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CONNECT THE WORLD

Change is Coming to Washington; Germany on High Alert; Ugandan Blogger Speaks Out

Aired November 2, 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: America is voting, with the balance of power in both houses up for grabs. But if you're in China, watch for how a new Congress would deal with you. And wherever you're watching, if you care about the war on terror, the election results could be crucial for how it's fought.

Going beyond borders on the day's biggest stories on CNN, this is the hour we connect the world.

Well, in just 60 minutes, the first polls will close in the United States.

I'm Becky Anderson with a look at who's in line to win and how a changing political dynamic will affect the way the superpower deals with the world.

Also tonight...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: It's good to be here. Thank you. Whoo, Nevada.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: -- a nationwide phenomenon gets its first real test.

But will it help or hinder America's right-wing?

Who and what is the Tea Party?

We'll speak with the head of their New York chapter.

A package containing a bomb is delivered to Angela Merkel's office, sparking a massive security operation. This hour, we'll explain how it got there.

We've been connecting the dots online. Keep your comments coming @beckycnn on Twitter.

And tonight, your questions to the singer, Nelly Furtado. She's your Connector of the Day. It's a packed show for you.

Let's get on with it.

Some call it the year of the angry voter. Americans are casting ballots right now in elections expected to shake up the balance of power.

As Jonathan Mann now shows us, whatever the final numbers, it's clear that change is coming to Washington once again.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JONATHAN MANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're midway through President Obama's term and these are mid-term elections for Washington's other big jobs and in state governments across the country, as well.

But let's start with the car crash that we could all see coming and that's in the Congress, the House of Representatives.

Right now, the Democrats have a clear majority in the House. They have 256 seats. The Republicans have 179. If the Republicans can pick up about 40 seats, they'll win control of the House of Representatives. And that seems virtually certain.

We're going to see probably more than 40 seats change hands. According to pollsters, we might see 50 or even more.

Now, in the Senate, a very different kind of story. The Senate is a much smaller house and it has just 100 seats. Not all of those seats, though, are facing reelection. The Senate actually has rotating elections. Only a third of the Senate seeks reelection at any given time. The senators serve six year terms with reelection every two years.

It's kind of confusing, but the bottom line is only a third of the Senate is facing an election now.

Going into the election, there were 59 Democrats in the Senate. There were 41 Republicans. That means the Republicans have to pick up just 10 seats to get control of the Senate. They are expected to pick up a few, but that is the number to watch tonight.

That is the -- is the race to watch, really. It's all about the Senate and whether it switches, too. If the Republicans pick up double digits there, it's not just a defeat for the Democrats, it's a debacle -- back to you.

ANDERSON: All right, John.

Thanks for that.

Well, President Barack Obama isn't on the ballot tonight, but the elections are considered a referendum on his policies, at least in part.

So what exactly is at stake with a potential change in the American Congress?

And who better to answer that question than CNN political contributor, Bill Schneider.

Sir, good to have you with us.

So, indeed, what is at stake at this point?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: The future of the Obama agenda. The -- the -- Americans are likely to vote for divided government -- a Republican House, at least, and a Democratic president. When they do that, they expect them to compromise. They're hoping that Obama will moderate his program, move to the center and that Republicans will do the same thing.

But what they could end up if -- with is gridlock. One thing we know, we're going to have a great experiment. Americans want to see an economic recovery, but there's not going to be any more stimulus spending with a Republican Congress.

So can we have a recovery without government really pushing it?

ANDERSON: Yes.

SCHNEIDER: That's a big test.

ANDERSON: Bill, how did we get here?

I mean he was elected on a platform of change. What we look as if we're going to get, at the end of these mid-terms, is change, again. You know, it was all about "yes, we can." Now it's "yes, we probably can."

We happened?

SCHNEIDER: Yes. Well, "yes, we can," to most people, meant we can improve the economy, we can make things better. That's what people voted for when they voted for change. And the view right now among most American voters is the government hasn't delivered. The Democratic Congress, the Democratic president have not delivered.

The economy is still poor. They claim that it would have been worse without the Democrats' platform. But it's awfully hard to rally voters around a banner that says it could have been worse.

So I think they're voting for change now again because they're exasperated.

Also, of course, the Obama program has set off a real rebellion in the Tea Party movement, which is the base -- the conservative base of the Republican Party. They look at his agenda and they see creeping socialism, a left-wing movement. And so they're erupting in fury. This is a fundamentalist movement among conservative activists.

ANDERSON: Yes. More on that a little later this hour.

Bill Schneider, always a pleasure.

We thank you very much, indeed, for that.

So, as many of us around the world watch and wait for these results, we want you to see how what happens tonight in the States could affect things where you live, from Pakistan to the Middle East, the election could have a significant impact.

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Reza Sayah in Islamabad.

If Republicans win the majority in the U.S. Congress, Pakistan may have a tougher time getting billions of dollars in U.S. aid. Both Democrats and Republicans agree, Pakistan is Washington's most important ally in the fight against extremists. That's why Congress has approved billions of dollars in both military and non-military aid for Pakistan.

But in recent months, Republican lawmakers have expressed concern over Pakistan's commitment in the fight against militancy and they've suggested tougher conditions for Pakistan to get all that U.S. funding.

For the most part, President Obama has eased off conditions for Pakistan to get funding. But if Republicans take over Congress, look for them to put pressure on President Obama to get more out of Pakistan in return for billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars.

STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Stan Grant in Beijing. We're a long way from the United States, but China is front and center as the mid- term elections -- or should I rather say, right in the middle. Television ads have been running here accusing both left and right of pandering to China, allowing China's rise to threaten the United States.

Political figures of all persuasions are calling on China to revalue its currency, to open its markets, to level the trade playing field.

But while there's political change brewing in the United States, political change also looming here in China. Within the next two years, there will be change at the top. One thing is for certain, when it comes to China issues, China will always come first.

KEVIN FLOWER, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: I'm Kevin Flower in Jerusalem, where the outcome of mid-term elections in the United States is being watched closely by both Israelis and Palestinians. And, of course there is great speculation here on what the election results could mean to the stalled peace process that the Obama administration helped restart two months ago.

Palestinian officials have indicated that they are hoping that the White House is able to stem expected losses in the House and Senate so President Obama will have a freer hand to put pressure on Israel to make concessions on issues like freezing settlement construction in the West Bank.

For its part, the Israeli government is not expecting any major shift in American policy. One Israeli official told us that a Republican majority in Congress might have, quote, "marginally more influence on issues that related to Israel, but they were not expecting a major change in the administration's approach to the peace process.

ANDERSON: All right, just a sampling there of how these elections could affect foreign affairs.

For more now on the global impact, we're joined by Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House, the think tank here in London, a regular guest on the show.

And we thank you, as ever, for coming in.

Let's just reflect on -- on what we've done so far.

We've looked at the potential change in the balance of power and what's at stake and, also, of course, at the -- at the global impact here. People are talking about Obama getting a drubbing at this point.

How would that affect a change at the top so far as foreign affairs are concerned?

ROBIN NIBLETT, DIRECTOR, CHATHAM HOUSE: Well, I think an American president who is in a weak position at a time when the balance of power is shifting from West to East is something to worry about. You'll have a Europe that is not quite sure whether America is going to be at its side as it faces its own challenges after the economic crisis. You have a China that's increasingly assertive in -- in Asia and in South Asia, wondering whether Barack Obama will be in a position to be able to -- to resist a Russia that's been pretty on side, one might say, during the first two years of the Obama presidency, who might -- which might be a little more aggressive in testing the boundaries around its own neighborhood.

ANDERSON: And then, of course, you've got the Mideast pro -- peace process, which is, to all intents and purposes, basically stalled at the moment.

NIBLETT: Well, the reason I didn't mention it, in a way, it hasn't really mattered whether...

ANDERSON: Yes.

NIBLETT: -- President Obama was in the flush of victory or in this moment of the doldrums. He hasn't been able to achieve a break for -- a breakthrough there.

Iran, on the other hand, has been put on the back foot by some strong diplomacy that has brought the sanctions pressure much stronger on Iran than it was in the past.

Will we be able to sustain it?

ANDERSON: Let's set some context for this, shall we, because in 1994, you had a president called Clinton who got an absolute drubbing during the mid-terms. He, effectively, his party got a drubbing during the mid-terms. And yet he went on to win the election in 1996 because, to all intents and purposes, the door to negotiation was open. He was able to play the house well afterwards.

Now, why did that happen and how might that change things going forward?

NIBLETT: I think Bill Clinton had a feel for -- for the centrist instincts of most Americans. And he was able to do some pretty radical stuff in terms of welfare reform partly by playing to that center. You almost felt he was maybe more comfortable playing to the center than he was to the left.

And Barack Obama, although less of an open book, in terms of his political history, there's a sense that he's wanted to be able to reinforce his liberal credentials. His ability to pull to the middle, when, really, he was elected by that very strong turning out from the left in his first 2008 election, it's going to be harder, I think, for him to make that adjustment.

But maybe the most important thing is, of course, Bill Clinton benefited from an improving economy. Unemployment was around 5.5 percent when he lost the mid-terms. You've got double the size of unemployment right now. So, yes...

ANDERSON: But what you didn't have was a China quite as strong as China is today. And my sense is that that's the really crucial point here. It's November 2 today. On November 3, if what happens tonight is how we predict it will turn out and -- and the Democrats do get hurt quite badly, how does the relationship with China change?

NIBLETT: I think it changes because Americans appear to be more and more insecure at the grassroots level, at a political level, a sense that somehow globalization is playing against them instead of favoring them and that China has become the beneficiary. Barack Obama, who's been weakened and is seen as being part of what's been handing over all this power to the Chinese, is one who will have to play his trade agenda, his foreign policy agenda, as well as his domestic agenda, much more carefully than in the past.

ANDERSON: Fascinating.

Robin, while we wait and watch. You will. We will.

NIBLETT: Thank you.

ANDERSON: We thank you, as ever, for coming in.

NIBLETT: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Robin Niblett for you.

Well, we are not finished with our coverage of the American mid-term elections. Later in the show, we'll ask a member of the Tea Party movement why they are determined to shake up the pols.

Just up next, though, a powerful bomb is discovered at the offices of Germany's chancellor.

But where did it come from and how did it get there?

That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

I'm Becky Anderson in London for you.

Now, Germany tonight is on high alert after a package containing explosives was discovered at the office of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. The parcel was mailed from Greece and traveled by air cargo.

For the very latest, let's speak to Diana Magnay, who is in the capital, Berlin.

What have you learned -- Di?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Beck.

Well, we know that it was, indeed, a letter bomb that arrived via courier, and, as you say, via air cargo from Greece addressed to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, arriving at the post sort of sorting office of the chancellor's office at around 1:00 p.m. today. And then the police were called in because postal workers thought that it looked suspicious.

And here's what the interior minister said a while ago about that package.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS DE MAIZIERE, GERMAN INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): At around 1:00 p.m., a suspicious package was found in the chancellor's office. This package was opened using a special technology and the initial reading of the investigators is that this was an explosive device. From everything that we know, this device was constructed in the same way and appeared similar to the package sent to the Swiss embassy in Greece today and to the various other packages sent to embassies in the Greek capital.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MAGNAY: He also said, Becky, that there probably wasn't any connection between this package coming from Greece and those that came from Yemen, except, of course, that they both traveled via air cargo. And he said that, really, the background to this package and to the series of bombings that we've seen targeting foreign embassies in Greece was this cell there called the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, which is a left-wing militant group previously active since 2008 in Greece, using a lot of sort of explosives in their attacks.

But this is the first time that they have actually tar -- targeted government offices or any kind of targets outside of Greece. And we know, of course, that there have been two detonated controlled explosions carried out by police on two suspects packages in the cargo terminal in Athens, directed also at E.U. institutions outside of Greece -- Becky.

ANDERSON: All right, Diana is working the beat for you.

Di, thank you for that.

More on CNN from Diana, of course, as she gets it.

Well, the security alert in Germany comes just days after two parcel bombs were discovered on board aircraft in England and Dubai.

Richard Quest is in Frankfurt, where aviation chiefs have been meeting to try and tackle the very latest threat. And I can only assume, Richard, this today, this story today is front and center where you are.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes, the -- the bombs in Germany and across Greece really came too late for the delegates at the conference to actually get to grips with it. But they've reinforced the point that was widely on the agenda throughout the day, and that is, how do you keep international commerce moving, how do you prevent business from grinding to a halt, but at the same time, maintain a high level of integrity and security?

Now, the bombs from Yemen or the devices from Yemen were extremely sophisticated, and, by all accounts, far more so than those received tonight in Germany.

But as John Pistole, the head of America's TSA, the Transportation Security Administration, told me earlier, it's a case that whoever is sending these various devices, the authorities know they have to be one step ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN PISTOLE, TSA ADMINISTRATOR: We are looking at a very determined enemy. We know that they are using creative design, both for the type of device, the IED, and the concealment method. And the fact that they have targeted now cargo shipments on cargo planes does take it to a different level.

QUEST: Within the industry, it's been an open secret, though, that cargo was the weak link in the chain.

That's true, isn't it?

PISTOLE: There are a number of aspects to that as -- as we know. And it's clearly the screening for cargo worldwide is not the same as it is for passengers, especially in the U.S. and Europe and other areas. So it is something that we have been looking at, but it is a significant challenge in trying to provide the same type of screening and security to air cargo as it is for passengers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: The way they intend to now do that screening is not some blanket, random, one size fits all, cookie cutter, whatever cliche you want to use. Instead, Pistole and the IATA delegates were telling me, it has to be cleverer, it has to be smarter, it has to be risk assessed and it has to be, Becky, intelligence-based. That's the only way they believe they'll deal with these more sophisticated devices.

ANDERSON: There's a very basic question for our viewers tonight, and it's this. Despite the fact that these devices have been found on cargo planes and not on passenger planes, you know, if these things go off, planes go off and up in the air.

So, Richard, are we safe this evening?

QUEST: The cargo plane has always been a lower level of security. That's going to change, no question about it. It's the cargo that goes on passenger planes, of course, that is giving a great deal of concern now. That comes from FedEx, it comes from UPS, it comes from the airlines themselves. There's a vast amount of cargo under the feet of the passengers on every plane. The regulations are being tightened to 100 percent screening.

But, Becky, we're still a long way from that in many parts of the world. And, certainly, as you rightly say, there are good -- and particularly at night, there are a good deal number of pure cargo planes in the air. And the only way we can ensure the security of those, the expert tells me, is not through screening, it's through intelligence and knowing the customers and the people who've put the things on board.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating stuff.

Richard, we thank you very much, indeed, for that, out of Frankfurt this evening. Richard Quest.

Well, it's not just aviation authorities, of course, who have come under pressure to act. Both of the parcel bombs discovered on Friday originated in Yemen, long seen as a weak spot in the war on terror.

Well, today, the country attempt to demonstrate its resolve to tackle extremism by charging an American born militant cleric with incitement to kill foreigners. Anwar al-Awlaki is considered a key al Qaeda figure and was charged in absentia. He's been linked to the bomb maker believed to be behind the cargo terror plot.

Well, you're watching the show that joins the dots on the day's big stories. Up next, we speak with the blogger who's sticking up for homosexuals in a country that is considering putting gay men and women to death.

And the political movement that's shaking up the U.S. mid-terms -- we ask, what's this Tea Party all about?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back.

It's 23 minutes past 9:00 London time.

I'm Becky Anderson.

Now, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. That's what it says in the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights. But 62 years on, acts of prejudice are rife around the world.

So all this week on the program, we're looking at one of the most common tools of discrimination globally, and that is harassment in all of its forms.

We began in Egypt, where more than 50 percent of women claim that they are sexually harassed on a daily basis. And tonight, we head to Uganda to investigate the impact of discrimination there, like this tabloid, which has no relation to the U.S. iconic "Rolling Stone" magazine. It's been temporarily banned from publishing lists of homosexuals and identifying them as criminals.

But anti-gay sentiment is strong in the country, where lawmakers are considering a bill that would make homosexuality punishable by death.

David McKenzie interviewed a Ugandan blogger who is among the few brave enough to speak out for gay rights.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I ask myself the question, how is it to be gay and live in the villages in the countryside of Uganda?

A nightmare.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why did you start this blog?

I mean a lot of people would be afraid to even put pen the paper on this issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was -- I felt very alone. I was a -- I -- I wanted kind of to connect with people. And the Internet, at that time, was very -- was very new in this country. And we were like very few people who were using it. But I could only collect to other gay Ugandans on the Internet.

Being gay and Ugandan is a tough thing. And usually, you don't have anybody to talk to. You don't have anybody to -- to -- to explain what really is happening in the country, what is happening in your life.

MCKENZIE: On your blog, it's clear what it's about. It's about being gay in Uganda.

Why don't you put your name there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I want -- I don't want to be killed. No, I mean it's -- it's -- security, anonymity is -- anony -- our anonymity is the most important weapon that we have. I mean I live. I've grown up. I've studied. I've been in Uganda throughout my life. Now, all people who know me, most of them know that I'm so and so, but they don't know that my sexuality is so, such and such.

I can't -- I can't tell the people that I work with that I'm -- that I am gay.

When I -- I mean when you hear the president of the country you should be -- you should be arrested or when you hear the -- the head of the Muslims saying that you should be marooned on an island, it's the kind of thing where you want to shake somebody. You want to -- you want to express this anger. And it's not -- that's what it does for me.

On the other hand, it's -- it's something -- I mean it's a way to connect with people, to tell them, OK, I'm in Uganda, I live in Uganda and this is what is happening in Uganda.

MCKENZIE: What is it like for you when you're dealing with a community that is so against your sexuality?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, as one friend said, you -- you die a little inside all the time that you hear people condemn and shout and talk about the killing of gay people. You cannot engage them, on one hand, because the -- their belief that you are so evil is so ingrained.

MCKENZIE: A lot of Ugandan politicians are saying that being gay is not African.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm African. I mean I'm African. I didn't -- I didn't become gay just because I went to Europe or I went to the U.S. or anything. I grew up here. I first knew that I was gay when I was in school here and I had not even stepped out of the country at that time.

So I mean I'm African. I'm as African as any other Ugandan.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: David McKenzie reporting there, a Ugandan man forced to conceal his identity out of fear for his life because he's gay.

Well, tomorrow night, India's prejudicial twist -- it's ladies only on New Delhi trains that surfaced, designed to protect women from being harassed. But it's given rise to a whole new cry of discrimination. That is on Wednesday here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

Tonight, still ahead, it's not an official political party, but can the Tea Party shake up politics in the United States, and, indeed, possibly in the rest of the world?

We'll talk live to a party activist, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: At just before half past the hour in London, you are with CONNECT THE WORLD.

I'm Becky Anderson.

Coming up, the party that's creating the biggest stir in the mid-term U.S. elections -- the Tea Party making a lot of noise domestically.

But where does it stand on global issues?

Well, that we're going to find out.

Then, Nelly Furtado for you as your Connector of the Day. Folk, rock, pop and hip hop -- she has covered the lot. Find out what's next for this Grammy award-winning songbird.

And crunch time for Inter Milan. We're going to have the latest on the defending champions in a big clash with furs over at White Hart Lane in North London.

Those stories are ahead in the show. First, as ever at this point, let's get you a very quick check of the headlines.

Iranian mother of two Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani could be put to death on Wednesday. That is, at least, a report coming out of Iran. I spoke to our reporter Reza Sayah a short time ago about the claim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the human rights groups the International Committee Against Stoning is convinced that within the next 24 hours, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is going to be hanged to death. And at this hour, they're in an all-out push to stop the execution.

In an urgent message posted on their website, this human rights group based in Germany is saying that they have learned from Iranian authorities that the go-ahead has been given to a Tabriz prison for the execution to take place tomorrow.

We should note that Iranian authorities have not verified to us that this execution is going to take place tomorrow. They neither deny it, nor confirm it. So all we have to go by is this very urgent message on the website of the International Community (sic) Against Stoning explicitly saying the execution is going to take place tomorrow.

Of course, this case has captured worldwide attention because, initially, Ashtiani was sentenced to death by stoning because she was convicted of adultery. There was worldwide outrage, activists have accused the Iranian government of changing the conviction from stone -- from adultery to murder in order to justify the death sentence, then changing the death sentence, Becky, from stoning to hanging.

BECKY: What, if any, recourse, then, does she have at this point?

SAYAH: Well, if indeed this execution is going to take place tomorrow, she may not have any recourse. Remember, this is a woman who hasn't been able to meet with her lawyer for months. In fact, her lawyer and her son were arrested last month by Iranian officials after they allegedly tried to talk to two German journalists. Those two journalists were arrested as well.

So, if indeed this execution is going to happen on Wednesday, it doesn't look good for her. But remember, Iranian authorities have not verified the execution is going to happen, and if it's going to happen on Wednesday. The execution may not take place. We're going to be watching to see what's going to happen on Wednesday. So will a lot of human rights groups around the world, Becky.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Yes, Reza Sayah for you there.

Greece is under tightened security after parcel bomb explosions outside the Swiss and Russian embassies in Athens. Meanwhile, a package containing explosives was found at the office of German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. It was mailed via cargo plane from Greece.

Police in Baghdad say more than 60 people were killed as the Iraqi capital was shattered by a string of bombings. Most of the 16 attacks were car bombs, targeting Shia neighborhoods. Two hundred eighty-five people, most of them Shiites, were wounded in the attack.

The first polls close in the United States in less than 30 minutes time. Voters across the country deciding the makeup of both houses of Congress and choosing governors in some 37 states. The Republicans are expected to make significant gains.

And this evening, we are showing you what's at stake in those midterm elections, both in the US and, indeed, abroad. We told you how funding for the war on terror in Pakistan could be effected. Republican lawmakers have suggested putting tougher conditions on the billions of dollars in aid that Pakistan receives, accusing the country of not doing enough to combat extremism.

The way Congress relates to China could also change, although in this race, both Democrats and Republicans have painted China as a currency manipulator, blaming that country for many of America's economic problems.

And earlier, we looked at the future path of Middle East peace. Palestinian officials hope that the next Congress will give President Obama a freer hand in pressing Israel on issues like settlements. Israeli officials, meanwhile, say they are not expecting any major changes in policy.

Well, we are not finished with the midterms yet. No coverage would be complete without a look at the Tea Party phenomenon. Unheard of two years ago, the conservative grassroots movement has become a force to be reckoned with.

Despite its name the Tea Party's not an official party and is fairly loosely organized. It's made up mostly of disaffected Republicans who named themselves after the Boston Tea Party protest of 1773, when American colonialists threw British tea into Boston Harbor.

More than three quarters of Tea Party members are white, and more than half are men. Members generally believe the US federal government has gotten too big and too powerful. They're happy with -- unhappy with the country's direction, especially the ballooning federal deficit.

Well, perhaps more than no other, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin embodies the Tea Party ideals. She's a darling of the conservative movement. But not necessarily Republicans in general.

A CNN producer followed Palin on the campaign trail and found out she's unafraid to take critics of any stripe.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER (on camera): Today is the kickoff of the fourth tour of the Tea Party Express. And where are they kicking it off at? Sarah Palin, she's the headliner for today's event.

(CROWD CHEERS)

TRAVIS (on camera): This is essentially her political base. She is the darling of the movement. In terms of getting the message out, Sarah Palin can do it like no other.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER US VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hey, politicians who are in office today? You -- some of you need to man up, the big wigs within the machine. They're driving me crazy, because they're too chicken to come out and support the Tea Party candidates.

Now, Old Glory has never flown higher or prouder than where you have put her, Tea Party patriots.

(CROWD CHEERS)

CROWD (chanting): Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!

TEXT: Palin rarely does TV interviews except on Fox News, where she's a paid contributor.

TRAVIS (on camera): Governor, what if Tea Party movement winds up splitting the Republican Party in two? Who do you stand with?

PALIN: You know, I don't think that it will, because I think more of the machine within the GOP is going to understand that this "we the people" message is rising and it's resonating throughout with independents, with hardcore conservatives, with moderates. Because it's just so full of common sense and time-tested truths that can put the economy on the right track. That heaven forbid that the GOP machine strays from this message. If so, the GOP is through.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Is it? Well, the Tea Partiers say they are tired of politics as usual and they want change in Washington. So, what would that change look like? Let's ask David Webb, shall we? He's co-founder of the Tea Party chapter in New York.

Well, Sarah Palin's about pretty much, for many of our international viewers, I reckon, about all they know about the Tea Party. So what are you guys about, mate?

DAVID WEBB, CO-FOUNDER, NYC TEA PARTY: Well, for one, the thing about the Tea Party is the faces are many. I'm one of the original founders. It's average, everyday, and extraordinary Americans. Men, women, mothers, single mothers, Wall Street bankers, that have stood up and said "We have a problem" with the direction of this country, with the growth of government. And it's time that we the people exercise our power at the ballot box --

ANDERSON: Right --

WEBB: And tell the institutions that they serve us.

ANDERSON: OK, you've told us who you are. You haven't quite told us what you are or what you're about. So let's do a -- let's try --

WEBB: Well --

ANDERSON: Hang on. Let's try you out on a couple of things. Where do you stand on China's currency manipulation, as it were, as many people believe it is.

WEBB: Well, and I'll echo the worlds of Admiral Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said that our federal debt is our greatest national security issue. We must regain our economic security here in America instead of purchasing and basically borrowing from China against our future, which is not in our best interest.

ANDERSON: All right, OK. So what should you -- or what should China do at this point, do you reckon? What are you going to say to them if you won out tonight, if you've got a lot of power going forth?

WEBB: Well, what we're going to say to them is by what we do. By first thing, is to stop spending at such a phenomenal rate. And stop just selling off America to China. It's nothing against China. We have to think of our economic security. We need to cut spending, and our very own budget office has told us that there are only two ways out of this, cut spending or raise taxes, and raising taxes is never a good idea in a recession.

ANDERSON: You guys like a cut in tax. And so do a lot of people across Europe, for example. But with the European austerity plans, you're certainly not seeing an awful lot of tax cuts at this point. So how does what we are doing in Europe with the austerity plans here stack up to what's going on in the States and what you would like to see?

WEBB: What we need to do is have an American version of the austerity plan. We've seen successes in Germany. We have also seen the failures in France, in Greece, and other areas. We need to grow our manufacturing base in this country.

We need to lower our taxes so that corporations will build and work and manufacture in America, and then have good trade policies with Europe, who's a great trade partner. But it's inefficient and, frankly, too expensive --

ANDERSON: Right, OK, I --

WEBB: For a company to operate here.

ANDERSON: I can imagine Paul Krugman having serious trouble with what you're saying, but he's only one economist and not a friend of the Tea Party, I reckon, at this point.

Listen, let's move on. Afghanistan, for example. A Bush legacy. A difficult one for President Obama. What's he done wrong when it comes to Afghanistan and the war on terror?

WEBB: Well, he's continued one thing, and I think he's actually done a number of things right. But what he's done wrong is they have not asked for the accountability that the Bush administration didn't when we're spending so much money.

We find out now that money is free-flowing from Iran and other countries in there, that they're taking our money and not necessarily spending it on what they should to better their people.

I think the president, however, has done a good job with the drone attacks. He's done a good job of prosecuting that part of the war on terror. And I think we just need to clean up and ask for accountability.

ANDERSON: All right. What would a -- how would a reduction in taxes, which is a big platform for you guys, how would that affect Middle East peace?

WEBB: How does that affect the Middle East?

ANDERSON: I want to know what you're thoughts are on Middle East peace, effectively.

WEBB: Oh, OK. Well, again, we're back to the national security issue. How can we exercise American soft or diplomatic properly if we are a weak nation economically? We can't.

ANDERSON: David, as I said when I introduced you, we didn't know you before. We do now, and thank you for that. Sarah Palin is a character that we certainly have got to know over the last couple of years. You a fan of hers?

WEBB: I respect her, I agree with a lot of things she says. She's a huge figure. She was a vice presidential candidate. She is very good. She knows the policies that are good out there. But what we have to do as a movement, and it's a movement of -- it's an amorphous movement of citizens, not of political leaders. That's been its success. What we have to do is focus on the policies, and then she, like the Republican Party and others, need to follow those policies that are good for the country.

ANDERSON: All right. Spending -- what about government health care. Let's just talk about that, because that's been a very big issue.

WEBB: Yes, it is. It is. We have -- what we have seen, rather than true health care reform, which is needed in America, what we have seen is a government takeover based on a model that has failed everywhere it has been put in place, whether it's Canada, whether it's Great Britain, we have seen this fail. We have not seen true health insurance reform, we have not seen true health care delivery reform, and those are the things that we need. We don't just need to take it and turn it over to the bureaucrats.

ANDERSON: Is it not because -- we haven't seen it because President Obama has had to water down much of what he wanted to do, because, frankly, because of people like you?

I'm just wondering, if you wake up tomorrow, and you've got what you want, which is, I guess, a lot of success in these midterms. Are we going to see further stalemate going forward, or is this not an opportunity for you guys to get on board and start negotiating and really getting the States back on track? And if it is that opportunity, how are you going to do that?

WEBB: Well, the first thing we have to do is peel back all these bad policies and look for good solutions that are based on the numbers, on the economy. We do have to get Obamacare taken apart and defunded, because it is not a proven model. It actually has failed everywhere, it has already been said to be over $115 billion in debt. Insurance rates are going up.

And we also need to stall bad programs. But we, the conservative movement, needs to put good proposals up there, back them with facts, and then fight to get them in place.

ANDERSON: Yes, we look forward to seeing those proposals. Good luck this evening from this side of the pond. It's going to be a long night for you. We will watch and wait. Good to talk to you, David Webb --

WEBB: Thank you, Becky.

ANDERSON: Of the Tea Party.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. Still to come. The lady who likes -- or certainly sings like a bird. Canadian chart topper Nelly Furtado is about to celebrate ten years in the music business, and what a decade it's been. Nelly Furtado answering your questions as your Connector of the Day up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back. Now, tonight's Connector of the Day has her roots in folk and rock music, but has since found her rhythm in hip hop and R and B, working with the likes of Timberland and Timberlake. Big names. But then, so is she. Let's get you connected.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC - "I'm Like a Bird")

ANDERSON (voice-over): Nelly Furtado burst onto the music scene with her 2000 hit, "I'm Like a Bird." The song earned the 24-year-old singer a Grammy and made her an instant household name.

After fading into the background for a couple of years, she came boldly back into the spotlight with her third album, entitled "Loose," featuring hit single, "Promiscuous."

The Canadian-born Furtado has managed to avoid the paparazzi-lined streets of Los Angeles and lives in Toronto with her young daughter.

NELLY FURTADO, SINGER: One time I was rushing to catch a train in Paris, and a photographer snapped a photo of my daughter and I, and when I first saw it in a magazine, it was almost jolting to see, "Oh, my gosh, my child is in a tabloid."

(MUSIC - "Say It Right")

ANDERSON (voice-over): Born to a Portuguese father, Furtado speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese.

I spoke to her about her recent projects and what made her first single such a hit.

FURTADO: Yes, it's been a special song for a lot of people. I always think, like, I write a song and it's mine for those five minutes that I write it, and then it just belongs to everybody else. And I love that about music. "I'm Like a Bird" is a perfect example, where that means a lot of things to different people. It's a fun song, and I never get sick of performing it live. It's always a lot of fun.

ANDERSON (on camera): It means a lot to a lot of people. What does it mean to you? What was it inspired by?

FURTADO: Honestly, it was just inspired by, I think, the true nature of one's fear. I think I wrote it when I was about, I don't know, 20 I guess, 21 or something. And I was just feeling this excitement about the future and just -- you know, everybody kinds of -- we each come into the world alone, and we leave alone, in a way. And I think everyone at the bottom of their heart knows that and is able to connect with that.

Nick Hornby wrote his book "21 Songs" and he included the song, it was one of the songs, and he had this great description of it and why he liked it. I wasn't quite sure, but he liked it, and I guess it's the same effect had on you, so --

ANDERSON: That's fantastic. All right, listen, let's get to some of the viewer questions. I'm not going to hog this interview. Benjamin asks, "When does your new album come out, and why the long delay?" he asks.

FURTADO: Hi, Benjamin. That's a great question. All my fans have been asking, "What happened to 'Lifestyle,' where's your fourth English album, where's your fifth album?" And what happened was I put out a Spanish album called "Mi Plan," which is all in espanol, all in Spanish. And it was so fun, and I was touring South America, and I toured in South America and I just decided to continue promoting that for a while.

I'm still recording my English album, but it's actually almost halfway done. It's been a blast, and I'm going to make sure it's just perfect for all of you fans. So --

ANDERSON: Good stuff.

FURTADO: 2011, it's coming.

ANDERSON: Excellent. All right, we heard it first here on CNN. Ana asks, "If you were to explore a different musical genre, what would it be?"

FURTADO: Oh, God. Well, I'm definitely a pop artist, definitely a pop musician, I love writing pop songs and lyrics to melodies people find catchy and can sing along to. But it would be great to be in a band where I could just kind of play keyboards in the background and wear a hat over - - a ski mask, maybe.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: Lovely. Listen, the Brits in the office here really want to know what it was like performing with heartthrob James Morrison.

FURTADO: Aw, are they all in love with James Morrison?

ANDERSON: They are.

FURTADO: He's a little cutie, and he's so charming and so, so nice. And actually, I had the pleasure of performing on stage with him at Wembley Arena. And he blew me away with his performance. He's just so rugged up there and so strong. It was a great night.

ANDERSON: Listen, question from somebody who calls himself Pinkie. "What do you think about collaborating with Lady Gaga? I think you and Gaga would be more than amazing." How about that?

FURTADO: I love Lady Gaga. I think she's fascinating and a wonderful performer. And yes, I'm up for it. Let's do it.

ANDERSON: Listen, we've talked about the new album coming out. You've got your little daughter, of course, Nevis, and Jurgen has written and says, "What's your advice to young new mothers with new little ones in their lives?"

FURTADO: Oh, my gosh. Advice, wow. Well, when the baby comes, it's tiny, and there's so much to learn, whether it's, like, how you put together a stroller, or how are you going to -- how do you install a car seat. So, do your homework and lean on your friends and family to find a support system.

Because it does take a village to raise a child. Don't feel that pressure all by yourself, because it wasn't meant to be that way. It's meant to be a village experience. So, rely on that also, and just enjoy every moment, because they grow up really quickly.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Nelly Furtado, there, with some advice for new parents, and talking about her music, of course.

Music topping our chart all this week. As well as Nelly, we've connected you with Neil Diamond, and over the next two days, I'll be sitting down with Seal and John Legend. Big names, big hits, and big interviews, only on CONNECT THE WORLD, 21:00 London, 22:00 in Central Europe, all this week on CNN.

Send us your questions for any of our forthcoming connectors, and do remember to tell us where you are writing from. Head to the website, you can see there, cnn.com/connect. That is the show's website. Tonight, we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, it has been a night to remember for Tottenham Hotspur fans in the Champions League. "World Sports'" Alex Thomas is at White Hart Lane, Tottenham's stadium in North London, where their game against Inter Milan has just wrapped up, and he joins me on the phone. Go on, put people out of their misery. What happened?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): It was a surprise result to many around Europe, Becky, Tottenham beating the reigning European champions by three goals to one here at White Hart Lane in UEFA Champions League Group A.

A first off goal from Rafael van der Vaart aided by a wonderful bit of skill from Luka Modric. And then in the second half, Spurs added further strikes from Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko. In between those two, Samuel Eto'o brought a goal back for Inter Milan but, really, the result never in doubt. A surprisingly dominant display by Spurs.

And let's not forget, although they're famous in the English Premier League, this is their first ever appearance in the UEFA Champions League. It's been many decades since they were a true European force, but it seems this squad under manager Harry Redknapp, is the real deal. And they now go top of Group A, with two group matches remaining, and a real chance of reaching the knockout stages.

ANDERSON: As a fan of Spurs, it's been a very, very, very long time. Not just a long time, but a very long time since we were last there.

Listen, Inter Milan, of course, have been around Champions League for a very long time, and last year they won. Were they particularly poor? Is it the end of Inter as we know them?

THOMAS: It was a strange display. There was still quality, you could see that from the likes of their Brazilian central defender Lucio, their Dutch World Cup finalist Wesley Sneijder, and up front, Eto'o was excellent from (inaudible). Manager Rafael Benitez has brought the best out of the Cameroon international.

But nonetheless, Spurs rank wing dominance, especially Gareth Bale, which brought that amazing hat trick that the fans (inaudible). The Spurs fans at one stage singing "Taxi for Maicon!" the Brazilian right back, that he was leaving for dead, even though he's a world class player, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fantastic. Very brief, van der Vaart came from Real Madrid at a steal, if that could be, for about 8 million quid. Is he as good as they say he is?

THOMAS: He was very good in the first half, recovered from a hamstring injury, and was a good performer in that first half. Came off with a problem, and the good thing for Spurs, is it shows the strength and depth they have without him. In the second half, they still managed to stay on top.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. Mr. Thomas up at White Hart Lane in North London, home to Tottenham Hotspurs. Good stuff, we thank you very much, indeed, for that.

Elsewhere across Europe, some of the continent's biggest clubs have been in action. In Group D, FC Copenhagen drew with Barcelona one all. In a high-scoring game Benfica just pit Lyon four-three. Group C, Man United were the victors in their try against Bursaspor, beating them three-nil just a few minutes ago before the show.

And that's also when the midterm election polls begin to close in the US. We'll be right back with a special Parting Shots of quirky candidates for you. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Throughout the show tonight, we've been telling you about hundreds of congressional seats up for grabs in today's US midterm elections. We've been focusing on the front-runners, the possible upsets, and the global effects of a newly-formed Congress.

Before we go tonight, I want to leave you with some Parting Shots. These are the charismatic candidates who may not be leading in the polls, but certainly made things interesting on the campaign trail this year.

First up for you, then, Vietnam veteran and karate teacher Jimmy McMillan. He made a splash at the debate for governor of the state of New York last month when he introduced his little-known political party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY MCMILLAN, NEW YORK GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I represent the Rent is Too Damn High Party. People working eight hours a day and 40 hours a week, and some a third job. Women can't afford to take care of their children, feed their children breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My main job is to provide a roof over your head, food on the table, and money in your pocket.

This is politics as usual, playing the silly games, but it's not going to happen (inaudible) my movement. The people I'm here to represent can't afford to pay their rent. They're being laid off right now as I speak. They can't eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Listen. Someone's stomach, a child's stomach just growled. Did you hear it? Got to listen like me.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: OK, Mr. McMillan --

(CROSSTALK)

MCMILLAN: Let's talk about the issue --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. -- Mr. Cuomo --

MCMILLAN: People can't afford to pay their rent --

UNIDENTIFED MALE: Thirty seconds for you, sir.

MCMILLAN: Stop. The rent is too damn high.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell was forced to spend much of her campaign defending a statement she made a decade ago admitting she, quote, "dabbled in witchcraft." O'Donnell later released a campaign ad to set the record straight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE O'DONNELL, DELAWARE SENATE CANDIDATE: I'm not a witch. I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: And Alvin Greene. Who? Well, the 33-year-old made headlines back in July when he won the Democratic nomination for Senate in South Carolina even though he'd never campaigned. The unemployed military veteran was later indicted on obscenity charges for showing pornography to a university student, and he is lagging far behind his opponents in the polls.

Well, the first polls are closing right about now. Stay with CNN for all of the results of those elections and hundreds more throughout tonight and all day on Wednesday. For now, I'm Becky Anderson in London. That is your world connected. "BackStory" is next, right after a very quick check of the headlines for you.

END