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The Real Cost of Austerity; Hillary Clinton Speaks on Meeting with Turkish Counterpart; Anfield Hit With Criticism Over Treatment of Uruguayan Striker; Radical Cleric Abu Qatada Released From Prison; Debate Over Deporting Qatada; Freedom Project: Children of the Dump; BAFTA Awards; Grammys Tribute to Whitney Houston; Parting Shots: Remembering Whitney

Aired February 13, 2012 - 16:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Tonight on CONNECT THE WORLD, facing up to a new life of poverty -- forced out of work, forced to rely on handouts, the new reality facing generations of Greeks.

Live from CNN London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

FOSTER: As world leaders battle to save Greece from going under, we'll hear from its citizens, struggling to survive.

Also tonight, the U.N. human rights chief hits out at Syria, accusing the country of crimes against humanity.

And once described as bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe -- why Britain is being forced to set this terror suspect free.

One hurdle down, more to come. While Athens cleans up after violent protests early on Monday, the international community is giving a thumbs up to Greece after its technocratic government passed a new round of controversial austerity cuts. Germany and EU economics commission, Olli Rehn, both say slashing pensions and jobs is a crucial step toward a second injection of emergency cash for Greece.

Protesters in Greece aren't quite so sure. Tens of thousands of demonstrators clashed with riot police on Sunday, injuring more than 100 officers and dozens of civilians.

Eurozone finance chiefs could pull Greece back from the brink as soon as Wednesday, when they meet in Brussels. But tonight, it's all about the human factor, people like you and me, office workers, business owners, members of their community, are finding themselves on bread lines across Greece.

Senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance, has been to an Athens soup kitchen to see the real costs of slashing pensions and cutting jobs.

He joins me live now from the Greek capital -- Matthew.


So often, this Greek crisis is looked upon in terms of the Eurozone, in terms of whether Greece will be able to stay in it or not. But I think what's often overlooked is the fact that the austerity measures that have already been implemented in this country, in addition to the ones that were passed last night, have had a devastating impact on ordinary Greeks. Many people, as you mentioned, ordinary citizens, have, over the course of the past two years of recession and austerity, been quite literally plunged into poverty.


CHANCE (voice-over): At this soup kitchen in Athens, the growing ranks of Greece's new poor. Former office workers, soup kitchens, pensioners laid low by their country's economic despair. Like Andres, a retired merchant seaman, who says he hasn't received his pension for five months and simply can't afford to feed himself.

ANDRES: This food is good food?


ANDRES: Fresh food, cooking and give help to a lot of poor people, including me.

CHANCE: But many Greeks were angry at being seen here or too ashamed to be identified on camera. Seventy-two-year-old Alexander would only speak to us if we hid his face. He told me his family owned two clothes shops in Athens but lost everything when the economic crisis hit. People no longer buy expensive designer fashions, he says.

Social workers say it's a familiar tale -- recession and austerity forcing thousands of once middle income Greeks into poverty.

(on camera): Now, around the world, many people see this Greek financial story as a debt problem. People focus on how many billions of euros the country owes to get itself out of debt. But from the point of view of the people on the street, it looks very different.

You're seeing here, in this soup kitchen, people who, just a year ago, were ordinary European citizens. They shopped at supermarkets. They had apartments. They had jobs.

They've seen their standards of living drop off a precipice and that's the real Greek tragedy that's being played out in reality across this country.

(voice-over): Yet we also found a strong sense of resilience here.

ANDRES: Things, they're going to change. We're going to make sacrifices, but we -- we're going to survive. We are going to survive. This is guaranteed, because we survived 5,000 years, almost. And we're going to survive again. That's all.

CHANCE: It is the grim determination of Greece's new and desperate poor.


FOSTER: OK, Matthew, we're going to come back to you in just a moment.

But shortly before we came to air, I want to bring you an interview with did with neurosurgeon Panos Papanicolaou. He's based just outside Athens.

And I started by asking about seeing an increase in health problems due to these austerity cuts that Matthew was just talking about.


PANOS PAPANICOLAOU, NEUROSURGEON, GENERAL HOSPITAL OF NIKAIA: We have in -- in Greece, in persons coming to public hospitals with virus problems. We have seen a big increase in suicide efforts. We have seen a big increase in traffic accidents and generally in injuries. We have seen an - - an increase in heart problems, vascular problems, psychological problems and also in special infections.

FOSTER: And can you link that directly to the economic crisis in Greece?

PAPANICOLAOU: I think that is obvious. If you can look at it and there was a very serious scientific publication last October, I mean October 2011, in the "Lancet" medical magazine. It was a publication from the Gabriets (ph) University. The title was "A Greek Tragedy in Public Health."

The writers were analyzing very well that we have in Greece, in many diseases, serious diseases, because of the crisis, and that from the other side, we have an increasing difficulty for a big part of the population to have access to correct and qualified health services. And that's the two components of a very different problem.

FOSTER: And in terms of the impact on your hospitals...


FOSTER: -- you're facing cutbacks at the same time and dealing...


FOSTER: -- with more work.


FOSTER: So what's being compromised here?

PAPANICOLAOU: Our biggest problem is the lack of personnel, because there are no income of personnel or nurses or medical personnel anymore. The -- we have many colleagues, doctors, nurses and technicians, that are going out for pensions and for retirement and there are no new personnel coming in.


FOSTER: Well, let's see what some of the newspapers around the world have to say about the Greek crisis and how it's affecting other people.

In "The Guardian," they have the headline, "Austerity Hits the Middle Class and The Church Feeds 250,000 People A Day." It says, "The sight of people sleeping on pavement and park benches, in metro stations and shopping arcades, doorways and cars, is the most visible sign yet of an economy in freefall."

The "Sydney Morning Herald" in Australia has the headline, "Ground Zero A Breath Away, Greeks Told." It says this "new round of cuts would heap further hardship on the country via reductions in pensions, the minimum wage, health spending and public sector jobs, but the alternative is...much worse."

And in Greece, the "Kathimerini," an English paper, has this headline, "Deal Too Tough To Help Growth." It says, "It is more difficult for any economic adjustment program to succeed when it loses the support of a large proportion of the -- of the public in a country such as Greece.

Let's get right back to Matthew, who's in Athens.

Has been assessing the tone, really, there -- and, Matthew, I'm just wondering, you know, it's so hard for everyone there, isn't it, from the top down?

Is there a sense that, you know, maybe they should cut their losses, if not now, then soon?

CHANCE: Well, I think there's a sense, when you speak to Greeks here in Athens and elsewhere that the -- the cure is -- is worse than the disease when it comes to these austerity measures and the -- and the -- and the -- the deficit and the debt problems.

I think people -- nobody really wants to see the country going bankrupt. Nobody really wants Greece to leave the euro either.

But, you know, people are paying a very high price. And that's often overlooked. People have seen their lives, you know, absolutely taken away from them, in many cases, because of the -- the debt problems and the austerity cuts they've had to endure.

And I think that if that continues, it will place people under increasing pressure and attitudes toward the euro and toward the Eurozone in Greece could well start to shift.

But at the moment, people still want to remain part of the Eurozone.

FOSTER: OK, Matthew, thank you very much, indeed.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.

Still to come, harsh condemnation of Syria at the United Nations today, as the General Assembly gets ready for a key vote on the crackdown.

A radical cleric is set to be released from prison, but the British government vows to keep trying to deport him.

And America's big stars descend on London, to Baxter's, while a British star takes the spotlight at the Grammys.

All that and much more when CONNECT THE WORLD continues.


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

We're going to take you straight to the State Department in Washington, where Hillary Clinton is speaking alongside her Turkish counterpart on Syria.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: -- emergency help to reach those who are wounded and dying. We are increasing our funding to organizations like the Red Crescent, the International Committee for the Red Cross. And we're working directly with Syrian organizations at the grassroots to help families who have no electricity, food or clean water.

And because of the process leading toward Tunisia, we will work closely with Turkey and others to promote a political process. This is essential. And the Syrian people deserve no less than a democratic future, free of government oppression, terrorism and violent extremism.

Turkey, of course, is one of the leaders and has much at stake, being a neighbor and a nation of conscience that understands the suffering of the Syrian people and serves as an example of an alternative to the brutal Assad regime.

We talked about so much else. We talked about Iran, where we continue to pursue a dual track that both applies sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but also makes it clear that we are ready to sit down and discuss, in a purposeful way, through diplomatic engagement, the nuclear program. I have said many times from this podium and elsewhere, we recognize Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy. But Iran also has international responsibilities that we expect it to live up to.

We also have discussed the very strong support that Turkey is providing for the new democracies. We discussed the full range of issues, on a bilateral basis, that we are continuing to make a priority between us. Turkey's successful democracy is a real example. We are continually interested in the...

FOSTER: The U.S. secretary of State pushing up Syria, up the diplomatic agenda.

We'll bring you highlights of that throughout the program.

Now, the U.N. human rights chief, meanwhile, is saying that Syria's widespread, systematic attack on civilians could amount to crimes against humanity, no less. Briefed the U.N. General Assembly as it began debating how to respond to Syria's escalating crackdown. Any resolution it may pass would be non-binding, but would be the strongest U.N. statement on the violence to date.

I spoke to Pillay a short time ago.

She said international action on Syria is long overdue.


NAVI PILLAY, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: The situation should be referred to the International Criminal Court for investigation and prosecution.

FOSTER: You talk about the ICC and you're talking about years and years of any sort of response. And in terms of the U.N. Security Council, with Russia and China in the equation, you're not going to get an immediate response.

So what's your worst fear about what's going to happen in the coming weeks and months?

PILLAY: I think it's very, very urgent that there is collective, combined action on the part of the international community to once again send very strong messages to the government of Syria. The representative of Syria did address the General Assembly this morning. And he attributed the violations to terrorist groups.

Well, if that's the case, I think they should let in the international media. They should let my office in, so we can examine the situation. Even if there are terroristic acts, that is no excuse to be killing civilians or detaining civilians.


FOSTER: Syria's U.N. ambassador addressed the General Assembly today after Pillay, rejecting her remarks, saying his country has every right to combat what he calls terrorism.

Let's get more from senior U.N. correspondent, Richard Roth -- Richard, there seems to be some consensus that what's going on in Syria is wrong.

But is there a consensus on what do about it?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At the United Nations, there are major powers, well known to viewers -- China, Russia, a couple of others -- that don't think the United Nations should be involved, the way the West does, in other aspects of the Syrian situation. The Syrian automobile was really the target of a lot of speeches, critical, condemnatory, of the Syrian regime.

But he did listen to what Navi Pillay said to the General Assembly, when she said that crimes against humanity had been permitted, perhaps starting March 2011, hundreds of children killed, a government crackdown of violence against all opponents.

He responded.


BASHAR JAAFARI, SYRIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N. (through translator): The high commissioner of human rights spoke of tragic conditions that some Syrians are living in. Indeed, she is right, this is true.

However, she neglected to say what are the genuine reasons that led to that situation. She did not take up harsh, unilateral economic sanctions, Arab, regional and international, against Syria, as if she had not heard of those sanctions, as if she had not heard of the embargo.


ROTH: The Syrian ambassador and the human rights commissioner have dueled before in U.N. forums. The problem right now is the U.N. is divided among the big powers, Max, on taking action, with China and Russia vetoing a Security Council resolution in early February. Now, the General Assembly may take up, soon, a similar resolution. It would be, as you mentioned, the first approval, because there are no vetoes there, of a -- a worldwide U.N. statement against Syria. But it doesn't have any legally binding effect, such as a Security Council resolution.

And there's been very little talk so far about a joint U.N.-Arab League peacekeeping mission so far for Syria.

FOSTER: Richard, thank you very much, indeed, for that.

Now, still to come here on CONNECT THE WORLD, have the American owners had enough of Luis Suarez?

We'll have the fallout from the Uruguayan's latest lack of grace.


FOSTER: We're getting some information from the Press Agency saying Abu Qatada, the man described as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, has been released from prison. We were expecting this. We didn't know when the timing was. But we're going to speak to Nima Elbagir, who's been following this story for us in a few minutes time.

But there are the latest images we're getting from our -- our local affiliate from the prison where he's based.

And we can see some images, hopefully. We haven't seen them ourselves yet. We're just getting them in as we speak. They've literally just come into us from ITN. A door opening there at the prison. And we can assume he's going to come out in some sort of vehicle.

But a big story here in the U.K. and in Jordan. And we're going to bring you the details with Nima as we get them.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.

Welcome back.

I'm Max Foster.

Now, the English Football Association, meanwhile, has said it will take no action over Luis Suarez's refusal to shake Patrice Evra's hand before a Premier League game between Liverpool and Manchester United, because they say it is not a disciplinary issue. However, that is the only positive development, really, for the Anfield club, which has been hit with a barrage of criticism over their handling of such criticism involving the Uruguayan striker. Eleven their shirt sponsor, Standard Chartered, have displayed their disapproval or voiced it, at least.

Alex is here.

I mean bring us up to date on this. I mean it's a complicated story and people are not following it, but a huge sporting story.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and finally, there has been an apology, because on Sunday, Luis Suarez, via a statement on the Liverpool club Web site, did say I should have shaken the hand of Patrice Evra. Let's not forget, this is the player who was found to have been racially abused by Suarez, leading to Liverpool's Uruguayan star -- has been banned for eight matches. He was only just back from that ban, playing for Liverpool, again against Manchester United and Evra, when, as we saw from that video, he failed to shake the player's hand in a -- a sort of a constructive pre-match ritual that's fairly new to the Premier League. And some say, well, they could have done without that, because it was all about would they or wouldn't they shake hands rather than about the football.

And these two clubs are such big rivals, anyway, it doesn't need any further spicing up.

But the big difference, Max, is the intervention of Standard Chartered, the company that has its name on Liverpool's shirt front. And they have said they are very disappointed. And they've made that disappointment clear to the club.

And that's a rare thing in this day and age, for a sponsor to be so publicly annoyed. They always monitor the PR, of course, over scandals, like we saw with Tiger Woods when some of his sponsors dropped him a couple of years ago. But it's rare for them to be so public with that.

And so it's made us wonder and speculate as to whether word has got back to Liverpool's American owners, who also own Boston Red Sox, American sports (INAUDIBLE) Family Fund, very wholesome. So we...

FOSTER: It's become a story in Boston, hasn't it?

THOMAS: They've been very annoyed back there that this race row has turned into such a big affair.

Finally, an apology has come. Manchester United also issued a statement saying they accept that apology.

We can hear now from a brand expert that my colleague, Pedro, spoke to a little bit earlier, talking about the damage it might have done for Liverpool's reputation.


DREW BARRAND, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PITCH PR: If you look back over what's happened over the course of the last month or so of activity, you know, clearly it's now been the perfect scenario in terms of the way it's been handled. But, actually, I think, you know, how they've reacted over the weekend, strongly, decisively, shows that maybe they have turned a corner on this and they're trying to draw the line under it, which possibly should have been drawn weeks ago.


THOMAS: More on "WORLD SPORT" in just over an hour -- Max.

FOSTER: We look forward to it.

Alex, thank you very much, indeed.

Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, a reversal of fortune for Abu Qatada, once described as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe. We'll see when he's been released -- or just has been released from a British jail.

Desperately poor and forced to live on a rubbish dump -- CNN's Freedom Project finds out how one charity is helping to protect vulnerable children.

And then...


GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: Are you freezing, by the...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I'm very cold.

CLOONEY: OK. Because...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just keep cold this week.

CLOONEY: I will. But come here. Here, I'll hold you close.


FOSTER: Our very own Becky gets up close and personal with some of the brightest stars in the pack.


MAX FOSTER, HOST: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN. Time for a look at the world headlines for you.

The UN's Human Rights chief says Syria appears to be guilty of crimes against humanity. Navi Pillay addressed the UN General Assembly as it began debating a response to the deadly crackdown on dissent.

Israel is accusing Iran of planting bombs on Israeli embassy vehicles in Georgia and India. Four people were injured in the explosion in New Delhi. Explosives were also found in an Israeli car in Tbilisi. Iran says Israel bombed its own vehicles to tarnish Iran's friendly ties with the host countries.

Athens is cleaning up after violence exploded onto the streets of the Greek capital early on Monday. Protests erupted after the Greek parliament approved a new package of austerity cuts. The measures will pave the way for more emergency cash.

Pakistani prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has been indicted for contempt to the Supreme Court, made the ruling over his refusal to revive old corruption cases against Pakistan's president. Mr. Gilani could face up to six months in jail.

And just a few minutes ago, we reported this breaking news. Radical cleric Abu Qatada has been released from prison on bail. Jordan convicted him in absence on terror charges. Qatada has been fighting deportation for years. The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled Britain cannot deport Qatada.

Despite this latest legal development, the British government vows to do everything in its power to deport Qatada. Nima Elbagir joins us now with more. Nima, bring us up to date with this story.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: -- the United States, Max, and he has a UN Security Council embargo out against him, but the European Human courts -- Human Rights Courts, I should say, has now ruled that the United Kingdom cannot legally deport him.

You can appreciate the impact that that's having on the British government. This is what Theresa May, the UK home secretary had to say about this a little earlier.



ELBAGIR (voice-over): Abu Qatada Filistini, a Jordanian national, has been in British custody since 2005. Described as a terrorist with links to al Qaeda by successive Home Secretaries, the UK government has so far failed to either try him or successfully deport him.

And after the European courts ruled that the British authorities can't even hold him any longer, he's a free man.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: I hardly need to tell the House that the government disagrees vehemently with Strasbourg's ruling.


MAY: The right place for a terrorist is in a prison cell. The right place for a foreign terrorist is a foreign prison cell.

ELBAGIR: Strong words, but the government's hands are tied after the European Court of Human Rights moved to block Abu Qatada's deportation on the grounds that he would not receive a fair trial in his homeland, even as he is still deemed a risk to national security.

DAVID ANDERSON, REVIEWER OF ANTI-TERRORISM LAWS: Well, the judge said yesterday he was still dangerous, and we know that in the past he's associated with some very dangerous people.

He's not the person who plants the bomb. He's a thinker, he's a cleric, he's a preacher. He has inspired terrorists in the past.

ELBAGIR: The home secretary has said she wants him gone before the Olympics but, for now, that's easier said than done.


ELBAGIR: You can see, Max, the latest footage we've just had come in of Abu Qatada coming out of prison at long last and under police escort. You can appreciate -- we've been waiting for this all day.

It's taken a while, and it does feel like the British authorities are choosing to release him under the cover of darkness. Incredibly embarrassing for them. They know that at the moment, their only hope is to get the Jordanians to convince the European Human Rights Court that he can receive a fair trial in Jordan, Max.

FOSTER: OK, Nima. Thank you very much. Well, joining us now to debate the legal issues this case raised are Peter Bone -- he's a conservative member of parliament who's called for Qatada's deportation regardless of the European court order.

And Asim Qureshi, he's the executive director of the Human Rights Group CagePrisoners. Thank you both for joining us.

First of all, Peter, I want to come to you, because I want to talk about the evidence, here, because away from the story around this, what's the evidence against him?

PETER BONE, BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Well, I don't think that's the story, here. It's a very simple matter. The home secretary, the prime minister, our Supreme Court all think that this guy's a dangerous terrorist and they want to deport him. It's as simple as that. We should deport him, get on with it, and ignore entirely this foreign, unelected European court.

FOSTER: How do we know he's dangerous?

BONE: Well -- if he's not, it doesn't matter. We still don't want him here, get rid of him. I mean, he's a -- he's Jordanian, send him back to Jordan.

It is -- however you twist and turn, it's as simple as that. He's an undesirable alien, he should be deported. Our Supreme Court has said he should be deported and that there's no risk of torture to him in Jordan, and I believe that's true.

FOSTER: The Supreme Court said the evidence against him was based on torture, that's why he's not being deported.

BONE: No, no, no. The Supreme Court said he could be deported. It was the European Court that said he couldn't. Our Supreme Court, our senior court in the land, says he should be deported. I think we should take their view, not this foreign European court.

FOSTER: Asim, the British legal system says he must be deported. Why on Earth is he being let free in this country which clearly doesn't want him here?

ASIM QURESHI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CAGEPRISONERS: The bottom line is that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Abu Qatada has been involved in any plot.

We have a very, very strong system -- criminal justice system in this country, one where when evidence is presented, people are convicted of crimes that they have committed or have alleged or claimed to have committed.

For example, Operation Crevice, it had reasonable evidence, they planned the operation carefully, and they convicted the men that were involved in the plot. It should apply equally with all suspected terrorists here in the UK.

If Abu Qatada has been involved in any kind of plot, has been responsible somehow for violence in the UK, then he should be brought before a court and he should be charged for the crimes.

The reality is that the British legal system has always upheld due process as being above all else, and that is what gives it its strength.

The reality -- when people like Abu Qatada have come from abroad to this country seeking that justice, and it's a shame that we're throwing it all away just because of rhetoric that surrounds this man.

FOSTER: Peter, there is rhetoric around this man and people will sympathize with the rhetoric around it, but if you're talking about a fundamental principle of British justice, people are concerned that someone can be found guilty or sent abroad without evidence. That's the concern --

BONE: Well --

FOSTER: -- so just -- well, just reassure them.

BONE: Well, it's not a question of being guilty. Again, we're moving away from the issue. It's just he's an undesirable alien, and --

FOSTER: But based on what? We need evidence?

BONE: No, no, no, no. The home secretary and the prime minister have said he's an undesirable alien, he should go --


FOSTER: Yes, OK, but they're politicians.

BONE: And -- No, no.

FOSTER: We talked about the legalities here.

BONE: Having asked me a question, I'll try and answer it. The simple thing is that our Supreme Court agrees with it. Our highest court in the land agrees with that. So, it's not against -- going against the rule or right, it's entirely within what our courts say. It is only that some foreign court has stuck its nose in. And to be honest, he can go and get lost, that court.

FOSTER: How do we get around this, then? What is the next legal process in this? Why is he walking the streets of London?

BONE: Well, I think there's just a number of issues, here. First of all, he will go back to Jordan. The prime minister's made it quite clear. And when the prime minister makes those sort of statements, those things happen.

But they're trying to do it in a way that they get assurances that reassures this silly foreign court. But I'm saying to them, look. As other countries have done in the past, send him back now. Worry about the consequences afterwards.

Because what we're talking about is protecting the lives of British men, women, and children. And that should be the paramount importance to the government. Not the human rights of this extremist.

FOSTER: I've seen there are a great many people in this country very concerned to have him in their midst. What are you going to do to reassure them? And should he not just leave to sort of -- reassure British people, really?

QURESHI: Well, the reality is is that he could easily be watched by these -- and quite carefully in the UK. They've got him under a full house arrest right now. He's been put under bail orders, so he's not even allowed to leave his home at the moment.

There's very little that he can actually do that would cause -- that would be a cause for concern for people in the UK. So, I think that -- I think people have to understand that right now, he poses very, very little threat to anybody in the UK. He didn't prior to his incarceration, and he doesn't now.

If he had been a threat right now, he would have been charged with a crime and he would have been convicted. This is -- it's a very, very simple matter.

Now, in terms of any kind of takes in the country, if you believe that somebody is a threat, the first thing the police will try and do is that they will try and question the individual. In over ten years of his incarceration, the police have not asked him a single question. Not even once.

Now, how can it possibly be that a man that is alleged to have been a threat to the UK has never been questioned about any of his activities, has never been questioned about being involved in any plot.

I mean, they've -- they claim that he is the right-hand man of Osama bin Laden. Well, quite frankly, if that was the case, then the police have been completely reckless in the way that they have managed this case, because I for one would want him questioned about any kind of role or activity that he had in that circumstance.

FOSTER: Asim Qureshi and Peter Bone, we really appreciate your time. Thank you both very much, indeed, for joining us.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, forced to live on a rubbish dump, picking through scraps just to try to survive. Just ahead, why poverty isn't the biggest threat these children in Vietnam face, would you believe?


FOSTER: Human trafficking is a global scourge, and we make no excuses about helping to put an end to it. The Freedom Project is committed to exposing a multibillion-dollar industry which trades in human life by bringing you the victims' stories.

An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked for sex each year, according to the US State Department. It's an horrific statistic. A small school in Vietnam is working to stop more children from becoming victims.

In the city of Rach Gia, there's a community of refugees from Cambodia who are so poor they live on a garbage dump. CNN's Natalie Allen traveled to the dump, where she witnessed a shocking level of poverty and filth.

It's a place where child traffickers are taking full advantage of utter desperation. But as Natalie discovered, the story isn't without hope.


NATALIE ALLEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the beauty of Halong Bay in the north to the lush countryside in the central highlands, Vietnam is a country of contrasts.

A picture of rural life seemingly untouched by time, where generations of families toil in the rice fields. Vietnam also has one of the world's fastest growing economies, and a skyline to match.

But in this country of 90 million, this is progress most here will never see.

It was early morning when I touched down deep in the Mekong Delta on the southwest tip of Vietnam.

I came here on a humanitarian trip, all of us volunteers from several different countries. All I knew was we were going to build a playground for poor children.

But I wasn't prepared for how poor.

They live on a garbage dump, hundreds of Khmers, Cambodian refugees, who spend their day picking through trash for food and for pennies.

ALLEN (on camera): It's afternoon here, and that means the real work is about to begin. There's a 4:00 truck that comes in. They'll work that for about two hours, sorting through, and then at 11:00, apparently, the best truck comes in with the most trash that they could recycle, and many of these families, children as well, will work through the night.

ALLEN (voice-over): I watched as this young mother sorted, pressed, stomped, and carried away an afternoon's haul. Her load will bring her family less than 35 cents.

These people are so desperate, I'm still haunted by what happened just minutes after we arrived. A father offered to sell us his baby, this little boy.

There's no shortage of traffickers looking to feed on that desperation. Every day, these children are at risk of being taken away, bought and sold.

CAROLINE NGUYEN TICARRO-PARKER, CO-FOUNDER, CATALYST FOUNDATION: When we started, we knew of a house that was at the entrance of the dump, and we knew that girls were being taken in there by traffickers and raped. If they screamed, then they were let go. If they weren't scream, then they were taken. And the girls were as young as four.

We provide food and shelter --

ALLEN: Caroline Nguyen Ticarro-Parker runs the Catalyst Foundation, a nonprofit aid group that brought us here. She told me about the lure of the traffickers, often too strong for these incredibly vulnerable people, the poorest of the poor.

How could they not believe that anything would be better than this?

TICARRO-PARKER: And the trafficker looks like your mom. Doesn't look like a bad guy. The trafficker came to the community, asked the family members, asked parents, said, "If you have a daughter, we have $150, and just show us where your daughter is, and she's going to work for us. And she may be back in a couple of years. Are you interested?"

And there were parents that said yes.

ALLEN: Many of those children will never be seen again.


ALLEN: Caroline believes education is the one thing that can save these kids. That's why she opened Catalyst, the first school for the children of the dump.

TICARRO-PARKER: The main reason that Catalyst exists is to prevent trafficking, and we knew that girls were being taken from the garbage dump, and we thought, if you can escape from wherever you're being taken to come home and read the sign, that was one step.

ALLEN: And Caroline tells me it's just as important to educate the parents.

TICARRO-PARKER: When we started, it was 99 percent illiteracy. None of the parents knew how to read and write, the children had never been to school. And we're up to 60 percent literacy rate. The children were understanding that they could be the generation that doesn't work in the dump.

ALLEN: I was overwhelmed by these children, by their incredible resilience amid such bleak surroundings. Like 14-year-old Yu (ph).

TICARRO-PARKER: Yes, she's been here her whole life. When she was 9, she started working full time, 12 she went to school for the first time at our school.

ALLEN: Is it hard for her to go to school and work here, too?

TICARRO-PARKER: No, it's not hard.

We're very realistic about we're not going to eliminate trafficking. We're not going to change this whole culture of girls feeling unworthy of themselves. But we're going to change this group of girls. We're going to change 200 girls. It's going to happen one girl at a time.

ALLEN: Natalie Allen, CNN, Rach Gia, Vietnam.


FOSTER: And in part two of our series tomorrow, we'll show you how the Catalyst School is using pencils and books as weapons in the war against human trafficking. Here's a preview.


TICARRO-PARKER: No one in the larger community was counting them as human beings. They were nobody.

ALLEN: The poverty is crushing, making these already vulnerable people easy prey for human traffickers, and the children are most at risk.


ALLEN: That's why Caroline opened a school, Catalyst, to educate kids about he dangers of human trafficking, especially girls. These children live with the threat of child traffickers every day. They grab them off the streets, they trick parents into selling them, offering jobs that don't exist.

Caroline says, with an education, they have a chance.


FOSTER: A peak at part two of our CNN Freedom Project presentation, the Children of the Dump. That's tomorrow, right here, on CONNECT THE WORLD.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, find out who got a warm hug from George Clooney on a cold night at the BAFTAs. That's up next.


FOSTER: When it comes to entertainment, it seems the best of it is coming out of Europe this year, at least that appears to be the verdict of the British film industry and the American music industry after two of the year's biggest awards ceremonies last night.

In a moment, Kareen Wynter will bring us the highlights of the Grammys in Los Angeles, but first, Becky takes us onto the red carpet at the BAFTAs here in London.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 65th BAFTA awards boasted a red carpet full of star power, with Hollywood's biggest names, Brad Pitt and George Clooney, crossing the Atlantic to do battle as leading actor on a chilly London evening.

ANDERSON (on camera): How do you feel about being in the BAFTAs?

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: Are you freezing?

ANDERSON: Yes, very cold.

CLOONEY: You must be, because --

ANDERSON: Just keep talking to me.

CLOONEY: I will. Just -- here, I'll hold you close.


BRAD PITT, ACTOR: Well, this the land of Shakespeare, the land of O'Toole and Olivier and -- for us, across the pond, it's -- a lot of respect for us to get over here.

ANDERSON (voice-over): But it was another American, Meryl Streep, playing iconic British figure Margaret Thatcher --

MERYL STREEP AS MARGARET THATCHER, "THE IRON LADY": Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.


ANDERSON: -- who returns home with an award from the British Academy. Her evening, though, not without incident.

STREEP: I'll get there, I'll get there.

ANDERSON: There was a Fellowship Award for the distinguished American director Martin Scorsese, and a career achievement award for the great British actor John Hurt.

But the night's biggest winners were neither British nor American. French film "The Artist" walked off with seven awards, including Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Film.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN, THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY: I just loved it, and it rearranged my senses. And the greatest thing was, when I showed my kids the movie, we all took our BlackBerries, put them on the table, and declared a peace treaty.

So, this is the movie that revolts against technology. We're going the other way. More time with our kids, more time with our families. That's the message of the movie.

ANDERSON: As the biggest movie bash of the year in Britain winds up, the focus, as ever, shifts to the Oscars in two weeks time, and the message to American in 2012, watch out. The French are coming.

Becky Anderson, CNN, London.


FOSTER: Well, across the pond, the normally upbeat Grammys took on a more somber note in the tribute to one of music's most acclaimed singers, Whitney Houston. A source tells CNN that Houston's body will be flown from California to New Jersey, her home state, and that a funeral will be held on Friday or on Saturday.

But the star, who was found dead in an LA hotel on the eve of the ceremony, won six Grammys during her career. Here's Kareen Wynter.


STEVIE WONDER, SINGER: I just want to say to Whitney up in heaven, we all love you, Whitney Houston.

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: At the 54th Grammy Awards, the focus shifted from music to mortality.

LL COOL J, HOST, THE GRAMMY AWARDS: We've had a death in our family.

WYNTER: Host LL Cool J led a prayer for Whitney Houston, whose death on the even of the Grammys stunned the recording industry. Jennifer Hudson paid tribute with a haunting version of Houston's greatest hit, "I Will Always Love You."

JENNIFER HUDSON, SINGER (singing): And I will always love you.

WYNTER: If this had been a normal Grammys, the headline would've been the sensational return of Adele. The British singer sang publicly for the first time since vocal surgery last year and left no doubt she's back.

ADELE, SINGER (singing): We could have had it all. Rolling in the deep.

WYNTER: As expected, she won the Grammys' top honor, Album of the Year, along with five other awards, including Record and Song of the Year.

ADELE: Thank you so much. This is ridiculous.

GLEN CAMPBELL, SINGER (singing): -- where the lights are shining on me, yes!

WYNTER: But on a night when Glen Campbell's struggle with Alzheimer's gave a farewell performance and the Beach Boys reunited on the Grammys stage, the show will be remembered for an artist who won her last Grammy over a decade ago.

HUDSON (singing): And I will always love you.

WYNTER: Kareen Wynter, CNN, Los Angeles.



FOSTER: And in tonight's Parting Shots, we take a look back in pictures at the amazing career of Whitney Houston. As we just saw, she was admired by so many in the music industry, and here's what just a few of them had to say when they turned to Twitter.


TEXT: "Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston." Dolly Parton.

"Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston." Mariah Carey.

"I just can't talk about it now. It's so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn't believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen." Aretha Franklin.


FOSTER: I'm Max Foster, that was your world connected tonight. Thank you so much for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" are up next after this short break.