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CONNECT THE WORLD
Cell Phone Rape Video; Violence in Canada; The Greek Crisis
Aired June 16, 2011 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MONITA RAJPAL, GUEST HOST: After weeks of hearing of cell phone rape videos, we, for the first time, have a copy of one.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A CNN exclusive -- what appears to be horrifying evidence of rape being used as a weapon of war in Libya.
But when the victims are too ashamed to report the crime, how does the chief prosecutor of the ICC pursue the case?
We'll ask him live.
Then, six weeks after the death of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda has a new leader. What terrorism experts say the delay revealed about the terror network.
And delicate dance -- how 7,000 containers a year move through this port with almost no human intervention.
Those stories and more tonight as we connect the world.
We begin with what some call history's greatest silence -- the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. For weeks now, we've heard stories of atrocities by the Libyan regime -- rapes carried out to intimidate and terrorize a civilian population. Rebels say evidence of such assaults is frequently found on captured cell phones.
Tonight, we have an exclusive report that's graphic and extremely disturbing, as Sarah Sidner explains from Misrata in Libya, the videos are so awful, that even the rebels say they're trying to erase the evidence to avoid humiliating victims and their families.
We have blurred almost all of the video to make it possible for Sarah to file this report.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the front lines of Libya's war, rebel fighters say they are finding a lot more than weapons on captured or killed pro-Gadhafi soldiers. They say they have confiscated cell phones that contain videos showing Gadhafi loyalists torturing and raping Libyan citizens.
(on camera): After weeks of hearing of these cell phone rape videos, we, for the first time, have a copy of one. This was given to us by a source who does not want to be identified for fear of being punished by this very conservative society.
To be clear, we have been unable to verify its authenticity. We don't know where it was taken or when or by whom. All we can do is watch it and listen to it.
(voice-over): In this video provided to CNN, from what rebels say was the cell phone of a Gadhafi loyalist, two men in civilian clothes stand over a naked woman who was bent over with her face on the floor. The man standing behind her is sodomizing her with what appears to be a broomstick. "I can't bear, I can't bear it," she says.
A male voice off camera says, "Let's push it farther."
"No, no, that's enough," the woman begs.
One of the men puts his sock-covered foot on his face. In this culture, it is considered the ultimate insult. But in this case, it pales in comparison to what the victim is already enduring.
(on camera): We blurred this video because it's extremely difficult to watch. Arabic speakers who have examined the video say the voices in the video are distinctly Libyan, with clear Tripoli accents. There is no date on the video and the men in the video are not wearing military uniforms. The victim's face is barely seen, so we have not been able to identify her.
It has been extremely difficult to get anyone to talk about this video on camera because of the cultural sensitivities here.
(voice-over): We asked Abdullah al-Kabier, a spokesman for the opposition in Misrata, whether rebels have found many of these kinds of videos. His answer -- yes. ABDULLAH AL-KABIER, SPOKESMAN, MISRATA MEDIA COMMITTEE (through translator): We were able to confirm that rape was used as a weapon of war because it was systematic.
SIDNER: The International Criminal Court in the Hague says the allegations are credible. It is investigating.
But in a surprising admission to CNN, Spokesman al-Kabier tells us some of the very evidence of war crimes prosecutors want may have been destroyed.
AL-KABIER (through translator): There was a commander here at the eastern front in Misrata named Mohammed al-Haubus (ph). He ordered all the revolution's fighters to give them all the rape videos they found on Gadhafi's soldiers' cell phones. I heard that he used to destroy every rape video he got.
SIDNER (on camera): Why in the world would you destroy video evidence of rape that could be used as evidence of war crimes against your enemy, against the Gadhafi regime?
AL-KABIER (through translator): Because aside from being a heinous crime, rape is perceived here in our culture as damaging not only for the girl, but also the whole family.
SIDNER (voice-over): Rape is such a taboo in this culture, even some of the victims' families would rather erase potential evidence against the attackers than risk living with the shame.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
RAJPAL: And Sarah joins us now live with more on this very disturbing story.
She joins us now from Cairo -- Sarah, is this the first time that we're actually hearing videos like this exist?
SIDNER: No. We'd actually been listening to stories about several of these videos from several different sources the moment that we got here. And then there have been other of our reporters from CNN, Nic Robertson from sort of the mountain areas, from Zintan, also finding a soldier who was a pro-Gadhafi soldier who had deflected. He also said that these were common, these videos were on soldiers' cell phones, pro-Gadhafi soldiers' cell phones.
So we've been hearing it from several different sources. The difficulty is, as -- as we reported, Monita, that many of the -- the victims, the people who this has been done to, will not come forward. They are, number one, too afraid. But mostly, they're afraid of what society thinks, because rape is really considered a stain on the victim's family, a stain on their reputation. And so nobody really wants to reveal that it's happened to them.
So what you'll often hear from psychologists is that they will say, oh, it happened to my friend, it happened to someone else, when, indeed, the crime actually happened to them. But they do not want anyone to think that they have been, quote, unquote, defiled.
So it's a very, very difficult thing to investigate. And we have talked to some other human rights groups in the area, trying to look at this issue and trying to find out if, in fact, this is happening. And they say they're having a very, very difficult time. They do believe that it's the situation, but they have not been able to have one-on-one contact with the victims -- Monita.
RAJPAL: All right, Sara Sidner, thank you so much.
Well, according to the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, these kinds of crimes in Libya can be traced all the way to leader Moammar Gadhafi himself.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo says there is evidence that Gadhafi ordered mass rapes and his government even supplied troops with Viagra like drugs.
Well, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo joins us now live from the Hague.
Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, thank you very much for being with us.
As we've seen in Sara Sidner's report, and she reported herself, saying that victims themselves do they want to come forward because of the cultural sensitivities and the shame that's attached to such a heinous crime.
How difficult, then, is it for -- for your office then to go and prosecute is at the -- add to the list of evidence that you say you have against Moammar Gadhafi?
LUIS MORENO-OCAMPO, CHIEF PROSECUTOR, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: It is true, the victims have failed to come out, but the -- in our court, the crimes are massive. So the crimes we are charging Gadhafi is the crimes against humanity, meaning a widespread and systematic attack, in this case through rapes against victims.
So we don't need to prove one case. We need to prove a massive number of cases. And in this sense, the evidence could be different. The evidence could be soldiers who was instruction to do it. The evidence could be doctors or psychologists who were talking to the victims. That's the kind of evidence we are collecting.
So let me clarify. We are still collecting evidence. We are not yet presenting the charges. We are collecting the evidence and we will -- the day we're sure, we present the case in court.
RAJPAL: What kind of evidence do you believe the cell phone video actually adds to your case?
MORENO-OCAMPO: It depends. It depends, because the problem in the court is not just the journalists. We had to sort of -- certify the authenticity of the video. So we need the person who took the video, for instance. We need more evidence.
But I have said before, these are interesting pieces, but they -- it's not the only way to prove the case. For instance, we are -- we have some information about people saying Gadhafi himself was giving instructions.
So if can confirm this evidence, that could be enough to present this type of case. It's crimes against humanity. It's a widespread campaign of rapes. So...
MORENO-OCAMPO: -- I had to show this happened.
RAJPAL: What do you say that earlier this week, there was a human rights investigator saying that these allegations of widespread rape used as a weapon of war amounts to what -- has been quoted as saying "mass hysteria." what do you say to that?
MORENO-OCAMPO: You know, the -- the (INAUDIBLE) we -- we do not present the case at the beginning. When we present charges on Gadhafi, we have evidence about some individual rapes, but we cannot confirm the (INAUDIBLE) planned. What happened now, in the last week, we -- the office of the prosecutor received information more specific that allows us to conduct a new investigation. We are collecting evidence now.
So it's true, the commissioner of inquiry who went to Libya and ourselves, we did not present charges at the beginning on rapes because we were still collecting evidence to prove Gadhafi's responsibility.
Now, it's different. We are collecting the evidence. So it's our investigation, not their investigation. Adwa collecting the evidence. And the day we are sure, we present in court.
But the way to stop these rapes is stop Gadhafi. Arresting him would be the most effective way to stop these rapes.
RAJPAL: How strong of a case do you believe you have against Moammar Gadhafi, a strong, solid case against him?
MORENO-OCAMPO: We present two charges, murder and perse -- political persecution. On these two charges, we have a lot of evidence. And I -- I hope the judge will rule in the coming weeks and will -- will decide in our favor and will issue a warrant.
And then, the challenge will be to arrest them, because arresting him will be the end of these people -- of these crimes.
RAJPAL: But therein...
MORENO-OCAMPO: You cannot control these crimes...
RAJPAL: -- lies the difficulty, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo.
MORENO-OCAMPO: -- just...
RAJPAL: I'm sorry to interrupt you, but therein lies the difficulty in trying to arrest. You've got other world leaders there that you have indicted on war crimes charges who are still running free. Mr. Bashir al - - Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. He's still -- he's been indicted for two years now and he's still running free.
So how difficult is that going to be to actually get Moammar Gadhafi there on the stand?
MORENO-OCAMPO: It's always difficult. Remember, when the U.S. had Richard Nixon, it was difficult, even he was reelected after Watergate. So it's always difficult. But in the particular case of Libya, it's different, because there is a broad consensus Gadhafi cannot commit his crimes. And in Libya, Gadhafi was ruling by fear. And he raped -- we believe that he's ordering rapes to instill more fear. But the fear is going out. People is losing the fear.
So I believe the (INAUDIBLE) created momentum to change the situation in Libya. That's why I believe in this case, justice will make a difference.
RAJPAL: All right.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
Sir, thank you so much for your time.
At least one charity has stepped forward to start helping rape victims in Libya. World for Libya is offering medical assistance and counseling, among other services. It says these victims should no longer have to suffer in silence or live in shame.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
Still to come, an economy in ruins -- Europe quarrels over what to do about Greece, as the country's prime minister fights for his political life. We'll look at the globe indi -- implications of the Greek debt crisis. That's just in eight minutes.
And then, meet the new face of al Qaeda.
What does a different man at the top mean for the global fight against terrorism?
That's 20 minutes from now.
But first, a radical story that caught our eye today, including the utter agony of defeat. Hockey fans go on a rampage in Vancouver.
RAJPAL: I'm Monita Rajpal in London in for Becky Anderson.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
Here's a look at the other stories we're following for you this hour.
Nigerian police are blaming Islamic extremists for a suicide bombing in the capital. At least five people were killed when a bomb tore through a car park at the police headquarters in Abuja. No one has claimed responsibility, but an extremist group threatened yesterday to step up a campaign of violence. It's believed to be the first suicide attack in Africa's most populous nation.
Radical cleric, Abu Bakar Bashir, is now facing 15 years in prison in Indonesia. A judge handed down the sentence following Bashar's conviction on charges including helping to steer funds to a group planning terror attacks. Bashar's group said it rejected the verdict because it was, quote, "based on laws formulated by infidels." a U.S. congressman has resigned from office after sending lewd photos of himself over the Internet. Anthony Weiner initially claimed that he had been the victim of hacking, but later admitted that he had had a series of online relationships with women. Speaking at a press conference, the New York Democrat apologized to his constituents and his wife.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: I am here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused. I make this apology to my neighbors and my constituents, but I make it particularly to my wife, Huma.
I hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do, to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it.
Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created has made that impossible.
So today, I am announcing my resignation from Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goodbye, pervert.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJPAL: Well, until the scandal broke, Weiner was considered a possible frontrunner to succeed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in 2013.
The United Nations Human Rights Council is poised for an historic vote on gay rights. If it passes on Friday, the U.S.-backed resolution would be the first gay rights statement to survive a U.N. vote.
Now, this could result in the first ever U.N. report on the challenges that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people face.
Meanwhile, the U.S. state of New York has moved a step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage. On Wednesday, the state assembly approved the Marriage Equality Act. The bill now faces a crucial vote in the state senate, which could take place on Friday. If it passes, New York would become the sixth state to legalize gay marriage in the US.
The Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 Wednesday to win the Stanley Cup, the top trophy in ice hockey. While the Bruins celebrated, Vancouver fans ran wild after the game. Hundreds rioted in the streets and set vehicles on fire. Several Vancouver police officers were injured in the chaos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM CHU, VANCOUVER POLICE DEPARTMENT: We were not without casualties. Nine of our officers were injured. One officer required 14 stitches. He was trying to stop looters at a local sporting goods shop. While he was in the process of making the arrests, a brick hit him in the head. He received 14 stitches in hospital.
Another officer I talked to, despite having a helmet and some protective gear on, had a projectile hit him in an uncovered area just below the base of his head. And he suffered a concussion. He was quite dazed when I talked to him later that evening, as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJPAL: And the riot brought back memories of another after the Canucks lost in the Stanley Cup final in 1994.
We want to tell you now about a -- a special project CNN is working on. Every year in Nepal, thousands of young girls are trafficked into the sex industry. On June 26th, we'll share their stories with you in a compelling Freedom Project documentary, "Nepal's Stolen Children." Actress Demi Moore partners with CNN as a special contributor for this project. She travels to Nepal to meet the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year, Anuradha Koirala, and some of the thousands of girls Koirala's organization has rescued from forced prostitution. The children, some as young as 11, share their emotional firsthand experiences with Moore.
How are these girls smuggled?
When are they taken?
And what is Nepal doing to stop it?
Find out in the world premier of "Nepal's Stolen Children," a CNN Freedom Project documentary. That's next Sunday, June 26th, at 20:00 local time here in London.
Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD, filling the void left by bin Laden -- in just 15 minutes, we'll get the low down on al Qaeda's new leader.
And next, Greece's prime minister vows to get his country back on track.
But can its economic crisis be contained?
RAJPAL: His party is in revolt, his political allies are deserting him, but today, Greece's prime minister vowed to fight on. Addressing his parliamentary deputies, George Papandreou said the only option was to stay the course.
To help him do so, the Greek leader is reshuffling his cabinet to help win support for a package of stinging austerity measures. Without them, the country could run out of cash to pay its creditors as early as next month.
So will Greece's politicians heed their prime minister's call to act?
John Psaropoulos is in the Greek capital in Athens and he joins us now.
John, thank you very much for being with us.
Mr. Papandreou said, "You can rely on me and I will rely on you."
How likely that's going to happen, that the people of Greece will actually believe what he says?
JOHN PSAROPOULOS: Well, I think that, at the moment, the question is whether he can even gather the political allies around him to form a credible cabinet that we have a certain measure of life in it, long enough to -- to see through not just the fifth tranche of -- of IMF-EU loan, but also future -- future tranches, at least through the end of the year but also, critically, reforms that the country desperately needs and that his government has been putting off most palpably since the beginning of this year.
The relationship between this government and -- and its creditors broke down very visibly in February, when it was the IMF that held a press conference in Athens announcing that 50 billion euros were of -- of privatizations were going to take place, not the Greek government. And that went down very sorely, indeed, Monita.
RAJPAL: See, I'm curious to know, what will a cabinet reshuffle actually do in the sense that aren't you just putting different people in different places, like a chess match in a chess game and you're not really changing anything, it's just putting people in different positions to help try and win support?
So it may be to help you look like you're actually doing storm.
PSAROPOULOS: Well, if we -- we have to wait and see what -- what the announcements are going to be either later on tonight or tomorrow morning. The critical question will be whether he can bring in new talent into -- into a very, very labored -- belabored and tired government.
And what that will mean is that there are still people in the marketplace with faith in his abilities as a leader and in his party's majority, that was won almost two years ago now.
If that happens, then the government will have more authority. If he, as you say, merely reshuffles existing ministers and -- and gets rid of a few, perhaps, and telescopes a few ministries in order to show that he's economizing on the cost of government, well, then that won't be as credible. And -- and that -- that sort of a government will run the risk of being short-lived.
RAJPAL: All right, John Psaropoulos.
A lot of ifs there right now at this point in Greece.
Thank you so much for your time.
Well, while uncertainty surrounds Greece's leadership, its finances today became a little clearer. The European Union's economic commissioner, Ollie Rehn, said an agreement to release the next slice of money from Greece's first bailout will be reached during a meeting this weekend. That news helped to rally the euro, which earlier hit a -- a lifetime low against the Swiss franc.
Well, it was one word sending shivers through the markets -- contagion, with the reality setting in that Greece's problem is a problem shared.
Earlier, Richard Quest joined me in the studio to explain how one country's economic crisis could spread far beyond its borders.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": The word contagion really goes to the heart of what this is all about. On its own, Greece can be dealt with. It's not a very big economy within the European Union. It could be bailed out. It could be looked after.
But if Greece starts having more serious problems and the bonds default, then the ripple effects starts going far and wide. And when we talk about those ripple effects, we are talking some very serious effects, indeed.
Greece, for example, now has the lowest sovereign rated debt, at some CCC. It's just about way below junk. It's at default level.
Now, what we know is that in the rest of Europe, banks in Germany, in France, they not only own Greek debt from the government, they have the debt of Greek banks, of Greek companies. They are in hock with the Greek economy.
And then you have the ECB, the European Central Bank, which has been propping up the debt market by buying billions of euros in Greek debt.
RAJPAL: Staying in Europe, a lot of people will be saying that, OK, well, this is a European problem, look, not just a Greek problem.
So where is the EU and what about the IMF?
The IMF is saying, OK, you know what, we'll help you, but you need to help yourself first.
QUEST: You need to do more and you need to have bigger cutbacks and savings and austerity measures. However, if it was all just contained in Europe, we might just be lucky. But we're not. Just take the United States.
U.S. banks and institutions have exposure to Greece of some 40 odd billion dollars through credit default swaps and other forms of bonds. The money market funds are big buyers of the French banks' and the German banks' debt.
Monita, you've got to see it like this. What's happening here has effects into here, into the banks, which would then have effects over here into their banks, which then ultimately has effects over here.
We learned from Lehman Brothers that the contagion and the potential for what -- what happens in one country to the next, is huge.
RAJPAL: So there are countries around the world that -- that face a massive problem here, a potential problem. And they have a huge vested interest in the fact that Greeks could actually get their -- their -- their affairs in order. The thing is...
QUEST: No question.
RAJPAL: The thing is, who has the answer and who can fix it?
QUEST: Now we move between economics and politics. What's doable, what's desirable. Whether default, in a disorderly way, is on the cards, which would be calamitous, everybody accepts. But ultimately, the really is no room to mess around with this one, because contagion is on the cards.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
RAJPAL: Richard Quest there.
Well, the next chapter in the Greek drama could play out on Sunday. That is the earliest that a vote of confidence in the new cabinet could take place. It's also the same day that Eurozone ministers could agree the next payment of Greece's first bailout, while a deal on a second rescue package has now been pushed back to July.
Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD, stay tuned for the news headlines.
After that, taking hold of the reigns of terror -- al Qaeda appoints a new leader. We assess what impact he might have.
Plus, later in the show, how cargo containers revolutionized the shipping I need. Our new gateway series continues.
And taking a stand against world hunger -- we put your questions to actor Jeff Bridges, our Connector of the Day.
RAJPAL: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Let's get a check of the headlines this hour.
One of Moammar Gadhafi's sons is raising the possibility of elections in Libya within the next three months. Saif Gadhafi tells an Italian newspaper international observers would be invited to ensure transparency, and his father would step down if he were to lose.
Emergency officials in Turkey say there are now almost 9,000 Syrian refugees in the country. The Turkish prime minister is meeting with a Syrian envoy to try to stem the influx. The UN has called for a thorough investigation into allegations of abuse committed by Syrian authorities.
At least five people are dead following a powerful explosion in the Nigerian capital. Nigerian authorities say a suicide bomber targeted police headquarters in Abuja. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Greek prime minister says he will end the crisis in his country and is urging lawmakers not to flee the battle no matter how difficult. George Papandreou says that they need to help rebuild Greece under a new government. Greece is struggling with planned budget cuts needed to secure more aid from the IMF and EU.
And the US state of New York is inching closer to legalizing gay marriage. The New York state assembly has approved a same-sex marriage bill clearing the way for it to go before the state senate, where it faces another vote.
Those are the headlines this hour.
A month and a half after the death of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda has a new leader. His identity isn't a big surprise, but this late announcement could be revealing. CNN's Jonathan Mann has the details.
JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The al Qaeda statement surfaced on a number of Islamist and extremist websites, saying Ayman al- Zawahiri is now officially taking over from Osama bin Laden.
Terrorism experts say it's no surprise that Zawahiri is in charge, only that it's taken this long to make it official, which may show signs of division within the group that few of us had ever heard of before 9/11.
SAJJAN GOHEL, ASIA-PACIFIC FOUNDATION: It's a difficult situation for him. How does he unite the different factions within in al Qaeda, the Egyptian factions, Yemeni and Libyan factions. The fact the group's operational space has been confined by drone strokes. Its leadership has been picked off, financially they're suffering.
This is the ten-year anniversary in 2011. He needs to do something to keep al Qaeda relevant in a very difficult scenario.
MANN: Just last week, we saw a new video message from Zawahiri acknowledging the death of bin Laden and promising to continue al Qaeda's jihad against the West.
AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI, LEADER OF AL QAEDA (through translator): I call for jihad, my beloved people, to fight those who fight Islam.
MANN: The 59-year-old Egyptian-born doctor has been al Qaeda's number two since the terror group was formed, but analysts say he lacks bin Laden's charisma.
GOHEL: Bin Laden's real strength was his ideology, his doctrine. Zawahiri doesn't necessarily have that ability to issue al Qaeda's message so simply.
MANN: Jonathan Mann, CNN.
RAJPAL: So, what can we expect from al Qaeda with Ayman al-Zawahiri at the helm? CNN's Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson explains.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We can expect pretty much the same agenda from al Qaeda. Indeed, in a statement talking about Palestine, talking about Afghanistan, allegiance to the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, talking about Somalia, Yemen, all the sort of al Qaeda franchises across the world.
We could also likely expect Zawahiri to want to push and get more influence across the Middle East, take advantage of this Arab Spring in some way that seeks to do what he's always wanted to do, which is overthrow, as he says, the dictators in the Middle East.
Now, this move for democracy in the Middle East potentially undermines al Qaeda. He'll want to claim some of that ground back.
But more of the same from the person who really developed al Qaeda, the ideology it has today. Nic Robertson, CNN, Manama, Bahrain.
RAJPAL: Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD. From the port to the plate, we bring you part two of our Gateway series, a behind the scenes look at some of the world's busiest trade and transport hubs. That's coming up after the short break.
RAJPAL: Welcome back. Chances are, just about anything you've touched, driven, or eaten today has come from another country, and it's often quite a journey. Here at CNN, we're looking at some of the world's biggest transportation hubs. Whether it's fruit or electronics, are new series, The Gateway, reveals what it takes to get the goods into your home.
Well, the first top in our transport trip is Hamburg, one of Europe's busiest container ports. Thousands of containers from all over the world are turned around in a day, and it is a complicated operation. CNN's Becky Anderson is in Hamburg to see how it's all done.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST (voice-over): Forty-five meters above the Elbe River, Dennis Dietrich (ph) has a rather unique view of Hamburg's port.
In the palm of his hand, control of a 2,000 ton ship-to-shore crane.
And like everything else across this mechanical landscape, it's designed to move shipping containers as fast as possible.
ANDERSON (on camera): Invented in the late 1950s, the standardized shipping container revolutionized international trade. If you want to understand globalization, you need look no further than this -- steel box.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Stacked full of containers, "Georg Maersk" has taken a month to reach Hamburg from the Chinese port Qingdao.
Along the way, it stopped at places like Shanghai, the Suez Canal, and Gibraltar. On average, 20 container ships arrive every day in Hamburg, about 7,000 a year. Modern technology ensures that they don't stay very long.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And some paint, some raisins.
JOGVAN PETERSEN, CAPTAIN, MAERSK LINE: Remember to check the stowage position.
Now I have been a sailor for more than 20 years, and I remember in the 80s, when I started, early 80s, it was not the same as now. Then, you could stay many days in port.
But now, completely changed. You are staying only a few hours, maximum one day, maybe one and a half, depending on which port.
ANDERSON: Even the world's largest vessels carrying 14,000 container units, can be turned around in less than 24 hours. About 50 percent of containers in Hamburg now come from China.
At the back of the terminal, empty containers accumulate, waiting to be recycled. With so many goods arriving from Asia, it's a reflection of the current trade imbalance.
ANDERSON (on camera): People in the shipping business refer to TEUs. Now, that stands for 20-foot Equivalent Units. Double that, and you get a 40-foot unit, or two TEUs, like these.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Ninety-seven percent of all goods that flow through the Port of Hamburg do so in containers. Last year, that amounted to nearly eight million of them.
JORG POLLMANN, CHIEF HARBOR MASTER: And so nowadays, if you now would try to transport a case from here, for example, to the US, and you say no, I do not want to have the case within the container, you will have really a problem to find a vessel which can really transport cases.
ANDERSON: Every container has a unique serial number so that it can be tracked. Inside them, you'll find just about everything we consume, from food and clothes to electronics and raw materials.
ANDERSON (on camera): Many of these products that we use every day make extraordinary journeys before they get to us. Take this cup of hot chocolate, for example.
Now, the cocoa beans arrive here in Hamburg from farmers as far away as West Africa or even South America. And they all arrive in shipping containers.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Thomas Cotterell is a fifth generation of Cotterells who run his family's cocoa business at Hamburg's port.
THOMAS COTTERELL, CEO, H.D. COTTERELL GMBH: Most of the cocoa is coming from West Africa. The Ivory Coast is the biggest cocoa producing country. They produce about 40 percent of the world crop.
ANDERSON: Thomas is the classic middleman, moving containers of cocoa, connecting farmer to chocolate maker.
(COTTERELL SPEAKING TO TRUCK DRIVER IN GERMAN)
ANDERSON: Cocoa beans are shipped in bags, or loose in bulk. A single warehouse can hold 12,500 tons of cocoa beans, enough to make about 200 million chocolate bars.
Blocks of processed cocoa liquor are also handled here.
COTTERELL: Cocoa liquor is beautiful. It smells already a little bit like chocolate.
ANDERSON: Once melted down, cocoa liquor becomes the raw ingredient of chocolate. This is the modern face of a business which began in 1890.
Modernization is always on the agenda for Hamburg's four specialized container terminals. At HHLA's Altenwerder Terminal, the future has arrived in the form of automation. Computer-generated efficiency.
JAN HENDRIK PIETSCH, CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY, HHLA: Altenwerder is the most sophisticated and most automated container terminals in the world, implying it's also the most environmentally-friendly terminal in the world.
ANDERSON: With barely a human being in sight, robotic machines in the holding yard juggle 30,000 containers, loading up truck after truck, train after train.
At ports like Hamburg, economic growth can be measured in the number of containers crossing two and from its docks.
ANDERSON (on camera): This dock is an extraordinary snapshot of the global economy, and the perfect visualization of the term "time is money."
ANDERSON (voice-over): Hardly surprising, then, the logistics of moving them has become such an exact science.
RAJPAL: Well, if you think you're an expert on Hamburg port and have been paying attention, you should breeze through this part. Do you know your cranes from cargo containers? Visit our Facebook page for a special quiz and test your luck. That's at facebook.com/CNNconnect.
Next week on The Gateway, it's off the ship, now what? Becky Anderson explains the work of art that is Hamburg's rail network. Timing is everything in this locomotive ballet.
Still to come, the Hollywood star who has made a pledge for kids.
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JEFF BRIDGES, ACTOR: I can only imagine how terrible it would feel if I couldn't provide for my kids. So, I want to do everything I can to make sure that families know about these programs that are available.
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RAJPAL: The star of "Tron," Jeff Bridges, fights for a future without hunger. He's your Connector of the Day, coming up next.
RAJPAL: He's one of Hollywood's best-loved actors, an Oscar-winning star who's been making movies for more than four decades. Today, he'll tell us how technology is changing the face of the film industry. Let's get you connected with acting legend Jeff Bridges.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's best known as the gun-toting cowboy in "True Grit." And hard-drinking country music star in "Crazy Heart." Jeff Bridges is a Hollywood old timer, who's spent over 40 years in the industry.
It wasn't until 2010, however, that Bridges was finally given the ultimate silver screen accolade, and that's an Oscar.
Recent roles in blockbusters like "Tron: Legacy" have cemented his reputation as one of the most versatile actors in the business.
GARRETT HEDLUND AS SAM FLYNN, "TRON: LEGACY": What happened?
BRIDGES AS KEVIN FLYNN, "TRON: LEGACY": My creation turned against me.
BRIDGES AS CLU, "TRON: LEGACY": Kevin Flynn! Where are you now?
FOSTER: But Bridges' other passion lies away from the glamour of show business. For the past 30 years, he's been spearheading a mission to end hunger. He is the spokesperson for No Kid Hungry, a campaign focused on the United States, where one in four American children are not getting enough to eat.
Becky Anderson asked your Connector of the Day how he hopes to make a difference.
BRIDGES: I helped found an organization called the End Hunger Network back in 1983. We were all about ending world hunger back in those days. But then about, oh, 15 or so years ago, the programs that were in place in American that were keeping hunger at bay started to be underfunded, and hunger started to raise its head again.
So my organization, the End Hunger Network, we shifted our focus to here in our country, and we're still working hard at it, and it's been getting worse. Hopefully, the fact that it is so bad will finally get some attention and people will make it a priority to end hunger here in our country.
ANDERSON: Yes, knock some sense into them, Jeff. Did you go hungry as a kid? Ever?
BRIDGES: No, I was very fortunate. I was very fortunate. But I have three kids myself, and I just recently became a grandfather, and I can only imagine how terrible it would feel if I couldn't provide for my kids.
BRIDGES: So, I want to do everything I can to make sure that families know about these programs that are available.
ANDERSON: A question from one of the viewers, Kelvin Cho from Nigeria asks, "What concrete plans have you got for fighting hunger, especially in places like Africa?" And I know you've worked on world hunger before. "While making sure that 100 percent of all funds go towards helping people who need them?"
BRIDGES: Normally, I've been working to try to raise more funds to end hunger, but his campaign is all about utilizing the programs and the funding that's already in place that's not being utilized, it's not being used by the people.
So, we're trying to make people aware that these programs are available and make it as easy as possible to get to them.
ANDERSON: Good stuff. Jeff, congratulations on "Tron," by the way. What was it like working on that film. But more importantly, I hear that you auctioned off a piece of "Tron" art for a good cause. What was that?
BRIDGES: Yes, well, working on "Tron" was a wonderful experience, and they recently did a piece on me, and I got to do some painting, which I love to do. And I thought I would auction that painting off to support No Kid Hungry, and we managed to raise over $10,000 for that. So, I'm really happy about that.
ANDERSON: Are you worth that as an artist?
BRIDGES: Say again?
ANDERSON: Are you worth that as an artist?
BRIDGES: I guess if they'll pay for it, I'm worth it.
ANDERSON: Go on, tell us what it was like --
BRIDGES: For a good cause.
ANDERSON: Good stuff. All right, mate. What was it like working on the movie?
BRIDGES: Well, "Tron," it was the weirdest experience. It's like -- it's kind of how movies are going to be made in the future, you know? There's no cameras. Can you imagine making a movie with no cameras?
It's all done in the computers, and everything from the costumes to makeup to sets to camera angles, it's all done in post-production. Very unusual.
ANDERSON: All right. Humor me with just a couple more questions from the viewers on acting. Gordon asks, "After the accolades for 'True Grit' and 'Crazy Heart,'" and I've got to say, two of my favorite movies of all time, I've got to say it, "it seems you've had a rebirth of sorts in your acting career. How much of that was luck, or is it some other force?" he asks.
BRIDGES: I would say it's the luck force. The force of luck. Yes. I mean, every once in a while, you get a batch of good scripts in a row, and I was lucky enough to have that happen to me. I'm really thrilled about it.
ANDERSON: Good stuff. We've all heard your voice in "Crazy Heart," and now you've got an album coming out later in the year. Do --
ANDERSON: -- just a little bit on that. What's that all about?
BRIDGES: Well, I got to work with my old buddy T-Bone Burnett, who's a wonderful musician and producer, and he assembled a great band together, and got to do a bunch of great songs. It should be coming out in August, mid-August. And I'm looking forward to going around the country playing with the band and promoting a bit.
ANDERSON: Good stuff. If you had one best moment over your entire career, Jeff, what would it be?
BRIDGES: Gee. Oh, man, there's a lot of moments are coming to my mind. Whenever I got to work with my dad or my brother was always a high moment for me, so we're talking "Fabulous Baker Boys" and "Tucker."
But you know, I've been a fortunate guy work-wise. I've had some wonderful roles, worked with great people, so it's hard to pick one.
RAJPAL: Your Connector of the Day Jeff Bridges there. Next week, we mark the anniversary of the 2009 revolution in Iran. There was one woman who emerged as a symbol of the fight for freedom, Neda Agha-Solton. We will speak to the undercover journalist and the filmmaker who together have ensured her death is never forgotten.
If there's something you would like us to ask these acclaimed documentarians, send us your questions. Head to cnn.com/connect or to Facebook/CNNconnect.
Now for our Parting Shots tonight. They're very small, they're very cute and, now, very famous. A trio of rare snow leopard cubs have made their public debut at a zoo in Switzerland.
They were born in Basel Zoo eight weeks ago as part of a Europe-wide breeding program. The zoo says the cubs will stay there for three years before traveling as ambassadors for their endangered species.
The snow leopards are far from their traditional Himalayan home. Farmers and hunters have pushed the species to the brink of extinction. There are now fewer than 7,000 snow leopards left living in the wild, that's according to the Snow Leopard Trust.
The big cats are hunted in some areas for their skins, but also for use in Chinese traditional medicine. That makes these blue-eyed babies extra special. All they need now are names.
Well, I'm Monita Rajpal. Thanks for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" will follow this short break.