Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
'Indescribable Violence' in Libya; Crowds Cheer New Prime Minister; Controversy Over Libyan No-Fly Zone; Refugee Crisis on Tunisian; Libyan Border Growing; Cricket's First Out Gay Professional; Connector of the Day Father Alberto Cutie; Parting Shots of the View From a Space Shuttle Launch
Aired March 04, 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: Tear gas on the streets of Tripoli, as Gadhafi's forces try to stay in control.
To the east and west of Libya's capital, reports of fierce fighting and indescribable violence. On the border, stranded migrants are braving the elements, waiting for a chance to return home.
Coming up, Desmond Tutu tells me why it's crucial that Africa steps up the pressure on Gadhafi.
These stories and more tonight, as we CONNECT THE WORLD.
I'm Becky Anderson on the Libyan-Tunisian border.
MAX FOSTER, HOST: And I'm Max Foster in London.
Also coming up, a warm welcome to Egypt's new prime minister. And we'll hear from the cricketer who's taken a risk that few athletes are preparing to take -- announcing that he's gay.
ANDERSON: First tonight, a doctor tells CNN that a river of blood exists now at a hospital in Zawiya, where some of the fierce fighting took place earlier today.
Here are the very latest details for you as we know them from here.
Witnesses say pro-government forces gunned down protests in scenes of indescribable violence. At least 15 people were reported killed, some 200 others were wounded.
It's been difficult to get video out of the country. This amateur video from Zawiya was uploaded to a Libyan opposition Web site in Switzerland on Friday. We don't know when it was filmed.
The government now claims to have retaken most of Zawiya from the rebels -- a claim the rebels deny.
Zawiya is the town closest to Tripoli, that had fallen to the opposition. Not only is its location strategic, it is also close to a key oil installation.
Further east, 500 kilometers from Tripoli, fierce clashes also took place today in Ras Lanuf, another important oil town. Rebels reportedly went on the offensive there, as they moved east along the coastal road toward Tripoli. Fighting raged around an air strip and an oil compound.
And in Tripoli, witnesses say security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up anti-government demonstrations after Friday prayers.
While authorities in Tripoli have been trying to prevent information getting out, there are journalists there.
And our Nic Robertson is there.
And he pieced together what he could find out.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What the anti- government protesters there had hoped to be able do was, after gathering for Friday prayers, they were hoping to get a march along the Corniche, the big highway along the seafront here, all the way from Tajura to the heart of the capital.
They weren't able to do that because the government forces, the police were out firing tear gas. And we are told, as well, baton rounds.
We couldn't ourselves go into that neighborhood, Tajura, when these demonstrations were happening. Government officials told us it would be too dangerous for us to go in there. Some journalists were able to get there. We were able to get to the outside of Tajura later in the day. And then the Corniche absolutely deserted, as I say, because the government has been able to control and tamp down and -- and -- and force the protesters back in and off the streets and to stop the protests here in the capital.
ANDERSON: All right. Well, we spoke to a resident of Tripoli earlier on today.
Now, she didn't know anything about protests, but she had heard talk of kidnappings.
We won't say her name for her own security.
Listen to what she -- had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, there are two things disturbing happening in Tripoli, up Sida Street (ph).
The first thing is people being interrogated in their homes. This is random people and nobody knows when they're -- and about what they will be interrogated.
The second thing, there are young people being kidnapped at their homes. These are people who had not been in process or involved in anything. They're just -- I think, my personal opinion, the government is trying to pressure the people who are residents in Tripoli to not go out and tracking them in different ways.
My sources have been saying that no -- that for the people who have been kidnapped, nobody has been killed yet. They're all being locked up in some prison, not that far of Central Tripoli.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: All right, well, that is, then, the situation in the capital as we know it.
Our Ben Wedeman has been traveling around the eastern part of Libya.
He filed this report.
Have a listen to this.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anti-Gadhafi forces are now in control of the strategic oil refining town of Ras Lanuf, after a day long battle. A ragtag collection of former soldiers in the Libyan Army, as well as volunteer fighters, fought their way into the cities.
This gives a huge advantage to the anti-Gadhafi forces. It's the first major offensive they've been able to undertake.
This despite the fact they do not have any air power whatsoever.
According to eyewitnesses, during the battle, Libyan aircraft were involved, as well as helicopters, which strafed the anti-Gadhafi fighters.
Now, of course, these fighters are looking further down the road, looking at possibly taking the town of Sirt. That's one of -- that's the heartland of Gadhafi's power. It's his hometown. And, of course, now they're even looking beyond it at the possibility of advancing on the capital, Tripoli, itself.
I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from Eastern Libya.
ANDERSON: Well, Moammar Gadhafi has vowed that he will fight to the death. Let's see what happens going forward at this point.
Let's talk now to Ali Errishi, who was one of the first -- in fact, I believe the first Libyan official to actually resign from his position of minister for immigration and expat migration, joining us now live.
Sir, your reaction, firstly, to what we've been hearing from Libya today?
ALI ERRISHI, FORMER MINISTER OF IMMIGRATION & EXPATRIATES, RESIGNED FROM LIBYAN GOVERNMENT: What can I say?
These are people who are not asking for anything but to express themselves freely, to have a government of their own choice, to have the right for free assembly, free of suppression, to have a right to their own wealth.
And what is this regime is afraid of?
Why not pull out his terrorist machine, just get out of Tripoli and let the people have their say?
Let us hear, let the world see and hear what kind of a form of government they want, what flag they want to raise. And -- and the fact that the regime has lost all legitimacy, now are trying to silence the people, as they did for the last 40 years or so, by sheer brute force and by conducting a homegrown there is some sponsored by a terrorist organization that disguises itself as a government.
ANDERSON: All right, reports of a river of blood at a hospital in Zawiya today, reports of rebel fighting in the east. And, as Nic reported -- and it's typical for him to get information out of Tripoli -- protests there today, which were quite violent. And as our resident of Tripoli suggested, talk of kidnappings, as well.
Does any of what we are hearing surprise you?
ERRISHI: No, not at all. And I just -- I know this is the language that, you know, I know it's not your own language, but I would rather call them freedom fighters, the rebels. They are freedom fighters. That's what they are. And the world should look at them with awe and admiration. These are people who are putting their lives on the line so that others would live freely, would have the same rights that others in the free world entertain. They are freedom fighters.
I'm not surprised. This is a regime that practiced the politics of revenge. They don't care. Even if their atrocities have no strategic or tactical reason, they will just keep killing people because of sheer arrogance and sheer kind of -- that's basically it for this -- this regime. And it has had -- gave -- gave the people only one choice -- I either rule you or kill you. You are not worth living without me ruling you.
But the people know better and they --
ANDERSON: All right, you --
ERRISHI: -- (INAUDIBLE).
ANDERSON: -- Libya --
ERRISHI: Go ahead.
ANDERSON: You -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry to interrupt you.
You've worked for this regime.
If you had to second-guess it at this point, what do you expect them to do next?
ERRISHI: Well, I did not really work for the regime. I worked for the country. I worked part-time. I stayed most of my tenure at the United States. A call was made that they are interested in reform and dialogue and having a constitution and respect for human rights.
Myself and many others at home, like my good friend, who is now the chairman of the transitional national council, Mr. Mustafa Al Jeleil, also gave it a shot, who was the minister of justice. And we did our best to see if we can open up the country. And we -- I'm glad that we did. We opened up the country to the rest of the world, to the U.S. and the E.U. in particular. And people could use satellite TVs in the last five years, so they see how the rest of the world looks like. They could use Facebook and Twitter, which (INAUDIBLE) now this Facebook and Twitter from 85 percent of the country.
I never ever swear allegiance and I challenge anyone to present anything that I swear allegiance to nothing but -- but country -- and -- and people. So it was an experience. But I always put my finger on the pulse of my people. And my people called that this reform thing is all a sham and it's all deception, it's all -- they are playing games with us and we are not going to take it anymore.
I told them, you are right. We shouldn't take it anymore and I joined the call.
ANDERSON: All right. Well, we're going to leave it there.
But we hope to speak to you in the days and weeks to come.
We do appreciate your time this evening --
ERRISHI: Thank you very much for having me.
ANDERSON: -- and a voice --
ERRISHI: Thank you very much. And I assure you that the Libyan people --
ANDERSON: Well, one of the --
ERRISHI: -- will prevail.
ANDERSON: -- former ministers of the Gadhafi regime.
We thank you very much, indeed, for that.
Well, we, as you can see, are covering this story from all angles. Coming up later, my interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Libya.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU, CHAIRMAN OF THE ELDERS: We support you and we want to ensure that what you want is what you will attain. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A man who is passionate about human rights and respected across the international community. That is coming up for you.
And now, though, let's send you back to Max in the studio in London -- Max.
FOSTER: Thank you, Becky.
Also coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD, his actions caused a scandal in the Catholic Church. Father Alberto Cutie makes his case for marriage and for family.
FOSTER: The case for and against a no-fly zone over Libya -- some are pushing for it, others are warning to stay clear. The military tactic, what it means and the impact it could have.
Plus, our exclusive interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
That's all coming up.
I'm Max Foster in London.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
Here's a look at other stories we're following this hour.
In Saudi Arabia, demonstrators have taken to the streets for the second straight day. They are demanding the release of Shiite prisoners whom they say are being held unjustly, among them, prayer leader, Sheikh Tawfeeq al-Amer, who was arrested after a sermon stating that Saudi Arabia should become a constitutional monarchy.
Essam Sharaf, Egypt's new prime minister, spoke to protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday. He told them that he was of the people and vowed that if he didn't meet their demands, he'd quit.
As Nima Elbagir reports, the protesters greeted his appearance with joy and also resolve.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was meant to be the coronation of the people's prime minister -- the first Egyptian leader to emerge from the January 25th uprising.
(on camera): But even amidst the euphoria and the chants of welcome, there was still a sense here that they would hold on until all of their demands were met.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's good and we have a lot of votes on him. We hold a lot votes on him. He was a good selection. Finally, we are on the right track.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And all the people here, very clear messages. We don't want to wait for a long time until our demands are met. And we will keep coming until are demands are met and until each person is satisfied and the people who are missing come out of prison.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are here. We're still here.
ELBAGIR: Essam Sharaf replaced former prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, who was put in place in the last reshuffle instated by former Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak. And so the hope was that this clean sweep, this complete reshuffle of the Egyptian government would be enough.
But the sense here in Tahrir Square is that for the protesters, they feel that they're here for the long run.
Nima Elbagir, CNN, Cairo.
FOSTER: A possible motive emerges in the deadly shooting of two U.S. airmen in Germany. An arrest warrant indicates the spending, Arif Uka, was seeking revenge for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. German officials say Uka is a recently radicalized Muslim and his relatives likely suffered in the 1990s during the Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanians.
Pakistan's prime minister led mourners at a tightly guarded funeral service for slain politician, Shahbaz Bhatti. The minister for minorities and the only Christian serving in the cabinet was shot to death in Islamabad on Wednesday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. His assassination follows the killing in January of Punjab Province governor, Salmaan Taseer. Now, both men campaigned for reform of a controversial blasphemy law.
A $424 million NASA mission has failed. Minutes after a rocket launch from a Californian air force base, the nine story Taurus XL rocket, designed to place a payload of up to 3,000 pounds into low earth orbit, was carrying the Glory satellite. It was meant to join a fleet of others observing the earth's biosphere and climate, but it seems the fairing, the -- the protective shell on the rocket, didn't separate as expected. NASA says it's a devastating blow. It was the second attempt to launch Glory and the second failure for the Taurus rocket.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OMAR BAEZ, NASA LAUNCH DIRECTOR: We didn't see the indication of fairing separation. There was other indications, such as performance loss, that we saw a little bit later on in flight. But we failed to make orbit. And -- and all indications are that the satellite and the rocket were -- were -- is in the Southern Pacific Ocean somewhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, NASA has now just set up a board to investigate the exact cause of that failure.
CNN has learned that John Galliano's show at Paris Fashion Week has been canceled. The designer's press officer tells us that the show is being scaled back to an exhibition. Fashion house, Christian Dior, fired Galliano earlier this week after his alleged anti-Semitic remarks emerged.
Meanwhile, in a -- a speech today, Christiane Dior's CEO, Sidney Toledano, addressed the controversy, saying, quote: "It has been deeply painful to see the Dior name associated with the disgraceful statements attributed to its designer."
Now, in with the new, out with the old -- Apple has dropped the price of its iPad as it gets ready for the sale of the iPad 2, the new version. On the company's Web sites, some models are on sale for $399. That's $100 off.
The new iPad 2 goes on sale next week, if you're interested.
Coming up on the show, we are live on the Tunisian-Libyan border, when Becky brings us her exclusive interview with Desmond Tutu.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUTU: The world celebrates your desire for freedom and supports you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: His message to the Libyan people and why he's calling on Africa to step up the pressure.
Also ahead, a brave decision -- English cricketer, Steve Davis, talks to CNN about his choice to come out.
ANDERSON: Welcome to this special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD.
I'm Becky Anderson on the Tunisian-Libyan border.
Well, opposition forces are asking for it. Some in Washington and elsewhere are pushing for it. What I'm talking about is a no-fly zone above Libya, basically to try and avoid Moammar Gadhafi actually using air power to attack his own civilians.
It was an effective tool used in the Balkans and in Iraq.
But not everybody agrees with its use.
Have a listen to these pros and cons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It's pretty clear that there are not a lot of aircraft that the -- that Gadhafi has flying. His air defense systems are -- are certainly old. And it is not a major challenge, at least in my assessment, of being able to impose the no-fly zone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: But the reality is -- and -- and people -- there -- there's a lot of, frankly, loose talk about some of these military options. And let's just call a spade a spade. A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: All right. Well, our chief U.S. correspondent, John King, joining me now -- John, what are you hearing at this point?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, there is a great deal of reluctance in the Obama administration to have this no-fly zone, because as you just heard from Secretary Gates there, they don't believe it's a significant military challenge. They believe they can do it if they are asked to do it and if it ultimately reaches that point, if the United Nations and NATO agree that you need a no-fly zone, they believe, militarily, they can do it. It would be a strain on resources, but not a significant military challenge.
What they are worried about is the diplomatic fallout, frankly, that you would have the U.S. military interjecting itself in a violent way to take out the anti-aircraft weaponry along the Libyan coast, to try to take out sort of Moammar Gadhafi's fighter jets.
You would have, for the third time in 10 years, the United States military conducting offensive actions in an Arab and Muslim nation. And they, frankly, think that the ramifications around the region -- Gadhafi could use it for propaganda reasons, the Iranians could use it for propaganda reasons.
So they say they are not quite ready to do it yet, although they do insist, Becky, it is still an option on the table.
ANDERSON: All right, John, how does or how do these re -- reports of rivers of blood at the hospital in Zawiya affect the dialogue, the narrative here, do you think?
KING: Well, that is where you see more aggressive calls. You heard Senator John McCain there just moments ago. Those in the U.S. Congress who say once the administration said, as President Obama himself has now said, that Gadhafi just go, that the credibility of the United States is on the line, ultimately, and that if the bloodshed continues and if you have a stalemate with the opposition forces holding parts of Libya, Gadhafi holding other parts of Libya and every day we go through this violence and bloodshed and the death toll mounts, at what point is U.S. credibility at stake, is the international community's credibility at stake, that it must do more to tip the balance of power?
At that point, administration officials concede, Becky, they might have to consider going to the no-fly zone. They do not believe this has reached the scale yet of Bosnia, the last time the United States did this, essentially, injecting itself. But they do believe if we're having this conversation several days from now, in the middle of next week, and Gadhafi has not backed down, those around him have not peeled away and the bloodshed continues, at that point, they would say look for a debate in the United Nations, look for discussions among the NATO allies.
But they are clearly reluctant in the Obama White House about using military force. And they're hoping, even as they position resources just in case, with U.S. military assets being shifted into the Mediterranean, even as they position them, Becky, they're hoping it doesn't come to that.
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating.
All right, John, we thank you very much, indeed, for that analysis.
All right, well, here's what others in the international community are saying about a -- a no-fly zone.
France and the U.K. say that they would support the idea if Gadhafi continues attacks against his civilians.
Russia is against the idea. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has described a no-fly zone as "superfluous."
China, a veto wielding member of the Security Council, has joined Russia in signaling its potential opposition, but it hasn't explicitly ruled out policing Libya's air space.
India's foreign secretary has spoken out, saying her country is also not in favor of a no-fly zone.
Well, opposition is high among Arab nations to any foreign intervention. But this week, the Arab League said it could impose a no-fly zone in coordination with the African Union if fighting continues in Libya.
According to one man very familiar with the international community, it's Africa that is -- or he says should play the crucial role here.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is one of the world's most passionate campaigners for human rights.
He's also chairman of The Elders, the group of eminent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela to support peace-building.
Well, in an exclusive interview with him, I began by asking him whether the international community is doing enough to put pressure on Gadhafi.
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU, CHAIRMAN OF THE ELDERS: It has been an unprecedented step by the United Nations, acting unanimously to do what they have done. There has been universal condemnation of Mr. Gadhafi. Obviously, the best action would be the action that would stop the suffering of the Libyan people that is happening now. And we would see -- let them increase two-stating (ph) so that they can bring pressure to bear on Mr. Gadhafi and his sons to step down.
ANDERSON: Given, though, what we have seen today, it sounds like things are getting worse.
Do you support the deployment of force -- international force -- into Libya at this point?
TUTU: It is going to be very difficult, though, I mean when the West -- if the West were to use military power, then people are going to say there we go again, Western imperial -- imperialism.
I -- I would hope that it would be the African nations, it would be the so-called Third World countries that would say we do have to intervene to stop the suffering of the people. That is quite crucial.
ANDERSON: South Africa -- OK, South Africa has a seat on the Security Council.
Given its close ties to Moammar Gadhafi, what should it do to increase the pressure on the regime at this point?
Are you counting on South Africa to do more, effectively?
TUTU: Well, you see, I mean they -- they certainly voted with all the other countries on the Security Council. And I am very thrilled with that.
And I hope, too, that they could use whatever other means and channels that they have. They have -- I mean the -- the governing party in South Africa, the ANC, have received quite considerable funds from Gadhafi. And I think, I mean, that their relationships have been very good. And they ought to say to him, look, you can't go on doing this because the world is appalled and you are going to have to face up, eventually, to the possibilities of being brought before the International Criminal Court.
And I hope, I mean, that the world is going to be able to say, we will not tolerate impunity and there must be accountability for the sake of the people who, all they want is their freedom.
ANDERSON: If you had one message for Libya and the Libyan people tonight, what would it be?
TUTU: The world celebrates your desire for freedom and supports you in all ways to -- for you to enjoy what is your God-given right. We -- we -- we think this is a moral universe and right and wrong matter. We support you and we want to ensure that what you want is what you will attain.
ANDERSON: And we'll be back here on the Tunisian-Libyan border for more on the story here.
I'm Becky Anderson with this special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD.
We'll be taking a look next at these refugee transit camps and what aid agencies are doing to help thousands of people here find their way home.
MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Max Foster in London. Coming up, trapped in no-man's land. We'll be live from the Tunisian/Libyan border looking at the growing refugee crisis.
The test, he's faced and won. We talked to Steven Davies, cricket's first professional to come out as gay and why he wants to support other sporting stars struggling with their sexuality.
And the priest who left the Roman Catholic Church to get married and have a child. Father Alberto Cutie is your Connector of the Day, and he tells us why he thinks the celibacy law is outdated.
All those stories ahead in the show for you but, first, let's check the headlines this hour.
No tolerance in the Libyan capital for protest against Moammar Gadhafi's rule. Security forces reportedly used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds. Meanwhile, pro-Gadhafi forces battle for control of cities on both sides of Tripoli, Ras Lanuf on the east and Zawiya in the west.
A raucous, cheering crowd greeted new Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharif -- Sharaf in Cairo's Tahrir Square. He promised to be a prime minister to the people and to resign if he failed to satisfy them.
A possible motive in the deadly shooting of two US airmen in Frankfurt Airport. And arrest warrant indicates the suspect, Arid Uka, was seeking revenge for US military operations in Afghanistan. Two other US servicemen were wounded in Wednesday's attack.
Designer John Galliano's Paris Fashion Week show's been canceled. Christian Dior fired Galliano this week over his alleged anti-Semitic remarks. Galliano's press officer tells CNN the show's being scaled back to an exhibition.
US stocks closed down on concern about oil prices, but it's not all bad. For the week, the Dow, the NASDAQ, and the S&P have edged higher.
Let's get more, right now, on the situation in Libya. Becky is back with us. She's on the Tunisian/Libyan border. Becky?
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Yes, I am, Max, thanks very much, indeed, for that. Tunisian officials are now telling us that they are increasing their efforts to try and help those who've been evacuated, as it were, across the Libyan border to try and get them out of here. It's been a tough old time for the tens of thousands of people who have found themselves on this side of the border.
Now, a US aid official telling us there are tens of thousands who have made it across the border over the past few days. Let's have a look at this. It's a GeoEye satellite image of the area, Ras Adjir, about 160 kilometers from Tripoli. It was taken on Thursday, but can give you some sense of the activity going on here.
And when I talk about here, I'm talking about what is the U.N.'s transit camp, here. It's about three miles or five kilometers from the border, it's where we've been all day and where we've found a population that the world, to a certain extent, had forgotten.
These are Bangladeshi migrant men who have had some of the most painful stories to tell us about how they had to leave their work in Libya days and days ago, walk, effectively, here to the border, where they were left for some time. I found them today, here in this camp. Have a listen to this.
ANDERSON (on camera): Is it dangerous?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dangerous. Danger -- Libya. All Libya dangerous.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Their stories are remarkably similar. They fled Libya when the fighting began in fear of their lives. On the road to the border with Tunisia, they say the Libyan army attacked them and stole their phones and any money they had.
FIRAS KAYAL, UN REFUGEE AGENCY: Well, there are right now some 10,000 Bangladeshi migrant workers here waiting to be evacuated. This morning, there was a rumor among them that there are two flights or three that will evacuate them to their country. So, they marched simultaneously to the site center.
ANDERSON (on camera): They'd been sleeping at the border, haven't they?
KAYAL: Yes, they have, but today, hopefully, they will be provided shelter here in UNHCR transit center and units are -- and I am right now -- are working closely on improving -- on arranging flights to take them back home.
And we take this chance to call on the governments who responded positively to our appeals two days ago to also respond positively and send their ships and planes in order to evacuate the Bangladeshis and other nationalities.
ANDERSON: Well, their stories, some of the most painful that we've heard since we've been here. Now, there have been less than a handful of flights evacuating Bangladeshis since we've been here, and the hope of officials is now that the international community will really prioritize these guys. They are a long way from home, they just need to get out of here.
ANDERSON: And their temporary home is in the tents that you see behind me -- you can't see, of course, because it's dark, just how many there are, but there is a sea of tents here, just down from the border.
Well, Bangladesh's minister for expatriate affairs was speaking today to CNN. We wanted to get a sense from him of just what the government is doing. And this is what he said. He told us they've got 50,000 people working in Libya, more than 20,000 of those have been evacuated and are, now, waiting on the Tunisian/Egypt border.
But he says the government's main purpose is not to evacuate people from Libya, to help their people there. He says it should be international committees intervening in this situation. Mr. Kahn says he has requested international organizations to evacuate people from the bordering areas and those who want to come back. All those who volunteer to come back.
Joining me now is a guest who was with us last night here on the show. It's United Nations spokesman for -- he's the UNHCR spokesman here on the ground, Firas Kayal, joining us once again. We talked earlier on today. Update me on the very latest from here.
KAYAL: Well, today we've just received the latest figures for the people who have crossed the borders today. We have less than 2,000 people cross the border. Again, as yesterday, significant decline in the number of the people crossing the border.
ANDERSON: Do we know why?
KAYAL: Well, we don't know why, but we are concerned that the people who are trying to leave Libya are prevented from doing so, or that the violence is preventing them from doing so.
ANDERSON: I know you told me earlier on, and just confirm this, if you will, that we are seeing Libyans cross the border to Tunisia, now. What have we heard from them?
KAYAL: Well, yes, in fact, today, in fact, there was around 600 Libyans, a little bit of increase in the number of Libyans coming. But we have not been seeing them a lot. They have not been talking to the media or to the officers from the border. They tend to immediately get inside Tunisia.
ANDERSON: We talked yesterday, and you talked about the potential for a humanitarian catastrophe. Now, while it's grim here, it's by no means comfortable, and it's desperate, it's not as bad, I don't think, as you feared yesterday. Is it?
KAYAL: Yes. And that -- thanks for the speedy response to the IOM/UNHCR appeal that UNHCR and IOM have launched. We've had governments responding to that. There were some 50,000 Egyptians who were evacuated in the last several days, mainly because of the efforts of the Egyptian government sending many planes. But also because of the governments from Europe and other nations responding to our appeal.
ANDERSON: I talked just earlier on -- and I want to come back to the population who are here, the majority, of course, are these Bangladeshi migrant workers. It's also, remember, these are ofttimes indentured labor in Libya.
Some of them told me, today, they hadn't been paid for two months and, when the fighting started, they feared for their lives. Their phones, they say, were taken by the Libyan army and any money they had left. As a closing thought, your sense of where these guys stand now. Are they out of here tomorrow, the next day? What happens next?
KAYAL: We're trying our best to bring planes -- UNHCR and IOM -- to bring planes in order to evacuate them. We're also receiving positive responses from the government. We hope that within -- if the speedy response continues from the governments by sending planes or ships, we hope that within the next two or three days, we will be able to evacuate them.
And right now, they've been -- this is their first night that they've been sheltered in the UNHCR set up camp behind us, and we have more than 12,000 Bangladeshis right now having a warm place to stay the night.
ANDERSON: And sleeping soundly, and I've got to say -- I thank you very much, indeed, for joining us -- joining us again as we continue our coverage from here.
And I've got to say, it was really extremely busy earlier on. We had a food shelter set up, water shelter set up. And these guys are calm, they're well-behaved, they've got a big smile on their faces. They're hoping to get out of here sometime soon.
It really is home for the time being, and it's completely peaceful. There are some 10, 11, or 12 of them in each of these tents behind me getting, just, I guess, a good night's sleep after what has been a really traumatic experience for them.
Well, that is it from -- from us, here on the Tunisian/Libyan border. Our continued -- our coverage, of course, though, from the region continues. Do continue to stay with CNN for all of that. From myself and my colleagues here in Tunisia, it is a very good night. Max? Back to you in London.
FOSTER: Becky, thank you very much, indeed.
Coming up, English cricketer Steve Davies talks to CNN about his choice to come out. We'll look at whether his decision could be a sport game-changer. Stay with us.
FOSTER: It is a risk that very few athletes have taken. Earlier this week, England cricketer Steven Davies took a bold step. He announced he was gay, making him cricket's first active professional to come out.
Well, CNN's Don Riddell met up with Davies to talk about his announcement, and I spoke with Don earlier and asked him how the interview came about.
DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Steven came out a few days ago. He actually came out to his England teammates before the Ashes tour, but he came out over the weekend, and it really has been met with a whirlwind of public interest.
I think it's taken him by surprise a little, to be honest. So, he decided today that he was going to do several interviews, and then that was going to be it. That was all he was going to say on the matter, and I was able to speak to him at lunchtime, and I began by asking him why he'd chosen this particular time to come out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN DAVIES, CRICKETER, ENGLAND: It just felt right. I can't really put my finger on it, but it just felt right for me. I was really comfortable with it. And if you'd have asked me two years ago, then maybe I wouldn't be in this situation. But now felt like the right time.
And everyone said to me that touring with England should be the best time of your life and, for me, the cricket was great, but the off the field stuff was tough. I found it tough at times. And embarking on a three and a half month trip to Australia, it was pretty daunting.
RIDDELL: Explain to me how you found it tough. Are you talking about the banter?
DAVIES: Yes. All sorts of things, really. Obviously, the dressing room banter. Anyone -- everyone that knows -- that's played on a sports team knows how precious the dressing room is. It's a great environment to be in.
And there were times when I couldn't really get fully involved in all the banter, which I like to do, so -- I was always worried that it might just come back onto me sort of thing, so I tried to stay out of the way.
And that was the same with -- in the evenings, I always would dread the question, "Are you seeing anyone? How come you're not seeing anyone?" These sort of questions. I would often go to my room and just chill out.
RIDDELL: Now, we've all only just found out within the last week but, of course, your peers and your teammates have known for some time. How did you actually go about breaking the news to them.
DAVIES: The first person I told was Andy Flower, who's the England coach. It was at Loughborough, and it was about a week before we left. So, I told Andy, and then we chatted for a good hour and discussed options of how I was going to tell the lads --
RIDDELL: It wasn't awkward at all, was it?
DAVIES: No. I mean, it was -- it was tough. It was a tough thing for me to do. But he was great. And he accepted it. He didn't bat an eyelid, really. And it was fine, but we discussed ways that we were going to tell the lads, and one of the options was for me to stand up in front of sixteen guys, ten support staff, and tell them that I was gay. And I was - - I was --
RIDDELL: For how long did you think that was a good idea?
DAVIES: Well, not even a second. I was like, "I'm not doing that."
RIDDELL: I'm curious about this, because for a long time you were carrying a secret, as it were. Do you think you ever held back in some of the comments you might have made while sledging because you might have known how it'd have felt if the same things were said about you?
DAVIES: I guess so. I guess I did. And that was a big reason why I wanted to tell the England guys was -- three and a half months was a long time, and I wasn't giving all of myself. I felt like I had more to offer, and Andy Flower agreed with me, and he said that I shouldn't have to live this way, and he said it was a great thing for me to do. And that's when I decided to tell everyone else.
So, yes, I guess in that respect I'd never felt like I was giving 100 percent me to my teammates and to my team.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: I don't think anyone would really argue that it's a very brave move, isn't it? And it just doesn't happen very often. Is that your view of it? Is that why it's news?
RIDDELL: Absolutely. Steven Davies has made history, whether he likes it or not, by becoming the first openly gay cricket player. You can still count pretty much on one hand the number of professional gay athletes there ever have been to have come out.
I think it's taken Davies by surprise, really. He was saying to me that he thought after he did his first interview that it might be in the middle pages of a newspaper and he couldn't believe it when he walked to the newsstand and saw from some 30 yards away that he was on the front page. I think it's really taken him by surprise.
Whenever the next player comes out, be it in cricket or whatever other sport, I guess it will become less of a deal. But at the moment, it is hugely significant.
FOSTER: And as you say, only a handful of players of any sport have actually come out. One of them, famously, Martina Navratilova, the tennis star. She spoke to CONNECT THE WORLD earlier this week. Let's hear what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA, FORMER TENNIS CHAMPION (via telephone): Each coming out, with every athlete, the news will be lesser. It's going to be less of a big deal, and that's exactly what John and I am trying to fight for, that eventually it's a non-issue, that's what we want, it to be a non- issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, Martina's talking about sport generally, but her background is, obviously, tennis. Do you think she's right about sport as a whole?
RIDDELL: Well, I think she's right. The more that come out, the easier it will be for those that follow. But I think team sports is a completely different situation. I think there's a lot more pressure on those guys.
And the reaction, really, is a complete unknown. Steven Davies admits that he didn't really know how the reaction was going to be. He didn't know what people were going to say and what people were going to think. He's been, actually, quite surprised that there's been such a positive reaction to him.
I think football remains, really, the last bastion. I think, when we have football players coming out -- and if you look at the statistics, if there's 700 Premier League players, around 7 or so you would, perhaps, expect to be homosexual. So, if and when football players come out, I think that will make a huge difference.
But Steven did point out to me, he said, "Look, it doesn't really matter whether I'm a pioneer, whether I've gone first, or whatever." He said, "Every single player situation will be individual and isolated. And just because players have gone before, it doesn't necessarily mean that it makes it any easier for you to come out in the future."
FOSTER: And as someone that's involved in the sports world, do you feel that -- the sport has been thrown behind him. Is that genuine, or in the locker rooms, is it still a lot of grief for people that do come out?
RIDDELL: Well, that's a good question. I believe the support is genuine. Of course, in this day and age, anybody that comes out and gets a negative response, the people who are being negative and giving that guy a hard time, they're only going to make themselves look worse in what has become quite a liberal society.
But I think he does have genuine support. He's had it from a lot of his fellow England teammates. A lot of people in the cricket community have all come out and supported him, and he's saying, now he can just get on with it. He can be himself. He can, perhaps, even become a better cricket player because he doesn't have this weight on his shoulders anymore and he can now just express himself in the way he likes.
FOSTER: Don speaking to me a little earlier today.
Well, still to come tonight, the dilemma that caused an unholy scandal in the Catholic Church. Father Alberto Cutie tells us why priests should be allowed to fall in love and have children. He's your controversial Connector of the Day, up next.
FOSTER: Well, the sacred vow of chastity. Every Roman Catholic priest takes the oath, and tonight's Connector of the Day is one of those. Let's meet the American priest at the center of a scandal that has reignited the debate over celibacy in the priesthood.
FOSTER (voice-over): As an international talk show host reaching into millions of homes, Father Alberto Cutie was a star amongst Roman Catholics. That's until he was photographed kissing a woman on a Florida beach in May 2009. His forbidden love affair with Ruhama Canellis had been exposed, leading to a life-changing decision.
Father Alberto left the Roman Catholic Church and joined the Episcopal Church, which permitted him to still serve as a priest and marry the woman he loved.
ALBERTO CUTIE, FORMER ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST: The church is about forgiveness. The church is my acceptance. Church is about living in the spirit of God, and the spirit of God is love.
FOSTER: Last year, the Cuties welcomed the birth of their first daughter and, now, Father Alberto has written a memoir where he shares his thoughts on celibacy in the church. Becky Anderson asked him why he chose to call his book "Dilemma."
CUTIE: When you are in love with your ministry and with God, and you fall in love with a woman, that you're told because of the celibacy rule that you're not allowed to love, you find yourself in a dilemma. So, I think, right from the beginning, the best way to describe it was "Dilemma."
ANDERSON: If you hadn't been caught on camera, would you have admitted to the affair?
CUTIE: I think that that was a consequence, really, of my situation of working in television and working in Latino media throughout Latin America, but I was already in the process of planning how I was going to announce this to the world.
It was a very difficult process because, as you know, as a Roman Catholic priest, you're not allowed to have this type of relationship. And so, it was -- it was a very difficult thing to have to hide that, something that is so good, where there is so much love. And then to have to plan away to come out and say it to the world.
That was, really, part of the dilemma. And when the paparazzi did that, obviously, it speeded up the process, if you will.
ANDERSON: But you didn't answer my question. Would you, if you hadn't been caught, have admitted to it?
CUTIE: Of course, of course. That's what I was in the process of doing. In the book, I talk about how I was in conversations already with the Anglican bishop, the local Anglican bishop and other priests to talk about how I would make this transition into a married priesthood.
ANDERSON: What are your thoughts on the Catholic Church and celibacy?
CUTIE: I think celibacy makes a lot of sense for monks and for people who are in religions orders, who take the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. But I think it's not very practical for secular priests, or parish priests, like they call them popularly.
I think diocesan priests always had the option for centuries to be married men. And I think to take that away has not really worked, and there's many reasons why over 100,000 priests worldwide have now left the Roman Catholic ministry and become married men. Some of them, like me, serving in the Anglican Church or in other churches.
ANDERSON: Keith's got a good question for you. He says, "When you first admitted the relationship, you said that you did not want to become the anti-celibacy priest. Some would say," he says --
CUTIE: That's right.
ANDERSON: "That with the views you presented in your book and media appearances, you have, indeed, become that priest." How do you respond to those opinions?
CUTIE: That's a great thing to say, but it really doesn't reflect on what the contents of the book is about. What the book says is, I respect celibacy as a promise that people keep when they live a healthy life. But I talk about the negative experiences that I also had in the church.
I had many positive experiences. But I had many negative experiences that I directly correlate with a lack of a healthy, celibate priesthood. And when you look at celibacy as a norm, yes, it looks like a great ideal. But when you look at it lived out, in the flesh, day to day, you realize, it's not allowing many people to live a healthy, happy life.
ANDERSON: Tell us about your life, now. And Joyceelaine asks, "Have you ever regretted leaving the Catholic Church?"
CUTIE: No, I really don't. In a way, I feel like I haven't left. I think the Catholic Church is broader than the Roman Catholic Church. I think, as an Anglican, I still profess the Catholic faith. We still have the sacraments.
We don't have a pope, we don't have a Vatican, and we are part of the reform of the 16th century, as you know. But we are not a church that abandoned the apostolic faith or the Catholic faith. So I don't feel like I've ever really changed my religion. I changed my church.
ANDERSON: Keira's got a good question. She says, "Why is the Catholic Church and, to a lesser extent, the evangelical church, so resistant to change? Wouldn't they attract," she says, "a bigger flock if they were more flexible in their ways?"
CUTIE: It's interesting because flexibility has never been a mark of religious institutions. Religious institutions have their ideas, and their way. Not just the Roman church, many other churches. But I think what ends up happening is we now live in the 21st century, where everything moves so quickly. And the last time the church had a real reform was in Vatican II in the last century, 1962 to 65.
And maybe it's time for a Vatican III. Maybe it's time for the church to start looking at itself in the contemporary, changing world that we live in.
ANDERSON: Is your story an isolated one, do you think? Do you know other people struggling with the same issue?
CUTIE: I get daily e-mails and correspondence from priests all over the world in this type of situation. Even in situations where they've fathered children and the church authorities know about it. They just keep moving them around.
Sometimes, for example, I get letters from the girlfriends of priests, the hidden women in the lives of many priests. So, this is not an isolated thing. I think thousands and thousands of priests, unfortunately, find themselves in that type of dilemma.
FOSTER: Well, next week, we have a Connector of the Day special for you. It is Adventurous Week. We'll be talking to four amazing people who go beyond borders and beyond limitations, including British legendary explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes. To find out more, head to cnn.com/connect.
Now, before we leave you tonight, we're going to -- we're going on a - - we're going a bit out there, really, with some pictures that our newsroom just can't stop watching. They're from NASA, and they're not related to the ones you saw earlier in the show, the unsuccessful satellite orbit.
This is what it looks like to go on a ride along a Shuttle launch. What you're seeing is filmed on solid rocket booster cameras as it roars up through the skies.
Then, in another angle, it's now passing the Earth's atmosphere. You can see the separation from the orbiter as it drifts off into space, there.
And finally, what goes up must come down, and here it is, falling back to Earth, plunging into the ocean. Amazing pictures.
I'm Max Foster, that is your world connected, thank you for watching. World headlines and "BACKSTORY" will follow this short break.