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CONNECT THE WORLD
Daring Raid Inside Somalia; Interview with Raila Odinga; Captain Gives Deposition; Second Leg of King's Cup Quarterfinals; Bittersweet Anniversary in Egypt; The Fall of Hosni Mubarak; Hidden Warfare in Egypt's Back Streets; Egypt's Progress; Egypt One Year Later; UK Economy Shrank; World Economic Forum Begins; Parting Shots of Long Island Conference on Cypress
Aired January 25, 2012 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Safe at last -- U.S. Special Forces free two hostages in Somalia. Tonight, in an exclusive interview, Kenya's prime minister urges the world to do more to restore the region's security.
Live from London, I'm Becky Anderson.
Also tonight, a year after Egyptians demanded the ousting of their detested dictator, two filmmakers reveal the horrors of a revolution fought in the back streets of Cairo.
And in his own words, the captain of the stricken Costa Concordia gives his version of what happened on that fateful night.
First up tonight, the White House calls it a message to the world that the abduction of Americans will not be tolerated. We begin with new details of a daring raid deep inside Somalia.
U.S. officials say a hostage situation had become urgent, so Special Forces swooped in to rescue two aid workers who were kidnapped in the town of Galkayo back in October. The raid took place in Gadaado, about two hours away. Nine gunmen were killed in the strike. The hostages and commandoes made it out safely.
Well, the Pentagon says the aid workers, one American and one Danish, are now being treated in a regional medical facility.
U.S. vice president, Joe Biden, says health factors were an important consideration in authorizing the raid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM THE "TODAY" SHOW, COURTESY NBC)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It had been in the works for a while, Matt. And the president authorized it yesterday because the Special Operations Forces said this was the time. Jessica's health was beginning to decline. She's a young woman in her 30s, so we wanted to act. And -- and they did. And the follow -- the president followed the recommendations. As I was leaving the White House last night, we were in The Situation Room, it was actually underway. And it was, once again, a remarkable testament to the Special Operations Forces. These guys are absolutely incredible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the operation was still underway when President Barack Obama walked into Congress last night to deliver his State of the Union Address. He knew the hostages were in safe hands, which explains this brief exchange with his Defense secretary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Leon, good job tonight. Good job tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, President Obama didn't mention the raid in his speech, but he did praise the Navy SEALS who tracked down and killed Osama bin Laden earlier last year. It turns out members of that very same unit were involved in the Somalia operation.
I want to bring in our -- our U.S. State Department correspondent on this story, Jill Dougherty for you.
What do we know of the details of this raid at this point -- Jill?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a pretty amazing story, Becky. You know, as you mentioned, it was the Navy SEALs and also other members of a Special Operations team. They went into Somalia under cover of darkness, went in and raided that compound where the two were being held, the two aid workers.
We're told that they had to basically fight their way in. There was a firefight. They killed nine of these people who are being described not as terrorists, but actually criminals who were -- who had kidnapped and were holding them, apparently for ransom or some other purpose.
So they killed the people -- people who were held -- holding them, took them out, put them on helicopters. And now those two aid workers -- and that is Jessica Buchanan, 32 years old, and Poul Hagen Thisted, who is a Danish citizen. He's 60 years old. And they were taken out. They were being given medical treatment and are going to be reunited with their families.
So it's quite an extraordinary story. And, you know, Becky, I was talking with some of the aid organizations that have people in that region. And they were describing how dangerous it can be. There are some parts of Somalia that are relatively safe. But there are certainly, especially around that area where they were kidnapped, there -- there -- as one person described it, kind of on the -- the border of the safe area and getting into some very dangerous areas.
All right, Jill with the very latest there out of Washington.
We thank you very much, indeed, for that.
We don't know whether the gunmen killed in the raid had any links to piracy, which, of course, is huge in the region. But the international community has been pouring huge resources into fighting the problem off the Horn of Africa. And the measures seem, at least for the moment, to be making some difference.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, the number of successful hijackings off Somalia has fallen. In 2010, 49 ships were hijacked by pirates. Last year, that number dropping to just 28.
All the more significant given that the number of actual attacks was on the rise. Last year, there were 237 pirate attacks compared with just 219 in 2010.
So it seems, at least, those involved are turning their attention to land, as the increased patrols at sea make hijackings more difficult. The land attacks are moving beyond Somalia.
September of last year, gunmen raided the Kiwayu Safari Village in Kenya, killing a Briton and his wife, taking his wife hostage. A month later, six armed men stormed a house in the Kenya island of Manda. They took a 66 -year-old French woman hostage there. A week later, she was reported to have been killed.
And just last week, gunmen kidnapped an American in the Somalia town of Galkayo. There are suggestions the man's guards had ties to the gang who took him.
Well, tourism is a huge source of income for Kenya, so it's extremely concerned that Somali gunmen have begun kidnapping foreigners on Kenyan shores.
Earlier, I had an exclusive interview with Kenyan prime minister, Raila Odinga. I asked him whether he welcomes U.S., and, indeed, possible NATO involvement in fighting Somali armed gangs.
This is what he told me.
RAILA ODINGA, KENYA PRIME MINISTER: We want to congratulate the U.S. Navy for this timely action that has accrued the freedom of those two hostages. We would really like to see more concerted international efforts in dealing with issues of international terrorism. This action will send a very clear signal to the ultra bam (ph) that it don't matter how long they hold its hostages, the international community will continue to keep them on the radar.
ANDERSON: Would I be right in saying that you can see, you can imagine more U.S. and NATO activity on the ground in Somalia going forward and you accept that, do you, and you support it?
ODINGA: Certainly, yes. As I say, we are very happy with this action. We hope that probably, belatedly, the U.S. is now acting, probably because its own citizens who are held hostage in Somalia. But this action, (INAUDIBLE)
Might more positive action by the U.S. and by NATO.
ANDERSON: What do you say to your detractors, who accuse Kenya of waging a proxy war in Somalia on behalf of the United States?
ODINGA: Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the United States has said that they were never even consulted. This was taken basically purely on the basis of our own strategic national interests, because our own national security was under threat by the activities of Al Shabab.
As you know, as a neighboring country, we have desisted from sending our own troops into Somalia, so that other countries, like Uganda, Burundi, are the only ones who are sending their troops into Somalia.
But it has reached a stage where our own national security was under threat. And that's the reason why we say that we don't have to seek permission from anybody.
I think somebody is being very unfair to the United States by accusing them that we are doing a proxy war on their behalf. That is totally unfounded.
ANDERSON: There is a risk, of course, to tourists now, as we've seen, pirates taking hostages from land as well as sea.
How big is that risk?
What's your message to any tourist thinking about using Kenya as a vacation spot in the months to come?
ODINGA: Since our troops went into Somalia, they have not been any attacks on any of our tourist installations. So I would want to give an assurance here that tourists are actually safe in Kenya.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Prime Minister Raila Odinga of Kenya speaking to me earlier from Davos, where he is attending the World Economic Forum, as are many politicians and business leaders from around the world.
We're going to do more on that story, of course, later this hour.
First, the killing, then, of bin Laden, now a dramatic rescue in a lawless land. It's been a year of what some will see as stellar successes for the Navy SEALS. You can learn more about what are an elite group of U.S. commandoes on the Web site. Just click CNN.com for that depth and breadth on the top story of the day for you. let's get more now on the tactics used to fight pirates and armed gangs in the area.
We're joined by Tim Hart, who's a maritime security analyst.
These aid workers, Tim, were rescued in what was a daring raid by U.S. SEALS.
Were you surprised to learn of the SEALS' involvement on the ground there?
TIM HART, MARITIME SECURITY ANALYST: It's certainly quite a significant raid. I mean Somali pirates in their nature and these gangs on shore are remarkably paranoid about this kind of raid, not just from international forces, but also from the local government forces and even from other gangs trying to -- trying to steal what they see as their prized cargo.
So the -- the fact that these -- these gangs -- well, that this operation was able to carry on when Somali gangs often move daily, if not regularly, every few hours to try and conceal their movements. That means that it was a very meticulously planned and intelligence led operation.
ANDERSON: Who are these gangs?
Who are -- who are the men who are members of these gangs?
Who bankrolls them, for example?
HART: Well, I mean the gang structure has really developed. Is the question of exploded as soon as the piracy situation really took off back in 2008. And these gangs have become extremely large, extremely widespread.
And -- and for that reason, they've got a huge amount of personnel and -- and a huge amount of resources are required to keep these gangs going. So there are kind of international players and there are people from outside who do fund the gangs and that have used them to go out and attempt to hijack vessels.
Now, these gangs are struggling to hijack vessels now, and so they're -- they need to find other sources of revenue. And so this is why we're seeing kind of an increased approach to try and find other ways in which they can bring money in to the -- the larger gangs.
ANDERSON: And what are they bringing money in for?
I mean are we -- are we talking about a bunch of thugs here?
Or are we talking about men who are loosely affiliated, at worst, and -- and -- and very much affiliated, at best, with -- with Al Shabab, for example?
HART: I mean that's a -- that's a very -- kind of a large question and an extremely difficult one to answer. But in terms of who they're affiliated to, these are guys who are criminals. And they are not really affiliated at all to those kind of -- those kind of groups. Those groups will keep themselves separate and the gangs will keep themselves separate, because they don't wish to be affiliated with them.
These are criminal gangs who are seeking to make money. They will have to make money to -- for the larger gangs to -- to receive a larger cut. And for the guys on the ground, it's an opportunity to make a way in the kind of society which Somalia is and which they can gain an extra kind of -- an extra kind of wage and a guaranteed income, which they would otherwise not receive.
And for many, it's -- it's an opportunity which they really can't turn down.
ANDERSON: You rightly allude to the successes in reducing sea-based incidents, by these subs, let's call them, as opposed to pirates, which almost gives them a sense of sort of romanticism, I guess.
So there's been this success with these sea-based incidents, which we see as -- as much lower, very decreased over the past year or so, although the attacks are on the rise.
What we have learned about those who are conducting these attacks that -- that might help those in the region reduce these land-based attacks which are now happening?
HART: Well, what we do know is that they are still made up of the same -- the same kind of guys. And what they're trying to do is still, as they say, they are very much dependent on outside investors providing them with the equipment and the resources they need to go out and hijack vessels. And again, they are determined to go out there and it is motivated simply by profit.
This makes it, you know, important to realize when they're trying to look at opportunities in which we can stop them.
So it is more difficult and more expensive for them to hold hostages in a certain way, then they must do a simple cost-benefit analysis and try and find other ways in which they can make money.
For that reason, you can -- you can start to put together ways in which we can start stopping them.
So things that were -- things that have worked, at sea, for example, disruption of the pirate skiffs, which have been conducted by the naval forces, that way, you can reduce their resources. You can take away weapons. You can take away fuel and also the skiffs, in which case you can send them back to the coast. Yes, you've not managed to take -- take any into custody, but you have taken a financial toll on them, in which case that's going to have some sort of impact in future and the investors are going to be more and more disappointed.
Tim, we thank you for that, your expert on the subject tonight and our top story, of course.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.
Still to come this hour, a year on, what's changed?
Thousands of Egyptians take part in rallies to mark the first anniversary of their revolution. But not everyone is celebrating.
Then, under oath -- what the captain of the Costa Concordia says he did right as thousands of people fought for their lives on his capsized ship.
And the final four -- the top men in the world face-off at the Australian Open and the dream team match-up of Nidal and Federer is just hours away.
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN, the world's news leader.
Now, thousands of Egyptians flooded Cairo's Tahrir Square on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the country's revolution. Many of those in the crowd were women.
While their rights have improved, some feel reforms have not gone far enough. The protests, which began a year ago, toppled President Hosni Mubarak, but the military is still in power and that frustrates many Egyptians.
For so many of us, Tahrir Square, of course, has been the heart of this revolution. But coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD, we're going to bring a different view, from the back streets of Cairo. Two filmmakers talk about the horrors they witnessed away from the media spotlight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OMAR SHARGAWI, DIRECTOR, "1/2 REVOLUTION": The worst times we had was once when we got arrested and beaten up by police and was thrown into a truck. And on the way to the desert sitting in the truck with -- with the people who got shot and blood all over the floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Yes, well that's coming up in about 15 minutes time. And do stay with us for that. A look at Cairo a year on.
A look now at some of the other stories that are connecting the world for you tonight.
And the Syrian government is blaming terrorists for killing a top Red Crescent official in Syria today. Opposition activists say more than a dozen other people were also killed in new violence across the country. Now, the Syrian government has agreed to extend the Arab League's monitoring mission by a month. Critics say the observers are providing the regime cover to continue what is a deadly crackdown.
Less than a week before the U.S. battleground state of Florida holds its Republican presidential primary, new poll numbers shows a statistical tie exists now between the two leading candidates. A new CNN/"Time"/ORC Poll shows a big surge by Newt Gingrich. Thirty-four percent of likely voters say they will now support him. That leaves him a few points behind the frontrunner, Mitt Romney, but still within the margin of error. Voters in Florida head to the polls on Tuesday. That's going to be an exciting one, that.
Well, the captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, has given an official statement of what happened the day the ship crashed into ricks and capsized last Friday. Francesco Schettino gave a deposition to prosecutors, defense attorneys and the judge, admitting some blame, but largely defending his actions in the crash that killed at least 16 people.
CNN's Dan Rivers reports.
DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: CNN and other media organizations have obtained this -- which is 126 pages of Captain Schettino's deposition to prosecutors. It's his side of the story, his account of what happened that fateful night, on Friday the 13th, the night that the Costa Concordia crashed into rocks off Giglio Island.
Now, Captain Schettino maintains that he wasn't going too fast, claiming that 15 knots was a normal cruising speed that would enable him to get to Savona on time. He does admit, though, making that one fateful mistake, hitting the rock. But after that, he says his actions were entirely in line with normal nautical maneuvers, the decision to put the ship on the rocks was designed to help passengers get off. He talks about tripping onto a life raft as he was trying to help other passengers escape, suddenly realizing he'd been separated from his ship.
Along the way through, he denies that he had abandoned his ship deliberately. But this will be key evidence in any subsequent court case, which will probably take many months.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Dan Rivers reporting for you.
All right, Ecuadoran health officials say they are aggressively investigating reports of clinics accused of using torture to cure homosexuality. CNN was granted access to one clinic in December and we also spoke to a young gay woman who described what happened five years ago after her family contacted the center.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAOLA CONCHA, ALLEGED VICTIM: On December 8 of 2006, they stormed into my house, overpowered me. They put me inside a van and took me to a so-called therapeutic center. By the time I got there, I was already handcuffed and beat up.
I was kept in handcuffs for more than three months. I would be left without food for more than three or four days. They would handcuff me in a bathroom to a toilet bowl, facing a toilet that was used by 60 people at the center.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, as soon as CNN visited the Bridge to Life center, the Ecuadoran government says that two raids there have freed, they say, over 40 people and the clinic has been shut down for alleged human rights violations.
Well, the fifth Clasico of the season is underway, as Barcelona and Real Madrid do battle in the King's Cup quarter-finals.
Pedro is with me after this with the very latest on that.
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London, where it is 25 minutes past nine.
I'm Becky Anderson for you.
Now, Barcelona and Real Madrid currently battling the second leg of the King's Cup quarterfinals. That is amid reports that Real bought Jose Mourinho, who wants to leave the club at season's end due to unrest in the dressing room and internal politics.
The man who knows more about this than you will ever know, I guess -- he's probably forgot more about this story than you'll ever know. And he's going to help us out.
It's Pedro Pinto in the house with me this evening.
The score at the moment?
PEDRO PINTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 0-0 so far, about midway through the first half. Barcelona won the first leg, 2-1, at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid playing brightly so far. I've been watching the match. They've had a couple of chances. Playing a lot better than in the first leg in Madrid. But right now, if it ends like this, it will be Barcelona going through to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.
I wanted to tell you about the Mourinho story because it's something we've been following. And it's a story of leaks, Becky. There's...
PINTO: -- there's a leak it to the press that involves the Real Madrid players not happy with the way has been allegedly favoring the Portuguese contingent. And then there was a leak saying that as a result of that, Mourinho was considering leaving Real Madrid at the end of the year.
PINTO: It depends what happens until then. A lot of matches still to be played. But it's a tension -- it's a tension filled position, the Real Madrid manager one. There's a lot of internal politics at the club, as well.
PINTO: And a lot of longstanding directors at the club haven't been particularly happy with his overall image and some of the actions he's had this season.
ANDERSON: Well, you can rely on Pedro to keep you back up to date with those leaks, as it were. That's when he gets them on the story.
PINTO: Hey, it's not a WikiLeak, it's a Jose leak, I guess. So that's the story there in Madrid.
ANDERSON: The big story in a couple of hours, of course, will be at the Aussie Open.
PINTO: Of course. We have Roger and Rafa, that being Federer and Nadal, going head-to-head.
And these are, Becky, it would be fair to say, two of the best players of all time. They combine already for 26 grand slam titles, Federer with 16 of those.
Curiously, 26 is also the number of times that they've played each other. And you might be surprised to hear that Rafa has a 17-9 advantage, which is quite a clear advantage over Federer...
PINTO: -- in those head-to-head meetings. They're playing in the semi-finals of the Australian Open and Thursday. The other semi will take place between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
But as far as Rafael versus Roger, the last time they played -- and the only time they've played, actually, at the Australian Open, was back in the 2009 final, a thrilling five second counter.
PINTO: It was the one where Roger Federer actually cried when he lost to Rafa in five sets. So everyone is expecting those guys to go at it...
PINTO: -- and give us another classic.
ANDERSON: Curiously, I'm 26 today.
PINTO: Yes. Today.
ANDERSON: Great, is it?
PINTO: Well, I...
ANDERSON: How about that?
PINTO: -- won't even say...
ANDERSON: -- 26 all around.
PINTO: -- happy birthday. You're lying.
ANDERSON: Pedro is with us on CNN, of course, in an hour with "WORLD SPORT".
More from your man then.
Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, classes in Tahrir Square a year ago. But away from the place that became the face of the revolution, two filmmakers captured an even darker side. An interview that I conducted with those filmmakers is just ahead.
Then, the German chancellor takes center stage at the World Economic Forum with a warning for the rest of Europe and the world.
And welcome to the small, snowy town of Manhasset on Long Island. We'll reveal why it's hosting peace talks for another island thousands of miles away.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. It's time for a check of the headlines for you.
US officials say two hostages rescued from Somalia are receiving treatment at a regional medical facility. US commandos freed the aid workers in a pre-dawn raid that killed all nine captives.
Egyptians are marking one year since the launch of the revolution. There was a sense of satisfaction that President Hosni Mubarak was driven from office, but the slow pace of reform troubles many Egyptians, who want the military to cede power immediately.
Syrian activists say at least 16 people were killed on Wednesday in clashes across the country. Among them, the head of a local Red Crescent branch reportedly shot and killed on the road from Damascus to Idlib.
The front-runner for the US Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, has some company at the top. A new CNN/Time/ORC poll just out shows he is now statistically tied with Newt Gingrich in Florida, which holds its primary on Tuesday.
Egyptians are celebrating a bittersweet year in the nation's history. Their revolt last year toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak, of course, and it has gradually ushered in the first stages of democracy, with many hailing the success of an Islamist party -- or parties -- in the first post-Mubarak elections.
But the military remains in power while presidential elections are set for June. Many Egyptians are concerned about the slow pace of reform. We've seen the images from Egypt's Tahrir Square today. I want to rewind 12 months to see how this revolution first unfolded in the weeks that led to what was the fall of Hosni Mubarak.
(PEOPLE SHOUTING IN ARABIC)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom! And we're going to take our freedom! We're going to take it!
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Basically, the crowd of protesters has taken over Tahrir Square, the heart of Cairo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mubarak destroyed our country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't want him!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen to the people --
UNIDENTIFEID MALE: We don't want him!
WEDEMAN: And this is the first time that we've seen that the army has stayed out of any civil disturbances since 1985.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is no question that after days and nights of protests here in Tahrir Square, this is the biggest gathering we have seen yet.
WEDEMAN: What you are hearing them say is "Yruuhi (ph), yruuhi." In Arabic, it means "Go! Go!"
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We saw President Mubarak coming forward saying he is not, in fact, stepping down.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When he made that statement, people broke out into screams and shouts of outrage. They removed their shoes and began waving them in the air. That, the ultimate insult in the Arab world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe he doesn't understand the language of his people, so I am telling him in English, please go away!
WATSON: A phalanx of men on horseback and on camels, and they charged through from the pro-regime side directly into the opposition, flogging people as they went, and it's been an all-out battle ever since.
WEDEMAN: We're right on Tahrir Square at what is a mosque that a few days ago was turned into a makeshift field hospital for people wounded in clashes and protests and whatnot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our freedom! This is Hosni Mubarak! That's what he does!
WATSON: More than 300 people have been killed since these protests started more than two and a half weeks ago.
HOSNI MUBARAK, PRESIDENT OF EGYPT (through translator): I, President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, have decided to step down as president of Egypt.
WATSON: Look at these scenes of euphoria and celebration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the first time, Egypt has a chance to be democratic, to be free, to have a sense of -- Egyptians to have a sense of dignity, of freedom.
ANDERSON: Well, Tahrir Square, of course, was the center stage for the revolution that started a year ago today on January the 25th, and to the wider world, the violence appeared to be concentrated in that area.
But for many Egyptians, Tahrir Square was in fact the safest place to be. In tonight's big interview, I speak to two filmmakers who captured the horror of the hidden warfare that was taking place in Cairo's back streets, away from the media spotlight.
Directors Omar Shargawi and Karim El Hakim spoke to me from the Sundance Film Festival, where they are premiering their documentary, "1/2 Revolution."
KARIM EL HAKIM, DIRECTOR, "1/2 REVOLUTION": We went down there in the street, we started seeing the action happening all around us, and it was escalating.
The first night got quite violent late at night, so we realized -- and that was actually the night we got arrested, and a lot of things happened to us and to people around us, and we realized that we were in the middle of a story and, in fact, we were the center of the story.
And we started to kind of intertwine our own existence with the events that were happening on the street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you OK, man?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put this on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, do you have (expletive deleted).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had it on. I just got gassed, though.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: where's Samaher?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No idea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't come down here, because there's just violence and they're gassing everybody.
OMAR SHARGAWI, DIRECTOR, "1/2 REVOLUTION": At the same time, for us, the most -- the best way to stay safe for us was being in the middle of it, in the streets and being among the demonstrators.
It was the worst -- the worst times we had was once when we got arrested and beaten up by police and were thrown into a truck and on our way to the desert sitting in the truck with people who got shot and blood all over the floors.
And also the nights. We were sitting inside our apartments not being able to go out because our streets were crawling with thugs and secret police. The best way and the safest place to be was being in the street. At least that's how it felt, because there was -- at least some way you could stay in control of your own destiny.
ANDERSON: Take me back, Karim. Your emotions at the time?
HAKIM: Oh, it was just fantastic emotional roller coaster, and I think that we managed to kind of portray that in the film. This film is really not about the revolution per se, the revolution is, in a sense, a backdrop to a human story of a group of friends stuck in a very intense situation.
So, our emotions were going from happy to fearful to anxiety to paranoid all within a couple of hours. So, we've strung along kind of these scenes where you see our characters reacting to this situation on the ground, and it really brings it home, and I think people can really relate to this.
ANDERSON: You called the documentary "1/2 Revolution." What do you mean by that?
HAKIM: "1/2 Revolution" has many -- many layers of meaning, but certainly we feel that the revolution has not been complete yet. We're in the middle of it. It's not over.
SHARGAWI: At the same time, it also became a half revolution for us in the sense that we had to leave in the end. We decided to leave, Karim, I, and Karim's wife, because it was -- it became too dangerous to stay.
SHARGAWI: It's even worse, now, because it's -- one year ago, you had a united Egypt. All the different groups, all the political groups, religious groups, who had this mutual goal of getting rid of Mubarak.
Now, the country's split and people divided, and the army is still in power. Even though we had the elections and if the army is at the end of the day still completely in control of Egypt and the promise to give the people the power after half a year, and they haven't. And there's no signs that they're going to.
ANDERSON: What will it take to make this a successful revolution?
HAKIM: Well, we feel that in a sense, the people that began the revolution were secularists, youth groups, workers. And then you've got (inaudible).
HAKIM: In a sense, the revolution hasn't started (inaudible).
HAKIM: We've seen the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and some collusion between them and the army. It's going to take time.
It's going to be a process where the police, the Interior Ministry, the army itself, many of the institutions of the country need to be cleaned and need to be reformed. And I think that will be a long process, but we have hope.
And certainly the main thing that really has changed in Egypt are the people themselves. They've managed to destroy this wall of fear that they were living under with Mubarak for over 30 years, and this really gives me hope.
I think you'll start to see some movement over the next few months and certainly into next year.
ANDERSON: All right. The thoughts, there, of two filmmakers who really took their lives in their hands to document what was going on this time last year.
I want to get you a report card, as it were, now on just how far Egypt has come since the revolution a year ago.
The country's government has made some progress by holding elections, and parliament met for the first time this week. But the government has yet to reform the constitution, security in Egypt is not so good, protests continue. Thousands demonstrated in Tahrir Square on Wednesday, and Human Rights Watch reports several cases of sectarian violence.
But the 30-year-long state of emergency has been partially lifted. Egypt is also facing considerable economic problems, as you'll be well aware. The country is facing mounting debt, slow economic growth, high inflation, and shrinking foreign reserves.
That's where we stand at present. My colleague, Ben Wedeman, is an expert on the region. He's been in Cairo for years, covered the protests and the revolution for us, of course, here at CNN. Joining me live tonight from Egypt's capital, and you've been down or are down in Tahrir Square, Ben, this evening. What's -- how would you describe the atmosphere tonight in Cairo?
WEDEMAN (via telephone): Well, tonight the crowd is beginning to thin out in Tahrir Square, but there are still people up on the stages calling for the military to step down, calling for transition -- rapid transition to civilian rule.
Today, the atmosphere in Tahrir was -- today was festive, even though the activists had said it's a period of mourning, given all the people who've been killed since the beginning of the revolution. It's not a time to celebrate.
But certainly, the number of people we saw in Tahrir, at certain points, it was absolutely crammed with people. It was a reaffirmation of the power of the street, and many of the activists had complained that the -- democracy is not just casting a ballot, it's going out in the street and making yourself heard, and that certainly what they've succeeded in doing this evening.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Ben Wedeman with what is an unfinished revolution. Ben, when you think back to where you were and how you were covering this story this time last year, a year ago today, is Egypt where you thought it would be?
WEDEMAN: A year ago, nobody knew where Egypt was going. In fact, a year ago, nobody really even imagined that it would only take 18 days to bring down Hosni Mubarak. It interrupted lives.
Since he stepped down on the 11th of February last year, we've seen repeated street violence in downtown Cairo on a number of occasions. People were expecting a much faster transition to civilian rule.
I think the thing that has many people concerned is the economy. This is a country where many people live day to day, and their main concern is not necessarily demonstrations or freedom or democracy, it's a functioning economy, and at the moment, the economy is not functioning very well.
Tourism has taken a real hit. In fact, somebody who works in the tourism industry told me last night that there used to be 400 Nile cruise boats operating, now it's only 40. 4,500 Egyptian factories have been closed down in the last year.
This is really the problem that's facing Egypt most directly at the moment for the great majority of people, it's bread and butter issues that really count at the moment, not necessarily freedom.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman's in Cairo for you tonight. Ben, we thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. His analysis there, always a pleasure to listen to. Ben, thank you for that.
Up next, the British economy. Well, that appears to be moving backwards. Richard Quest is at the World Economic Forum in snowy Switzerland digesting news that the UK could be headed for a double-dip recession. That and more coming up.
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DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: These are disappointing figures. They're not unexpected figures. They're what the office of Budget Responsibility forecast, a small decline in GDP at the end of last year.
But I'll be frank with you, honorable gentlemen. I think they reflect three things. They reflect the overhang of the debt and the deficit that we have to deal with.
CAMERON: They reflect the higher food and fuel prices that put a squeeze on household income toward the end of last year. And yes, they also reflect the crisis in the eurozone that has frozen Europe's economies.
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ANDERSON: The British prime minister, there, reacting to news that his country, this country's economy shrank in the last quarter of 2011. If the first quarter of this year, 2012, follows suit, then Britain would be headed for an official double-dip recession.
Not exactly what world leaders want to hear as they gather in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, of course. Well, for her part, Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged signs of life in Germany's economic sector, but in her opening address to the Forum, she also said Germany will not risk its position by making promises that it can't keep.
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ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): People believe that Germany is particularly strong. True, Germany is particularly -- is quite strong, it's particularly big compared to others, but it's not as if we were saying we don't wish to show solidarity, we are not willing to enter into binary commitments.
That is not true. We have said right from the start that we wish to stand up for the euro. But what we don't want is a situation where we are forced to promise something that, in the end, we will not be able to fulfill.
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ANDERSON: Angela Merkel also said that Europe should prepare for tighter rules on debt. Can she get the rest of the eurozone onboard?
My colleague, Richard Quest, is watching all of this from Davos and joins us now, live. I'm not sure she said anything that I hadn't necessarily heard before, but what a platform to deliver this speech on. Richard, you've been getting reaction to Merkel's comments. How are they being received?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right, Becky. She didn't move a jot from her traditional position. But what she did do, and you heard it very clearly in that part that you just played, what she did do was become much more conversational.
She explained why she was taking this position. She explained that she was not prepared to have a lowest common denominator on competitiveness. She explained why she wanted greater fiscal, political, economic union.
And ultimately, she did make it clear that she was not going to go any further in bailing out the other countries than she'd already gone.
When I asked Stephen King, the chief economist at HSBC, who joined me here in Davos, what he made of it, he was quite clear where Chancellor Merkel's policies now stood.
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STEPHEN KING, CHIEF ECONOMIST, HSBC: Germans don't want to be faced with the whole entire bill for bailing out the eurozone. At the same time, if the eurozone isn't sorted out, then Germany's economy itself will suffer.
So, in one sense, time is running out, because ultimately if Spain, Portugal, Italy, and so on really suffer, German experts will also be hit pretty hard, and the German economy facing a recession.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Yes, that's interesting, isn't it, Richard? When he alludes there to exports and the German economy.
We heard from the British prime minister a few minutes ago, reacting to a contraction of the British economy in the last quarter of 2011. Now, given the sort of business that Britain does with Europe and the US, what are the experts saying about the possibility of a double-dip recession here in the UK and its impact elsewhere?
QUEST: Well, firstly, most people expect that there's a high probability that Q1 of 2012, the quarter we are now in, will show negative, and that will give the technical double-dip.
But if you accept the view that the eurozone recession will be shallow and short-lived and mild, then the UK should be able to pull out of it.
The fact is, though, the UK is still engulfed in some of the harshest austerity, except of course, for Greece and maybe Spain, Italy, and Ireland.
QUEST: But of the growing countries and those of reasonable fiscal robustness, the UK has got the most austerity --
QUEST: -- and that is going to be a drag on the UK economy.
ANDERSON: Let me just allude to the US economy, here, while we're going around the world, as it were. It took center stage, of course, in President Obama's State of the Union address last night, kicking off his 2011 election campaign.
Today, the US Fed, the Federal Reserve, announced that it would hold interest rates near zero for nearly three more years. Not keeping us guessing anymore, like they used to. What does that tell us about expectations for a US recovery, do you think?
QUEST: The US, the Fed described a recovery as moderately strong to moderate growth. But this is the crucial bit. It said in its statement that the growth has been modest would not be enough to bring down unemployment, and the Fed has this dual mandate, price stability, holding inflation, and unemployment or full employment.
So, that's why -- and it's quite dramatic, Becky. They've added another year, from 2013 to 2014. And now we have this new bit of reporting where they tell us how the Federal Open Markets Committee, the decision makers, believe interest rates will go in the future.
So, the Fed has -- from being an organization that was like a bunker, which you never really knew anything about their thoughts, their plans, their projections. Now, they've become promiscuous in handing out the information.
You've not only got the statement, you've got a forecast, you've got the press conference, and now you have the projections of the FOMC. So, for Fed watchers, it's a whole new world.
ANDERSON: Richard, thank you for that. More from Richard Quest, cnn.com, you'll find an awful lot of material there, depth and breadth across the board on what is going on on top of that hill in Switzerland.. The World Economic Forum, of course, is where Richard is in Davos.
So it's been Ban Ki-moon used to high-level meetings in the media spotlight. This week, he headed to a secluded estate on Long Island for some important work. Find out why he was there, up next.
ANDERSON: UN peace talks aimed at reunifying Cypress have ended in New York with, yet again, plans for more meetings. Well, Cypress has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to what was a Greek military coup.
This week's discussions took place in what was a unique setting far away from the island of Cypress. In tonight's Parting Shots, Richard Roth reports on how it takes an island to try and resolve an age-old dispute on what is another island, as it were.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The snowy suburban New York town of Manhasset, Long Island.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning.
ROTH: Not where you would expect to find the United Nations Secretary-General. Long Island hosted peace talks about another faraway island, a divided one, Cypress.
Naturally, residents have heard about the international visitors in their midst.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm 18 and I have no clue.
ROTH: The UN uses the estate for retreats and conferences. With such a long-running intractable crisis, it's hard to see anyone getting hustled at the pool table.
IBRAHIM DIRAN, TURKISH CYPRIOT JOURNALIST: Cold. We're not used to it, this kind of weather.
ROTH: Journalists, many who flew in from the region, were bussed in through the sprawling Greentree estate.
METE TUMERKAM, TURKISH CYPRIOT JOURNALIST: I think we are going to relax more and be more isolated here.
ROTH: It was a long ride out from the media capital of the world.
OHRAN AKKART, TURKISH JOURNALIST: I prefer to be in Manhattan. It's better than Long Island.
ROTH: Even some of the locals said, "Not on our island, no Cypress talks."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not really. No. No.
ROTH (on camera): Why not?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because this is a neighborhood place and people get along very well and it's not needed to bring any tension or stuff like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What? Just get them out of here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since 1964, peacekeepers have patrolled Cypress.
ROTH (voice-over): The United Nations hasn't been able to get out of Cypress, one of the longest-running UN peacekeeping missions. The Cypress talks even produce Long Island divisions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, everything is generally in Manhattan, so I think Long Island is the perfect location to have it, absolutely
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talking bad on Long Island is not going to solve it. Do it in Europe. If not Cypress, somewhere neutral, like Switzerland.
ROTH: Even though the leaders' wives were brought in and white smoke billowed out of the hideaway, once again, no agreement was reached on Cypress.
Richard Roth, CNN, New York.
ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. The world news headlines and "BackStory" up after this. Don't go away.