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Francois Hollande Favorite to Win French Presidency; Force India Pulls out of Practice Session or Bahrain Grand Prix

Aired April 20, 2012 - 16:00   ET



Tonight on Connect the World, a final big push. He's the president of the world's fifth biggest economy, but for how long?

And planning for this weekend's French election is drawing to a close in what is a tightly fought race.

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

ANDERSON: Well, they have said that this now is up to the voters as the French presidential candidates close out their campaigns tonight. Can the underdog Nicolas Sarkozy turn things around?

Also this hour, we will not back down ahead of Sunday's grand prix in Bahrain the chance for an anti-government protesters get louder.

Also ahead, a sweet move, the chocolate giant pledging to eradicate slavery on its cocoa farms.

First up tonight, 9:00 in London, 10:00 in France, we are now into the final two hours of campaigning for elections there. This could be the country's first Socialist president in 17 years.

Francois Hollande is trying to unseat incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy. And polls suggest he is in a good position to do it. The Socialist candidate chose an impoverished northern region for his final rally before Sunday's vote, while the incumbent went south to the resort city of Nice. There will actually be 10 candidates on Sunday's ballot, but nobody is expected to win a majority of votes.

Now that would send it to a runoff, that Mr. Sarkozy is expected to lose. But the Sarkozy camp says not so fast. Millions of voters are still undecided.

Let's bring in our senior international correspondent in Paris Jim Bittermann.

Jim, the only thing that certainly seems in this race at this point is the uncertainty.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right Becky. I mean, one of the things that we have enjoyed about this campaign, we who like to follow politics all along, is the fact it is a campaign that's been full of surprises so far. One of the surprises was Mr. Melechon, the left-wing candidate came from nowhere and now up to a point where he might finish third. And that's one of the surprises, one of the question marks that is going to come out in Sunday's voting, because if he does come in, in a strong position he could pull Francois Hollande further left with his policies.

We're also wanting to see exactly how well President Sarkozy does do. He keeps promising his supporters a surprise on Sunday. He's always been against the polling. He says the polling doesn't really reflect what voters do. And he's saying that his turnout is going to be better.

So is he going to come out on top on Sunday, or is he going to come in second position. He comes out on top, perhaps it could get him some momentum towards the second round on May 6, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. Let's have a look at the latest polls, Jim, just to confirm what you've been saying. The first round of voting pretty much too close to call. There is an expect -- you know, there's (inaudible) by a short hair as it were, but it comes to the expected run- off there at least poll wise seems to be a clear winner at this point.

Today's survey for BFMTV shows Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande with a slight lead, it's only about three percentage points ahead of President Sarkozy, for what is Sunday's first round. That lead, though, does jump dramatically if indeed it becomes a two man race that is decided by a runoff. And that increase in his percentage point lead for a second round will depend on how the other candidates, of course, in this first race do and where their voters will throw their hats as it were going forward won't it?

BITTERMANN: Absolutely, Becky.

In fact, there's a -- they're going to have in between these two rounds there's going to be a lot of bargaining go on and on for ministerial positions and support from the various parties right and left for the various candidates. And if Sarkozy is able to surmount this deficit of votes that seems to be showing up in the polling in the second round, it'll be the largest such come from behind victory ever, because there never has been a president that has gone from the first round to the second round with such a deficit of votes in the polling anyway.

And we'll see what happens on Sunday, to see if he gets the momentum that he needs.

If he comes out in second position on Sunday, I think it's going to very, very difficult indeed for him to win the overall election on May 2.

ANDERSON: Yeah, fascinating stuff. He says if he doesn't win that second round, of course, he's going to leave politics. That remains to be seen at this point.

Jim Bittermann, of course, for you out of Paris for you this evening. Kicking us off this hour.

The candidates have debated everything from immigration to euthanasia to security concerns, but there was no doubt the number one issue for the French people themselves is the economy. President Sarkozy promising new strategies to turn around what is low growth and high unemployment.

But as Dan Rivers reports, many voters feel well it's too little too late.


DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been seven years since France's suburbs or banlieues erupted with sustained riots fanned by years of social exclusion and deprivation. Since then, President Sarkozy's government has earmarked almost $800 million for urban regeneration in areas like this.

These are new apartment blocks, a vast improvement on those they replaced.

And then there's this fortress like police station, difficult to see if it's designed to project strength or simply protect the officers inside.

Among the changes here, this community center set up by locals calls Assez le Feu (ph), or stop the fire, which has produced glossy TV ads urging local people to vote.

MOHAMMED MECHMACHE, PRESIDENT, ACLEFEU (through translator): For the moment it's only been slap-dash. They just have little campaign, little policies. They think it's going to fix the problem. They still say we're going to create jobs, but often the jobs created aren't full-time. They are short-term contracts, precarious jobs, so the young today can't have a better future.

RIVERS: I'm curious to see if he's right and venture into the heart of Cliches Silvois (ph) where we're warned to be careful as simmering anger hasn't dissipated. But what we find are the same grim apartment blocks I saw in 2005, despite the glossy new buildings these seem to have been forgot.

Most of the people in Cliches Silvois (ph) live in apartment blocks like this which are terribly rundown. This one hasn't got working elevators. There's no heating. The people here say they are as unhappy and angry as they were in 2005. In this area, youth unemployment of people who have left school with diplomas has increased by 119 percent.

I'm shown around by 24-year-old Diarietou Diabira who is one of those intelligent young people who can't find a job. Her modest ambition is to be a bus driver, a pretty damning indictment on social mobility here.

I ask her about the millions spent in Cliches Silvois (ph).

DIARIETOU DIABIRA, BANLIEU RESIDENT (through translator): We haven't seen any of it, we just got poorer and poorer.

RIVERS: Others nearby agree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, there's no jobs. They have forgotten the area, you can say. They take are of the rich with their promises -- I'm talking about Sarkozy. Everything he promised the rich, he did it. But everything for the poor, nothing at all.

RIVERS: President Sarkozy cemented his tough reputation as interior minister during the 2005 riots. Now the same social exclusion combined with most austerity is threatening to derail his presidency nationally. And here in Cliches Silvois (ph) few will be sorry.

Dan Rivers, CNN, in Cliches Silvois (ph), France.


ANDERSON: Just one snap shot for you there, then, from Dan.

Let's just remind ourselves why any of us should care about the French election aside from those of you who may be voting in them, of course. This is the fifth biggest economy in the world. And don't forget the French position when its come to try to work out the whole of this European mess that we see in front of us so far as economies are concerned today.

The Franco-German axis, as it were, that has played an enormous part on where we stand so far as the European economies are concerned, the Eurozone is concerned, today in 2012 cannot be overstated. Hollande, the competitor to Sarkozy, of course, has said he wants to throw the whole European and EuroZone agreements up in the air and see what it can do going forward. He doesn't agree with what's being decided by Sarkozy and the German chancellor.

So, it's an important story not just the domestic market there, but for all of us watching this election this weekend.

Our next guest says he best thing the challenger Francois Hollande has going for him politically speaking is that he is not President Sarkozy. Christopher Dickey is Newsweek's Paris bureau chief. And he joins us now live from there.

That might be so, but does that make him the best man for the job, Chris?

CHRISTOPHER DICKEY, PARIS BUREAU CHIEF, NEWSWEEK: Well, it's the only man for the job right now. Nobody else is going to take it away from Sarkozy. None of the other candidates can come close. The polls show that they're all way, way behind except for Hollande who is out in front.

The truth is Hollande has never held elected office. And although he is well prepared, he's part of an elite, he's been in politics all of his life, he's never done the kinds of things that most men or women do in order to become president.

He's riding a surge of popularity that really is based on Sarkozy's unpopularity.

ANDERSON: Chris, Europe as a whole -- I'm thinking about those who run the European economies, particularly the EuroZone, was pretty nervous about loosing Sarkozy some months ago. He was such a part of that EuroZone club. And I was there in Cannes when things were being sorted out in November, although trying to sort things out, Sarkozy is a big guy when it comes to the political or international stage.

His behavior of late, though, makes me think that those in Europe who have backed him in the past are losing a little bit of faith in him at this point. Do you agree?

DICKEY: Well, yes, I absolutely do. I think people are getting quite nervous about the way Sarkozy has been behaving in the last few weeks, because he's just been grabbing things here, there, and everywhere, taking some of Hollande's own ideas, own positions in the campaign and saying, oh yes, that sounds good. I want to fool around with the European central banks some more. I'm going to change all kinds of basic questions of economic policy in order to -- to do what? To try and get reelected at a point where he really is scrambling uphill.

And I think that that is not engendered a lot of confidence among his partners in the European Union, although you did have a point where Angela Merkel was virtually campaigning for him a few weeks ago.

ANDERSON: Yeah, exactly. All right.

Let's just have a listen to what his biggest competitor at this point had to say just earlier on today. This is Francois Hollande. Have a listen to this, Chris.


FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, SOCIALIST PARTY CANDIADTE (through translator): I don't want to drive the markets crazy. I don't want to create trouble, but rather order and rules and norms. We have to struggle against financial excesses, those who speculate with sovereign debt, those who develop financial products which have done so much harm.


ANDERSON: This is a couple of days ago -- forgive me -- there is a school of thought in the sort of free marketers, the investment banking industry, those who -- you know, who are making quite a lot of money in France, there's a school of thought that says this guy is no good for us. He's got very socialist inclinations. 75 percent tax he's looking for as a top rate. And this is a man who is going to take his sport in what is effectively an Anglo-Saxon model for the economy going forward.

DICKEY: Well, I think there is a lot of nervousness. I mean, you do hear people asking questions about moving their money out of this country, whether they're actually doing it or not is a different question. And there is a feeling that -- a fear that this could go back to the way it was under the Socialist presidency of Francois Mitterrand in 1981 to 1983, the first two years which really were economically disastrous for this country, way -- wild swings to the left that then had to be corrected for many years afterwards.

But, Hollande is not that kind of radical. And what he is really saying is actually not so wildly different than you've heard from a lot of people. What he's saying is it's one thing for these financial interests - - for the financial sector to make money, it's another for them to essentially determine the course of government, which is what you've seen with one country after another in Europe where all of a sudden the question of bond rates decides whether governments fall or stand and that's what he wants to try to get away from. And there's a lot of sympathy for that in Europe.

ANDERSON: It's been a fascinating campaign. It'll be interesting to see what sort of turnout we get on Sunday, the first round of this presidential election. Some are suggesting it's going to be pretty low which may say something about the candidates themselves, may see something about the state of the economy or something about the state of apathy so far as the population is concerned.

Chris, always good to speak to you. Chris Dickey out of Paris for you this evening on the French presidential elections which tonight is our top story. The candidates who have had their say. Now it is up to the French voting public to decide. Eight hours of (inaudible), 10 candidates will be eliminated in the first round of votes on Sunday. And CNN will be bringing you all the results as they come in. I'll be hosting our special coverage from 6:30 in London, 7:30 Central European Time. Do join us for that.

You're watching Connect the World live from London.

Still to come, the search for answers after a Pakistani airliner crashed just before it was set to land in Islamabad. That and the rest of your headlines coming up.


ANDERSON: 18 minutes past 9:00 London time on a Friday evening. This is CNN's Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.

Now a grim scene in Pakistan where at least 121 people have died in a plane crash. The Bhoja Air Boeing 737 was about to land at an airport close to Islamabad when it came down. The civil aviation authority says thunderstorms and limited visibility may have been -- may have been factors in the accident. The wreckage landed in what is a heavily populated residential area. Workers found the flight data recorder and at least 50 bodies have been recovered so far.

The airliner was flying from Karachi to Islamabad.

A look at some of the other stories that are connecting our world tonight. And Anders Behring Breivik gave a graphic testimony of his massacre that killed 77 people. He told an isolated court earlier today how he repeatedly shot the injured on Utoya Island last July to ensure they couldn't escape. He said firing the first bullet was hard, but he new it was, I quote, "now or never." Families of the victims could be heard sobbing in the newsroom -- in the courtroom, sorry.

The president of South Sudan has ordered the immediate withdrawal of troops from the disputed Heglig oil field on the border with Sudan. South Sudanese troops moved into the area 10 days ago sparking fierce battles with Sudan and reigniting fears of a potential civil war there. Addressing a rally of supporters in Khartoum today, the Sudanese president Omar al Bashir claimed to have defeated southern troops to recapture the town.

In the U.S. State of Florida, George Zimmerman is being granted bail of $150,000. The man charged with killing Trayvon Martin took the stand in court today and apologized for the first time to Martin's family. Attorneys for the family dismiss the apology as self-serving. Zimmerman will stay in jail for a couple of days until the exact terms of his release are agreed.

Now those are your headlines.

I want to follow up on a story -- a sickening story that we reported extensively on Thursday -- the gang rape of a mentally disabled girl in South Africa, the video of it that went viral. Seven young men aged 14 to 20 are under arrest after they were identified in the video. Prosecutors say they may seek life sentences.

Well, now the girl's mother is speaking out. And Nkepile Mabuse joins me now live. What have you got Nklepile?

NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Becky, as you can imagine the mother is totally heartbroken, but she's also angry, Becky. She tells me that she has been pleading, she's been asking social welfare to intervene in her case. She said this is not the first time that her daughter has been raped. She says this happened in 2009 and against in 2010. And when she asked social welfare to intervene, she says that they just told her that there was no abuse in the family and that she was fine, she could take care of the child. And so they didn't need to take her away.

She says now, though, since this has become such a big story, she's getting everything that she's ever asked for from government. At the moment, her daughter is in -- has been placed in a permanent home. And she's got all the support that she needs.

This is what she said, Becky, she thinks of the South African government.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They arrived after the fact, just like you. I might as well thank you for the boarding school that they put her in. They're coming now because things have turned out this way. They shouldn't pretend as if they had been standing up for me. They never stood up for me. I asked for help and they said there was no abuse in our home and no need to remove her.


MABUSE: I confronted, Becky, the minister for women, children, and people with disabilities about these claims. And she says that she will conduct an investigation and if anybody in government is found to have ignored this mother's pleas then action will be taken against them, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nklepile, thank you for that.

A follow on a story that we covered extensively yesterday. You can see some of the Twitter comments that I had on this story yesterday. We had an enormous amount. I'd say many of you care about what happened. Do get in touch with us on any of the stories that we cover on Connect the World.

Let me take a short break now, but when we come back, the Bahrain Grand Prix held its practice sessions on Friday. And one of the teams, well they chose not to finish. Details on that just ahead.


ANDERSON: Well, the Bahrain Grand Prix held its first practice sessions Friday, but not many people were talking about the action. Instead, the headline was the decision of Force India team to skip one of those sessions, because of its concerns about safety. They wanted to return to their hotel before nightfall.

This is a story that's just been developing over the past week or so. I know Don Riddell my colleague who joins me now I spoke to one of the team's members earlier on today.

Firstly, then, what do they say about why they didn't finish the practice session, Don?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are two practice sessions on Friday in the build-up to every Formula 1 race, Becky. And Force India decided not to practice at all in that second session. They were really rattled by what happened to four of their employees on Wednesday night when they ran into that violent protest and that fire bomb exploded near the team's vehicle. That really rattled the rest of the team.

And when I spoke to the athletic principal Robert Fernley earlier on today, he confirmed that. And that is why they didn't want to have that session today so they could all get back to their base before nightfall.


ROBERT FERNLEY, FORCE INDIA DEP. PRINCIPAL: The most important thing for us is that we've got to have the well-being of our crew foremost in our minds. And that was the objective was. And well fortunately we had an experience that sort of was uncomfortable on the Wednesday evening. We haven't seen anything since. There hasn't been any issues since. It was just an unfortunately destabilizing program. And we just needed to get that under control and make sure that everybody was all going in the right direction.

RIDDELL: Becky, at the time when Force India pulled out, people wandered, actually, if they were going to see the weekend through. But they say they will qualify for the race tomorrow. They will race on Sunday.

ANDERSON: Don, what do you think this says about the race this weekend but possibly the sort of broader issues around Formula 1 and where they compete, when?

RIDDELL: I mean, it doesn't look good for Formula 1 does it? I mean, there was all this soul searching ahead of the race as to whether they should be there or not on moral grounds and on safety grounds. Of course the moral question remains very much an act of debate, but you've already had this incident where a team has had to sort of cut short their own program over the weekend to look after the safety of their own employees.

Now Force India always said, look, we know we weren't targeted. We weren't deliberately targeted, but there was this other incident last night where some of the Sauber employees also experienced something similar on their way back to the hotel where they drove past the protest and saw flames on the road.

So it does not look good for Formula 1.

And for Force India, this is a major compromise to their weekend. I mean, these teams don't get many opportunities to practice. They only get three opportunities to practice ahead of a race. And Force India have had to sacrifice one of them.

ANDERSON: Don, I'm going to leave it there, because we're going to do more on this debate. Coming up, I've got an activist that I spoke to from Bahrain's ruling government, so have a listen to what we get out of that. I know you're coming back. Don is back with World Sport in just about an hour from now.

This is Connect the World. We're going to take a short break. Don't go away.


ANDERSON: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Becky Anderson, 31 minutes past 9:00 out of the London bureau. These are the CNN headlines.

Pakistani authorities say there are no survivors after a commercial jet crashed near an airport in Islamabad. At least 121 people were onboard. It was a Boeing 737. Investigators say weather may have been a factor. There were thunderstorms in the area at the time.

Thousands of anti-government demonstrators marched through the streets of Bahrain's capital on Friday. An activists says they clashed with riot police who used teargas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd. There are mounting concerns the unrest will threaten the Formula 1 Grand Prix, which is set to be staged on Sunday.

The most gruesome day of testimony yet in the trial of a mass murderer in Norway. Anders Behring Breivik says he shot many of his 77 victims in the head at close range, some multiple times. The court will decided whether he belongs in prison or in a mental institution.

South Sudan says it's pulling troops out of a disputed oil region where it's been fighting Sudanese forces. Both sides claim the area around the town of Heglig. The South now says it wants to negotiate, but media reports quote the Sudan claim it has been liberated.

Those are your headlines.

Bahrain's government insists Sunday's Grand Prix will go on and will be a unifying force for a country in turmoil. Let's get more on the race, on the growing protests there, and exactly what the government says they're going to do about it.

Joining us now is Fahad Albinali. He's the spokesman for the Bahraini Information Affairs Authority. There are growing concerns at this point that the race and, indeed, its fans are threatened. What's the message from the government tonight?

FAHAD ALBINALI, BAHRAINI INFORMATION AFFAIRS AUTHORITY: Well, the government guarantees the safety of everyone. They guarantee -- we're very confident about our -- the security measures that we have in place. We have the best experts and we have the best measures already placed --


ANDERSON: So you can categorically say tonight --

ALBINALI: -- and we guarantee everyone's safety.

ANDERSON: -- that everybody will be safe, drivers and fans alike, right?

ALBINALI: Yes. Many have -- much in the news, many have covered the people protesting against the race, but very few people -- I mean, I've heard very little about any coverage about the people who actually attended the first practice session, which --


ALBINALI: -- went without a hitch.

ANDERSON: OK. I want to just get you and our viewers to listen to some sound from an interview that I recorded just before we came on this show. I interviewed a -- businesswoman who is Bahraini. She goes between here and Bahrain -- here being London.

She's a Shia. Many of those who are protesting, of course, in your country are Shia. But this is what she had to say when I asked her whether she was sympathetic to the cause of those who are hitting the streets at the moment. This is what she said.


SARAH BN ASHOOR, BAHRAINI BUSINESSWOMAN: We're all Bahrainian, we're all in this together. I cannot think of a single Bahraini that is anti- progress or an enemy to reform. It would be hideous to think of something like that.

But we do differ on the way we demand for these rights. The silent majority in Bahrain does believe that we have the proper institutions and entities within government.


ANDERSON: It's important to hear from her, because I think much of the reporting on the protesters would suggest that they are a minority in the country -- sorry, a majority in the country. There are other voices, of course, from the Shia community. But there are an awful lot of people who are protesting their human rights in your country at the moment.

What's your message to the outside world about how you are dealing with and treating those people at present?

ABLINALI: Well, there are two issues here. The first one is about the freedom to protest in Bahrain. The freedom -- the right to freedom of protest and freedom of expression is guaranteed in Bahrain's constitution, as well as the international treaties.

People have -- we've had protests as a regular occurrence for -- well, it never stopped. Many networks covered rallies and protests that gathered tens and thousands of people. And they've conducted their business, they've expressed their opinion without an interference by the police.

Where there is a need for the police to step in is where that line from peaceful expression is crossed.


ALBINALI: And naturally, there is a block where people's lives are unjustified -- what people's lives are unjustified being infringed upon, or they turn to violence.

ANDERSON: I appreciate your thoughts, and I'm pleased that your here to put your point across on CNN tonight. I want to ask you another question at this point. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is an imprisoned human rights and political activist who is, tonight, said to be in a critical condition in a military hospital in Bahrain after being on hunger strike since January.

He was given a life sentence last year for plotting against the state, but a human rights group says his trial was grossly unfair. Two questions to you. First of all, what is the state -- what is his health tonight, as you know it?

ALBINALI: Well, last week, he -- A, he has access 24 hours a day to medical attention and medical care. As -- there were requests by people close to him that he be granted access to independent doctors, and that was granted. Those two doctors, one of them Danish --

ANDERSON: With respect sir, you're not answering my question. How is he tonight?

ALBINALI: No, I'm getting to it. I'm providing context. He is -- he is stable. This is what the report said, it said that his condition is stable and that there is no immediate risk to his life. We are monitoring the situation now.

But I want to stress that Mr. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja does have a legal recourse remaining. His legal status will be reviewed in his appeal on Monday. And let's not forget that the man is charged with serious -- is convicted with serious charges. You say that he was convicted last year, and his -- the judgment was reviewed, as per the independent inquiries --

ANDERSON: All right.

ALBINALI: -- report recommendation.

ANDERSON: Sir, bear with me. I'm going to bring in somebody else to join us on this conversation. Lamees Dhaif is an activist joining us out of Bahrain now. You've heard what our first guest has said this evening. Your thoughts at this point.

LAMEES DHAIF, JOURNALIST AND ACTIVIST: Yes. Not correctly. I didn't hear exactly what he said. But if you're asking about al-Khawaja case, his case is critical. His wife and his daughter and his lawyer are actually saying that he's dying.

And I think that someone in his age and in his health condition being on strike for as long as he did, we can't expect him to be well.


DHAIF: But again, the authorities want to send a message to the world that he's fine to take the guilt out of their shoulders.

ANDERSON: What can we expect from protesters and activists like yourself over the next couple of days as we move towards this Grand Prix, which is about 36 hours away. I know that it is -- it's a sort of fulcrum for many of you who believe that you have grievances against the government, so what should we expect at this point?

DHAIF: You don't expect any harm. We don't want to harm the people to came to Bahrain. Anybody who told you that the guests are under threat, they are just trying to raise fear.

The thing -- all that's going to happen is that the people of Bahrain, we're going to try as much as they can to send the message to the world and to the reporters who are coming to Bahrain, they want you to see their suffering.

They want you to feel their pain. There is nothing else. There are people in agony, and people are -- the whole world is ignoring them. They feel that they are -- that everybody is looking the other way. Nobody is looking --

ANDERSON: All right.

DHAIF: -- at their revolution and their --


ANDERSON: Well, this hour tonight, here on CNN, we are reporting your story and we do very much appreciate both of you coming on tonight. Fahad Albinali, a spokesman for the Bahraini Information Affairs Authority and Lamees Dhaif, an activist joining us for this discussion, as well.

The Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, of course, slated to continue as of tonight. That is a Sunday event and the news will continue on that and other things here on CNN as we move through the hours to come.

Coming up next on this show this evening, it's a billion-dollar industry with a shocking track record of slave labor. Now, though, one chocolate giant pledges to eradicate slaver from its supply chain. That coming up after this.


ANDERSON: Well, if you are a regular viewer of this show or this network, you'll be aware of a story that we've been covering as part of CNN's Freedom Project. Italian chocolate maker Ferrero has pledged to eradicate slavery from the cocoa farms it uses by 2020.

Now, CNN highlighted the plight of what came to be known as Chocolate's Child Slaves earlier this year when David McKenzie traveled to the world's largest cocoa producer, Ivory Coast. Here is what he found back then.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On this farm, we find Abdul. He survived three years of work. He's just 10. He earns no wages for his work, he says. Just food, the occasional tip from the owner, and the torn clothes on his back.

Put in the simplest of terms, Abdul is a child slave.

We move away from the group so he can speak more freely and, through our translator, he tells us his story.

MCKENZIE (on camera): If he had a choice, he wouldn't work?

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Abdul says he's from neighboring Burkina Faso. When his father died, he says, a stranger brought him to Ivory Coast. Abdul has never eaten chocolate. He tells us he doesn't even know what cocoa is for.

We met Yaku (ph) on the same farm, also from Burkina Faso.

"My mother brought me when my father died," he tells me. Yaku insists he's 16, but he looks much younger. His legs bear machete scars from hours clearing the bush. The emotional scars seem much deeper.

"I wish I could just go to school," he says, "to learn to read and write." But Yaku says he's never spent a day in school.


ANDERSON: Well, Ferraro joins Nestles and Hershey as the third major chocolate manufacturer to announce a new labor initiative since September. Let's bring in Antonie Fountain. He's the director of the campaign group Stop the Traffik, and he joins us now live from Amsterdam.

We spoke before these companies had decided to get onboard, as it were, this campaign, Antonie. How do you react to what we've heard tonight from Ferraro?

ANTONIE FOUNTAIN, DIRECTOR, STOP THE TRAFFIK: Well, Ferraro's step is actually a very good step, and it's actually far more significant than the ones that Hershey or Nestle have done in the fact that Ferraro and -- Ferraro has actually come out and said "We will eradicate child trafficking and the worst forms of child labor by the end of this decade."

And that really is a sweet deal for the kids in Africa. Nestle and Hershey's have both announced some steps for some products, but are nowhere near the comprehensive sweeping statement that Ferraro has made.

Now, having said that, there is one thing that we still are very much calling on Ferraro to do, which is simply to actually put a certification or some form of communication on the label, because when consumers buy the chocolate, they need to know that they're buying traffic-free chocolate.

ANDERSON: Antonie, what happens next?

FOUNTAIN: That's a very good question. I actually think that there's two major things that need to happen next. I think that Kraft-Cadbury, which is together with Nestle and Hershey -- those are the three companies, the three major chocolate companies that haven't actually made comprehensive statements for the future yet.

Both Mars and Ferraro now have committed to basically putting certification or ending trafficking on their farms by the end of the decade, and I think it really is time for the other three major chocolate companies to come out with statements, promises, and plans to actually get their whole cocoa supply chain free of child trafficking, which is what they promised ten years ago anyway.

And the second thing that needs to happen, I think, is we need to have legislation on a national basis and also, preferably, on an international basis, making sure that complying to one of the most basic human rights --


FOUNTAIN: -- namely, not being in slavery, not being in the worst forms of child labor, that that is not something that is up to voluntary commitments from companies, but that's just kind of a given.

ANDERSON: All right.

FOUNTAIN: It's a level playing field that all actors need to operate on.

ANDERSON: Always good to talk to you. Thank you very much, indeed, for your thoughts --

FOUNTAIN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: -- this evening. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back here on CNN, take one award-winning opera singer and one group of world famous African a cappella singers, and the result? After this.


ANDERSON: He's an award-winning opera singer in his own right, but Thomas Hampson has decided to travel across the world to see if he can learn something new about music. Now, after spending days with the African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, it's time for a concert.

In the third and final part of our Fusion Journeys series this week, we find out whether music can create something that reaches beyond all borders.




THOMAS HAMPSON, AMERICAN BARITONE: My name is Thomas Hampson, and I'm an opera singer.


HAMPSON: This is Africa. Wonderful!

I've traveled to Durban to create a fusion of musical styles, with South African Zulu choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo.


SHABALALA: Can you hear the music?

HAMPSON: Oh, yes.

After a mere two days of being immersed in South African culture, Joseph, Albert, and I are hoping to combine our traditions to create something new, a fusion of our musical cultures.




HAMPSON: We begin with a Zulu piece, and perhaps Mambazo's most iconic hit song, "Homeless."


ALBERT MAZIBUKO, FOUNDING MEMBER, LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO: So, the song, it was composed because it was the respite from their violence, apartheid, and all the system was against us at the time.


HAMPSON: What a privilege. My goodness. The sound of their voices. Like I said before, this DNA, this just comes just so elemental to who they are and how they speak.

I think I got a couple of words and, my God, if Albert or Joseph give me the thumbs up, then I feel like I've had a triumph of the century, you know?


HAMPSON: Oh, man!

MAZIBUKO: Do it again.


MAZIBUKO: He is doing very good. He is doing very good. He is getting better. He just has been practicing only a few minutes, but he's getting there.



HAMPSON: Now, it's my turn to share a song with Mambazo. It's "Hard Times," by Stephen Foster.


HAMPSON: That's the song. It's a simple song, but it's painful. Beautiful, huh? Beautiful melodies.

A few hours together and a new sound is starting to take shape. We decided to document this wonderful experience and collaboration against the stunning backdrop of Durban's Valley of a Thousand Hills.


HAMPSON: You know, I tired to say that I had no expectations, I just wanted to come down here and enjoy and -- and let happen what happened. And it's beyond anything that I would have expected.


HAMPSON: We're musicians. We all swim in the same -- in the same river. We have different wells, but we all swim in the same river, and these guys -- these guys, they just sing with such a heart.


HAMPSON: And how they embraced my music and words, and much as I tried to embrace their rhythms and words. And we all laughed with one another and we became friend without even having to talk about that much.


HAMPSON: We will always have this bond. It's been -- absolutely soul-enriching, and I want to thank you for inviting me.




ANDERSON: And in next week's Fusion Journeys, Indian cuisine meets Nordic cookery. Award-winning chef Sanjeev Kapoor takes to Denmark. Find out whether Indian spice cooks well with the cool of Copenhagen.

And there's a lot more about our special series Fusion Journeys on our website,, including behind the scenes pictures of Thomas Hampson in Durban.

Now, just before we depart, as it were, tonight, tonight's Parting Shots. You'd be forgiven for thinking this is part of a film set, but to the people sleeping inside this house in Brazil, it was very real.

During the night, a driver lost control of his vehicle, flew over a creek, and embedded his car into the second floor of this house. Can you believe it? Amazingly, neither the driver nor the people inside the building were hurt. A little shaken, maybe, but not hurt.

Police say the 25-year-old driver will be charged with driving without a license and endangering others, it seems, amongst other things, and he may be in need of a new car.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching Friday night here from the studio, it's a very good evening. The world news headlines up after this short break. Stay with us.