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CONNECT THE WORLD
A Cry for Help from Syria; Europe's Deep Freeze; Novak Djokovic, Vivan Cheruiyot Win Sports Person of The Year at Laureus Awards; Queen Elizabeth II Marks 60th Anniversary On Throne of England
Aired February 6, 2012 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight on CONNECT THE WORLD, a cry for help from Syria.
FOSTER: The hospital wards are full, the doctors hysterical. Not even the young are spared, as the violence spirals out of control.
ANNOUNCER: Live from London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.
FOSTER: Tonight, with the U.N. unable to act and diplomacy at a standstill, we'll look at what the West can do to help stop the bloodshed.
Also tonight --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They use women as men and they use men as machines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: CNN uncovers the hidden misery behind some of the world's greatest gadgets.
And a look back at the highs and the lows, as Queen Elizabeth celebrates 60 years on the throne.
First, Syrian activists say the United Nations' failure to act has given the green light to a murderous regime. They say government troops are sti -- are stepping up a brutal crackdown, especially in Homs, describing the assault as genocide.
This amateur video shows families in Homs desperate to get their children to safety. But some residents say there's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
CNN's Arwa Damon shows us how the city has become a living hell for civilians under siege.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "What did we do for you to treat us like this?," this little girl asks, her head bandaged after injuries to her eyes. We can't tell if she's being prompted to speak out against the Assad regime, but the pain and misery emanating from Syria is echoed in various videos posted to YouTube.
DANNY, ACTIVIST IN HOMS, SYRIA: They've been bombarding us with mortar bombs and tank shells for the last --
DAMON: Danny, an activist that CNN has regularly been in touch with, knows it only too well.
DANNY: I saw really horrible things I've never seen in my life, kids in a hospital -- a kid with his whole jaw gone. A little girl, a kid, she's 4 years old, she's dead. Her sister is 6 years old. She lost her left eye and her mother is in intensive care. DAMON: No one has been spared the violence that reached unprecedented levels, just as the U.N. debated and failed to unite on Syria over the weekend. The vetoes by Russia and China, of what was already a watered- down version of a resolution condemning the violence, seemed to have emboldened the regime, although the Syrian government denies the crackdown.
These are chaotic scenes from a field hospital in Homs, said to have been hit by rocket or mortar fire. The doctor hysterical as he moves through the injured, pointing to a man whose legs had to be amputated, he says, another who they were unable to save.
This clip was posted from the town of Rastan, just outside of Homs. A little girl lies in a hospital bed saying she is scared -- scared of needles and scared for Hasaan (ph), lying in the bed next to her.
DANNY: You don't know if the rocket is going to come in your living room or your kitchen. Everyone is becoming used to death here, blood in the streets. People think our blood is just like water.
DAMON: Many of the videos are simply too graphic to show. This clip, also from Homs, a child whose leg has been blown off.
No matter how Syria plays out, the suffering will be felt for decades to come.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Beirut.
DAMON: And, Max, activists are now reporting that at least 74 peopled have died on this day due to the violence in Syria, more than half of them in that flashpoint city of Homs.
Now, the violence, this whole uprising, has also created something of a security vacuum. The U.S. Embassy closing down today, shuttered closed because of security concerns. For quite some time now, the U.S. had been asking the Syrian government for additional security to be placed around the embassy because it is in a fairly exposed and vulnerable location. That has not materialized. and now the U.S. has decided to shut down, citing great security concerns, especially given the two attacks that happened in Damascus in January and in describe, those attacks believed to be attributed to groups linked to al Qaeda -- Max.
FOSTER: Arwa, we thank you very much, indeed, for that.
Arwa following developments tonight for us from Beirut.
Well, Western nations are furious with Russia and China for blocking U.N. action on Syria. The U.S. says they will have any future blood spilled on their hands, while Germany accuses them of giving the Assad regime a license to kill.
Britain, too, expressing outrage today. It's also recalling its ambassador to Syria to protest the ongoing crackdown. Foreign Secretary William Hague had harsh words for the country he says -- the countries he says are increasingly responsible for the slaughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM HAGUE, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Russia and China and twice vetoed reasonable and necessary action by the United Nations Security Council. Such vetoes are a betrayal of the Syrian people. In deploying them, they have let down the Arab League, they have increased the likelihood of what they wish to avoid in Syria, civil war. And they have placed themselves on the wrong side of Arab and international opinion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, Russia calls reaction like that hysterical. It's rejecting criticism from the West and defending its controversial vote, saying the proposed U.N. resolution was biased and would have essentially meant taking sides in a civil war.
But as CNN's Phil Black reports, other considerations may also be at play.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Russia says it vetoed that United Nations Security Council resolution because of concerns on principle and international law. It says it cannot support any resolution that does not apportion blame more evenly between the Syrian government and armed opposition groups. And it says it is also very much concerned with the issue of sovereignty and cannot support any resolution that even implies there would be a change in the head of state, regime or any other sort of interference within domestic Syrian affairs.
But while Russia claims principle on sovereignty, some analysts believe there is also significant self-interest, as well.
Russia, as a country, has dealt with its own armed rebellions over the years, notably in Chechnya and Dagestan. And analysts believe it does not want to set any further precedent for rewarding such armed uprisings with international support.
There is also Russia's economic interests in Syria. These two countries are trading partners, worth billions. Russia continues to sell arms to Syria. And analysts also point to Syria's strategic importance to Russia. Syria is one of Russia's few remaining friends in the Middle East and the Russian naval base in the Syria port of Tartas gives Russia a presence in the Middle East and the broader Mediterranean, as well.
Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that the vote should not have taken place before he was able to conduct his planned visit to Syria's President Assad. That visit will now take place on Tuesday. And the Russia foreign minister says he will be carrying a message from Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev.
Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FOSTER: Eleven months into the uprising, many Syrians feel abandoned by the world. There hasn't even been a hint of military intervention. Sanctions, so far, have failed to force change. And every diplomatic pact has led to a dead-end.
One resident of Homs told CNN, quote, "We want to see actions. We don't want to see talk. We're really tired of talk and talk and talk. While everyone is talking, every second, someone is dying here."
Now, the latest effort at the U.N. has failed, does the West have a Plan B then for protecting the Syrian people?
Can it offer more than just talk about future action?
Let's bring in deputy spokesmen for the U.S. State Department, Mark Toner.
Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us, Mark.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the veto, it's happened.
What's America going to do from here?
Does it go it alone or go for an alternative strategy, away from the U.N.?
MARK TONER, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: Well, you're right. And what happened in New York on Saturday, I mean the secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, put it best when she called it a travesty.
But by no means are we done here. We hear the people of Syria and we want to move to support them.
We've already got in place very strong sanctions, both bilaterally and multilaterally. And we're going to seek to take additional steps against the Assad regime.
As Secretary of State Clinton pointed out, and others have pointed out, this was still 13 countries for action, for doing something to help the people of Syria. And so we're going to work with like-minded allies and partners, with the Arab League, to support them on trying to find solutions and ways to help the Syrian people going forward.
So by no means are we turning a deaf ear to the problem. In fact, we're going to renew our efforts elsewhere.
FOSTER: Yes, we wanted to talk about that, because earlier, I spoke to a counterpart in the foreign French Ministry. And he's talking about a Friends of Syria group. He's talking to European partners about that and the Arab League about that. It sounds very much like the National Transitional Council that you were involved with with Libya.
Is that the sort of model you're now looking at?
TONER: Well, look, every situation is very unique. But in this kind of circumstance now, where action at the Security Council did not bear any fruit at all, we're going to look to our partners, as we always do in these kinds of situations.
And like I said, we've got -- we had 13 countries speak up in favor for doing something, for taking action to support the people of Syria. So we're going to look to them and we're going to look to the Arab League. We're going to look for other like-minded partners on ways that we can continue to put pressure on Assad. You know, call it a group of friends, however you want to term it. But the idea here is to look where we have.
And believe me, the international community is united against Assad. We can't let the actions of just two countries somehow convince us otherwise. The international community is hearing the cries of the Syrian people and the heart-wrenching images that were just played on -- on your news. It -- it is heartbreaking and we're trying to take action.
FOSTER: The French are having conversations with the opposition in Syria. I presume you're doing the same thing.
But it does lead to the question of whether or not you look toward arming them.
What's the discussion around that?
TONER: Well, you're absolutely right. We do have outreach to the Syrian opposition, both within Syria, as well as outside of Syria.
But look, our focus here has been on trying to get them to coalesce as a group, to become more unified and to speak with a more unified voice for all of the Syrian people. as we move towards what we believe is going to be an eventual transition, look, Assad has -- has run his course. You can't do what he's done and continue on as a legitimate leader.
So our work with the Syrian opposition to date and going forward is going to be how to prepare them for this democratic transition that we believe is inevitable.
FOSTER: But the -- an element of force is going to have to come into that, isn't it, because Assad is not going to budge.
So how is that going to play out?
I realize you don't want to talk about that conversation yet, it's early days. But you have to because that's obviously the end you're looking to, an element of force in removing Assad.
TONER: Well, in fact, it's not early days. I mean this has gone on far too long and the killing has -- has escalated throughout. And the Syrian government has shown absolutely no interest to do anything to end this current situation.
So, in fact, we're trying to move as urgently as we can.
We still believe that there's room for a peaceful solution to this. We want to see a peaceful solution on behalf of the Syrian people, who have already suffered so much.
But, you know, we're working with the opposition, we're working with our partners and allies around the world to try to increase the political and economic pressure right now on Assad.
FOSTER: OK, Mark Toner at the State Department.
Appreciate your time.
Thank you very much, indeed.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.
Still to come, its workers make parts for some of your best known gadgets.
So why do some of them say they're treated like animals? and steak or steroids -- the Spanish cyclist suspended for a positive drug test and stripped of his Tour de France title.
FOSTER: Hello. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN, the world's news leader.
Welcome back to you.
There is no relief from the frigid cold in Europe. And it is claiming more victims. Reports in Poland say 53 people died overnight, most of them homeless. An official with an aid agency says there's meals provided by the EU's food program, but it's running low. In neighboring Ukraine, the situation is even worse.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Europe really is in a deep freeze. And no country has suffered more than Ukraine. It's experienced some of the lowest temperatures in recent days. It's also had the highest death toll. Health officials say 135 people have lost their lives because of these icy, frigid conditions.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FOSTER: We'll have more of Matthew's visit to a shelter in Ukraine, as well as what to expect in the forecast coming up in about five minutes here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
Here's a look at some other stories that we're connecting with tonight.
Now government debt talks in Greece will roll into their third day after members of the coalition government failed to reach agreement on hugely unpopular austerity measures. The EU and IMF are demanding the reforms are approved before they release $170 billion in bailout funds to stop Greece from defaulting.
The country's two main unions are planning mass strikes on Tuesday to protest against the proposed measures.
The European Union's debt crisis is claiming another political victim. Romania's prime minister, Emil Boc, is the latest leader to resign amid public outrage over austerity measures. In exchange for a $26 billion loan from the European Union in 2009, Boc's government moved to slash public spending, including cutting public wages and freezing pensions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY ANTENA 3)
EMIL BOC, ROMANIAN PRIME MINISTER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I want to announce that I have decided to submit the mandate of the government. I have taken this decision in order to attenuate the social and political situation in the country, also because I didn't want the Romanians to lose what they have gained with so much suffering, meaning the financial stability of the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: A factory collapse in Pakistan has killed at least six people. It's feared as many as 49 workers could still be trapped in the rebel of the veterinary medicine factory in Lahore. At least eight survivors have been pulled from the wreckage, as rescue workers continue to search for others. Authorities suspect a boiler explosion caused the building to crumble.
A huge step toward Palestinian recil -- reconciliation today. Rival factions, Fatah and Hamas, signed a deal in Qatar, agreeing that Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, will head an interim government ahead of elections planned for the spring. Israel's prime minister slammed the agreement, saying Abbas must choose between making peace with Israel or making peace with Hamas.
Now, no end in sight to Europe's bitter cold and the rising toll it'/s taking. Where people are getting help staying warm and what's ahead in the forecast, coming up.
FOSTER: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.
I'm Max Foster.
Now, Europe's deadly cold snap is hitting Ukraine especially hard. The homeless population is the most vulnerable and the government has opened thousands of temporary shelters to help them escape the frigid temperatures.
CNN's Matthew Chance take a -- takes a look inside one of those shelters.
CHANCE: Well, Europe really is in a deep freeze. And no country has suffered more than Ukraine. It's experienced some of the lowest temperatures in recent days. It's also had the highest death toll. Health officials say 135 people have lost their lives because of these icy, frigid conditions.
Most of them are homeless. And so what the authorities are doing are setting up tents like these.
Look, this one's called Mabil Nicht Punt Obrivu -- Obivriru (ph), which means a mobile heating point where people can just come in for a few days when they've got nowhere else to go for a few hours and warm themselves and escape this ice and snow.
All right, so here we are. And you can see there are a number of people who are -- have gathered here to try and escape from the cold. They're warming their hands around this -- this room heating stove fueled by wood.
It's a very basic situation inside, but the smell is not great. They're offering some -- some basic foods over here, some --
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kasha.
CHANCE: Kasha, it's porridge and --
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
CHANCE: It's porridge and bread, so -- basically -- and some hot tea, as well.
There's also a computer over the back there where you can watch movies and I -- I think even get on the Internet.
But generally, people are coming here -- as you can see, this guy warming up his feet -- to just try and escape from the icy, frigid conditions outside. And -- and everybody here we've spoken to knows that if it weren't for places like this, they'd be in real trouble.
How important is it for you that there are places like this where you can come and get warm, drink some tea?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's very important here, especially for people like us, in this unfortunate situation. For these people, it is most important.
CHANCE: Why do you come here?
Why have you come to this tent? (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It is very cold. The frost is very strong. It is very slippery out there. Here, it's warm. We can eat and drink.
CHANCE: Well, there you have it, these oases of warmth in the center of this freezing continent. The bad news is that the icy temperatures we've been experiencing here aren't expected to get any warmer any time soon.
Matthew Chance, CNN, Kiev.
FOSTER: So when will the cold loosen its grip?
For that, we go to meteorologist Jennifer Delgado, who's at the World Weather Center.
What can you tell us -- Jennifer?
JENNIFER DELGADO, ATS METEOROLOGIST: Max, it's bad news. The cold weather is going to be sticking around for the remainder of the week. And we're talking temperatures running about 10 degrees below average and some locations even cooler than that.
Now, we want to talk about the cold wave that's been happening there for Kiev. They have actually been dealing with this for 12 days. The coldest temperature dropped down to minus 27. For Berlin, the coldest temperature was minus 20. They've been enduring that for the last eight days.
And Paris, it's been cold there, but your lowest temperature was minus nine. And you've been dealing with this spell for the last seven days.
And it looks like we have another five days ahead for that.
Right now, we have a current temperature of minus 14 in Berlin, as well as into Warsaw. Moscow very cold there, minus 18 degrees and minus five in Paris. One degree in London. And while this cold air is in place, even for Tuesday, you're going to need to bundle up. You can see how it's already spilled over toward the west. For tomorrow, Paris only a high of minus five degrees, minus six in Berlin and then for Bucharest, minus seven and minus 13 for Kiev.
And to take you even farther into the future -- I should say further - - for Wednesday, notice for Kiev, your temperature dropping down to minus 20.
So this is going to be dangerous. Once again, we're talking of the potential for hypothermia and, of course, we're also talking about more heavy snowfall working into the forecast.
As I show you on our model right here, anywhere you're seeing in the pink shading, another 25 to 60 centimeters of snowfall possible.
Let's go to some snow video coming into us out of Italy. And, really, a beautiful display here from one of our iReporters, Cheryl Ferguson. She is in Italy. And you can see, this is outside of Rome. And basically, the whole area covered in some parts. You can see up to the doorway in some locations, very high up.
And if you want to know if you're going to be experiencing some delays anywhere, if I take you back over to our graph, and for Sofia, a one-and-a- half to two hour delay there. For Athens, due to some strong winds, 60 to 90 minutes.
And then, Max, if it didn't get worse there, we're also talking about flooding. And we have some video coming in out of Bulgaria. And we want to show you this very quickly. This is in the very southern part, very close to Greece. Now, with all that moisture out there, some people are picking up rain. And you're looking at bad conditions. Look at that. Devastating.
Jennifer, thank you so much for bringing us that.
Well, still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, the human cost of our love affair with high tech gadgets -- we investigate claims of worker exploitation at a major supplier to some of the world's biggest brands.
Savoring a super win -- New York Giants fans celebrate American football's biggest prize.
And the young girl who was never supposed to wear the British crown -- the story of Elizabeth II, as she marks a bittersweet milestone.
Stay with CNN.
FOSTER: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN. Time for a check of the latest world headlines.
A Syrian opposition group says at least 74 civilians have been killed across the country today, most of them in the city of Homs. Activists say the government is stepping up its crackdown on dissent after a UN effort to stop the violence failed.
The U.S. is hitting Iran with new sanctions over its nuclear program. All assets of Iran's government and central bank in the United States have been frozen. Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful, but the U.S. and other countries suspect that it's trying to build a bomb.
Greece's coalition government will meet again on Tuesday after members failed to reach an agreement on austerity measures. Unions say they're playing to strike on Tuesday to protest against the proposed cut.
Ukraine says 135 people have now died in the bitter cold. Most of the victims were homeless and froze to death on the streets. The government has set up more than 3,000 temporary shelters offering heat and hot food.
Now smartphones, music players, laptops and tablets, they've become the must have gadgets, and the chances are you own one, but at what cost? That's the question being raised amid growing concern about the working conditions for employees at Foxconn, the company that makes parts for many high tech devices. Our senior international correspondent Stan Grant visited one plant to investigate allegations of widespread exploitation.
STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Believe it or not this woman has never seen an iPad before, even though she toils more than 60 hours a week making them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like it.
GRANT: You like it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
GRANT: She's like many migrant workers from rural China spending endless hours putting on screens that never have seen the finished product.
Here's another first, this is her only meal at a restaurant since she started at Foxconn, a company that produces electronics for the world leading brands.
It sure is a change from the factory where she works, sleeps, and eats.
She doesn't want to be identified. We'll call her Ms. Chen. If she's caught speaking to us, she says, she will lose her job.
MS. CHEN, FOXCONN EMPLOYEE (through translator): When we were being trained for work, they told us that if we accept interviews we will be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law. It's really a big deal.
GRANT: Ms. Chen is one of more than a million workers at Foxconn in China. She works at this factory in the city of Chengdu, installing iPad screens. The company makes the iPads, iPods, and iPhones that has made Apple a commercial and cultural icon, but there are no I workers here, only we workers. And Ms. Chen says we work whenever Foxconn says so.
MS. CHEN (through translator): They use women as men and they use men as machines. There's another way of saying it, they use women as men and they use men as animals.
GRANT: Well, this is the front gate of the Foxconn factory. It's as far as we're going to be able to go. But every day literally tens of thousands of workers go through these gates. According to the worker that we spoke to, people don't tend to stay very long here. If they have any complaints, the attitude of management is, if you don't like it, you can leave.
Only weeks ago, workers threatened mass suicide at a Foxconn factory in Wuhan (ph) manufacturing Microsoft products. Microsoft said in a statement, it investigated and found the matter related to staffing assignments and transfer policies, not working conditions. The company noted that it works to ensure employees are treated fairly. Foxconn says it resolved the dispute.
But in 2010, the company made unwanted headlines when more than a dozen workers killed themselves, forcing Foxconn to improve its factories. The company tells CNN it boosted pay and provided counseling. Foxconn now boasts of its on site health care and worker living conditions, which it claims are among the best in China.
Apple has been criticized for its links to oversees factories. It maintains it would not work with companies that do not respect their employees.
In a recent email to staff, Apple addressed critics. It says, quote, "we care about every worker in our worldwide chain."
Ms. Chen, though, sees it very differently.
MS. CHEN (through translator): Do they care about us? I don't know? At least I'm not getting any of that care.
GRANT: Though Foxconn insists its workers are treated fairly and their rights fully protected, workers rights groups say the company favors only a privileged few -- executives, managers. To the many thousands of others, it is run with a military culture. They point to unpredictable hours at the whim of management, complaints of inadequate breaks, and workers not even allowed to speak on the factory floor.
As we found, they're not too keen to speak outside either.
We had to meet Ms. Chen at this restaurant. It's a rare outing for her. Foxconn takes up every waking moment.
MS. CHEN (through translator): It's so worrying. I can't bear it anymore. Every day was like, I get up from work and I go to bed. I get up in the morning and I go to work. It became my daily routine. And I almost felt like I was some kind of animal.
GRANT: Hers is just one tail, but it's an experience repeated elsewhere by other disgruntled Foxconn employees. She says she will leave soon to go back to college. She has no retire to return here.
MS. CHEN: When I (inaudible) I don't want to work in Foxconn.
GRANT: You don't?
MS. CHEN: No, I don't.
GRANT: But there is always the lure of that iPad.
You like it?
MS. CHEN: (inaudible). I want to have one.
GRANT: You want to have one?
MS. CHEN: Maybe one day I'll have enough money.
GRANT: Enough money? Right now Ms. Chen says she earns less than a dollar an hour.
Stan Grant, CNN, Chengdu.
FOSTER: Well, CNN has asked Apple for an interview, but the company has declined to speak to us so far, but it has issued the following statement, "we care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. We insist that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made. Our suppliers must live up to these requirements if they want to keep doing business with Apple."
Now one of the first people to highlight the plight of workers at Foxconn was American playwright Mike Daisey. Posing as an electronics buyer back in 2010, he visited one of the Foxconn factories in China to see the working conditions first-hand. He's since been sharing what he says he witnessed in his one-man stage show, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. Zain Verjee spoke to him about his probing performance.
MIKE DAISEY, PLAYWRIGHT: To be in love with Apple is a little bit to be in love with heartbreak itself, because they break your heart again and again, because Steve Jobs is the master of the forced upgrade. I remember there was one week in 1999. I looked at all of my systems and I thought, it's perfect. Everything I own is bulbous and fruit colored. This will never go out of style.
What it is, is as a monologue is I tell on stage the story of my journey to China and what I saw there. And it's woven against the story of Steve Jobs and the evolution of these devices so that we can see simultaneously how beautiful and fantastic they are and actually assess their real human cost.
But I do know that in my first two hours of my first day at that (inaudible) I met workers who were 14-years-old. I met workers who were 13-years-old. I met workers who were 12.
It's not a dog and pony show, instead it's an actual charged conversation that happens in the room. It's the conversation we're all going to be having more and more often.
What I'm saying is if you have never thought in a deep way about your choice of operating systems you may be living an unexamined life.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Describe to us what you saw you went to China?
DAISEY: Well, I saw the labor conditions that have been reported by human rights agencies for almost a decade. I saw child labor. I saw people working a work day that is 14, 15, 16 hours a day long, seven days a week, week after week without any end in sight. I saw living conditions where people are stacked 13, 14, 15 to a tiny cement room in bunks that are stacked up on top of each other. I saw a lot.
VERJEE: What did some of the unions, the workers tell you about their individual stories?
DAISEY: Well, the secret unions, you have to remember that if you organize in China you go to prison if you're caught by the government. The people I talked to who I managed to speak with, they talked about being poisoned, being exposed to hexane, a chemical used to clean iPhone screens that results in neurological damage. I talked to people whose joints on their hands are completely warped from doing the same motion hundreds and hundreds of thousands of times. I talked to people who had suffered pretty terribly.
VERJEE: What kind of impact has what you've uncovered, what the New York Times ended up digging on, how has it changed the lives of the workers in China. Has it?
DAISEY: Well, it's a process. We're at the same place that the environmental movement was in, in the 1950s. People are just becoming conscious, even, of the idea that these devices are made by human hands, that each of them is assembled by tiny, little fingers putting together all of your electonics.
Foxconn is the biggest company you've never heard of. Foxconn makes over 50 percent of all the electronics in the world.
As people begin to be conscious of that and understand the circumstances under which they're made, that's when change becomes possible. So we're right at the crest of the wave. As people begin to wake up, you'll see larger and larger changes.
FOSTER: Well, in a statement to CNN, Apple did address the steps being taken to ensure improved conditions for workers. This includes audits of suppliers' facilities. Apple says it carried out 229 audits last year. And says it is also the first technology company to be admitted to the Fair Labor Association.
Apple, of course, is not alone in being linked to Foxconn, the company also assembles consumer electronics for other tech giants including Amazon, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony. Foxconn also does business with IBM, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft.
This is CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, stars of sport and screen turn out for the Laureus Sports Awards in London. The winners are being announced right now. And we're live at the ceremony.
FOSTER: Sports highest court has suspended Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador from competition after a long running scandal going back to the 2010 Tour de France. Contador won the event, but tested positive for a banned substance which he claims came from eating tainted meat. His Tour de France title from that year has now been stripped. He's also facing a $3 million fine.
More on this, let's bring in World Sport Patrick Snell who is following developments for us from CNN Center. Patrick, where does this actually leave Contador's career then, in particular this year's Tour de France campaign?
PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Max.
Yeah, you know in tatters, basically, is the short answer to that. 29 years of age now. He had won his third Tour de France title in 2010. And what I'm seeing here is the world of cycling in a sense pulling together. More on that in just a moment, but to answer your question directly, he will now not be able to compete in this year's Tour de France, or of course the Olympic games coming up later on this year as well.
The original ban upheld, in fact dated to January of last year and will go through August of this year. So basically Contador ineligible to compete for the 2012 Tour de France and the Olympics.
But as I mentioned before what does it mean now? Is he deposed, or stripped if you like, of his 2010 title? It means Andy Schleck, the rider from Luxembourg will effectively replace him as the Tour de France champion. The instant reaction from Schleck who basically came out and said this is a very sad day for cycling if now I'm declared overall winner of the 2010 Tour de France it will not make me happy. So an indication there really that even Schleck and others in the world of cycling to have this kind of feeling of sympathy on some level, Max, for Alberto Contador.
FOSTER: Yeah, so really so harrowing story in many ways isn't it? But a positive story, Patrick, because American football looking good, the New York Giants at least, the Super Bowl. You've got to talk about that.
SNELL: Yes. The Giants really getting the better of the Patriots again. We saw this in 2008 when the Patriots went into that one as clear favorites. They were probably slight favorites again, perhaps, going into this one. We play it out Sunday in Indianapolis, Indiana. But what was surprising for me, Max, is the way that the Patriots, they had the game by the scruff of its neck and they just blew it. They kind of let things go in a big way, a huge blow, really, for Tom Brady, their star quarterback. And they just got picked off near the end.
And this is a huge personal success as well for Eli Manning. He's the quarterback of the New York Giants. It ended 21-17 at the end. This is a last desperate attempt by Brady to try and get his team back in it. The ball ends up in the end zone. It isn't caught by any of his teammates. So there is Manning getting his hand on the silverware. And they become the fifth team, by the way, the Giants to win the Super Bowl four times they've now won it. The Patriots were trying to win it for a fourth time as well.
Eli Manning one of only five quarterbacks to be named MVP twice. What does MVP mean, I hear you ask Max? Most valuable player, or man of the match we would say back home.
FOSTER: Yeah, indeed. Thank you so much for that, Patrick. A few MVPs turning out tonight at the Laureus World Sports awards. They're playing out here in London. And due to find out who the big winners are. Pedro has the very latest from the glamorous red carpet. You look very in place, in situ there Pedro.
PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Max. Good to see you.
It has been a fantastic night. The Laureus Sports Awards are arguably the most prestigious on the planet. And I'll run you through the main winners. A total of seven awards handed out here tonight. I won't go through all of them, but I can tell you that Novak Djokovic was named sportsman of the year following his phenomenal season in 2011 winning three grand slam titles. The sports woman of the year award went to Vivian Cheruiyot out of Kenya who won the 5,000 and 10,000 meter titles at the world championships last year. And the team of the year FC Barcelona who had a clean sweep practically of the football titles in 2011 winning La Liga, the Champions League and also the FIFA Club World Cup.
Back to Djokovic, because I had a chance to catch up with him earlier today and we talked about how successful he's been and his possibility of becoming the first man since Rod Laver to win four grand slam titles in one season. This is what he had to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC, TENNIS PLAYER: Very cool. It's a hard task to ask for, obviously, but it excites me. It gives me goose bumps. It gives me a little butterflies in the stomach when I start thinking about it, you know what, I think that's the way -- that's the right way to embrace the challenge that is presented in front of you. I mean, nowadays, as we spoke before, it's very physical. You have to be consistently successful in order to be one of the top tennis players.
But everything is possible in life. You know if you believe -- I believe that I'm an all around player. Did I have a game that is good enough for different surfaces and I have had a couple of great wins back to back on clay against Rafa which meant a lot for me, you know, for my confidence. And so coming back to that surface and to the next grand slam which is Roland Garros, I will definitely try to use that memory from 2011 and implement that in the next grand slam.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINTO: This is a confident man. It's a driven man. And bet against him winning all four grand slam trophies this season at your peril.
More from Novak Djokovic throughout the week on CNN's World Sport. That was just a small part of a longer interview that we did with him today. Also on the next addition of World Sport, Max, in less than an hour's time we'll have a full wrap of the awards. So stay tuned for that.
FOSTER: Pedro, thank you very much indeed. You currently are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. And a young Queen Elizabeth started her reign, today she's marking a milestone. Coming up next some gems form the archives for you.
FOSTER: Gun salute Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating 60 years on the British throne. Posing here with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh for the official photograph the milestone is bitter sweet for her as it also marks the death of her father, King George VI.
Now after 60 years on the throne, there's no sign the queen is in any way retiring. In an open letter on Monday she renewed her pledge to serve her country. Crowds gathered outside an infant stall in Norfolk in the east of England following a visit to mark the anniversary.
This is just the start of the year celebrations, a four day holiday full of pomp and pageantry as planned since the beginning of June including up to 1,000 boats sailing up the River Thames here in London.
Now from the years before rock 'n roll through the space age and well into the internet era, Queen Elizabeth II's rule has witnessed a changing world. But there has always been one constant, her steadfast dedication to serve her country.
FOSTER: Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, known as Lilly Bette (ph) to friends, was born on April 21, 1926. And it was only a decade later that she knew she was truly destined to lead an empire.
It was a fluke of history, really, the work of scandal. Her uncle, Edward, abdicated so he could marry Wallace Simpson, the divorced American woman who was the love of his life, but a spoiler to the throne. Elizabeth's father became kind. She was the accidental heir. And it's entrenched in her a sense of duty. Even before she was crowned queen, Elizabeth was devout, even spiritually, about her role as a royal.
ELIZABETH, QUEEN OF ENGLAND: I declare before you all with my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service to our great imperial family to which we all belong.
QUEEN MARGRETHE II, DENMARK: I seem to remember having listened to that speech and I remember very well, I certainly remember reading not so much -- not many years later, the way she dedicated her life to the country, that was an example which I very much felt that when I grew older that that was it was about, was dedicate your life to your country.
FOSTER: Her first prime minister was Winston Churchill. And she's met every U.S. president bar one during her reign, meetings she's always prioritized.
ROBERT HARDMAN, AUTHOR: She remembers learning from her parents how important keeping America on side was during the war. And then America came into the war. She remembered that so well, she remembered the American troops, D-Day, all that.
FOSTER: Some years, there has been little to laugh about, however. With uncharacteristic candor and emotion, the queen herself marked 1992 as a very bad year: a fire at Windsor castle and several family splits. Three of her four children divorced, one most famously, and then there was the car crash. The queen learned a tough lesson through all the grief. She could never be just a mother or a grandmother, she's queen to a people no matter what.
And as if to punctuate that, an enduring moment as she bows to Princess Diana's coffin. A low point for Britain, for the monarchy, and for Britain's relationship with the monarchy.
It took more than a decade to rebuild the public stake in the royal family. Survey's around the time of Prince William's marriage shows the popularity of the monarchy to be back to an all-time high. The queen was visibly thrilled by the show of support in the royal wedding last year.
It's often said the greatest monarchs in British history were all women. If that were the case, Queen Elizabeth II would be second only perhaps her predecessor, Victoria.
FOSTER: Queen Elizabeth II to the queen of pop in tonight's parting shot. Madonna proves she can definitely hold the court on stage at the Super Bowl. She even had her very own golden throne for the performance, as you can see. Held aloft by a group of Egyptian styled soldiers. There were, as the pop queen promised, no wardrobe drama, but there was a certain middle finger malfunction. Rapper MIA just one of the stars who joined Madonna on the stage. He made the gesture to network cameras during the 12 minute -- she made the gesture, rather, during the 12 minute extravaganza on Sunday night. Apologies from the NFL and broadcaster NBC came quickly, each blaming the other actually.
I'm Max Foster and that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you so much for watching. World Headlines and "BACK STORY" up next after this short break.