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Rifaat al Assad: Bashar al Assad Will not Last as President; James Murdoch Steps Down From BSkyB

Aired April 3, 2012 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, seven days and counting D the cease-fire deadline fast approaching for Syria as activists warn of escalating violence.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: Tonight, the United States warns Syria against intensifying attacks and says failure to meet the deadline will require an urgent and serious response. (inaudible)

UK phone hacking scandal costs James Murdoch another job, this time as chairman of UK paid TV giant BSkyB.

And is it a bird? Is it a plane? Oh, I say it's a bit of both D a new look for a British airline ahead of the London Olympic games.

Nearing midnight in Syria and we are not just a week away from a deadline for the regime to end its military crackdown. Syria, facing a possible new threat tonight from the UN security council if it fails to comply.


SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UN: But let me say that from the U.S. point of view, and I think the point of view of many member states, what we have seen since April 1 is not encouraging and that the D should the government of Syria use this window rather than to deescalate to intensify the violence, it will be most unfortunate and it will be our view that the security council will need to respond to that failure in a very urgent and serious way.


ANDERSON: let's get you right to CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom for the very latest. He is following developments from Abu Dhabi for you tonight.

Rice certainly pulling no punches, Mohammed, tonight, but let's be frank that's nothing new. What do you make of this message from the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, Well, Becky, it's really no surprise this message is coming out today. And Susan Rice isn't the only person expressing skepticism and doubt about Bashar al Assad's regime and their actual intention.

I mean, the opposition today has told us repeatedly that in fact the campaign against them is escalating. One opposition activist in Benish (ph), that's in Idlib Province in the north on the border with Turkey said that in fact it's been the worst day of violence in Benish (ph) since the start of the revolution. He reported seeing helicopters hovering above shooting at civilians trying to flee saying this bloody crackdown goes on unabated.

But let's remind people, let's remind viewers of what this six point plan is that Bashar al Assad agreed to, the plan that was presented to him by UN envoy Kofi Annan.

Point one, commit to an inclusive Syrian led political process to address grass roots grievances.

Point two, commit stop the fighting and forge a UN supervised cessation of armed violence by all sides.

Point three, ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to areas affected by the fighting.

Point four, speed up the release of arbitrarily detained people.

Point five, ensure freedom of movement for journalists.

And point six, respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully.

Now we spoke to one expert, one Syria expert Andrew Tabler (ph) earlier in the day. And he explained how it's difficult to believe that these points could be respected by the al Assad regime. If you talk specifically about point six, freedom of assembly.

Did anybody really believe that the Bashar al regime is going to allow people to come out and demonstrate against the regime? Well, the opposition certainly doesn't believe it. And those aren't the only points they don't believe.

So right now you're seeing a lot of skepticism being expressed by people inside Syria, especially the opposition, and a lot of countries that have been opposed to the al Assad regime, but are perplexed because they're trying to see how they can end that violence and it just hasn't ended D Becky.

ANDERSON: Good points.

Mohammed, stay with me. I want to draw your attention to this D one of Bashar al Assad's own family members says his time in power is running out. Rifaat al Assad, the president's uncle, once head of Syria's security forces and I have to say it's known for one of the darkest stains on the country's history, the 1982 massacre at Hamaa for women, children, the elderly, no one was safe from the government's determination to crush an armed uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood. Rifaat al Assad is accused or orchestrating the assault that literally razed huge parts of the city to the ground, killing some 30,000 people.

Well, he left Syria in O84 for taking part in a failed coup attempt against his brother Hafez, who was president at the time. In fact, Rifaat has been living in Europe ever since, reportedly in luxurious homes in Paris and in London.

Well, he recently sat down with CNN to discuss the current crisis in Syria. He said he doesn't believe his nephew Bashar has a firm grasp on reality.


RIFAAT AL ASSAD, BASHAR AL ASSADOS UNCLE (through translator): Bashar is a fleeting presence in Syria's history. He is not a constant. He will pass, and swiftly.

If he was destined to be a lasting presence, he would have been able to understand what is happening around him. I assure you, he does not know what's going on around him.

He thinks he's winning.


ANDERSON: Also in that interview with CNN, Rifaat al Assad also made some interesting remarks about Syrians who opposed the regime, wouldn't even use the word opposition. Have a listen to this.


AL ASSAD (through translator): There is no opposition in Syria. We would be lying to ourselves if we said there was an opposition in Syria. We would have to put aside everything that we know to be true. To believe that, we'd have to put aside our consciences.

There is no opposition, this is a grouping, a ramshackle coming together.


ANDERSON: Somewhat conflicting narratives there.

But Mohammed, is Rifaat al Assad even relevant in Syria any more? Does he have any support? And what should we make of his D his words about his nephew?

JAMJOOM: Well, Becky, there's been speculation for quite some time as to whether or not Rifaat al Assad was trying to position himself to be considered some sort of viable candidate to be part of a government in a post Assad regime D in a post Bashar Assad regime.

But the fact is, you know the point is, he is irrelevant in Syria. This is somebody who has lived in exile in very posh surroundings, in Europe, in France, since the 80s. he's somebody who is not trusted by the opposition in Syria. And he is not D he's hated by Bashar al Assad and his inner circle because of his part in the attempted coup against Hafez al Assad in 1982.

So what he's saying he has to say. There really isn't anything else he could say. It does seem like conflicting messages, but he can't support Bashar al Assad. And he can't support the opposition because the opposition distrusts him.

So, the long and the short of it seems to be right now that he does seem to be trying to position himself to be noticed as somebody who could play a role in a post-Bashar al Assad government in Syria, but nobody seems to be taking him seriously in that regard.

ANDERSON: All right. But given that he may want to play a role going forward, we know this man is known throughout Syria, Mohammed, for the military assault on Hamaa. In the CNN interview he did also talk about that. let's have a listen.


AL ASSAD (through translator): No, no. There is no comparison, because Hafez al Assad was a revolutionary, a long time Baathist. And Rifaat al Assad is a good military man, a well known military man. The fight in Hamaa was between the Muslim Brotherhood and the state. The party wanted to take on the state and the state would not accept their occupation of Hamaa. There was a big difference.

Hafez al Assad was creative. He was a genius.


ANDERSON: Is he right?

JAMJOOM: Well, Becky, it's fascinating to hear him praising Hafez al Assad here, his brother whom he tried to take power away from in 1982, but what else is he going to say? If he condemns the Hamaa massacre, he would be condemning himself. As head of the armed forces in the 80s he was the engineer of what happened in Hamaa. So even though others have tried to link what's happened in Homs with what happened in Hamaa, the fact is Rifaat al Assad can only say what he's saying here. And that seems to be the theme of a lot of the talking points from this interview. he's saying what he must say in order to try to be taken seriously.

But to hear him praising Hafez al Assad, the person whom he tried to supplant in power after to which he had to flee the country and live in exile, and then saying he was a creative genius when referring to a massacre, that doesn't exactly give people trust in him that he would be some sort of viable leader or be able to play a role in a post Bashar al Assad regime in Syria D Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff. Mohammed, thank you for that out of Abu Dhabi for you this evening.

Our top story, Syria's pledge to honor a cease fire deal being met today with a healthy dose of skepticism by many of the very parties involved in carving out that plan. Exactly this hour, a week from now, we will know whether President Bashar al Assad will prove his detractors wrong or whether once again his words and promises prove empty.

Your watching CNN Connect the World live from London. Still to come, millions face starvation across the big planes of Africa. we'll take a close look at the Sahel drought for you.

Plus, another high profile resignation for James Murdoch. We will tell you why he is stepping down as chairman of pay TV giant BSkyB.


ANDERSON: you're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Now in startling, terrifying scene today around Dallas, Texas. Have a look at this video. It shows one of at least two tornadoes that touched down in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area within the past few hours.

Now the twisted barreled over a tractor trailer depot, hurling huge trucks. And here D well, like they were playthings.

There was also extensive property damage in residential neighborhoods.

So far no reports of injuries or deaths. Warnings have now been canceled in the area, but a watch remains in effect for the next two hours. And more on that of course as we get it.

15 million people at risk of starvation, a million of them are kids. All of them live in the Sahel region of Africa, a belt of arid land that stretches across the continent below the D excuse me -- Sahara Desert. The region is in the midst of a severe prolonged drought. Eight nations from Senegal to Chad are experiencing the worst conditions.

UNICEF officials say these people can be helped. Time is of the essence.

David McKenzie with more from Chad.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: This crisis is affecting the Sahel region of Africa, between the Sahara in the north and the equatorial forests in the south.

UNICEF says that more than a million children could face starvation in these eight countries, because of climate change and food prices, and also regional conflict it's difficult to get the aid out to people. These programs are woefully under funded.

They say this is the edge of a crisis, that people need to act now, go on Twitter and Facebook and join the conversation and try to help the Sahel and its people.

David McKenzie, CNN, Djimena (ph), Chad.


ANDERSON: Well, aid workers say the situation is rapidly deteriorating. My colleague Jenny Harrison with more on that.

Jen, what have you got?

JENNY HARRISON, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Well, it's a long (inaudible). A drought like this with this significance does not occur literally overnight. Let me just show you again the region that David was referring to there. Look how vast it is, stretching literally from the west out towards the east to the horn of Africa.

And what you have here is two very different climates. Of course, to the north we have the Sahara Desert. And then we have the wetter lands further to the south, but in all this is an area covering 3 million square kilometers.

It is hugely dependent on the Intertropical Convergence Zone. We call that the ITCZ. And these rains shift depending on the season, so in January they are to the south. And as we go through the spring months it pushes up towards the north. And during the summer months it's this pretty much across this region the Sahel. And this is the rains that are so desperately needed and relied upon of course from one year to the next.

Now what has been happening is that we haven't seen these rains. The drought is in extreme situation across much of the east D Ethiopia, also Uganda. And then out towards the west as well. Here we are in a severe state of drought.

So if we take this area to the west, I want to show you this graph that goes back to 1900. Now look at the first D my goodness D years up to 1970. You see this line and you see all these black bars above it, that is good, some very good rains during those years. Since 1970, just have a look at this, there have been only four seasons with average or above average rainfall since 1970. And as we've been saying, of course, the number of people that are so impacted D 10 million, a million of them children. we're so reliant, Becky, on these rains in terms of what's going to happen through the spring months looks as if the east is going to see some pretty good rains. That gets worse through the summer, but out towards the west, we should see some above average precipitation D Becky.

ANDERSON: That is good news. Jenny, as ever, reminding us exactly why we should care about that story. Thank you, Jen.

Look at some other stories that are connecting for you tonight. And James Murdoch has stepped down today as chairman of British satellite broadcaster BSkyB. Felicia Taylor is on that story. The second resignation this year, Felicia, for the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Why this? And why now?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what this does is basically the conclusion has been made that it could have been too damaging for him to stay on as chairman and CEO of the company, because there are still critical verdicts that could come down from a writ of parliamentary inquiries. So this removes him from that position.

The reigns go to Nicholas Ferguson who was the deputy chairman. And it's from a shareholder's perspective this is actually good news, because it removes any kind of uncertainty that there was of him being at the helm.

Now as I mentioned, there is still a critical verdict that could come from another inquiry from the British parliament, but there's also regulators that are looking into whether or not BSkyB is fit and proper to broadcast. If they are deemed not to be and their broadcast license is taken away that can escalate things here in the United States with escalation in terms of allegations of foreign corrupt practices act.

We spoke to one defense lawyer who told us that those penalties could be very severe D listen.


BRAD SIMON, DEFENSE LAWYER: News Corp. could be on the hook tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars if they ultimately settle, or if convicted as far as crimes. Not to mention the potential risk of individuals, high ranking individuals of News Corp. getting indicted and possibly going to prison.

TAYLOR: How high? Like Jamie Murdoch?

SIMON; Absolutely.


TAYLOR: Now this report could come shortly after Easter. So this story is far from over. And there certainly will be headlines to come D Becky.

ANDERSON: Felicia, thank you.

we'll take a very short break here on CNN. When we come back, at age 36, a ripe old age, Tiger Woods ready to play the Masters, for get this, an 18th time. His chances, we're going to chat about that after this.


ANDERSON: It is getting down to the business end of the champions League season in Europe. And two of the semifinalists should be set within the hour. The biggest match of these quarterfinal stage pitting defending champions Barcelona against A.C. Milan. The first leg in Italy ending scoreless.

I've got to admit, I've had one eye on these matches tonight. we've been (inaudible) for the show.

let's bring in Don Riddell from CNN Center to tell us how the second leg on that tie at least is progressing D sir.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Becky. Good to see you. Great night for Barcelona. A record breaking night for Lionel Messi, although how often have we said that? Barcelona are currently winning by 3-1. there's just nine minutes to go in that tie. So Barca are almost certainly going to be in the semifinal of the champions League yet again.

Messi has scored two penalties this evening. Andreas Iniesta has scored Barcelona's third.

And in the other game this evening, Bayern Munich are winning their game by 2-nil against Marseilles. Olic scored both those goals in the first half.

So if those results stay the way they are, Bayern will be going through to almost certainly play Real Madrid in the second leg. Barcelona will meet either Chelsea or Benfica.

ANDERSON: Fantastic stuff (inaudible) messy when you play Messi in the Champions League.

Listen, Let's get some golf out of the way. Last year, he had one of the biggest meltdowns in Masters history. The young Irishman has redeemed himself, of course, over the year. that's (inaudible) D but who is, or who are the favorites this year?

RIDDELL: Well, Rory McIlroy definitely is one of the favorites. I mean we all remember watching his meltdown at Augusta last year. It was just absolutely, you know, awful to watch someone collapse like that. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion.

Good to see that Rory McIlroy now says he can laugh about that. And he is tipped by many to go ahead and finally win the masters this year, but the real favorite, or at least in the bookies eyes, the real favorite this year is Tiger Woods. He of course is back on form having won the Arnold Palmer Invitational just last weekend. And it looks like it's going to be the Tiger versus the Rory show. And those guys have been speaking to the media at Augusta today.


RORY MCILROY, WORLD NUMBER TWO: I think it's great for the tournament, it's great for the game of golf that Tiger is back playing well. You know, he creates excitement that no one else in the came can. You know, a lot of people want to see him make history. And, you know, he looks like he's back on track to maybe go on and doing that.

TIGER WOODS, 4-TIME MASTEROS CHAMPION: he's very feisty. And it's what you have to be out here. And, you know, he has all the makings of being a great champion for a long period of time. And we've seen him, obviously, what he did at, you know, last year at the masters and how he came back at the Open. You know, you honestly have to look at it, I mean he led what seven out of the eight rounds of major championships last year. that's pretty impressive.


RIDDELL: What about the defending champion Charles Schwartzel. he's actually 40 to 1 in the eyes of the bookies. But he does get a say tonight, because you'll know at Augusta that the defending champion gets to choose and pay for the menu for all the other previous masters champions. he's South African, Charles Schwartzel. And the most notable bit about his menu is that his barbecue, or Braai will be served up with monkey gland sauce.

you'd have to watch World Sport in an hour to find out what's in it.

ANDERSON: I'm absolutely (inaudible). I'm not even going to leave the studio, I'm waiting for that.

Don Riddell is in the house for you tonight with your sports news. And That's World Sport in an hour from now.

Still to come on Connect the World, against their will There's thousands of teenagers beaten into forced marriages. Should the practice carry a prison sentence? We'll take that to the experts.

Then, she started at Google when it was just a startup. Now she is one of the most influential women in the world. (inaudible) coming up, one lady takes us back to where it all began.

And makeover is taking British art to new heights. I'm going to take you to Heathrow to the unveiling of what is the new Olympics plane.


ANDERSON: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. This is CNN, I'm Becky Anderson. These are the latest world news headlines.

Tornadoes roared through the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas today, tossing huge tracts of trailers through the air like matchsticks. The is extensive property damage in surrounding neighborhoods. So far, no word on deaths or injuries.

Opposition activists in Syria say the regime is escalating attacks ahead of the April 10th deadline to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from protest cities. Activists say at least 20 people were killed across the country today.

France's top terrorism prosecutor says he plans to file charges against more than a dozen suspected Islamic militants. He says they belong to a group that was preparing to carry out attacks.

And a forensic team is collecting evidence at the California college where police say a former student went on a shooting rampage. Investigators say One Goh lined up students against a wall and shot them, killing seven people and wounding three others.

Now, it could be happening right next-door to you. A very young woman held against her will, coerced into marriage with a stranger. All of it orchestrated by her own family. Well, the UK's Forced Marriage Unit says this practice may be happening up to 8,000 times a year in Britain alone, its victims as young as five years old. CNN's Atika Shubert looks at the rising number of appeals for help.



ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The calls come from girls and women, mostly, but sometimes men and, occasionally, children. An estimated 500 calls a month at Karma Nirvana, Britain's national hotline for forced marriage.

JASVINDER SANGHERA, KARMA NIRVANA: When I was 14 years old, my mother presented me with a photograph of a man whom I was to learn I was promised to at the age of eight.

SHUBERT: Born in Britain, raised in an Indian Sikh family, Jasvinder Sanghera is Karma Nirvana's founder.

SANGHERA: My mother tried to engage me in the actual marriage, wedding dress, and the whole thing, and I said, "No, I'm not marrying this man. I want to finish school." And that was when they took me out of school, and I was held a prisoner, literally, in my own room.

SHUBERT: Sanghera managed to escape, but her family disowned her. Her younger sister was forced to marry in her place, and her older sister set herself on fire after years trapped in an abusive forced marriage.

SANGHERA: I was born in Darby. I went to school in Darby with my sisters.

SHUBERT: Sanghera is now a relentless campaigner against forced marriage, speaking at schools to raise awareness.

SANGHERA: Sometimes, families cross the line where a person is saying, "Actually, I don't want to do this." And then it becomes a forced marriage. And that's not tradition.

SHUBERT: The problem is such a concern that Britain created the Forced Marriage Unit, a unique cross-government team that aims to protect British citizens from forced marriage here and abroad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last year, we dealt with just under 1,500 cases. Of those, the oldest was 87, and the youngest was 5, so a huge spread across the ages.

SHUBERT: More than half the cases come from Pakistan, and of those, 70 percent come from just one region. But many Muslim leaders there don't support forced marriage, which is why the Forced Marriage Unit recently invited the Mufti of Mirpur to Bradford, England, with this message.

HAFIZ AHMED, MUFTI OF MIRPUR: Islam does not allow forced marriage. According to Islam, forced marriages are crime, not a marriage.

SHUBERT: That sparks an angry debate. Some feel this is an attack on the tradition of arranged marriage.

Even a forced marriage can be a successful marriage, says this man. But Pervez Akhtar, who runs a British-Pakistani aid agency, insists there is a difference. Forced marriage, he says, should be illegal.

PERVEZ AKHTAR, KARI SHARIF WELFARE SOCIETY: We need to make clear distinction that arranged marriage is totally acceptable. In fact, all marriages are arranged to some extent or another. And forced marriages is absolutely not acceptable.

SHUBERT: With the numbers rising and help lines reporting more calls than ever, Britain is now considering whether to make forced marriage a crime.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, many people view forced marriage as a human rights abuse, and the British and Australian government are now considering whether to make it a crime with a potential prison sentence. So, it is a bit disappointing to have to tell you that while some countries do fight this practice, others find it an almost overwhelming challenge.

In Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch says up to 80 percent of marriages are forced. Not planned, but forced. In 2011, more than half of the cases the British foreign office dealt with were connected to families in Pakistan. And Chad has one of the highest rates of forced marriage in Africa, more than 70 percent.

Well, it's a super sensitive issue, not least because it stirs up cultural and family loyalties. So, would outlawing forced marriage help its victims or drive them underground?

UK Labour Party councilor and author Sameem Ali was forced into marriage at the age of 13, but she disagrees with the British government's proposal to criminalize the practice. She joins us live from Manchester, England tonight.

And here with me in our London studio is Sunny Hundal, who writes about identity politics for his blog, "Liberal Conspiracy."

Sameem, let me start with you. Very briefly, you speak from experience. Just remind our viewers what happened to you.

SAMEEM ALI, AUTHOR, "BELONGING": Can I just say that forced marriage doesn't happen overnight? I was taken out of school at the age of 12. I was taken to Pakistan by my mother, and I was forced into a marriage over in Pakistan at the age of 13.

I was kept there until I got pregnant, and I was then brought back to England, 14 and pregnant. I gave birth to a baby in this country, and nobody asked any questions, nobody batted an eyelid.

I eventually escaped that marriage at the age of 18, knowing that I didn't have to point the finger at my mother, who forced me into marriage. And that's my story in a nutshell, actually --


ANDERSON: Sameem, you, though, disagree --

ALI: -- but it was horrendous.

ANDERSON: Sorry, my love. You, though, disagree with the British government's proposal to criminalize a practice that effectively preys on kids as young as five. Why?

ALI: Because it's the only reasoning that I've heard about criminalizing the forced marriage in its entirety is to send a message to the community. But I'm the victim of a forced marriage. I'm speaking from the victim's point of view. If you criminalize forced marriage, then it's going to go underground even more, and it will -- it will deter victims from coming forward.

I have worked in schools. I have worked with young people in Manchester and around the country, and they've all told me that if they had to point the finger at their parents -- and we've got to remember this, we have to remember -- that it is the parents that force these young people into marriage --


ANDERSON: I don't want to -- I don't want to --

ALI: They will not point the finger at their parents.

ANDERSON: Sunny -- let's bring Sunny in, Sameem.

SUNNY HUNDAL, EDITOR, "LIBERAL CONSPIRACY" BLOG: I agree with that point, but I do think it is right to criminalize it, and there's various reasons. Firstly, the bill that we had passed in 2007 was inadequate. For example, victims could not sue for financial compensation.

It was also not actually made a big deal about, so on one knows, half the community --


ALI: Can I just say --

HUNDAL: -- people don't know that it exists--

ALI: -- that the elements of forced marriage are already --

ANDERSON: Hold on. Hold on. Go on, Sunny.

HUNDAL: So, firstly, that's a problem. If you're going to try and make this a big stigma within the Asian community, which actually needs to happen, then you have to make a big song and dance about it. So, that's not been done at all.

Then on top of that, for example, the guidelines of the Forced Marriage Unit that you refer to, they are not also set in stone --


HUNDAL: -- so they can be ignored. So, there is a huge problem within the community, and the problem is the law which was passed in 2007 has done nothing to deal with this.

ANDERSON: So, if you don't criminalize this, Sameem --


ALI: But it hasn't --

ANDERSON: -- what do you do?

ALI: It has -- it has done a lot, actually. The forced marriage protection orders came into play, and slowly but surely, the victims have started using them. And they know that there is help out there for them.

Five years ago, ten years ago, there wasn't anything in place for the victims and for potential victims of forced marriage --


HUNDAL: But Sameem, I agree, but --

ALI: -- and now there is, and --

HUNDAL: -- but you agree that at least things are not moving that quickly, though.

ALI: -- and that is being used, it's being used.

HUNDAL: No, you're --

ALI: And it's too early to actually say that we need --

ANDERSON: Hold on, Sameem.

HUNDAL: No, you're right.

ALI: -- forced marriage in its entirety.

HUNDAL: You're right. But it's -- the problem is that actually think are not moving that quickly enough, and not enough people even know that this law exists. Now, this is a civil remedies law, so actually, you cannot criminalize this, so --


ALI: Well, education --

ANDERSON: Hold on.

ALI: -- and awareness needs to happen.


ALI: Education and awareness needs to happen before we actually even start thinking about criminalizing forced marriage in its entirety.

ANDERSON: Sameem, let Sunny have his say. Hold on for one sec.

HUNDAL: So, I accept that education needs to happen, but the problem is that within the communities, the people who need to know that there is an active law against forced marriage are not aware themselves. So, they think they can get away with it, which is why you need something stronger right now.

ANDERSON: Is this --

HUNDAL: It's not doing anything.

ANDERSON: Is this a generational thing, do you think?

HUNDAL: Yes, it is.

ANDERSON: As we move ahead, will things change? Sunny?

HUNDAL: It definitely will. So, it definitely will change. So, there was a poll recently done by the BBC on attitudes with young Asians, and the vast majority, up to 92 percent, said that forced marriage is wrong. And you'll see that if that was an older generation, that would be about 50-50.

So, I think definitely, attitudes have changed. But A, they're not moving quickly enough, and B, you still have lots of women who are being forced into marriages. And all I'm saying is, I agree that it is difficult, because things can go underground.

But the 2007 law actually made very little difference in absolute numbers in terms of forced marriages. So, they are still increasing --

ALI: Can I say -- it has made a huge difference --

ANDERSON: Sameem, you have made that point. Let me ask you one question, because you're an expert on this subject, both of you are, of course. Is there anywhere in the world that you can point to and say, listen, that's what works. That sort of legislation works. Let's do that, rather than, for example, criminalize this in the UK?

ALI: Education and awareness needs to happen. Female genital mutilation was criminalized in 2003. Not one case has been to court. No young people have come forward and actually asked for help anymore.

And so, my fear is that if we criminalize forced marriage in its entirety, then that is what's going to happen to forced marriage.

ANDERSON: Sameem --

ALI: The victims are not going to come forward --


ANDERSON: Can you --

ALI: They're going to fade away, and --

ANDERSON: Can it be enforced?

HUNDAL: Well, it can be to a certain extent, because --

ANDERSON: Or will it be?

HUNDAL: Well, to a certain extent, what happens is that sometimes the police are unaware of the law, they're not sure how far they can go. So, sometimes the CPS doesn't take things to court because they feel that the law is not strong enough.

So, my hope is that they do have stronger laws, then there will be unambiguous sort of ways to do this.

ANDERSON: But what will they be --

HUNDAL: To answer to your question earlier, the UK is actually ahead of most of the world in dealing with this problem, so it's actually very difficult to point to other countries and say, "Well, they're doing this better," because actually, they're not. And the UK to a large extent is leading the way on that.

ANDERSON: An emotive subject. Guys, we're going to have to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. We'll have you back.

A self-proclaimed geek who's got ahead at Google. Up next, we're going to introduce you to a Leading Woman. Her name is Marissa Mayer. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Well, she is a Leading Woman in the world of technology. Joining Google from the very start, Marissa Mayer was the company's first female engineer. My colleague, Felicia Taylor, sat down with the self- proclaimed geek.


FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When it comes to global reach and name recognition, few companies can rival Google.


TAYLOR: One of the key architects of the search giant's rise is its VP of map and localization services, and the company's first female engineer.

MAYER: People ask me all the time, what is it like to be a woman at Google? I'm not a woman at Google, I'm a geek at Google, and being a geek is just great.

TAYLOR: In the last 13 years, she has seen Google go from obscurity to being a verb. As in, "Google it," which has become part of everyday speak around the world.

MAYER: It's just been an incredible amount of growth, and it's like physics in the 1600s or biology in the 1800s. And there's big breakthroughs all the time.

TAYLOR: And she has a long list of breakthroughs, holding several patents in artificial intelligence and interface design.

MAYER: I'm a geek myself. I love to code. I like to use spreadsheets when I cook.


TAYLOR: This powerful voice and game changer in search technology is Marissa Mayer.

We're in Mountain View, California, at Google headquarters, by most accounts, an idyllic place full of perks, where employees can bring their pets to work and eat for free in the 15 different dining halls.

Earlier this year, "Fortune" magazine named Google as the best place to work in America. Here, we visit Google VP Marissa Mayer as she holds her quarterly planning meeting with the Google Doodle team.

Google Doodle is the popular, highly-stylized company logo celebrating holidays and major moments of history.

MAYER: We just have to hit it out of the park.

TAYLOR: Mayer is a hands-on executive who has her imprint all over Google, which she joined when she was just 24 years old.

TAYLOR (on camera): What's it been like to watch this company grow into the behemoth that it really is now?

MAYER: Well, it's been a really fun ride over the years. But I think that one of the things that's really notable about Google is how much has stayed the same. So, we have 1,000 times more employees now than we did then. The lunch lines are longer than the company was big when I started.

But at the same time, I really think that Google's done an amazing job throughout of preserving its culture and really preserving what motivates the employees.

TAYLOR (voice-over): And what motivates Google is perfecting the search. Billions of people search on Google every day. The company says since 2003, Google has answered some 450 billion unique questions.

When Google started, Mayer was among those writing computer code to make those searches possible.

MAYER: In the early days, we worked 100-hour weeks, 130-hour weeks. Everyone who was here early on worked that hard. But I think we all felt that the technology was really important, that what was happening in the web and what was happening in the world was really important, and that we have a limited window of opportunity to work that hard and really make something for the world.

TAYLOR: A vision set by Google founder Sergey Brin and Larry Page when they formed the company in 1998.

MAYER: This idea of blank white home page with just a box where it was very intently focused on search was just something that was really unusual. And I was -- I talked to Sergey, and I was like, "Was it minimalism? What were you -- were you trying to make a statement against the clutter?"

And he was like, "We didn't have a web master. I don't do HTML, and I needed to test the search engine.


TAYLOR: Along with the company's success comes some criticism, including sharp objection to Google's privacy policies, and the company is said to track its users and store their search information as part of an ad delivery system, a huge revenue generator for the company.

MAYER: We actually believe that the ads provide value to users, and we pride ourselves on the ads being as good as the search results.

Obviously, everyone needs privacy for different reasons and in different environments. I think the most important thing is that when you're putting out a product or a service, you're really clear with people what the trade offs are.

TAYLOR: Mayer is swift to defend Google, where she has come of age as an adult, becoming a VP in 2005. And at just 37, she's one of the top female executives in IT.

TAYLOR (on camera): Does the question of how you got here annoy you as a woman, or do you find that there's some validity to it?

MAYER: It doesn't annoy me, because I guess to me, the question of how did you get here is when for humanity, not necessarily that's gender biased.

TAYLOR (voice-over): In the coming weeks, we'll bring you more about Marissa Mayer, including how she decided to join Google and why she thinks it's important to take chances in life.


ANDERSON: That's part of our Leading Women series. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, a new bird prepares to take flight. We're going to speak to the artist who's turned a fleet into a flock.


ANDERSON: Well, the Olympic Games may still be 115 days away, but starting tomorrow, many travelers are going to get an early taste of what's to come.

British Airways today unveiling a plane that's being given an Olympics makeover courtesy of a team known as the Great Britons. Now, they are acclaimed British chefs, artists, and filmmakers tasked with taking the food, entertainment, and the look of the BA planes to new heights.

I caught up with two of the creative Brits as they delivered a project that has been some 12 months in the making.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Revealed at last, a new bird set to take flight. This is one of nine British Airways planes that have been given a facelift, especially for the London Olympic Games.

The fleet -- or should we say flock -- of A319s have been painted to look like doves, complete with beak, eyes, wings, tail, and feathers. It's the creation of British artist Pascal Anson.

PASCAL ANSON, ARTIST, "THE DOVE": The dove's an Olympic symbol. It's used as -- it was actually used as kind of technology in the ancient Olympic Games to send back to the villages around where the Olympic Games were being held the results of the races that had just been run. So, it's like -- homing pigeons.

So, that's where the dove comes from in the Olympics. But now, it's a kind of symbol of social unity and peace and part of the Olympic experience.

ANDERSON: Anson was chosen for the task by London-based artist Tracey Emin, a mentor in the British Airways Great Britons program.

TRACEY EMIN, BRITISH ARTIST: And I'm just absolutely thrilled. I can't believe it. To actually see it, now, moving out into the light. It's brilliant. It's really, really good.

ANDERSON (on camera): Tell me about the project.

EMIN: I chose Pascal because I liked his idea, very simple, changing the plane into a dove. Brilliant for the Olympics, uncomplicated. That's what we thought. But the engineering side of it was really complicated.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Not least because of safety restrictions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really want to draw a line under this and say that those wing boxes are not areas that we will paint in these circumstances.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm disappointed, and it would have been great if engineering would come up and state that we could paint on those areas, but we have to take that direction.

ANSON: I understand that -- I don't want the plane to crash.

ANDERSON (on camera): What were the biggest challenges?

EMIN: I think the biggest challenge is, what works on the ground doesn't work at 36,000 feet in the air, and also to make the design work, when you see it taking off and going up, because you didn't want it to just melt and disappear.

Even though we wanted it to be a gold dove, you couldn't actually have gold, because you can't have metallic things in the sky because of the reflections. So, all of that was quite complicated.

And actually, it was time consuming, working out what to do with the tail, working out what to do with the British Airways logo. But British Airways have been brilliant, and they let us do what we wanted, and it's worked.

ANSON: I think she wanted a piece of art on the plane. That's very, very important. So that it wasn't a pattern, it wasn't a piece of graphic design.

So, what I wanted to do, I wanted to transform what the plane looked like, so -- to make people stop and think again. What am I looking at? What is this? Is it a plane, or is it a giant bird? So, that was what was very, very important from an artistic point of view.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The Dove isn't the only Olympics project Emin has been involved in. The iconic British artist has also designed the poster for the Paralympics, and is about to open a new exhibition of her work, which will run throughout the Games.

ANDERSON (on camera): You are known for what we would consider more controversial art, generally, not the livery of a plane. Did you enjoy this project?

EMIN: Yes, I loved it. I like flying. I like the air. I like everything about internationalism. I like airports. I think they're sexy. I'm never going to get married, but if I did, I wouldn't mind meeting my husband in an airport and getting married in one. I like the whole idea of it, so that side of it suited me.

And also, I like birds a lot. I draw lots of birds. So, the whole thing was congenial and made sense. I didn't find it difficult.


ANDERSON: Love it or loathe it, let us know @BeckyCNN. That's my Twitter handle. An Olympics-themed plane and a special week of Olympics- themed coverage here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

Tomorrow night, we're going to hear from the team that is setting the stage for the Games. While the venues will get plenty of use during the event, what, they ask, will be the legacy when the show is over?

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. We thank you for watching. World news headlines up after this.