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CONNECT THE WORLD

Japanese Officials Admit Ignorance about Nuclear Crisis; Mother of Libyan Woman Speaks Out; Sold Into Sexual Slavery; Pakistan and India Take Cricket World Cup Semi-Final Down to the Wire. Cricket Fever in UAE. How Sport Can Bring Peace. Connector in Common Among Three Celebrities. Philippe Cousteau Reports From Catlin Arctic Ice Base. Connector of the Day Elham Al-Qasimi.

Aired March 30, 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: Confidence is crumbling in Japan, as workers race to prevent radiation from spreading.

Rebels in Libya trying to battle back after punishing assaults by government forces.

The national pride of more than a billion people on the line and India delivers a victory.

And a princess-to-be who may not be so common after all.

This is CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.

I'm Becky Anderson.

First tonight, troubling new developments in Japan, as officials admit they have no idea when the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl will end. Radioactive iodine in the seawater near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant has surged to record levels -- more than 3,000 times the legal limit. Workers have been dousing damaged reactors with water to prevent a total meltdown.

But that, in turn, produces highly revolution run-off. Now TEPCO, the company in charge of the plant, will try a new tactic, they tell us, tomorrow -- spraying the grounds with a special resin to trap radioactive particles.

It's also considering encasing four damaged reactors in concrete after acknowledging they will be permanently decommissioned.

Well, it all seems to be too much for TEPCO's president. Masataka Shimizu was admitted to hospital due to fatigue and stress.

Well, the Japanese government wants to make sure a crisis like this never happens again. It's ordering an immediate safety upgrade at all nuclear power plants in the country.

Martin Savidge tells us about a new scare nearly three weeks after the earthquake and tsunami.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New concerns at another nuclear facility here in Japan, as smoke rises over Reactor Number One at the Fukushima Daiichi facility. It was actually coming out of the turbine room. Firefighters were called in. They saw that the smoke was rising from an electrical panel. The electricity was shut off, the smoke went away. It does not appear to be anything related to anything nuclear.

They are still keeping an eye on it right now.

As to the Fukushima Daiichi plant, there today, some success. They began draining water, highly radioactive water, out of the crawl spaces in basement areas of the turbine rooms. They need to do that to get the workers in there to start making badly needed repairs.

Meanwhile, public attitudes toward TEPCO are changing. Many people here are growing increasingly angry at the big power company that owns those facilities, saying they don't believe the company is telling them the truth.

Here's what one protester had to say.

RYOTA SONO, PROTESTER: Because the government doesn't want to take responsibility for this incident, they are only giving a minimal amount of information.

SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, the chairman of TEPCO was speaking out today. And he admitted that the company has not had a very good track record when it comes to communicating.

TSUNEHISA KATSUMATA, TEPCO CHAIRMAN: We are very sorry for causing troubles and concerns to the international community. And we are making efforts to get more updates out to people overseas.

SAVIDGE: There were also high levels of radiation that were detected in the seawater just off of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The levels were 3,000 times the legal limit. Health officials say that there is not a concern for humans. You would have to drink almost the entire ocean in order to get sick from that.

Still, what is a concern is the fact that the company apparently still cannot say exactly where that radiation is leaking from the plant into the ocean.

In Tokyo, I'm Martin Savidge -- back to you.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant are putting their lives on the line to contain this disaster. As if that's not enough, they're also enduring grim living conditions, lacking basics that many of us would take for granted.

Paula Hancocks shows us their sacrifice.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the eyes of the world, they are heroes. Risking their lives, a few hundred work day and night to bring Fukushima's nuclear power plant back from the brink of disaster.

An official from Japan's nuclear watchdog has spent five days at the plant and tells CNN conditions are harsh. Food and water are rationed -- crackers for breakfast, a ready-made meal for dinner. He says a few hundred people sleep in a building about 500 meters away from the reactors. Many sleep on the floor in the conference room. Those who can't fit sleep in the corridor or in stairwells. He says workers put down lead mats on the carpet to shield them from radiation. It's not 100 percent protection, but it's somewhat effective.

Workers are still struggling to secure power for the plant to bring the cooling systems back online after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. Nuclear safety official, Kazuma Yokota, says the rooms are cold and there's no water for showers. They use wet wipes to clean themselves. They can take a bus provided by plant owners, TEPCO, on their day off and go 20 kilometers away to have a shower and a rest at another facility.

The mental strain is unimaginable, as workers also deal with their own personal tragedies. One e-mail leaked to the media was sent from a worker at the plant to a worker in Tokyo. A TEPCO spokesperson has verified their authenticity. The plant worker writes: "My parents were washed away by the tsunami and I still don't know where they are." In another e-mail they write: "Crying is useless. If we're in hell now, all we can do is crawl up towards heaven."

The Tokyo worker e-mails back: "Everyone here pays respects to and prays for those who are facing the brunt of this and fighting on the front lines surrounded by enemies."

The Fukushima worker says they are all working to their limit, both mentally and physically. Three workers spent time in hospital last week after standing in contaminated water. They have since been released.

TEPCO and the government say they are trying to improve conditions for the Fukushima employees.

YUKIO EDANO, JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY (through translator): The workers are working under very dangerous and very hard conditions. And I feel a great deal of respect to them and very apologetic. HANCOCK (on camera): Plans are being drawn up to improve the supply chain to those at the Fukushima nuclear plant, as they work tirelessly to avert a nuclear disaster, putting their own personal pain to one side.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Tokyo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: What an incredible effort these guys are making to contain this crisis. But still, obviously, a long road ahead.

Let's talk about these safety concerns now with an expert for you tonight.

Robin Grimes is a professor of materials physics at Imperial College, London.

I mean one can only imagine what these -- what these guys are going through.

ROBIN GRIMES, PROFESSOR OF MATERIALS PHYSICS: Absolutely.

ANDERSON: What we're looking at, as far as I understand it, is a partial meltdown, specifically, at the moment. Apologies earlier on. I -- I actually was wrong and errantly called it a total meltdown.

What do we mean by partial meltdown?

GRIMES: Well, what happens in the core of the reactor when it gets very hot is that the fuel rods start to buckle and bend. Now, some of those will also have split open. And that means that water that's been cooling them can get to the uranium dioxide inside.

But not all of those fuel pins will have ruptured and not all of them will have twisted.

ANDERSON: So how concerned should we be?

GRIMES: Well, certainly, the water inside the reactor core now is very, very heavily contaminated, indeed. So we want to make sure that none of that water escapes out of that reactor core, or if it does, it can be filtered or put away into storage in some manner.

ANDERSON: What about this contaminated seawater we hear about?

GRIMES: So there have been some leaks from part of, probably Reactor Two. That's the one that suffered some problems with the bottom of the reactor. And that means that some of the contamination -- because it always finds its way out -- has got into the sea.

Hopefully, it's short-lived radioactive isotopes, which will be gone in a few weeks.

ANDERSON: But we're talking about more than 3,000 times the legal limit here.

GRIMES: That's right. But, of course, the legal limit is extremely small.

ANDERSON: Right.

GRIMES: That doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned and it doesn't mean that we have to do everything we can to prevent that going up any further. But hopefully it will -- it will decay away relatively quickly.

ANDERSON: And the...

GRIMES: We're not sure yet about that.

ANDERSON: And radioactive soil?

GRIMES: Yes. And -- and, again, it depends on how far down into the soil that radioactive contamination has gone. And also, actually, how far away from the reactor it's gone.

ANDERSON: A scale of one to 10 at this point?

GRIMES: Well, officially, it's a -- it's a five. And I think that's a reasonable description of -- of where we are. Nothing like a Chernobyl, but more than a Three Mile Island.

ANDERSON: And TEPCO suggesting a number of alternatives at this point to...

GRIMES: That's right.

ANDERSON: -- effectively close the -- this plant down...

GRIMES: Yes, that's correct.

ANDERSON: -- or these reactors down.

GRIMES: Yes, of course, these four reactors, the One, Two, Three and Four, will never ever be used again. That's the truth.

ANDERSON: They were old anyway, weren't they?

GRIMES: They were. Forty-year-old technology, actually.

ANDERSON: Yes.

GRIMES: That's -- that's getting on a bit, you know. So it's not a surprise that they won't be used again. But what we've got to do is try and remove the radioactive materials so that they don't come out and contaminate the environment.

And they're going to look at a number of options.

ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there.

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

GRIMES: Thank you very much.

ANDERSON: That's Robin Grimes for you this evening.

We're going to take you to the Middle East next. We're going to bring you the mystery of one Libyan woman and what it tells us about a nation in turmoil.

And two countries, a billion spectators, just one match -- Indians and Pakistanis drop everything to watch the Cricket World Cup semi-finals.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back.

You're with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

I'm Becky Anderson in London for you.

Rebels in Libya were on the back foot today, as Moammar Gadhafi's forces pushed them out of towns that they had occupied over the weekend.

Now, we're going to show you some pictures from the town of Misrata. But I've got to warn you, they are graphic.

These bodies were found there after days of fierce fighting. Britain's foreign secretary, William Hague, said children were among the dead after Gadhafi's men pounded rebels with mortars and tanks.

Well, opposition fighters are now executing a tactical withdrawal, as they call it, in several towns and heading back eastwards just days after they seemed to be sweeping toward Tripoli.

We'll bring you the story now of a woman who's become a face -- or the face, perhaps -- of the struggle in Libya.

On Saturday, Eman al-Obeidi told reporters that she had been gang- raped and terrorized by Gadhafi's militia. She's not been seen since then in person.

State TV, though, did release a video that it says shows al-Obeidi. You can see a woman lying on the floor, but you can't see her face.

CNN can't confirm that this woman is al-Obeidi or when the tape was shot. With her whereabouts uncertain, her mother is speaking out.

Reza Sayah reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(VIDEO CLIP)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Where are you taking her to?

Where are you going with her?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists manhandling Eman al-Obeidi, forcibly taking her away despite her cries for help. The images have sparked a mother's rage.

AISHA AHMAD, AL-OBEIDI'S MOTHER (through translator): I'm not afraid of Gadhafi. If I were to see his face, I would strangle him.

SAYAH: But this was her daughter.

AHMAD: I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep.

SAYAH (on camera): This is where Ahmad and her husband, a retired customs agent, raised al-Obeidi and her nine siblings -- an old two story home with a courtyard in the coastal town of Tubruq. This was 5-year-old Iman on a family vacation. This was college graduation day. Al-Obeidi studies law in Tripoli, her mother says. She went there to have a better life with dreams of one day having a family and moving to France.

Her parents say al-Obeidi never said anything about being raped, but they believe her and applaud her courage.

AHMAD (through translator): God made me proud. He just made me proud.

SAYAH: They say they don't believe regime claims that al-Obeidi is free. Let's see her if it's true, they say. Ahmad says on Sunday, a man called with a bribe.

AHMAD (through translator): They said, tell your daughter whatever she wants, she'll have -- money, house, security. But she'll have to change her story. I said no. I won't exchange my daughter's honor for money.

SAYAH (on-camera): In what is clearly an attempt by the Gadhafi regime to discredit Eman al-Obeidi, even before all the facts are out, some regime officials have suggested she's a promiscuous woman, leading a lifestyle, they say, that's not in keeping with Islam.

(voice-over): The family responded by holding an engagement ceremony for al-Obeidi in front of the town mosque. Despite her absence, a defiant message to the regime that al-Obeidi's honor is unbroken and so is their call for justice against Gadhafi and his regime.

AHMAD (through translator): When we go all the way to Tripoli, we'll cut his head off and bring it here.

SAYAH: Reza Sayah, CNN, Tubruq, Libya.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, in Syria today, dramatic scenes both inside and outside parliament after a controversial speech from the president, Bashar al-Assad. On national television, the president acknowledged the protests that have left scores dead there. But he said few concrete promises and there was no sign of lifting of -- of the lifting of the state of emergency.

Well, afterward, outside the parliament building, you can see one woman run up to the president's motorcade. Well, that sparked a large scuffle around the car, as people began to crowd around. Syrian TV -- state TV quickly faded to black.

Hearing directly from the victims of the worst kind of exploitation -- CNN Freedom Project has the story tonight of a woman who was sold into sexual slavery but got out.

And a cricket match that some have called the biggest in the world. Two famous rivals faced off. One won to advance to the World Cup finals.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, those of you who are regular viewers of CNN will know that as a network, we've launched an initiative this year that we are calling the Freedom Project, with the goal of exposing the trade in human life. It's an important initiative.

Tonight, we're going to focus on one aspect of that, and that is the sex trafficking industry.

Just how big an industry is it worldwide?

Well, according to an International Labour Organization report released in 2005, nearly 1.4 million people worldwide were forced into labour for commercial sexual exploitation. Of those, the overwhelming majority, 98 percent, were women and girls. And according to one expert we will speak to a little later in the show, each of those victims is being sold for just about $2,000 or less.

We're going to introduce you to one of those women now. Like so many others, sold into prostitution in a foreign country by someone that she originally trusted.

Well, as CNN's Atika Shubert reports, this woman considers herself relatively lucky because she got out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Laura is not her real name. We are not revealing her identity and we are altering her voice for her own safety.

She told us, at 17, her boyfriend sold her into sexual slavery. : "LAURA": They took my, how you say, self-respect. I think, you know -- I -- I thought that -- that I'm nobody anymore. You know, they beat me up, they raped me. And then these guys, you know, the customers, they treat me like an animal. You know, I was just, you know, a thing with what they can have fun with.

SHUBERT: What makes her story more remarkable is that it's happening in Sweden, a country hailed for its tough anti-prostitution laws.

JONAS TROLLE, HEAD OF INVESTIGATIONS UNIT, STOCKHOLM POLICE: It's easier, actually.

SHUBERT: Jonas Trolle is the head of Stockholm's police investigations. He says on surveillance tapes, traffickers lament the lack of customers in Sweden, avoiding the country because it's simply not profitable enough. TROLLE: If you take the street and you have the con -- the -- the girls on the Internet, you will find that it's maximum in this two million city, two million people that are living here. You can find maximum 130 prostitutes.

SHUBERT: (on camera): That's really incredibly low.

TROLLE: Yes. It's very, very low.

SHUBERT: Now, believe it or not, this is the equivalent of Stockholm's red light district -- no neon signs, just a lonely stretch of road. And on a cold winter's night like this, only a handful of girls that might be working the street.

Now, this, some say, is evidence that Sweden's laws against prostitution are working -- a dramatic decline in street prostitution. And the focus of the law is not to punish the girls who are selling sex, but to the men who are coming to buy.

(voice-over): Anyone caught buying sex faces a hefty fine and possible time in prison.

LISE TAMM, SENIOR PROSECUTOR FOR TRAFFICKING CASES: We have to remember that if you didn't have the demand, the sex buyers, we wouldn't have any of this trafficking, because it's -- they're feeding organized crime. They're the last line of the human trafficking chain.

SHUBERT: (voice-over): More than 70 percent of swedes support the prostitution law, the Ministry of Justice says. Norway has adopted similar legislation and others, like Denmark, are debating it. But it doesn't come cheap.

In the last two years, according to the Swedish Justice Ministry, Sweden has spent $45 million fighting prostitution and trafficking. It wasn't always a popular idea.

KAJSA WAHLBERG, SWEDISH NATIONAL POLICE BOARD: We were so much laughed at in 1998, when we took this legislation regarding, you know, prohibiting men from buying sexual services. I mean I was told that you can't do that. It's impossible. And people could not even get into the minds that we could have any effect on trafficking.

But now I -- I get the impression that people in, you know, many people have stopped laughing.

SHUBERT: Yet, as in this undercover video from Sweden's TV-4, sex is still for sale here. What's different today is where the women or girls come from.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not from Sweden.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From Russia.

SHUBERT: Swedish authorities say most of these women are trafficking victims brought here against their will from poor countries and tricked or forced into selling their bodies, like Laura.

She came from a Baltic state. The man she trusted as a boyfriend took her to Sweden, promising to get her a cleaning job. But when she got here, she and another girl were locked into an apartment with blocked out windows, like this one uncovered in a police raid. Supplied by their traffickers with food, alcohol and drugs.

Laura managed to escape, but with no money, she resorted to selling her body once again. : "LAURA": I started to drink. I drink very, very much. I become alcoholic. And after that, I become homeless, because I said to myself, it doesn't matter how you have to live, but you're never going to sell yourself again, because I hated myself for what I did.

I was at the street. I was six months pregnant. I was at the street .i didn't know what to do, where to go.

EVA GORANSSON, DIRECTOR, THE SAFE HOUSE: It's the pattern of self- destruction that has been with them since they were sold the first time, maybe at 13, 14 years old. Most of these women that we have, they were only 13, 14 years old the first time they had been trafficked.

And so you're not mature, you're not adult. You don't know what you're -- how is life. You don't know.

Most of the stuff showed up in the other room.

SHUBERT: Sweden paid, in part, for Laura's rehabilitation, placing her and her baby in this safe house for trafficked women. All the available spaces here are full. On the walls, the pictures of the children that live here trafficked alongside their mothers or born here, like Laura's. : "LAURA": But I just want to say that -- that I hope the girls don't be so stupid. Don't believe anything they tell you. You know, the guys, they're -- they just want to use you, you know. I don't know how to explain that. I don't know.

SHUBERT: Words of warning from the safety of Laura's new home in Sweden.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Stockholm.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, we're joined now by a regular guest on this program, a man who's going to help us just graph the scale of this business, as I guess we should call it, and just how far some of its victims travel.

Siddharth Kara, a human trafficking expert from the Harvard Kennedy School is with us from CNN Los Angeles.

Siddharth, we've talked many times before about this business. Sweden now bans solicitation, for example.

Is the story over?

SIDDHARTH KARA, HUMAN TRAFFICKING EXPERT: Well, Sweden certainly took a leadership role back in 1999 with their law banning solicitation. A few other countries have followed suit. But others have not. Others have taken the opposite approach of legalizing prostitution, which, their argument is this will allow you to bring things out in the open and protect against trafficking of women and children.

I haven't really seen persuasive data yet on which is the right approach. But anecdotally, because I've visited all these countries, anecdotally, where you make solicitation and the exploitation of women and children illegal, you have a more effective jurisdiction within which to crack down on these types of crimes.

Where you make it legal, it's a bit more of a challenge. And I've seen higher levels of trafficked women in places like Denmark, Amsterdam, Italy and Germany. And the problem with the legalization argument that I've seen is you can beat, threaten and torture almost any women -- woman or young girl into saying I'm doing this by choice. And then it's difficult to establish otherwise.

ANDERSON: Siddharth, I know this is a cross border issue.

Where does the supply of girls come from?

KARA: Well, certainly you focus on places where there's a lot of poverty, population displacement, corruption and lawlessness, corroding economies, maybe internal military strife. These are very common source countries of women and children who could be trafficked, and men, as well.

Now, having said that, you also have people who are trafficked from developed countries, within those countries, into urban centers. Countries like the UK or Denmark or the United States certainly have their share of people who are poor, impoverished, dislocated and vulnerable, as well.

ANDERSON: I know, briefly, you've spent some time in Nigeria recently.

Describe what you found there.

KARA: Well, Nigeria was a shocking experience, Becky. If you take everything you know about human trafficking and put it on steroids, that is Nigeria. The people there are extremely poor. They literally boil tree leaves to survive. So they're desperate to get out.

Now, the difference is the level of control there is unlike anything I've ever seen, particularly because of the juju and voodoo culture they have there. I met young girls in European countries who had been trafficked from Nigeria and when I started to look at the data, places like England, Denmark, Italy, the number one country of origin for all of the trafficking victims was Nigeria. And not just Nigeria, but Edo State in Nigeria.

So I went there and I met with these juju priests. I went to the villages. And they officiate a ceremony taking the woman's nail clippings, hair and menstrual blood and swear her to an oath never to talk about her ordeal, never to try to escape, never to cooperate with police and to repay debts in excess of 50,000 euros.

These women are in such terror of these oaths, that even if they're deported back from Europe, they move heaven and earth to get back to Europe to repay these debts to avoid the spiritual affliction that will come upon them if they don't.

ANDERSON: And Siddharth will be a regular guest on this show, as we pursue this story of modern slavery, as we move through the year.

Siddharth, thank you.

KARA: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Well, many of you are joining our Freedom Project by becoming CNN iReporters. You're uploading pictures or video and you're making a statement about modern-day slavery no matter where you are in the world.

Let me just say give you a few examples here.

In Cameron, an office worker sent us this image, showing how he is standing up for human rights and putting together a group of men to stop slavery. "Human rights equals freedoms. I'm taking a stand to end slavery," he says.

In Bhutan, our iReporter, Deke (ph), submitted a picture of herself, saying that she's taking a stand to end slavery from where she is.

And even the kids are getting involved in this important project. Nine-year-old Annabel and 5-year-old Diego from Germany wrote that they're taking part because they want to stand up for the rights of kids all over the world. It was their message of children helping children.

And another pair of kids, this time in Melbourne, Australia. They say: "It doesn't matter where we come from or how old we are, because everyone needs to take a stand together."

And many of you have sent in videos, as well, telling us that you're taking a personal stand against modern-day slavery.

Take a listen to what a few of you have to say, starting with Britney Partridge (ph) in India.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRITTANY PARTRIDGE, I-REPORTER, INDIA: I'm Brittany, founder of the Red Thread Movement, and I'm taking a stand to end slavery for Bangladese girls in Bombay --

MEMBERS OF LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO, SOUTH AFRICA (in unison): We are Ladysmith Black Mambazo. We are taking a stand against slavery.

UNIDENTIFIED I-REPORTER, MYANMAR: I'm taking a stand to end slavery.

(GUITAR CHORD)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: You can find out more about the Freedom Project here, and this is important, we want you to get involved. It's your project as much as it's ours.

And on Friday at this time, we're going to show much of what you sent in, cnn.com/freedom is where you'll find personal stories of what life is like as a slave and, more importantly, ways that you can help.

Get involved, cnn.com/freedom. Yes, good, all right. Make sure you do. Friday, we'll be showing your stuff.

Coming up after the break, it really does not get much bigger than this. India and Pakistan, a true clash of cricketing superpowers. If you don't know the score, let me warn you, it went right to the wire.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson in London. It is just after half past nine here. Coming up, a billion fans united as two nations do battle on the cricket pitch. What could it do for relations off the field? We'll find out.

Three famous faces, all of them linked on the family tree. How so, you ask? Well, here's a clue. It's a royal twist. We're going to bring you that connector in common in just a moment.

And an intrepid explorer taking her passion to extremes. We're going to ask your Connector of the Day what drives a woman from Dubai to trek to the North Pole.

Before all of that, let's keep you bang up to date with the headlines, here on CNN.

Reuters quotes US government sources saying President Barack Obama signed a secret order authorizing covert support for Libyan rebels. Those rebels are withdrawing from towns they'd occupied over the weekend after being beaten back by Moammar Gadhafi's forces. Opposition forces have been pushed back eastward by heavy bombardment.

New concerns about a crippled nuclear power plant in Japan. Radioactive iodine in seawater near the Fukushima Daichi plant has surged to record levels, more than 3,000 times the legal limit. Officials say there is no immediate health threat, though.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad addressed his country's recent unrest and accused enemies of stirring up trouble. Mr. al-Assad did not lift the state of emergency as widely expected. Witnesses say protests have erupted in some areas after the speech.

News reports say the Ivory Coast capital is now in the hands of forces loyal to the internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara. The UN Secretary -- sorry, Security Council is scheduled to vote soon on a resolution imposing sanctions on rival Laurent Gbagbo and his inner circle.

India storms into the cricket World Cup Final. It wasn't just any game, though. They beat their arch-rivals, Pakistan, earlier today. Pakistan's prime minister accepted an invitation from India's prime minister to come and see the match in person.

And both nations came to a virtual halt during play, with more than a billion fans following the action on TV. India will now meet Sri Lanka in the final.

Well, cricket fans will tell you, it's not a game, it's a religion. This is how it was reported on CNN and our sister network, CNN-IBN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROWD SHOUTING, CHEERING)

PARIKSHIT LUTHRA, IBN CORRESPONDENT: The teams over here -- shut up! You shut -- Isn't this big, bigger than any kind of win?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's bigger -- it is bigger than the biggest -- World Cup final! It is the biggest match!

(INAUDIBLE, CROWD SHOUTING)

LUTHRA: I'm sorry -- OK, it's difficult to speak.

MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Many Indian fans have said for them, this was the final, this was the real match that mattered, and it is because India was playing Pakistan, and --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: India is the best country!

KAPUR: There you have it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In all the world!

KAPUR: So, you know, it's kind of tense --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- country in all the world!

KAPUR: This was really the match the was very important --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much!

KAPUR: -- for the Indian fans. So, sure, there might be a little bit of overconfidence, but I think the Indian fans are thinking they'll worry about that a little bit later. Right now, the focus is on celebrating victory, celebrating victory of Pakistan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: That's right. And similar scenes in London. Pakistani and Indian supporters packed the pubs for this historic match.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROWD SHOUTING, CHEERING)

(HORNS BLOWING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, let me tell you, Twitter is abuzz with all things cricket, today. Let's check in with more World Cup fans around the world for you.

There's no loser for Mike in Australia, who's just happy to see the two teams come together, he says.

Mondera is a very proud Indian in New Delhi today, "Loving the men in blue."

A sad day for Pakistan fans, though. Prathap in Islamabad wishes the team better luck next time.

And a tweet from a new fan. Nikita in the United States says she's never been into cricket but, now, she is, quote, "hyped."

As you've just seen, the mammoth rival match between India and Pakistan doesn't just have people in those two countries putting everything on hold. The teams have a huge following in the United Arab Emirates, as Leone Lakhani shows us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(CROWD CHEERING)

LEONE LAKHANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You'd be forgiven for thinking this was a bar in India. It's actually a cafe in the United Arab Emirates, where rival India and Pakistan cricket supporters sit side-by- side to watch the World Cup semi-final.

LAKHANI (on camera): It's hard to get the exact numbers, but estimates say that nearly 50 percent of the ex-pat population here in the UAE is made up of Pakistanis and Indians so, even here, cricket is a religion, and these are their fanatical followers.

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LAKHANI (voice-over): It's one of the biggest rivalries in world sports. The fans are here en masse, many skipping work to watch this epic match.

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LAKHANI (on camera): Did you take time off work today to come here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm in a meeting at the moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My boss sees me on TV. Well, it may be an issue, but I think he might be here, as well.

Cricket is as important as life is to us. So, I've been over here, everybody is Pakistani or Indian here. It's lovely because all are brothers.

LAKHANI (voice-over): Even on the streets of Dubai, cricket spirit is in the air. Umjad (ph) is a Pakistani taxi driver. He doesn't finish work until 5:00 PM, but he's keeping tabs on the score on his car radio.

No such luck for Mohamed and Fasil Rahim (ph). They work one of the many construction sites in the city, but they couldn't take time off.

With such a huge collection of South Asian fans in Dubai, the city is at a virtual standstill, so this company is just going with the flow.

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LAKHANI (on camera): This is a cafeteria of an office, but there's so many Indians and Pakistanis working here that they've set up a projector for all their employees to watch the match for the rest of the day.

(APPLAUSE)

LAKHANI (voice-over): Cricket fever here is so infections that even the non-cricket countries are getting in on the action.

LAKHANI (on camera): Where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've lived here all my life, and all I see and all I hear when I'm not watching TV is cricket.

LAKHANI (voice-over): The UAE has had a long history of hosting friendly matches between Pakistan and India since the 1980s. Now, as they battle it out at the World Cup, it's a friendly rivalry that carries on here both on and off the pitch. Leone Lakhani, CNN, Dubai.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: I'll let you into a secret. Leone will be sad tonight. She's Pakistani, so you might want to find her on Twitter and send her your regards.

Listen. Nelson Mandela once said that sport has the power to change the world. And I want to find out about sport's role in diplomacy. Now, Wilfried Lemke is the head of the UN office for sport and the development of peace, and he joins us, now, from Bremen in Germany.

How effective do you really think that sport can be as a method of resolving political disputes? There is a history of it, isn't there?

WILFRIED LEMKE, UN SPECIAL ADVISER: Yes, of course, but sport on its own does not resolve political conflicts directly or immediately. But sport, on the other hand, has a very strong symbolic value, and has also the capacity on all levels to create conditions in which reconciliation can take place.

And sport events such as this great cricket game today between India and Pakistan provide opportunities to make symbolic gestures and to send out very positive messages.

ANDERSON: Let's --

LEMKE: You could see it right now through these wonderful images that you --

ANDERSON: Sure.

LEMKE: -- gave to us.

ANDERSON: Let's remind ourselves, it's not just today, and as you say, it may just be the spur for all things good going forward. I mean, the film "Invictus" tells us the true story of how Nelson Mandela used rugby to help unite a divided South Africa. That country, of course, hosting the World Cup in 1995. That was a great moment, wasn't it?

LEMKE: Yes, but I can tell you many, many other examples in which the power of sports was used. I recall, for example, we have there a match in which Drogba, the very famous player, go down -- or went down on his knees after they qualified for the World Cup. And on a live TV situation, he -- he asked his people to stay in peace. They had a civil war in the Ivory Coast at that moment.

And people in this moment stand and listened to him. The next day, unfortunately, they started fighting again. But this was -- this was a very strong moment. And there are many, many other events all around the world where you can show that sports can be a very -- has a very strong value to bring people together.

ANDERSON: We do have to remember, political differences sometimes find their way into the Olympics. For example, 1972, the Games in Munich, the United States playing Russia in the basketball final at the height of the Cold War, the US thought they'd won, of course. A controversial ending, that wasn't the case, and they wouldn't accept their silver medals.

Very briefly, is sport often more successful in -- as a -- in conflict resolution than, perhaps, other methods?

LEMKE: No, I don't think that there is a priority or something like that. I think sport can be used in a very positive way and, of course, you just mentioned some very bad events in sports. Of course, we have them. Sport is not something like an island of peace and harmony.

But one thing is very, very important. You can bring people together with one language, and one language is sport. And this means that you don't take care from which religion somebody is playing in a cricket team, or which culture, which language, or which color of his skin is. So, this unites people.

And of course, we in the United Nations have only used sport as a tool for development of peace. We are not so much interested in this very big event. Also, today, I have to speak very frankly.

ANDERSON: All right.

LEMKE: This was also a political -- a political match, because these prime minsters sat together on the tribute, and this was a very, very big symbol of peace.

ANDERSON: And with that, we're going to live it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Let's hope it helps heal wounds going forward.

Now, here's a question we'd like you think over, and you've got 90 seconds to answer it. They are famous in their own right, but they've also got one very well-known cousin in common. Who is it that links these three on the family tree? Find out after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, if you've been elsewhere, you might not know that it's just a little less than a month until Britain's royal wedding extravaganza, and we've been learning more and more about our future Queen of England, Kate Middleton.

For instance, did you know she is already related to British royalty? And that his ties may be a lot closer than you think. Our Jim Boulden sat down for this exclusive interview with the CEO of the New England Historical Genealogical Society and asked him how long he'd been researching for this day.

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BRENTON SIMONS, NEW ENGLAND HISTORIC GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY: We were banking on this one, and it was clear that it was a serious relationship. And so researchers both -- on both sides of the Atlantic have been working on it, literally, for years.

JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Some of the papers here like to call Catherine or Kate "common." Is she common?

SIMONS: Well, we've heard that point of view, and she does have an ancestry different from any other princess, certainly. The ancestry is primarily English. It's northern, a lot of ancestor in Leeds and Yorkshire. And it is what you would describe as working class.

She also has a line that is gentry, a gentry family, the Fairfaxes. They go back to the Gascoignes and, ultimately, to nobility and royalty. And we also have learned that she is a fairly close cousin to Guy Ritchie, the film director and the former husband of Madonna.

BOULDEN: Well, in that way, then, it makes her a princess of the people.

SIMONS: Well, I think that's right, and I think what's interesting is that the future royal family will have ancestry, really, in all British classes.

But then, there also were folks who were -- had maybe more hard scrabble existence. A charwoman, laborers, messengers. In fact, a messenger who was imprisoned at Holloway in 1881.

BOULDEN: Do you think she knows that?

SIMONS: Probably not. I -- and not much is known about it. We think that this person was imprisoned for debts.

BOULDEN: So, how is Kate related to Diana Princess of Wales? Or are they related?

SIMONS: She is -- she is related to Diana. She's a distant cousin through the Gascoigne family, through that gentry family, which also connects her to the Queen Mother and even to George Washington in America. She is a 14th cousin once removed to Prince William, and she is a 15th cousin to the queen.

BOULDEN: So Kate and William are related?

SIMONS: Yes.

BOULDEN: You mentioned George Washington. So, she does have connections to America, as well.

SIMONS: She does. She has impeccable American connections. I just mentioned George Washington. She's also related to General Patton from World War II. She's related to explorers, like Meriwether Lewis and Richard Byrd of the South Pole. And also to Francis Scott Key, who wrote "The Star Spangled Banner."

So, if you go back far enough, these Americans have lines that they share with Kate in England.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Bet you didn't know that. After the break, pushing beyond physical, mental, and cultural barriers. We're going to take a look at the first Arab woman to set foot on the North Pole. She's your Connector of the Day. Stay with us.

(COMMERICIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: We are following a remarkable story straight from the Arctic tundra. After days of delays due to bad weather, finally a break for our CNN crew led by environmentalist Philippe Cousteau has made it to the Catlin Arctic Survey ice base. And he joins us on the line, now.

Quite remarkable. How are you bearing up, Philippe?

PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): I'm doing all right, Becky, how are you doing?

ANDERSON: I'm good. What are you learning?

COUSTEAU: Well, we're up here with the Catlin ice base in the Arctic, in the high Canadian Arctic, and we're doing research on the thinning ice caps and salinity changes and, basically, trying to understand a little bit more about what's happening here in the Arctic.

ANDERSON: And how are conditions?

COUSTEAU: Well, conditions are cold, of course. That's not much of a surprise. It's about minus 30 -- between minus 30 and minus 40 Celsius. And we are seeing a continuing trend over the last -- that has been apparent over the last seven years of every winter, there's less and less ice cover here in the Arctic.

And it's turned out that 2011 may take the new crown as the lowest or smallest area of sea ice ever before since recording started in 1979, which is of great concern for everybody in the world, because they Arctic, as I'm sure you know, Becky, regulates -- it's like the air conditioning unit of the planet. And so, what happens here affects the entire planet, so we're very, very concerned.

ANDERSON: Philippe, we're looking at shots that you've taken on the trip to date. You're about 550 klicks, I believe, away from the North Pole. How long is that going to take?

COUSTEAU: Well, we're -- we have a team that's headed up to the North Pole now, but weather has not been cooperating. We finally made it up here to ice base a few days ago, and we're going to be sitting tight here doing science for a little while.

ANDERSON: And when you talk about the science, just describe -- I mean, I've been up to one of the bases in Norway fairly close to the Arctic Circle, and it's quite remarkable the sort of research they do in these areas. Just describe what you're -- what you're seeing, what you're finding.

COUSTEAU: Well, these are some of the bravest and hardiest scientists anywhere to be found, I think, in the world, Becky. They spend weeks and weeks and weeks in these subzero, frigid temperatures with dangerous conditions, risking their lives, essentially, to do the science to try and shed light on these issues that are, as I said earlier, of global significance.

When you talk about climate and weather patterns and drought and rainfall and all of these different, critical weather phenomena, climate phenomena around the world, they are largely affected and, in some cases, regulated by what happens here in the Arctic.

So, peeling back the layers of uncertainty and -- that exist. We don't know a lot about this area. It's really critical for the next evolution of the next hundred years of this planet as our population explodes, natural resources decline, what happens in the Arctic affects the word, and we need to know about it.

ANDERSON: Yes, good stuff. Philippe, we do appreciate your time. I know it's extremely cold and communications aren't easy. But Philippe Cousteau for you, tonight. And you can learn more about the expedition on the website, the team blogging daily from the ice base. And you can even send them a question, do do that. It's cnn.com/goinggreen.

Well, breaking some new ground over some of the most extreme terrain on Earth. We've got another adventurer for you, now, who fought for her dreams and conquered her fears. I want to get you connected with the first Arab woman to reach the North Pole.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): Elham Al-Qasimi has not taken the traditional path of an Arab woman.

ELHAM AL-QASIMI, ARAB EXPLORER: It's the beginning of a long journey of discovery, climates that I haven't seen before.

ANDERSON (voice-over): While born in Dubai, she was raised in the United States until the age of 12, when she moved with her family back to her Muslim homeland. She developed an iron will to go beyond the perceived limitations of her Arab culture, and walked, unassisted, to one of the world's most unforgiving places, the North Pole.

In April last year, after traveling more than 120 kilometers in temperatures that fell to minus 30 degrees Celsius, the then-27-year-old planted a United Arab Emirates flag at the North Pole. She made history at the age of 27, in a challenge, she told me, was more rewarding than she had ever imagined.

AL-QASIMI: It all started with a personal dream, just a desire to see the top of the world, and always questioning whether it was a legitimate dream to have, because I just have no exploration experience. And when you look at some of the greats, like Ranulph and all the other various explorers, they are just big shoes to fill that you think it's impossible.

ANDERSON (on camera): Just talk me through some of what went into the training.

AL-QASIMI: Well, it was interesting. It wasn't just physical. It was nutrition, and it was mental preparation. But, certainly, it started with about an hour a day of training. It went up to four or five hours a day.

And the most noteworthy would be pulling tires through Hyde Park in preparation of pulling a sled across the Arctic ice caps. So, yes. It was a lot of fun, but it was a lot of hard work.

ANDERSON: Tina asks, "What was the hardest part of the trip? And did you ever feel like giving up?"

AL-QASIMI: I think, despite all the preparation, I had not fully comprehended how cold it would be. And that's a daily struggle, and it affects everything from the timing to the minute of when you eat to the quantities that you eat to how much water you take in to how often you go to the bathroom so that you conserve as much of your body's ability to keep your vital organs warm as possible.

And I had -- I just hadn't taken -- despite all my polar training I had done in Minnesota, near Canada, the camping, all of it. It just -- it was this different world, and my day became an obsession with keeping motion going so I'd keep my circulation up.

I would never have believed, had someone told me, that I would ski ten hours a day, that I would take a break once every three hours, and that break would be limited to three minutes by my own choice, because I was terrified of standing still longer than three minutes and thereby facing frostnip, which I did eventually get.

ANDERSON: There must have been moments when you thought, "If only my family and friends could see me now."

AL-QASIMI: Yes.

ANDERSON: Which ones were those?

AL-QASIMI: Going at it, insisting being at the front of my expedition team, being the only woman, having shorter legs, and I'm just a different caliber. And still, pushing forward through it all.

By that point, I had -- my whole face was swollen from just the water retention, the amount of salt in my diet. My -- all my joints ached, I hadn't had a shower in eight days. I didn't even bother taking my base layer beanie off because I didn't want to know how filthy my hair was. And yet, I was happy.

ANDERSON: There was a comment on a Gulf news website, and I quote, "The place of a good girl is at home. She is not a man. She is a beautiful woman. She is," as you were, "27 years old, and she should stay at home with her husband." What do you say to that?

AL-QASIMI: Well, I laughed when I read that message, because I sort of thought, well, if you only understood that any husband of mine would be the kind that'd be packing up to come with me, and that's -- that's the truth. Everyone, each to their own. And that's a very legitimate view for some people, but for me, I'm just in a different place in my life, and I'm pursuing dreams.

And I think the most important thing for me -- people ask, "What does it mean? What does it mean for women? Why is this even relevant?" Well, widely-spread is the quite common view of what the -- our limitations are as women in the Middle East. The most obvious would be access to resources, such as information, such as education, such as financial independence.

But then, go one layer deeper, and then you have -- you have freedom of choice and freedom of mobility and just the decision-making that goes into things like pursuing a dream. But then go one layer deeper, and it's the right to control your own perceptions of what's a legitimate dream to have. And that's very much culturally patterned for us.

For me -- there were six years of personal development that went into the ability to turn around and say, this is a legitimate dream to have. And that was the point of sharing the story, to really make everyone turn around -- not that everyone's going to become an explorer, but to really think about what it means or how we cap our own rights or access to dreams.

ANDERSON: And not everybody will, as you say, become an explorer. But perhaps this story resonates particularly today, at the moment, as we watch what is going on across the Middle East, across the Arab region.

AL-QASIMI: I think an important thing, and it's a very inspiring time for us all, is to understand that when someone breaks the barrier in terms of a first, it opens a floodgate. We really are at the point in the Middle East where we just need to move forward. We've stagnated long enough.

ANDERSON: All right, so I'll give you an opportunity here. Bethany has written to us. She says, "What message do you want to send to other women who feel like they can't reach either what you've done or what simply they want?"

AL-QASIMI: You know, I think the most important thing is to pick up the dream that's right for you. And these are experiences, an amalgamation of which make us an interesting, fruitful, lively society.

ANDERSON: Mental or physical preparation? What was the most difficult?

AL-QASIMI: Truth being said, mental. In that expedition, there was no room for questioning myself, there was no room for insecurity, there was no room for even doubting whether this was my right or my legitimate dream to pursue.

ANDERSON: Is this the beginning or the end of your exploring days?

AL-QASIMI: Well, the good news is it was a personal dream and it -- at the end of it, it was about having fun. And I did have a lot of fun, and I did get to know myself. And so, I think, yes, there's definitely plenty more up my sleeve.

ANDERSON: I thought you were going to -- I thought you were going to ignore the end of that question. Where's next, then?

AL-QASIMI: Where is next? I think for me, any expedition will have to be meaningful. My first expedition had to do with seeing the top of the world, it had to do with setting -- rejecting the idea that there should even be a first Arab woman in the year 2010 should go to the North Pole to make an accomplishment for a group of people.

And if I did something like this, also, I think it would be in a group to really demonstrate that it's not just one person who can do it, it's anyone who puts their mind to it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Your Connector of the Day, and that is your world connected this evening. I'm Becky Anderson, thank you for watching. "BackStory" is up next here on CNN.

END