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Gunfire Rings Out in Homs; Interview with Murhaf Jouejati; South Sudan Violence; Former British Prime Minister's Computer Hacked; Sir Alex Ferguson Puts His Foot Down

Aired January 2, 2012 - 16:00:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Gunfire rings out in the Syrian city of Homs. As monitors carry out their peace mission, the head of the Arab League says the killings continue. Tonight, an exclusive account of the disruption and the anger inside the flashpoint city.

Live from London, I'm Max Foster.

Also tonight...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, zero and lift-off -- the final lift-off of Atlantis on the shoulders of the Space Shuttle...


FOSTER: Launching into the history books -- we take a look back at some of the defining moments of 2011.

And an expensive night out, Wayne Rooney is hit with a hefty fine as Sir Alex lays down the law.

First, though, tonight, the Arab League is defending its controversial observer mission in Syria even while acknowledging there's no doubt the killing goes on. Today, the Arab League chief said snipers and gunfire continue to threaten civilian lives.

But he also reported some progress, saying government tanks have withdrawn to the outskirts of the city. Observers need more time for their mission, which began last week.

Yet the Arab League's own advisory body disagrees. The Arab Parliament wants all monitors withdrawn from Syria immediately, saying they failed to stop the regime's deadly crackdown on dissent and are, in fact, now providing it cover. Opposition activists say at least 23 people were killed in Syria today, including one girl, as protests continue across the country.

Amid all of this, activists say army defectors have managed to capture Syrian troops for the first time during this uprising. The regime won't allow us to report from inside Syria, so CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom is following developments for us tonight from Cairo -- Mohammed.

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Max. And the Arab League coming under increasing criticism because of the ineffectiveness of its mission to be able to stop the violence that's going on today.

Now, we heard a press conference earlier in the day, as you mentioned. Nabil Elaraby, the secretary-general of the Arab League, while acknowledging the violence still going on inside Syria, the shootings still happening, that there are snipers, that killings are still going on, also talking about some of the accomplishments of that mission, as you mentioned.

Now, today, aside from the reports of continued violence, continued deaths, and a continued crackdown going on, we also see some new video emerging purporting to show these Arab League observers in different areas.

One video I'd like to bring your attention to, although we can't verify its authenticity, purports to show the mother of a man who was killed. The people on the tape say it happened five months ago from torture. And there Arab League observers in this .video filming a scene near the body of the man, while people off camera are yelling at him to film, "Film the crimes of the regime."

The woman, who is crying, who is distraught, also screaming, at one point, "Film. Show what's going on here. Film my son."

Another video to point your attention to -- again, we can't verify its authenticity, but it purports to show an Arab League observer, the man in the orange vest and the white hat, as he's walking through the streets of Hama, through an anti-government demonstration. While he's walking there with what appears to be hundreds, if not thousands of people, around him, you hear the sounds of gunfire. And then you hear people on the tape saying there are snipers here that are targeting not just Arab League observers, but anti-regime protesters, as well. these are just more disturbing videos emerging purporting to show Arab League observers as they are there on their mission, witnessing the horrific results of -- of -- of what are being called crimes against the people there, but also continuing to encounter violence, which is something that was acknowledged by the Arab League secretary-general earlier in the day.

We've also heard today that there were protests in Daraa and in Idlib. And by the accounts of the opposition activists and the residents that we're speaking with there, it seems like the people of Syria, in these flashpoint cities, are emboldened to keep coming out and keep expressing how much they want to bring the fall of the regime of Bashar al-Assad -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Mohammed, thank you very much, indeed, for that.

Now, a journalist who recently managed to sneak into Homs says people in that city have reached the point of no return. Homs has emerged as the epicenter of this uprising. One human rights group estimates 40 percent of the total deaths in Syria have happened there.

We're not identifying the journalist for his own safety, but we are showing his dramatic stories, that offer an extremely rare look at life in a city under siege in today's final installment of his exclusive report to CNN, we see how anti-government protests have changed as army defectors began gaining ground.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the outskirts of Baba Amr in Homs, there's massive destruction. But inside its neighborhoods, one of the first to be completely free of Bashar al-Assad's forces, people can took to the streets without having to fear government snipers.

In the early days of the uprising, there were large protests that would often draw the fire of government forces. Now, the demos are much smaller in size, but there are more of them in places government troops can't reach, every day and every night.

Many women and children are among the protesters in this area, where the right to protest is protected by the fighters from the Free Syrian Army. The ports are among the most popular at the (INAUDIBLE) and among the most hated by the regime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ben Ali flew from Tunis. Ali Saleh is burned by fire. Mubarak is in court and Moammar Gadhafi killed by the revolutionaries. Your day is coming soon, Bashar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This poet says that he's inspired by the atrocities committed by Assad's forces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I write about the destruction that Bashar has inflicted on us, about the tanks that strike us on Bashar's orders, about the warplanes that he sent to us, while he claims there are no war planes. I write on everything. Everything that Bashar denies happening, I write about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Others vent their anger in moments of despair. Activists took me to this funeral in the village of Dabal Kadir (ph) outside of Homs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By God, we will hold anyone accountable who is a president, all of them. We know the officers who are giving the orders. We know all the people who are killing our children. We are the sons of this country. We are not leaving this country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A man, named Malik (ph), was being laid to rest and almost the whole village turned out. Malik was shot to death by government militia at a checkpoint. His little brother couldn't hide his despair.

With every civilian killed, the hatred for the regime grows and any chance for a peaceful end to the bloodshed in Homs seems to fade a little more.


FOSTER: Well, the relentless violence and increasing backlash led Israel's defense minister to predict today that the Al-Assad family has no more than a few weeks to remain in control of Syria. Others, though, fear the Arab League's observer mission will whitewash regime crimes, possibly giving it legitimacy to stay.

Let's get some thoughts now from a member of Syria's main opposition group, the Syrian National Council.

Murhaf Jouejati joins us now from Washington.

Thank you so much for joining us.

When we talk about a whitewash...


FOSTER: -- in the Arab League, explain that for us, because aren't they meant to be impartial observers?

JOUEJATI: Many of the monitors are representatives of the states that sent them. And these states themselves are authoritarian and have no interest, of course, in the collapse of the Assad regime.

And so, thus far, their mission has not been satisfactory. Their mission is to verify that the security forces are withdrawn from major cities, that snipers are withdrawn from rooftops, that journalists are allowed in and your own correspondents cannot make it in, into Damascus.

So thus far, the results of that Arab League verifying mission has not been very successful.

That said, we have to say that we still have lots of confidence in the Arab League secretary-general, Mr. -- the Arab League secretary-general, Mr. Elaraby. He is working in very good faith, we think, and he is trying to bring a balance to an otherwise lop-sided view that is being brought out by some of these monitors.

FOSTER: You're beginning to get a sense that the -- the mission is doomed to fail.

But shouldn't we wait until the report actually comes back, give them a chance?

JOUEJATI: Give them the chance and the SNC, the opposition movement of Syria, is giving and providing these monitors with all the information that is possible, the whereabouts of security forces, snipers, detainees and so on.

But, you know, give them time is a luxury that the Syrian people cannot afford. Just today, there were 23 people assassinated by the Assad regime. Give them time means a lot more death. So there isn't much time, really, to be given.

FOSTER: There seems to be some, you know, they -- they point to the fact that heavy weaponry is being withdrawn from the city centers and is on the outskirts as if that's some sort of triumph. I presume, though, it's not really in practice, because that weaponry can be brought in in a matter of minutes, can't it, as soon as the -- the observers disappear?

JOUEJATI: And that is the case. They are withdrawn from some areas. They reappear in other areas. And the monitors do not have time to -- to be able to chase this heavy equipment. There are a myriad of challenges in terms of the communications between the monitors themselves. There is the regime hampering the mission and the monitors, accompanying them constantly, harassing citizens who might otherwise talk to them.

So in addition to the inherent difficulties of a monitoring mission, the regime is making it very, very, very difficult. And as you say, withdrawing heavy equipment from areas only to introduce them in other areas, where there are no monitors, and, hence, we have so many killed every day despite the presence of these monitors.

FOSTER: What's the best solution here to get the best possible result out?

I presume the Arab League is the best vehicle is the best vehicle for sending in observers. That's what the region wants to see, that want the EU, for example, or other sort of bodies to go in there. You want the Arab League to be in there.

How can the operation be improved going forward?

JOUEJATI: Well, again, the Syrian opposition is helping as best as it can the Arab League and the Arab League monitors to collect as much possible. We await their report. But once their report is in, if it does not echo an already existing report from the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is that these are crimes against humanity, then, truly, it will be a disaster in Syria.

And in the end, the matter is going to have to be referred to the Security Council and it has to become internationalized.

FOSTER: Mohammed Jouejati, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

Well, over the past nine -- nine months, this has been a story that we have been determined to tell. For much of 2011 that's been a hard task, as our access to what's going on inside the country has been limited, at best. But the last few days have been a tipping point.

Here on this show, you have finally been given a chance to see for yourself the true extent of the Syrian uprising and there is much more on our Web site, You'll find images there taken by the photojournalist you heard from a few minutes ago. That and more,

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.

Still to come, tribal tensions escalate in Southern Sudan, South Sudan, as thousands of government troops are sent in to intervene.



STEVE JOBS, CEO, APPLE: Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.


FOSTER: From his memorable quotes to the gadgets that reshaped technology, we look back at the life of Steve Jobs in our 2011 defining moments.


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

Welcome back to you.

Here's a look at some other stories connecting our world this hour.

Iran continues to flex its military muscle near the Strait of Hormuz. It carried out at least two more missile tests on Monday, wrapping up a week of naval exercises in the area. The drills included testing a long range sea to shore missile, according to state media.

Last week, Iran threatened to block the Strait because of international sanctions, but Press TV said on Saturday Iran has no plans to close the vitally important shipping lane.

South Sudan's government says it has now gained control of a remote area besieged by tribal violence. Thousands of military and police reinforcements have been sent to the town of Pibor following inter-ethnic clashes. Members of a rival tribe were reportedly marching toward the town after attacking a village nearby.

CNN's Jim Clancy has the story.


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An armed youth brandishing a gun -- one of thousands from one local tribe in conflict with another in South Sudan. They're fighting over grazing lands and water rights. The spoils of battle, kidnapped women and children, stolen livestock.

Scores of aid workers joined thousands of civilians who have fled the fighting in recent days.

The most recent clashes are happening near the town of Pibor. A military official reports the government has now regained control of that town, with roughly 4,000 army and political reinforcements. The humanitarian group, Doctors Without Borders, fears for the safety of more than 100 of its workers in the region. The group says doctors and nurses escaped into the bush with villagers.

SARATHI RAJENDRAN, MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES: We are concerned for their safety, also, a massive cleaning in Lake (INAUDIBLE) and Freeport Town (ph). It has been damaged and all the materials were looted.

So we believe (INAUDIBLE) is a one (INAUDIBLE) in the region of Pibor County, running two kilometers between Lake Ombly (ph) and Bumuru (ph) and a hospital in Pibor Town.

CLANCY: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the groups to work with the government of South Sudan to end the fighting. The latest violence only added to fears for the future of South Sudan, which became the world's newest country last July.

Jim Clancy, reporting.


FOSTER: South Korea's president says he will seek to begin a new era of relations with North Korea. In a televised address to the nation, Lee Myung-bak offered economic aid to the North if Pyongyang gives up its nuclear program.

The statement comes just days after North Korea declared no dealings with its neighbor despite a change in leadership.

New pictures have been emerging of Kim Jong-un. These were reportedly taken on Sunday, showing the new leader inspecting troops and taking a tour of what appeared to be factories.

The race for votes is down to a final sprint in Iowa. U.S. Republican presidential candidates face off their tomorrow in the first major contest of the campaign. The six Iowa contenders have been heading out across the state, looking to make a final push before the caucuses.

These are the top three, left to right here, according to the latest polling. Mitt Romney is in the lead, followed closely by Ron Paul and then Rick Santorum, who has risen to third place.

Make sure you tune into CNN for our election special. We'll have live coverage of the results and analysis from our top political team. That's starting at midnight here on -- in London, at 8:00 a.m. in Hong Kong.

Now, Britain's former prime minister, Gordon Brown, may have had his computer hacked when he was the UK's top finance official. That's according to a British newspaper. Private investigators working for the U.K. tabloid may have gained access to Brown's e-mails during his time as chancellor of the exchequer under Tony Blair. Authorities have refused to confirm that the matter is being investigated.

CNN's senior international correspondent, Dan Rivers, reports.


DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): Phone hacking was one of the big stories of 2011 and it was much bigger than just a U.K. scandal. It threatened one of the world's most powerful media barons, Rupert Murdoch, and led to calls for investigations in both the U.S. and Australia.

Now, a new media storm is on the horizon. This time, it's not about phone hacking but e-mail hacking.

The police operation into phone hacking, Operation Weeting, is one of the biggest in the history of London's police, currently involving 120 officers. But for six months, the police have also been running a parallel investigation, Operation Tuleta, into illegal computer hacking of politicians and celebrities allegedly ordered by British newspapers.

Now, "The Independent" newspaper is claiming that former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's e-mails were hacked while he was finance minister. If true, he wouldn't be the only politician who's concerned about his online security.

(on camera): Former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain has already confirmed to CNN that he's discussed the potential hacking of three of his computers with the police. If his e-mails were being intercepted, it would suggest those in the most sensitive government offices in Britain were being monitored by private detectives working for national newspapers, a breathtaking lapse in national security.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's impossible to say that an e-mail in box or whatever, or an account, is un-hackable.

First of all, I have to find out how the hack have been done. So they have to find out if there was something or if there are some traces left on the system of the ministers. So maybe there are some traces. Maybe there are some -- there is some malware still on the system, maybe there's a key logger on the system.

And if you find something like that, there are sometimes, as well, other traces which leads to the hackers themselves.

RIVERS: Police have already arrested one man as part of Operation Tuleta. That compares to 16 arrested in connection with phone hacking.

But there are signs that the hacking of e-mail accounts may be another brewing scandal involving the British press and public figures.

Dan Rivers, CNN, London.


FOSTER: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.

When we return, a night on the town and a day off the pitch. Sir Alex shows Wayne Rooney who's boss at Old Trafford.


FOSTER: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.

Welcome back. I'm Max Foster.

Now, he may have turned 70 over the weekend, but Sir Alex Ferguson is not afraid to put his foot down. The Manchester United manager fined Wayne Rooney a week's wages after he was said to be worse for wear at a training session after a Friday -- after a night out on Boxing Day. In addition to the fine of around $350,000, Rooney was also left out to the side that lost to the Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

For more on this, we're joined by "WORLD SPORT'S" Alex Thomas, the other Alex.


How is Wayne taking this?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, certainly not as distinguished as Sir Alex Ferguson.


THOMAS: It sounds like the two of them didn't get on, as you would imagine, when one player has been fined a week's wages that are worth over $300,000.

But in truth, we don't know the real facts, because Manchester United are so good and have been for so long at keeping things behind closed doors.

But it sounds like the acrimony soon dispelled and Rooney could be in line to start Manchester United's next match, which will be tomorrow night, I think, certainly in the next couple of days.

And, yes, it's a bit -- I think the size of the fine really took Rooney aback. He wasn't the only one to be out that night and the other two players involved also got punished.

FOSTER: And in terms of the Premier League, it's got -- there was a major upset today, wasn't there, elsewhere?

THOMAS: Yes, there was. I mean Arsenal have lost to Fulham this Monday evening, just putting together probably the fifth or sixth major shock involving those teams battling for the title at the top of England's Premier League, the richest football club competition in the world over the last three days.

You know, all the top players in France, Italy and Spain, Max, are all off on their Christmas break. But England is one of the few top leagues that doesn't have a winter break and you could maybe say it's the cold weather or the -- the festive season, but we've seen a number of sharp results and the -- those who proclaim England's Premier needs to be strong will say that shows the strength and depth that the smaller clubs can spring surprise wins over the big ones.

FOSTER: We like some surprises, don't we, here and there?

THOMAS: Exactly. Rather than being all the same.

FOSTER: But now the Olympics, because there's concern now about corruption and the Olympics.

We do get this every time, don't we?

But is there anything in -- in these latest claims?

THOMAS: I don't know. I mean Hugh Robertson, the U.K. sports minister, is certainly getting in a bit of a flap about it. And he's right to raise the problem and make people aware of it and for Olympic organizers to get on top of it.

But you have to say, when you think of other problems they've got, like keeping the whole thing secure in terms of terrorist threats and the United States team, particularly, are con -- you know, worried about that, it's a billion dollar enterprise dealing picks, but individual athletes and even officials certainly don't get that much. So you're always open for corruption. We've seen it with the Pakistan cricketers recently, the football scandal in Italy recently, as well.

So I don't know it's any different to that. Right to raise it, but I think it's just one of a long list of issues that Olympic organizers have to get right.

FOSTER: They're going to be busy this year.

THOMAS: And we'll be.


FOSTER: Thank you very much, indeed.

THOMAS: I'm looking forward to it.

FOSTER: And you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

It was the appearance everyone was watching and the apology Britain's politicians were waiting for.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the most humble day of my life.


FOSTER: When we come back, questioning the world's most powerful media mogul. That's part of our Moments That Shaped 2011, after this.


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

Let's check on the world's headlines this hour.

The head of the Arab League says there's no doubt that killings are still going on in Syria despite the presence of League observers. But he defended their mission today and said the regime has withdrawn tanks to the outskirts of cities.

The pictures from North Korean state media show Kim Jong-un carrying out his first inspection of North Korea's military. State media also published a new year's message calling for the army to, quote, "place absolute trust in and follow Kim Jong-un." South Sudan's government says it's gained control of a remote town besieged by tribal violence. Thousands of people fled the town of Pibor as a rival tribe headed for the area, having already attacked another village. Residents have now started returning.

Iran has wrapped up its war games in the Strait of Hormuz. The maneuvers included what Iranian state media described as the successful launching of a long-range Ghader shore-to-sea cruise missile.

Well, 2011 was a turbulent year for the international -- for international news, with events such as the Arab Spring, the Japanese tsunami, and the killing of Osama bin Laden that will all have repercussions for generations to come.

As we begin a new year, CNN is looking back at the one we've just left behind, taking stock of the Defining Moments of 2011 and how they affected our lives. We begin tonight with the end of an era in the US state of Florida back in July.


TEXT: July

NASA LAUNCH CONTROL: This is shuttle launch control, T minus three hours and holding.

All three engines up and burning. Two, one, zero, and liftoff! The final liftoff of Atlantis. On the shoulders of the space shuttle, America will continue the dream.


LAUNCH ANNOUNCER: Houston now controlling the flight of Atlantis. The space shuttle spreads its wings one final time for the start of a sentimental journey into history.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thousands upon thousands of people lined the Atlantic coast in central Florida to witness the last launch of an American icon as the space shuttle Atlantis blasted off for the very last time and roared into space.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is the day when Rupert Murdoch and his son and his former editor go before a parliamentary select committee to give evidence on a phone-hacking scandal that has simply mushroomed into corruption, bribery, and questions over who knew what.

RUPERT MURDOCH, CEO, NEWS CORP: I would just like to say one sentence. This is the most humble day of my life.

TOM WATSON, MEMBER BRITISH PARLIAMENT: You were ultimate responsible for the corporate governance of News Corp, so what I'm trying to establish is, who knew about wrongdoing and what was involved at the time.

BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: So what's the crux of the story, here? Well, Britain's biggest-selling Sunday newspaper, the "News of the World," has been shut down by its owner. The shock closure came as British police reveal they've identified nearly 4,000 potential victims of illegal eavesdropping.

Now, allegations of phone-hacking are nothing new. For years, they've been associated with celebrities and royals. Well, no longer. Suddenly it was revealed the mobile phone of a murdered British school girl was allegedly hacked into.

The paper was said to have accessed Milly Dowler's voice mail, even deleting messages, which gave her family false hope that she was still alive.

REBEKAH BROOKS, FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE, NEWS INTERNATIONAL: Of course I have regrets. The idea that Milly Dowler's phone was accessed by someone being paid by the "News of the World" or, even worse, authorized by someone at the "News of the World" Is abhorrent to me, as it is to everyone in this room.

GEOFFREY ROBERTSON, MEDIA LAW EXPERT: They were nervous at the beginning, and there was some uncertainty, and the son was attempting to cover up for the father.

JAMES MURDOCH, CEO, NEWS INTERNATIONAL: My father became aware -- my father became aware after the settlement was made.

WATSON: Did you close the paper down because of the criminality?

R. MURDOCH: Yes, we felt ashamed of what had happened and thought we ought to bring it to a close.

JIM SHERIDAN, MEMBER OF BRITISH PARLIAMENT: Mr. Murdoch, do you accept that ultimately you are responsible for that whole fiasco?


SHERIDAN: You are not responsible? Who is responsible?

R. MURDOCH: The people that I trusted to run it, and then, maybe the people they trusted.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The phone-hacking fallout would continue as various British agencies looked at other outlets owned by Murdoch. Before the year was out, new allegations would emerge, with investigators claiming nearly 5800 people were targeted for voice mail eavesdropping. That's 2,000 more than previously thought.

James Murdoch was called back to Parliament some four months later.

WATSON: You must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise.

J. MURDOCH: Mr. Watson, please. I think that's inappropriate.

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: For Somalians, extreme food shortage brought about by drought and anarchy has just been raised by the United Nations to its highest crisis level, famine.

In the 21st century, there's no such thing, really, as a famine caused by drought alone. In many ways, this is a manmade famine.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This crisis was not just caused by drought. It was caused by people, individual people, and groups.

One of the groups that should be pointed at is al-Shabab. This militant group with links to al Qaeda is fighting a war against the transitional government in that country. But also, they've blocked aid from coming into the famine zones. If you look at where the famine zones are, it's often in areas where al-Shabab is in control.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm struck by the fact that 30,000 people died over the summer of 2011 in this country. 30,000, and they think that 600,000 people more may die.

If that number -- those numbers were describing any other place, probably, in the world other than here, it would be screaming from international headlines, and the entire world would really take notice.

MCKENZIE: If Dadaab was a town, it would be one of the biggest cities in Kenya. It's a massive area. When you look at it from the air, it's just a sprawling complex. People have been here for nearly 20 years, and as you go from the center out, it's just the level of life gets worse and worse.

They've called this place Balabagte. It means "carcass." It's where people bury their animals, and they have had to move in this place. But things like this come through all the time, this massive cloud of dust and dirt, flying through this area. And this is the place that they say they've come to escape to.

When the agency started sort of ringing the alarm bells, people are fatigued about this sort of thing. People sort of see Somalia and they see these parts of Africa and they think maybe it's a basket case. Maybe the money I give will just be lost or it will be stolen or it will be thrown away and wasted.

The attention of the world needs to be on these places, but not just to feel sorry for the people, because they want better than that. They want people to understand and give a helping hand so that people here can help themselves.

It's difficult to see hope in this situation. You have thousands of people streaming in from Somalia. You have an overcrowded camp and not enough food.

But where you do see hope is every day people getting up, picking up their water jerrycans, going to the water pond, filling it up, finding food, trying to be registered with the UN refugee agencies. People are taking these small steps to try and survive.

And what I see hope in is facing these incredible odds, people just pull together and do anything they can to get to the next day. That's the most impressive thing, here, that people, under such difficult conditions, can even survive. The human spirit here is strong in Dadaab though the conditions are terrible.

CHRISTIAN AGLEN, WITNESS TO OSLO CAR BOMB ATTACK (via telephone): I felt an incredible force, an incredible explosion, and the entire building was shaking.


AGLEN: Glass everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via telephone): The concussion was really extreme.


AGLEN: People were shocked.

HOLMES: July 22nd, a car bomb explodes outside the office of Norway's prime minister and other government buildings, killing eight people.

But a second terrorist attack less than two hours later was, to scale, much, much worse. Sixty-nine young people were massacred on nearby Utoya Island, a retreat for the Labour Party youth group. Witnesses say the suspect fired his machine pistol for two hours.

ADRIAN PRACON, UTOYA SHOOTING SURVIVOR (via telephone): He was yelling, he is going to kill you all, and we all shall die.

HOLMES: Norwegian police arrested Anders Behring Breivik, whom they called a right-wing extremist, charging him with both attacks.

TEXT: In late November, court-appointed psychiatrists concluded that Breivik is insane.

He still faces trial in 2012.

HOLMES: Meanwhile, another sort of crisis was unfolding in the United States.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: They refuse to get serious about cutting spending. That's the bottom line.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, the debt ceiling is the absolute top amount of money that the US can owe to anyone at any given time, and it's about $14.3 trillion. So, in order to raise that ceiling so the US can borrow more money to keep things going, the debt ceiling has to be increased by Congress.

HOLMES: A deadline was looming. The US government was going to run out of cash to pay all of its bills by August 2nd. In the 11th hour, a complex deal was struck.

OBAMA: But I want to announce that the leaders of both parties in both chambers have reached an agreement.

BOEHNER: The ayes are 269, the nays are 161. The bill has passed without objection.

HOLMES: The US had avoided default, but did not emerge unscathed. On August 5, Standard and Poor's lowered the country's credit rating, an historic first.



FOSTER: Welcome back to a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD and a look back at the defining moments of 2011. The Arab Spring dominated much of the news coverage over the past year, sparking revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa.

One of the most violent and drawn-out confrontations was in Libya until rebel fighters finally got the upper hand.




SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Celebratory gunfire going on. They feel very, very excited. Now you're hearing some of the blasts nearing the compound, the Gadhafi compound.



HOLMES (voice-over): By August 23rd, after seven months of fighting, rebellion in Libya was poised to become revolution in Libya. Moammar Gadhafi had stood his ground even as other leaders fell across the Arab world. But suddenly, it appeared his capital, Tripoli, was about to fall.

SIDNER: So, at that point, we had spoken with our company and said, "This looks authentic, from what we're seeing. This is really from the compound."

And they said, "We're watching what we think is the rebels entering."

And we said, "All right. We're going to go. We're going to go in."

We are walking into Gadhafi's compound, Bab al-Aziziya. The rebels have taken the compound. We're going in to see what we can see. So, this is Bab al-Aziziya.

They now have people standing at security.

HOLMES: What our reporters didn't see was the Libyan leader himself. Moammar Gadhafi had gone underground. But his days were numbered.

PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST, "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT": Breaking news, Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple. What will this mean to the company that changed the world? Stunning developments.

JOE NOCERA, OP-ED COLUMNIST, "NEW YORK TIMES": He's had a liver transplant, he's had a tumor on his pancreas. There's a certain kind of sad inevitability to this moment.

HOLMES: His departure from Apple was the beginning of the end, for less than six weeks later, Steve Jobs died.

STEVE WOZNIAK, CO-FOUNDER, APPLE: In those early days, there were a few mostly geeky people, people that knew how to operate computers. Steve and I were in that crowd.

HOLMES: April 1, 1976, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs formed the Apple Computer Company. The rest is history.

TEXT: 1984

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We shall prevail.

STEVE JOBS, CO-FOUNDER, APPLE: Today, I'd like to let Macintosh speak for itself.

COMPUTER VOICE: Hello, I am Macintosh.

TEXT: 2001

JOBS: But the biggest thing about iPod is it holds a thousand songs. This is a quantum leap.

TEXT: 2007

JOBS: Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.

TEXT: 2010

JOBS: There's still room for a third category of device in the middle. We call it the iPad.


JOBS: So, thank you very much to our extended families out there who make it possible for us to work our tails off making these great products for you.

TEXT: September

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Southeast Asia is under water. Not just part of the subcontinent, but nearly all of it, in a region where flooding is a yearly reality of life, where there's hardly any high ground to seek safety, this flooding has reached record levels.

HOLMES: By late September and into October, after weeks of monsoonal rains and tropical cyclones, the people of Thailand and neighboring countries, faced the worst flooding in 50 years.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is exactly what government officials here in Bangkok have been afraid of. This is Sam Kok and the defenses have broken. The sandbags and the concrete barriers have been pushed over by the sheer force of the water.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Residents of Bangkok have to wade through the water, waist-deep, moving to higher ground as the city braces for still more flooding.

HOLMES: Affected areas across Thailand swelled with about two billion cubic meters of water, and enough to fill half a million Olympic-sized swimming pools.

SIDNER: We're in northern Bangkok, and what you're seeing right now is a road. The road to the north that's now a river. What's happening here is that the army is going and helping to get people to safety, and you're seeing truckloads of people coming from areas that have been inundated with water.

YVETTE CAGNEY, AYUTTHAYA RESIDENT: Six weeks ago here, the water started to come in Ayutthaya. It took a matter of about a week before the whole of Ayutthaya was completely flooded.

HOLMES: More than 500 people lost their lives.

TEXT: October

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Zain Verjee at CNN in London. Sirte has been liberated.


HOLMES: October 20, nearly two months after his capital fell, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte would fall, too. That day brought even bigger news.

DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is just what's been put on Libyan TV. They are quoting the Misrata Military Council saying that Colonel Gadhafi himself has been captured.


HOLMES: Graphic cell phone footage showed him being manhandled by fighters, wounded, bloody, but still alive. After his capture, some of the fighters explained how they found him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Then, we went to the other side, and four or five ran out from under the road and surrendered. One of them told us that Gadhafi was inside and wounded. When we entered the hole, I saw his bushy head, and I jumped on him immediately.


HOLMES: Leaders of Libya's interim government said Gadhafi was killed soon after this video was taken, caught in the crossfire of a gun battle between fighters and his supporters.

PETER BOUCKAERT, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Enraged fighters started pulling on his hair, punching him in the face, and he was basically beset upon by a mob of fighters. They tried to put him on the front of one of their vehicles and drive him away. He fell off the vehicle.

But ultimately, he was put in the back of one of their vehicles and taken away. He definitely left from this area alive without any gunshot wounds to his head.

HOLMES: The following day, Gadhafi's body was put on display in a cold storage room in Misrata, video clearly showing a bullet wound to the head. The United Nations and human rights groups called for a full investigation.

ANDERSON: So, are you are they bothered about the treatment of Gadhafi after his capture? The UN certainly is, of course.

GIUMA SASI, LIBYAN LIVING IN UK: The treatment of Gadhafi after his capture is normal, I think, for what he has done to Libyan people over the last 42 years, and especially over the last eight months.

HOLMES: Thousands of Libyans lined up, some waiting for hours, just to see Gadhafi's body in person. Gadhafi's son, Mutassim, also killed, his body put on display next to his father.

On Tuesday, October 25, an Islamic religious ceremony was held for Gadhafi, final prayers said over his body by his personal cleric, who was arrested along with him. Afterwards, the bodies of Gadhafi and his son were buried in a secret location somewhere in the desert.



FOSTER: Welcome back to this special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD and a look back at the Defining Moments of 2011.

Of all the events last year, one that will surely have lasting effects, spilling into this year and beyond, is the financial crisis gripping the eurozone. Here's a look back at how it all began.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Scenes that became all-too-familiar on the streets Greece throughout 2011. As the region's long-running debt crisis deepened, tough austerity measures were imposed and opposed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This government does not represent anymore the people.


ROBERTSON: It's about midday, but already people have come to the square with masks, with sort of white cream to protect against teargas.


GEORGE PAPANDREOU, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF GREECE: The only thing we are asking for is the right to make major changes in our country. Profound, deep changes in our country.

ROBERTSON: In July, Greece received a big bailout from the EU, its second in two years. Even then, the risk of default remained, and in late October, the EU called an emergency summit.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After 11 hours of fraught negotiations here in Brussels, while EU leaders did finally manage to come up with what they call a lasting and credible agreement to solve the eurozone debt crisis once and for all --

ROBERTSON: European leaders would erase half of what Greece owed to private lenders.

HERMAN VAN ROMPUY, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: We want to put Greece on track where, in 2020, it will have reduced its public debt to 120 percent of GDP.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDNET: But in a surprise vote on October 31, Prime Minister George Papandreou called for a popular vote on the EU plan. European leaders did not react well. Neither did the financial markets.

STEPHEN J. GUILFOYLE, MERIDIAN EQUITY PARTNERS: We had negative news with this on top of it. It was a pretty good kick in the teeth this morning when we came in.

ROBERTSON: Those plans for a referendum were called off, and despite narrowly surviving a confidence vote, Mr. Papandreou stepped down to make way for a coalition government under a different leader.

ANDERSON: Well, Greece's prime minister isn't the only one feeling the heat at the moment. Tonight, Italy's leader, Silvio Berlusconi is struggling to fight off contagion from the eurozone debt crisis.

ROBERTSON: The empire of the Italian prime minister was also in danger of collapse. Personal scandals and his country's spiraling $2.6 trillion public debt decimated confidence in Silvio Berlusconi's leadership.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The problem is, the debit's so high, more than Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland put together. Bailing out Italy simply isn't an option, and there are fears of an Italian default that could bring down the entire eurozone.

ROBERTSON: Mr. Berlusconi faced increasing opposition on the streets and in Parliament, where tensions over belt-tightening measures came to blows. In the end, a crunch vote left him with a paper-thin majority. His leadership had become untenable.

ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson in Rome with the breaking news this hour. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Italy is stepping down.

ROBERTSON: Despite those changes in leadership, the uncertainty remained across the region. Even as the year was coming to a close, European leaders returned to Brussels in December in a desperate bid to solve the crisis.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a common statement, both Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel say that both Germany and France are calling for comprehensive treaty change to be implemented in the EU or at least in the eurozone, and they say that is something that must be implemented at this next EU summit.

ROBERTSON: Britain balked at treaty change, leaving the other 26 countries in the EU to thrash out an agreement to enforce balanced budgets.

VAN ROMPUY: It is about more fiscal discipline, more automatic sanctions, stricter surveillance. An inter-governmental treaty will make this agreement binding.

QUEST: Europe has been trying to deal with these problems for 19 months, with numerous summits and several plans. Most people believe this has been the best achievement so far, and it's not over yet.

TEXT: November

HOLMES (voice-over): Also a work in progress was Egypt, but the end of 2011 looked a lot like the beginning of the year.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Much has changed in Egypt in the last 10 months, but Sunday in Cairo was a day of deja-vu.

HOLMES: In November, running street battles erupted between protesters and security forces.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is where the fighting's been raging, now into the fifth day. This one road, here, with police not very far away, and these kids choking, puking --

HOLMES: It was a growing revolt against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took over from Hosni Mubarak back in February.

WEDEMAN: On January 25th, we were on this very street and we were also teargassed. Now, months and months later, it's November, and the same thing is happening all over again.

HOLMES: What had changed is that the once cowed and silent people of Egypt had found their voice, and despite serious unrest in Cairo and other cities, Egypt's military rulers said they would start the first round of parliamentary elections on time.

WEDEMAN: For Egyptians, this was a day that was truly historic, and one that most of them took very seriously and took a good deal of optimism away from.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel good. I feel my vote will change Egypt.

PAULINE CHIOU, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Now, there are four. Yemen's president on Wednesday became the fourth regional leader to leave power since the start of the Arab Spring uprisings.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After months of violence and unrest, it would seem that time has finally run out for the man who called himself "the great survivor of Arab politics."

HOLMES: November would also see Ali Abdullah Saleh step down, the man who had ruled Yemen for 33 years, signing a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council. It was aimed at ending his country's political crisis.

Yemen had been the scene of violent protests for months, with government troops responding with live fire on protesters.

Saleh's departure would be a defining moment for the people of Yemen, part of the bigger picture of revolt across the Arab world.

And amid the even wider landscape of protest echoing from Wall Street to the streets of Rome, 2011 would be defined by populist uprisings, of discontent with leaders, the institutions of government and finance.

But through it all, was the human spirit, triumph in the face of tragedy. Moments that made us smile. Moments that gave us pause. Moments that made us dream.


FOSTER: I'm Max Foster, and that was CONNECT THE WORLD taking a look back at some of the defining moments of 2011. Thank you so much for watching. The world headlines are up next after this short break.