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CONNECT THE WORLD

Bombing in Mogadishu; Dire Warning From Ousted Maldives President; Bond Star Daniel Craig to Open London Games

Aired April 4, 2012 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, two countries stalked by terror. In France authorities crack down hard on suspected Islamics for threat while its clear for the timing ahead of an election is under question. While in Somalia, this --

((BEGIN VIDEOTAPE))

A brazen attack on the country's capital shows the threat there is still a cause for global concern.

Live from CNN London. This is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: Also tonight --

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

This a coup and if this is not a coo there's never been a coup in this world.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Trouble in paradise, the Maldives former president tells us why he believes he was forced from power and here today gone tomorrow. The architects of the Olympics stadium reveal how their masterpieces could come down as quickly as they went up.

First up tonight, French authorities promised their crackdown on Islamic extremism after killings that shocks the nation for the second time in a week they are following through. Please have rounded up 10 more suspected extremists across the country from Marseille to the south Roubaix near the Belgian border. The raid following a similar lineup last Friday. While officials say 13 people detained at that time are now been formally investigated for terrorist ties. They believe the suspects were preparing for what they call it holy war. Among those arrested is the leader of Forsane Alizza. That's a band extremist group linked to the gunmen behind a series of brutal killings.

Police say French citizen Mohamed Merah admitted shooting seven people at point blank range including children. Merah a self described Al Qaeda follower was killed two weeks ago during a police siege of his apartment in Toulouse.

For all of this coming just weeks just before the fiercely contested French presidential election. The attorney for the detained leader of Forsane Alizza says the timing of these recent raids is no coincidence.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHILIPPE MISSAMAU, ATTORNEY (VOICE-OVER): I think the current. Lends itself to these kinds of arrests. They're looking for Muslims, fundamentalist, extremist, radicals in order to fit in with political strategy purely for Lipitor reasons.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Some opponents of President Nicolas Sarkozy are also questioning the timing of the raids even accusing him of stage managing the arrests to boost his reelection campaign. The president has been gaining support since last month's attack even pulling ahead in some polls. James Mates explains his political reversal of fortune.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMES MATES, JOURNALIST, ITV NEWS (VOICE-OVER): this spring is back in his step. He's looking like a major figure once again and that's not just the effects of the giant screens at his rallies. Presidents Sarkozy has found a way to reconnect with the French people at least with enough of them to put him back in with a chance in an election that had seemed lost. The new ingredient? A sharp swing to the right, a focus on immigration and what he calls a threat to French values.

I want the same doctors for men as for women he tells a crowd who have come to hear just this. I want men and women to be able to use the swimming pool at the same time and for school children to eat the same food in secular France. An attack on (inaudible) to get the biggest cheer of the night.

So far his strategy of moving decisively to the right has worked better than he could have hoped. If for the rest of this election he could stay off the subject and the economy in the crisis in the euro zone, he still in with a chance.

Events to have played their part in turning Sarkozy from a man booed and attacked in the street some month ago to the president to lead the nation through the trauma of the attacks and siege in Toulouse that left seven dead at the hands of a fanatical gunmen.

But Sarkozy's main problem may be the most of his newfound support is coming from the far right, from the national front led by this woman, Marine Le Pen her father was once a contender for the presidency. Her support so is now deserting her for Sarkozy.

When I asked her if Sarkozy was stealing her votes she insisted he's trying to but that he won't get away for a second time with making out that he will attack you the issues of insecurity and immigration.

The issue of mass immigration changing French society is a real one that concerns many here. Veils that cover the face are now banned. (inaudible) boucherie are deeply unpopular with many non-Muslims. But according the far right is not going to help Sarkozy when it comes to the decisive second round of the selection.

CLEMENT NICOLA, SOFRES POLLING INSTITUTE: it's not leaning towards the right for Sarkozy that will help him because that's the limit of his strategy. All the votes for the right put together finally it's not as strong as all the votes from the left put together.

MATES: he has found a way, an issue to get back into this race. Whether it's enough to win it for him, well that's still pretty heavily odds against. James Mates, ITV News, Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well our next guest says the terror attacks in France may have saved president Sarkozy's career by reminding voters how vulnerable they are to the press of jihad. Newsweek, economist, Niall Ferguson joins us now from New York. Niall, you think it's all in good timing, right?

NIALL FERGUSON, COLUMNIST, NEWSWEEK: Well it's of course a month away the second round which will ultimately decide Nicolas Sarkozy's fate. The way the French system works is that in the first round which is basically this month, a whole bunch of candidates will take one another on. He'll win that first round, but then it will be down to a two horse race between him and the Socialist Francoise Hollande.

The key question right now is how far he is taking to the right in the aftermath of these terrorist attacks is going to swing at his way. The polls have Hollonde winning in the second round, so this is far from a done deal, but it's clear that this atmosphere has completely changed in France since these attacks and the momentum is with Mr. Sarkozy.

ANDERSON: There is no doubt about that, but given these plots, these terror plots were allegedly of men with pretty dangerous inclinations. Though what injury that was found by the police should at least made the French population feel a little bit more secure. These rates were actually carried out -- do you buy this argument that it's all been manipulated by Sarkozy at this point?

FERGUSON: I don't, although he does have the reputation of being a most terrific political schemer. It's generally believed in Paris that the downfall of the former head of the IMF Dominique Strauss Kahn remember caught with the chambermaid in the New York Hotel was orchestrated by Mr. Sarkozy. But actually, I think in this case he's simply going with a very understandable public reaction against appalling crimes that were committed by Mohamed Merah.

He killed in cold blood a little girl in her school at point blank range clutching her by the hair as he switch weapons to shoot her through the head. Not surprisingly, French public opinion has reacted very violently, and it bears saying that Mr. Sarkozy human before these attacks had begun to emphasize his conservative credentials on issues like multiculturalism. So it's not as if he's been opportunistic.

Actually, the event has rather played into his hands. I don't think it would be right to accuse him of cynically exploiting this. I think he's justifiably reacting and really reflecting a public mood of outrage.

ANDERSON: I'm wondering whether you think to a certain extent though the timing of all of this has done to him a favor to this extent. In that the elephant in the room which is the French economy is still off the table. This is as the economists suggested the other day a country in denial at this point. And it's not just Sarkozy who isn't doing the economy as it were, none of them are.

FERGUSON: well it's a little bit so comparable with the aftermath of the city. New York after 9/11, obviously the attacks were not on that scale, but it has changed the public mood and it has shifted its attention away from the economy much as 9/11 did. I think nevertheless that the economy, though it's not being talked about may still be ultimately decisive in the outcome.

Mr. Sarkozy is in a very awkward position. All of this has happened in the midst of a crisis in the euro zone that had just in effect reached France via Spain and Italy and Mr. Sarkozy had previously even state his reputation on the AAA rating of France as a sovereign borrower. That was all falling apart in a pretty ugly way when these terrorist attacks happened.

So I don't think Mr. Sarkozy can be entirely sorry that events have taken this turn, horrendous though those events clearly were. It could yet swing it his way. Put it this way. If this hadn't happened, if Mohamed Merah had been arrested before he killed, and remember, he was under surveillance which is something that really needs to be emphasized. It wasn't as if this was a complete black swan event. They knew this guy was a trained terrorist. He was under surveillance. If he'd been arrested before he killed, then I think Sarkozy's position would be altogether more dire.

ANDERSON: The thoughts of Niall Ferguson tonight. As ever, sir, we thank you for joining us on our top story this evening. Ten more suspected Islamists rounded up in France. The government vows to crack down on extremists following last month's brutal killings. Francis terror crackdown comes as governments in Europe and across the world consider how best to tackle a shift in Al Qaeda has areas of influence as a terror attack hits Somalia's capital. Coming up on the show how an Al Qaeda linked group is reasserting its authority and increasingly targeting young people in the West through radicalization.

Also coming up a deal to be close to settling a dispute between the US and Afghanistan. You're getting a live report out of Kabul plus the Maldives former president puts aside the international community but supporting a new government in his country (inaudible) is Mohamed Nasheed, still to come.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: It's quarter past nine in London. You're watching CNN. This is Becky Anderson welcome back. The US (inaudible) reports progress in talks to increase Afghan controls over night raids. Local Afghans hated them. Washington says they are vital; NATO's fight against insurgents.

CNN's Nick Payton Walsh joins us now live from Kabul. These talks, Nick, held against a backdrop of problematic relations at best between the US and Afghanistan

NICK PATON WALSH, JOURNALIST, CNN: absolutely. It's important to actually understand exactly what the sticking point these nitrates have become. As you point out, they are loathed by Afghans but vital US officials say to their continued campaign here. Some say frankly, they may as well go home without and that's how they crack down on insurgent leaders. But really the light raids is standing in the way of a larger agreement.

Until that issue is resolved, the US cannot establish a strategic relationship with Afghanistan and set the condition for its presence here after 2014. So these talks going on now are absolutely vital. Both sides say progress. There seems to be a sticking point as to exactly what kind of legal framework will be in place around these night raids to bring them under Afghan law as Afghan officials want. Is that warrants before the raid or some kind of court process afterwards, not entirely clear.

But part of NATO's PR exercise here today has been to release these pictures, I think you're seeing now of Afghan commandos conducting a raid in the north of Kabul. This is the hope really NATO wants is that in the future, Americans will take a backseat, even more of a backseat and Afghan commandos will be the ones going through the door, going into Afghan homes.

The hope of being by taking foreigners out of the equation, by taking out that intrusive foreign presence into Afghan homes, that may reduce the indignity and the offense felt by Afghans and perhaps make these more palatable to normal Afghans. Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Payton Walsh in Afghanistan for you this evening. Thanks Nick. Looking now at some of the other stories that are connecting our world tonight. Five men accused of plotting the September 11 attacks all face trial at one time obey. The US has announced charges against alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others. That was on Wednesday. They will be tried by a military commission and could face the death penalty if convicted.

The American Civil Liberties Union opposes military tribunals calling them a second-tier system of justice. The former administration had explored the option of trying some of the suspects in federal court only to run into a political fire storm.

Just days after Myanmar's opposition parties celebrated a victory in a by-election. The US is ready to start easing investment restrictions on almost a once isolated country. Here the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, made the announcement just a short time ago. She adds that Washington will also name a full ambassador to Myanmar.

Mali's future hangs in the balance as the UN Security Council condemned last month's military coup. (inaudible) also warns that the presence of Al Qaeda in the region could further destabilize the west African country. Meanwhile, Mali's hunter leaders that reportedly postponing a national convention that had been planned for Thursday.

US Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney chalks up three more victories in the race for the White House. He won three primaries on Tuesday in the American states of Wisconsin, Maryland as well as Washington, of course its US capital.

Despite the setback, rival Rick Santorum does seem determined to soldier on. He's turning his attention to his home state of Pennsylvania which holds its primary in less than three weeks from now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANTORUM (R), UNITED STATES SENATOR: It's great to be here. People of this country have stood up and followed because they've seen someone who has a clear positive vision, someone whose convictions are also forged in steel not on Etch-a-Sketch.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Roll laughter. The British destroyer HMS Dauntless to the Falkland Islands. That deployment comes amid escalating tension between Britain and Argentina. Monday marked the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War. Britain's Defense Ministry wants to play down the mood calling the battleships mission routine. CNN International Correspondent Dan Rivers was at Portsmouth Harbor when the Dauntless started its voyage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: HMS Dauntless will not be back in Britain for six months. 190 crew aboard will be taking part in a patrol of the South Atlantic at a time when tensions between the United Kingdom and Argentina are rising over the Falklands or Las Malvinas as Argentina calls them.

Dauntless is the most powerful and advanced frigate in the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy is insisting its first operational deployment to the south of the Atlantic is purely coincidental. The fact that this comes almost exactly 30 years after the task force sailed from here in Portsmouth to go and retake the Falklands in 1982. They say it's pure quince event. But the Argentine President, Cristina Fernandez criticized again this week, Britain's policies in the South Atlantic saying the UK is maintaining colonial enclaves down there.

There's also considerable controversy here in the UK about whether Britain has now the capability to retake the Falklands again should there be another conflict. We've spoken to Major General Julian Thompson who was commander of ground forces in 1982 about the Falklands to express his doubt that Britain could do it again.

JULIAN THOMPSON (RET.), MAJOR GENERAL, BRITISH ROYAL MARINES: If we were taken by surprise, we didn't assess the intelligence correctly and the Argentines played the whole thing down and allowed us to lower our guard, by some kind of coup de (inaudible) operation, if they seized the airfield on the Falklands, that would be the end of it.

Those doubts of course because of the lack of fix-wing carrier capability in the British Royal Navy now HMS Ark Royal was scrapped last year following the scrapping of HMS Invincible in 2005. The only aircraft carrier that they now have is HMS Illustrious which is only capable of carrying helicopters and she will be scrapped in a couple of years time and won't be replaced by the new Queen Elizabeth class of carrier for another two years. There has been quite a lot consternation among the military here that it's (without an operational aircraft carrier for two years and suggestions that if Argentina did try and retake the Falklands, that Britain would face severe difficulties in mounting the kind of operation that she did in 1982. Dan Rivers, CNN, in Portsmouth.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: We are going to take a very short break. When we come back, gender controversy overshadowing the buildup to the year's first golf major. We will have the very latest from Augusta just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: The first golf major of the year is less than 24 hours away but the Masters tournament is being somewhat overshadowed by a debate about female membership. The all-male club has never admitted a lady to its ranks, and if they have done so in recent days, they are not saying so. Patrick Snell with the latest from Augusta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK SNELL, JOURNALIST, CNN: It was the day Augusta National Golf Club could have made history. It could've announced its first ever female member. Instead, it opted not to, sticking by its tried and tested method of never commenting publicly on individual private memberships.

BILL PAYNE, CHAIRMAN, AUGUSTA NATIONAL GOLF CLUB: Whatever the question is asked, all issues of membership are now and have been historically subject to the private deliberations of the members. That statement remains accurate and remains my statement.

SNELL: Billy Payne short and to the point this day. Joining me now to discuss it further is Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated, Alan Shipnuck -- Alan, I counted I think five attempts to try and prize an answer, to get him to speak more, Chairman Payne, on this matter. Did you sense, how did he handle it all, do you feel?

ALAN SHIPNUCK, SENIOR WRITER, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Awkwardly. It was tense in there. I don't think that Billy Payne really was ready for the intensity of the questioning and the passion that came out in that room. I think he thought he could just give one blow-off answer and everyone would accept it like maybe they have in the past, but there's been some things that have changed. Obviously, at the top of IBM for starters, there's more traction on this issue, and he seemed taken aback by the onslaught of question. He looked a little rattled to be. He looked a little nervous.

SNELL: We haven't heard from Mrs. Rometty as we speak, but is there a sense of inevitability about this? Will it happen one day?

SHIPNUCK: You would think it has to. This issue has been settled in the Army. It's been settled in the workplace. It's been settled in all segments of society and while there's a couple dozen private golf clubs in the United States, they truly are refugees for the enjoyment of their members. If they want to stay all-male, that's may be a little retrograde, but that's okay.

The Masters is a public institution. They hold the most prestigious golf tournament in the world. They are part of the world ranking board of governors of the 1st Tee Steering Committee. It's like a third party ruling body for the sport. It's more than just a small little club for the enjoyment of its members. Because of this place in the game, they are really helps with different standard and I think as a club has such a leadership role it becomes indefensible to exclude women from having a voice in that.

SNELL: All right Alan, it'll leave you with that. Many thanks for talking to us. For now, I'm Patrick Snell, CNN, Augusta, Georgia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Yes he is. I want to bring Don Riddell, my colleague at CNN Center. We've been teasing the viewers now Don for about three minutes. There is a potential mystery new member of Augusta. Do you want to just fill us in then on who that potential new member could be at this point? If she is a new member,

DON RIDDELL, JOURNALIST, CNN: If she is a new member, her name is Virginia Rometty and she is the Chief Executive of IBM. The reason this has even come to pass is because Virginia Rometty is a new CEO of IBM and the four previous CEOs were all made members at Augusta and they were all of course meant. IBM is a key sponsor of the Masters and so that's why they've been given memberships in the past, but of course the question is now will they give it to a woman? We'll see.

ANDERSON: Yes and I can't believe where needing to report this story in 2012, but anyway maybe that's just a personal thing, but thank you for sorting that out. As far as the actual golf is concerned, the focus has been this sort of two horse race between Rory and Tiger. How's the rest of the field reacting to that?

RIDDELL: Not terribly well it has to be said, and you can't blame them. These are the top golfers in the world and of course they're all turning up at the year's first Major, most of them thinking they've all got a chance of winning it themselves so perhaps it takes the pressure off of them. It certainly would take the pressure off of them if they didn't have to turn up at press conferences after press conference and be asked about Rory and Tiger.

So this is the response some of the world's other top golfers to those questions.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEE WESTWOOD, GOLFER, PGA: Rory's never won it, Tigers not won it since 2005, so I think everybody in this room would have to be naive to think it was a two horse race when there's more. I think Phil might have a little something about that, Luke might, I might.

LUKE DONALD, GOLFER, PGA: Tiger is always the guy that pushes the needle the most and obviously Rory gets a lot of attention now but for me that's probably a good thing. I can kind of go about my business and just get on with things.

CHARL SCHWARTZEL, GOLFER, PGA: Tiger has obviously won again and is really playing very good. Rory is playing well. Phil is playing well. Luke, all the guys, but to me I go about my business as I normally do. I know if I play my best, I can compete with anyone. So that's where I look at it.

(END OF VIDEOTAPE)

RIDDELL: That's the golf. Becky, it looks as though Chelsea and Real Madrid are going through to the semi finals of the champions league. More on that in our in world sports.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. Thank you for that. Those golfers look much more confident than they used to in the days when Tiger Woods was -- Tiger Woods was reigning supreme. Good. Makes for a much more exciting contest. Thank you, sir. "World Sport" back in an hour.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, plenty still to come, including the moment a bomb ripped through a high-profile event in Mogadishu, Somalia. Two top officials are dead. Who is behind that attack and why the timing is so significant, coming up.

And a dire warning about climate change from the ousted president of the Maldives, who fears his country will sink at some point.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: A very warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Becky Anderson, these are the latest headlines from CNN.

A bomb turned a celebration in Somalia into a disaster. Top leaders, including the prime minister, were inside the event. He was not hurt, but two sports officials were among those killed.

Five men accused of plotting the September 11th attacks will face trial at Guantanamo Bay. The US announced charges against alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others on Wednesday. They'll be tried by a military commission and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Just two days after Myanmar's opposition party celebrated a victory in elections, the United States is ready to start easing investment restrictions on what was once an isolated country. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made that announcement just a short time ago.

And French police have arrested ten more suspected Islamic radicals in new raids across the country. Authorities are cracking down on extremism after last month's killing spree by a self-described follower of al Qaeda.

Well, that is France. More, now, on the bombing in Mogadishu in Somalia. The attack comes at a time when many had hoped the country was winning the fight against terrorism after more than a decade of instability.

Nima Elbagir has traveled extensively in the region and has reported on Somalia for years. She joins me, now, in the studio. A significant event with significant officials there, two of the sports officials, as we know, killed. Just how significant was this bombing?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the most high-profile attack that al-Shabaab have successfully launched in the capital since they withdrew last summer.

And the fact that they were able to infiltrate an event where the Somali prime minister was present. And more worryingly, we're now hearing that the female suicide bomber had a police ID on her, that she'd been hanging around the National Theater for a while, had been noticed by the security forces.

And of course, sadly, the two high-ranking sports officials that were killed, one of them was the head of the Somali Olympic Committee, in a year where, really, the hope was that finally Somalia would walk into that arena at a time of rebirth.

ANDERSON: And this, of course, just a couple of weeks after a conference that both you and I were at, it was the Friends of Somalia conference in London, where the narrative, at least, was "We've got rid of al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu, in fact, much of the country. We are on the up at this point." So, this timing is crucial, isn't it?

ELBAGIR: It's a body blow. There's no doubt about it. It's a critical blow to this international perception that Somalia is finally on the brink of re-entering, really, what William Hague called the community of nations.

You had Ban Ki-moon going in in December, the head of the UN. The UN reopened its mission for the first time in 17 years. Britain talking seriously about having an embassy there. And now, al-Shabaab proves that it can still infiltrate.

ANDERSON: This also comes on the day of a report warning again about British youths potentially being radicalized as Africa comes -- or certainly, appears to be becoming the new front for counter-terrorism. You, in fact, did some undercover reporting in London recently on this issue, didn't you?

ELBAGIR: Well, British-Somalis, ethnic Somalis, make up a quarter of the foreign fighters in Somalia today, and as you said, this is a time when al Qaeda is looking to expand its footprint across Africa.

We actually spoke to a mother whose son had gone out to fight with al- Shabaab. This is what she said to us, Becky.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son was a good, active young boy. Outgoing, loved by many, many people. He loved to play football.

He started changing by becoming addicted to the internet, many different sites, YouTube, Facebook. I noticed a lot of change from him. He started saying, "Mom, please take me abroad to study Islam."

I supported him, as any mother would, and I took him to Nairobi to a boarding school. After weeks of him staying in the school, he disappeared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: This radicalization in the UK is a significant problem so far as the UK government is concerned at this point. You've done a lot of reporting on this. You say a quarter of those who are fighting in Somalia for al-Shabaab were born and bred in London. That's remarkable.

ELBAGIR: Well, it makes sense. Somalia has all the hallmarks of Afghanistan before the fall of the Taliban. There is a secure, territorial hold for training camps. It's very accessible across the Red Sea and across the African continent, and there is no stable central government. And we will start to see that impact there.

ANDERSON: Were you surprised by this report out today suggesting that both East and West Africa are the sort of hubs, now, for those who believe that they have a mission, they are martyrs and they were go.

ELBAGIR: Well, we were reporting out of the north of Nigeria, where Boko Haram has a huge threat, and it's a very similar scenario. What has been interesting is the ease of which these groups are linking up. In fact, we had -- we have a lot of reason to believe that Boko Haram were training in Somalia.

This is the reality of what you get when you allow a terrorist group to have a territory or foothold, and the fact that the world has taken so long to get involved in Somalia, this is the outcome, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nima, always a pleasure. Thank you.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. Still to come tonight, claims that democracy in the Maldives is under threat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOHAMED NASHEED, FORMER MALDIVES PRESIDENT: It's easy to get rid of a dictator, but it's very difficult to get rid of a dictatorship. So, they will come back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: We hear from the former president of the country who says his ouster should serve as a warning to other new democracies. Fascinating stuff. That interview, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: After three years in the making, a documentary called "The Island President" has just premiered. Must -- much has changed since the filming. Two months ago, the film's central character, Maldives' leader, Mohamed Nasheed, was ousted from office in what he calls a coup.

CNN's Richard Roth caught up with the former president in the United States, where he's called on the international community to help restore democracy. Have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Turquoise seas and golden beaches. These are the idyllic scenes we associate with the Maldives. Not this.

(PEOPLE SHOUTING)

ROTH: Violence erupted in the capital, Male, in February after President Mohamed Nasheed resigned in what he claims was a coup.

ROTH (on camera): Now, you said you were forced to resign, but the government denies that.

NASHEED: Yes. The government is the people who have perpetrated the coup, and therefore, it's natural that they would deny that they were trying to murder me. But if you look at the facts on the ground, it's very simple. This is a coup, and if this is not a coup, there's never been a coup in this world.

ROTH (voice-over): Nasheed, a former political prisoner, rose to power in 2008 when he won the country's first democratic elections. He claims police and military, still loyal to the former dictatorship of Mamoon Abdul Gayoom, were behind the coup, and he's been critical of US support for the new government.

ROTH (on camera): How unexpected was all of this for you?

NASHEED: Well, we've always understood that getting -- beating a person would be easier than getting rid of a system. Dictatorships are very entrenched, and they have tentacles and networks that go far beyond what is visible.

But unfortunately, we -- it's difficult to understand why, for instance, the United States government so rapidly and quickly recognized the new government in the Maldives.

ROTH: So, what are you going to do to try to get back to the country that you love and have lived in for so long? Even if at times it was trapped in a shed on the beach as a political prisoner?

NASHEED: Well, I'll just simply go back, and then I believe that the people of the Maldives would not let me be taken by the police and the military. There's very strong support for us. Since the coup, the people have been out on the streets for the last seven weeks, every day, unrelentingly, and they don't seem to be getting tired at all.

ROTH (voice-over): The United States has called for a peaceful resolution and has agreed circumstances surrounding Nasheed's resignation need to be clarified.

MARK TONER, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN, US STATE DEPARTMENT: We've been pressing for them to -- to address concerns about the transfer of power there.

ROTH (on camera): Why is it important that you return to be the leader again of the Maldives?

NASHEED: Not important at all. But it's very important to have elections in the Maldives and get democracy back on track.

ROTH (voice-over): The main reason for Nasheed's urgency is highlighted in "The Island President," a new film documenting his first year in office and fight against climate change.

Nasheed has been relentless in his bid to be heard in the debate, even staging an underwater cabinet meeting to highlight the need to reach a deal on carbon emissions. The Maldives sit just one and a half meters above sea level.

NASHEED: We already have 16 islands where we had to relocate them. We have more than 70 islands where there is serious water contamination issues. Our coral reefs are bleaching and dying. Reefs are the first line of defense for the islands form coastal erosion. The fish catch is dwindling.

So, we have a whole host of problems to do with the environment, and this is an issue that is happening in the Maldives now. It's not something in the future. If we can't act now, we will not be around. And what happens to the Maldives today would happen to everyone else tomorrow.

ROTH (on camera): What do you see, then, still, as the biggest threat to your country right now. Is it political or is it environmental and the threat to climate change?

NASHEED: We have to have a planet to have democracy. We will only have the necessary policies to safeguard the climate if we have democracy.

ROTH (voice-over): To that end, the film also documents Nasheed's efforts to investigate corruption he claims was leftover from the old regime.

ROTH (on camera): Is this new government aware as much as you are of the environmental threat posed?

NASHEED: I think they are also aware of it, but they -- it would be difficult for them to articulate that as every time they start talking, people would point out the number of skeletons in their own closet.

ROTH: What can the Muslim countries that are now going through early democracy or struggling for it, what can they learn from what you achieved in the Maldives?

NASHEED: Well, one thing is, it's easy to get rid of a dictator, but it's very difficult to get rid of a dictatorship. So, they will come back. Make no mistake, they will come back.

ROTH: Can the Maldives win against climate change?

NASHEED: Yes. I believe that we can win, and I am an optimist. I believe we should keep on fighting, and I believe that -- I believe in human ingenuity. I believe in humanity. People will come around to understand what is wrong and what is right.

ROTH (voice-over): Richard Roth, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. When we come back, we meet the designers of London's new Olympic stadium and find out why it might not be a permanent fiture (sic) -- fixture on the city's landscape. I'll get my teeth in. We're going to take a short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, we all know James Bond works for Her Majesty's Secret Service, but now the queen has asked Bond star Daniel Craig to go beyond his normal duties.

Britain's "Sun" newspaper reports that she has asked the actor to help open the Olympics. In a film for the opening ceremony, Craig as Bond will visit Buckingham Palace before parachuting into the Olympic Stadium. It sounds like a license to thrill, doesn't it?

Well, it may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, because in a few years time, the iconic building, the stadium itself, may have disappeared or at least been partly dismantled. I've been speaking to two of the architects who designed all the venues to find out why we may not see them in the future.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): The London Olympic Games are transforming London's landscape. This was once a run-down part of the city. Now, it's home to an iconic Olympic stadium, which will see thousands of international visitors at this summer's Games.

Its designers have worked on some of the world's top sporting venues. But in London, they say, they've created the most distinctive Olympic stadium yet.

NICHOLAS REYNOLDS, SENIOR PRINCIPAL, POPULOUS: It is the world's largest temporary building, or certainly temporary stadium.

ANDERSON (on camera): Literally we are talking about dismantling this thing once the Games are over, right?

REYNOLDS: Yes. There's -- well, there's the potential to take the entire building down if we choose, or reduce down. Originally, the break was designed down to 25,000 seats.

But the way the building's constructed, the way it's jointed, the way that the whole structure's been conceived, the idea of building this structure on what we call Stadium Island is all about having the flexibility to dismantle and use different parts of it as we choose.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The London Games will take its cue from Barcelona, with events spread across the city. Athletes competing in picture-postcard locations, like Greenwich Park and Horse Guards Parade.

REYNOLDS: I think Barcelona was a phenomenal Olympics, and I think it was the first time you ever really had that relationship between the sport and the city in those sort of iconic pictures of the divers with the Sagrada Familia in the background.

And that became probably the genesis of the idea that London has such fantastic postcard backdrops, and how could we not include them as part of the spectator experience, but also, obviously, the broadcast and television experience for everyone else around the world.

ANDERSON (on camera): So, a couple of months ahead. Talk me through what we're going to see, then.

CHRISTOPHER LEE, SENIOR PRINCIPAL, POPULOUS: Well, I think you'll -- the first thing -- memorable image that you'll see will be certainly that view in Greenwich Park with the equestrian looking as a backdrop of the naval college and those wonderful views back towards the Olympic site. I think it will be, certainly, one of the key views that you'll see.

REYNOLDS: I think that will be phenomenal. I think equally, as you mentioned, Becky, the Horse Guards Parade with the fantastic history in the background, I think, will be phenomenal.

ANDERSON: At Horse Guards Parade, where in 2012 in the summer in London we will be watching volleyball. This is where you would normally see the queen trooping the color. I sort of find that slightly sacrilegious, or am I -- maybe that's not the word. Do you feel the same way?

REYNOLDS: I think it's the wonderful thing about using these amazing areas, like the Mall and Horse Guard.

LEE: Yes.

REYNOLDS: To have them as part of what would normally be the pomp and ceremony that's associated with the royal events, as an Olympic event.

LEE: It is the key change, I think, you're seeing in sporting events is that they're being hosted in the most unusual backdrops in the most sort of almost one-off occasions. And I think the Olympics can be a real trailblazer for this.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The London organizers have spent billions of dollars on the games. But with its temporary stadium and pop-up venues, the question is, what will London's Olympic legacy be? Its designers say they hope it'll still transform one of London's most deprived areas.

LEE: And I would be disappointed if we didn't produce future sporting champions off the back of an investment in sport such as this.

REYNOLDS: I would be disappointed if we didn't see the kind of regeneration we're anticipating in the East End of London. I have no doubt that that regeneration isn't going to happen. It already is happening. And I think it will be an amazing place and I think the Olympics will play a big part in what will become a fantastic piece of London.

ANDERSON (on camera): And if there's one message that you had for potential organizers going forward, given your experience, not just for London in 2012, but for other events that you've been involved in, what would it be?

REYNOLDS: I think the advice I would give, well, certainly, it's all about early planning and really understanding what the Games can do for your city and for your country, I think.

And I certainly know other cities, like Rio at the moment, are very much looking towards London to see how they can make Rio and Brazil a better place or a better city, leveraging the Olympics.

So, I think the advice would be early planning and a real eye on legacy and what can be left and what the Games can do for the city and for the country.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: All good stuff, and just over a hundred days and counting. Well, an athlete's who has already been giving one of the venues a test run is Tom Daley.

The young British diver was just 14 when he appeared at the Beijing Olympics, and he's aiming to back that up in front of a home crowd here in London. He wants gold, of course. In tomorrow night's Big Interview, Tom talks to us about the impact of his success at such a young age.

Well, in Hollywood, a celebrity knows they've made it when they are on the walk of fame, but in the UK, real celebrity status, well, it means a wax work at Madame Tussauds. So, it's no surprise that the Duchess of Cambridge is the latest to get the royal wax treatment.

In tonight's Parting Shots, Erin McLaughlin gets up close with -- but not personal -- up close with the next best thing to a duchess herself.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There's no queue for the queen. Even Prince Harry is looking a little lonely in comparison. The star attraction, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in the same iconic outfits worn for a very different debut.

LIZ EDWARDS, MADAME TUSSAUDS: Since the royal wedding, guests from all around the world have been asking us, "Where is Catherine? We want to come and have our photo taken with her." So, here in London, we've recreated the iconic moment where they announced to the world their love for each other.

MCLAUGHLIN: Twenty people took four months to construct the figures at Madame Tussauds in London at a cost of around $239,000 each.

EDWARDS: It's really important for us that when people come and stand next to them, they are seeing a piece of that real person.

MCLAUGHLIN: The duchess's hair took six weeks alone, each individual strand inserted with real, ethically-sourced human hair. And it took four weeks to get the colors just right. Each eye is individually made to account for shape and color. There's even a replica of the sapphire and diamond engagement ring.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): Each detail is to scale, the height and measurements based on information provided by St. James's House. This is as close as many people will get to royalty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unfortunately, I don't think we'll ever get to meet the real one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: So, this is something to look forward to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very nice. It's similar to a live person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looks great. Can't see a difference between them and the real people around them.

MCLAUGHLIN: What's your favorite one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: William.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): It's one of three wax works of the couple unveiled today in London, New York, and Amsterdam. The global debut and two-hour wait, testimony to the couple's star power.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: That's staying power people have. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching. The world news headlines, as ever, up next here on CNN. That after this short break. Don't go.

END