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CONNECT THE WORLD

Iran Trial; Kenya Kidnap Attack; Embassy Siege; Champion's League; Interview with Novak Djokovic

Aired September 13, 2011 - 16:00   ET

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


MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Locked up --- locked up in Iran, kept away from their families, but could these American hikers be heading home within days?

Iran's president says he's prepared to make a humanitarian gesture.

So why now?

Plus, Miss Universe gets the Twitter verse talking.

But is there still a place for the pageant in our world today?

And at the top of his game, Novak Djokovic tells us why he just can't stop winning.

These stories and more tonight as we connect the world.

Jailed for more than two years, freedom may now be just a few days away for two American men in Iran. But that freedom will come at a price.

An attorney for Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer say they'll each have to raise half a million dollars bail in order to be released.

Just last month, a Tehran court convicted the men of spying and illegally entering the country, sentencing them to eight years in prison.

But today, Iran's president announced what he calls "a unilateral humanitarian gesture".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE TODAY SHOW," COURTESY MSNBC)

PRES. MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRAN (through translator): These two persons will be released.

Is it going to be over?

We do it, for example, in a humanitarian gesture.

Is it going to solve the problems?

I hope so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, you may remember the men were arrested along with an American woman back in 2009. The United States maintained their innocence all along, insisting they weren't spies, but hikers who had lost their way.

Hala Gorani has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The story begins on July 31, 2009. Three Americans, Sarah Shroud, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, are arrested while hiking near the Ahmed Awa waterfall in the mountains near the Iran-Iraq border.

Iranian officials claimed the three crossed into Iran. The Americans say they didn't knowingly cross the border. All three are held at Evin Prison. But Shroud is held separately from the two men.

In November of that year, Iran's government charged the three with espionage, accusing them of being CIA operatives attempting to spy on the country.

In May of 2010, an emotional meeting in Tehran. The mothers of the three Americans are finally allowed to see their children.

LAURA FATTAL, MOTHER OF JOSH FATTAL: We are hoping that the Iranian authorities will show compassion and release our children as soon as possible.

GORANI: September 14th of last year, Iran frees Sarah Shroud on humanitarian grounds. She's released on a half million dollar bail.

SARAH SHOURD, RELEASED FROM IRAN: All of my efforts starting today are going to go into helping procure the same freedom for my fiance, Shane Bauer, and for my friend, Josh Fattal, because I -- I can't enjoy my freedom without them.

GORANI: Fattal and Bauer were tried before Iran's revolutionary court in July. They were both convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for spying and three years for illegal entry into the country.

Both Americans appealed their civilians.

Hala Gorani, CNN.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

FOSTER: Well, it's interesting to know that American Sarah Shroud was freed around this time last year, as Iran's president was heading to the United Nations for the annual General Assembly.

Well, President Ahmadinejad is getting ready to make the trip again.

Our Mohammed Jamjoom is following this story for us from Abu Dhabi -- first of all, Mohammed, we heard a bit from the families there.

But what's their latest response to this latest statement from?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, the families of Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer are expressing extreme joy at -- at this news. In a statement released just a short while ago, the family said: "While we do not have further details at this time, we are overjoyed by the positive news reported from Iran. Shane and Josh's freedom mean more to us than anything and it's a huge relief to read that they are going to be released."

We've also see signs from American diplomats that there's very cautious optimism right now, although the State Department has not been informed officially by the Iranian government that the two American hikers who have been detained will be released, people do seem to think that this actually will happen at this point and that's causing a lot of relief at this stage -- Max.

FOSTER: And what do you make of the timing -- Mohammed?

JAMJOOM: Well, Max, it's clearly not coincidental. We must remember that President Ahmadinejad has, in the past, promised and failed to deliver upon the release of these two detained hikers. But this is coming right before the UNGA. Clearly, Ahmadinejad wants to show that he's trying to make a goodwill gesture, a very big goodwill gesture, prior to the UNGA and he's trying to show that he has power at home. In the past, there have been clerics in Iran and other headliners that have blocked his -- his plans, or reported plans, to try to get these two released from prison.

But Ahmadinejad clearly wants to show that he does have the power to get this done, that this is a goodwill and very magnanimous gesture before he would come for the UNGA conference -- Max.

FOSTER: There have been false promises before from the Iranians on this issue, haven't there?

But if he is right and he is going to -- Iran is going to release these prisoners, there's another hurdle that has to be jumped, which is this million dollar bail money that the family, I presume, are going to have to get that together.

JAMJOOM: Well, that's right, Max. And that's the big question right now, where is this money going to come from, how is the family going to get the money?

As of now, nobody has been able to confirm how they would get this money. There are still questions as to how the money was gotten last year for the release of Sarah Shroud. Sarah Shroud was released from Iranian prison, also for $500,000 in bail. Now, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, they're also -- we're being told that it will be $500,000 each for the release of them on bail.

How the families will go about getting this bail money, if they'll be able to do so, there's still a lot question that remain and we'll be tracking those developments in the coming days -- Max.

FOSTER: And the president also talked about how there are many more Iranians in U.S. custody than there were Americans in Iranian custody.

So is he expecting a mutual release of Iranian prisoners?

JAMJOOM: Well, it looks like he's certainly hinting at that, Max. The fact that President Ahmadinejad is saying this, it does seem to indicate that perhaps he wants a quid pro quo. He's saying that there's a lot more Iranian prisoners in American prisons than there are American prisoners in Iranian jails.

Whether that's something that will work, a tactic that would work, the State Department has not commented on that. Nobody has suggested that would be any sort of quid pro quo because of that.

But, clearly, he seems to be saying that he's really making a very magnanimous gesture, that he is listening to all the voices that have been putting pressure on the Iranian government to release these prisoners. And there has been so much international pressure and a lot of pressure from the U.S. to try to get these prisoners released as quickly as possible.

As we said before, the families are now overjoyed, even though it's not completely officially that this will happen, everything seems to be indicating at this time that the Iranian president is serious about this. And it does look like it's closer to happening than it ever has been before -- Max.

FOSTER: Mohammed in Abu Dhabi.

Thank you very much, indeed for that.

Well, the U.S. State Department says it's taking a cautious approach to Iran's change of heart.

Our senior State Department producer, Elise Labott, has details now from Washington.

ELISE LABOTT, SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT PRODUCER: Senior U.S. officials are taking a very cautious approach to the news that the hikers are going to be released because we've been here before. Since they were convicted about a moment ago, there has been news that they're going to be released only to have the hopes of the families dashed.

So listen to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's very careful today when asked about news about their release.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: We have followed this very closely. And we are encouraged by what the Iranian government has said today. But I'm not going to comment further than that. We obviously hope that we will see a -- a positive outcome from what appears to be a decision by the government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LABOTT: The families also, as we heard in that statement earlier, taking a very cautious approach. But we might hear more on Wednesday, when the Swiss ambassador to Tehran -- the Swiss, as we know, is the protecting power of U.S. interests in Iran, because the United States doesn't have any diplomatic relations. That Swiss ambassador will be going to the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday. She was summoned for a meeting. I spoke to Swiss officials who say that they're cautiously optimistic that there could be some news about the hikers soon.

Elise Labott, CNN, the State Department.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

FOSTER: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN.

And coming up, (INAUDIBLE) rage on the streets of Kabul, as the Taliban launches attacks on the U.S. Embassy. We'll go live there in a few moments.

Still on a high, Novak Djokovic celebrates his almost perfect grand slam.

Plus...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's outdated, sexist. I didn't watch it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Is there a future for the Miss Universe contest?

The billion viewers who did watch it seem to think so. We'll have more on that in about 20 minutes.

(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 for you this hour.

At least three children have been killed during an attack on their school bus in Northwestern Pakistan. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the ambush near Peshawar. Attack -- attackers fired a rocket at the bus and then started shooting. Sixteen others were wounded and the bus driver was also killed.

Recognizing a Palestinian state is not an option, it's an obligation. The Turkish prime minister delivered that message today to Arab League representatives in Cairo. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on an Arab Spring tour to strengthen ties with countries that have overthrown autocratic regimes. He says the Palestinians' cause is the cause of human dignity, urging support for their upcoming bid for statehood at the U.N.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The time has arrived, we hope, to rise in Gaza. And the Palestinian flag has to fly in the United Nations. Let's raise this flag. Come on. Let's raise the Palestinian flag in the sky and be a symbol for peace and justice in the Middle East.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is sending envoys to the Middle East this week, a last ditch effort to restore peace talks. The U.S. wants to avoid a U.N. showdown over Palestinian statehood, but is expected to veto the bid if it comes before the Security Council.

CNN has learned the police in Kenya are holding a suspect in connection with Sunday's murder of a British tourist and the abduction of his wife. Reporter Rohit Kachroo is in Kenya with the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROHIT KACHROO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Despite an air, land and sea search, there is still no sign of missing Judith Tebutt. The Kenyan authorities continue to search for her and they now have foreign help, too.

She arrived at an exclusive resort where husband, David, a few hundred meters from here. They were the only people staying there. But a few hours after checking in, a group of armed bandits pulled up on the shore, perhaps in speed boats, and then they attacked the couple.

When David, Judith's husband, resisted, he was shot. And then she was abducted. He whereabouts is still unknown.

The police say that a man was arrested in the first few hours of this investigation. But clearly, so far, he has not been able to lead them to the whereabouts and the swift release of Mrs. Tebutt. And the fear of the authorities here is that she may no longer be in the relatively safe Kenyan waters. They fear that she may have been taken further north, toward Somalia, around 20 miles from here, where the waters are far more treacherous and the threat to kidnap victims is far greater.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

FOSTER: Tensions are high in the Afghan capital of Kabul after tiffs attacked the U.S. Embassy. And that happened earlier on Tuesday, with rockets and small arms. Fighting raged for hours. Three attackers, a civilian and three police officers were killed.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is in Kabul and joins us now -- Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Max, it's almost been 12 hours now since this whole thing unfolded, since it started. We heard some -- some gunfire, an explosion about 45 minutes ago or so that -- close to where the site is. What we understand from police is that they have been going floor to floor to floor at this building to see if there are any terrorists who remain alive.

We do know that they have killed at least three of the four terrorists that they believe that were involved in this attack. There was a Tweet that we are sent out from the minister of defense, his spoken, saying they believe they could have one or two that are still alive in the area. And so they -- of course, they're trying to figure out and find out what a -- where those individuals might be.

But this has been a very anxiety-filled day. There have been people here who have been on the streets all day, a firefight that ensued. It started at 1:30 in the afternoon, when you had these Taliban men who essentially drove up, commandeered this -- this empty building under construction, starting lobbing grenades and firing at the U.S. Embassy, the NATO campaigned, as well as intelligence offices, Afghan intelligence offices.

(BARKING)

MALVEAUX: We're hearing some dogs barking in the back there.

What happened after that was Afghan police as well as Army started returning fire. We went down on the streets, where they were trying to control the crowd, as well.

And then we saw the injured from -- from this attack, those who were taken to area hospitals. One guy who we as well brought in on a stretcher, it looked like he had a -- a wound to the -- to the stomach, to the chest, went by the military hospital. And that is where we saw a man who was on the bottom of a pickup truck who had been killed. We learned that he was actually one of the insurgents who was in that building who was firing at the U.S. Embassy.

The embassy itself has been on lockdown throughout the whole day. And all of their activities canceled utility they can sort of what is going on and whether or not there remains a threat in the area.

This evening, Max, it's really kind of been up and down, sporadic. Sometimes we hear golfer. At times , it calms down. It was rain showers. It seemed pretty quiet. Then you'd have explosions that would emerge again.

So it's been a -- a real sense of uncertainty on the streets for the Afghan people. And, really, a very bold and brazen attack, when you think about it, considering it is in the heart of the city, in the heart of the security mechanisms, the -- the security of involving internationally forces that are on the ground here in this particular zone -- Max, I should also let you know, there are at least three other attacks that happened in Kabul all involving suicide bombers wearing these suicide bombs on their chests. All of them were killed. They were unsuccessful in actually detonating, well, they might have detonated explosives, but they didn't kill any. In total, there were seven people who were killed today, 17 wounded. This has been an extraordinary day for the people who are here in Kabul -- Max.

FOSTER: Suzanne, thank you very much, indeed, for bringing us up to date on that terrible day in Kabul.

Now, in Argentina, the death toll has risen to Tuesday -- risen in Tuesday's bus and train wreck. Police now say nine people are dead, at least 162 injured following the early rush hour crash in Buenos Aires. Authorities say a train rammed into a buys at a street level crossing. That train then derailed and was hit by an oncoming train in the opposite track.

Now, emergency medical workers say it took hours to free some of the victims from the wreckage. And the cause is still being investigated.

A spokesman for News Corp says James Murdoch is happy to return to a British parliamentary committee. It wants to question him once more about phone hacking allegations. The chief executive of News International already testified in July. Since then, witnesses have said James Murdoch must have known that Hong Kong was not confined to a single rogue journalist at the defunct paper, "The News of the World".

Murdoch has denied knowing that.

More now on our top story, the possible release of two American hikers in Iran after the country's president announced what he calls a unilateral humanitarian gesture.

The big question is, why now?

Let's bring in Karim Sadjadpour.

He's an associate with the Carnegie Endowment Mideast program.

Thank you for joining us.

It we are very interested in why President Ahmadinejad has suddenly decided to make his apparent gesture to the US.

What's your thinking?

KARIM SADJADPOUR, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: Well, Max, the other hiker, Sara Sidner, was realized around this time last year. So I think that timing is not coincidental, ahead of Ahmadinejad's trip to the United Nations General Assembly next week.

He wants to try to garnish some God willing. And particularly now, given that he's been so emasculated in the domestic Iranian political context. He wants to try to show the world that h is not a lame duck, that he's still capable of delivering.

FOSTER: But is -- if they are guilty of this espionage, these two men, which the court found them guilty of, releasing them early doesn't make him look strong, does it?

SADJADPOUR: Well, I think we should be clear that all the facts point to the idea that these two young men were wrongfully imprisoned and that they essentially lost two years of their lives as political footballs, hostage to both the U.S.-Iran cold war and to Iran's domestic political jousts.

So I think that the fact that the Iranian regime never agreed to publicly try them shows that there was virtually northeast verdict against them.

And, you know, Iran has a history. The Islamic Republic of Iran, I should say, has a history of hostage taking going back to the 1979 Revolution and subsequent taking over of the U.S. Embassy.

And what's quite remarkable is that when you compare Iran to someone of its neighbors, like Dubai and Turkey, they have managed to build thriving economies by trading in goods and services. And Iran, even 32 years after the 1979 hostage taking, remains in the business of trading in human beings.

And I think when they -- when they embark on these hostage operations, they really have no idea how they're going to end. And I think in most cases, Iran sees that after a couple of years, they have diminishing returns. And the costs of continuing to hold onto these people outweigh any potential benefits.

FOSTER: We -- we also got another sense of the president's -- President Ahmadinejad's motivation when he gave his interview to NBC. He suggested that thee were many more Iranians in U.S. custody than there were Americans in Iranian custody.

So he was trying to perhaps use a bargaining chip, get some Iranians released. So perhaps that was his motivation.

SADJADPOUR: Well, it's -- it's certainly true that there are several -- I don't know about hundreds, but there's certainly several Iranian nationals who are in U.S. prisons for various reasons. Oftentimes, it's for arms trading and -- and elicit activities like that.

And I think the Iranian government has long intimidated, for the last couple of years, since these young men were taken, that they would be willing to barter them, to trade them for the Iranian nationals in U.S. prisons.

But I think the calculations of the State Department and the White House were that it's never wise to -- to trade in hostages, because when you start to do that, you're essentially incentivizing Iran to take hostages in the future. You're kind of quote, unquote, "rewarding bad behavior."

So as difficult as it was for the United States and certainly for the families of these young men to continue to kind of watch from afar, I think it was a prudent move...

FOSTER: All right.

SADJADPOUR: -- on behalf of the U.S. government not to -- to trade Americans for these -- not to trade...

FOSTER: OK...

SADJADPOUR: -- kind of hostages...

FOSTER: Well, we'll...

SADJADPOUR: (INAUDIBLE).

FOSTER: We'll wait to see if it actually does took place. It could happen by the end of the week if the president was right. thank you very much, indeed.

And the bail money is raised, as well.

Just ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD, that epic U.S. Open win came as a surprise to tennis hero, (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's just something that I didn't experience but it came. You know, as a result of the hard work and just dedication to the sport.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Showing off his trophy at New York's Empire State Building, the tennis ace tells us his dreams -- his hopes for his dream run, after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Well, tonight, it's all about that give -- big game in Spain, the world's top football club competition, the UEFA Champions League, is generating plenty of heat on a cool Tuesday evening, not least because of the clash that's underway between Barcelona and AC Milan at Catallu (ph).

Barca are the defending champions and the favorites to win again this season.

"WORLD SPORT'S" Patrick Snell joins me now from the CNN Center in Atlanta -- no team, Patrick, really.

I mean what -- what's your take on Barca's first lot -- first of all?

We're going to ask you some more questions.

But on Barca, what do you recommend?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're just excellent, aren't they, Max?

They're a free flowing, footballing, style gurus. There's no other way to put it. They ooze class, whichever way you look on the pitch. Players like Messi, of course, Ness (ph) and the raw talents that there would be you front.

And as you rightly say, that game in progress right now. I'm sure our viewers are desperate to know what is going on in that one. And about 10 minutes or so to go. We had an incredible start I this particular match. Milan taking the lead after just 24 seconds, would you believe?

The young Brazilian, Alex Patco (ph), getting the key goal. And a bit of magic from Lionel Messi and he would step up Rodriguez for the equalizer there in that one. And that was the score at half-time.

But shortly into the second half, the home team, Barcelona, ahead, Max. A wonderfully strong free kick by David Villa into the back of the net. And Milan currently trailing 2-1 at the count now as it stands. It's Barcelona in front. And when -- of course, when they are in front, the Catalan Giants, Max. Very hard to peg back, particularly on their homes campaign their head coach, Pat Barrioli (ph), you know, he simply just does not allow it -- Max.

FOSTER: Yes, and meanwhile, two other teams that have never actually won this prize desperately want it. They're actually playing against each other, as well, tonight.

SNELL: Yes. You're talking about Chelsea and Baer Leverkusen (ph), a game in progress, not too far away from you there, in West London. Chelsea have never won this competition despite their seemingly limitless financial resources. The are desperate to win the European Championship. Thanks no question of that.

They take on Baer Leverkusen, who themselves almost won it in that memorable final in 2002 in Scotland, when they succumbed to a wonder girl from Vinesine Beghan (ph), who was then playing for Real Madrid.

Well, I can tell you what with Michael Ballack in the squad against his former club at Chelsea, it is currently Chelsea one you in that one strike from David Luis there, a Brazilian player. And interestingly enough, you know, David Luis has more scores more goals for Chelsea, Max, than the very highly prized Fernando Torres, signed earlier this year in the close season from Liverpool. So David Louise banging in the goal for Chelsea. They currently lead by a goal to (INAUDIBLE).

FOSTER: We'll wait to see what happens.

All right, I have to ask you there, Patrick, before you go about Djokovic, because he's still the big talking point, isn't he?

SNELL: He really is. A U.S. operation crown, winning that tournament for the very first time. What a year he's had. He's the world number one. And rightly so. He has been so dominant. He's now won three out of the four slam titles for 2011, beating Rafael Nidal for the sixth straight time this year alone in finals. And he has got himself that elusive bit of silver where he wanted to win so badly at this tournament.

The U.S. Open, of course, one of the big four in world tennis. And now he has got that, he is absolutely delighted. And he has been looking to a lot of people about his latest triumph, including "WORLD SPORT'S" Candy Reid.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY REID, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the dream run season continues. Novak Djokovic, the 2011 U.S. Open champion.

Novak, many congratulations.

What a season it's been. You've won more majors than you've lost matches this year.

How do you sum that up?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC, 2011 U.S. OPEN TENNIS CHAMPION: Well, thank you, first of all. I have to say that I'm filled with the joy and positive -- positive thoughts and the incredible successful that I have had this year is just something that I didn't expect, but it came, you know, as a -- as a result of the hard work and just dedication to the sport, the right -- the right approach to the right -- to -- to every grand slam and great scheduling. And, you know, it keeps growing. So as long as it's like that, I'll be -- I'll be very happy.

CANDY REID, CNN ANCHOR: Out of everything you've managed this season, what would you say has been your hardest achievement?

DJOKOVIC: Well, I think every -- every title is -- is different, in a way, especially the grand slam. I -- I won -- this is my fourth, the third this year, which is -- which is amazing. And -- but every -- every grand slam is different in a special needs way. And I think here there's a lot of entertainment. There's the biggest court -- center court we have in our sport, only 3,000 people. It's very loud. It's very exciting to be a part of -- a part of such a -- such entertainment.

And on the one hand, you have Gwendolyn Richards, and she's very quiet and -- and I think the most -- the most prestigious event and the event that I always dreamed of winning. So I cannot compare. But I -- you know, I'm -- I'm delighted to win both.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

FOSTER: OK. The Mr. Djokovic of the moment.

We're going to speaking to more in Patrick -- to Patrick Snell in about an hour, because "WORLD SPORT" will be running that interview and some analysis, as well.

So tune in for that check up in an hour from now, for "WORLD SPORT".

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD right now, though.

And coming up, spirited competition or sexism -- how are modern audiences reacting to the Miss Universe pageant almost 60 years on?

We'll take more about that after the break.

(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 for you this hour.

Two Americans held in Iran for the last two years on spying charges could soon be released. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called it a unilateral humanitarian gesture. The men's attorney says they first need to post a combined million dollar's bail.

Afghan officials say three of the four gunmen involved in an attack in Kabul have been killed. The attackers shot the US embassy, NATO headquarters, and Afghan intelligence offices from a nearby building. The Taliban has claimed responsibility.

After a rough start, stocks on Wall Street managed to end the day in positive territory. The Dow closed up almost 45 points despite ongoing concerns about Europe's debt crisis. Let's get more now from Felicia Taylor, who's in New York. Felicia?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly right. All eyes from the United States have been on the euro zone and whether or not there are going to be continued concerns.

The thing that we're looking for moving into the rest of the week, especially into tomorrow is this possibility that Angela Merkel from Germany, Nicolas Sarkozy from France and George Papandreou from Greece are going to have some kind of a video conference together.

We don't know what's going to come out of that, and that's still sort of a lingering uncertainty as to what's going to happen and whether or not Greece is going to be allowed to default.

That conversation is still happening amongst traders, and that's a significant thing to have hanging over the marketplace, whether or not that's going to happen.

Angela Merkel has been much more strong about saying that they will not allow Greece to default. We haven't heard her say quite as strong the words as she used today, but clearly she's onboard to make sure that they will be able to shore up Greece.

Now, those words may have been part of what was behind a bit of a banking rally, and clearly that's a big departure from what we saw yesterday.

We heard from the CEO of Societe Generale saying that the -- that it was basically irrational fears that had been -- fear play or fear trade is what they call it -- moving the stock down yesterday. That stock ended up about 15 percent today.

Bank of Paribas also saying that it categorically denies that there is anything wrong and that it will be able to shore up its balance sheet, as well. That stock was up about 7.2 percent. Credit Agricole up about 6.7 percent, and AXA the insurer was also following in that lead.

So, that was giving some bit of a boost to the American stock market, and I'm just going to take a look really quickly at some of the banking shares here in the US.

Yes, they've also been up across the board. Citigroup was up about a third of one percent, JP Morgan up a quarter of one percent, and Wells Fargo was also up one percent.

What's interesting, though, is that the United States -- or the US markets are still continuing to follow the euro zone.

We did also hear once again this rumor that possibly China may be stepping in to pick up Italian bonds. That has not been confirmed, but again, we started to hear that at the end of trading on Monday, but that rumor was still in the marketplace today.

But the markets were back and forth all day long. There is no direction. Moving forward the rest of the week, though, we have a lot of economic news, and that's probably where people will be paying more attention as opposed to the headlines that they've been paying attention to the last couple of days. Max?

FOSTER: Felicia, thank you very much, indeed, for that.

Now, heavy rains are adding to Pakistan's misery after floods killed some 226 people. The national disaster management authority says the southeastern Sindh province has been devastated by floodwaters. On top of that, tens of thousands of people now have nowhere to call home.

News Corp executive James Murdoch will be recalled to face British lawmakers again and answer more questions about alleged phone hacking at News International newspapers. A spokesman for News Corp says Murdoch will be, quote, "happy to appear."

And those are the headlines this hour.

Now, Leila Lopes from Angola has been crowned Miss Universe 2011. The 25-year-old beat 88 rivals to capture the title at the beauty pageant in Sao Paulo in Brazil. Lopes told the judges she wanted to continue her fight against HIV in her home country. Miss Ukraine was the runner up.

More than a billion people tuned in worldwide, and for the very first time, viewers voted to put their favorite contestants through to the semifinals.

Now, last night's pageant was not only making news on television, but it also dominated conversation online. Take a look at this big number. Now, overnight, nearly 20 percent of all tweets were about Miss Universe. That made it the number one trending topic online. So, a big, big number.

Now, take a look at this map, tracks all the tweets from around the world. The Miss Universe hash tag dominated the discussion across North and South America as well as parts of Europe, as you can see.

Very interesting subject. We were hoping to show you another page, but we can't do that. The point here is that it's -- this is the -- so, this is the Spanish translation, we managed to bring that up for you. And that's dominating South America, as you can see.

So, between North America, Europe, and South America, it is the big, big subject.

I'm doing well, aren't I, with that today?

Now, we had all sorts of tweets coming into us, and they're all very, very positive, really, about the event. There are a few conversations about it being sexist. And judging by the numbers of this year's competition, it doesn't look like it's going to go away anytime soon.

So, how do you feel about the pageant? Well, CNN hit the streets of New York and London to find out more about the hot topic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: NEW YORK CITY

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I personally think it's a waste of time. There's more things to focus on in the world than just beauty pageants.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sexist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Outdated. Sexist. I didn't watch it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if it's necessarily outdated. I mean, I think in today's society, beauty is still an important thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's beautiful women everywhere, so I think they need to get a little bit more in depth on what they do. But besides that, I mean, it's not too bad, but they need to change it up. It's getting a little old.

TEXT: LONDON

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they're a bit degrading, to be honest. I think in 2011, women shouldn't be doing bikini pageants and we all know that the questions that they answer that the way they do are, "Oh, I just want to save the world" and those kind of things. It's a load of rubbish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fun to watch, for sure. But it's definitely outdated. It seems like an American prom thing to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whatever details they might give about their thoughts and aspirations, it tends to be a bit standardized, and they're still being judged on outward looks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: A few thoughts, there. So, a few voices of support, but not many. Let's talk more about this, now. Writer and blogger Jill Filipovic joins me from New York, and Laura Coleman, who was Miss England in 2008 joins me here in the studio.

First of all to you, Laura. Do you get bored with people saying it's a sexist competition? Because you're obviously quite proud to win it in England.

LAURA COLEMAN, MISS ENGLAND 2008: No, I think I do get a bit bored with the sexist remarks. But actually, people try and make out that we're somehow herded like cattle into doing these beauty pageants, but it's actually totally out of choice, and the girls that do it love doing it. They love the experience --

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: Why did you want to do it?

COLEMAN: I don't know. I just came across -- came across it in the newspaper, actually, and I just thought I'm going to give it a go just to do something different, meet new people.

FOSTER: And it's been a positive experience, has it, since?

COLEMAN: Absolutely. I've enjoyed every moment, thank you.

FOSTER: OK, and there you are in -- when you were competing in the big event. Jill, it's freedom of choice, isn't it? Why express an opinion about it when it's someone's choice to do or not to do?

JILL FILIPOVIC, AUTHOR: Sure. Women, of course, should have the choice to compete in beauty pageants if they want, and I'm personally not critical of women who do make that choice.

What I'm critical of is beauty pageants as a cultural force. The way that women are expected in pageants to perform mostly for a male eye. And essentially are judged on not just their physical appearance, but also on how, essentially, subservient they are and have a sexualized --

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: So, what message do you think it gives out? What message do you think it gives out, Jill?

FILIPOVIC: I'm sorry, can you say that one more time.

FOSTER: Yes, I'm just wondering what message do you think the event sends out to the people watching it.

FILIPOVIC: Well, I think it sends a message that the purpose of women, essentially, is to be -- to be objects to be looked at and to be visually pleasing rather than to actually have opinions or succeed in any other way. And I think that that sexualization is incredibly damaging and harmful, especially to young girls.

FOSTER: Laura?

COLEMAN: Well, I actually think that it's like saying girls can't -- don't have an opinion just because they do beauty pageants.

But actually, the girls that do do beauty pageants, including the last four Miss England winners and Miss Universe winners have all been law students.

Now, last year's Miss England was a lawyer. There was a soldier that was Miss England three years ago. All these influential young women that have been -- that are winning these titles.

FOSTER: Who are you doing it for? Are you doing it for men watching, for their pleasure?

COLEMAN: Well, actually, it's quite fascinating, because it's actually the girls that are more interested in the pageants. All my friends and things that are involved in beauty pageants, they love it. They love finding out who's winning, they love wearing the dresses, the makeup, the hair, doing --

And you know, maybe they don't get to go to glitzy events all the time, so they enjoy doing pageants to kind of make themselves look glamorous, put on a long frock and just enjoy themselves.

FOSTER: Jill, you've got the audience wrong, it's not just men.

FILIPOVIC: Sure, women are part of the audience, too. My problem isn't with individual women who choose to be in beauty pageants or women who choose to watch. My issue is with, from a broader cultural perspective, what sexualization of women as a class does to women and girls.

The American Psychological Association just released a study showing that sexualization actually impairs young women's cognitive functions. It gives them a harder time doing mathematics and certain logical reasoning.

It impacts their mental health. There are strong ties between sexualization and depression, eating disorders, and low self esteem. And those broader cultural issues that beauty pageants reinforce, those concern me rather than just the individual right of any woman to participate in one.

FOSTER: Were you just trying to have fun, as well, in a way? Is this all a bit serious, a bit heavy for you? Do you think all these subjects, do you even consider them?

COLEMAN: Yes, you know, you don't even think about things like that. And I actually think that the modeling industry and the broader marketing, now, is all sexualized. I think, actually, beauty pageants are a step down from that.

Because actually, we wear long dresses, we wear maybe swimwear, but we don't pose in suggestive ways. It's not really about that.

It's kind of -- all the girls that enter these beauty pageants, I mean, Miss England competition's actually raised 200,000 pounds for charity in the last two years, and it's actually maybe cliched to some people out there, but we do, honestly, it's a real charitable organization, and that's what we say, beauty with a purpose.

FOSTER: And Jill, it's a bit of a losing battle, isn't it really? Because if it does raise money and you have to allow TV networks to show that there's no sort of -- they're not doing anything illegal. And there's this huge audience, a billion people watching, and we saw the response on Twitter. It's almost a losing battle, isn't it? You're not going to stop it.

FILIPOVIC: Well, I'm certainly not trying to stop it. I have no interest in making beauty pageants illegal. I'm just more interested in critiquing them from a cultural view.

And that said, I do think beauty pageants are on their way out. The Miss -- I don't know what the ratings were this year, but last year, the Miss Universe pageant I believe had the lowest ratings that it's ever had and didn't do particularly well.

So, I do think that our cultural attachment to seeing women on display is hopefully waning a little bit.

FOSTER: OK, Jill Filipovic, thank you very much for joining us. Also, Laura Coleman, thank you very much, an interesting debate.

COLEMAN: My pleasure, thanks for having me.

FOSTER: And it will come up again next year, I'm sure. Thank you.

You are with CONNECT THE WORLD, with me, Max Foster. After the break, speed and security, it's the magic equation for travelers in the post-9/11 world. But getting it right can be tricky. Becky shows us an airport that seems to know the winning formula, though.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Incheon, a city in South Korean that's become one of the main air transport hubs in East Asia. Around 60 kilometers west of Seoul, it is the primary airport serving the capital area, and it is one of the largest in the world, now, not only for passengers, but cargo traffic, as well.

The ambitious hub prides itself on getting travelers away within a matter of minutes, and we're talking more than 33 million passengers just in 2010.

You can -- yet an airport, no matter how well run, really ensures speed-driven service, so while keeping passengers safe, there's lots of debates about how an airport can move forward. Becky went in search of answers in tonight's edition of The Gateway.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): South Korea, known as the Land of Morning Calm. But at Seoul's Incheon Airport, it's business as usual.

Airports are striving to expedite our transit while keeping us safe, and technology has played an important role in this.

ANDERSON (on camera): Well, here at Incheon, a number of people are working on implementing new services. Ubiquitous technology is being used to kill those ubiquitous queues that we've all come to hate at airports and therefore improving passenger flows.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The concept covers services that create a faster, self-service process, from check-in to boarding.

ANDERSON (on camera): Security and immigration officials here at Incheon Airport have to manage the entry and exit of 100,000 people a day. That's 33 million people a year. So, how do they ensure security and speed?

ANDERSON (voice-over): The staff trains here at the aviation academy, an educational facility just ten minutes from the passenger terminal.

HUN LEE, SECURIYT INSPECTOR, INCHEON AIRPORT (through translator): This is the beginners' training class for security inspection. They'll go through six months to one year of practical training before they become inspectors.

The number one priority in aviation security inspection is explosives. We also screen other weapons like swords, guns, bullets, chemicals, objects that can be used to hit, as well as flammable materials.

ANDERSON: Hun Lee has been working as an inspector for over 10 years.

LEE (through translator): Security is the priority, and the airport aspires to be the best in the world, so keeping both security and service levels high is very important and challenging.

ANDERSON (on camera): A valid passport and boarding card is all any of us need to board a plane, but of course, this can be misplaced or even forged. In 2010, at Incheon Airport, there were 3,000 cases of forged passports alone.

ANDERSON (voice-over): At the authentication center, 15 officers work to interrogate suspects and detect forged documents on a daily basis.

CHEONG-HUN LEE, TEAM MANAGER, AUTHENTICATION SECTION (through translator): We're provided with foreign passport samples through cooperation at an international level, so we have information about them, which enables us to tell whether the passports are genuine or forged.

ANDERSON: Having worked for the forgery unit for over seven years, Officer Shin is very familiar with the current forging techniques.

HYUN-MIN SHIN, AUTHENTICATION OFFICER, INCHEON AIRPORT: Under UV light, you can see the passport holders in Incheon, you can see holder's name and passport number. This is genuine.

The text "The property of Korea" becomes visible under magnification, it's micro text. It's one of the particulars.

CHEONG-HUN LEE (through translator): So far, we have been able to screen harmful passengers by inspecting passports and documents. But as technology improves, we're checking faces and fingerprints to screen dangerous or disguised people.

ANDERSON: Passengers who sign up to the biometric-based technology agree to have their identities checked and their fingerprints recorded to make security and identity checks faster and lines shorter.

The service is currently available to Korean citizens as well as foreigners holding a permanent resident visa or an investor's visa.

Thanks to training and technology, last year, Incheon Airport said it's achieved zero security breaches.

ANDERSON (on camera): If I had to ask you what one thing keeps you awake at night worrying, what would it be.

C.W. LEE, PRESIDENT AND CEO, IIAC: Safety. And safety and security. Safety and security are non-negotiable. Must be 100 percent. Perfect.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Advancing technology here at Incheon means that a speedier journey can also be a safer one.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: You can find out more about Incheon Airport on our Facebook page, including the story of one luxury designer brand that has opened their very first airport store. You can find out which one by visiting facebook.com/CNNconnect.

Coming up, stopping the beautiful game from becoming ugly. Poland gets advice from England on tackling soccer thugs ahead of Euro 2012.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: A tie lapse -- time lapse, here, of the Polish capital, Warsaw, as day turns to dusk. All this week, we are focusing on Poland, its proud past, and its promising future.

We are just 269 days away from the start of Euro 2012, and Poland is a co-host and hopes to use the tournament to showcase the country and the progress that it's made. Jim Boulden reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There have been a few hiccups, but Poland's National Stadium should be ready months ahead of the opening kickoff of Euro 2012 in June. Poland has had a much easier time of it than neighbor and co-host, Ukraine.

ADAM GIERSZ, POLISH MINISTER OF SPORT AND TOURISM (through translator): Ukraine is facing tougher economic challenges than us. Poland has help from the EU for infrastructure investments, which we are using to build roads and railways. Ukraine does not have this kind of help.

BOULDEN: With stadiums, airports, and roads upgraded, Poland now turns its attention to the actual event.

GIERSZ (through translator): Now we are looking at organizational issues, and the most important in that is safety. Poland is not more dangerous than other European countries.

BOULDEN (on camera): Of course, when it comes to European football, security concerns are not just over terrorism, but also over hooliganism. And on that front, Poland is taking a lot of advice from Britain.

BOULDEN (voice-over): New laws on assembly have been passed. New laws on who can enter stadiums, as well.

GIERSZ (through translator): Our new safety law is based on the British system. The main point is to get rid of anonymity. Everyone at the stadium must be recognized by name and surname.

BOULDEN: There will be perimeter fences to keep people without tickets far from stadiums. Authorities also plan on plenty of video cameras covering the area, and hopes, anyway, of face recognition software to ID people banned from European matches.

RAFAL KAPLER, CEO, WARSAW NATIONAL STADIUM: The face recognition does not work yet, I would say, but our CVTV system will be ready to implement this type of matter, as well.

BOULDEN: Warsaw's mayor vows hooligans will not pose a problem, as some were arrested during Spring violence under the new laws.

HANNA GRONKIEWICZ-WALTZ, MAYOR OF WARSAW: They are already frightened because they were arrested, they were punished, but some of them, some of the contributors were sentenced by the courts, so I think that this will be OK.

BOULDEN: Legia Warsaw suffered violence at a recent cup final away from home. The owner says don't compare what has happened in the recent past with what will happen next year.

KAPLER: Most of the incidents took place in stadiums or in cities which were completely unprepared for it.

BOULDEN: Some of the builders of the new stadium say they will be fully prepared for it. And something football fans here can hardly wait for.

KRZYSZTOF DOWHAN, GOALKEEPING COACH, LEGIA WARSAW (through translator): I think the new stadiums in themselves will create more interest in football. Fans will be able to enjoy the sport in more comfortable surroundings.

Also, I think more players from abroad will come to play in Poland, which will in tern raise the standard of our game.

BOULDEN: A lot riding on the legacy of one three-week tournament.

Jim Boulden, CNN, Warsaw.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Now, as part of CNN's Eye on Poland coverage, we are asking Poles living in Poland and abroad about their country, and here's a taste of what viewers are saying.

A Colombian who's been living in Poland for three years says, "I thin Poles have a very good memory, and sometimes this fact that doesn't allow them to find their future."

Robert Dabrowski in New York thinks people need to know more about Polish achievements. He writes, "The Polish squadrons fighting in the Battle of Britain had the highest of downed Luftwaffe aircraft to their credit."

And a Polish student living in Aberdeen in Scotland says, "I'm so proud of being Polish, and I hope to get a good education in the UK so that I can use it in my country and contribute to Polish development."

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

And do head to our Eye on Poland website as well, actually. Find out about the country's tennis hopeful and a list of famous Poles, including a certain film director who's grabbed many headlines over the years. It's all there, cnn.com/eyeon.

I'm Max Foster, thank you so much for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" will follow this short break. We'll leave you with a time lapse of one of the Euro 2012 stadiums in Gdansk in Poland. It's meant to look like a lump of amber, since the city is known as the world's amber capital.

END