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CONNECT THE WORLD
Libyan Rebels Offer Cease-Fire; Over 1 Billion Turn Out to Cricket World Cup Finals; Fighting in Ivory Coast Displaces Thousands
Aired April 1, 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, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Rebels battling Gadhafi's regime regroup and say they'll accept a cease-fire if the government stops its siege on their cities.
And, reports emerge that somewhere in London another senior aide to the Libyan government may be holding secret talks.
In Afghanistan, (INAUDIBLE) launch a vicious assault on United Nations workers, but why? More than a billion people turned out to Cricket World Cup Finals, now just hours away.
And, tonight, a royal headache. Anarchists vow to disrupt the wedding of the year. Live from CNN London this is Connect The World.
Well, the question tonight: Is Colonel Gadhafi's regime finally falling apart? With Britain involved on a lengthy debrief of defected former foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, we're now learning one of Gadhafi's most trusted envoys is also here in the UK for confidential talks. Are these signs he's looking for an exit strategy? Well, Phil Black is on the story and joins me now from the newsroom. What do we know, Phil?
PHIL BLACK, CORRESPONDENT, CNN LONDON: Well, Becky, reports in London today that a senior Gadhafi government aide by the name of Mohamed Ismail may have been here already. He is described as a man who has a history of fixing problems between the west and Libya and he usually represents Saif Gadhafi, the Libyan leader's son. So, all of this has triggered reports that Gadhafi's own sons may already be trying to negotiate a deal for a post Colonel Gadhafi Libya, one that would see their father exit the political scene there.
Now, the British government isn't denying this. It is simply saying that it is meeting with Libyan officials. It's not going to give a running commentary there but it tells all of them that Gadhafi must go and Libyan officials should be encouraged to abandon his regime there.
ANDERSON: It's all a bit cloak and dagger at this point, isn't it? We do know that foreign minister Moussa Koussa is here in a safe house and he is being debriefed by the UK government. Do we know what he has said at this point?
BLACK: We don't know, but we can presume that it is of great value potentially, certainly, as an intelligence source. But, also, there is this big PR win that comes with having Moussa Koussa here and, so, there are also reports in Britain today that as many as 10 other senior Libyan officials are considering the same sort of move, switching sides.
Again, no confirmation from the British government but it is absolutely what it wants. It wants Moussa Koussa to be the first of many to jump sides in this way. The thinking goes that with every senior official to defect, well, Gadhafi gets that little bit more isolated, the regime is weakened and comes just that much closer to ultimately collapsing. But, it is also problematic for the British government because some of these characters don't exactly have pure histories. Consider Moussa Koussa, if you like. He is a man who was originally kicked out of Britain as Libya's ambassador because he publicly advocated the murder of Libyan dissidents here.
And now, Scottish investigators say they also want to speak to him because he was later Libya's spy chief. They want to know what he knows about the Lockerbie bombing. So, for the British government, it's something of a dilemma, something of a balancing act. His presence here is potentially a source of inspiration to other senior officials considering defecting but, at the same time, if he is harassed by law enforcement, by the media, by the public, well, that incentive, that motive goes and the political pressure was here right from the beginning to the point where the British government said, right from the outset, Moussa Koussa is not being offered immunity from British or international justice.
ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff and the story continues. Phil Black on the story in the newsroom for you this evening.
Well, on the battlefront in Libya, rebel leaders are proposing a cease-fire with Gadhafi's forces as fierce fighting continues to rage across key cities. While the opposition has laid out conditions, including the removal of snipers, mercenaries, and militia from areas in the west.
This is el-Brega in the east. The opposition says it's a scene of heavy fighting today. It's been a consistent pattern of advance, retreat, regroup, and advance again with the oil city changing hands six times in six weeks.
Well, here's a look at where things stand at the moment: Pro- government forces control the green-shaded area on the map from el-Brega to the Tunisian border to the west while the rebels are holding on to the yellow area west to Egypt. Libya's third-largest city, Misrata, has been besieged for days and has seen some of the worst attacks. Fred Pleitgen is one of the few international journalists who managed to enter the city and he filed this report on the situation there that's growing more and more desperate by the day as Gadhafi's forces fight to get into rebel strongholds and residents rush to get out.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: As heavy fighting rages in downtown Misrata, many residents have fled from the tank and artillery shells raining down on their neighborhoods but they have nowhere to run. The opposition-held city of Misrata is encircled by pro-Gadhafi troops. Masood Al Masoodi (ph) says he barely managed to get his family out of the city center and into this school on the outskirts.
"All the houses next to ours were knocked down in the fighting," he says. "People were killed in the houses right next to ours including women and children." Constant barrages of artillery, tank, and mortar fire have clearly traumatized especially the children.
And, as urban combat destroys more and more of downtown Misrata, many foreigners who came here to work during better times are now scrambling. Some were hoping to leave by a Misrata port but they can't get out. So, they've ended up here at a makeshift refugee camp near the port. It was set up when the fighting started and now stretches for several miles.
All along the road leading to Misrata port you find thousands of refugees, most of them from African countries, and they're stuck here, they're stranded here. They can't get anywhere. The worst thing about it is, first of all, all the refugee camps are makeshift. They have basically no food, no water that they're getting from the international community. What they're getting they're getting from the people of Misrata and they're right in the middle of the combat zone. They gave us this piece of shrapnel. They say artillery shells fell right near the area where the refugees are.
Ibrahim Prince Mohammed from Ghana says he and many others have been staying under the tarpaulins for more than a month and feel abandoned by their government.
IBRAHIM PRINCE MOHAMMED: We want to go to Ghana simply because we are unable to be comfortable when we hear gunshot and shouting all over the -- the city. Death -- people are dying. People are dying. We are not comfortable. We want to leave. So, we need help from U.N.
PLEITGEN: Cries for help have so far gone unheard as the situation of those caught here gets worse every day. While Misrata remains under siege, food, water, and medical supplies are further depleted and desperation grows.
And, Becky -- and, Becky, at this point, there is really no sign that any sort of aid is going to be coming in to these people. There was a Turkish aid ship that was supposed to dock in the port of Misrata a couple of days ago. That never happened because of the security situation. Of course, no sign whatsoever that ferries would be coming and even under sort of military protection to try and pick these people up. So, a very, very dire situation for the folks that are stranded there in Misrata trying to get out. They don't even have a way to get in touch with their government to ask for help. Becky?
ANDERSON: All right, Fred Pleitgen. He's left Misrata. He's now in Malta. Fred, thank you for that.
Our next guest is a Libyan opposition leader with a direct line to those leading the coalition efforts there. Earlier this week, Guma El- Gamaty met with both the British Prime Minister and the U.S. Secretary of State at the Libyan Conference in London to lay out the opposition's plans for a future Libya without Colonel Gadhafi. He knows the players and he understands what's at stake. Welcome back. You joined us last night. We want to get an update from you on exactly what you know and where you stand at this point but we're just hearing reports on the wires that the Libyan government has rejected this truce that has been offered by the opposition/rebels today. Does that surprise you?
GUMA EL-GAMATY, LIBYAN OPPOSITION LEADER: Not at all, judging by the deeds and actions of Gadhafi over the last two weeks, not the words. Remember, Gadhafi offered so many -- declared so many cease-fires and, yet, on the ground never, never implemented them. His -- his troops and his security battalions kept shelling cities and towns indiscriminately.
ANDERSON: So, this doesn't sound like a man, on the hoof as it were, going down although it looks, to all intents and purposes, as if his regime could be crumbling. What do you know about Mohamed Ishmael, the advisor to Saif Gadhafi who we know to have bee in London in the past couple of days?
EL-GAMATY: Mohamed Ismail is very, very close to Saif (INAUDIBLE). They have been friends since childhood. He has been his bodyguard in charge of his security, a very close confidant. Our reliable information from Tripoli, our sources from Tripoli, tell us that Saif has sent Mohamed Ismail to London with a specific offer. The offer is that Colonel Gadhafi will go into retirement inside Libya, perhaps in his town of Sirte or Sebha in the south and Saif will take over and oversee some sort of reform.
To us, this sounds like a trick. We have seen this trick before. Gadhafi has announced before a few times that he would give Saif a prominent role and that he will take a back seat. To us, it's just a trick to get Gadhafi and his sons off the hook.
ANDERSON: So that is an unacceptable offer if, indeed, that were to be the offer to the opposition.
EL-GAMATY: Absolutely unacceptable, not just to the International Council, to the whole of the Libyan population. Gadhafi and his sons come as one package and all of them have a lot of heavy blood on their hands. We cannot accept them. Gadhafi's sons are overseeing and heading battalion -- security battalions who are killing Libyans so we cannot accept the whole of them. They have to go. It's not just us. It's the international community as well. Everybody around the world, the prominent countries and leaders have been telling Gadhafi and his sons to leave power. They are not legitimate anymore and they should leave as soon as possible.
ANDERSON: So, you think (INAUDIBLE) as far as you can tell and reliable sources, they don't get any more reliable than yours at this point, say that the sons want sort of an exit strategy from power for Gadhafi. Is there any sense that he's looking for an exit from the country at this point?
EL-GAMATY: It doesn't sound like it at all although, later on, when his -- when he is much weaker and gets more weaker and more defections and more weakening of his grip on power, he might start contemplating going somewhere. I think, ultimately, the end game is that Colonel Gadhafi will -- will look for a safe haven outside Libya.
ANDERSON: I'm going to have to leave it there with you. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.
EL-GAMATY: Thank you.
ANDERSON: All right. Well, the United Nations under attack in Afghanistan. A deadly assault follows this demonstration in the north. I'll have the full story on that for you, and a cruel trade (INAUDIBLE) front. The problem of sex trafficking around the world. I'm going to ask an expert about the challenges that organizations face who are trying to stop it.
ANDERSON: Well, whichever way you look at it, it is slavery, pure and simple. Vulnerable women lured into a cycle of forced prostitution, unable to escape. CNN's Freedom Project continues with a look at how countries around the world are trying to tackle sex trafficking, a multi-billion dollar industry. While Israel has enjoyed some success, it's a very different story in other parts of the world. The issues and the challenges coming up right here on this show this hour. I'm Becky Anderson in London. Here is a look at the other stories that we are following for you.
And, at least a dozen people are reported dead following an attack on a U.N. building in northern Afghanistan. Nick Paton Walsh has more from Karachi in neighboring Pakistan.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very troubling news from a part of Afghanistan which was considered comparatively safe. It appears a large crowd of protestors gathered outside the United Nations Operations Center in the northern city of Mazar-I-Sharif. Now, they were furious at the alleged burning of a copy of the Quran as far away as Florida by an American pastor, Dr. Terry Jones.
Now, it appears these protestors then attacked the building, killing 12 people, eight of them United Nations expatriate workers and four of them Afghan staff, one report suggesting the attackers took weapons off the security guards to aid their assault. This comes at a vital time for civilian operations trying to rebuild Afghanistan and assist the NATO campaign there. But, Dr. Terry Jones' outspoken against the Islamic faith from America has caused fury across Afghanistan. Protests replicated in Kabul, the capitol city, as well, and Dr. Terry Jones has done little today to try and calm this very volatile situation.
He issued a statement in which he said, "It's time for the United States to hold the Islamic faith accountable." So, the strong possibility of further fury in Afghanistan at the pastor's actions and we'll have to see how that develops. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Karachi.
ANDERSON: Well, across the Middle East, a day of prayer, again, became a day of unrest. In Syria, witnesses said at least seven people were killed when troops attacked demonstrators there. Video is emerging reportedly showing the violence and its aftermath though CNN cannot verify its authenticity.
Tens of thousands of people turned out in Yemen's capitol for rival rallies supporting and opposing the opposition -- sorry, the government. It's the second straight week that has happened amid strong opposition to President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Minor scuffles reported there. Meanwhile, in Jordan, police worked to prevent a repeat of last weeks' violence. They kept pro-government and opposition protesters apart.
Well, America's recovery is starting to deliver solid job creation. More than 200,000 new jobs were added to the U.S. economy last month. It's the sixth month in a row that we've seen employment numbers rising. The jobless rates in the U.S. now stands at 8.8%. That is the lowest that it's been in two years.
Now, here's another sign of a healthy economy. A house in California just sold for $100 million. It's the most money ever paid for a single- family home in the United States. This record-beating mansion in Silicon Valley is likely to remain empty for now. Russian billionaire, Yuri Milner is the new owner of this 2300 square meter French-style chateau, complete with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a ballroom and a wine cellar. Milner, though, reportedly, has no plans to move in, preferring his family home in Moscow.
Ahead on Connect The World: CNN's Freedom Project, all this week we are focusing on the sex trafficking industry. Coming up, a promised paradise turned ugly. How gangs in Naples are using voodoo to hold women in their grip. Plus, a country at a turning point. Rebels in Ivory Coast are attacking Laurent Gbagbo's presidential palace. Up next, what his spokesman has to say. He will be joining me live on CNN. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Modern day slavery exists in almost every major city in almost every country all over the world and, this year, CNN has launched an issue that we are calling The Freedom Project, which has a goal which is very specific of exposing the trade in human life. Well, this week, we have been focusing on one aspect, the multi-billion dollar sex trafficking industry. Just think of this: Every time someone pays for sex anywhere in the world, that money is lining the pockets of some of the world's richest and nastiest organizations. Well, CNN has correspondents all over the world who are looking into this shocking industry. Diana Magnay reports from Naples for you this evening. Sara Sidner is in Hong Kong. Firstly, we head to Israel.
KEVIN FLOWER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kevin Flower in Jerusalem and, here in Israel, the most high-profile efforts at battling human slavery have targeted the trafficking of woman into the sex industry. So, just over a decade ago, the problem of females being trafficked into Israeli prostitution rings was acute. Government and NGOs estimated that anywhere from 3 - 10,000 women a year were being smuggled across borders, most being brought from the former Soviet Union. Auctions of women being bought and sold were not uncommon and police were seeing an increased level of violence.
Now, in 2001, the U.S. State Department classified Israel as "not meeting minimum standards in combating the problem. But, over the past decade, through a highly successful campaign, partnering parts of the government, law enforcement, and NGOs, Israeli officials say the phenomenon of sexual trafficking across its borders has almost entirely been eliminated. A big part of that success, a passage of a new law that created a separate crime of trafficking for prostitution.
While Israeli officials say they are proud of the success they have had in combating trafficking in this particular area, they say they have to remain vigilant or those gains might easily be reversed.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Sara Sidner in Hong Kong. This fast-paced, high-flying, financial hub is not immune to human trafficking. The U.N. Refugee Agency says that Hong Kong is actually a destination and transit area for people from Mainland China, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines among other Southeast Asian nations.
Now, according to people who we've spoken to, local NGOs who work with women, this particular area here is known to be a place where women are brought and forced into prostitution. Local NGOs say here's how it often works: An agent goes on line trolling for victims. It's basically a bait and switch type of operation where jobs are being offered, perfectly good jobs, it seems, and women desperate to make a living sign up. They meet up with the agent and then they are often told to hand over their passport. They never get it back and if they do go to police, they have no legal papers to show that they are supposed to be here in this country, making them feel trapped.
Now, what we can tell you, also, is that one thing that might be complicating issues here is that prostitution is actually not illegal here but soliciting and brothels are and that makes it a bit difficult sometimes to tell the difference between who's doing things legally and who isn't because often these women are taken to random apartments and that's where they're forced to do these sex acts.
Now, the U.S. State Department says that Hong Kong is not fully complying with even the minimum standards to try to end trafficking here but -- but the government is making an effort.
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Diana Magnay in Naples, Italy. Now, by far, the largest group of women trafficked into this country for sex are Nigerians. They started arriving in the mid 1980s forming a European paradise and after the fall of the Iron Curtain they were joined here by eastern Europeans, Albanians, especially Moldovans, Romanians, and Ukrainians, a paradise turned ugly. But, there is an extra dimension of fear that those Nigerian-trafficked women live under that their European counterparts and that is voodoo spells, the Italian police saying that traffickers of Nigerian women don't have to exert the same kind of physical force over them because of the spiritual holds that those black magic rituals exert.
It's difficult to put a number on how many women are trafficked into this country but between 2000 and 2008 around 60,000 women called the authorities asking for help as victims of trafficking and that is only those who are brave enough to ask. But, victims of sex trafficking in this country, if they do go to the police, can be granted a six-months residency permit and that's far longer than many other European countries, something that NGOs who deal with this kind of problem praise as an example of extremely progressive Italian immigration policy.
ANDERSON: Those are the facts laid bare for you. I'm joined now by Antonio Maria Costa, who is the former Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, an expert on the challenges of tackling this multi-billion dollar business. Sir, why do we need to stop this?
ANTONIO MARIA COSTA, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME: Well, obviously, the key examples which were mentioned in West Africa and Southeast Asia in the Mediterranean are just examples of the bigger problem and, as a consequence, any remedy to it has to be nationally developed but internationally coordinated. At the moment, we see a significant improvement in terms of domestic regulations to make trafficking a (INAUDIBLE) crime, which it was not until three, four, five years ago in most countries, as well as joint actions which are needed to stop the trafficking in terms of interdiction, in terms of hurting those who are involved, the criminal organizations that are involved, the (INAUDIBLE) organizations which are moving, we think mostly women but not only across countries but across continents.
ANDERSON: And we talk about across continents. This is, as you say, truly a global problem. You just talked about some of the people who are involved in this industry making huge amounts of money. There's something like 10-12 million people who are perceived as modern slaves in 2011 which is a remarkable number of people. These awareness campaigns, like the one that we are running here on CNN, do they help?
COSTA: I certainly welcome what CNN is doing and other media outlets are doing. The role of government is crucial. The role of non- governmental institutions, voluntary institutions, is crucial but, also, the role of individuals, especially from the demand side. I mean, we should realize that we are all involved in one way or another in augmenting and feeding the market of global slavery, whether prostitution in terms of the services (INAUDIBLE) or in terms of what we consume, we drink, we wear, anything which we use, including our garments may be produced by, allow me to say, more than slaves. Namely, not obviously prostitutes, not those involved in sexual abuse, but those who are in sweatshops, child labor, child exploitations and so forth. I think that awareness campaigns, such as CNN type of campaign, are crucial in making people aware that they are, through their demand, part of the problem.
ANDERSON: We've been putting a face to the horrors of this business. I know that you have met many, many of its victims. So, we have run out of time tonight. We've got to take an advertising break. I -- I know that you and I will talk again and again and again as we pursue this initiative across the years. For the time being, Sir, we thank you very much indeed for joining us.
All right, well, just before we do take that break, I want you just to have a look at this. We have been asking how you can get involved in CNN's Freedom Project and we've had a huge response from people all over the world. These guys in South Korea, this group of friends from Seoul, say modern day slavery is one of many corruptions that lie hidden in the -- in the modern world.
This one from Germany. Take a look at this, from Germany, an iReport with a single message in the palm of his hand, I am taking a stand to end slavery. That is all that we are asking if that's all you can give us. This group of students from Denmark joined together to educate themselves on the consequences of human trafficking. Several of you also Skyped in with us and sent us iReports. Have a listen to some of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUNNY YANG, I-REPORTER: Hi, my name is Sunny Yang, and I live in Incheon, South Korea. I am taking a stand to end slavery because I think I can make a difference.
I am going to tell my students about the modern-day slavery. I am committed to let people know what's going on with these people who are treated like commodities.
Let's take part in this project and say no to human trafficking and slavery.
PHILIP PRADA, I-REPORTER: I've been watching the coverage on the Freedom Project on CNN, which I think is a great idea because it lets people know what's really happening. That's the fundamental core of -- of how to combat the situation is education.
GREG MAJERSKY, I-REPORTER: Just keep up the good work. Awareness is a big part of it. You probably would have to start humiliating people, not just some bad village leader off in a third world country. You need to tie the chain of slave labor to what consumers are buying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well this is as much your project as it is ours, and we are committed to making a stand all year. Join us at cnn.com/freedom.
Next week, tune in for extended coverage on the Freedom Project during "Quest Means Business." That is starting on Monday.
Well, France says Ivory Coast's self-proclaimed ruler must go. As fighting rages in the presidential dispute, you're going to hear from Laurent Gbagbo's spokesman live, here on the show, and from the Red Cross, battling the humanitarian crisis there.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, it's just after half past nine in London. I'm Becky Anderson, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, the conflict in Ivory Coast may be in its last stages, the self-proclaimed president holed up and his rival's forces attacking his palace. Fears the humanitarian situation could grow more dire.
Then, to India, and the cricket World Cup final is rapidly approaching. We're going to have a preview of the weekend meeting and look at how Mumbai is getting ready.
Finally, a strong presence intended to make sure everything runs smoothly. We go inside the security preparations for the royal wedding.
Those stories are ahead in the next 30 minutes. Before we get to those, let's get you a quick check of the headlines this hour.
Violence in northern Afghanistan after a demonstration turns deadly. Police in Mazar-i-Sharif say at least a dozen people, including eight UN workers, were killed when a UN operations center was attacked after this protest.
The Libyan government has reportedly rejected cease-fire conditions set out by rebel leaders. The opposition interim government had asked for several terms, including the end of regime forces' sieges against cities like Misrata.
At least seven people are reported killed in another day of anti- government protests across several Syrian cities. Witnesses and activists say dozens more have been wounded in clashes with security forces there. Clips like this one show obvious violence, although we cannot verify they're authenticity.
Japan says tens of thousands evacuated from their homes near the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant may not be allowed to go back for months. Radiation levels there are too high.
Ivory Coast's bloody four-month standoff may be grinding to an end. France says self-proclaimed president Laurent Gbagbo must go. Forces loyal to the internationally-recognized rival, Alassane Ouattara, are now in control of state-run TV and have attacked Gbagbo's residence.
Those are the top stories this hour here on CNN.
Now, let's stay with what could be the end game in Ivory Coast. Gunfire and explosions erupted today in the capital, Abidjan, where forces loyal to Ouattara took control of state-run television.
The bitter rivalry began back in November. Remember, Alassane Ouattara won the country's presidential election, but the incumbent refused to step down. You're going to hear from the spokesman for the self- proclaimed president Laurent Gbagbo in just a moment. Right now, though, I want to show where the fighting has been playing out.
The yellow line indicates the former buffer zone that separated the pro-Ouattara forces in the north from the pro-Gbagbo forces in the south. The conflict symbols show where there have been clashes in recent days.
So, what is the situation on the ground right now? The UN says a million people have fled the fighting, and hundreds have been killed. A short time ago, I spoke via Skype to Red Cross spokesman Kelnor Panglungtshang from Abidjan about the escalating humanitarian crisis. Here's what he said.
KELNOR PANGLUNGTSHANG, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: The majority of the displaced people went -- we have to be clear, the fighting in Abidjan has caused, because it was in several parts of the city at the same time, has caused not directed displacement as far as we can tell right now. These people are, at the moment, staying at home and trying to get cover.
But before the violence actually arrived in the southern part of Abidjan, when it was still localized in the areas of Agboville and Anyama, the northern part of the city and further north, there were huge displacements also in the west, where the troops were from Ouattara's side came down from the western part of the country.
There were estimations going that hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced. The large majority of the people found refuge at host families, where they have been accommodated for the first time.
We have focused in the primary moment on the displaced people in transit centers and camps -- makeshift camps, where we assisted about 20,000 people in the past with essential household items and also access to water, sanitation is a problem, then the medical care is a huge problem. Obviously, some hospitals in the -- inside the country have been abandoned due to the fighting. And then, they need personal -- obviously, we installed mobile clinics in the western areas of the country at the border to Liberia.
Now, in Abidjan itself today, some suburbs have no electricity and no water, and they can't get out to get more something to eat. So, the situation is dire at the moment.
ANDERSON: The situation is dire at the moment. I'm joined, now, by Abdon Bayeto in the London studio. He's a spokesman for Laurent Gbagbo. Where is he?
ABDON BAYETO, ADVISER TO LAURENT GBAGBO: He's in Cote d'Ivoire, he's in Abidjan, he's at his residence.
ANDERSON: He's at his residence.
BAYETO: And you know -- you need to know that France tried to bombard him since 3:00 this morning to try and take him out. France, United States, the United Nations, they are getting themselves involved in this war in Cote d'Ivoire. They're the ones helping the rebels --
ANDERSON: He hasn't been seen --
BAYETO: And people need to know that.
ANDERSON: -- for five days, Abdon. Whether he likes it or not, the game is up. There have been mass defections from his security ranks, my love. You heard the last guest say that the situation is dire. Is he -- will he leave? What's he going to do?
BAYETO: He can't leave. He's been elected president. In our term, the constitution allows you to stay for five years --
ANDERSON: Whether he believes that or not --
BAYETO: And he's agreeing to stay --
ANDERSON: -- unfortunately --
BAYETO: -- for five years.
ANDERSON: -- he has no support anymore. So --
BAYETO: But that's what people have been saying --
ANDERSON: -- is he going to leave or is going to stay and try --
BAYETO: He's going to stay.
ANDERSON: He's going to stay, is he?
BAYETO: He's going to stay.
ANDERSON: All right.
BAYETO: He's going to stay, we're going to fight for our liberation. You do remember that we've been aggressed by some rebels helped by France and the international community.
ANDERSON: When you say --
BAYETO: Do we have to defend ourselves or not? That's what we're doing.
ANDERSON: All right. So, when you say he's going to stay and fight, we're talking about physical fighting, are we? Or he's going to try and fight diplomatically? Will he -- will he take a reconciliation deal at this point?
BAYETO: I'm always --
ANDERSON: If he was offered it?
BAYETO: -- amazed the one who, you remember a few days -- a few months ago, asked for people to come and then reevaluate the situation in Cote d'Ivoire. To go and do the recounting. They refused.
When in America they spend two months recounting the votes, in Afghanistan they did it, even in Haiti they did it. Why are you not -- are they not doing it in Cote d'Ivoire? Is it a hidden agenda? The no -- is an international plot against Laurent Gbagbo, that's why you did. But --
ANDERSON: OK. Well, we've moved on --
BAYETO: France is in this.
ANDERSON: -- unfortunately, because the situation, as I say, is pretty much it's an end game at this point. Hundreds of thousands of people need help, as you heard from the Red Cross just earlier. Gbagbo, whether you like it or not, Abdon, has got blood on his hands.
BAYETO: He hasn't got blood on his hands. He probably -- you guys don't know this man. He's a true democrat. This is a man for 30 years he was the opposition leader in Cote d'Ivoire.
ANDERSON: He's not acting like a true democrat, though, is he?
BAYETO: He is a true democrat. For 30 years, he was the opposition in Cote d'Ivoire. Did you hear all of this --
ANDERSON: But no --
BAYETO: -- about Cote d'Ivoire?
ANDERSON: -- true democrat takes --
BAYETO: But he --
ANDERSON: -- a 30-year period to himself --
BAYETO: But he never went into -- he never engaged himself in a military coup. He never get himself into a row. I last saw Ouattara when he was prime minister in Cote d'Ivoire in 92, sent Laurent Gbagbo, his wife, and his son to prison for six months, but he came out without no grudge, and he still conducts independent, the country --
ANDERSON: Abdon, what do you say --
BAYETO: -- you know, this --
ANDERSON: -- to the people on the ground today. You and I are talking, here, about diplomacy, shutting back and forth. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are hungry, who are homeless, who've been looted, they've been purged. What do you say to those guys?
BAYETO: I'll first say that, just all this is a -- Obama, Sarkozy, the United --
ANDERSON: It's their fault, is it?
BAYETO: They're all accountable to it because, for a simple election, an electoral dispute in a country, do you need to come to this level? No. Is it the first time we have an electoral dispute in Africa? I don't think we send the army.
This is a military coup. They try in 2002 --
ANDERSON: Why is it you --
BAYETO: -- they fell, and they're doing it again.
ANDERSON: I'm not going to talk over you. I want you to stop just for a moment. Why is it that almost every single organization across the world, be it the UN, individual countries like the US, France, and the rest. But the AU, almost every single African organization says that Alassane Ouattara is the winner of the presidential election. He is the president of Ivory Coast. Why is it, if everybody else says he won, is it that you and Gbagbo believe he won?
BAYETO: Is it the voice who matter or the Supreme Court of the country?
ANDERSON: Well, it's probably the vote of the people, isn't it?
BAYETO: I don't think so. We've got a constitution, and we're a sovereign country, and our constitution nominates a constitutional council which declared, the supreme voice, that Laurent Gbagbo is the winner.
ANDERSON: With respect --
BAYETO: For us, it's period.
ANDERSON: With respect, my love -- it's beginning to sound like a broken record, to a certain extent. My problem -- my point is this. Gbagbo is holed up, most of his security has no defected, he's got nowhere to go --
BAYETO: Who told you this?
ANDERSON: What's he going to do next?
BAYETO: I mean, nobody --
ANDERSON: It's on the ground, we're having reports on the ground.
BAYETO: No, no.
ANDERSON: His security has defected.
BAYETO: Because of your tactical ploys to --
ANDERSON: Really --
BAYETO: We're now pushing them out. They're all running out from Abidjan. The power is in Abidjan. I'll tell you, Becky, it happened in 2002, the same scenario, we had it. Alassane Ouattara is the loser, and he's going to -- we're going to be victorious in this issue. But --
ANDERSON: Well, you heard it here first --
BAYETO: But the international --
ANDERSON: -- tonight on --
BAYETO: -- the international community needs to understand, they made a mistake. And there's no shame in coming back and accept that the recounting be permitted or even to sit and negotiate with the president. They're not doing it. Sad.
ANDERSON: We first said four months ago, it's a sad situation, you heard it here, first, from Abdon. Apparently, Gbagbo is going nowhere.
BAYETO: He's going nowhere. He'll be put.
ANDERSON: Thank you for that.
BAYETO: Thank you, Becky.
ANDERSON: We're just hours away from an historic showdown. This man is the most successful batsman cricket has ever seen, and he's about to take on the world's top bowler. It couldn't be better than this. The best man may win, but which one?
ANDERSON: Well, we are a little more than 12 hours away from the start of the cricket World Cup. India meets Sri Lanka in what is guaranteed to be a monumental match whoever wins. As Alex Thomas reports, now cricket this good only comes around once in a generation.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Posing for photos on the eve of the World Cup final, India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara are two captains under immense pressure ahead of the biggest match of their cricketing careers.
KUMAR SANGAKKARA, SRI LANKA CAPTAIN: For us, we're happy that we're here. We've had to win games, we've been getting walk overs on our journey here, so we're pretty confident of the fact that we've been one of the best sides in the tournament.
THOMAS (voice-over): The final will also see the most successful batsman and bowler in cricket history on opposite sides. And India's Sachin Tendulkar and Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan are playing the last World Cup match of their long and distinguished careers.
RAHUL DRAVID, INDIA TEST BATSMAN: He's adapted his game as times have changed, the game has changed, the world has changed in 21 years. And the constant has been Sachin Tendulkar is scoring runs. It's phenomenal. It's not an easy thing to do.
MIHELA JAYAWARDENE, SRI LANKA VICE-CAPTAIN: Even before a final, you might see him chatting to the Indian boys, so that's we're ready for you. But that's the way he has played for 18 years, and he's gone through tough times in his career, and he's proven everyone is wrong.
THOMAS (voice-over): India's Rapid Action Force and the Mumbai police are on high alert. Memories of the terrorist attacks here in 2008 that resulted in more than 160 deaths are still fresh in the memory. Local residents have been banned from using roof terraces which overlook the ground.
THOMAS (on camera): The Wankhede Stadium will be a complete lockdown. In fact, we're having to film this 48 hours before the final. Police have told us they're going to close off all the roads around the venue, and we won't get anywhere near the place on match day.
THOMAS (voice-over): There's unlikely to be a repeat of these scenes from earlier in the tournament, when police struggled to control fans queuing for tickets. Even thought the stadium's capacity of around 40,000 is nowhere near enough to satisfy demand.
CROWD (shouting): India!
THOMAS (voice-over): As the celebrations following Wednesday night's semi-final win over Pakistan showed, India is cricket crazy, and Sri Lanka is almost as passionate. Organizers claim there have been record television audiences for a tournament that has revitalized the 50 Over format.
DRAVID: It definitely created a lot of interest. I think the fact that the World Cup was held in the sub-continent was huge. And I think as you've been traveling around, you've seen the passion.
THOMAS (voice-over): India and Sri Lanka are both bidding to win the World Cup for a second time. They've been the two outstanding teams at this tournament, but only one nation can lift the sport's biggest prize. Alex Thomas, CNN, India.
ANDERSON: Well, let me tell you that Saturday's final could be the most-watched cricket match of all time. An estimated on-sixth of the entire human race watched the semi-final between India and Pakistan, about a billion people.
Well, now, India are involved in the final, the audience for that could be even bigger, and here's why. This week, India's national census found the population had grown to more than 1.2 billion. To give you an idea, that is larger than Europe and North Africa -- America, sorry -- combined.
It's hard to overstate just how crazy India is about cricket. It was estimated that one in every three Facebook status updates in India was related to the Pakistan match.
Well, no ring, but plenty of nerves. Prince Williams says no to a royal tradition, but looks forward to the daunting prospect of the biggest show on Earth. We're going to take a look at how London's plans are afoot to keep everyone safe on royal wedding day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEXT: ROYAL WEDDING, THE MARRIAGE OF WILLIAM AND CATHERINE.
HRH PRINCE WILLIAM OF WALES: How's that? No, I was telling everybody at the rehearsals the other day and my knees started going -- clapping quite nervously, so it's quite a daunting prospect, but a very exciting -- and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it, but there's still a lot of planning to be done in the last four weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Prince William, there, admitting to some pre-wedding jitters. Exactly four weeks from today, Prince William will be the world's most famous groom, but he won't be wearing a wedding ring.
St. James's Palace says Prince William isn't one for jewelry. His bride-to-be Kate Middleton does plan to wear a band made of Welsh gold, a long-standing royal family tradition.
Well, the security teams, like Prince William, may feel a bit daunted on the big day. They'll be working to keep the royals and the well-wishers safe. But not everybody is in a party mood over Britain's biggest royal wedding for 30 years. Senior International Correspondent Dan Rivers explains.
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the nightmare scenario for those planning the royal wedding, anarchists attacking a car carrying the royal family. On this occasion, it was Prince Charles and Camilla, but this is the same car that will be used to take Kate Middleton to the wedding, and anarchists are vowing to do their best to interfere with the event.
CHARLIE VEITCH, ANARCHIST: For the royal wedding, we're going to see what we call a "disruption spectacular."
RIVERS (voice-over): Charlie Veitch is an ex-city banker who was laid off and is now a committed anarchist protester.
RIVERS (voice-over): He was among this student protest against austerity cuts last year, and is warning there will be more of the same on April 29th which he describes as --
VEITCH: Shock and awe campaign. It will involve a lot of fireworks. It will involve a lot of people dressed in black. It will involve a lot of very, very loud music.
RIVERS: Security expert Roy Ramm shows me the aftermath of the latest protest.
ROY RAMM, SECURITY ANALYST: You see them here doing this kind of damage, which is just completely --
RIVERS (on camera): And this is just one widow of hundreds.
RAMM: Oh, absolutely.
RIVERS (voice-over): He say it is royal wedding presents an incredibly difficult challenge.
RAMM: The police have not a job to get the public in, close up to the wedding, but they have got to keep the people who want to cause disorder and damage like we have seen here away from the royal wedding. It could be immensely disruptive. And you know, it's a very unenviable position that the police are in.
RIVERS (on camera): The big problem for the police is getting enough evidence to stop the anarchists doing something before they get to the wedding route. There is talk of using stop and search powers. The problem is, who do they stop and search?
Experts say intelligence before the big day will be crucial.
(voice-over): Anarchist websites are already humming with references to the wedding.
VEITCH: There are plans which are being passed around online in encrypted forums and through encrypted e-mail, which the government cannot hack, to basically disrupt the procession route, as well.
RIVERS: But knowing exactly where to deploy riot police is tough. The protesters could strike at almost any location in central London.
CMDR. BOB BROADHURST, LONDON POLICE: There's a lot of chatter out there, no real intelligence. But we must bear in mind people that have a right to come and protest.
RIVERS: The anarchists will have to blend in with a crowd like this, and these staunch royalists could be the best defense the police have.
ANDY HAYMAN, FMR. ASST. COMM. LONDON POLICE: I don't think it will be very easy for the anarchists to infiltrate. The great majority would stop that happening.
On the other hand, if there was a pot of paint that was thrown at any kind of the royal VIPs, that would be a worldwide embarrassment.
RIVERS: An embarrassment that the police are desperate to avoid, one that the anarchists would consider a huge victory.
Dan Rivers, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: Well, whether you are planning to be in London for the big day or watching the ceremony from somewhere else in the world, do go to cnn.com/royalwedding for complete coverage and the latest videos. You can even watch a day-in-the-life report on what it's like to be Kate Middleton.
All right. Well, you're about to meet a woman who as an inkling of what it's like to be Prince William's bride-to-be, at least for a photo shoot. Our Nick Glass shows us the world or royal lookalikes and what it says about notions of celebrity.
NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Remember this? How could anyone forget it? It's been shown so many times. Have you ever wondered what was happening moments before?
Yes, just like any other freshly-engaged royal couple, they were being buffed up for the camera.
Now, let's be honest, here. This isn't actually Prince William, although he is thinning on top. No, he's Simon from Australia.
SIMON WATKINSON, "PRINCE WILLIAM" LOOKALIKE: I'm normally a civil engineer, so it's a completely different -- career for me. It's -- yes.
GLASS (off mike): How long's it going to last?
WATKINSON: Well, at least to the wedding, I guess. Perhaps beyond that for the honeymoon. And I guess when he comes king, maybe I might get a callback then, as well. But I might have to lose a bit more hair by then.
GLASS (voice-over): And this isn't Kate Middleton. No, it's Jodie from Essex, and when she's nervous, she giggles.
JODIE BREDO, "KATE MIDDLETON" LOOKALIKE: I can't really see it myself, but all my friends and family, say I look like her.
ALISON JACKSON, PHOTOGRAPHER: Jodie, smile. That's really great. Your smile's really great.
GLASS (voice-over): The photographer, Alison Jackson, has made a career by playing with our notions of celebrity. She shoots in a paparazzi style, peeking in through the window. The result will be a photographic book about the royal romance as she sees it.
JACKSON: Remember, we don't really know much about the royal family and what goes on behind the scenes. So, I'm trying to imagine what it might be. We sort of feel we know them, but we don't really know them.
GLASS (voice-over): Glimpsing some of her contact sheets, it does seem Alison Jackson has let her imagination run. The intention is to amuse in the gentlest way.
JACKSON: -- profile and three-quarter angles.
GLASS (voice-over): David Beckham's lookalike from the movie "Bend it Like Beckham" checked out the mirror. His real name is Andy, and he's from Eastbourne. His present for the groom was a pair of tiny golden football boots.
"Elton John," Alfie from Howell, popped by to show everyone the baby and his special platform baby boots. Despite a change of jacket, something less sparkly, "Elton" didn't seem to be bonding with the baby.
GLASS (voice-over): As luck would have it, Kate was called upon for some practice nappy-changing. Funny, that.
ANDERSON: Well, April Fool's Day -- and it is that, it's April the 1st, of course, our Phil Han now shows us why even a true romance is ripe for a good-natured ribbing. Take a look at this.
PHIL HAN, CNN DIGITAL PRODUCER (voice-over): Breaking news! Prince William and Kate Middleton are spending their honeymoon in not-so-sunny Edinburgh, Scotland, according to low-cost airline EasyJet. But it's the 1st of April, so if you fell for that, the company has made you look like the fool.
EasyJet announced Friday that the royal couple booked $36 tickets to spend their first few nights as prince and princess in one of Scotland's rainiest cities.
The reality is, royal honeymoon plans are being kept quiet.
Voucher website Groupon also joined in the fun, selling phony deals for entry to the royal wedding and after party, plus two glasses of house wine at Westminster Abbey.
But not all of this year's April Fool's jokes were royally themed. Notorious April Fools pranksters Google tried to trick users by releasing motion-activated e-mail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For example, to open a message, make a motion as if you were opening an envelope.
HAN (voice-over): Called Gmail Motion, the company says it's simple and intuitive for all skill levels. Only problem, it doesn't exist.
Now, ever wished your dog could chow down with you at the dinner table? Swedish furniture company Ikea came up with a solution. It's called the Hundstol High Chair, complete with water and food bowl, and even space for Fido's tail, some pet lovers may be disappointed to learn this offer was only made in the spirit of April 1st.
But the prank to beat is from this day last year, when mobile phone maker Qualcomm warned their phones were attracting vicious swarms of butterflies. They even released what they said was the video to prove it. Luckily, it was all in good fun.
ANDERSON: Phil Han reporting for you. A happy April Fool's Day wherever you're watching in the world. That is your world, connected. I'm Becky Anderson. Thanks to you for watching. The world news headlines follow this short break and, then, it's "BackStory." Stay with us.