CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

Deadly Blast at Moscow Airport; Time for Action in Spain; Lebanon Political Crisis; Al Jazeera Leaks Alleged Palestinian Concessions

Aired January 24, 2011 - 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: A massive blast in Moscow's busiest airport. At least 35 are dead.

I'm Becky Anderson in London.

You're watching CNN.

This is CONNECT THE WORLD.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

P.J. CROWLEY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: And we stand with the people of Russia at this moment of sorrow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Reactions pour in from around the world.

Anger in the West Bank -- the Middle East peace process in trouble if this reaction to leaked documents is anything to go by.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, somebody had better get down there and explain our side to her.

ANDERSON: Football and misogyny -- a scandal brews in England.

And...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSEANNE BARR, COMEDIAN: I'm like actually going to run for president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: You heard it here first. Roseanne Barr is your Connector of the Day.

That's CNN in the next 60 minutes.

Well, the room was filled with relatives waiting for their loved ones. But in just seconds, it became a scene of smoke and carnage. Thirty-five people are dead, another 152 were wounded after a blast ripped through the arrivals hall at Moscow's busiest airport.

Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, vowed to track down those responsible for what he described as a terrorist act. He also ordered security forces to be on their guard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. DMITRY MEDVEDEV, RUSSIA (through translator): First of all, we need to enforce the special regime in all airports and in all major transport hubs of Moscow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, Russia's state TV says the attack was the work of a suicide bomber who stuffed a homemade bomb with small metal objects to make it even more deadly. Some eyewitnesses at the airport reported seeing a man with a suitcase.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIA IOFFE, "FOREIGN POLICY" MAGAZINE WRITER: There was one man who came out who said he was there at the time of the blast, whose jacket and pants are covered in blood and hair and gore. He said the back of his head was covered in intestines that he's since washed off.

But he reported seeing a man with a suitcase walk into the center between two flanks of people waiting for passengers to arrive and that he then exploded.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, CNN's senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance, is at the airport.

Earlier, I asked him for an update on the very latest from there.

This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The latest is that the police and investigators are hard at work inside this, the Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow. They've sealed off the arrivals area where that suspected suicide bomber detonated the explosives to such devastating effect. It's a crime scene now.

They're putting together the pieces that -- of the -- of -- of what actually happened so they can build a picture of what took place there and -- and so that they can do what President Medvedev has said will happen, which is track down those responsible.

In terms of the casualty figures, we're still hearing that 35 people have been confirmed dead at this stage, but more than 150 people have been injured, some of them very critically. And so it's quite possible, Becky, that that terrible death toll could rise further in the -- in the hours ahead.

ANDERSON: No claim of responsibility as of yet, but as the president said, they are investigating.

What -- what do we know at this point, if anything? CHANCE: Well, we -- we don't know who carried this out. But surely the finger of blame will, at this point, be pointed at militants from the North Caucuses Region of Southern Russia, Islamists have, in the past, carried out a campaign of suicide bomb attacks against tanks and cities across -- across Moscow, most recently, of course, just last year in March, when the metro system in Moscow was the target of repeated suicide bomb attacks by militants from the North Caucuses Region.

So, I'm positive that the -- the glare of the Russian security services right now is focusing on the various groups active in that very volatile part of Russia.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Matthew Chance for you with the very latest from the airport.

Well, Russia's transport network has been hit by a series of terror attacks over the past few years. As Matthew mentioned there, just last March, two female suicide bombers from Dagestan set off explosives at Moscow's metro stations, killing more than 30 people.

In November, 2009, a bomb blast derailed a passenger train headed for Pete -- St. Petersburg. At least 26 people were killed and 100 then were injured.

And in 2004, two Russian passenger planes blew up almost simultaneously, killing 90 people. Both planes had taken off from the very airport that you saw Matthew at today.

Well, U.S. President Barack Obama called the bombing a premeditated attack against innocent civilians.

State Department Spokesperson P.J. Crowley said America would do what it could to help.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: We obviously condemn the terrorism that we saw today in Russia. We stand with the people of Russia at this moment of sorrow and we offer our deepest sympathy to the families and the loved ones of those injured and killed. We will continue to work with Russia and the international community to combat violent extremism that threatens peace- loving people everywhere. We have offered support to the Russian government if -- if it need be -- to help bring these perpetrators to justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: The message from the United States on what is the top story of the day.

Ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD, we delve into what has become known as the Palestinian papers -- leaked documents reveal startling revelations about the Middle East peace process. And some of those involved are outraged.

Also, is the Ivory Coast political stand-off creating a cocoa crisis?

Find out why world prices are surging higher.

And later, your Connector of the Day, Roseanne Barr, a very funny lady with some very serious messages for our viewers.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on a Monday night.

I'm Becky Anderson in London.

Do stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: No country in the world recognizes Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem. And Jewish neighbors -- neighborhoods there are considered illegal under international law. Yet in secretive talks, Palestinians themselves were reportedly willing to let Israel keep most of these settlements, an offer for which they received no concessions in return.

That is just one of the bombshells disclosed by the so-called Palestine papers, a story that is coming up here on CNN in just a couple of minutes.

I'm Becky Anderson in London.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

A look for you at some of the other stories that we are following tonight.

And not guilty plea for the man accused of shooting U.S. Congresswoman, Gabby Giffords, and 18 other people. A court in Arizona entered the plea on behalf of the accused, Jared Lee Loughner. Now it covers three counts of attempted murder involving Giffords and two members of her staff. Six people were killed and 13 others were wounded in the January the 8th shooting outside a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona.

Giffords was shot in the head. She was moved to Texas, where doctors say her condition is improving.

Spanish unemployment through the roof -- the numbers are quite sobering -- almost one in five people without work. Now it's also promising protests where beleaguered Spaniards say the time for action is way past due.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AL GOODMAN, CNN MADRID BUREAU CHIEF: I'm Al Goodman in Madrid on the Paseo del Prado Boulevard, where there's a protest about Spain's high rate of unemployment. Nearly 20 percent unemployment here, among the highest rates in the European Union.

This protest organized by a construction worker who's been out of work for three years. And he's organized a group of people to draw attention to this problem.

LUIS FERNANDEZ, PROTEST ORGANIZER (through translator): We thought the unions would have taken action by now. And as citizens who are out of work, we couldn't wait any longer. So we've come to the street.

GOODMAN: The aim of the protest this day is to create a human chain running from here several miles or kilometers to the west, to the prime minister's compound.

SUSANA VILLA, UNEMPLOYED ACCOUNTANT: I'm finished my studies two years ago and I don't have a -- a job.

GOODMAN: The unemployment lines in Spain start often before the sun even rises. People line up at 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning outside unemployment offices across the country. The lines have gotten longer and longer and longer. When those doors open at 9:00 a.m. Local time, the people go in, trying to collect their benefits or find out if there might be a job available.

But for the organizers of this event, that process is going too slowly. It's not getting the four-and-a-half million Spaniards who are unemployed back to work quick enough. And that's why they've organized this protest.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, that was Madrid bureau chief, Al Goodman, reporting.

Now the unemployment problem is sure to be a hot topic at Davos, where political and economic leaders are gathering for the World Economic Forum this week. How much influence will Hezbollah have over Lebanon's new government?

Well, the militant group endorsed its choice for prime minister today.

But as Nic Robertson tells us, supporters of outgoing prime minister, Saad Hariri, are angry over the looming change. And they are taking their voices to the streets.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So what we've seen so far is Hezbollah and its allies go in to meet the president here, nominate Najib Mikati as their nomination for prime minister. He is seen as a relative moderate, a former prime minister, a multi-billionaire businessman, Harvard educated.

The question of everyone's minds is, will he form a government of technocrats?

The businessmen say that would be great for the country.

Or will he, as we're beginning to get the sense from Saad Hariri's supporters, that he's going to form a government that essentially would favor Hezbollah. It has to be a confessional (ph) government made up of -- made up along sectarian lines.

But what we're seeing already is a reaction from Saad Hariri's supporters, coming out in Tripoli, in the north of the country, cutting the highway between Beirut and Tripoli, blocking the road, blocking the road with burning tires along the coastal highway to the south, a small domain here in Beirut.

All these demonstrations so far being -- being -- the roads being cleared by the -- by the army. The demonstrations now over, not big, not getting out of hand, relatively peaceful.

But it is an indication that there is a potential of flashpoints and violence. And Saad Hariri's supporters calling for a day of anger on Tuesday, when many more are expected to come out on the streets here.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Beirut, Lebanon.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, Tunisia's army chief is warning anti-government demonstrators that a dangerous power vacuum could develop if they force out the interim prime minister before new elections. Now, demonstrators clashed again with police and security forces in Tunisia. They want the interim government to have no ties with the regime of ousted president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Tunisia's army chief says he will guarantee the ideals of the revolution and pleaded with protesters to let this government or another one work.

And Iraqi officials say at least 33 people have been killed in attacks targeting religious pilgrims. Three bombs went off in and around the city of Karbala, where hundreds of thousands of Shia Muslims have gathered to observe one of the holiest days on their calendar. Women and children are among the casualties.

Well, despite the ongoing attacks in Iraq, the United Nations says a lack of economic opportunity, not violence, is the biggest barrier to the return of Iraqi refugees to their homeland. Antonio Guterres, the UN's high commissioner for refugees, made the remarks as he wrapped up a visit to Baghdad. He also urged the world not to forget about the Iraqi people's plight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: The world lives from crisis to crisis. Every day we -- we open our televisions and we see your network or any other network and there's always a new crisis. And we don't forget the old ones. There are still a lot of people suffering in Iraq. And we need to go on looking at the problems, but mobilizing our efforts, Iraqis and international efforts, to have a solution for the plight of the Iraqi people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: The UN's high commissioner for refugees there, making a plea from Baghdad.

Coming up on the show, lies, distortion, a first class smear campaign -- that is how the Palestinian Authority describes documents leaked by the television network, Al Jazeera, that reportedly show Palestinians offering much bigger concessions in peace talks than previously revealed. That story up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, it's being called the biggest leak of confidential documents in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The television network, Al Jazeera, is releasing what it calls the Palestine Papers, documents that suggest Palestinians have offered far greater concessions to Israelis in private than in public on the most sensitive issues in peace negotiations.

Jerusalem bureau chief, Kevin Flower, joins you now with the very latest -- Kevin.

KEVIN FLOWER, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Becky, as news of the documents was released and spread, it wasn't long before Palestinians were making their feelings known.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FLOWER (voice-over): Supporters of the Palestinian Authority beating on the doors of the Al Jazeera office in Ramallah, their anger directed at the Arab news network for its publication of leaked documents detailing Palestinian Authority negotiations with Israel over the past decade.

CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the documents, but the details contained within were enough to draw people to the streets.

They include an alleged Palestinian offer to relinquish claims on almost all of Israel's housing settlements in East Jerusalem, discussions about sharing control over the sensitive area of Jerusalem that houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and alleged plans for limiting the right of Palestinian refugee return in a final peace deal.

None of these positions were ever adopted by the Palestinians nor accepted by the Israelis. But publication of the purported behind the scenes negotiating has put an already weak Palestinian Authority on the defensive with many of its own people.

"Our Palestinian negotiators are losers because of the Israelis' stubbornness and because of the weak positions of the Arab and regional countries and the absence of Palestinian unity."

Palestinian Authority officials say they will create a commission to look into the information within the documents, but that from what they've seen there is nothing new and they are accusing Al Jazeera of waging a political smear campaign.

"They fabricated the agreements and changed the events and cut a word from here and a word from there and attached pictures of people who have nothing to do with the negotiations and they mixed it all together because this serves the prior interests of Al Jazeera," Abed Rabo told reporters.

In a statement released in conjunction with the documents, Al Jazeera said, in part, "We know that some of what is presented here will prove controversial, but it is our intention to inform, not harm; to spark debate and reflection, not dampen it."

The timing of the documents released comes as the Palestinian Authority tries to convince the world to recognize a Palestinian state.

ZIAD ABU ZAYYAD, PALESTINIAN JOURNALIST: The only way to -- for anybody that's in a leadership to recover and to handle its affairs from a strong position is to reunite again, is to end this conflict between Fatah and Hamas.

FLOWER: But that reunion is not likely any time soon. The Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip was quick to take political advantage.

"This reveals the level of conspiracy surrounding the Palestinian cause and the level of deceit that the Palestinian Authority has practiced toward the Palestinians," said a Hamas spokesman.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

FLOWER: Now, this first wave of released documents is not considered to be earth-shattering by many Middle East observers, but it does serve as a potent reminder of just how sensitive perceptions are here -- Becky.

ANDERSON: And we thank you for that.

As Kevin suggested, some Palestinians believe these documents show Mahmoud Abbas is a sellout, bargaining away their core rights.

One envoy involved in Middle East talks says that is absolutely untrue.

Tony Blair talked to CNN's John Defterios, telling him that Mr. Abbas has always stood firm on the interests of his people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY BLAIR, MIDDLE EAST QUARTET ENVOY: The idea that the Palestinian leadership have been, you know, offering concessions fundamentally in disagreement with the international negotiations that's known publicly is absurd. I mean they've actually, at times, been sometimes probably too emphatic for the rest of us in their defense of Palestinian interests.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is it the time to have Hamas at the table representing Gaza and not just the P.A. In Israel?

There are some that argue you have to have all three parties at the table with Hamas giving up the weapons and saying we're going to negotiate in good faith.

BLAIR: Well, that's open to Hamas at any point in time. I mean it's not a secret as to what they have to do to join the negotiation or, indeed, to get a unity government.

DEFTERIOS: So that is the condition then?

BLAIR: The -- the simple thing is -- look, on the day President Obama -- and I was there at the White House with him -- launched the peace negotiations, Hamas went and killed some Israel settlers.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, the key question in all of this, John Defterios already talking to Tony Blair earlier today.

Now, the key question in all of this, if the Palestine Papers, as they've become known, are authentic, what does this say about the peace process? Well, some say it shows the Palestinian Authority isn't the best advocate for its people. Others say that Israel's claim that it has no true partner in peace rings hollow.

Well, let's bring in our guests tonight.

Martin Indyk is the former U.S. ambassador to Israel. He's been involved in the Middle East peace process for many years, I'm sure more than he would care to remember, in fact. Ambassador Indyk is now at the Brookings Institute.

And Rashid Khalidi is -- or was certainly an adviser to a Palestinian delegation involved in peace negotiations in the 1990s. He's now a professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University.

And we'll start with you, sir, if we can, Rashid, very, very briefly, I want from both of you just your initial reaction to what you've read and seen.

RASHID KHALIDI, FORMER PALESTINIAN ADVISER: Well, I think this should be embarrassing for the United States and for Israel, in particular. It's clear that the Palestinian leadership is embarrassed, but we should look at the kind of arm twisting that the United States has been doing, if these documents are genuine -- and they seem as if they may well be -- in support of a -- a very strong Israeli position.

And I think we should also look at the fact that the Israelis seem united in whatever concessions the Palestinian side was willing to make on issues like Jerusalem, which are very, very sensitive issues.

ANDERSON: Martin?

MARTIN INDYK, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: Well, that's not a lot that people who follow the peace process would be surprised about in this. And I think part of the problem is the media hype of it by Al Jazeera. The fact that the Palestinians were prepared to accept that the Jewish suburbs built in East Jerusalem after '67 would come under Israeli sovereignty is something that Yaser Arafat was prepared to accept all the way back at Camp David. That's why they were enshrined in the Clinton Parameters at the end of -- of the Clinton period.

And the critical thing that is lost in all of this commentary and media hype is that what the Palestinians got in return was sovereignty over all of the Arab suburbs of East Jerusalem.

ANDERSON: Right...

INDYK: That was the deal. That was the swap deal. And that, actually, is a very good deal for the Palestinians.

ANDERSON: OK, in one of the most remarkable statements, as far as I could tell, that came out of this, was from Tzipi Livni: "The Israeli policy is, effectively, to take more and more land day after day and at the end of the day, we say that it's impossible, we've already got the land and we cannot create this state."

What does this do long-term to the Middle East peace process, Martin?

INDYK: Well, I -- I don't know what that -- what that passage comes from, but that is not Tzipi Livni's policy. Maybe, you know, it's very hard to tell what the context of these things are, but Tzipi Livni...

ANDERSON: I paraphrased, I -- I must...

INDYK: -- oh, I see -- is...

ANDERSON: -- I must add that.

INDYK: Right. But Tzipi Livni policy is to -- is to give up the territory, not to say we can't give it up. She was supporting her boss, the prime minister at the time, Ehud Olmert, who, in the same documents, is reported to have offered to withdraw from 93.2 percent of the West Bank and give 5.5 percent of territory from Israel proper to compensate for the rest.

And that is not the -- not an acceptable offer to the Palestinians, but it's a -- it's a pretty far-reaching offer, from the Israeli point of view.

ANDERSON: OK...

INDYK: You know, it's -- it comes very close to 100 percent of the territory.

ANDERSON: Rashid, you've listened to what Martin said.

If you were still an adviser to the Palestinian delegation involved in peace negotiations now, what would you be saying and doing at this point?

KHALIDI: Well, if I had access to all of these materials, I -- what I would probably says is these materials make it clear that whatever concessions the Palestinian side offers, a succession of Israeli government, as Tzipi Livni said -- she was describing previous governments to her own -- have taken what they could get and asked for more and, at the same time, refused to go along with these Palestinian concessions or -- or deemed them insufficient.

I would also draw the conclusion that the United States is not a -- an even broker of any sort. Quite the contrary. The United States has gone beyond what Aaron David Miller described, acting as a lawyer for Israel. And I think as these documents show, quoting Secretary Rice, quoting Secretary Clinton, is serving as an arm twister for Israel, essentially telling the Palestinians, this is unacceptable in Israeli terms, you have to go further, while not recognizing how difficult any kinds of concessions are for any Palestinian leadership.

I think we've seen in the reaction to these documents insiders may say, oh, they made these concessions 10 or 15 or 20 years ago. We've seen in the reaction to these documents how very unacceptable to Palestinian public opinion these kinds of things are.

And this is the kind of thing that American diplomats -- and I -- I'm afraid the American media -- ride roughshod over. Nobody seems to pay attention to the fact that there are severe domestic constraints on any...

ANDERSON: All right...

KHALIDI: -- Palestinian negotiators.

ANDERSON: Martin, and I'm not sure who comes out of this worse, the Palestinians, the Israelis or, dare I say it, the United States, at this point.

Let me put this question to you -- if you were still involved in negotiations, would you be advising Hillary Clinton at this point that she should drop her veto on Palestinian unity talks and take up Hamas' offer of a year long cease-fire, which would allow them to get into the -- or at least around the negotiation table?

INDYK: Well, there are a lot of assumptions in that. Let me quickly say, first, before I answer you, is that -- that if Rashid looks at one of the documents that I believe is on the Web today, an October 26th, 2009 meeting between Saeb Erakat and George Mitchell, you've got George Mitchell basically saying here, I'm going to give you what you've always wanted -- the U.S. taking a position that the state should be established on the lines of June 4th, '67, with agreed swaps. And it's the Palestinians who say no to something they've always been demanding.

So I mean there's a mixed picture here in terms of what the U.S. is doing.

ANDERSON: All right, answer my question then...

INDYK: It's not only...

ANDERSON: -- if you will...

INDYK: -- trying to press -- press the Palestinians.

ANDERSON: All right.

INDYK: In terms of -- in terms of, you know, the secretary of State is not putting some veto on reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. Those talks have been going on. The United States hasn't been trying to prevent them from happening. The fact of the matter is, there is no reconciliation because Hamas and Fatah are, at the moment, irreconcilable in their objectives as -- if Hamas wants to be part of the negotiations, then the quartet, not just the United States, has laid out very clearly what the requirements are. They cannot make peace at the same time as they're talking about destroying Israel and promoting violence against Israel. So once Hamas decides that they want to be part of the peace process, I'm sure that that can -- that can happen.

ANDERSON: Rashid, closing thoughts, if you will?

KHALIDI: Well, the same standards should apply to both sides. While Israel is making war on the Palestinians, presumably, it shouldn't be qualified to negotiate. But, of course, Israeli violence against Palestinians doesn't seem to incur this kind of a program from the United States.

No, I don't -- I don't really think the United States puts equal pressure on both sides. The United States essentially has put, in my experience, only put pressure on one side. When it occasionally would try and put pressure on Israel, we would find domestic repercussions for that.

And that, I think, really should disqualify, in the eyes of an objective Palestinian observers, the United States as an honest broker. I think the United States has to play a role, but the United States has to get its -- its -- its -- it has to clarify whether it's going to serve American national interests and work for peace or whether the president wants to serve some kind of domestic agenda, which, unfortunately, does not often lead in the direction of peace.

ANDERSON: Martin?

INDYK: Well, you know, I think that the United States has been trying very hard to get both sides back to the negotiating table. They've done it in a -- in an often a counter-productive way. And they have not been successful yet. So, you know, we can judge them by results, but it's not - - I wouldn't characterize it the way that Rashid does.

We have a long -- a longstanding differences about this. The United States does try to get -- take into account the needs of both sides and -- and try to work as a facilitator, and, yes, an honest broker in trying to get the parties to an agreement.

And I think you will see in these -- in these documents that come out over the next few days, the United States working to get the Palestinians what they say they want.

Unfortunately, these documents only cover the Palestinian side of things. They don't -- there's no -- we don't have any documents showing what the United States is saying to the Israelis. And so when the United States is engaged in some very -- pretty tough talk with the Israelis, that's not there for everybody to see.

ANDERSON: Gentlemen, we appreciate your time and your thoughts this evening.

Your experts on the story -- one of the big stories of the day.

Thank you, guys.

And stay with us, as this story, effectively, emerges before this day is going to chew it up. More leaks, and you'll hear them first here on CNN.

A programming note for you. Tomorrow on CONNECT THE WORLD, we have a special half hour where we take an in-depth look at recent extreme weather events around the globe. From flash floods in Australia to deadly mudslides in Brazil, what might these events be happening, why? And can anything be done about it?

We'll have contributions from the CNN weather team and some experts on the subject. That's Tuesday, right here on CONNECT THE WORLD at around this time.

Up next, though, the world's leading producer of cocoa is poised to banned exports of the product. We're going to tell you who in Ivory Coast ordered that ban and why, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. Just after half past nine in London, I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up for you, as Ivory Coast announces a halt to cocoa exports, we're going to look at why and what it means for our daily chocolate treat.

Plus, why sexist comments over this female referee have got the world of football in a spin.

And later, it's the woman who's not shy to tell us what she really thinks. American comedian Roseanne Barr is your Connector of the Day. Do stick around for that, she is hilarious.

Those stories are ahead in the show, of course, in the next half hour. First, let me, as ever at this point, get you a quick check of the headlines this hour.

Well, at least 35 people have been killed at an explosion at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport. More than 150 were wounded. Russia's state TV reported that the blast was the work of a suicide bomber.

Palestinian Authority called the leaked documents reported by Al Jazeera "distortions and lies." The papers reportedly cover peace talks between Israelis and the Palestinians. Among the revelations, Palestinians were willing to give up claims to some East Jerusalem land in offer -- or, certainly, an offer for which they received no concessions.

Demonstrators clashed once again with police and security forces in Tunis. Tunisia's army chief is warning anti-government demonstrators that a dangerous power vacuum could develop if they force out the interim prime minister before new elections.

And the Dow is racing toward the 12,000 mark, blue chips surging 108 points Monday to finish just shy of that mark, 11,980, in fact. The buying spree helped by strong earnings reports from several large companies.

There's your headlines this hour.

Well, negotiations have failed, military threats have failed, so will economic pressure succeed in finally removing Ivory Coast's self-declared president Laurent Gbagbo from office? Today, the prime minister -- or the prime minister for Alassane Ouattara, the internationally-recognized president, announced a month-long halt to cocoa and coffee exports. Anyone violating the order could be prosecuted. Those products account for 20 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, and 40 percent of its export revenues.

The mere announcement of the ban was felt on commodity markets. Cocoa futures for March delivery jumped four percent. Well, I'm going to show the global reach of Ivory Coast's cocoa trade. Just show you just how this story resonates where you are watching tonight.

Take a look at this. Its largest partners, based on 2009 figures from the US government, Ivory Coast sends nearly 14 percent of its products to the Netherlands. France, the second-largest partner with more than ten percent, followed by the US and Germany, each at around seven percent.

Nigeria and Ghana round out the top six. And Nigeria's government, incidentally, is one of the loudest African critics of Gbagbo and wants the United Nations to authorize the use of force to get him out.

Gbagbo's government dismissed the ban, insisting that it won't stop exports. Some analysts say even a small reduction could squeeze Gbagbo's finances. Nkepile Mabuse has more on the announced ban and examines what may happen if it has staying power.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The price of cocoa shot up on Monday, following a call by Alassane Ouattara for a month-long ban on exports from Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast is, of course, the world's top cocoa producer. And Ouattara is the man the international community recognizes as the legitimate president of that country.

A dispute over the outcome over the runoff election which took place in November last year has plunged the West African country into a crisis and created a lot of uncertainty in the cocoa industry. When Gbagbo first refused to step down, the price of cocoa shot up from about $2,000 per metric ton to way over $3,000. Now, its cost approaching its all-time high of just under $3,500.

Efforts by African leaders to resolve the stalemate in the Ivory Coast has thus far failed. Gbagbo still controls the army and the country's cocoa revenue. Ouattara's call for a ban on the cocoa trade is aimed at weakening Gbagbo's position.

Now the industry is preparing itself for a shortage. Some exporters may be reluctant to ignore Ouattara's call in case he does eventually become president one day. But if in a couple of days they get an indication that the cocoa is getting out of the Ivory Coast, the price may stabilize, at least for now. Nkepile Mabuse, CNN, Johannesburg.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: All right, let's do more on this. Let's talk more about cocoa and its political clout, as it were, with Daniel Balint-Kurti. He's an Ivory Coast analyst for Global Witness. We've heard about blood diamonds. I even hear there's situations of blood timber around the world, of course, in various places. Are we talking blood cocoa at this point, do you think?

DANIEL BALINT-KURTI, IVORY COAST ANALYST, GLOBAL WITNESS: Well, cocoa has for many years supported the government of Laurent Gbagbo. It's clearly a major, major money-earner for him, which is why Ouattara has demanded that people stop exporting it.

ANDERSON: Back in 2007, your group concluded that government and rebel leaders siphoned tens of millions of dollars-worth of cocoa revenue to finance the civil war, which of course, was last decade. You see a similar situation potentially building now, do you?

BALINT-KURTI: Yes. Both sides can continue getting money from the cocoa trade. The cocoa trade has been continuing. Now, we're seeing major disruptions because of the demand for an export ban, and all over -- all of the sanctions that have been imposed on Ivory Coast.

But yes, it's still a major revenue-earner at the moment, both for the rebels in the north and the government.

ANDERSON: Which begs the question, how long can Gbagbo last longer than, perhaps he ought, if he gets to retain the revenue for cocoa, of course?

BALINT-KURTI: Things will obviously be easier for him if he carries on getting all the money from cocoa. Not just cocoa, but other things like oil. That's 40,000 barrels of oil, at least, a day that have been exported from Ivory Coast.

But it's not guaranteed he's going to fall if cocoa exports stop, and it's not going to guarantee the situation becoming any calmer. The cocoa belt, where most of the cocoa is grown, is a very volatile area. If exports stop, there could be revenge attacks on migrants and settlers in the cocoa belt. There's no easy answer to this crisis.

ANDERSON: How long does he last, at this point, do you think?

BALINT-KURTI: I think it's anyone's guess. I remember a few years ago, everybody was predicting Robert Mugabe's imminent demise in Zimbabwe. So, yes, I really think it's anyone's guess. There's clearly a lot of pressure on him, but he has a lot of means at his disposal.

And although he might not have the majority of support of Ivorians, he's still got a lot of support, and he's got a lot of support in the army, and these are the people with the greatest amount of arms.

ANDERSON: We're going to have to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

BALINT-KURTI: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Well, a red card for two football commentators accused of sexism. So, is the beautiful game still seen as a man's game? That is up for discussion here on CNN, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, a leaked audio recording has revealed a very ugly side to the beautiful game. Two of Britain's most respected football commentators have been caught on take making sexist remarks against an assistant female referee.

Sian Massey was chosen to officiate at last Saturday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Wolverhampton. Yet, even before the game had begun, her ability was called into question by Sky Sports pundits Richard Keys and Andy Gray. Not believing their microphones were turned on, here's what the pair had to say about Massey and the vice chairman of West Ham, Karen Brady.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD KEYS, FOOTBALL COMMENTATOR: Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.

ANDY GRAY, FOOTBALL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I don't believe that. A female linesman. That's exactly what I was saying, women don't know the offside rule --

KEYS: Of course they don't.

GRAY: Why is there a female linesman? Somebody's (EXPLETIVE DELETED) big."

KEYS: I can guarantee you, there'll be a big one today. Kenny will go potty.

(INAUDIBLE)

KEYS: This is not the first time, is it? Didn't we have one before?

GRAY: Yes.

KEYS: Wendy Toms?

GRAY: Wendy Toms, or something like that.

KEYS: The game's gone mad. Did you hear the charming Karen Brady this morning, complaining about sexism? Yes. Do me a favor, love.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, those off-air comments have been described as "totally unacceptable" by bosses at Sky Sports, who've suspended the pair from covering tonight's match between Bolton and Chelsea.

So, just how rare are female referees in European football? According to UEFA, there are more than 800 registered in England. In comparison, Italy has almost 1500 female referees, while Germany leads the way in Europe with almost 2,500. However, in all three countries, no female referee has ever taken charge of a top-flight game.

So, are these sexist comments the norm in football, or a rare outburst? Let's put that to "World Sport's" Pedro Pinto. I'm not sure that how many female refs there are in the game equates with whether the game is sexist or not, but anyway, we've given our viewers an opportunity for some more facts.

I'm not going to pretend that I don't believe there are people out there who talk this sort of rubbish, but is it the norm in football?

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS COMMENTATOR: I think so. I've covered the game for over 15 years, Becky, and it's very normal to hear these kind of comments all the time between journalists, between coaches, between players, even.

And the fact is that it's an industry where it's 95 percent men, just like it is in the refereeing world, where there's 3.5 percent women referees out of all the registered ones in England, you have a similar percentage as far as the people who are involved in the game, the people that are covering the game. So, it's kind of accepted to have these conversations.

What sets these two commentators apart is that they did have a microphone on, and they were caught, and of course, these thoughts, just because they are the norm, aren't necessarily right, are they?

ANDERSON: What do you think of this, seriously?

PINTO: I think, first of all, it surprises me that here in England people can get busted for comments like this when they're off the air just because someone leaks a tape.

I think, obviously, it's completely wrong to have this notion. If this particular assistant referee, that actually got a really tough call right in the Wolves-Liverpool game, is good enough to reach this level, then she shouldn't be impeded from participating in it just because she was born a woman.

ANDERSON: I've got a couple of tweets here. Let's just read a couple of them, now, and get your response to them. Keira from New York, who is a regular tweeter to this show, she says, "Sexism is in every sport. The NBA has a few female refs, and MLB only in the minors. Hope all sports move into the 21st century soon."

She's making a very good point. If you are to stamp out sexism, you have to encourage more girls to get involved, surely. Girls and women, sorry.

PINTO: Of course, from a grassroots level. And it's curious to be getting some of those comments from viewers, because also from one of the most respected players here in England, he tweeted out a message, which I think is important, as well, to set the standard. People tend to listen to other players more than they do to people in general.

And this is what Rio Ferdinand, the Manchester United defender, had to say. "I'm all for women refereeing in football. Discrimination should not happen in our game at all. Prehistoric views if you think otherwise."

And I will tell you something, Becky, and you might be surprised to hear this. In Brazil -- and you know, South America gets a reputation for being a macho kind of place. But in Brazil, there are women who have been main referees at top division games, and they've done very well.

ANDERSON: So, does -- well, this surely begs the question, will things change? And if you think they will, when?

PINTO: I think you need to -- what you said, you need to get more women involved in all aspects of the game. I think women's football has a lot more respect now than it did in the past, so I think that helps. The next World Cup is this year in Germany, the next women's World Cup.

And I honestly feel that people need to accept that women are going to be part of it. If they have personal opinions that they're not as good as -- at football and that their football isn't as a high level, I think that we can all agree that that's the case. But it doesn't mean that that's a wrong view to have.

What is a wrong view to have is to believe that someone like a referee can't have the same opportunity just because she's not a man. It's open to everyone, so, if you're good enough, you should be doing it.

ANDERSON: Putting you on the spot tonight.

PINTO: I know, you have.

ANDERSON: And you gave me a perfectly sensible and credible answer.

PINTO: Did I?

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: Pedro Pinto.

PINTO: At least as far as you're concerned. We'll see the tweets.

ANDERSON: No rate card out by that point tonight.

PINTO: We'll see the tweets after.

ANDERSON: Pedro Pinto reporting, thank you, Pedro.

Well, she can make you laugh or wince. Ahead, our Connector of the Day, or your Connector of the Day, Roseanne Barr. From standup comedian to sitcom TV star and, now, author, Roseanne talks to me for you -- or about your questions or answers your questions about her life and career. That is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: And a quick apology here. When we were talking just earlier on about cocoa in Ivory Coast, we showed some pictures of cocoa leaves being grown in Bolivia. So, if you spotted that, we do apologize for that.

Now, one probably shouldn't take everything our next guest says too seriously, but that doesn't stop her from making us weep with laughter, it's got to be said. And now, you're facetious and, yet, surprisingly ambitions Connector of the Day up for your pleasure.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): Whether you love her or hate her, frankly, Roseanne Barr probably doesn't care.

ROSEANNE BARR, COMEDIAN: You know that beef farming stuff is destroying a thousand acres of rainforest every single day?

ANDERSON (voice-over): The comedic superstar has been making audiences laugh for more than two decades.

BARR: I didn't really care.

ANDERSON (voice-over): And has never held back from ruffling a few feathers.

(MUSIC - Theme to "Roseanne")

MICHAEL FISHMAN AS DJ CONNER, "ROSEANNE": I told you, my mom's not here. He's not here, either, I'm all alone.

BARR AS ROSEANNE CONNER, "ROSEANNE" (whispering): And I don't know anything about electric bills.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Barr's big break came with the self-titled television hit "Roseanne." The series ran for nine years and still boasts fans around the globe. After the show was canceled, Barr went on to pursue roles in film, and even hosted her own talk show.

Today, she's out with her new book entitled, "Roseannearchy: Dispatches from the Nut Farm." And when it comes to opinions, Barr certainly doesn't leave her readers guessing.

BARR: Oh, it was all just a blast to write. I wrote and rewrote it about three different times over a period of two and a half years until my editor stopped taking my calls. I went all the way compulsive obsessive on it.

And I'm so proud of it, because I think, what I've done, basically, as a comic is, I've got two laugh-out-loud moments on each page, and that took a lot --

ANDERSON (on camera): All right, give us --

BARR: Of thought and drinking. It took me a lot of drinking to come up with these jokes.

ANDERSON: What do you think will shock people the most?

BARR: I lived my life the way I wanted to live my life. I never compromised. And I fought for things. Now that I'm old and a grandmother, I'm thinking, hey, those are kind of the things that we need for the president of the United States, so I'm like actually going to run for president of the United States.

ANDERSON: Really?

BARR: And my book is -- "Roseannearchy" is my book, and it's all about solutions. "Rose-anarchy" is about how to make community and help each other and all that kind of stuff.

And it's a very spiritual book about my relation -- my lifelong relationship with my God. It's a very spiritual book, and about how I kind of went astray at one point in my life, and I sold my soul to the devil so that I could become a star in Hollywood, and I signed in my own blood when I was age 12.

And then, I forgot about that deal with the devil until I sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," and then I realized the devil was coming for my soul.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARR (singing off-key): For the land of the free!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARR: So, I did not want to have to pay up with my soul, so I had the devil meet up with me over at Spago, that restaurant, and I asked him for a refinancing on my soul. And he gave it to me.

ANDERSON: Roseanne Barr, you are ridiculous. Give us the headline, for those who don't know who Roseanne Barr is, what's the headline? Just take us back.

BARR: Porn star. Porn star. I started out in porn with a porn tape. It's soon to be available all over the internet. And, yes, that was when I was a very young girl. And then, I -- I got to be a television star and I did this show called "Roseanne."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARR AS ROSEANNE CONNER: So, how'd it go at the bank?

JOHN GOODMAN AS DAN CONNER, "ROSEANNE": Well, we chatted about the recession for a while, don't you know. Then I --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Do you miss the show?

BARR: No, I don't really miss the show. But I miss working with those guys. I guess I miss the show, sometimes I really miss the show. Sometimes I really miss it.

ANDERSON: Lorenza has written to us and asks this question. "What do you think about doing another sitcom?"

BARR: I'm holding out for nudity. They're -- so far, they don't agree, and I'm holding out until they'll give me what I want.

ANDERSON: What makes a good marriage?

BARR: I don't believe there is a good marriage, and I am pro-divorce. I'm tired -- everybody in the world's out there talking pro-marriage, well, I'm something different. I'm pro-divorce.

ANDERSON: How do you feel about US politics today?

BARR: I think they're unnecessary and stupid.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: OK. Given your Mormon background, Mark asks, "Any thoughts on Mitt Romney?"

BARR: Don't get me started on Mitt Romney. Let's move on.

ANDERSON: Would you get into politics?

BARR: I'm running for president, I told you that, I'm running for president of these United States, plus prime minister of Israel. It's a two-for. And I am doing it because I have the solution to every problem on this earth, and it is all in my book, "Roseannearchy." The solution to war, the solution to joblessness and to everything. All those solutions that I've spent a lifetime researching are included in my book.

And I just hope somebody would pay attention and actually read them, because it really would save the world, and it is not a joke to me. I have lived a long, long time trying to save the world with my messianic complex. And now, I at last have figured out the how, what, and why of every single problem. Please read up with it.

ANDERSON: All right. Listen, are you --

BARR: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Are you passing these things onto your kids? What do you encourage them to do?

BARR: Well, I encourage my kids to listen to everything I tell them to do. And if they don't, there'll be severe consequences. That's -- that's how I raised my kids.

ANDERSON: Joseph K. says you've always --

BARR: And they'll be out of the will. If they push it, they're out of the will.

ANDERSON: Joseph K has written to us. He says, "You've always been a superior supporter of gay rights. Do you think the issue is getting more normalized?"

BARR: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, it's getting more normalized. It's good. The more we are inclusive, the more mentally healthy we are. The more you try to help people and make connections to people, especially people who aren't exactly like you, the better your life is going to be. It's just a beautiful world when you're able to go to other cultures and neighborhoods and sample -- and sample their delicious cakes.

ANDERSON: Roseanne Barr.

BARR: I don't know why people don't listen to me.

ANDERSON: I'm listening. The world is listening.

BARR: The world needs to have a good laugh at itself, that's my message. Have a good laugh at your own expense, and you'll be mentally more healthy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And that is the message for this evening. Roseanne Barr, what a joy. Anyway, later this week, an actor who is often referred to as the Brad Pitt of Bollywood. Hrithik Roshan will be answering your questions. The screen icon comes from a long line of film stars and is famous throughout the world for his dance moves.

And let me tell you, your Connector of the Day, answering your questions, your part of the shoe -- shoe? Show. Do tune in tomorrow at this time on CNN. And for more on your Connectors of the Day, head to cnn.com/connect. That is the website, there, cnn.com/connect.

We are one month into 2011, already there is chatter in the United States about who might run for president in 2012. Will former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani be on the list of Republican contenders?

Well, he's going to answer that question and more on "Piers Morgan Tonight." European viewers can see it tomorrow night right before CONNECT THE WORLD. If you can't wait until then, you can catch it about four hours from now at 9:00 PM Eastern. It won't be Roseanne Barr, I can promise you. I'm pretty sure of that. I wager you, anyway.

Before we go, tonight's Parting Shots for you, and it's the award nominations no actor wants, saluting the worst of the year's movies. It is the Razzies. And leading the nominations, the third film in the "Twilight" saga, Ep -- "Eclipse," sorry. No doubt, millions of teenage vampire fans will disagree, but the film's up for nine of the possible ten gongs.

"Twilight" co-stars Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are both up for Worst Actor, as is funny man Jack Black. After getting tied down in "Gulliver's Travels," he'll be hoping he doesn't get strung up by the Razzie judges.

And another big winner could be 3D blockbuster "The Last Airbender." It's been picked -- also picked up nine nominations, including a nod for the Worst Eye-Gouging Misuse of 3D."

Sequels are a favorite with movie producers, but they've not gone down well with the Razzie judges. This year's "Sex in the City Two" is up for seven gongs, including one each for Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda.

Well, the judges couldn't decide which of Jennifer Aniston's performances they hated most. She's been put forward for Worst Actress for her roles in both "The Bounty Hunter" and "The Switch."

The Oscar nominations are announced tomorrow. Doubtless all the Razzie nominees will be hoping they can do a Sandra Bullock, who last year managed to scoop one of each.

I'm Becky Anderson, and that is your world connected here on CNN. Thank you for watching. The world news headlines will follow this very short break, and then will be "BackStory."

END