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Accident Waiting to Happen?; Pakistani Politics in Crisis; Chocolate Fix

Aired January 16, 2012 - 16:00:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Well, as rescuers face an uphill struggle to find survivors in Italy, tonight, we'll ask was this an accident waiting to happen? Live from London, I'm Becky Anderson. Also tonight, Pakistan's politics in crisis. As the PM is pulled before the courts, we explore just how close the country is to a tipping point. And the shocking truth that could take the feel good factor out of your next chocolate fix. That's coming up in the next hour.

First up tonight, rescuers back in the chilly waters of Italy to search for more survivors as authorities warn a wrecked cruise ship could be an ecological time bomb. At least 16 people are still missing after the ship hit rocks and rolled onto its side on Friday. Search efforts have now resumed after bad weather forced a delay.

Now it's extremely difficult for rescuers above and below the surface. Here, you see rescuers climbing that ladder onto the ship, while divers are scouring pitch black waters, hoping to find air pockets that may have kept passengers alive.

Italy's environment minister meantime warns that urgent action is needed to prevent a disastrous fuel leak. He told Reuters earlier that the government would declare a state of emergency. Well, as long as there's any hope, however, of finding more people alive, the number one priority, of course, remains the search and rescue efforts.

Our senior international correspondent Dan Rivers is following all of these developments tonight from the island of Giglio. Dan, what is the latest from there?

DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the--of course, the Concordia is lit up this evening. You might just be able to make it out behind me as sort of blue below coming off it in the sea in the night here. We're told right now, there are no divers inside it. They have been diving through the night. It's simply too dangerous they've decided now. They've suspended rescue operations earlier on when it started shifting around, then resumed. Now they've stopped again within the last few minutes. It's simply too dangerous.

And the big concern at the moment really is they start shifting away from search and rescue to the recovery of the inevitable bodies that they will find. is this also going to turn into an environmental catastrophe?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RIVERS (voice-over): Three days after the disaster, suddenly the search and rescue teams were being horridly winched off by helicopter. The Costa Concordia was moving. And fears were suddenly rising that this enormous wreck might slide further into the sea. Firefighters spent several hours assessing the stability of the liner from the cliffs above. Up close, you get a real sense of the drama and horror of how it must have been aboard. 100 years after the Titanic, here, the deck chairs were rearranged by the sudden rolling of the ship. 4,200 people were aboard. Had this happened in deeper waters, it could have been much, much worse. (on camera): The authorities have been using this, the auto light, to measure how far the Costa Concordia is moving. So far in the last 24 hours, they say she slipped about nine centimeters, approximately 3.5 inches further into the sea. The concern is if there's a big winter storm, she may break up completely. (voice-over): Meanwhile, the CEO of the company, which owns the ship, was laying the blame squarely with the captain. PIER LUIGI FOSCHI, COSTA CHAIRMAN AND CEO: Yes, the explanation was that he wanted to show the ship and to nearby this island of Giglio. And so, he decided to change the course of the ship to go closer to the island, and pass through in front of the little city that sit in that island. RIVERS: Captain Francesco Schettino is due in court on Tuesday for questioning by a prosecutor, still maintaining he hit a rock that was not on his chart. But this Facebook post by a resident of Giglio hints that the close links between crew members and the island and the culture in which close sail-bys were common. Now an apparently complacent attitude to this jagged coastline has left it strewn with reminders of the human toll of this apparent stunt with floating booms already being deployed in case the 2,300 tons of fuel aboard starts leaking around this pristine island. (END VIDEOTAPE) RIVERS: While the captain will be appearing before prosecutors in about 14 hours, Becky, to answer questions about this, he's not been formally charged yet, but his attorney has said that he is dismayed and flattered by the accusations against him. Clearly, this is going to be litigation and prosecution, which will run for many months. Becky?

ANDERSON: Dan Rivers off the coast there in Giglio. Well, I want to step back for a moment and remind you how things unfolded. It all began here off the coast of Italy during a routine voyage of the Costa Concordia. Now the ship was heading north towards Giglio, where it was reportedly four kilometers off course. That is when it struck a rock here. Now there were reports of power issues and the ship taking on water, but it continued northward. It was at this time that the captain decided to turn towards land to evacuate the ship after the turn. This is where the ship finally settled and began (inaudible) port side. Well, in just a few minutes, we're going to talk to a man who represents employees of the cruise industry about the potential dangers of super sized cruise ships. First, though, a closer look at what happened. The ship's captain says the rocks it struck were not marked on his map. The charts of the area obtained by CNN and which the captain says he consulted, clearly show rocks where the cruise liner went to ground. CNN's Brian Todd visited a ship simulator to show the pitfalls of navigating near a rocky coast, and how captains are trained to react to trouble. Have a look at this. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're here at the American Maritime officer's union training center in Dania Beach, Florida. This is a simulator they call the 360, that basically takes you through every type of scenario. Right now, we're simulating running aground. This is Captain Larry Reimer, one of the trainers here. We're a few seconds away from a potential accident here near a coastline. You can see the ship moving slowly. We're trying to turn it--

We've just run aground. Hard to actually see it and feel it, but we've definitely stopped. They're going through some checklists right now. This is the procedure of what you do, when you run aground.

Captain Reimer, tell us what we have to do immediately when we hit rocks or run aground?

LARRY RIMER, CAPTAIN: Well, the first thing you're going to do is you're going to stop the engine, so you don't go harder aground, OK?

TODD: All right.

REIMER: Then you're going to have somebody in the team run through an operational checklist for grounding.

TODD: It's what we got right here.

REIMER: You're going to sound signals to alert people that you've got an emergency. We're going to make an emergency call on the radio, where we are, what the situation is.


REIMER: And then we're going to go from there, assess what the damage is, and decide what we're going to do.

TODD: OK, and in some cases, you'll actually try to reverse the--

REIMER: When they try and get her off. But right now, we don't want to do that yet, because we don't know what the damage is. So maybe we're safer right here than to try to get her off into deeper water.

TODD: Under any circumstances, does the captain leave the bridge in a situation like this?

REIMER: Absolutely not. The captain is in operational command to make sure that all the operational, the procedures for the emergencies are followed.

TODD: And he's got a full team here handling communications--

REIMER: Correct.

TODD: --and all that?


TODD: And to deploying to try to get the passengers together.

REIMER: Throughout the ship. And the passengers in a safe point, where if we have to abandon ship, they're ready to go.

TODD: All right, captain, thanks very much. This is just part of what they go through here. This is a very rigorous program, training captains from all around the world. Thousands of captains have been through here. So this is just one of the drills. And it's a pretty good simulation of what to do in case of an accident on board a major cruise ship.

Brian Todd, CNN, Dania Beach, Florida.


ANDERSON: All right, well, I'm joined now by Allan Graveson. And he's a senior National Security Nautilus U.K. and a maritime union representative. Before we move on to whether this is an accident waiting to happen, the famous moment in the Titanic story, women and children first when they're crying. That appears not to have been the case here. What are the rules governing a sinking ship and who leaves first?

ALLAN GRAVESON, SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY, NAUTILUS UK: Well, actually, there are no rules. It goes historically back to the loss of a (inaudible) ship. They have the broken head I think in about 1850s. There's actually no rules governing this. And I think when we're in a situation like this of capsize, where the master has lost actually control of the ship, the commander's been lost, then I think it's a question of people do have to leave as quickly as possible.

ANDERSON: Was this an accident waiting to happen?

GRAVESON: I wouldn't say an accident waiting to happen, but at Nautilus International, we've had concern for a number of years now over the construction and design of these ships, together with their operation and evacuation systems.

ANDERSON: The Costa Concordia, sir, is the largest ship in Costa Cruises fleet, but maybe it's the largest. Let me just give our viewers a sense of what's going on here. The world's largest passenger liner is the allure of the seas, I believe--

GRAVESON: Yes, yes.

ANDERSON: --measuring 360 meters, and weighing over 220,000 tons. Compare that to the Costa Concordia, which is about half the tonnage and is 70 meters shorter. Now compare that to an Airbus A380. By comparison, only 73 meters long and weighs just 605 tons.

What's your sense of the significance of the scale here?

GRAVESON: Well, they are indeed very big. We've seen ships double in size in the last decade. And it's not a question of size alone. It's the actual design of the ship itself. That's the amount of (inaudible), amount of underwater volume, and indeed, what we loosely refer to as a stackite (ph) and the number of decks actually above the water line.

ANDERSON: How do you respond to the very real accusation that this is an industry foregoing safety, as it (inaudible) off the bigger vessels to satisfy an ever increasing demand?

GRAVESON: Well, economy of scale. That's where we've moved. We've moved to economy of scale. And indeed, also to increase comfort. Yes? That goes give you better revenue and better returns. And there's nothing wrong with that at all. We need the sustainability of a vibrant cruise industry, but we do need to pay a little bit more attention to safety, and particularly with these large cruise ships.

ANDERSON: A little bit more?

GRAVESON: Yes, there's some good operations going on out there. Let's be realistic. There is some good ships being operated extremely well out there, but there's elements within the industry, that do need to improve considerably.

ANDERSON: What do you say to people who might be thinking about booking their summer holiday in one of these cruise ships? Is there reason to be at least cautious? My sense is from you like there is.

GRAVESON: No, I--this is a very rare event. And I would say go ahead, book your holiday. It's very rare indeed that an incident like this occurs, but do be selective in which company that you go with.

ANDERSON: Do you ever name names?

GRAVESON: No, I won't (inaudible) many names. And I don't think that will be wise to do. So but I think people in this country know the household names, and go to those, and look to them. And I do hope as a result of this, that all companies do address their safety issues.

ANDERSON: Would you travel with this company?

GRAVESON: Would I travel with this company? I think I would now because I actually think they'll probably make good amends after this incident.

ANDERSON: We leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.

GRAVESON: Thank you.

ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London. Still to come, and then there were five. We take a look at end of the line and out from one of the U.S. Republicans running against the president. Then a government suffers another (inaudible) and explain why Pakistan's prime minister is being ordered to appear before the country's top court. And later, the bitter truth behind the chocolate trade, CNN's Freedom Project investigation. It's the fight to end child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN, the world's news leader. 16 minutes past 9:00 in London.

Well, two Nigerian labor groups have suspended their nationwide strike after the president of the country agreed to cut the costs of petrol. Prices doubled at the beginning of this year. Also, Nigeria's president removed the country's fuel subsidy. Well, after days of unrest, Goodluck Jonathan announced on Monday that he would restore part of that subsidy.

GOODLUCK JONATHAN, NIGERIAN PRESIDENT: Let me assure Nigerians that this (inaudible) is irrevocably committed to tackling corruption in the pursuit of industry, as well as other factors on the economy.

ANDERSON: And when we'll be heading live to Lagos for you in around 15 minutes for more on that story. A look at some of the other stories connecting our world tonight.

And Standard and Poors has cut the credit rating of Europe's bailout fund, the European financial stability facility to AA plus. S&P's warned since December that the ESS could lose its AAA status if the countries that funded it were downgraded. Well, that move comes after S and P cut the ratings of nine Eurozone countries on Friday, including France and Austria, which lost their AAA ratings.

Untied States Republican Jon Huntsman has announced the withdrawal from the party's presidential race. Huntsman ended his campaign just a few days before the critical South Carolina primary. The former U.S. ambassador to China placed a distant third in the New Hampshire contest.


JON HUNTSMAN, FOREMR REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDDATE: I believe it is now time for our party to unite around the candidate best equipped to defeat Barack Obama. Despite our differences, and the space between us on some of the issues. I believe that candidate is Governor Mitt Romney.


ANDERSON: Well, the editor of Britain's "Daily Mirror" has said that phone hacking could have also happened at his newspaper, which was then under the leadership of Piers Morgan. Bridgon (ph) Wallace told the press ethics investigation it might well have taken place in the newsroom without his knowledge. He also said it was possible that a story revealing a celebrity affair in 2002 may have come from intercepted voicemail messages. He was the show business news editor at the time.

CNN's show host Piers Morgan edited the tabloid until 2004. He told the (inaudible) inquiry in December he did not believe the practice had taken place on his watch.

Saudi Arabia's oil minister says that it can make up for any loss in crude oil production if sanctions are placed on Iran. Ali-Al Naimi says Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, is ready and willing to increase output to meet customer demand. Speaking exclusively to CNN, he said his country's extra oil reserves are big enough to boost oil exports by nearly two million barrels a day, almost immediately.


ALI AL-NAIMI, SAUDI ARABIA OIL MINISTER: This spare capacity is to respond to the emergencies worldwide, to respond to our customer demand. And that is really the focus. Our focus is not on who drops out from production, but who wants more. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, the IUC president has given CNN his first international interview of the new year. That was the weekend. among the topics discussed, illegal gambling and how to keep the London games, of course, clean and above board. We're going to hear from Jacque Rob (ph) next on CONNECT THE WORLD.


ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD. 22 minutes past 9:00 in London. News just coming into our zone. I want to keep you up to date on what's happening down in the cost of Italy there, where the cruise liner has been lilting, of course, all day. We are told now, care of the ASP agency, that the Italian Coast Guard says 29 people still unaccounted for in that accidental, what we might call a disaster at this point. You can see pictures there of the boat on its side. Saturday night, of course, you'll know that that boat hit a rock. Much investigation going into exactly what happened with 29 people still unaccounted for according to the Italian Coast Guard.

More on that, of course, as we get it. So let's get you some sports news. And the new year barely two weeks old and the first tennis major of 2012 already underway. Of course, the Australian Open starts day 2 Down Under in about 2.5 hours time. Let's find out what's going on. Any upsets, Mr. Pinto, so far?

PEDRO PINTO: Well, Ms. Anderson, so far--

ANDERSON: Thank you. I think it's--

PINTO: --it's been pretty quiet. The first day didn't see any upsets. I'd say there were two main talking points on day one. Rafael Nadal was involved in both. The first is that he wasn't hampered by a freak knee injury that he suffered while he was watching TV at his hotel. You're seeing pictures of his heavily strapped right knee. He said he just felt a cramp, when he got up after watching TV. He had an MRI. No serious damage there.

He won his match easily in the first rounds in straight sets. Nadal then also talked about something which has been brewing, which maybe you've heard about, Becky, which is the players on the ATP Tour are not happy at all with the way prize money is divided--


PINTO: --with how the schedule is made that there have been some rumblings of a possible player's strike. And he criticized Roger Federer, who's the head of the player's council. Said he wasn't stern enough with the bosses so to speak. He's since come out and said, look, I'm sorry I didn't mean to criticize Federer at all. We're great friends. Hopefully, we can all fight together. And there could still be a strike later on in the season. The player's really not happy about that.

ANDERSON: One of the few sports that we're going to get any effective strife, of course, is NFL. So let's talk about that, shall we?

PINTO: Yes. Let's talk about that.

ANDERSON: Big sports story that the defending Super Bowl champions are out of the running this season.

PINTO: They are. And this is a huge surprise, not only because they were the defending champions, but because they were 15 and 1 during the regular season. And they have pretty much the most explosive quarterback in the league, Erin Rogers (ph). And they lost to the New York Giants at home. The Giants who curiously beat the Green Bay Packers on the way to their last Super Bowl victory four years ago, Eli Manning out passed Erin Rogers (ph), one of the best players we're watching here in this game. Great catch by the team next--two defenders on him. Somehow managed to bring the ball down for the touchdown. Great play. The Green Bay Packers are out. The New York Giants advanced to the NFC championship game. They'll play the San Francisco 49ers in the AFC. It'll be the Baltimore Ravens against the New England Patriots. Only two games left before we get to the Super Bowl.

ANDERSON: What would you do if you had two men call you all over like that? I mean, I'm being serious here.

PINTO: Well, I guess I'd do what that guy did there.


PINTO: Just try to ignore whatever was going on around--

ANDERSON: Exactly.

PINTO: --me and focus on the ball.

ANDERSON: Chuck Morgay's (ph) been speaking, the IAC head. What's he been saying?

PINTO: Well, CNN got the first interview with Jacques Rogge, the head of the International Olympic Committee in 2012. A lot has been said recently, Becky, about illegal match fixing and how it could affect results at the Olympics. My colleague Don Riddell (ph) put that question to Mr. Rogge. And this is what he said.


JACQUES ROGGE, IOC PRESIDENT: I don't think you have to make a ranking between doping and match fixing and illegal betting. Both are very dangerous for the credibility of sport, but you know, there is no one who supersedes the other one.

DON RIDDELL (ph): We've seen a rise of it in other sports. We've seen match fixing scandals in football. Of course, we had the spot fixing issue with Cricket. Do you think this is now starting to creep into Olympic Sports as well?

ROGGE: Well, I would hope not, but we are taking all precautions to prevent that. You know, we already monitored the Beijing Games and the Frankover (ph) Games with a special unit, who looked at the results. But also, who looked at the betting pattern with betting companies. And it is clear that both in Beijing and Frankover (ph), there was no illegal betting and no match fixing.

But you have to leave it at that. And that's the reason why the IOC is working very closely with governments, with betting operators, to try to have a prevention. So it's a dangerous issue for sports.


ANDERSON: OK, well, I guess he makes a lot of sense.

PINTO: Yes, it is danger. And they're watching out for it ahead of the Olympics.

ANDERSON: Pinto, are you looking ahead to a world sport about an hour from now. Live Monday night football from the premiere league. We'll be live, but we'll give you the results, and mention the city looked to stop the (inaudible) that's struggling week. Join Pedro for that.

Pedro, thank you very much indeed.

Still to come on this show, the Nigerian president makes a concession and cuts the price of fuel but tensions remain high as soldiers deploy to the streets of Lagos. Why Goodluck Jonathan's concession may not be enough that is next on CNN.

Plus, Pakistan (inaudible) begins (inaudible) court proceedings against the prime minister. It's not the only showdown he's facing right now. I'm going to ask the former Pakistani ambassador Hals Van Ruble (ph), the PM is. Then later, in the show telling (inaudible).


ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. A check of the world news headlines at just after half past nine in London.

Quoting Italian Coast Guard officials, AFP is reporting that 29 people are still missing from the cruise ship disaster off Italy's western coast. Now, if that is correct, that would be a dramatic increase from the 16 we'd been reporting earlier.

The head of Costa Cruises blames the captain of the ship for the deadly wreck. He says the captain deviated from the approved course, hitting rocks near shore. At least people we know were killed.

Standard and Poor's has downgraded the credit rating of the EU bailout fund. It comes after it downgraded nine eurozone countries on Friday. S&P says the fund is no longer backed by enough Triple-A countries and has downgraded it one notch to Double-A-plus.

US presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has quit his run for the White House just days before the next primary vote in the state of South Carolina. Huntsman's poll numbers had dwindled to one percent of likely Republican voters there. He has endorsed Mitt Romney.

And demonstrations suspended for now, at least, but there is a much heavier security presence in the streets of Lagos in Nigeria. After a week of protests over higher fuel prices, union leaders are considering a government move to bring down those prices, but not as much as protesters had demanded.

Well, it is easy to see why so many Nigerians are angry when you take a look at exactly what is going on with the price of fuel and how it has changed.

Now, fuel used to cost Nigerians at around 40 cents per liter. Take a look at this. When the subsidy was lifted, the price more than doubled to 86 cents.

And then this. On Monday, Goodluck Jonathan, the president, announced in a speech that the government would reduce fuel prices to 60 cents per liter because of the, quote, "hardships being suffered by Nigerians."

All this -- causing it all -- pause for thought, of course. CNN's Nima Elbagir is on the ground in Lagos covering the story for you.

A climb down of sorts for sure, Nima, but are we witnessing capitulation by the Nigerian government at this point?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the government says that it's come as far down as it's willing to come. They announced this decision unilaterally this morning when Goodluck Jonathan addressed the nation for only the second time, Becky, since this crisis began.

He announced not only that 97 naira a liter -- the 60 cents we were talking about -- but he also showed in the first indication his government's understanding that for many Nigerians, this is about much more than fuel. This is about transparency and accountability.

They've undertaken to set up a commission to not only look into but also charge any individuals found to be engaging in any fraud or malpractice relating to the fuel subsidies, but with those carrots came a pretty big stick. We saw an incredibly heavy military and police -- presence today on the street, which we were not allowed to film.

The federal government also threatened any civil service workers who came out on strike that they would lose their jobs. And even though the strikes have been suspended for now, some unions are asking their members to come out tomorrow and the government says that they will deal with any acts of dissent very strongly, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nima, I want to get you to respond just to some of the thoughts that we've been getting on our Facebook page, especially from our Nigerian viewers. A look at some of them today.

Sunkanmi wrote that "The protest is not about fuel price differences, but it's about making the government accountable to good governance."

Emmanuel wrote on our page that he's a Nigerian and he's happy with the government reduction in prices and that "Anyone who's still bent on carrying out rallies and protests on his or her own."

Dr. Poet said, "This little compromise by the president will definitely ease the protests and union strikes, but it won't stop the pending revolution that will soon sweep corruption off the face of the country."

And finally, Jackson wrote, "No, it's not enough. This is all corruption in the highest places. The little we enjoy as an oil-producing country is now taken away."

You can, of course, join our debate on our Facebook page.

Nima, does that tally with what you're hearing on the streets?

ELBAGIR: That absolutely does chime with what we're hearing here on the ground, Becky, that with this government's election having been called one of the most transparent and fair that Nigeria has seen, for this government to turn around and, in many Nigerian's eyes, to be carrying out the same practices of previous regimes, that really does seem like it's too much for many people here to bear.

Especially when this is Africa's largest oil producer, and people here feel like they're really getting absolutely no benefit from their country's incredible wealth, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, all right. So, the picture on the ground from Nima Elbagir in Lagos. Nima, thank you for that.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, of course, here on CNN. Just ahead, Pakistan's prime minister already faces pressure from the military. Now the Supreme Court is taking him to task and threatening his grip on power. That's next here on CNN.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered the prime minister to face a contempt of court hearing this week. Now, it's not the only challenge testing Yousuf Razz Gilani's grip on power. The government also locked in a war of words with the army as well as the judiciary.

Let's kick off this part of the show with Reza Sayah with more from Islamabad for you.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Supreme Court's contempt of court notice against Pakistani prime minister Yousuf Razz Gilani raises the temperature in the worst political crisis this country has seen in years and increases pressure on an already fragile civilian government.

The court issued the notice for the government's failure to re-open old corruption cases against current president Asif Ali Zardari. President Zardari was granted amnesty in 2007 by then-president Pervez Musharraf, but in 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that amnesty was unconstitutional.

IMTIAZ GUL, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, this is a dramatic notice, but not unexpected. What is unexpected is that the prime minister and the government would embark on a confrontationist path, and this is what they have done.

SAYAH: Thursday is going to be a crucial day here in the Supreme Court. The court has called on the prime minister to appear in person and to explain why the government has yet to follow the court's order.

If the Supreme Court is not satisfied with the prime minister's explanation, they could find him in contempt, which would immediately disqualify him from his post.

Does he have a good excuse?

GUL: Well, that's again a matter of discussion, basically. I don't know whether that's a good excuse or not, but if I owe my allegiance to the constitution, if I believe in the supremacy of the parliament and the democratic norms, then I think I should have no inhibition in going to the Supreme Court and explaining my position.

SAYAH: The Supreme Court's dramatic notice comes amid deepening rifts between Pakistan's institutions. The powerful military is also locked in a tense standoff against the civilian government after an unsigned memo was sent to Washington calling on the US to help avert a possible military coup and to curb the army's powers.

The government has denied sending the memo. Even so, it is now facing crushing power, and the spotlight is now squarely on Prime Minister Yousuf Razz Gilani. What happens from here, what happens to this government, will depend on what the prime minister has to say on Thursday when he appears here before the Supreme Court.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.


ANDERSON: Well, this deepening political row between the Pakistani government and its army and judiciary has led to renewed concerns over the stability of the country. Adding to strained relations between the military and the government, Prime Minister Gilani fired his defense secretary last week.

Now, in a newspaper interview, Gilani accused Pakistan's army chief of staff and the head of the ISI spy agency of violating the constitution. Now, keep in mind, Pakistan's military has ruled the country for more than half of its 64-year history through a series of coups and from behind the scenes.

The last military coup in Pakistan came, of course, in 1999 when General Pervez Musharraf overthrew the civilian government.

So, for more on Pakistan's political crisis, I'm joined by the former Pakistani ambassador to the UK and a regular guest on this show. Akbar Ahmed is one of the top thinkers in his field and a friend of the show joining me, now, from Washington.

Have we reached a tipping point, here, sir?

AKBAR AHMED, FORMER PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO THE UK: Thank you, Becky. I think we may have reached the point, Becky, because if you conceptualize the present drama in Islamabad, you see that the two points of the triangle that form the -- that forms the elite in Pakistan are now poised to confront the prime minister, the third point.

And that is always dangerous, because I don't know how long the prime minister can now stave off this pressure, and in the end, of course, the inevitable who may take place. We hope it doesn't, but that seems to be likely -- more likely, now.

ANDERSON: You think that's more likely than not, a military coup in Pakistan, now, do you?

AHMED: I think that the signs are not good. Right now, the people of Pakistan have no appetite for another martial law. They've just seen one only a couple of years ago, and that ended unhappily for Pakistan. It ended with processions and President Musharraf having to leave the country. So, Pakistanis don't want to repeat that.

At the same time, there is widespread disappointment at the performance of this particularly government, so while there may not be jubilation at a new martial law, there will also not be too many loud lamentations if this government falls.

ANDERSON: All right. I'm wondering whether Kayani, who runs the military, has the appetite for a military coup at this point. That's my first point. And Pakistan's political history, of course, has been rocky at best. Is there, sir, an obvious political leader in waiting here?

AHMED: Well, Becky, the question you are asking obviously has one obvious answer, and that is Imran Khan, who seems to have emerged leading - - he's of course known as this great charismatic cricketer, sports hero in Pakistan and on the international stage.

But he has emerged in the last couple of months as a major challenger to the political structures in Pakistan, and it's got a lot of people thinking about him. People well-known in politics are jumping ship, they're joining him, some well-known names from other parties.

And now, commentators are talking about the tsunami effect of Imran Khan, so he may be a viable alternative waiting in the wings.

ANDERSON: But until recently, he'd actually taken a back seat from day-to-day domestic politics. What about Pervez Musharraf, who is threatening to return to the country and get involved in domestic politics at the end of this month?

AHMED: Yes, he's planning to go back. He's been declaring his intention. The problem with that is that in Pakistan, the Pakistan army has always been consistently quite adamant that once the commander-in-chief leaves actual command, takes off his uniform, he very, very rarely has any influence on the army itself.

And you've seen many former commander-in-chiefs in Pakistan without any real authority.

ANDERSON: So, you're tipping Imran Khan as somebody, at least, to watch going forward. What sort of role or influence will Western powers have in Pakistani politics going forward? And of course I'm alluding here first and foremost to the US.

AHMED: The United States will always play an important role for many reasons, the economic relationship, the historical relationship. And of course, there's a mutual beneficial relationship that Pakistan and the United States have and will have.

At the same time, there is a high level of anti-Americanism is Pakistan, and any new dispensation in Islamabad will have to take that into account.

Also remember, Becky, there's a lot going on in that region. American is withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, it has seen itself playing a new role in that country. America's also in a confrontation with Iran, we don't know where that'll lead to.

So, you're seeing a lot happening in that region, and the next couple of months will be critical for Pakistan because we need right now in Pakistan a wise, compassionate leadership with vision. And that, unfortunately, is not happening because the focus of the leadership of Pakistan right now is in Islamabad and the drama that's being played out between these power brokers.

ANDERSON: Watch this space. Sir, we thank you for joining us, as ever. A regular guest on this show.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. When we come back, a decade of effort without success. The chocolate industry has been trying to stop child labor for years. Next, the shocking evidence that they are still a long way from winning the battle.


ANDERSON: For a decade, the chocolate industry has been promising to end child labor on cocoa forms. In an agreement signed ten years ago in the United States, industry representatives have vowed to protect vulnerable kids in West Africa.

Well now, in a special Freedom Project documentary airing this Friday here on CNN, we've obtained hard evidence that this issue is far from resolved. I want to kick off with David McKenzie, who's got the story for you.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On this farm, we find Abdul. He survived three years of work. He's just 10. He earns no wages for his work, he says. Just food, the occasional tip from the owner, and the torn clothes on his back.

Put in the simplest of terms, Abdul is a child slave.

We move away from the group so he can speak more freely and, through our translator, he tells us his story.

MCKENZIE (on camera): If he had a choice, he wouldn't work?

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Abdul says he's from neighboring Burkina Faso. When his father died, he says, a stranger brought him to Ivory Coast. Abdul has never eaten chocolate. He tells us he doesn't even know what cocoa is for.

We met Yaku (ph) on the same farm, also from Burkina Faso.

"My mother brought me when my father died," he tells me. Yaku insists he's 16, but he looks much younger. His legs bear machete scars from hours clearing the bush. The emotional scars seem much deeper.

"I wish I could just go to school," he says, "to learn to read and write." But Yaku says he's never spent a day in school.


ANDERSON: Well, that is part of David's documentary. We have seen some signs of improvement from the chocolate companies, recently, names that you'll recognize.

Nestle announced in November it's sending independent investigators into the Ivory Coast to investigate its supply chain there. The chocolate company says it's frustrated by the systems in place to fix the problems.

Well, Nestle's efforts bring it closer in line with Mars, which is committed to having all its cocoa sustainably harvested and certified by independent companies like the Rainforest Alliance by 2020. Mars will partner with Fair Trade in 2012 to certify their Maltesers brand in the UK and in Ireland.

And progress is happening literally bar by bar, brand by brand. Kraft-Cadbury now has fair trade certification on its Dairy Milk bar, one of its most popular products.

Well, these efforts are all appreciated. The problem is, the message, well, it doesn't seem to be getting through. CNN's Richard Quest, now, takes a look at why progress has been so slow in coming.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is a dark connection between the chocolate we enjoy and the child slavery in West Africa. Researchers have documented disturbing signs of forced labor and trafficking, children held against their will, many never paid.

Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer of cocoa. The US State Department estimates there are more than 100,000 children involved in the worst forms of child labor on cocoa farms throughout the country.

JUDY GEARHART, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL LABOR RIGHTS FORUM: This is trafficking. A child being trafficked, a child being forced to work. It doesn't get worse than that. I don't think it's -- it can't be just about are there enough of them. It's a serious abuse.

QUEST: According to an industry-wide agreement signed on September the 19th, 2001, this should not be the case. The Harkin-Engel Protocol was written to put an end to forced child labor in chocolate by 2005. That deadline had to be extended to 2008, and again to 2010. It's now been more than 10 years.

SEN. TOM HARKIN (D), IOWA: If these companies aren't willing to come forward and work with us and put some more money forward to get these kids out of the cocoa fields, I think they may face a really big backlash.

QUEST: Kevin Bales with Free the Slaves signed the protocol in 2001, along with leading companies in the cocoa market.

KEVIN BALES, FREE THE SLAVES: I am disappointed and, to a large part, it's a resource question. It's all about the fact that while several million dollars a year are moving from the chocolate industry in to work on the ground in West Africa, it's simply not enough to meet the size of the problem.

QUEST: CNN has spoken to the top chocolate and cocoa companies, inviting them to be on our air. They either declined or did not respond.

Those that did passed us along to the International Cocoa Initiative. The ICI was set up by the protocol to bring all parties together to address the worst forms of child labor in the supply chain.

JOANNA SCOTT, SPOKESWOMAN, COCOA AND CHOCOLATE COMPANIES: The progress isn't enough, and that's why we've joined force with other partners to this new framework of action, and we have -- we really believe we have to accelerate action, we have to do more, and we have a very challenging goal that we're all supporting.

QUEST: The goal now is to reduce the worst forms of child labor within the next years by 70 percent. However, the International Labor Rights Forum sees flaws within the cocoa initiative.

GEARHART: The idea that companies can join an initiative and sit behind that initiative I don't think answers the real question. It's not the same as getting companies to step forward and transparently say "this is what we are doing."

QUEST: Richard Quest, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: As you can see, it's been a story of missed targets and missed deadlines, and the buck keeps getting passed to the International Cocoa Initiative. Well, earlier, I asked its executive director why we were still not seeing results. This is what he said.


NICK WEATHERILL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL COCOA INITIATIVE: The targets that were originally set were very, very ambitious, and I think as we've taken time to understand the complexity of the problem, when we start talking about social change and political change, as well, I think we will understand that those are not overnight processes that can take root, particularly in a country like Cote d'Ivoire.

At the same time, I think the progress that has been made -- you refer to three percent of communities and so forth, this is the communities where we as ICI are working. These are -- the role of ICI is, really, to be a catalyst, to demonstrate what can work and then to influence the actions of others to scale them up and apply them at a broader level.

And frankly, I think the conditions in Cote d'Ivoire for that scale-up just haven't been in place up until now.

ANDERSON: Sure. So, it's a failure.

WEATHERILL: It's not a failure. I think progress has been made and now, the question is, do we have the alignment of all the necessary factors to really sort of make the most of the momentum that we've gained?


ANDERSON: You can watch the world premier of this CNN Freedom Project investigation on Friday. "Chocolate's Child Slaves" airs 8:00 PM in London and 9:00 PM in Berlin.

Our Parting Shots tonight, well, it was the 69th annual Golden Globes awards on Sunday night, of course, in LA to celebrate the brightest talents from film and TV. Stealing the show, a black and white silent movie, "The Artist," picked up three prizes, including Best Film and Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical.

For more on some of the night's top gongs, we're going to leave you with this, tonight, "Showbiz Tonight's" AJ Hammer with more for you.


RICKY GERVAIS, HOST, GOLDEN GLOBES: Nervous? Don't be. This isn't about you.

AJ HAMMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT, "SHOBIZ TONIGHT" (voice-over): Right out of the gate, the Golden Globes were about host Ricky Gervais, and the acid-tongued Brit started off by taking a shot at the show itself.

GERVAIS: The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton.

HAMMER: "Showbiz Tonight" can report that neither Kardashian nor Middleton were at the ceremony was, but Madonna was, and Gervais took aim in one of the night's feistiest moments.

GERVAIS: And she's just like a virgin.

MADONNA: If I'm still just like a virgin, Ricky, then why don't you come over here and do something about it?

HAMMER: And although he likely made NBC network execs sweat, Gervais wasn't the entire focus of the show. After all, there were plenty of awards to hand out.

HAMMER (on camera): Out here on the red carpet, obviously everybody buzzing with anticipation about who would walk home with a Golden Globe tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The Descendent."


HAMMER (voice-over): "The Descendents" and "The Artist" took top film honors.



HAMMER: While "Homeland" and "Modern Family" were TV's big winners. "Showbiz Tonight" can report that the Globes were not without unscripted moments. Meryl Streep forget her glasses during her acceptance speech.

MERYL STREEP, GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER: Oh, I'm going to have to remember my speech.

HAMMER: And George Clooney took the stage, imitating his walking- cane-reliant buddy Brad Pitt.

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: I have to give it back to him. He can't make it to the bar.

HAMMER: Where, perhaps, Pitt bought a drink for Clooney, who later won for Best Actor in a Drama in "The Descendents."

CLOONEY: Thank you.

HAMMER: Making Hollywood's leading man a leading contender for Oscar gold.

AJ Hammer, CNN, Los Angeles.


ANDERSON: Roll on those Oscars. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" up after this. Stay with us.