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CONNECT THE WORLD

The Sentencing of A Terrorist; The Role of Drone Strikes in the Afghan War; Man's Best Friend Helps Stop Illegal Ivory Trade; How To Stop Bullying; India Has Plan to Fill Empty Stadiums at Commonwealth Games. When It Comes to Commonwealth Games Security, India Doesn't Monkey Around. What Food Says About Different Cultures Around the World. Zimbabwean Cricketer Henry Olonga Talks About Facing Treason Charges for Standing Up Against His Government. Parting Shots of London's Potential Future Due to Climate Change

Aired October 5, 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: Imprisoned for life -- a Manhattan court passes verdict on the man who tried to bomb New York City. But Feisal Shahzad remains defiant, calling on Muslims to terrorize Americans. Tonight, from Islamabad to Hamburg, London and New York, why terrorists seduces seemingly normal youth and what can be done to stop it.

Going beyond borders on the stories that matter on CNN, this is the hour we connect the world.

What is it that drives one of ours to commit acts of terror?

Well, stick around, this hour, a man who fought alongside Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan -- a man regarded so highly by the al Qaeda leader, he was asked to help plan the September 11th attacks. Noman Benotman has now renounced terror and is a critic of bin Laden. We're going to speak to him live.

I'm Becky Anderson in London.

Also tonight, investigating the illegal trade of ivory. You'll be amazed when you hear which cities are the biggest markets.

An empty seats at India's Commonwealth Games and how New Delhi has found a unique way to solve the problem.

Connect with the program online via Twitter. As ever, my personal address is atbeckycnn. Do log on and join the conversation.

Well, first up tonight, brace yourselves, because the war with Muslims has just begun -- that defiant statement from U.S. citizen, Feisal Shahzad, as he was sentenced Tuesday for attempting to bomb Times Square.

Well, tonight, we'll trace the routes of his militancy across continents. Firstly, let's get an update from Deborah Feyerick in New York -- Deborah.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, Feisal Shahzad, he never wavered. He remained steadfast in his choice of jihad or holy war. And as the judge sentenced him to spend the rest of his life in prison, he pointed to the ceiling, quietly explaining in Arabic, "God is great."

Now, the U.S. attorney for this part of Manhattan called him a remorseless terrorist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PREET BHARARA, U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, he's no longer a threat. The ongoing and important challenge for all of us is to make sure we get the next Shahzad before he does us real harm.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: Shahzad was allowed to address the court, really, in what amounted to a five minute political rant. And that's when he warned, quote, "brace yourself -- the war with Muslims has just begun." He entreated the court to, quote, "embrace Islam, become Muslims" and he justified his actions, saying the Koran gave Muslims the right to defend their people and defend their land.

Now, the judge interrupted him several times, corrected him on a couple of historical facts and said the reason she was sentencing him to life was because she wanted to send a message to anyone considering doing such an act. She gave him the maximum possible amount of time in prison and she said that he had shown a total lack of remorse and therefore, given the chance to do it again, he likely would. And that's why, she said, he belonged in prison. She said being in prison would him a lot of time to think about what the Koran really said about killing people -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating.

Deborah, we thank you for that.

Well, by his own accounts, Shahzad's main aim was to avenge U.S. drone attacks in, quote, "Muslim lands." Yet if anything, we've seen a significant increase in those attacks or those type of attacks, at least, in -- in Pakistan.

Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Frederik Pleitgen in Islamabad. And the U.S. has been stepping up its drone strikes here in this area. They say it's to combat Taliban and al Qaeda militants who are coming across the border into Afghanistan and endangering American soldiers there.

Now, it's no secret that these drone strikes are massively unpopular among the Pakistani population. The Pakistani government, of course, is saying that they're having a lot of trouble dealing with this and explaining to their population what is exactly going on here.

One thing, however, that's extremely unpopular and probably even more unpopular than the drone strikes are things like cross-border incursions like the one by an American helicopter that, of course, left three Pakistani soldiers dead.

Now, it's no secret that this is something that, in Pakistan, could radicalize people and has radicalized people in the past. And there's a lot of people here who, after a terror attacks, would say that the reason why this happened is for anti-American hatred. That's something we hear a lot.

I've covered wars in Iraq, in Afghanistan. In many cases, militants were giving the same reasons -- anti-American.

Now, on the other hand, we do have to note that the U.S. military keeps saying things like these drone strikes, what they're doing here in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan are absolutely necessary to their war efforts. They say these strikes are precise and necessary to keep militants from going across the border and endangering American forces in Afghanistan.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: All right, that is the story from Pakistan, then.

A recent report finds the face of terrorism in the United States is changing, with militants like Shahzad and other homegrown radicals becoming more and more of a threat.

Consider these other cases.

US Army Major Nidal Hasan is accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood. Witness say he opened fire at the Army base in November of 2009. His case is still going through the courts.

Well, then there's the plot that authorities called the most serious threat to the United States since September 11th. Najibullah Zazi, a Colorado resident, pleaded guilty earlier this year to collaborating with al Qaeda to bomb a New York subway.

And you may remember Jose Padilla, a convert to Islam who was born in Brooklyn. He was convicted of supporting Islamic terror overseas and sentenced to 17 years behind bars.

So how does this radicalization happen?

Is Western foreign policy really to blame?

Or is it, as some people would suggest, just an excuse?

Well, let's ask Noman Benotman, a former jihadist who was once close to al Qaeda, even to Osama bin Laden himself.

And just how close, out of interest?

NOMAN BENOTMAN, SENIOR ANALYST, QUILLIAM FOUNDATION: Sorry?

ANDERSON: How close to Osama bin Laden were you?

BENOTMAN: Not that close. We met each other many times, but not that close. You know, I used to be act -- based on the LIFG agenda.

ANDERSON: But you -- you did fight alongside of him in Afghanistan, am I right in saying that?

BENOTMAN: Yes, it's -- we -- we are acting in -- like in any jihadi group. Definitely there's cooperation. There's like -- we exchange like (INAUDIBLE), if you like, training, sometimes funding, logistic issues. It's -- of course, you know, it's during the whole period, you know, the jihad against the Soviet Union.

ANDERSON: all right, I -- I feel like you're maybe being slightly modest, to a certain extent, because back in 2000, you were opposed to the global jihad that he was planning, I know, in the United States at the time. And you had a chance to voice your opinions to him.

What did he say?

What happened?

BENOTMAN: Yes, but at the time, you know, the -- the summer of 2000 in Kandahar, I was -- I was clear. You know, it's the outcomes of the jihadi movement, it's a total failure, not at the global level only, but even like at the national level. Because, first of all, the jihadi movement, it starts as a national movement to establish an Islamic state in every single Middle Eastern country. This is the -- the -- the original plan, you know, before the al Qaeda and the (INAUDIBLE) take to the next level, which starts to be like a global jihad.

So I told them it's a total failure. And like we need to consider like other approaches or other, like, means to -- to -- to start to talk to the people. And for me and all of them, they agreed with me about like the jihadi movement failed to recruit people, to mobilize people.

ANDERSON: he didn't agree with you. And the rest is history, of course, because some months later, we saw the effects of his global jihad against the U.S., which, of course, was the 9/11 attacks.

Who is to blame, do you think, for the radicalization of youth a decade on from 9/11?

BENOTMAN: Well, I -- I think that there's many -- it's a very big question, you know, but we can make some like points about it. It's a very wide question. I think, first of all, I would like to be honest. You know, I think something has to do with the cultural itself, you know, in the Middle East. This is my understanding of this. And I have experienced like more than 22 years.

I think it has to do with the culture itself, the environment in the Middle East, because I would like to say here, the guys you mentioned, like Zazi or Shahzad or Nizal (ph), you know, all of them newcomers to the jihadi scene. And they are victims of their own thoughts, because they don't know exactly who set up the scene for them, who built the framework.

It seems -- we talk about 1 percent of the jihadi movement which are the leaders. The leaders, they don't care a lot about the international relations or whatever. And if you would like, to give you an example, with bin Laden and al-Zawahari, they used to fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. They were very happy about the U.S. support.

So here, international relations at the time, which was about more than 10 years, it was OK for them.

So it's something else here, which is like the ideological, religious agenda.

ANDERSON: well, that's important to understand. I mean you yourself were a part of a terrorist movement in Libya for -- for many, many years. And as we've suggested, you played your part in -- in what was a sort of jihad being waged against -- against the West, but not the global jihad, as we've suggested, that Osama bin Laden waged against the U.S.

We are talking here about the radicalization of just -- not just Muslim youth. I want our viewers to be clear about this -- of -- of youth of any ideology or -- or -- or faith.

What can be done in 2010 to stop this radicalization?

BENOTMAN: Well, as you mentioned, yes, a radicalization and some people, they believe, it's to be a radical, that means it's an ideology. And others, they believe it's a political attitude. I believe it's a mind set -- someone just preparing the software and then once it's been implemented in your mind, you will start to interpreting everything based on this like radical action or behave. This is exactly what the jihadi leaders and groups, they do. And they do it very good.

So I think to stop that. Here we have to fight, if I might say, in two fronts -- two fronts. The first one, it's too late now. We will have to counter this ideology. It's too late. You have to do that, which is the work of, I think, many special establishments and agents and think tanks, as well, and governments.

And the -- at the other front, I think democracy, it's very important here. That's why, when we talk about deradicalization as the, I think the -- the most effective weapon, if you like, we can use against radicalization, but it should be processed, not a program. It should be processed. When I say the process, it means including democratize -- democratizing Middle Eastern societies, you know. Democracy, it's a fairly, fairly important element here.

ANDERSON: that's fascinating.

I asked you earlier before this show, at its height, how big the group was that you were working with in...

BENOTMAN: Yes, right.

ANDERSON: -- in Libya. You said it was at its -- at its peak, about 1,000.

How many Shahzads are there around the world today in 2010?

How many Jose Padillas?

How many men and women are there, like you and I, who are radicalized and willing to wage terror?

BENOTMAN: Yes, let me first say, I think we have more radical than jihadists. But thank god, they are not active. They are not violent radicals. We should be aware of this. But we have a few jihadists. And if you think about people, they are willing to die and to kill themselves and take some people with them, you know, as they believe to the hell fire, because they're going to the paradise. This is what they've been told. I think we have a few hundred. Yes. They -- they're -- if they have a chance, they will have a second thought. They will do it. I'm -- I'm sure about this. And it's -- it's been proven now for -- for us.

but the problem is about the -- the people which have already been radicalized in their political view. Their, if I might say, the world view, the way how they -- they see the world, to understand the world, you know?

it's very, very radical. And if you put, on top of that, a religious element, it's really a deadly recipe, or (INAUDIBLE), if you like.

So it's -- it's a real problem. And if you ask me honestly, I -- I believe it will stay for a -- it will stay for -- with us, you know, at least for the 10 next year -- the next 10 years. We can't fool ourselves and say yes, OK, it's done. No. It's a problem. And it will face, I think, even the second generation, maybe, you know, to -- to be with it.

ANDERSON: and with that, we're going to have to leave it there.

we thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

Noman Benotman from the Quilliam Foundation these days, a think tank fighting terror.

BENOTMAN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

BENOTMAN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Coming up, the dangers facing elephants from the illegal ivory trade. Now people across the world can do their bit to help.

Plus, he's the cricketer who's not afraid to speak out. Henry Olonga answers your questions as your Connector of the Day.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

It's 15 minutes past 9:00 London time.

I'm Becky Anderson.

Well, they are one of the most peaceful animals on the planet, but elephants are also one of the most hunted. If the trade in illegal ivory is left unchecked, some scientists believe that most elephant populations could face extinction in just 10 years time.

But as David McKenzie discovered, man's best friend has now been brought in to help stop the trade in its tracks. A warning -- viewers may find some of these images in this report a little disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the bowels of Nairobi's international airport, Dixon (ph) and Vernon (ph) go to work, conducting a rapid sweep of departing passenger baggage. Dixon, a Kenyan bred German Shepherd, isn't sniffing out bombs or drugs, he's after elephant ivory and has become a bit of a legend here.

In August, Dixon discovered the mother lode -- a two ton haul of illegal ivory hidden in avocado crates in an airport warehouse. It was the biggest find in recent memory. Still, Dixon is a bit camera shy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My dog can just help me to know what's inside the bag without even opening it. So according to my training, I also assist my dog. We work as a team.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): And when you have to search through all of this, you need constant practice.

(on camera): Even with experienced dogs like Dixon, what the KWS does is take contraband ivory like this and places it into the bag. They then put the bag onto a conveyor belt to see if he can catch it.

(voice-over): Handler and dog work together, reading each other's subtle signs and moods. Today, they're on form.

Frank Keshe heads the unit. He's seen a rapid rise in seizures of ivory and blames Africa's increasing trade with Asia, where demand for ivory ornaments is highest -- with devastating effects. In the 1970s, there were more than a million elephants in Africa. Now, it's less than half that number.

FRANK KESHE, HEAD TRAINER, KWS K9 UNIT: What's -- what's -- good boy.

MCKENZIE: So the canine unit is training new dogs, like Trune (ph), to take on poachers. Keshe says dogs are ideal because unlike humans, you can't bribe or manipulate them to let the ivory pass.

KESHE: Dogs can find -- they are so much advanced. And -- and accurate, also.

MCKENZIE (on camera): So dogs are better than people?

KESHE: Dogs are better than people, I must say so.

Here, here, here, here.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): So after two years of training, Trune (ph), too, could become top dog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Haleeh (ph). Good boy.

MCKENZIE: David McKenzie, CNN, Nairobi, Kenya.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, the trade in ivory from African elephants was banned in 1989. But ivory from animals slaughtered before then can still be sold legally. Conservationists fear that allowing old ivory to be traded only helps fuel the demand for goods, leading to a rise in poaching. Well, that's the illegal ivory trade in Kenya.

Let's see how that story resonates globally, shall we?

Hong Kong is one of the biggest markets in the world, where ivory is sold on as art works and jewelry. China is also a key exporter and it's feared it could be behind the rise in illegal ivory.

Outside of China, the U.S. is a major destination, in particular, New York City. A recent report found that half the ivory being sold in cities such as Los Angeles may have been imported illegally.

In Europe, Germany is the biggest market for ivory products. The town of Michelstadt alone was found to have more ivory for sale than any town or city in East Asia, except Hong Kong.

So, how can we do our bit to stop the trade in illegal ivory?

Well, Mark Jones is from the charity, Care for the Wild International and joins us tonight in the studio.

Firstly, how big is this industry?

MARK JONES, CARE FOR THE WILD INTERNATIONAL: It's huge. As -- as you said in your preamble, back in the late 1970s, there was something like million elephants roaming in -- in Africa. But because of ivory poaching over the following 10 years, until the Santese (ph) trade ban came into force in 1999, that number was halved by the effects of poaching. And poaching continues today.

So currently, the populations of elephants in Africa are something below 500,000.

ANDERSON: Right. So we're talking about tons and tons and tons of illegal ivory tusk from elephants.

Who's in control of this market?

JONES: Well, the market is huge. We don't know exactly how big it is, but to give you an example, to put it -- put it in perspective, last year, something over 30 tons of elephant tusks were seized as they were being transported through ports or airports. And that probably represents only a small proportion of the total ivory -- illegal ivory in trade, maybe 10 or 20 percent. So the total ivory in illegal trade may be as high as 150 or 200 tons or more.

ANDERSON: Who runs this industry?

JONES: It's -- like a lot of high value wildlife products, it's increasingly coming under the control of very sophisticated, very well funded, very well resourced criminal syndicates. And this is making it increasingly difficult for beleaguered wildlife authorities in Africa and in Asian countries to -- to keep up with the illegal trade.

ANDERSON: All right, well, we know where the markets are. I explained that. And people may be surprised to hear a place like New York City in the United States, a big market. We know the demand is there for it. The problem is there's a consumer out there who -- who may be con -- confused as to what is legal and what isn't.

Why is that?

JONES: Well, the ivory trade is complex. And part of the reason it's so complex is because there is a thriving legal trade in ivory products. Again, you alluded it -- to it in your introduction. So some antique products can still be legally traded, some products that were derived from ivory that was taken before the 1999 trade ban can be traded.

And there's a -- a huge trade and a surprisingly big trade in mammoth ivory coming out of -- principally out of Russia.

ANDERSON: Yes.

JONES: Some 60 tons a year are being exported mainly to Hong Kong. So there's a lot of legal ivory products out there on the market. And they can be used to -- to launder or mask some of the illegal products that are derived from poached ivory.

ANDERSON: Does a fan of mammoth ivory -- and I was surprised to even hear that that existed -- but a fan of mammoth ivory, generally coming out of the -- out of Russia, a fan like Michelle Obama, for example, help or hinder this debate?

JONES: Well, we would argue that it hinders the -- the debate because Michelle Obama is -- is a fashion icon for many, many people. She's obviously been featured wearing -- I think it was a necklace made from mammoth ivory...

ANDERSON: (INAUDIBLE).

JONES: That's right. And it's argued that anything that increases interest in ivory products, from whatever source, has the potential to incentivize the poaching of elephants.

ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff.

Mark, we thank you very much indeed...

JONES: Thank you.

ANDERSON: -- for joining us this evening.

Connecting the world here on CNN.

Coming up next, how to stop a bully -- we've got advice for parents trying to protect their kids -- or your kids out there, as long as our week long series on bullying continues. That is right after this very short break. Do stay with us for that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, all this week on the show, CONNECT THE WORLD, we are taking an in-depth look at the problem -- the very terrible problem of bullying all over the world. Some people do treat it as a normal part of growth up. But for others, it can have tragic and lifelong consequences. And the struggle that many parents face is how to intervene between a victim and a bully without making the situation worse may resonate with you.

CNN's Carol Costello now reports there's no simple solution. But some schools are -- just are trying to help.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At Oklahoma City's Western Heights High School, students are pledging to protect the bullied. It's especially important to Susan Lay. She knows how bullying feels.

(on camera): Is it worse with words, do you think?

SUZAN LE, OKLAHOMA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: I think it is because when I was little, like, people always said I was, like, really ugly. And it -- I never knew it affected me so much. And like, people would ask if I was a boy or a girl. And I was hurt. I never wanted that to happen, and, like, it lowered my self esteem really bad. And I never wanted to go to school.

COSTELLO: So I see it hurts you. I see it hurts you so much.

But you know you're beautiful, right?

Yes.

(voice-over): It's the kind of pain that affects so many children. One in three kids are bullied or bully every year.

So how do you stop it?

RACHEL SIMMONS, AUTHOR "ODD GIRL OUT": We have to take it seriously.

COSTELLO: Rachel Simmons wrote "Odd Girl Out." She's an expert on bullying.

SIMMONS: The way an adult intervenes is just as the fact that they're intervening at all.

COSTELLO: A good first step -- calm down.

SIMMONS: Don't communicate with anyone, another child or the school, until you are calm and able to have a respectful conversation, because it's very easy to get marginalized as a crazy parent in a school.

COSTELLO: Next, document how your child is being bullied and then ask your child what he or she wants you to do.

SIMMONS: Remember, you are not the one who has to walk back into that school for eight hours a day. And you may want to do solution A, but if you do that solution, your child may be mercilessly retaliated against.

COSTELLO: Simmons say bullies are often popular, socially skilled kids who can enlist an army of bullies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kids who are being bullied don't always tell you about it.

COSTELLO: Marisa Velasco, who is also participating in Western Heights anti-bullying campaign, knows exactly what Simmons is talking about. In junior high school, she was a bully.

Why?

MARISA VELASCO, OKLAHOMA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: I don't really know if there was a real reason. It was just that easy target, I guess.

COSTELLO (on camera): Is it because other kids making fun of those kids, too?

VELASCO: Yes. There was a lot of others also bullying.

COSTELLO: So it's sort of like a mob mentality?

VELASCO: Yes.

COSTELLO: When you were calling people names, did it make you feel better?

VELASCO: It's not that it made me feel better, it's that I knew they felt worse.

COSTELLO: Which brings us to how bullies ought to be stopped -- don't humiliate them.

SIMMONS: If you humiliate a bully publicly, you are much more likely to see retaliation. If you sit down with a child and say, this is what I'm seeing. It's not acceptable. I know you're capable of more. And if it happens again, these are consequences.

COSTELLO: Susan Leigh and Marissa Velasco certainly know the consequences. They're hoping to make this school year bully-free.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, if you've got school aged kids or you remember when you were at school yourself, you'll know that bullying exists virtually everywhere around the world. According to the United Nations Girls Education Initiative, in most places, boys are more likely than girls to be both victims and bullies. But in Japan, apparently the opposite is true. The same study indicates that bullying is a particular problem in Africa. In Kenya, as many as 80 percent of students say that they have been bullied.

In Bolivia, students report similar instances of bullying, about 80 percent of the kids there say they've been affected by it.

And in El Salvador, for example, students report taking matters into their own hands, 20 percent -- one in five -- say they often bring a wooden bat to school for protection.

Well, a wooden bat may not be the ideal solution, but it's natural for kids to want to defend themselves, isn't it?

Tomorrow on the morning, we're going to show you a new bullying or a bully-proofing course that helps kids avoid conflict by teaching them confidence and a few quick moves.

That is tomorrow at this time on CONNECT THE WORLD.

Tonight, we'll be right back with your world news headlines.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: A very warm welcome back. You're with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson in London. Coming up for this evening, India deploys special security forces to crack down on monkey business at the Commonwealth Games.

Also, you are what you eat. So what does your food say about your culture? We're going to take a culinary trip for you around the world.

And then, "Blood, Sweat, and Treason." The title of his autobiography speaks volumes about his life on and off the field. Cricketer Henry Olonga answers your questions tonight as your Connector of the Day.

Those stories coming up in the next 30 minutes. First, let's get you a very quick check of the headlines this hour here on CNN.

French national police say they've arrested 12 people during terror raids in the southern part of the country. Three of them reportedly have ties to a French al Qaeda suspect. Police in Marseille say the nine other suspects are accused of trying to obtain weapons and ammo.

A man who admitted trying to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square has been sentenced to life in prison. Prosecutors say Faisal Shahzad planned to detonate a second bomb if the first had worked.

Hungary has declared a state of emergency in three western counties because of a kind of mud that spilled that's so toxic it can cause chemical burns. The red sludge has killed four people, including two kids.

It's the second day of action at the Commonwealth Games in India, and the host nation was the first to successfully go for gold. Abhinav Bindra and his partner, Gagan Narang clinched the top spot in the men's air rifle pairs, taking home India's first gold of the Games. The country's second followed moments later in the women's 25 meter pistol pairs.

Anna Meares led an Australian clean sweep of the three gold medals up for grabs on the first day of cycling, while Australia's Leiston Pickett kept up the winning streak with a podium position in the women's 50 meter breaststroke.

The pool was where England picked up their first two gold medals of the Games, with Liam Tancock and Fran Halsall swimming to victory. And South Africa's Natalie Du Toit shown through to pick the women's 50 meter freestyle gold.

In the men's weightlifting, Malaysia won big, with their powerful lifts securing the top two podium positions. So, at the end of day two, Australia's 21 medals see them comfortably take the lead, while England and India are in second and third place.

Well, the athletes may be putting on their best performances, but some have been forced to compete with just their teammates for company. Near- empty stadiums have plagued the Commonwealth Games since the start. But now, organizing committees have a plan to fill those seats, apparently. Sara Sidner has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Even as India racks up gold medals in the Commonwealth Games, so far, spectators aren't showing up to the actual venues to watch the Games. You can see that in the number of empty seats in the stadiums, and there have been many sports that have started to compete and lots of medals already handed out. But Commonwealth Games Federation officials say they are concerned with the low turnout.

So the Indian organizers for the Commonwealth Games, namely the head, Suresh Kalmadi, says that he is working on a plan to try and fix that. One of the things he's planning to do, to try to bus school children in to watch some of these games.

But he also mentioned something else that has raised eyebrows.

SURESH KALMADI, ORGANIZING COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The children from schools, already steps have been taken in that direction. And also, from the low level of society, also we are distributing lower tickets. That, we're doing that.

SIDNER: By "lower levels of society," most people assume that he meant people who could not afford the tickets, which range from 50 rupees to 1,000 rupees, which is about $1 to about $20.

Now, let's put all of this in context, as far as the number of spectators who have shown up to the venues to watch these games in person. Basically, as far as India is concerned, cricket is king, and cricket is not a game that's played in the Commonwealth Games sports. So, you have a lot fewer people actually interested in going to watch some of these games.

Because basically, here, you can get thousands of people to come out for a cricket game, but it's very difficult to get them to come out for other sports. That's just how it is right now. And athletes are hoping that these Games would sort of get people into some other sports and get them watching. So far, that hasn't happened.

As for visitors, as for people from outside the country coming in, we just haven't seen large numbers of visitors for these Games, either. A bit of a disappointment for travel agents on that end.

But right now, I think a lot of people are kind of waiting and watching to see if some of the other sports, as they begin and as more and more medals are handed out, that people might become interested and head to the Games. We still have more than a week left. Sara Sidner, CNN, Delhi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Sara mentioned cricket never fails to draw the crowds in India, and today's nail-biting showdown was no exception. Fans couldn't believe their eyes as India fought back from the brink of defeat to beat Australia by one wicket in the first test in Mohali. No signs of empty seats there, as you can see.

But despite the lack of spectators, the Commonwealth Games have so far passed off relatively smoothly. And as Sara Sidner reports, it seems India is determined to deal with any troublemakers, whether they are human or not.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SIDNER (voice-over): These are some of the 100,000 security forces on patrol in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games. It's not just the guys in khaki, but the guys in fur, too. Chotu, Mangu, and Pinki are three of the ten ruffians dedicated to cracking down on any monkey business around the stadiums.

Their job? To keep the tirelessly mischievous wild rhesus macaque monkeys away from people. Macaques are just doing what wild monkeys do, searching for food and a bit of fun. But in a big, busy city, they can't help but have run-ins with people. They snatch their food, chase them, and sometimes, they bite.

PROMOD KUMAR, LANGUR TRAINER (through translator): "In order for our foreign visitors not to have problems, so the monkeys don't bite them, we have langurs," he says, "so the other monkeys stay away from stadiums and don't bother any of the foreigners."

SIDNER (voice-over): Langur trainer Promod Kumar says it takes two years to train his workers to jump on the transportation provided. He says one of his large primates can scare off dozens of macaques.

SIDNER (on camera): These monkeys aren't just used for the Commonwealth Games, but the government hires these guys every day to make sure there's no trouble at government offices.

KUMAR (through translator): "They're also being used in government buildings because monkeys go in and rip apart files," he says.

SIDNER (voice-over): Private home and building owners hire them, too. Even when there are no Games, there are 28 langurs on duty in this city.

One of India's leading primatologists says using the langurs to scare away the macaques is not a long-term solution to a real problem because the wild monkeys just move elsewhere for a while. Animal rights groups question using langurs for labor. Handlers, though, say they treat the langurs like family. And in turn, these furry security guards leap into action when duty calls. Sara Sidner, CNN, Delhi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: We are serving up something to tickle your taste buds next. From a Cuban pork feast to an artistic Japanese sushi meal. Up next, one of the best connections out there, what food can tell us about different cultures around the world. That's next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN at 40 minutes past nine in London. I'm Becky Anderson for you.

Now, what we eat reveals a lot about our country and our culture. So, we sent out four of our reporters to hit their local restaurants and to tuck in for you. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Ooh, excellent.

You really can't get a more typical Cuban meal than this one. I'm Shasta Darlington in Havana, and we have an enormous leg of pork, we've got yuca with garlic sauce and fried plantains. Rice and beans, which are called "congri" here. And, well, it's a feast.

And all of this is produced in Cuba, but not so much because Cubans are concerned about eating local. It's because it's so much cheaper than importing food. Cuba, like so many countries, is in the middle of an economic crisis. So deep, in fact, that the government has declared that slashing imports is a matter of national security.

Now, a lot of Cubans prefer beef, but they really can't afford it. It's expensive here, which is why pork has become sort of the national dish. It's cheap and it's everywhere. In fact, a lot of people raise their own pigs. My neighbor, for example, here in Havana, has a pig in his backyard. I've been to an apartment where they were raising a pig in the bathroom.

As you can see, the portions in popular restaurants, like this one, are big, verging on huge. But at the end of the meal, you'll see that most of the plates are pretty clean. And this is due to a kind of post-war mentality that grew out of the last economic crisis in Cuba in the 1990s, when protein was scarce and often people didn't know when they'd get their next meal. So they ate what food they have.

KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I'm not proud of this, but as a Chicago-bred American, I like food. And the more, the better, whether it be jumbo-sized hot dogs or personal pan cookie desserts -- topped with ice cream, of course. In America, when it comes to food, size matters.

Not so much in Japan. This is a classic Japanese dinner, sushi. What is valued here -- it is beautifully presented, made with fresh, natural ingredients. And you may notice, it is much smaller than the American dinner out.

When I first moved here, I would eat all this and say, "That was a delicious appetizer." So, it's taken some adjusting. There's a saying her in Japan, that you eat from the eyes. Beauty is appreciated. Fresh, locally-produced food. People here grocery shop almost every, single day, so very little is processed food. And, for your health, you don't stuff yourself. You only eat until you're about 80 percent full. And as far as dessert? Two pieces of fruit. That's what they offer.

Food here, though, is much more expensive than in the United States. All of this costs about $26, and this is all before the sake. Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo. You've got to come up.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I'm David McKenzie in Nairobi, Kenya. In Kenya, the butchery and the restaurant are often in the same place. And if you want an evening meal, you do it a bit like this.

How's it going? Could I have one kilo choma buzi (ph)? All right. So you're going to now cut our meat to get our food.

So this is just over a kilogram of goat. That's just over two pounds. So on the surface of it, portions in Kenya are pretty big. Take the ribs, throw it on the fire, like that. Grab a fistful of salt, nyama choma.

So the food has arrived. The goat you just saw there. Basically, this is like a Kenyan meal. And when I first arrived here, I was quite surprised at the scale of the food here. You've got the goat here, you've got the maize meal over here. The sukuma wiki, which is basically like local spinach. You've got the roasted potatoes and the tomato, which is called kachumbari.

The catch is, in the US, you often eat on your own in a small group. But this is all shared with a big group of people. Enjoy.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I'm Akita Shubert at Chillies restaurant in London's Brick Lane. And this is chicken tikka masala, said to be Britain's most popular dish. Now, according to local food lore, this south Asian classic was actually invented here in Britain.

Now, London is still one of the most expensive cities in the world to eat in. Dinner for two can easily cost upwards of $100. That may be why Londoners aren't eating out as much anymore. Since the recession, Londoners now eat out only about twice a week. Compare that to New York, three times a week, and Los Angeles, almost four times a week.

And it also explains, perhaps, the popularity of chicken tikka masala. Value for money. You can get all of this, pretty decent portion size, for under $10. And you can enjoy it all in the comfort of your own home.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: You'd have thought we'd gone to India for that but, in fact, the food on Brick Lane in London is absolutely amazing Indian food. So what is your favorite meal? That is the question on our blog, and lots of you are sharing your love of food with us. You've even sent in some snaps of your culinary creations yourselves.

This looks rather tasty. Brian Kwan (ph) from Seoul sent us this photo of salmon and crab roll sushi.

Carine Bernard (ph) from Paris has given us a real insight into here kitchen. Here's some of her favorite foods. This is what my -- she calls "my Caesar salad." And this one, pasta with garlic shrimp.

Lots of you have written to is. Jose Bonilla says his favorite food is spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and hot peppers. And a glass of Lambrusco, red wine from "my dear Parma." Sounds good to me.

Wayne writes, "My favorite meal? That's easy, a dozen lobsters and a case of cold beer."

Vincent Terry says, "I love Peruvian ceviche." That's a seafood dish marinated in lime juice.

Blogger Dinahcat has a sweet tooth. "To die for double chocolate and walnut brownies," she says. I'm getting hungry now.

Wu fancies a triple chili cheeseburger with extra fat cheese. Not so good on the waistline, sir.

Phil writing to us. "I've got a Brazilian traditional dish called feijoada, which is stew of pork, beef, and black beans, and a caipirinha, that's the country's national cocktail." All sounds good, doesn't it?

Get involved. Tell us what tickles your taste buds, send in your photos. Head to cnn.com/connect.

Now, you saw David McKenzie's piece out of Kenya a moment ago. Up next on "BackStory," he shares with us the secrets of barbecuing there, and why you don't need potholders or even barbecue sauce. That's "BackStory," coming up in 15 minutes with Mr. Michael Holmes.

When the world of sport collides with politics. Up next on CONNECT THE WORLD, the Zimbabwean cricketer who risked his life to take a stand. Your Connector of the Day today is Henry Olonga, answering your questions. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): He was the youngest and first ever black man to play cricket for Zimbabwe. At just 18, Henry Olonga made his international debut against Pakistan in 1995 and led his country to its first ever test victory.

But everything changed for Olonga during the 2003 World Cup, after he took part in a high profile protest against Robert Mugabe's government. That led to accusations of treason, and he says, in the end, taking a stand forced him to flee his country.

During his career, Henry Olonga took almost 70 test wickets. Today, the sport continues to play a major role in Olonga's life. He's a member of Lashings, an all-star team made up of retired professionals from around the cricketing world.

But cricket isn't his only forte. In fact, many, including the team here on CONNECT THE WORLD are simply bowled over by his voice.

A performer on and off the field, Zimbabwean cricketer Henry Olonga is your Connector of the Day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: How about that? The former Zimbabwean international's got a book out at the moment. "Blood, Sweat, and Treason" is about Henry Olonga's battle to reach the top as a black cricketer and how he sacrificed his position to try to make a difference. I did catch up with him recently, and I kicked off by asking about what was an extremely difficult time in his life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HENRY OLONGA, FIRST BLACK CRICKETER TO PLAY FOR ZIMBABWE: Maybe five years prior to my retirement from cricket, I just started to get bugged about some of the things that were happening in my country. And that's a long story, I might get into that.

But either way, I came to a place where I wanted to speak out, and myself and Andrew Flower. And really, it was almost his initiation that got me to do the protest with him. Decided we wanted to protest against some of the things that were happening in the country. Ostensibly, we called it the death of democracy. We wore black arm bands in a statement.

And my life changed. I had to leave the country because of death threats, and I got dropped from the team, and eventually took refuge here in England.

ANDERSON: Question from one of our viewers. Tapiwa Nyarambi from South Africa says, "What is your opinion of the state of cricket since you left the Zimbabwean team, and what do you think can be done to improve it?"

OLONGA: Well, thankfully, the state of cricket in Zimbabwe's very healthy. Clearly, there were some problems that happened after they got rid of those players. They called them rebel players, they were led by Heath Streak. And 14 players who are experienced in test cricket and won the international cricket being lost from your national game is a huge number.

So, understandably, Zimbabwe's performance has dipped, and we weren't competitive. We were losing test matches in three or so days. And as a result, we withdrew ourselves from playing test cricket.

Then came a phase of rebuilding. They bloodied these youngsters who were, some of them 19, 20 at the time. And over the last three or four years, they've actually started to play very competitive cricket, to the extent that they've even beaten Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India very recently as well.

So they're playing very good cricket. I'm very optimistic about the future of the country, but they're still not playing test cricket, which is what they're campaigning for now.

ANDERSON: And you've been calling for a renewal of cricketing ties with other nations, I know.

OLONGA: I have done, because the winds of change have blown through Zimbabwe. It's a little bit like South Africa when they -- when Nelson Mandela was released, what, in 1990. But true democracy didn't come until 94, if my history's correct.

But I remember watching South Africa playing in the 92 World Cup. So people were starting to recognize that the apartheid regime era was falling apart, and that it was a time to reengage with South Africa, and everyone's very proud of their rugby team and cricket team now, because they're performing very well on the world stage.

And we're saying the same thing for Zimbabwe. Look. Yes, it's not a perfect situation in Zimbabwe. The politics of the country are not the way we'd like them to be. But there's signs that things are changing.

ANDERSON: You haven't been able to go back to Zimbabwe since you left. Jurgen asks, "What is your opinion of Robert Mugabe now?"

OLONGA: Well, it hasn't changed over the last few years. I think I've been a critic, I -- and the ammunition for that is human rights abuses that I've mentioned that happened in the early 80s, the corruption that's been allowed to be running rampant in very many government institutions. Big problem in Zimbabwe.

The controversial land grab. Obviously, some people have varying opinions on that. My opinion is that I don't think it was in the best interests of the country.

And just the fact that the government seems to be in place for people serve -- self-serving interests. I just -- I know there's some good politicians out there, but they haven't been given a chance to rise up.

ANDERSON: Do you ever plan on returning to the game of cricket?

OLONGA: No. Not as a professional international cricketer. I've -- I'm still playing cricket to a small degree. I'm 34 now, so I think I'm past -- I'm over the hill now.

(LAUGHTER)

OLONGA: But I've played for a club called Lashings, who travel around the country. If you're heard of the Harlem Globetrotters, who are basketball's sort of exhibition team, we are cricket's exhibition team. And we go around playing against schools and village cricket teams that we're guaranteed to beat, because most of us are over the hill.

(LAUGHTER)

OLONGA: So we pick our opposition carefully.

ANDERSON: And aside from that, what are you up to?

OLONGA: Well, I'm into music. It's one of my passions, always has been. I sing, I don't play any instruments. I sing. And a lot of people would be surprised to find that I sing opera and classical music. As a party trick, not as my forte.

But I've got varying tastes in that side of the world. But I've also got an interest in art. I paint. And videography as well. But for the most part, I'm also doing public speaking. So there's all sorts of things that have taken over my life now.

ANDERSON: It's a party trick, but I want you to do it, because a little bird told me before you came on that your voice is absolutely unbelievable, so go on.

OLONGA: You can't be serious.

ANDERSON: No, go on.

OLONGA: Not in the studio.

ANDERSON: I want you to. Go on.

OLONGA: Are you serious?

ANDERSON: I am serious. Go on.

OLONGA: OK --

ANDERSON: Take your time.

OLONGA: I haven't even warmed up. I --

ANDERSON: Fine, that's also fine.

OLONGA: OK.

(SINGS IN ITALIAN)

OLONGA: I think that's enough.

(LAUGHTER)

OLONGA: It was your idea anyway.

ANDERSON: Very good. I see a big smile from the cameraman. Thank you for --

OLONGA: I wasn't going to go on.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Henry Olonga for you. Bless him.

Tomorrow, what it feels like to be held hostage in the Colombian jungle for six years and overcome an emotional. Ingrid Betancourt, seen here after she was freed by military commandos in July 2008. We'll hear about her time in captivity and what life is like now when Ingrid joins us as your Connector of the Day. That is Wednesday.

Head to the website, see where you can find out how you get in touch with these Connectors, send us your questions. Remember to tell us where you're writing in from. It's your part of the show, cnn.com/connect.

Tonight, we'll have a couple of minutes left. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Just time for your Parting Shots this evening, which tonight focus on climate change. Some extraordinary pictures for you this evening. Just take a look at this. Refugee shanty towns take up every inch leading up to the gates surrounding Buckingham Palace in London.

How about this? The capital underwater after a spring tide breaks the River Thames barrier. These images are how a new London exhibition depicts the future of the capital in a world transformed by climate change.

Here, horses, traditionally on show at Horse Guards Parade have been replaced by camels, who can withstand the heat better.

A new nuclear power site just a stone's throw away from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew as nuclear power becomes a popular alternative to fossil fuels.

And how about this for our very final Parting Shot? Not for two centuries have Londoners been able to ice skate on the Thames, but with the onset of a mini Ice Age, people flock to the riverbank with their skates. Just think about it.

I'm Becky Anderson, and those are your parting shots, and that is your world connected this evening. "BackStory" is up next right after a very quick check of the headlines for you.

French national police say they've arrested 12 people during terror raids in the southern part of the country. Three of them reportedly have ties to a French al Qaeda suspect. Police in Marseilles say the nine other suspects are accused of trying to obtain weapons and ammo.

END