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CONNECT THE WORLD

Bank of America Announces Job Cuts; Will Germany Force Severe Austerity Measures on Greece?; Prince Harry Makes A Deal; Men's Tennis Championships

Aired September 12, 2011 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


MAX FOSTER, HOST: French banks take a hammering as fears grow of a Greek default. Now all eyes are turning to Germany.

Is it ready to sacrifice Greece to save the Eurozone?

Plus, Gadhafi urges no surrender as his forces continue to put up a fight against the rebels.

And Novak Djokovic goes for his third grand slam of the year as the world number one battles Rafael Nadal for the U.S. Open.

These stories and more tonight as we connect the world.

First, growing alarm over Greek debt triggers an international crisis of confidence, leaving many stocks around the world in a sea of red. U.S. markets closed just minutes ago. As you can see, they actually closed up and they were down severely for most of the day. So a late up tick there.

European markets too a much harder hit. Notice the Paris CAC in particular, down more than 4 percent, closing at its lowest point since April, 2009.

The day started off badly in Asia. The Hang Seng plunged 4.2 percent, while Tokyo's stocks dropped to their lowest level in 29 months. The Nikkei, we're going to check that for you on the graphic. That's clearly wrong. But it was a -- a bad day for Asia.

The banking sector took an especially hard hit on Monday. French banks in particular, but before (INAUDIBLE) get the big news today.

That was out of bankers in America -- Felicia, and that's what you were talking about for much of the day, wasn't it, on Wall Street?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely right. Bank of America announcing it's going to shed 30,000 jobs. That's on top of the 6,000 that we already heard about earlier this year.

And basically, that's going to be cuts across the board. The bank had hinted about this sort of thing coming, so it wasn't a huge surprise for the marketplace. And, actually, the stock, on the news, traded up about 1 percent on the day.

This is part of their overall restructuring that the chairman was talking about at an investors conference earlier today.

However, he didn't actually give the news of the job cuts until a little bit later in -- via a press release, which is sort of an interesting form to take, as opposed to giving the news at the investors conference.

He talked about many different types of restructuring that was going to go on at the bank. And there are -- there are many components in Bank of America, because they went on a huge sort of acquisition spree before the chairman, the current chairman was in place. So he sort of inherited all these problems.

They picked up Merrill Lynch. They picked up U.S. Trust, MBNA and, most significantly, Countrywide. And that's been a real problem for them, obviously, because it -- it exposes their -- it gives them more exposure to the mortgage-backed securities that were such a problem in the financial crisis.

But pretty much across the board, Bank of America is going to be seeing about 30,000 job cuts coming over the next few years as they enter into this second phase, which will actually begin in October and go through 2012. And I think these job cuts happen over the next maybe three years, until 2014 -- Max.

FOSTER: It really is about the global financial sector now, though, isn't it?

It started all of this off. And we're now looking at it again. And those -- those French banks I mentioned, that was a big talking point with you, wasn't it, as well?

TAYLOR: Oh, absolutely. There's no question about it, I mean because now we're worried about how much exposure these banks may have to Greece and whether or not Greece is going to actually default. I mean that's -- that's a real concern in the marketplace right now.

You saw French banks -- because we're not exactly sure how much exposure they have to Greek debt. But you saw them actually get crushed today. We had BNP Paribas down 12 percent, Credit Agricole was down 10 percent. Societe Generale was down more than 10 percent. And Aksa (ph), which is an insurer, was down almost 10 percent. I mean these banks are -- are -- there's great concern as to whether or not they're going to be able to shore up their bottom line.

We did hear from the chief executive of Societe Generale, trying to reassure investors that they would have plenty of money. And he actually said that he was going to be able to make about 4 billion euros available in capital by the year 2013. But that didn't seem to help the stock very much. Obviously, as I said, Societe Generale was down almost 11 percent on the day.

So those are very serious questions that are going to be facing the -- the financial sector. And it's across the board. It's in -- in the U.K., in Italy, in Spain, Portugal, whether or not these banks are going to be OK and be able to live through this crisis, if, indeed, Greek -- Greece does default.

FOSTER: Felicia, thank you very much, indeed.

And just to clarify, the Nikkei in Tokyo was down 2.3 percent when it closed.

Here's a reminder, though, of why Greece matters. These figures from the "BIS Quarterly Review" show the countries most exposed to Greek debt at the end of last year. And right at the top is France.

Now, if Greece collapses, the French government, along with its banks and private investors, could be in serious trouble. Just look at that exposure France has got compared with Germany, the U.K., the U.S., Italy. It's a huge number exposed to some $57 billion.

Germany and the U.K. also right up there. Outside of Europe, the U.S. stands with just over $7 billion.

Now, Greece is taking new steps to build confidence, announcing plans to slice an extra $2.7 billion off its deficit. Through taxes and salary cuts. But the austerity measures aren't going over well at home. Demonstrators in Northern Greece clashed with riot police over the weekend and many Greeks say they've already tightened their belts as far as possible and they're furious they're being asked to sacrifice even more.

But the Greek government is under major pressure to meet its obligations to creditors amid tumbling new talk from Berlin.

Germany's economy minister wrote in a newspaper column, quote: "To stabilize the euro, we must not take anything off the table in the short run. That includes, as a worst case scenario, an orderly default for Greece, if the necessary instruments for it are available."

One Nobel Prize-winning economist says forcing Greece to accept brutal austerity measures isn't the best way out of this crisis.

Joseph Stiglitz says those measures are preventing desperately needed economic growth.

I spoke with him a short time ago and he said this about Germany's insistence on austerity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH STIGLITZ, NOBEL ECONOMICS PRIZE WINNER: If Germany and France and the other countries do not come to the assistance of Greece and Spain, the unlikely defaults, restructurings of the bonds would have a devastating effects on the economies of -- the economy of Germany, would, on the banking system and financial system, not only of Europe, but of the United States. And all of that would send tremors which would bring -- weaken the economy significantly.

So it's in Germany's self-interest to come to the assistance of Greece and Spain and Portugal and Ireland. But whether German voters recognize this, it's not yet clear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: That's the problem for Germany.

Let's get another point of view now from a German economist.

Jorg Rocholl is president of the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin.

He's joining me now.

The thing is, if you look at the economics, perhaps it does make sense for Germany to continue supporting Greece.

But it's not about economics anymore in Germany, isn't it?

It's largely about politics.

JORG ROCHOLL, EUROPEAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY: Certainly, it is also about politics. And as you both correctly pointed out, three quarters of the German voters resist any further help or, say, increasing further help for Greece and other countries. So certainly there is a lot of pressure on the German government domestically to not do more.

At the same time, the expectation from abroad is to actually do exactly this, to do more. So this is the -- the clash that we see now. And this will be the difficult question or the difficult issue to solve.

FOSTER: And the politics are much more complicated now, because Angela Merkel can't just go ahead with any sort of future plans in relation to Greece, because of -- because of this court case you had last week. That thing has to get parliamentary approval.

So even if she wants to push through another bailout for Greece, she's going to struggle, isn't she?

ROCHOLL: Absolutely. There will be a major vote in the parliament at the end of September on the ESFS. And it's not clear yet whether, actually, she will gain the majority in the parliament. So this will be one major threat.

At the same time, it could well be that the current threat that actually Greece may default could actually help her in this context, just because more and more members of the parliament may see that actually it might be important to have more means to stabilize the banking system, to have more flexibility in the system that could help in case Greece should, indeed, default.

FOSTER: What would -- have German economists looked at the costs of bailing Greece out again as opposed to letting it default, because the -- the costs of default are big, they're just not as apparent, are they?

ROCHOLL: So, this, of course, is the -- is a big question, as we have, economists always say, it depends on the counterfactuals. So the question is, what would happen in -- in the case you did not or you did help Greece.

One thing for sure is that the -- the matters that have been taken can also be costly to Germany. We've seen that, also, credit default swaps for Germany, even though at a very lowest level, have increased in price.

So this triggers the concern that, also, the burden of the transfers that have to be taken by Germany at some point may come back.

But certainly it's true, we also have to see the benefits that the European Union, the European monetary union brings for Germany.

FOSTER: OK, Jorg, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us with that.

You're with CONNECT THE WORLD, with me, Max Foster.

Now, just ahead, a royal record-breaker -- Prince Harry shows the money makers how it's done for charity. That's in five minutes.

Then in 10 minutes, a classic of epic proportions -- the U.S. Open men's final is underway in New York right now. We'll take you there live.

And in 35 minutes, saving Tripoli's zoo animals. We're live in Libya's capital.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: I'm Max Foster in London.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Here's a look at other stories we're following this hour.

Grief in Kenya tonight after a pipeline explosion in the capital killed at least 75 people. Police say the death toll is likely to reach 100 after homes were flattened and flames raced through a crowded Nairobi slum on Monday morning. The cause is unclear, but police suspect people broke the pipeline open, possibly to steal fuel.

Red Cross emergency worker, Carol Nduta, described the result.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAROL NDUTA, RED CROSS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: Most of the people who died today, apart from maybe relying on the dental records, most of them were burned beyond recognition. Some parts of their bodies, there are some of them who their upper trunks were completely burned, some their lower trunks. It was really, really bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: One person was killed and four others injured in an accident at a French nuclear facility. Officials say a furnace exploded at the complex on the Rhone River in Southeastern France. They say the furnace is used to dispose of lowest level radioactive waste. And the French nuclear safety agency says there was radioactive leak.

The governor of Turkey's southeastern Hakkari Province says the Kurdistan Workers Party, also known as the PKK, is responsible for coordinated attacks on police buildings there. The attacks hit very close to a wedding.

Watch this and you'll see mothers and fathers grabbing their children and running for cover.

None of the five people killed was from this wedding, but some of the dozen people injured were. The governor's office says security forces killed two of the PKK members. Booby traps were found on their bodies.

Turkey is warning -- is working to strengthen regional ties in the midst of an escalating row with Israel. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is beginning an Arab Spring tour in Cairo. He'll meet with Egypt's military rulers and the head of the Arab League.

Next, he heads to Tunisia and Libya, other nations where popular uprisings toppled autocratic regimes.

The U.K. aims more tough talk at the Kremlin. During his visit to the Russian capital, British prime minister, David Cameron, criticized Moscow for refusing to hand over a support in the murder of former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko. He was poisoned in London almost five years ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID CAMERON, BRITAIN PRIME MINISTER: As I said, there are still issues between the two governments. It's not so much a question as to whether we go on talking about them. The question is, there are legal issues. And in Britain, we have a -- a legal system that is independent of the government. And those legal avenues have to be pursued in the proper way. And government should -- should help with that and shouldn't stand in the way of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, Mr. Cameron is leading a U.K. business delegation in Russia, the first visit by a British prime minister since Tony Blair in 2006.

The only member of the hockey team to have survived last week's plane crash in Russia has died from his injuries. Alexander Galimov suffered severe burns to 90 percent of his body. His death brings the number of people killed to 44. The crash wiped out the Lokomotiv hockey team. It included Russian and international players. The eight flight crew were also killed.

The team was flying to Belarus when their Russian-made plane crashed on take-off. The lone remaining survivor, a crew member, is still in intensive care.

It was all smiles on Monday for Prince Harry. The third in line to the British throne broke a record playing with the big boys in London's currency markets. But the fundraising day at Canary Wharf had more to do with a big heart than wads of cash.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER (voice-over): BGC Partners lost 658 members of staff in the 9/11 attacks. To commemorate, they hold an annual charity day, where the firm and the brokers donate commissions to good causes.

This year, they got a bit of help from the palace.

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: And after some apprehension and some egging on, the prince got the hang of things. And then he was off.

PRINCE HARRY: Then you'll hold back. This is your own (INAUDIBLE).

FOSTER: That was all for charity. And he's actually just made a deal worth $18 billion euros. That's just hope he didn't make any mistakes.

If it's unusual to see a prince wandering around the trading floor, how about a prince and a super model?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- there's a girl behind you.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- she's that model.

FOSTER: Harry, meet Eva Herzigova. They joined forces in the name of charity.

PRINCE HARRY: I can use (INAUDIBLE).

FOSTER: The European markets may be performing terribly at the moment, but the industry can still raise more for charity than any other. Prince Harry expected to help pull in more than $10 million from this event alone.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

FOSTER: This is CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up, suspense is building around the men's final of the U.S. Open tennis championship. We're live in New York's Flushing Meadows in just moments.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: The U.S. Open men's final is underway in New York, with Sir Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic once again taking on last year's champ, Rafael Nadal. Let's get started.

We're going to go straight to CNN's Candy Reid.

She's joining us from Flushing Meadows.

And if the Serb actually wins this, would that make it historic?

It certainly feels like it.

CANDY REID, CNN ANCHOR: It might make it historic, Max, because that would mean that Djokovic just shares a handful of others of having won three majors in the same year. Remember, he's already won the Australian Open and he's already won Wimbledon, beating Rafael Nadal in the finals. Currently, he's on a 63 match winning run compared to just two losses.

The best winning run of all time is John McEnroe. He actually won 83 matches in one year and lost just three. I should say, 82 match wins and three losses.

So Novak Djokovic is having an incredible year. He's beaten Rafael Nadal five times in finals. And he, you have to say, is the slight favorite to win this.

Rafael Nadal, though, is the defending champion. He's on a 13 match winning streak here at the U.S. Open. And, Max, in those 13 matches he's won, he's only lost two sets.

Is that incredible?

Once within last year's finals to Novak Djokovic and once within the semi-finals against Andy Murray.

So Rafael Nadal clearly loves the court here and everything about it. The fans are still piling into Arthur Ashe. It's only in the first game. Rafael Nadal serving in that very first game.

But it's going to be a packed crowd here at Arthur Ashe Stadium. There's a lot of anticipation in the air. It should be a cracking final -- Max.

FOSTER: Yes. And if Nadal can turn it around, what do you think he's going to rely on?

Can he turn it around and with what?

REID: Well, funnily enough, he was asked that in a press conference after his semi-final win over Andy Murray. And he said, hmmm, I'm going to serve and volley. Of course, he was joking. Rafael Nadal doesn't often serve and volley. But that's something he has to do well is approach the net. And he did do that well against Andy Murray, I think. And early on, he was five for five at the net.

He has to mix it up with Novak Djokovic, because Novak is so confident at the moment. He's just won so many matches and so many tournament cycles. I think it's nine all season. So Rafael Nadal has to do something a bit different.

The matchup, though, definitely works in Djokovic favor because he's actually (INAUDIBLE) Jim Courier, a champion here before, said to me ahead of the Wimbledon final, the matchup works in Djokovic's favor because he has a tremendous double-handed backhand and Rafael Nadal is left-handed and has a forehand which is probably the best in the game.

So Rafael Nadal really has to keep the ball (INAUDIBLE) forehand. But the problem is, the Serb's forehand is awfully good, as well -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Candy at Flushing Meadows.

Thank you very much, indeed.

It's going to be a great match. It just started.

For more on the tennis though, we're joined by Pedro -- Pedro, in terms of the women's final, that was a bit of shocker, wasn't it, in the end?

PEDRO PINTO, CNN "WORLD SPORT" ANCHOR: Yes, it was. Everybody's still talking about it. And, unfortunately for the -- for the winner, Samantha Stosur, people are talking about what happened with -- with Serena Williams. And it's the second time in three years that we've basically seen her loss -- losing the plot in a -- in a major tournament. It happened against Kim Clijsters in the semi-finals of this tournament, 2009. It happened again on Sunday, when she was taking on Sam Stosur.

And -- and if you -- if you follow tennis -- and I know we've been talking about it here throughout the day, because this is a really big story. It's the fact that Serena Williams really went on a wild verbal tirade against one of the lineswomen when she got a code violation for basically interference and impeding her opponent.

What happened was Serena Williams had a winner. But before Samantha Stosur had a chance to return, Serena Williams shouted out, "Come on!" and you can't -- you can't basically scream like that and celebrate the point before it's over, which it wasn't. And that's why she paid the price.

I can tell you that she's been fined $2,000. And let's face it, $2,000...

FOSTER: That's not a punishment, is it?

PINTO: Well, it's not...

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: -- frustrated by that.

PINTO: -- so it's like $2 -- $2 for us, you know?

(LAUGHTER)

PINTO: So I don't think that's much punishment at all. And considering the fact she was already on probation after what happened two years ago, I think they've been quite lenient with -- with Serena Williams.

Of course, she's a superstar. Of course, I think it happened in -- in the -- in the heat of the moment.

But I don't think what she said in the press conference afterward -- and we'll listen to -- to what she said here in just a moment. But what she added, as well, was this was in the heat of the moment, "I don't remember what is said."

She's used this excuse now twice in the last three years. But she didn't really apologize.

Let's listen exactly to what she said about the incident in the final against Stosur.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SERENA WILLIAMS, U.S. OPEN RUNNER-UP: I don't even remember what -- I don't remember what I said. I'm sorry. I was just so intent out there. It's the final for me and I was just -- I have to go. I guess I'll see it on YouTube. I don't know. I don't know. I don't even -- I wasn't -- I'm just in a zone. I think everyone, when they play, they kind of, you know, kind of zone out on the game. And I don't know, I'll see it later, I'm sure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PINTO: Yes.

FOSTER: OK, well, we always -- you know, she's a big star. And we always want to hear from her. But she wasn't actually the winner.

PINTO: No, she wasn't. And she lost...

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: -- that's ridiculous (INAUDIBLE).

PINTO: -- in straight sets. It is. And that's why I was saying unfortunate, you know, Samantha Stosur became the first Australian woman in over 30 years to win a grand slam prize (INAUDIBLE).

FOSTER: And they're going crazy for it today, aren't they, the Australians?

PINTO: They really are. And -- and this is such -- a country that's so passionate about sports. So we understand why this is such a big deal. And on the men's side, they really haven't had anyone, a big star, you know, since Lleyton Hewitt and Pat -- Pat Rafter. So this is a big, big win.

Let -- let's get a chance -- let's give the winner a chance to get that...

FOSTER: Let's give...

(CROSSTALK)

PINTO: -- and listen to what Samantha Stosur had to say after beating Serena in a major upset out at New York.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAMANTHA STOSUR, U.S. OPEN CHAMPION: Going into the match, I had to believe I had a chance to win, otherwise there's not too much point showing up. So I think having two victories against her in the past definitely helped -- helped that confidence, I guess. And I felt like I was playing well going into this -- this match especially. And, you know, as the match went on, I -- I guess that confidence grew and that belief. And, of course, I -- I knew it was never over until I had won that last point.

But I think, for sure, I was the underdog. And maybe that actually helped me, relaxed me a little bit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PINTO: More on Stosur, more on the women's final coming up on "WORLD SPORT," including, of course, an update on the men's final, which, like Candy Reid mentioned, is going on right now as we speak.

FOSTER: It could be over by then, couldn't it?

PINTO: I doubt it will be, to be honest. I don't see it going in straight sets, probably four or five.

FOSTER: OK. We'll talk to you later.

PINTO: OK.

FOSTER: Thank you very much, Pedro.

This is CONNECT THE WORLD.

I'm Max Foster.

Just ahead, four charged in a slavery case in Britain. The head of Anti-Slavery International is live.

We'll check in on some of the four legged victims in Libya's fighting. That's up in 18 minutes.

And welcome to Warsaw -- a side of the Polish capital few get to see.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN, the world's news leader.

Let's get a check of the headlines this hour for you.

French banking shares took a beating today, plunging more than 10 percent on concerns that Moody's might downgrade their ratings. French banks are heavily exposed to Greek debt and there are growing fears that Greece may default.

A pipe bomb explosion in the Kenyan capital has killed at least 75 people. Police say the death toll is likely to reach 100 after homes were flattened on Monday and flames raced through a crowded Nairobi slum. The cause is unclear, but police suspect people broke the pipeline open possibly to steal fuel.

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is beginning an Arab Spring tour in Cairo. He'll meet with Egypt's military rulers and the head of the Arab League. Next, he heads to Tunisia and Libya, other nations where popular uprisings toppled autocratic regimes.

A human rights group has slammed a push to build local police forces in Afghanistan. A report released by Human Rights Watch says the US-backed initiative is a high-risk strategy, but the Afghan president says he still wants foreign security firms to go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAMID KARZAI, PRESIDENT OF AFGHANISTAN: We are adamant in asking for an end to the presence of private security firms in Afghanistan that are running counter to the Afghan police, running counter to the state government in Afghanistan.

So, not only will they cause corruption, these practices by our allies in Afghanistan, they prevent the growth of the Afghan state and its institutions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: In Paris, more scrutiny for Dominique Strauss-Kahn. French police are following up on another accusation of sexual impropriety by the former International Monetary Fund chief, this time in his home country. Jim Bittermann has an update.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BITTERMANN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It wasn't entirely unexpected that Strauss-Kahn would appear before police since earlier this summer, in fact, there had been accusations against him brought by Tristane Banon, a young journalist who said that eight years ago, Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her.

She's told her side of the story, she's made her accusations to the prosecutor, and know it was Strauss-Kahn's turn to get his story on the record.

Before the prosecutor makes up his mind on whether charges should be brought, at this stage, it's nearly a complaint by this young lady. The prosecutor has not determined whether or not charges should be brought in the case.

In any case, Strauss-Kahn was heard this morning as a witness, not as a defendant, indicating that he's still on neutral ground, but that could change if, in fact, the prosecutor does decide to eventually bring charges.

In the meantime, of course, he's become something of a pariah in Socialist Party politics. There's a Socialist Party primary coming up, here for the presidential elections in 2012, and most of the leading candidates are trying to distance themselves as far as possible from Mr. Strauss-Kahn.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Giving a voice to the voiceless. For the whole of this year, all of CNN is pouring its global resources into investigating the dark world of modern-day slavery. As many as 13 million people across the world are slaves.

Our CNN's Freedom Project is putting the human face to that staggering number, as people who do the suffering. After all, there's nothing abstract about families in Afghanistan trapped in bonded labor, saddled with impossible debt.

There's action, too. Nine girls were recently rescued from a brothel in India's capital. One of the victims is 10 years old.

That raid on a New Delhi brothel came just days after the CNN Freedom Project followed actress Demi Moore, along with the CNN Hero of the Year, as they worked to rescue women trafficked from Nepal into India for prostitution.

And slavery is making headlines in the UK, too. Police in Bedfordshire not far from London confirmed to CNN that four men have been charged under the Coroners and Justice Act. This makes an offense of holding someone in slavery or servitude or forcing them to perform compulsory labor.

Brothers James Connors, Tommy Connors, Patrick Connors, and their brother-in-law, James Conner, are due in court tomorrow morning in the case of 24 people allegedly held against their will at a caravan site in the UK. CNN's Atika Shubert brings us the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): British police say they have rescued 24 men that were kept as virtual slaves, some for as long as 15 years, here at the Green Acres caravan site in Bedfordshire.

Police say the men were from England and parts of Eastern Europe. Many were homeless, lured to this trailer park with promises of food and shelter. Instead, they were threatened with violence and forced into hard labor, often doing roadwork from 7:00 in the morning to 7:00 at night without pay.

Living in squalid conditions, police said many of the men were on the verge of starvation.

SEAN O'NEILL, DETECTIVE CHIEF INSPECTOR: There's no electricity, there's no running water, people have been -- have their hair cut, put in dirty clothing. They're made to work doing any form of labor rather than being given proper food.

SHUBERT: Police say they received a tip off from other alleged victims who had managed to escape the site.

SHUBERT (on camera): According to the UK Human Trafficking Center, in the last two years, almost 1,500 cases of slavery and human trafficking have been reported to police.

And now, with the new anti-slavery law passed in Britain last year, anyone convicted of holding a person to servitude can spend up to 14 years in prison.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: So, how big a problem is slavery in Western Europe? Well, right now, we're joined her in the London studios by the head of Anti- Slavery International, Aidan McQuade. Thank you so much for joining us.

AIDAN MCQUADE, DIRECTOR, ANTI-SLAVERY INTERNATIONAL: Thanks for helping us.

FOSTER: We can't talk about the particular case, but it's another headline, isn't it? And we keep -- during this Freedom Project, we keep hearing how shocked people are that it's happening in their country, and it's often in the western hemisphere that we hear that shock. But should we be shocked?

MCQUADE: I think yes, we should be shocked. It's an appalling thing to see happening to human beings. Whenever we talk about slavery, we're not talking about -- personal forces doing this, we're not talking about people being seriously drugged.

FOSTER: I mean, should we be shocked that it's going on?

MCQUADE: Yes. I mean, it is human beings doing this to other human beings and, as you pointed out in your introduction, there's something like at least 12 million people enslaved in the world today. It's just an appalling, appalling carnage upon people's lives and hopes.

FOSTER: OK. And in terms of the prevalence, are we right to say it's more or less prevalent in Western Europe, for example, than parts of Asia, where we've had lots of really horrific reporting?

MCQUADE: I think unquestionably in terms of absolute numbers, we're talking about South Asia being the largest numbers of people in the world.

But if you look at the International Labor Organization analysis of the problem, slavery in Europe and in North America, that's -- while it's smaller numbers, it's the high-value slavery. It's the thing that was making millions of dollars for people who are trafficking other human beings.

FOSTER: Because it's all about money, at the end of the day, isn't it? And all of the money's in Western Europe and the US, for example?

MCQUADE: Yes

FOSTER: The rich economies.

MCQUADE: Yes. And there's a basic rule in all business which is, if you can reduce costs, you will increase profits. And so there is a compulsion upon people running -- particular in the black and gray economies in this part of the world, to reduce their costs as much as they can by using slavery, for example.

FOSTER: Well, we did ask Britain's home office to join us on the issue. They declined, but they sent out this statement signed by the UK's immigration minister Damon Green.

It reads, "The government is tackling human trafficking and building on our strong record in supporting victims, fighting traffickers, and stopping this horrible trade from happening.

"We have recently published a national human trafficking strategy. We will be adopting the EU directive on trafficking, and we are creating the National Crime Agency to further improve our response to this brutal crime."

The statement goes on to say, "These measures, along with improved victim care arrangements will ensure that all victims, adults and children, receive care tailored to their specific needs." It implies that they haven't had that support in the past.

MCQUADE: I think Britain's record in terms of tackling slavery in the world is OK. It's not the greatest, but it's OK. But I think this current government has demonstrated both that their ill-informed about the problem and broadly disinterested in relation to resolving it.

There's a number of measures which they are currently discussing. For example, removing the right for domestic workers to change employers. This is something which, if the government introduces this, will make -- will de facto legalize slavery again for domestic workers in this country. And again, they're not engaging with civil society, the big society about these issues.

The forced labor amendment, which was brought in in 2010, was brought in by Lord Bach, who was the minister of justice at the time. He was -- he was not initially persuaded to bring this in, but he listened to civil society's views on this.

FOSTER: Yes. And the politics in each nation does come into this. And I think -- often, a lot of it, when we talk about the Freedom Project, back to my initial point, people are often shocked that it's happening in their country.

But do you find -- sometimes find the cases are worse in very developed societies because it's been hidden and people aren't assuming it's going to happen down the road, so it doesn't get noticed as easily?

MCQUADE: I think that's a strong point, yes. Because we believe this comforting myth that slavery's a thing of the past --

FOSTER: It wouldn't happen in our society.

MCQUADE: -- so it shocks us more when it does happen. But if you look at the level of violence which is associated with slavery in Afghanistan or in Cote d'Ivoire, it's comparable to the sort of instances that we see here.

FOSTER: And we've got the Olympics, of course, coming up in the UK next year, and people are talking a lot about concerns about human trafficking in relation to that. Is that a genuine concern?

MCQUADE: Absolutely. I mean, there's two aspects to this. For one, we know that most people are trafficked to the UK enter the country illegally, so with a lot more visitors coming to London, there's a lot more opportunities for that to happen.

But the second thing as well, you're talking about a lot of manufacture of Olympic good stretching right across the globe. How sure are we that those supply chains are themselves free form forced labor?

And this is a question which I think is very reasonable to ask the companies which have got Olympic contracts to make public their supply --

FOSTER: To find out. Yes.

MCQUADE: Yes.

FOSTER: Aidan McQuade of Anti-Slavery International, thank you very much, indeed.

MCQUADE: Thank you.

FOSTER: You can learn more about the CNN Freedom Project on our website. Go to cnn.com/freedom. There you can get facts about modern-day slavery and what people around the world are doing to fight it. There's also a section that shows you how you can help, and that's all at cnn.com/freedom.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London. Coming up, the NTC feeling the heat in Libya. Gadhafi forces launch a fresh attack as another message emerges from the former leader.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: To Libya now, and troops loyal to the former leader Moammar Gadhafi are proving they're still a dangerous force. They've killed at least 12 rebel fighters in an attack on an oil refinery at the port of Ras Lanuf.

It comes just a day after Libya's new leaders, the National Transitional Council, declared their government would be formed within ten days.

There's also news that Moammar Gadhafi's son, Saadi, has slipped into neighboring Niger. And a Syrian television station has read a message said to be from the ousted leader. It quotes him as saying, "We cannot surrender Libya to imperialism." The message goes on to say, "The only option is to kill, unless there is victory."

NTC troops are still struggling to take control of one of Gadhafi's last strongholds. That is the town of Bani Walid. There are reports over the weekend of stiff resistance from Gadhafi's forces and the fighting amongst the rebels themselves. CNN's Ben Wedeman is just outside Bani Walid and sent this update.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fighting continues inside the Bani Walid. Residents fleeing the town say the situation inside is dire, with street-to-street fighting, food supplies are running low, there's no electricity, and there is no running water.

No word about the whereabouts of Saif al-Islam Gadhafi the son of the Libyan leader, who NTC officials had said was in Bani Walid. However, residents say they have seen Moussa Ibrahim, Gadhafi's spokesman, made famous by his many appearances at the Rixos Hotel.

We're told that Sunday, eight rebel fighters were killed. No word on fatalities so far Monday. They do say, however, they've managed to capture one loyalist fighter, but the situation inside clearly is one of an ongoing battle.

I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from outside Bani Walid.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, NATO has admitted that taking the town won't be easy for the rebels, with pockets of resistance appearing across Libya. I spoke to the Secretary General of NATO a little earlier and asked him what support he was offering the rebels near Bani Walid.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, SECRETARY GENERAL, NATO: We are in Libya to protect the civilian population against attacks, and as long as a threat exists, we will continue our operation.

And we have seen pro-Gadhafi forces launch attacks against civilians, and this is the reason why we continue to conduct our operation.

FOSTER: But you're not just protecting civilians, you're assisting the rebels with their advance.

RASMUSSEN: We are protecting civilians.

FOSTER: Well, you are assisting the rebels with their advance during the --

RASMUSSEN: Well, of course, degrading the war machine of the Gadhafi forces will also, at the end of the day, be of great help to the NTC forces. But the objective of our operation is to protect civilians.

FOSTER: In terms of Colonel Gadhafi, why don't we know where he is? Why has it taken so long to find him?

RASMUSSEN: As far as NATO is concerned, neither Gadhafi nor any other individual are targets of our operation.

FOSTER: So, you're not really concerned about where Colonel Gadhafi is?

RASMUSSEN: It's for the NTC to lead the people to deal with Gadhafi. We will continue our operation as long as there's still a threat against the civilian population.

And actually, we have seen Gadhafi issue such threats against his own people, calling them rats and dogs and I don't know what.

FOSTER: Which makes him a legitimate target, doesn't it? In terms of protecting civilians?

RASMUSSEN: Neither Gadhafi nor any other individual are targets of our operation.

FOSTER: When do you decide that NATO's role there is finished?

RASMUSSEN: We will terminate our operation when no threat against the civilian population exists any longer. And obviously, a number of factors will be included when we are going to make that decision.

First and foremost, the capability of the National Transitional Council to protect the civilian population effectively.

FOSTER: Are you happy that the NTC will pull it together enough to take over control militarily?

RASMUSSEN: I'm confident that the National Transitional Council has both the will and the political capability to take over power and to ensure a peaceful transition to a democracy.

The NTC has presented a road map for a transition to a democracy, and I think it's a very credible road map.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Now, residents in Tripoli are trying to rebuild their lives, but the threat of violence remains, and there's still not enough water or proper sanitation. But people aren't the only victims.

CNN brought you a story a few weeks ago about the miserable conditions at Tripoli's zoo. Our World Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty has been back to the zoo to see if life has improved for the animals, and she joins me, now, from Tripoli. Hi, Jill.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Max. Well, you know, in a conflict zone like Libya, there are so many human beings who are injured or killed, but when you see animals who are suffering because of this, there's something deeply disturbing about it, and we saw it at the zoo.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): In a city slashed by war, a tiger fights for life.

AMIR KHALIL, DIRECTOR, FOUR PAWS INTERNATIONAL: The bottle of vitamins, please.

DOUGHERTY: Osama, a Siberian tiger at the Tripoli zoo, has been suffering for days.

DOUGHERTY (on camera): Do you know why he's so sick?

KHALIL: Honestly, we've only spent a few days here, but I believe he is old, number one. Number two, it was all of the stress in the surrounding here.

(GUNFIRE)

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): During the battle for Tripoli, there was shooting just outside the zoo. Humans fled. The animals didn't have that option.

ABDULFATAH HUSNI, ZOO DIRECTOR: Artillery is coming from outside, just on the surface and make a big hole in that mammal house.

DOUGHERTY: The zoo's director, Dr. Abdulfatah Husni leads us to the mammal house.

DOUGHERTY (on camera): Oh, yes, wow. That came right through the roof?

HUSNI: Through the roof, yes.

DOUGHERTY: But none of the animals were --

HUSNI: No, no.

DOUGHERTY: -- injured or --

HUSNI: No, no animals injured, no animal died.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): For two weeks, there was no water in Tripoli, a disaster for the hippos, who had to survive on what little stagnant water was left in their pool.

HUSNI: As you see, now, they are shiny, they are good. They're under water, they're swimming normally, no problem.

DOUGHERTY: Shells still litter the zoo grounds.

HUSNI: And just over --

DOUGHTERY (on camera): Right here.

HUSNI: Yes, right here.

DOUGHERTY: In the zoo. Yes.

HUSNI: It's coming from outside, you know?

DOUGHERTY: So, just all over the place.

HUSNI: This is for clash -- you know clash?

DOUGHERTY: Yes.

At the height of the conflict, 15 of the staff came here every day to feed and water the animals, risking their own lives to do it. And if they hadn't, many of these animals would have died within three or four days.

KHALIL: One empty serum like this I will need.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Dr. Amir Khalil from an international animal rescue team rushed here from Vienna to help after seeing CNN reports about the state of these animals.

KHALIL: We don't succeed.

DOUGHERTY (on camera): You don't?

KHALIL: It's too late.

DOUGHERTY: It's his time.

KHALIL: Yes. It was too late.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Tripoli Zoo was being rebuilt when the war started. The director hopes that will continue. There'll be exchanges with zoos around the world, he says, something that stopped during the Gadhafi regime, bringing new animals unscarred by war.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DOUGHERTY: And things, actually, now are improving. There's -- water is back, as you saw. There's electric back. They're getting more food.

There's still problems, there's no question, but these international workers, like Dr. Khalil, are doing a really great job, and there could be more of them. But these animals are certainly in a lot better shape than just a couple of weeks ago, Max.

FOSTER: Great to hear, Jill, that things are on the mend, finally. Thank you so much for joining us from Tripoli.

Now, coming up next on CONNECT THE WORLD, a Polish football club is selling off its top talent. We'll explain why as we kick off our Eye on Poland series.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It might be interesting for people around the world to see Poland from a different perspective. If you're doing this live and if you're talking to people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I think it's a very interesting idea, as one usually doesn't have the opportunity to see Warsaw, or any other city, for that matter of fact, from this perspective.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: It may look like water, but this is, in fact, an art installation, 2500 mirrors in central Warsaw, and the idea is that you change your perspective on Poland.

Welcome back. All this week, we are focusing on Poland, its proud past and its promising future.

Many Poles are passionate about the beautiful game, but in the era of huge salaries and transfer fees, it's tough to compete with the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United. The Polish club, Legia Warsaw, has a glorious history and used to make it into the Champions' League.

But the top football competition -- that's the top football competition for European clubs. Now, Legia has a new strategy for returning to the big time. Jim Boulden reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(CROWD SINGING)

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Legia Warsaw were once the cream of Polish football, but they haven't won the Polish league since 2006, and it's been 15 seasons since they progressed beyond the first stage of the Champions' League.

But Legia's new owners have a plan. And it's all down to the kids.

BOULDEN (on camera): This is Legia's under 18 team here in black and white. Now, the management wants to vastly expand and improve the academy. After all, it is a stated business model to sell on players to bigger European clubs for a profit.

BOULDEN (voice-over): These boys are among the first graduates.

RAFAL WOLSKI, PLAYER, LEGIA WARSAW (through translator): I think we will still have to wait a few more years to see the full effects of the academy, maybe three, four years, as my year and the year above are the first who went through the whole academy process.

JAKUB RZEZNICZEK, PLAYER, LEGIA WARSAW (through translator): I think that the youth academy is very important. I've been reading a lot of books about Spanish clubs and their academies, and I'm very impressed in how that talent is looked after.

BOULDEN: Two years ago, media group ITI took full control of Legia.

JACEK MAZUREK, YOUTH COACH, LEGIA WARSAW (through translator): ITI Group is the owner of Legia, and they're doing everything so that the academy can meet the demands of European football. The academy's budget is three million zloty, which is nearly a million euros. This is a lot of money.

BOULDEN: Legia has a brand-new stadium, but as the CEO took me around for a tour, he admitted Polish clubs cannot earn the television money that other teams can.

WOJCIECH KOSTRZEWA, CEO, ITI GROUP: UK or Spain are crazy about sport, and crazy especially about football. That leads to situations that the price for the TV rights, which is one of the main source of income for the clubs, is reaching levels unbelievable elsewhere.

BOULDEN: So, while most clubs try hard to keep their top players, Legia is not shy about putting them in the shop window.

BOULDEN (on camera): So, you're not afraid to say that. You're not afraid to say that if someone plays really well here in Warsaw that you will celebrate selling them to another club.

KOSTRZEWA: Yes, we definitely will celebrate to sell him.

BOULDEN (voice-over): Players like Arsenal's backup goalkeeper, Lucas Fabianski, sold four years ago. The Poland goalkeeper's Legia shirt is in the new museum.

KRZYSZTOF DOWHAN, GOALKEEPING COACH, LEGIA WARSAW (through translator): I think it's a great advert for Polish football, especially when players are going to some of the world's best clubs, such as Arsenal.

And I think it's a good example for others to work hard so that they can one day achieve the same.

BOULDEN: So, who here on the pitch today might join the Polish diaspora in England or Italy or Spain?

MAZUREK (through translator): Let that be our secret.

BOULDEN: Legia hope and need there to be a few super Polish diamonds in this group.

Jim Boulden, CNN, Warsaw.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Now, as part of CNN's Eye on Poland coverage, we're asking Poles living in Poland and abroad, what do you think most defines Poland's reputation around the world. Here's a taste of what some of the viewers, you, are saying.

Maria in Warsaw says, "Poland's reputation is defined mainly by personalities and stereotypes, like John Paul II or vodka."

Pawel says, "More and more people are becoming proud of being a Pole. Krakow is perceived as one of the most interesting, not to mention beautiful cities in Europe."

John Guziak, an American living in Poland, says "The Poles are a fighting and industrial people with a difficult past but a tremendous future."

Have your say. You can e-mail your answers to poland@cnn.com.

I'm Max Foster, thank you so much for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" will follow this short break.

END