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Living in A War Zone; Fabio Capello Leaves England; Rioting in Maldives; Falklands Flap; Falklands Legislator Welcomes UN Debate to Stop Argentina's Claim; Afghan Women Turn to Immolation to Protest Abuse; Women's Rights in Afghanistan; Big Interview: Skydiver Felix Baumgartner to Attempt Free Fall from Edge of Space; Parting Shots: Duchess of Cambridge Makes First Solo Public Appearances

Aired February 8, 2012 - 16:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Tonight on CONNECT THE WORLD, living in a war zone -- indiscriminate and inhumane -- the four days of shelling which have brought a Syrian city to its knees.

ANNOUNCER: Live from London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

FOSTER: Tonight, NATO came to the rescue in Libya, but why is it not about to do the same in Syria?

Also this hour, taking a stand over his captain -- Fabio Capello steps down as England's football manager.

And one huge leap of faith -- I'll speak to the skydiver planning to jump from the edge of space.

Relentless shelling, deafening explosions, deadly sniper attacks -- we begin tonight with the desperate situation in Homs, a Syrian city under siege. Residents are begging for outside help, saying the regime is intensifying attacks and tightening the noose, cutting off electricity, communications and supplies.

Days of shellacking, mortar and rocket attacks have laid waste to huge parts of the city. Activists say troops are mostly striking from a distance, making it hard for army defenses to fight back.

Residents say entire buildings have been destroyed, entire families massacred. One opposition activist tells us that 60 people have been killed on Wednesday alone. Hundreds of others are said to be wounded. But with field hospitals under attack and supplies low, it is hard for victims to get treatment.

Residents say no one is safe from the onslaught, not even the most innocent amongst them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) at 7:00 a.m.. Look at this child, who's what -- he's about two years old. He got his with this (INAUDIBLE) bomb in his house.

Is this what the U.N. has waited for?

Is this what the U.N. has waited for, until there aren't any more children left, until they kill all the children and kill all the women?


FOSTER: Well, we have to rely on amateur video and accounts like these stories to help us tell the story to you. Well, because Syria won't allow our reporters in, and most foreign media, actually, into the country.

CNN's Ivan Watson is following developments for us from Istanbul.

And, actually, Turkey is a large part of the story here right now -- Ivan.

What's -- how does it see its role in dealing with this?

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Turks have made this dramatic shift throughout this 10, 11 month uprising, where they went from being -- Bashar al-Assad, one of his closest political allies and biggest trading partners, to now being his most powerful neighbor which is calling, basically, for an end to the regime, saying that the violence there against his own citizens has resulted in a complete loss of legitimacy and credibility for the government of Bashar al-Assad.

The Turks are also hosting a number of exiled Syrian opposition groups, including a group that claims to be the leaders of the armed opposition inside Syria, the Free Syrian Army.

On -- on Wednesday evening, the Turkish prime minister called the Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, and explained that he was very unhappy with the Russian and Chinese veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution to put more pressure on the Syrian regime. He also repeated the statement that the Syrian government had lost legitimacy and then went on to say that the Russians would meet with the Turkish foreign minister to try to come to some solution to this ongoing agony inside Syria -- Mike -- Max.

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

No government thus far, at least, is calling for military intervention in Syria. But with each passing day bringing the possibility of full-scale civil war ever closer, at least one country is now reviewing its options.

CNN's Jill Dougherty has the story for us from Washington.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Men, women and children are being slaughtered in Syria. Everyone agrees it has to stop.

But how?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We should start considering all options, including arming the opposition. The bloodletting has got to stop.

VICTORIA NULAND, STATE DEPT. SPOKESWOMAN: We don't think more arms into Syria is the right answer.

DOUGHERTY: Last year in Libya, NATO launched an air campaign that saved lives and cleared the way to ending the Gadhafi regime.

Would that work in Syria?

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: This is a very different playing field, a very different set of players, a very different set of possible consequences.

DOUGHERTY: NATO's former supreme allied commander, General George Joulwan, says unless the U.S. Wants to go it alone, you need political agreement with other countries. And that hasn't happened yet.

(on camera): If the world community did come together, could you have a Libyan-style campaign?

GEN. GEORGE JOULWAN (RET.), FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER, EUROPE: First of all, Syria is much different than Libya. You have to understand that. It's much more populated. There's a lot of desert in Libya, wide open spaces.

There's a huge population in Syria. They have better defenses. They have better air defense systems. They have more modern tanks. So it's going to take a much different sort of strategy than what occurred in Libya.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Then there's the neighborhood -- Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel.

JOULWAN: You have population areas in -- in Syria that you didn't have in Libya. You had a few large towns, much, much more difficult. And if you're going to carry out a bombing campaign, what would that do to possible civilian casualties?

DOUGHERTY: Could you create safe havens, humanitarian corridors?

We asked the State Department.

NULAND: Some of these proposals that people are brooding about could not be done without foreign military intervention.

DOUGHERTY (on camera): For now, the U.S. says it's working with its allies to ratchet up the pressure on Syria and it's considering providing some kind of humanitarian aid.

Jill Dougherty, CNN, Washington.


FOSTER: Jill's report just laid out some practical considerations that would make a Libya-style approach against Syria difficult. Another could simply be a lack of funds.

Consider this report from the U.K. today. Parliament members said the British armed forces are strained by deep cuts in defense spending and would struggle to launch another military campaign on the scale of Libya. Britain's final bill for that operation came to $337 million.

Our next guest argues the West must step in and support the Syrian opposition in what has clearly become a civil war.

Shashank Joshi also says diplomacy is all but exhausted.

He's an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.

And he joins me now in the studio.

Thank you so much for joining us.


FOSTER: How long has the situation been, as you would describe, civil -- civil war?

JOSHI: Well, what is a civil war?

It's when you have a number of deaths on each side, when the rebels have a certain amount of organization, strength, perhaps even taking some territory for themselves. We saw the Syrian rebels take the town of Zabadani a few weeks ago.

This has been a civil war for weeks now. And there's no point saying it's one of the brink, it's slipping in, it is in civil war, as we speak.

And, really, it's stepping in the direction of either Iraq on one side, Lebanon to the other...

FOSTER: All right...

JOSHI: -- and only getting worse.

FOSTER: And the point of civil war is important, because at that point, you know, the country loses control so foreign powers have to get involved.

JOSHI: Well, of course, foreign powers have pushed this into civil war, I would say. Russia, by arming the regime; Iran by assisting it in that and various other ways and also by diplomatically protecting it.

So it's not the case that foreign powers have to step in. In some ways, foreign powers have got us to this point.

FOSTER: But they have to get involved now somehow? JOSHI: Well, now that we have Iran, Russia and China backing Damascus, I think the only responsible thing is to step in and say the Syrian National Council, based in Turkey, the Free Syrian Army, need our help. It doesn't have to mean weapons. It doesn't have to mean RPGs or ammunition. It can mean communications equipment, radios, intelligence, advice, things to make them more cohesive, more organized, to stop them splitting up.

FOSTER: It's interesting why you say cohesive...

JOSHI: At this point, that's what they need (INAUDIBLE)...


FOSTER: -- because there's concern about giving them any (INAUDIBLE) is that they're not cohesive...


FOSTER: -- that it's not organized, as the NTC, for example.

JOSHI: Absolutely. Well, of course, the NTC wasn't particularly organized itself, so that is saying something, in fact.

I think the role we can play is helping them get more organized. And if the point arrives where we have enough faith in them to have a unified chain of command, to have some sort of political accountability, some sort of cohesion across their ranks, which is not the case at the moment, perhaps then we could think about defensive weapons, anti-tank weapons.

But, of course, the watchword should be caution. We have, you know, so many -- we've been burned so many times by handiwork (INAUDIBLE) like this.

However, I do think we need to step in in some way and make sure the playing field is, to some extent, leveled off, leveled even with Russian and Chinese help to Damascus.

FOSTER: Have we got time to get them organized, because if we look at what's going on at Homs, the opposition is being, you know, completely decimated, almost, because -- well, if you believe the reports coming out. So much damage is being done to them right now...


FOSTER: -- perhaps more -- something more urgent needs to be done.

JOSHI: Well, perhaps. But nothing urgent will be done. I mean we work with what we have. And there will be no Libya-style intervention. There is no appetite for it, not in Turkey, not in the Gulf, not in Europe, least of all, for the reasons you've just outlined.

So we -- those are the conditions we face. Under those conditions, it's going to be a limited form of assistance or nothing at all.

FOSTER: You have to have some sort of Western grouping together, I presume. And the French are suggesting...


FOSTER: -- Friends of Syria.

JOSHI: Well, it...


JOSHI: -- it doesn't have to be Western. Here's the thing. We should be looking for, I think, for regional leadership. We already have the Arab...

FOSTER: Turkey?

JOSHI: Well, Turkey, but, also, of course, the Arab states, led by the GCC. Now, the GCC president is being pushed forward by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, two anti-Syrian countries in the lead. Its leadership is shortly going to go to Baghdad, which is a bit of a problem. And I think Turkey is going to have to take up some of the slack.

Turkey has been looking to us, to the West. But I think here's the time to say to Turkey, look, you want regional leadership, here's the time to take it.

FOSTER: Is that the answer, then, Turkey leads on this, not France or (INAUDIBLE)?

JOSHI: Well, it's not the answer. I think, you know, the...

FOSTER: Is that the best answer?

JOSHI: It's -- it's one of the only answers that I think we have. We're clutching at straws here, let's be honest. Turkey doesn't really want to take this on. Turkey still thinks it can, you know, just about preserve some relations with Syria. Really, Turkey is the most influential country. It borders Syria. It's hosting the Free Syrian Army. A lot of this is in the hands of the Thanksgiving.

FOSTER: Shashank Joshi, thank you very much, indeed.

We'll have you back in to see how things develop.

Some intelligence experts say the ongoing chaos could benefit militant groups across the region hoping to get their hands on Syria's weapons and stockpiles. You can read more on that on our Web site, as -- as well as all the latest news coming out of Syria. It's changing all the time, of course. Just click on

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.

Still to come, a shocking move for the FA, as Fabio Capello resigns as England manager, leaving the team in search for a replacement just months before the summer's European championships.

The beauty of the Falklands -- why Argentina wants the U.N. to decide who should have control.

And the agony of a desperate protest -- why these women were driven to set themselves on fire.


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

Welcome back.

I'm Max Foster.

Now you're seeing video here of now former England manager, Fabio Capello, departing Wembley Stadium earlier tonight. That's after he handed in his resignation to the Football Association. The Italian was unhappy with the FA's decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy.

All this, of course, happening with this summer's European championships looming large.

Pedro Pinto is here with more -- football has been in the headlines all day, but what on earth happened this evening?

PEDRO PINTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we weren't expecting this at all. We knew that Fabio Capello was meeting with the FA chairman, David Bernstein, with the general secretary, Alex Horne. They were talking about the decision to strip John Terry of the cap -- captaincy, a decision which was taken by the FA without the consultation of Fabio Capello.

We knew he wasn't happy about this, because he told the Italian press over the weekend that he was very angry that he wasn't consulted and that he didn't agree with the decision made.

Let me bring you up to date with what was said just over an hour ago by the English Football Association. This is an official statement released on their Web site by David Bernstein.

"I would like to stress that during today's meeting and throughout his time as England manager, Fabio has conducted himself in an extremely professional manner. We have accepted Fabio's resignation, agreeing this is the right decision. We would like to thank Fabio for his work with the England team and wish him every success in the future."

Talking about success, Max, I can tell you that he's been very successful as a manager overall, a huge profile in European football. He won several titles at club level in Italy, in Spain, won the Champions League, as well.

Here's his record as England manager. He started in December of 2007, taking over from Steve McClaren. Led England to the last 16 at the World Cup, losing to Germany. And he's got a winning percentage of 67 percent, 20 wins out of 42 games.

It depends on who you ask if you think that's a good record or not. He didn't win any titles with England, obviously. This is his club coaching career. A lot more silverware there. Seven Seria A titles, two La Liga titles with Real Madrid in Spain. And he won the Champions League with Milan, as well.

This is the case, Max, of a high profile manager that he has become tired with the scrutiny that he has to live with every day, by the press, and who feels like has been undermined by his employers. He decided, I don't want to put up with this anymore.

The only thing is the timing is horrible. There's Euro 2012 around the corner, four months away. England are in shambles right now, no captain, no manager.

FOSTER: And almost disingenuous, that FA statement, pretending that everything is fine, when clearly it isn't. But I'm just wondering what fans, people following this story are making of all of this.

PINTO: I can tell you that -- that obviously these days, all you have to do is wait a few seconds to get the idea of what...


FOSTER: -- is that going to come up?

PINTO: Exactly. That's what -- that's where I'm going to...

FOSTER: That's the beauty of it.

PINTO: I have the reaction of a few England players, people connected with English football. And these are the top Tweets that we've been monitoring today, from Jack Wilshere, the Arsenal midfielder, who, of course, has been injured this season: "Shocked about news on Fabio Capello. Gutted, to be honest. Gave me my first cap and believed in me. Thank you, Mr. Capello."

The Arsenal midfielder, Jack Wilshere had that to say.

Joey Barton, QPR midfielder, he always has plenty to say...

FOSTER: Let's hear him.

PINTO: -- on Twitter. He's gotten in trouble for it. "No captain and no manager four months from a major championship. What's going on?"

Finally, Rio Ferdinand, the former England captain, the England international defender -- of course, he still plays for his country -- has this simple Tweet, which really says it all, "So Capello resigns, what now?"

FOSTER: Exactly. When I was coming into work, the whole discussion was about Harry Redknapp winning a court case and, therefore, opening his way up to become the new manager.

And so I presume he's now the frontrunner.

PINTO: He is. He was the odd-on favorite as soon as he was cleared earlier today here in London of two charges of tax evasion. He -- he was maybe the odds-on favorite to take over after Capello's contract expired in the summer.

The question now is, will he be approached to take over already for Euro 2012?


FOSTER: What's all the speculation based on?

Just because he's...


PINTO: -- Harry Redknapp, first of all, has a -- a high profile within the England public. He's led Tottenham to a Champions League place for the first time ever, two seasons ago. They're in the title race right now. And I think both the English Football Association and the fan base would like to see an English manager after Sven-Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello. There was Steve McClaren in the middle that didn't really work out.

As I was telling you, Harry Redknapp now has been cleared to took over because he's not facing a potential jail sentence. He was cleared earlier today. We'll have to see whether the FA approach him. They're -- they're holding -- they're holding a -- a press conference on Thursday, the English Football Association, to announce what they're going to do next and to give reaction to Capello's dismissals.

As far as Redknapp is concerned, let's hear his reaction today to being cleared of those charges of tax evasion.


HARRY REDKNAPP, MANAGER, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: It really has been a nightmare, I've got to be honest. It's been five years and this is a case that should never have come to court.


PINTO: That's Harry Redknapp earlier today saying it was a nightmare to be involved with this case...

FOSTER: Oh, yes.

PINTO: -- charges hanging over him for five years.

FOSTER: He was so stressed throughout, wasn't he?

You could tell.

PINTO: He was.

FOSTER: It must be a huge relief.

You will be back with all the latest on Capello?

PINTO: Yes. I'm going out to his house right now to -- to continue to follow this story...

FOSTER: To pester him.

PINTO: -- and -- and try to see what -- what the next steps will be...

FOSTER: What's going to happen.

PINTO: I'll be there live on "WORLD SPORT" in an hour's time.

FOSTER: OK. Good stuff.

Pedro, thank you very much, indeed.

Now, political unrest gives way to violence -- there's rioting in the streets of the Maldives. The day after the president's resignation, a top aide gives an eyewitness account to us of the shift in power.


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

Welcome back to you.

Here's a look at some other stories we're connecting you with tonight.

The European aviation safety agency is ordering all Airbus A380 planes to be inspected for wing cracks. A spokesman emphasizes the planes can still fly and Airbus insists there's no safety risk. Last month, Qantas removed an A380 from service after finding minor cracks in the wings. Airbus says there are 68 A380 planes in operation for Air France, China Southern, Emirates, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Qantas and Singapore Airlines.

It's a violent, chaotic scene in the Maldives a day after former President Mohamed Nasheed resigned. His party says the police attacked him. One lawmaker says four parliament members have been abducted. Nasheed was the Maldives first democratically elected president in three decades. He says he was forced out.

We spoke with Nasheed's former communications adviser, who describes what happened.


PAUL ROBERTS, FORMER PRESIDENT'S COMMUNICATIONS ADVISER: I was in the president's office. And I noticed that the -- the gates sort of swished open and three unmarked sedan cars drove in with a fully -- with a military sort of truck at the back. Nasheed got out. He was surrounded by, I would say, 50 or so army personnel, some of whom were armed.

He had a very quick meeting with a few aides then was sort of ushered into a room where the live sort of media feed was waiting. And he -- he said that he was resigning. He spoke very briefly to the staff at the president's office.

He was kept in a -- a room in the army headquarters. There were 18 or so men with guns. He identified them as scene -- middle ranking army and police officers. And they told him that if he didn't write a letter of resignation, there would be bloodshed.

He was forced to write his resignation letter at gunpoint.


FOSTER: U.S. Republican Rick Santorum has pulled off a three state win in the party's race for the presidential nomination. The wins in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado instantly bolstered the former senator's standing and helped him raise a quarter of a million dollars for his campaign.


RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So we definitely have a campaign right now with the momentum, the enthusiasm on the ground. And we feel very good that the delegate count will at least match, and maybe even exceed, what we received in Colorado and Minnesota.


FOSTER: Well, Santorum's win is a blow to frontrunner, Mitt Romney, who is seen as the more moderate candidate in the presidential race.

Three state ministers from Southern India are now out of office. They resigned after videos surfaced showing them watching what appeared to be pornography on a cell phone. They were in a legislative session at the time and one of the men was the minister of women and children development. All three denied the charges.

Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, the dispute over the Falklands -- why Prince William's presence is annoying Argentina.

Also ahead, a horrific act of protest -- the women in Afghanistan driven to set themselves alight.



Well, I am scared, because you've gone up to 120,000 feet, which is a really hostile environment. And no matter how much you have prepared yourself, you never know how it turns out until you do it for real.


FOSTER: The countdown is on, as Austrian base jumper Felix Baumgartner prepares to plunge from the edge of space. He talks about the risks he faces in tonight's big interview.


MAX FOSTER, HOST: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN. Time now for a check of the world headlines.

A Syrian opposition activist says 60 more people were killed on Wednesday in Homs as the regime presses ahead with a brutal assault to crush dissent. The government says it's going after terrorists.

Fabio Capello leaves Wembley Stadium after resigning as manager of England's national football team. Capello was critical of the football association's decision to remove John Terry as team captain.

The European Aviation Safety Agency is ordering all Airbus A380 planes to be checked for wing cracks. A spokesman emphasizes the planes can still fly, but they must be checked. Qantas pulled some of its A380 planes from service after finding minor cracks in the wings.

And Britain insists its latest defense operation in the Falklands is, quote, "routine." This responding to comments from the Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who says the UK is militarizing the disputed South Atlantic archipelago.

Britain is deploying the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dauntless to the territory. The government says it's to replace another ship, but Argentina views it as a provocation. It's also angry over the presence of Prince William. The UK says he's being posted there as a search and rescue pilot and that it's just a regular part of his job with the Royal Air Force.

Now, all of this comes as the islands prepare to mark the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict, in which 900 people died. The biggest losses were from Argentina. Our Senior International Correspondent, Dan Rivers, is in the Falkland Islands capital, Stanley. Dan?

DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you. Yes, well, that war of words between Britain and Argentina shows no sign at the moment of abating.

Last night, the Argentine president, Cristina Kirchner, gave a speech in which she talks a direct message to the British prime minister, David Cameron, urging him to give peace a chance, and also saying she's going to take the issue to the UN Security Council and General Assembly, they UN saying they haven't received any petition yet.

Meanwhile, the British foreign office has responded saying the people of the Falklands are British out of choice, they are free to determine their own future, and there will be no negotiations with Argentina on sovereignty unless the islanders wish it. That, the view from London.

This all happening in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of that 1982 conflict between the two countries. We've been out for the day today to see some of the relics of that war.


RIVERS (voice-over): Driving up to Tumbledown, the hills synonymous with a crucial battle of the 1982 war, the relics of the fight are still here. Patrick Watts runs tours of these battlefields.

RIVERS (on camera): Patrick, when you come up here and see all these Argentine positions still here 30 years on, what goes through your mind?

PATRICK WATTS, TOUR GUIDE: Well, I just think how tough it was for the guys here, you know? Because the winter weather came on them, and they were living here, the uncertainty, not knowing what the future would be, whether they would live or die, where the British was, would there be a peace settlement?

RIVERS (voice-over): But of course, there wasn't. The British soldiers launched a surprise attack here, allowing them to advance on the capital, Port Stanley, victorious.

High above Stanley, a lonely memorial to British soldiers who died. For Patrick, these men were heroes and liberators.

In 1982, Patrick was a radio presenter. This remarkable photo shows him announcing the invasion, a recording that is riveting.

WATTS: Now, the situation, as you might hear, is that the radio station has now been taken over. We have three Argentine --


UNIDENTIED MALE: We have everything recording two tapes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. For information.

WATTS: Well, just a minute --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Si, senor, un minuto!

WATTS: If you take the gun out of my back, I'm going to transmit --



WATTS: -- if you take the gun away.


WATTS: But I'm not speaking with a gun in my back.

RIVERS: Patrick continued broadcasting throughout the 74-day occupation, as he calls it.

WATTS: I felt it was important to retain a British presence in the radio station. Because bad news is bad enough, but it's a little better when they hear it from someone they know.

RIVERS: Near Stanley, another relic of war. This Argentine minefield is being cleared by Zimbabwean contractors. Team leader Andy Frizzell shows me the thick undergrowth hiding the mines.

ANDY FRIZZELL, BACTEC INTERNATIONAL: And the guys, they have to be quite disciplined. The processes we use are very deliberate, and the work is slow and methodical. It's long hours and often, like today, the conditions are not the best.

RIVERS (on camera): There are 113 remaining minefields on the island, with an estimated 15,000 devices still in the ground. Without many more people like this looking for them, it would take decades to completely clear the Falklands of mines.

RIVERS (voice-over): Until then, the remaining minefields will be a reminder of what happened on these remote islands 30 years ago.


RIVERS: Well, that's a look back at the events here and some of the artifacts that are still on the island 30 years ago. Tomorrow, we'll be looking forward, Max, to the future to see how these islands might change now there is the discovery of oil in the waters around the Falklands. Max?

FOSTER: Dan, thank you very much, indeed. We're going to be talking a bit more about that oil in just a moment, because Argentina's president says she'll lodge a formal complaint at the United Nations over Britain's behavior.

Dick Sawle is a member of the Falklands legislative assembly. He says it would actually welcome the issue being debated by the UN, because it would give the territory a chance to stop Argentina's claim for the Falklands -- they call it Las Malvinas -- once and for all.


DICK SAWLE, MEMBER OF FALKLAND ISLANDS LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY: Well, I'm sure that when the historical facts are examined, the debate will fall on our side. But also, it's a mistake to get caught up and entrenched in the events of what happened over 150, 170 years ago.

The fact is that for 150 years, we've been peacefully administered from England. We now have our own government, we have been British for the whole of that time. We run our own country, we make our own laws, we run our own budgets, we raise our own taxation, we have no financial dependency on the UK or any other country, of course.

FOSTER: I want to ask you about the more recent tensions, then, because it all started, didn't it, a couple years ago when British companies with a British contract started drilling for oil off the coast of the Falklands, Las Malvinas, as the Argentinians call it? They argue that's their territorial waters, you're plundering their assets.

Have you managed to work out how much oil is there, what the reserves are? What sort of reserves are we talking about here?

SAWLE: What they talk about is anything between 300 and 400 million barrels of oil in the northern basin of the Falklands in one oil field that they found, which I gather from talking to people who understand these things better than I, is about the size of a medium-sized North Sea oil field.

FOSTER: Argentina thinks it has a right to that because of a sovereignty issue, but do you suspect that it's more than that, it's about money, this whole debate?

SAWLE: Well, I think that Argentina has been quite jealous of our economy and our economic strength for some time. We have a country of 40- something million people in Argentina, which is taking an awful lot of time and effort to threaten a country of only 3,000 people.

FOSTER: Whatever the British government argues is routine, so bringing a new warship in and swapping it out, or sending over Prince William.

Whatever the arguments around that, whether or not they are routine, they all have to be approved by the government, and the timing of them is so incredibly sensitive. So, isn't it incredibly insensitive to make these swaps, these movements, just before the anniversary? Because you know --


SAWLE: Why should --

FOSTER: -- it's going to wind them up?

SAWLE: But why should Argentina -- why should Argentina hinder what is already planned?

FOSTER: Because of the timing. The coming up to the anniversary.

SAWLE: Well, I don't see why we should take any heed of the possibility that Argentina might be upset. Why should that impeded the plans that we already have? And these plans --


FOSTER: Well, maybe if they timed it --

SAWLE: -- they were --

FOSTER: -- until a few months down the line. Or actually brought it -- if it was going to happen 18 months ago, why not make it happen last year?

SAWLE: But it's very similar in Prince William's case. In Prince William's case, we already knew that Prince William was going to come to the islands. One thing we weren't sure of was the exact timing. But --

FOSTER: What if it was six months from now? Would you not prefer that?

SAWLE: There -- would I have preferred it? It would have made no difference to me. I don't see why we should take account of whether or not these things upset Argentina.

We have to remember, as well, by the way --


FOSTER: They want it taken into account, because you could potentially get caught up in a war. You've got --

SAWLE: No, no. I don't --

FOSTER: -- countries your region backing Argentina, not Britain.

SAWLE: I don't think there is any chance whatsoever of a war. The interesting thing to note here, as well, is that it wasn't that long ago that we had a rapier missile firing in the Falklands. OK? This happens every six months. It's happened every six months since 1982.

Recently, the Argentines decided to get very upset about these missiles being fired and claimed that this was some sort of aggressive act of war against Argentina.


FOSTER: But in their prism, you can almost see it, can't you?

SAWLE: Yes, but anything we do is bound to be seen like that, so the timing of it is fairly irrelevant. Whenever it happens, it will always cause a fuss. That's the position that I would take.

And I would also say, of course, that the decisions as to the timing of HMS Dauntless, the decisions of the timing of sending Prince William down, those are timings that are taken in this country, they're not timings that are taken -- those aren't decisions taken by the Falkland Islands government.

But I support them entirely, and I don't see why we should change plans that have already been in place for some time to suit what the Argentine view.


FOSTER: Well, when we come back, a shocking story from Afghanistan, living with the painful scars of desperation, the young Afghan women driven to set themselves on fire.


FOSTER: Beaten down by poverty, abuse, and oppression, some Afghan women are resorting to the most desperate means of escape, setting themselves on fire. Self-immolation isn't always about suicide, as Nick Paton Walsh reports. It can also be a horrifying act of protest.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two thirds of the women admitted to this burns unit in Herat die. But for the rest, survival normally means lying about what brought them here.

"The gas cylinder blew up," she says. "I was in the kitchen cooking. It burned me. I swear, no pain could be greater than what I suffer now."

Artifa (ph) was married off to her cousin aged 10. Doctors say after six years of abuse from her mother- and sister-in-law, she became an opium addict, her suffering silent, no one to cry to.

Then one day, she committed the only act of protest she could think of.

NAEEMA NAKZAAD, COUNSELOR: She burned herself because of domestic violence at home. For that reason, she threw the oil, "I burned myself, because of violence at home."

WALSH: It's taken months for her to admit what happened in private. In public, she insists she's another accident. Here, again, these women are silent.

Bed 19, they say, is also a victim of self-immolation. Her wounds are still raw, and her instinct of self-preservation still means she calls what happened another cooking accident.

GHAFAR ABAWAR, DOCTOR: Similarly, she's saying, "I burned with the gas," but when the patient came to the emergency room, here you will smell the fuel. Self-immolation is a taboo in our society. The shame of it.

WALSH: The truth would bring shame on her family, and that could mean they kill her. Self-immolation is almost an epidemic in Herat, 83 suspected cases in this hospital in the last ten months. A record.

WALSH (on camera): Many ask, why here? Some say it's because such abuse is common in nearby Iran. Others that the violence, the oppression, the stranglehold these women feel in their lives is so intense that this bid to die is the only way they can speak out about the brutality of their life.

WALSH (voice-over): They carry scars now forever from a devastating and brief moment in which they felt they had a voice, as their suffering in the past and future continues in silence.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Herat.


FOSTER: Well, the dire status of women under the Taliban cited as one of the justifications for military intervention in Afghanistan. More than ten years on, women are still facing violence, begging the question, what's really changed?

Here's some good news. School enrollment has increased from around one million in 2001, all boys, to more than six million, including more than two million girls. More than a quarter of the seats in the lower house of parliament are reserved for women. Under the Taliban, going out to work or school was forbidden.

But a recent global survey ranked Afghanistan as the most dangerous country for women worldwide. The 2011 poll from TrustLaw found Afghan women have a 1 in 11 chance of dying in childbirth, 70 to 80 percent of Afghan girls and women face forced marriages.

I want to bring in my next guest, Horia Mosadiq, an Afghanistan expert with the group Amnesty International. You're always going back to Afghanistan, and you've seen the process of change. There has been some change, hasn't there? But you're very disappointed by it.

HORIA MOSADIQ, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Yes, definitely. If you look at the situation in the past ten years, there have been a lot of changes, especially if you compare it with the time of the Taliban in many areas, including improving of the women's rights situation, human rights, freedom of expression.

FOSTER: So, women do feel freer in Afghanistan?

MOSADIQ: Definitely, yes. Definitely, yes. But then, with the issues of women's rights, of course, the progresses have been very slow. And the progresses have been slow for many reasons, including, first, lack of political well at the Afghan government level, and second, the decrease in the international pressure towards the Afghan government --

FOSTER: They think of things fine and better, so they're not as worried about it?

MOSADIQ: It is one point, and second is, because much attention has been drawn to the issue of fighting insurgency --


MOSADIQ: -- and increasing security in Afghanistan.

FOSTER: I want to just take a moment at this point -- we're going to come back to you -- to remind you of some of the shocking domestic violence cases which CNN has been following there.

You may remember the case of Gulnaz, an Afghan woman who was imprisoned for adultery. She had been serving a 12-year sentence after reporting that her cousin's husband had raped her two years ago. Gulnaz was freed after President Karzai intervened on her behalf.

The case has Sahar Gul was particularly horrific. Some may find the pictures we're about to show distressing. Fifteen-year-old Sahar was rescued by Afghan police in December. She had been beaten and locked up in a toilet for over five months after she defied her in-laws, who tried to force her into prostitution. These are pictures of her recovering in hospital.

There was also a case recently of a woman who authorities say was murdered by her husband for having a third child that was not a son. All very difficult -- different cases, but all painting a truly grim picture.

A lot of people don't want to see these stories, but they're important to tell, aren't they? Because they --

MOSADIQ: Absolutely.

FOSTER: -- they're still going on.

MOSADIQ: Yes, it is. Unfortunately, the situation, particularly the women's rights and human rights situation is far from perfect in Afghanistan, and it's still women are suffering a huge level of domestic violence and also discrimination at the judiciary, at the police, even if they try to report cases of violence, including rape.

FOSTER: So, briefly, a solution? Your best solution to this?

MOSADIQ: The best solution will be to put political pressure on the Afghan government in parliament. The elimination of violence against women law, which was approved by the --

FOSTER: It's in law, it's just not being implemented.

MOSADIQ: Absolutely.

FOSTER: So, you're talking about the policing, really.

MOSADIQ: Yes. It's about the policing, about the law enforcement agencies, and also about making the Afghan government accountable to us, the international funding that they are receiving from the international --


FOSTER: So, funding should be based --

MOSADIQ: Conditional.

FOSTER: Conditional on seeing through --

MOSADIQ: Absolutely.

FOSTER: -- the law.

MOSADIQ: Seeing through the law and the protection of human rights and women's rights in general in Afghanistan.

FOSTER: Because -- I guess some politicians would argue, you've got the laws to do it, it's now down to the police. So, do you think the government should be making sure the police see it through.

MOSADIQ: Definitely, yes. Definitely, yes. And at the same time, I believe that as the Afghan government is moving towards peace and reconciliation with the Taliban and this international -- is urging the international community and the Afghan government to come with a demonstrated commitment not to sacrifice the human rights, women's rights and Afghan constitution and freedom of expression in Afghanistan.

FOSTER: Thank you. Well, good luck with your work. Thank you very much for joining us.

MOSADIQ: Thank you.

FOSTER: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back --


FELIX BAUMGARTNER, BASE JUMPER: When you reach 65,000 feet, which is called the Armstrong Line, your blood starts boiling, and that suit keeps you alive.


FOSTER: Just one of the risks that Felix Baumgartner will face when he attempts to break a skydiving record. Find out how he plans to pull off the feat in tonight's Big Interview, up next.


FOSTER: The highest skydive ever survived by man stands at 102,000 feet. That's more than 31 kilometers above Earth's surface. Despite all our modern advances, that feat has gone unchallenged for five decades.

Now, in this, a leap year, that record may finally be broken and, in tonight's Big Interview, I speak to the man who's taking the supersonic plunge.


FOSTER (voice-over): Set to do what no man has ever done before, jump from a capsule attached to a giant balloon from 120,000 feet, where the view looks like this.

BAUMGARTNER: I'm going to slide the door open, bail out, and I'm going to be the first human person in free fall who's breaking the speed of sound.

FOSTER: He makes it sound simple enough, but Felix Baumgartner's attempt to jump from the edge of space comes after five years of exhaustive testing, development, and even a legal hitch.

FOSTER (on camera): What's the biggest challenge, here? Why has no one tried it before? And what's the challenge that you've managed to overcome to make it possible?

BAUMGARTNER: It needs a lot of research. It's not just, you lock yourself in a pressure capsule and then you go up. You need a lot of research. You need to find the right people to work with.


JOE KITTINGER, COLONEL, HIGHEST SKYDIVE RECORD HOLDER: OK, now we're going to get serious. We're going to depressurize the cabin to 120,000 feet. So, hit the dump valve and let's have a ride.


FOSTER: Among those on his Red Bull Stratos team, Colonel Joe Kittinger, who holds the 52-year-old record Baumgartner is attempting to break. The former US Air Force test pilot helped develop the NASA astronaut program. So, too, the suit being used in this mission.

FOSTER (on camera): Explain a bit more about the suit, how it works, and what sort of technology's in there.

BAUMGARTNER: So, the suit is protecting you, it provides you with oxygen, it keeps temperature, the cold temperature out. It also -- you also need a pressure suit because if you reach 65,000 feet, which is called the Armstrong Line, your blood starts boiling, and that suit keeps you alive.


BAUMGARTNER: We're at 81,000 feet, Joe, outside.


BAUMGARTNER: It needs and requires a lot of training inside the suit, because skydiving is totally different with the suit. You have a lack of mobility. It pretty much feels like a big handicap, and you have to learn how to deal with that handicap. So, it's not easy in the beginning.



KITTINGER: Beautiful! Beautiful technique, beautiful!


FOSTER: Baumgartner is no stranger to death-defying stunts. He has BASE jumped from the world's tallest buildings, set a record for the lowest such jump off Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue, and completed the first crossing of the English Channel with a specially-made fiber wing.

But free-falling from the edge of space is a whole new ballgame.

FOSTER (on camera): I guess if people imagine someone diving off a diving board, you have to keep that position, don't you? Because it would be very easy to spin out of control.

BAUMGARTNER: The big problem that we face here is at 120,000 feet, you have no supportive air. That means, when you step off, you cannot use your skydiving skills, and everything that I've done in the past relies on my skydiving my skills, but they're gone, because it's pretty much like swimming in the water without touching the water.

So, the first 30 seconds, you cannot use the air, and that requires a really stable exit. That's the reason why we practice a lot of bungee jumps.




BAUMGARTNER: Just to get the right motion into my mind. Exactly how to step off. And you cannot use any dynamic rotation, you cannot have any ordinary rotation, because then you start flat spinning really fast.

Because at 90,000 feet, you hit an air barrier, and then you start flat-spin, and it occurs so fast that you might pass out and you're going to die, so this is what we have to stay away from.

FOSTER (voice-over): Apart from being a personal challenge to Baumgartner, it's hope the Stratos Project will also help pave the way for future space travel, giving vital clues as to how man can survive in the stratosphere and beyond.

FOSTER (on camera): What are your chances of success?

BAUMGARTNER: Well, we have a big chance of success, because we're working with the right people. And as I said early on, we're not going from zero to hero. This is an ongoing program. For five years, we have been developing a lot of emergency equipment just in case, and we really know what we're going to do. And this is the reason why this is going to be a successful mission.

FOSTER: Are you not scared in any way?

BAUMGARTNER: Well, I am scared, because you go up to 120,000 feet, which is a really hostile environment, and no matter how much you have prepared yourself, you never know how it turns out until you do it for real. And that's the scary part.

But also, my courage is much bigger because I really want to see what's going up there -- what's going on up there, and that's the reason why I'm doing it.

FOSTER: You had a chance to meet Neil Armstrong, I just wanted to ask you about, in 2010, didn't you? So, what advice did he give you?

BAUMGARTNER: Well, he said go for it. You've got the right team behind, you're prepared, you have the skills, so he definitely thinks it's possible.


FOSTER: We will, of course, be following that incredible story.

In tonight's Parting Shots, some new pictures just in for you. The Duchess of Cambridge has been making her first solo public engagement.

There she is, arriving at the National Portrait Gallery just in the last couple of hours, the first time she's been out on her own. Her husband, obviously, out in the Falklands at the moment, causing some controversy, but she's starting her rounds of visits to the charities that she's decided to support, and the National Portrait Gallery is one of them, although it's described more as an "interest."

She studied history of art, so this is one of the causes she wanted to follow. She's fascinated by photography, as a photographer herself, and they have a big collection there.

But one of the big stories tonight is the fact that her outfit is, apparently, impossible to buy. No one can locate it anywhere on the internet. It's by Jesire -- or Jesire -- I don't know quite how to pronounce it. But everyone has agreed it's a big hit, but they won't be able to copy it.

I'm Max Foster. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" are up next after this short break.