "It's terrifying to think about all the items in my possession that were probably produced through these types of abuses. We are numb to the abuses of others when it is inconvenient, including myself -- or myself included." Your thoughts?
KARA: Well, the first comment touches on something important. And this is that understanding that the supply chain of these products that may start in South Asia or Africa or other regions, like the shrimp we saw in Bangladesh, or the carpets in Nepal, will very much end up as being products we consume in the west.
Now, just throwing out the names of companies that you document are involved in the production side may actually cause more harm than good if it's not concurrent with human rights efforts to help those people who are caught in the exploitation at that time.
The terror that that other person felt is very important, that their products that they may consume every day could come to them through some sort of labor exploitation, child labor, or human trafficking. We need to leverage that terror into effective action. We need to spread awareness, and this is what is individual citizens can do. And they can also call upon those emotions to demand more from their communities, NGOs, and lawmakers to make a sustained and fully-informed effort to address this problem.
ANDERSON: And you can read more about our time with Siddharth Kara at cnn.com/connect. You'll find his earlier blogs and the interviews that we've conducted with him over the past few weeks. Human trafficking is a story that we are completely committed to telling here at CONNECT THE WORLD. You'll be seeing a lot more of these investigations right here on CNN.
So, head to the website, cnn.com/connect. We want your stories from wherever you are watching in the world. Tonight, we'll be right back.
ANDERSON: All right. The places that we chose for this week's Global Connections are home to marvels of the engineering world. But the connections that you built weren't too shabby, either. This is where we pick two countries that at first glance may seem to have very little in common. It's your personal experiences, your awareness of those countries' cultures that make the links.
This week, we're traveling our farthest distance yet. From the sandy deserts of the United Arab Emirates, home of the world's tallest building, to the lush rain forests of Panama, and the famous canal bearing its name. How's this for a greeting?
BALBOA HIGH SCHOOL, PANAMA: Hello, Becky!
ANDERSON (voice-over): Of all the connections that you've found, many explored the world of business.
ANGELLO PEREIRA, PUERTO RICAN: My name is Angello, I'm from Puerto Rico. And the good connection I have found between the UAE and Panama is that they both have free-trade economic centers, which make their main businesses through those centers.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Imad had an observation that's right up our alley. Both countries, he says, are connectors.
IMAD WAKE, LEBANESE: They both are hubs, transport hubs. Panama connects the north and the south of the continent, and Dubai is the meeting point for the Middle East and Asia.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Fahima points out that both countries are looking at building upwards.
FAHIMA KARMOSTAJI, FROM DUBAI: At the beginning of the year in January, we -- Dubai launched the tallest and operating the tallest building in the world, which is -- it used to be known as Burj Dubai, but now it's called Burj Khalifa. While I'm doing my research, I've heard that Panama and -- Panama City has Arabic hostels and lots of construction going on there right now.
ANDERSON (voice-over): For Asia Sher, two buildings in particular exemplify the connections.
ASIA SHER, PANAMANIAN: Architecturally, Dubai has the Burj Al Arab, and Panama City has the Trump Ocean Club that's under construction now, and they're both in the shape of sails.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Ken's found a link in the seas.
KEN NWANGWU: What I think is the biggest connection between the UAE and Panama is that there are still maritime activities, the shipping sector. Most of the vessels that are owned by UAE nationals or UAE-based companies are principally flagged with Panama, which is subject to Panamanian authority.
ANDERSON (voice-over): But the quirkiest one is a connection made in musical heaven.
STEVEN TERSTEGGE, AMERICAN: Just as David Hasselhoff is still really big in Germany, apparently, Lionel Richie is really big in UAE and Panama. He's seen to be practically "Dancing on the Ceiling" everywhere you look.
ANDERSON (voice-over): And how about an animal connection?
GUSTAVO CASTELLAN, VENEZUEALAN: Another connection between these two countries is that they have abundance of both green turtles and hawksbill turtles in their oceans.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Mauricio says it's all about the people, and they share a sense of journey.
MAURICIO MONTENEGRO, PANAMANIAN: My family from Umm Al-Quwain from my father's side. My mother's side comes from the Philippines and China. You can find connections to many, many kinds of cultures here in Panama. And the same you can say in the UAE.
BALBOA HIGH SCHOOL, PANAMA: And finally, there's a slogan in Panama. Panama's the heart of the universe, the bridge of the world. So there is no question that we are connected.
ANDERSON: So clearly, the biggest connection that you made dealt with trade. With that in mind, we brought together two men at the heart of the countries -- or their countries' respective free trade zone authorities, Oussama el Omari in the UAE, and Jose Domigo Arias from Panama.
I began by asking Jose how important the free trade zone has been for his country's economy.
JOSE DOMINGO ARIAS, PANAMANIAN VICE MINSTER FOR TRADE: In Latin America now, it's in very good shape. As a matter of fact, the region as a whole is increasing five percent their GDP this year. And Panama is the right moment at the right time.
Panama is a business hub, a business platform. Very trade-friendly. We have a long experience doing business with the region. And we are ready for it. We have a government pro-business, very good micro-economic grounds. Recently we just got an investment grade from Mody's Standard and Poor's, and Fitch.
ANDERSON: Some -- the Panamanian model, one assumes that the UAE looked to when it was building its own free-trade zones.
OUSSAMA EL OMARI, UAE FREE TRADE ZONE AUTHORITY: We all know that the free zone industry was born in South American, and mainly in Puerto Rico.
ANDERSON: In the UAE, of course, there's not one FTZ, or free-trade zone, but many. Do they stack up as the Panamanian Canal and the free- trade zone do when it comes to the percentage of duty paid that we just heard from Jose?
OMARI: Oh, yes. I would take one example. We have one free zone that is handing over $100 billion worth of trade volume and $50 billion export and $50 billion import.
ANDERSON: As we listen to the two of you speak, it makes me wonder why there aren't more free-trade zones around the world. It may seem like naive question, but I'm going to ask it. Jose, why?
ARIAS: Location, location, location. That's the key factor. Unless you have the finances, financial support, unless you have marketing in a reasonable area of influence, if you don't have the right location, you don't -- you cannot put the right assets, the right logistic assets at the same time at the same moment.
ANDERSON: Your unique selling point, of course, in the UAE is also something of competition, because you have such unique selling points, we know there are many free-trade zones in the area. How do you compete with each other?
OMARI: The UAE as a country has really succeeded in diversifying the type of free zones and really making them not competitive, rather, they care complementing each other.
ARIAS: I would like to clarify, and it's very important. A lot of countries are small and not big enough to develop a business trade with each country. That's why Panama is so important in the future of the export -- the growing of the export in the United States. Through Panama, you can do business with Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, all Central American and the Caribbean.
ANDERSON: All right, that rounds out this week's Global Connections. And we just wanted to say thank you so much for the hundreds and hundreds of submissions that you made over the past few weeks.
The religious traditions connecting Brazil and Nigeria, the royal ties linking Malaysia and Sweden, those are some of the past couple of weeks that we've dealt with. Now the trade imperatives shared by the UAE and Panama. Can't wait to see what you have for us next week.
And for a sneak preview of the two countries that we've chosen, do head to cnn.com/connections. You'll also see how you can take part in the discussion. Now, it comes down to you sharing with us your thoughts on what connects these places. And keep sending in those personal stories. The address again, cnn.com/globalconnections.
Tonight, we've got about 10, 15 minutes left. We'll be right back with our week-long look at languages around the world.
ANDERSON: All right. Well, it's Friday today, and all this week we've been looking at a theme which truly connects the world, languages.
On Monday, we were in the US, where linguists organizing gatherings like this one in an effort to save hundreds of languages just in New York. Those languages that are on the verge of extinction, sadly.
From there, we headed to China, for the Chinese learning Mandarin. Young kids like these may find it no big deal, but it seems the language can be all but impossible for some adults to learn.
Then we crossed to Lebanon, where a campaign is under way to keep Arabic on the agenda across the Middle East's multilingual landscape.
And on Thursday, a language revival in Israel, where Yiddish is making a comeback.
With nearly 7,000 languages spoken on the planet, you'd think that that would be enough, wouldn't you? But from efforts to create a common dialect to giving aliens something to say, new ones are being formed all the time. Phil Han takes a look for you now at how Hollywood can get us a little tongue-tied.
PHIL HAN, CNN DIGITAL PRODUCER (on camera): Take the popular "Star Trek" series, and the term "Klingon" naturally comes to mind. Thousands of people around the world are learning and literally speaking Klingon on a daily basis.
There's even a Klingon Language Institute that claims to have thousands of members in more than 45 countries around the globe. They offer language camps, how-to guides, and someone has even translated Shakespeare's very own "Hamlet" into Klingon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (speaking Klingon, through translator): To be, or not to be. That is the question.
HAN: And if you thought that wasn't odd enough, Klingon die-hards have even taken a stab at singing.
(SINGING IN KLINGON)
HAN: And earlier this year, the first-ever Klingon opera opened in the Netherlands. And its creators even sent a special message into space in the hopes the Klingon race would hear it.
But it's not just Trekkies that take a fancy to learning foreign languages. Many "Lord of the Rings" fans have also learned Elvish, based on the popular Elf characters, like Legolas and Arwen. There are dozens of how-to guides on YouTube, which have been viewed by tens of thousands of people, and even actress Liv Tyler still speaks it today.
(LIV TYLER speaking Elvish)
HAN: And of course, who can forget the biggest movie of all-time. The story of aliens on a distant planet who speak Navi, have grossed almost $2 billion at the box office and has brought with it a devoted legion of fans that love all things "Avatar"-related. James Cameron even hired a professor in linguistics to specially design the language to make it seem real. Comedian Conan O'Brien has even taken a stab at making fun of this made-up dialect.
CONAN O'BRIEN, COMEDIAN (speaking Navi, through translator): And it wasn't that hard to learn. Pretty cool, huh Andy?
ANDY RICHTER, COMEDIAN (speaking Navi, through translator): And I thought I was the only one who spoke Navi!
HAN: Saying "good-bye" in Klingon, "Qapla'."
ANDERSON: Well here's a connection you probably didn't see coming. Phil mentions Klingon as an example of an invented language. Well, Klingons, of course, characters in the "Star Trek" television series and movies. William Shatner starred for years in the lead role of Captain James T. Kirk, which brings us to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "Incubus")
MARC, PLAYED BY WILLIAM SHATNER (speaking in Esperanto, through translator): This water is sweet. I wonder if it's true that this water has healing powers.
(END VIDEO CLIP - "Incubus")
ANDERSON: Well, before commanding the USS Enterprise, Shatner starred in the horror movie "Incubus." It's one of the first movies done entirely in Esperanto.
Now, that language was invented in the late 1800s by an ophthalmologist born in what is now Poland. The idea was to borrow a bit from the most common languages spoken in Europe and boil it down to something that can be learned easily. It's estimated only about a thousand people speak Esperanto as their first language, and that anywhere from 10,000 to 2 million know it fluently.
Bottom line, you probably know as many people who speak Klingon as I do, or as do speak Esperanto, but this theme week of ours raises the question, why not simply have one language that we all use? Arika Okrent may have something to say about this. She's the author of "In the Land of Invented Languages."
And if James Cameron can do it, we can do it, too. We're bringing in our very own linguistic expert this evening. Your biography says that when you started studying artificial languages, you moved from initial feelings of what you described as pity and revulsion to a sense of fascination and affection. So, I guess what you were saying is you weren't smitten initially. Am I right in saying that?
ARIKA OKRENT, AUTHOR, "IN THE LAND OF INVENTED LANGUAGES": No, like anyone who studies language and loves languages, I looked at this idea of people inventing their own languages as silly and even a little bit insulting to natural languages.
And so I started looking through these pamphlets and books about these little language projects just initially to entertain myself, and I ended up being drawn into the stories of the people who invented these languages, and a whole hundreds of years of history of this urge to create languages.
ANDERSON: Arika, how long have we been inventing languages?
OKRENT: At least a thousand years. The earliest one we have a record of is from around 1150. Hildegard of Bingen, the celebrated German nun, invented her own language called Lingua Ignota.
ANDERSON: So, I'm told that not very many people speak Klingon, and those who do are a bit weird, really, I think. But quite a lot of people speak Esperanto. As many, as I'm told, as two million. Why don't we just have one language, and why isn't it Esperanto?
OKRENT: Well, the idea of one universal language implies one universal culture. People, when they have a language, and they live in different communities, it tends to split off into different ways of speaking that language. Why did Latin end up becoming all these different romance languages? You can't have a universal language without a universal culture or community.
But Esperanto does a pretty good job for people who are looking for a way to talk to each other on this sort of neutral ground language. They really use it, and they do everything that people do with natural languages.
ANDERSON: Do you speak Esperanto?
OKRENT: I have a passive --
OKRENT: Understand pretty much everything.
ANDERSON: We've talked this week about languages that are dying out, about why the use of English is so global, as it were, and about the language known these days, I guess, as "Globish," which is a language not spoken by native English speakers, but a language that people use to communicate in business lounges around the world, and about the revival of languages like Yiddish.
What's your sense of where languages go from here on in? We have 7,000 languages, many of which are dying out these days, of course.
OKRENT: Well, people -- it's hard to convince people to speak a language -- any language, a natural or invented -- for practical reasons. You can't say, "Here, learn this language, it'll do you good." The way to get people to learn languages has to do with what their tastes are, what they find interesting. And these languages like Klingon or Navi, people flock to them out of a sense of fun and wanting to do something interesting with language, and not necessarily because they have a practical purpose.
But the question of, how do you make people speak a language is one that is -- hasn't been answered very successfully.
ANDERSON: All right. So you speak passive Esperanto. You obviously speak English very fluently. Is there any other artificial language that we should know about that you speak that we might want to learn?
OKRENT: There are thousands of these, and there's new ones being born every day. And if you -- if there's any aspect of language you're interested in, you like romance languages, you can find an invented romance languages that has all the features that you like about romance languages. You like Finnish or you like Hungarian or exotic languages? You can find invented languages that take the features from those languages and do something interesting and experiment with them.
And these things can be a lot of fun and also lead you toward natural languages and endangered languages that don't have a lot of support or the people that are learning them.
ANDERSON: The supervising producer here, I know, will be tapping away tonight through his Google to find languages that none of us will have any idea about. He absolutely loves it. And we have enjoyed speaking to you. It's been a fantastic week, and closing it out for us tonight, your expert on the subject. Arika, thank you very much, indeed.
Be it real or imagined, we are connecting the world with language. Stay with us. We're going to be right back with your thoughts and comments on the week's biggest stories, as well as our special World in Pictures segment. Going through the lens for you this evening, after this.
ANDERSON: Before we go this evening, the power of the picture. Tonight we are going through the lens to look at how still image still has the power to make a lasting impression, define a moment, or even sway opinion. What does a picture say to you and, more to the point, what is a picture designed to say?
It was this manipulated image of President Barack Obama and Middle East leaders that got us thinking on this one. A state-owned Egyptian newspaper altered the photograph to suggest that it was President Hosni Mubarak that led the recent Middle East peace talks and not the US president. The political spin doctors here clearly well aware of just how powerful an image can be.
Then we have this photograph, provided by the UK Ministry of Defense. It shows Prince William in a position of control. The second in line to the throne has just completed his helicopter flying training for the Royal Air Force.
And the prince's grandmother isn't looking too happy in this one. Queen Elizabeth II is a picture of stern poise next to Pope Benedict, who appears a little ruffled. Let's see if we can bring this picture up. Can we? We're still -- there you go. Indeed, his visit here to the UK is mired in controversy. The pontiff still facing heavy criticism over the church's handling of the global sex abuse scandal.
And what are these two European leaders whispering about? Could it be illegal gypsy camps? The picture was released amid a "he said she said" spat between Germany and France after President Nicolas Sarkozy claimed Chancellor Angela Merkel told him at an EU meeting that Germany was also on the verge of expelling its Roma. It's a comment Mrs. Merkel has strongly denied making.
The power of the image in our World in Pictures this evening. That's it for the show. I'm Becky Anderson in London. That is your world connected this Friday. "BackStory" is next, right after this very quick check of the headlines for you.