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Thousands Demand Egypt's New Prime Minister Step Down; Syria Moves Closer to Widespread Sanctions; World's Top Tennis Player May Be Knocked Out; Artists and the 2012 London Olympics
Aired November 25, 2011 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN VERJEE, HOST: You're watching live pictures from Cairo as thousands pack into Tahrir Square demanding Egypt's military rulers step aside. But as voters prepare to go to the polls on Monday, a rival protest in the capital shows divided opinion.
It's 11:00 p.m. in Cairo, 9:00 p.m. here in London.
I'm Zane Verjee.
Also tonight, trouble in paradise -- a spate of kidnappings is hitting Kenyan tourism -- why it's not the only country struggling to get visitors.
And a shocked defeat for the tennis number one. How a match underway right now here in London will decide the fate of Novak Djokovic.
First tonight, Egyptian protesters say a name from the old guard cannot lead the country into a new democratic era. Tens of thousands of demonstrators are packing Cairo's Tahrir Square, rejecting the military's choice for prime minister and demanding the ruling generals step down.
The military is ignoring those calls focusing on Monday's parliamentary elections instead. It announced that voting will happen over two days instead of one. The newly appointed prime minister, meantime, tried to reassure the public today. Kamal Ganzouri, also served in that post under Hosni Mubarak. He says the military has granted him much more power than his predecessors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY AL MASRIYA TV)
KAMAL GANZOURI, EGYPTIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I promise you that reform that has happened and in whatever matter given to prime minister, everybody knows that I am the political responsibility, whether you are a governor or a prime minister, must issue an admission at the right time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERJEE: It's important to note that the huge protests in Tahrir are taking place without the support of the Muslim Brotherhood. That's the largest and best organized political bloc in Egypt. Other Egyptians, who call themselves the silent majority, are also staying away. But today, they found a voice. Across the capital from Tahrir, thousands held a competing rally in Abbassia Square in support of the military.
In Tahrir Square, the sound of gunfire from previous days replaced by the boom of fireworks. Protesters are optimistic that they can really make a difference and they insist that they will stay in Tahrir until they do.
CNN's Ivan Watson heard some of their stories.
NADAS, MEDICAL STUDENT: My name is Nadas. And I'm a first year medical student in (INAUDIBLE). I'm here to help people and share also in the events as a contribution. So I'm here at the hospital while they're inside (INAUDIBLE).
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is today in Tahrir Square different from last January and February?
NADAS: It's the same and maybe worse. Lots of people are (INAUDIBLE).
WATSON: And what kind of wounds do they have?
NADAS: They range from (INAUDIBLE) the new gas they are using there. And also bullets in the -- in the eye, bullets in the (INAUDIBLE) and the head, certain kinds of cuts.
WATSON: Are you angry at the government?
Are you angry at the generals?
NADAS, MEDICAL STUDENT: Of course. Sure.
NADAS: First of all, we had demands. Not all of them -- and maybe all of them are not achieved yet.
WATSON: Nadas, is this a revolution right now?
NADAS: Yes. This is the second revolution right here.
WATSON: Are you going to vote on Monday?
NADAS: Yes. Everyone here wants to vote on Monday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BESEMECH MAHDAN: My name is Besemech Mahman and I'm a dentist.
WATSON: And what are you doing here?
MAHDAN: I can't do protesting. I can't offer so much in the field. So I came to give blood. I found it the simplest thing I can do for my country.
WATSON: And you can't throw rocks so you're giving blood?
MAHDAN: If I could, I would. What I can do, I did.
WATSON: You're supporting the guys who are fighting the police?
MAHDAN: No, fighting the corruption in this country, not fighting the police. The police, in any normal country, will defend its people. But the police here is to defend the system. And the system is not caring for us, it's caring for themselves.
WATSON: What will make the people satisfied here?
MAHDAN: What will make them satisfied is when the system goes and another system comes with the election. And when their authority in Egypt can be exchanged at different times, like in America, there is a system based on democracy.
WATSON: Are you optimistic about the future of Egypt?
MAHDAN: Yes, very. Very much.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
VERJEE: CNN's Ivan Watson reporting.
Now, Ben Wedeman is our correspondent on the ground in Cairo.
He joins us now live from the capital -- Ben, how much support does the military itself have?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's really hard to say. Certainly, if you were to go down in Tahrir Square, it would probably have no support whatsoever. But today, we went to another part of town, Abbassia, which is about four kilometers from here. And there, we witnessed a pro-military demonstration, maybe 15,000 to 20,000 people. These are people who say they are the silent majority of Egyptians who have not come to Tahrir Square, people will say they're worried about the economy, they're worried about the lack of law and order. They want to see elections go ahead as scheduled.
Many of those people in that area are members of the police, members of the army, officials in the government.
But nonetheless, it didn't appear to be some sort of Mubarak-era staged domain. People did seem to be sincere in their support for the military. They were, of course, criticizing the people in Tahrir Square as being political opportunists, some of them criminals, some of them being described as thugs. But certainly it must -- people must understand that there are differences of opinion. Not all Egyptians are in support of Tahrir Square. So the military does have a certain bedrock of support, but I think over the last few months that has been eroded by unhappiness with their performance, things like the fact that 12,000 civilians have been put before military tribunals. There was that case of the virginity test against protesters conducted by the military.
So their support is eroding. But there's still a certain percentage of the Egyptian population that does support the military -- Zain.
VERJEE: Ben, is the Muslim Brotherhood going to win the elections?
WEDEMAN: It's hard to say at this point. The Brotherhood has sort of taken a beating recently, because many people feel that it's stayed on the sidelines as all in -- all of this in Tahrir has happened, as more than 40 people were killed in clashes, more than 3,000 wounded. The Brotherhood has stayed away. Some of the mem -- younger members of the movement have come here in disagreement with the movement itself.
Now, the Brotherhood and its party, the Justice and Freedom Party, has been very active. It spent a lot of money, a lot of resources on this campaign. And they want to see these elections go ahead.
It's hard to say, in the Mubarak era they -- in the last parliament, they performed fairly well. But given the fluidity of Egyptian politics at the moment, it's hard to say. They want win a majority. They -- maybe 30, 35 percent. But at the moment, as I said, they've taken a hit. A lot of people are criticizing what they say is the Muslim Brotherhood's political opportunism -- Zain.
VERJEE: CNN's international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, reporting from Cairo.
Some parliamentary candidates have suspended their campaigns, believing elections should be postponed, given the chaos of the past week.
But many others insist that they must go ahead.
Tonight, I spoke with a candidate from the liberal Gahd Party, Gamil Ismail.
I began by asking her how the protests have affected her campaign, as well as others.
GAMILA ISMAIL, EGYPTIAN PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE: I have suspended my campaign since last Saturday. I just returned back to the streets this evening. My decision was made two hours after the terrible criminal violence that was made against protesters in Tahrir.
VERJEE: Should the elections even go ahead this week with all the violence going on?
ISMAIL: I don't think that the violence will go on as much as it was this week. I hope that it will stop and I hope that the government that's current being assigned, I see the names that were suggested in the past hour or so. I think they should result in some relief to the revolutionaries here in the Square.
VERJEE: Do you believe that any vote can bring real change in Egypt?
ISMAIL: Elections does not mean the revolution. And it will not really reposition the revolution. It will just help the revolution to be represented under or inside the parliament. So a vote will definitely change (INAUDIBLE) really and we always remembered the presence of -- the demands of the revolution and the revolutionaries in the parliament. It goes back to January of 2011. And one of our main demands was how to cross from Tahrir Square to the parliament with our revolutionary spirit and revolutionary soul. And this is what we are trying to do.
When I decided to suspend my campaign last week, I -- I thought how damaging this was going to be to my constituency and the voting process...
ISMAIL: -- and how (INAUDIBLE) the campaign. However, it was so important to make the decision because you can't lose the -- the demands and the principles of the revolution on your way to having a seat in the parliament.
VERJEE: Do you believe that the military council should step down immediately, which is what many people are calling for?
ISMAIL: I do believe that the military council should leave. But there is a big difference between the military council and the army. We want the Egyptian Army to stay to protect the country, to do its job. But how the -- the military council is dealing and is handling the issues in the past few months was actually a big setback to this revolution. And they have to know that this is a -- an organ that's trying to -- to accept the revolutionaries' (INAUDIBLE), criticism, attacks and accusations.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
VERJEE: Gamila Ismail in Cairo.
For the first time ever, Egyptians living abroad have the chance to vote in democratic elections back home. But only a fraction worldwide actually registered by the deadline. Some embassies, like the one here in London, have extended the cutoff date.
CNN's Matthew Chance tells us how the voting is coming along.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the demands of the protesters in Tahrir Square is that elections scheduled for Monday should be suspended until the civilian government is sworn in.
But, in fact, voting has already begun. Here at the Egyptian embassy in London, expatriates are casting their ballots at posts or delivering their ballots by hand in what is widely seen as the first election in Egypt's recent history where one vote could actually make a difference.
Why do you think it's important to cast your vote today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because, for the first time, I think my vote is going to count. I mean for the last years, I didn't used to -- to vote, because we know, really, what's going to be...
CHANCE: From the (INAUDIBLE)...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
CHANCE: -- was always a foregone conclusion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Exactly. Even Nasser, when he was in power, it was -- it was a dictatorship for the last 60 -- for the last 100 years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm 100 percent with -- with the protesters in Tahrir. And -- but I'm just worried that the Muslim Brotherhood may, you know, be campaigning for elections and I'm getting out to vote while -- while the protesters and the youth that have started this revolution, who are fighting for a better Egypt.
CHANCE: Well, embassy officials say they've already extended the deadline for expatriates to register to vote until 10:00 p.m. On Saturday night.
If elections do begin in Egypt on Monday, the view here, as among supporters in Egypt, is that every vote must count.
Matthew Chance, CNN, at the Egyptian embassy in London.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
VERJEE: Our top story tonight -- mass protests and political uncertainty in Egypt just days before historic parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri says he won't be able to form a new government until after the vote. He's promising a new beginning for the country, but he's really going to have to convince protesters that he's not just another name from the past.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.
Still to come, Syria is warned it could face Arab League sanctions after defying a deadline on observers.
Could Novak Djokovic be the next big name to fall?
The world's top tennis player faces an anxious wait on his fate at the season finale in London. Details in 10.
And where are all the tourists?
David McKenzie shows us the tropical paradise where the economy has taken a major hit.
Stay with CNN.
VERJEE: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN.
Here's a look now at some of the other stories connecting our world this hour.
Syria has moved a step closer to widespread sanctions after it failed to respond to an Arab League deadline to allow observers into the country. Activists say 26 more people were killed in Syria as protests continued Friday. The death toll from the regime's crackdown over the last eight months is believed to be more than three-and-a-half thousand.
Nima Elbagir reports on the international pressure on Syria.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After days of escalating confrontations, Zain, between Syrian Army defectors and the Syrian authorities, the Arab League is insistent that the Syrian regime deal with the fact that this is zero hour.
A November 2nd deadline passed without the Syrians allowing in international observers. And now the Arab League says that as early as Sunday, they could be looking at financial sanctions.
Some of the sanctions, we understand, that are on the table, are a suspension of commercial flights, a suspension of any and all dealings with the Syrian Central Bank and a suspense of any Arab-funded investment projects.
The Turkish foreign minister has now added his voice to the calls for international pressure on Syria, saying that he hopes that there will be an Arab League foreign minister meeting that he can join on Sunday, as well, to seek other ways to put pressure on the Syrian government beyond just financial sanctions. He says it's time for the Syrian regime and Bashar al-Assad to accept that if they do not allow for humanitarian protection of civilians, for humanitarian convoys, for safe spaces for civilian, that they have to accept that they will be completely isolated -- Zain.
VERJEE: Nima Elbagir reporting.
Now to a disturbing story out of Pakistan. A gruesome murder of a man, allegedly by his wife. Karachi police say she cut up the body and tried to cook the pieces so that she could dispose of them without being caught. Numbers alerted authorities when they detected a bad smell.
In an interview, the woman said she killed her husband because he was trying to molest their daughter.
The polls have closed in Morocco's first parliamentary elections since the king introduced constitutional reforms. A moderate Islamist party is expected to do well. But at least one analyst CNN spoke to expects a coalition government to emerge. Voters approved a new constitution back in July. Now it gives parliament and the prime minister greater powers while slightly lessening the role of the king.
It was a slap in the face for the Indian agriculture minister on Thursday. Just take a look at this video. You're looking at a furious man in New Delhi showing his anger over corruption and rising prices. The video also shows him taking out a ceremonial knife traditionally concerned by Sikhs and reportedly threatening to slash his own wrists as a sign of protest.
It's the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S., known as Black Friday, a time when holiday shoppers go searching for the best deals. This year, there were earlier than ever openings for many stores, as retailers got ever more competitive for business. And despite the economic downturn, many places had crowds larger and younger than ever. Most shoppers are desperate for a bargain. But one woman in the Los Angeles area is accused of taking her determination just a little too far. Authorities say she used pepper spray on other customers, apparently so she could get a better place in line at a local Walmart store. About 15 people were directly exposed. The woman paid for her items and then just ran out of the store. Detectives hope a security camera will help identify her.
Another kidnapping incident is being reported in Mali and at least one person has been killed. Reports say the victim was one of four people abducted in Timbuktu Friday. The nationality of the hostages is unknown at this point. This comes just one day after two French citizens were kidnapped in Mali near the border with Niger.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
Still to come on CNN, American Samoa show their first ever international win was no flash in the pan. We explain why in just a minute.
VERJEE: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.
I'm Zain Verjee.
The world's top tennis player is in danger of being knocked out of the ATP World Tour Finals before the semi-final stage. Novak Djokovic was beaten in three sets by fellow Serb, Janko Tipsarevic, in the group stages in London. He needs David Ferrer to beat Thomas Berdych in Friday's second group match, which is taking place right now, if he is to make it to the last four.
"WORLD SPORTS'" Patrick Snell joins me now from CNN Center -- Patrick, if Djokovic is knocked out, that would be a huge letdown for all the fans and the organizers.
What's going on?
PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it would be disappointing, of course, particularly, Zain, when you factor in the -- the talents of the homegrown favorite, if you like, Andy Murray. He had to pull out due to injury. Rafael Nadal was out before the semi-final stages, as well.
But look, hope is not lost right now for Djokovic, because David Ferrer is a top class performer. And you mentioned, Zain, he's in progress right now. And he's doing rather well. He took the first set against Thomas Berdych. It's 3-3 in the second. So I personally believe that Ferrer will go on to win that one.
And, of course, we will get Djokovic into the last four. I believe that Djokovic will make it after all.
But, yes, his form has been up and down. We'll talk about it a little will -- more on that in just a little bit. But for now, at least, he's still alive -- Zain.
VERJEE: Is your money on Roger Federer to win?
SNELL: You know, Ferrer is a class act. He's playing some fantastic tennis right now, there's no question about that. He's won his last 15 games. And I think Ferrer really must believe, or must feel, or must wish, in my view, that the season was just getting starting rather than ending. He's playing some superb tennis right now. He really did steamroller his way through Rafael Nadal, his old adversary. And, of course, earlier in the tournament, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, as well.
But let -- let's bring it a little bit back to Djokovic and this fatigue issue on Djokovic. Djokovic has been talking about that, how it's been affecting his performance. He did lose to Tipsarevic. And this is what Djokovic said after that defeat, referring to the fact that his body is suffering in a physical way, as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC, WORLD NUMBER ONE: My body says that it -- it's overload, you know?
It's -- it's been too much this year and, obviously, mentally, I am -- I feel a little bit drained.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNELL: So much more, Zain, going on in the sporting world.
I'm going to tell you about some huge frustrations now for the Indian test cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar, who once again fell short -- just short of 100th -- 100 during his country's current series with the West Indies at Mumbai. Tendulkar scoring a superb 94 before India were bowled out for 482 in what was clearly an awesome batting track. This in their first innings in reply to the Windies' 590 on the penultimate day. It was the tenth time in an illustrious 184 test career that Tendulkar had fallen in the 90s. Wow!
And just before we went to break there, we heard about American Samoa, one of the world's worst football teams. I don't mean that unkindly. It's based on stats. You know, after a run of 30 defeats in 17 years, the American Samoans are now unbeaten in two games. It's very impressive. They beat Tonga earlier this week. They've now drawn against the Cook Islands in another World Cup qualifier. It's probably a little early for them to be thinking big. That was the first goal in their win against Tonga. But, you know, they now are at least in a position to qualify for the next round of World Cup qualifying. That if they beat their neighbor, Samoa, on Saturday. Talk about a big high octane local (INAUDIBLE). Even then, though, there's still a very long way to go. There's another four qualification spathes (ph) ahead for the American Samoans before they can even think -- even dream of booking their flights to Brazil in 2014. We shall see. There's much going on in what's going to be a huge sporting weekend.
Why not join me for "WORLD SPORT" just over an hour from now -- an hour and four minutes, to be precise?
We'll have the latest from the tennis at the O2 Arena over there in England plus some great golf action, too, from Down Under in Australia -- Zain, back to you.
VERJEE: Patrick Snell, thank you so much.
American Samoa, they really have us on the edge of our seats.
SNELL: Thank you.
VERJEE: Tennis fans have their attention on London at that moment. But in 245 days, the eyes of the world will be focused on the British capital when it hosts the 2012 Olympics. It is the biggest sporting event there is. But London is making sure the games will showcase not just the talents of the athletes, but artists, as well, as CNN's Atika Shubert explains.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now, the Olympic Games have been inspiring stunning images and art through the years. Just look at these Olympic posters. Paris, 1924. And these classical images of athletes.
It couldn't be more different from Munich in 1972, with its modern, abstract art.
And 2012 will be no different. It's the first time since 1972 that artists have been commissioned to create the official posters. So it only seems natural that they be unveiled here.
TRACEY EMIN, ARTIST: Culture runs alongside the Olympics. You know, London has to -- and Britain -- have a lot more to offer than just sport, definitely.
SHUBERT: Tracey Emin is one of 12 artists asked to paint posters for the game.
(on camera): So what do you want people to take away when they see your poster?
EMIN: I want people to smile and just go kind of warm and feel that they're part of something and not excluded from something, because the previous posters were a little bit on the sort of match out (ph) side. And I wanted to do something that was the complete antithesis to that.
SHUBERT (voice-over): For art historian Ghislaine Wood, the posters convey more than just an image.
GHISLAINE WOOD, VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM: Olympic posters provide a fantastic sort of snapshot. They really do provide a real insight into how posters communicate ideas at different points.
SHUBERT: And it's not just sport that is depicted, but politics, too.
WOOD: And if we look at the Munich posters of 1972, there was a very conscious effort to change the look and feel of that Olympics. The fascist connotations of, say, Berlin in 1936, have been utterly changed. It's definitely sort of branded as a modern democratic event.
SHUBERT: So what will stand out for London in 2012?
WOOD: The Wofolin's (ph) is a very powerful element of the whole branding and design of the London Olympics. If you look at Zarhar Adids (ph) aquatic center, a fantastic piece of contemporary modern design.
SHUBERT: One of the most controversial signature buildings of the Olympic Park is the tower known as "The Orbit." But the architect who worked on the project says it will be an unforgettable sight for visitors.
KATHRYN FINDLAY, ARCHITECT: From afar, people in different parts of London will get glimpses of it. It is eclectic. It's unexpected. It's invented. Whether you like it or you hate it, you will always set it as one of the centric (ph) British creations.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
VERJEE: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live on CNN.
Coming up, it's been a really bad year for travel and tourism. We're going to take a look at why countries around the world have struggled to bring visitors to their shores.
The Chinese footprint expanding in Africa -- but is it a welcome step?
We spoke to the filmmakers who explore that question.
And if you think your troublesome toddlers can make a mess, just check out what these Internet stars got up to in our weekly round-up from the Web.
VERJEE: The Chinese Footprints expanding in Africa but is it a welcomed step? We speak to the film makers who explore that question. And if you think your troublesome toddlers can make a mess, just check out what these Internet stars got up to in our weekly roundup from the West.
Hi. You are watching Connect the World here on CNN, time now for a check on the world headlines. Protestors in Tahrir Square are rejecting the military's choice for Egypt's new prime minister and they want the ruling military council itself to resign. A rival demonstration elsewhere in Cairo gave the military its support.
Syria is apparently is ignoring demands to have observers monitor it's crackdown on anti-government demonstrators. An Arab League Senior Diplomat says, "That puts the Assab regime a step closer to economic sanctions from its Arab neighbors. Polls have now closed in Morocco in the first election since a new constitution was approved in July, which lessons the powers of the monarch. The moderate Islamic Justice and Development Parties expect it to do very well in the vote.
A space of kidnappings and a murder have taken place in the West African country of Mali. One person was killed and three other abducted on Friday, their identities are unknown. A day earlier, two French nationals were kidnapped.
At least three people are dead and almost 30 injured in a string of bloody attacks on Kenya. Officials blame the Islamic Terrorist group Al-Shabaab for two grenade attacks that rocked the city of Garissa. That is near the Somali border on Thursday night. The blast came as Kenyan and Somali troops attacked bases in Somalia they say were used by Al-Shabaab. Kenyan authorities blame the group for a space of shootings and bombings that have killed local residents and tourists in recent months.
It is no surprise that the killing and kidnapping of holiday makers has a really big impact on tourism in Kenya and the country's economy has been really hard hit. CNN's David McKenzie has more.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Lamu, Kenya. It is a playground for royalty, magnets, movie stars, to many an African paradise. Perfect beaches, wonderful weather, as a tourist what is not to love? But in September, Somali gunmen captured a British tourist just up the coast and then just two weeks later, they took a French resident from the (inaudible) right here. The net result is that it decimated Lamu's tourism.
So Monica Fauth came 14 years ago as a back packer and never left.
MONICA FAUTH: I think people really look to for peace and calmness.
MCKENZIE: Everyone cancelled after the kidnappings and soon it could be down to tough choices.
FAUTH: I am OK but what about my -- my staff? What about their children and their families? We really need tourists to come.
MCKENZIE: Without them, the whole island is affected.
LUIA MOHAMMED SALIM: Everybody is connected to tourism here, the fishermen, the surfs, the (inaudible), the (inaudible), houses, the (inaudible).
MCKENZIE: Salim is now forced to sell to local buyers for a third of the price. Only Lamu's famous cats, it seems, get their fill. The world's heritage sites Lamu as one of Kenya's tourism jewels and security has been stepped up.
Patrols head out to sea every night to block entry points to the island but most foreign governments are still telling people to stay away and hotel (inaudible) are angry.
FAUTH: When we had a bomb blast in London, when we had problems in Spain, when we had the Twin Towers blown up in New York, was there travel then? There was not. So why travel then to Lamu?
MCKENZIE: With the ban in place, the dowels are beached and an entire community focused on tourism is waiting for visitors that just do not seem to come, David McKenzie, CNN, Lamu, Kenya.
VERJEE: Economists say Kenyan businesses could be losing more than $1 million a day in revenue from visitors but Kenya is not the only country where tourism is taking a hit. Egypt lost a reported $2 billion in tourism revenue for the first quarter of 2011. Protests and clashes put thousands of holiday makers off visiting the country.
Thailand still in the midst of its worse flooding in 50 years, the tourism department says at least 700,000 fewer tourists will be visiting the country than expected and that is going to cost the economy at least half a billion dollars.
And then in Japan, the devastating earthquake and tsunami had a major impact on tourism. In the months following the disaster, tourism fell by 60% for the year. Revenue for tourists is expected to fall by 30%.
Over the next year, global tourism is expected to be a lot lower than experts first predicted. Joining me now to help us understand why is Paul Charles, the Former Director of Communications at Virgin Atlantic. Thanks so much for being with us, God, such a bad year for tourism and travel.
PAUL CHARLES, FMR COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, VIRGIN ATLANTIC: It's been unprecedented and it seems to be getting worse through increasing incidents, which are putting people off going certain places in the world as you have been saying. And as a result of that, travel companies around the world cannot predict how good 2012 is going to be.
VERJEE: In these countries where there is a catastrophe or political instability, what should tourists of all of those countries do because they are still out there saying it is OK in some areas, come? What should they do?
CHARLES: It is really difficult because they need to inject certainty into the travel economy and the problem is there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment. So (inaudible) need to be out there promoting the safety aspects and how safe their countries are, they need to be promoting new hotels and new restaurants they are developing to make it exciting to go to that place.
And they also need to be saying I think we have got a proven track record of providing great experiences and great holidays. It is not going to change this year. But to some extent they are hoping because if those weather patterns are changing then it is going to, you know, dictate whether tourists come into their country.
VERJEE: Who has benefited from this?
CHARLES: Well, certainly not airlines. Airlines are going through one of their worst periods due to high oil prices ...
CHARLES: .for example and the uncertainty. Those that are the benefiting tend to be the newer areas of the world that can showcase themselves as being fresh, different destinations.
VERJEE: Like what?
CHARLES: Well, I would look at South America particularly. Brazil, Argentina are booming at the moment and as a result of that, their prices are going up as well. They have got a lot of new hotels, a lot of new experiences within the cities so South America would be one and then certainly newer parts of the Caribbean maybe, unknown or less inhabited islands, (inaudible) sorts of areas, some of the off the beaten track places that are relatively easy to get to but that also offer great food and great experiences.
VERJEE: So what should governments do while waiting for the next year? I mean is there anything they can except pray?
CHARLES: Well, they can pray hard, that is for sure, it might work in some cases but I think the fundamental point is to showcase value in places. And if you can say to potential tourists, we offer great value with a great experience and it is easy to get to, those are the places that are going to do well. I think people are going to look to travel closer to home next year rather than go long haul because they will want to be close to home should something unforeseen happen.
VERJEE: Paul Charles, the Former Director of Communications at Virgin Atlantic, always going to fabulous destinations aren't you?
VERJEE: All right.
CHARLES: It is unpredictable though.
VERJEE: All right, thanks so much. Well, tourism may be something in parts of Africa, Chinese investments in the continent is booming but is it welcomed? When we come back, the documentary that explores what happens when Chinese bosses work African workers.
Ethiopia, Sudan, Malawi, Somalia, Zimbabwe, in the last century, Africa has suffered more famines than any other continent but according to a new paper, the continent is set to help feed the world's most populous nation, that's China. Researches from Standard Bank say due to expanding organization, China is having to look beyond its borders for agricultural land and Beijing is increasingly setting its sights on undeveloped land in Africa.
China is already heavily invested in Africa and other sectors, most note to be mining. It has also constructed new roads, schools, hospitals, across the continent, part of a relationship that is changing the face of Africa.
But is it for the better or for the worse? That is a question explored in the documentary, "When China met Africa". Jim Bouldin sat down with the film makers Nick and Marc Francis to find out what is it that they discovered.
JIM BOULDIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Sealing a deal with a toast. For Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, through Ethiopia, Sudan and Tanzania, China's investment in the resource rich continent has grown in a rapid pace. These expending ties have seen China surpass the West as Africa's biggest trading partner and with it a change in landscape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was here six months ago (inaudible). It just (inaudible) able to deliver.
BOULDIN: In a new documentary, award winning British film makers, Nick and Marc Francis follow two Chinese businessmen and a Zambian trade minister to explore the political, economic and cultural relationship between China and Africa. A relationship that is essential to a growing global shift in powers from West to East.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody in the (inaudible) win, Zambia wins, China wins.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: China (inaudible) China a lot of (inaudible). I want to offer more jobs for your people.
BOULDIN: African leaders might have one view of the Chinese and then well, what about the African people? What did you observe?
MARC FRANCIS: What I think is it is very mixed feelings at the time when we started out making this film in 2007 there was a degree of anti-Chinese sentiment. There was a feeling that there were too many ordinary skilled Chinese taking on jobs of which the Zambians themselves could be able to take and a lot of growing concerns about a lot of the infrastructure contracts that were taking shape at the time being awarded to the Chinese. So at that time there was a degree of fear.
They are very much kind of focused on that's the Chinese way, which can often be misinterpreted or misunderstood by local people in the area.
UNIDENTIFIED MAKE: How many millions have we spent here? I do not want you to complain to me like this.
BOULDIN: Despite these cultural clashes, the Francis brothers found that the divide between the Chinese and Africans is not as wide as expected.
FRANCIS: Zambia is where China was 30 years ago and I think that creates some kind of certainty on a governmental levels some common understanding that they see each other, they recognize that China is coming from a developing status rather than from a developed status.
BOULDIN: Does that give the Chinese an advantage over Germans or French or Italians who may want to be building the same things in Zambia?
FRANCIS: The main factor that makes China -- makes, in this case, Zambia more -- more kind of engaging China more than perhaps the West is because of the language difference. The West still approaches Africa with quite a colonial tone. They feel often that they are being patronized by the West in a way that they suggest that Africa should go about ruling itself. Whereas China does not seem in the eyes of African governments to adopt that same kind of tone. And indeed, they do not have a colonial history -- (inaudible) history either.
BOULDIN: But then from the Western viewpoint, it may be seem as China going into Africa in a way that is not good for Africa.
FRANCIS: And that is -- that is really -- that kind of -- that ureteric is creating this kind of polarization, you know, now China is the largest trading partner in Africa. It is lending more to the continent than the World Bank. It -- it's influence is outstripping the former colonial powers and I think what we have seen in -- in response to that is a kind of sense that the West needs to start warning Africa of this.
So for example, British Prime Minister, David Cameron, when he was in Nigeria earlier in the year, he was talking about, you know, be careful of China's influence. Yet the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was in Zambia a few months back on live television was warning Zambia and warning Africa of China's influence. And yet, at the same time, the policies are Africa seas that were imposed on the continent, you know, have not advanced development in any way shape or form.
So I think the danger with that language and that approach is it is going to basically push the West further away.
UNIDENTIFIED UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You go outside 35 minutes then come back.
UNIDENTIFIED UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was not 35 minutes, boss. It was only 10 minutes when I went to the toilet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no, I'll change you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boss.
BOULDIN: Is it too simplistic to ask you, Marc, is China good for Africa or bad for Africa?
FRANCIS: I think it is really hard to define the entire China-Africa relationship as good or bad. There is tens of thousands of Chinese who see -- who see the whole continent is a land of opportunity. They are there for entrepreneurial reasons the same way that we have been over -- and still are.
And on the government level, the main drive of being in Africa is because China needs resources and (inaudible) has got to expand its network of places to get resources, that is priority number one. To fuel A) its (inaudible) economy and B) the fact that the West has decided to put most of our manufacturing base in China. And we want things cheap as consumers.
VERJEE: You are watching Connect the World, still to come on CNN, home decorating toddler-style. Stay with us to hear what mom has to say about the new look in her lounge room.
All this week on Connect the World, we have been looking at how we are going to be getting from point A to point B in the future. Most of the innovations have involved public transport but tonight's machine is for those who like to travel alone. (Inaudible) reveals the fastest thing on two wheels.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The rule of a Ducati engine is the sound of success. Ducati's superbikes have won more races than those of any other manufacturer.
GABRIELE DEL TORCHIO: You know we have a very long (inaudible) with Ducati and we are known around the world as the specialists in the superbike.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ducati has been creating some of the world's best and most beautiful motorbikes for more than 70 years from its base in the Italian city of Bologna. But this is its latest star, the 1199 Panigales.
So is this the best bike that Ducati can make?
DEL TORCHIO: It is the best bike, in my opinion ever built by Ducati. There is a lot of technology inside this bike and in edition to the technology, is a clear demonstration of our Italian style and our role of the ambassador of the Italian industry around the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's creators feel the 1199 Panigales represents more than just another bike, a technological breakthrough, which will influence and inspire future designs for years to come.
Ducati engineers were given a near impossible design brief to create the new generation superbike engine, increased power, torc, and reduce the overall vehicle weight. And they did it.
VINCENZO DE SILVIO: These engines are very special. We compared it with the previous ones because we have to rethink about it completely. The engine is the heart of the bike and because all the bike is built around it, all the frame is (inaudible) on the engine and the end solution is very important to reduce the weight of the whole package.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think when you see the bike?
DE SILVIO: I see something that I really love and also a little bit I hate because I past four years of my time in order to reach the best results.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This revolutionary new bike is now 10 kilograms lighter than its predecessor the 1198 and even more powerful.
CLAUDIO DOMENICALI: We are entering new territory and so it is like when we float there up to the moon for the first time, you know, no one exactly knew what happened or what is to be expected but everyone was very excited and their reward, everyone got -- when the rocket was to the moon was just incredible. So it is kind of something similar I think.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Starting at $18,000 US dollars this bike is for the Ducati (inaudible) the true fans. It is a road bike made with elite racing technology. Ducati feels the 1199 Panigales is an evolutionary step forward from the company's distinguished past to a milestone in motorcycle history. (Inaudible), CNN, Bologna.
VERJEE: Now it is time to turn our attention to what has been causing a stir on social media over the past week from a runaway dog named Fenton to a pair of mischievous toddlers that have a little too much fun with a bag of flour. Here is Phil Han with A Week on the Web.
PHIL HAN: Welcome to another edition of Week on the Web. This is the place where we want to bring you up to date with all the best stories from across social media over the last seven days. First up though, is one of the most popular stories this week and it involves a dog named Fenton.
What looks like a normal day of deer watching in Richmond Park in London, quickly turns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fenton, Fenton, Fenton.
HAN: All it takes is a runaway dog named Fenton, a panicked owner and a stampede of deer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fenton!
HAN: The person who took the video told me that the dog continued to chase the deer far into the horizon. This has become a viral video hit with more than 1.5 million hits this week.
Now a lot of Lady Gaga fans are gearing up for her latest music video "Marry the Knight". Gaga released a quick teaser today that has already received tens of thousands of hits.
Take a look at this spectacular time lapse vision of Dubai. It tracks 24 hours in the city with the Burj Khalifa Tower as its center point.
Ever wish your cat could do tricks? Well, what about this one? (Phone rings) (Cat meows). That video has nearly a million hits.
Another YouTube clip that has been getting lots of attention is this one. With one 5 lb bag of flour these two kids were able to do all of this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my gosh! I do not know what to do. (Inaudible).
HAN: The two boys aged one and three took advantage of their mom's visit to the bathroom and boy did they get busy. That video has more than three million views in less than a week.
We all know that Apple has some pretty loyal fans but in this ad by Samsung, they decide to poke some fun at them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am so amped I could stay here for three weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know it don't look the same. How will people know I upgraded?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) there.
HAN: Whether this commercial makes any of those IPhone users buy Samsung is another question. And now for the number one video of the week, here is Justin Bieber teaming up with Boys to Men. The Christmas song titled "Fa La La" has over three million hits in just two days. I am Phil Han, CNN, London.
VERJEE: In tonight's parting shots just a day after tucking into that turkey, the U.S., president and his family are now turning their attention to the next big festival in the calendar. Take a look at this video. The first lady and her daughters Sasha and Malia watch the arrival of the White House Christmas tree. It arrived in grand style as you can see here. The tree is going to occupy the traditional place in the Blue room. Even their Portuguese Water dog, Bo was there.
I wonder whether dad is going to give them a hand to put it in place. He is a little bit busy with a collapsing economy in the country as well as around the world and the hour of spring too. But who knows, he may find a little big of time to do that. Well, the least he could do is get some good presents underneath it. (Inaudible) if Santa thinks the Obama's have been good this year. I do not think the Republicans will think so.
I am Zain Verjee. Thanks so much for watching. Up next, the world headlines and then back story after this short break, stay with CNN.