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Charles Taylor Convicted; Three Bombs Target Newspapers In Nigeria

Aired April 26, 2012 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, a warning to the world's tyrants. Charles Taylor finds there is nowhere to hide, becoming the first former head of state to be convicted in an international court since the Nazis.

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

ANDERSON: Taylor was found guilty of aiding and abetting rebels who caused death and destruction in Sierra Leone. Tonight, why one of the country's former child soldiers tells me justice has been finally served.

Also this hour...


RUPERT MURDOCH, NEWS CORP FOUNDER: Someone took charge of a coverup, which we were victim to and I regret.


ANDERSON: Rupert Murdoch says sorry over the phone hacking scandal, but is it too little too late to salvage his reputation and that his multibillion dollar empire.

And one of France's leading ladies, Julliette Binoche, tells me why the leading men in her country's elections leave a lot to be desired.

Well, the UN calls it a stark warning to heads of state. No longer can tyrants and mass murders expect to retire to a life of luxury. We begin this hour with a landmark verdict involving one of the most brutal civil wars the world has ever seen.

A UN-backed court in The Hague convicted Charles Taylor today of aiding and abetting war crimes. He's a former president of Liberia, but was prosecuted for fueling civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002. Tonight we'll talk with a man directly affected by Taylor's crimes, Ismail Beah. He is a former child soldier from Sierra Leone. And you'll hear from him shortly.

Firstly, though, prosecutors say Taylor's greed and lust for power led him to armed rebels in Sierra Leone in exchange for so-called blood diamonds. Well, those rebels terrorized civilians through rape, beheadings, abductions, and countless amputations.

I want to start our coverage tonight with Nima Elbagir. You report from Taylor's role in what was the reign of terror.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A lay Baptist preacher, a brutal warlord, and now the first head of state to be indicted, tried, and convicted in an international court. And Charles Taylor, the myth and the man became inseparable.

CHARLES TAYLOR, PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA: Long live the Republic of Liberia.

ELBAGIR: Accusation of cannibalism swirling around him even as he quoted scripture to his supporters.

TAYLOR: Let no man take it from us.

ELBAGIR: Many of whom he was accused of terrorizing into voting for him during the 1997 Liberian elections.

TAYLOR: the elections on May 30 (ph).

ELBAGIR: Taylor has been a pivotal figure in Liberian politics for decades. His overthrow of the regime of Samuel Doe in 1999 spiraled the country into a bloody civil war that left 200,000 dead.

He was infamous for filling out his forces ranks with drug (inaudible) soldiers who reportedly called him papi (ph).

But it was over his involvement in the civil war in Sierra Leone that Charles Taylor was indicted. Accused of arming rebel groups and terrorizing civilians during the decade long Sierra Leonian civil war in exchange for uncut diamonds smuggled out to him in empty mayonnaise jars. And no less than the British super model Naomi Campbell was famously brought in as a witness for the prosecution.

NAOMI CAMPBELL, MODEL: I had a knock at my door. And I opened my door. And two men were there and gave me a pouch and said a gift for you.

ELBAGIR: The dirty gray stones that had seemingly so confused Campbell were, the prosecution believes, to have been blood diamonds, a personal gift from Taylor.

It was one of the many instances of high drama in a trial that started with Taylor's dismissal of his entire defense team.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Kahn, if you are not inclined to obey the directive of the courts, make it abundantly clear by walking out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If that's what you plan to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rather, I must. I do apologize.

ELBAGIR: But always lurking behind the spectacle of the trial was the specter of the more than 50,000 killed, maimed, or missing in Sierra Leone's decade long civil war, a wait that the judges were clearly all too aware of.

Deliberating for more than 12 months, they waded through 50,000 plus pages of testimony and examined more than 1,500 exhibits before reaching their verdict.

Sierra Leone remains one of the most impoverished countries in the world and many of those who survived the civil war still bear its scars.

At last, some form of justice. And with it, a message to those that remain of Africa's so-called big men.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, many people in Sierra Leone crowded around television sets to watch this verdict live. Some cheered, others quietly side with relief. Atika Schubert now shows us some reaction to what was a dramatic day in court.


RICHARD LUSSICK, PRESIDING JUDGE, THE HAGUE: I will ask the accused, Mr. Taylor, would you please stand for the verdict of the trial chamber?

ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It took more than five long years for the International Court on Sierra Leone to come to this moment.

LUSSICK: The trial chamber unanimously finds you guilty of aiding and abetting the commission of the following crimes.

SCHUBERT: And it took Judge Lussick nearly two hours to read a list of horrific crimes: enslavement, rape, murder, and mutilation.

LUSSICK: Civilians were forced to endure cruel treatment including have words carved into their bodies, and amputations of limbs.

SCHUBERT: All carried out by rebel forces who were armed and funded by Charles Taylor.

Taylor saw neighboring Sierra Leone as a source of diamonds and wanted to overthrow its government. The former Liberian leader showed no emotion as the verdict was read out.

But in Sierra Leone where the wounds of war are clearly visible, a feeling of relief and justice at last.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will go a long way for healing the wounds that many civilians have from the war. We don't believe if anything if justice is not done apart from whatever physical (inaudible) to people. Justice goes a long way to heal the wounds.

SCHUBERT: But in neighboring Liberia, emotions were mixed. Taylor supporters are angry.

ALI KEMOKEI, CHARLES TAYLOR SUPPORTER: There was no fair trial, (inaudible) international conspiracy (inaudible).

SCHUBERT: But prosecutor Brenda Hollis says there is a historic precedent that has been set with the first former head of state to be indicted, tried and convicted by an international court.

BRENDA HOLLIS, ICTY PROSECUTOR: This historic judgment reinforces the new reality that heads of state cannot hide behind their positions, that they will be held to account for war crimes and other international crimes. No person, no matter how highly placed he or she is, is above the law.

SCHUBERT: So what happens next? Well, take a look at this calendar. Charles Taylor has just 14 days to launch an appeal, and his sentencing hearing has been set for May 16.

Now prosecutors cannot ask for a life sentence or a death sentence, they can only ask for a set number of years. When will the judge make that final decision? That comes up on May 30. And that's when Charles Taylor will know if he's going to prison for just how long.

There is no prison in Sierra Leone or anywhere in West Africa felt to be secure enough to hold Taylor. Instead, he may find himself behind bars in Britain where the government has volunteered a high security prison to hold him.

Atika Schubert, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: As we've seen, so many civilians suffered under Taylor's campaign of terror, including countless innocent kids swept up in the civil war.

Our next guest was a child soldier in Sierra Leone, Ismail Beah is now a human rights activist -- advocate and a best-selling author, a remarkable man with a remarkable story. A rebel story, Ismail, funded by the man whose conviction was delivered today.

As you watched the trial, just describe the emotions.

ISMAIL BEAH, FORMER CHILD SOLDIER IN SIERRA LEONE: I have followed this trial from the beginning, since Charles Taylor was arrested and brought to Sierra Leone at first and then moved to The Hague. So today when I was watching it, it was very emotional and also you know I feel very happy today, you know, that such a man -- you know, it's no longer powerful, you know, that the law has prevailed and also in the sense that, you know, it shows that nobody can get away with doing such things, particularly with recruiting children in war.

And for that (inaudible), particularly for Sierra Leone, tomorrow is our independence day, (inaudible) independence anniversary, so this is very timely for us. And it really, I think is a wonderful occasion to be celebrated.

Of course there's more beyond this.

ANDERSON: Sure. And we've seen people celebrating in Sierra Leone. You know, the diaspora here in London. I know a 1,000 or more Sierra Leoneans getting together tonight in South London to celebrate this day.

Of course, the legacy of this war is a society with deep sense of community that was shattered by what happened. Now people dealing with -- many women dealing with the stigmatization of rape. Many men, like yourself, dealing with the stigmatization with being a rebel soldier.

What needs to happen next?

BEAH: Well, a lot of things need to happen. This is, of course, important because it sets a precedent to know that, you know, even people who are in positions of power cannot abuse their power in any way at all. And they'll be held accountable.

But of course some of the things that lead to the war in Sierra Leone, some of the things that allow the borders around Sierra Leone to be so porous to people, you know, abet and help in sort of -- facilitate in the war in Sierra Leone are now shown clearly out. And hopefully what can happen in (inaudible) that we'll make sure that this doesn't happen again, to make sure that some of those reasons that lead to the war are actually not still going on in countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia, you know, and around that particular area -- Republic Guinea and all those places.

ANDERSON: I wonder, then, therefore what you say to those other African leaders who say today that they see the importance of this message of the world that the tyrants out there have nowhere to hide, but the international court, many people saying in Africa is being unduly difficult with African leaders. It is effectively singling them out and saying, you know, it's all happening there and no elsewhere.

What do you say to the criticism of the international court today?

BEAH: Well, of course, the international criminal court is still in its infancy if you really consider to develop judicial mechanisms in various parts of the world. So I think of course you're going to have critics that are going to question. But I think it's still laying a foundation to ensure how these can be done. You know, we have Thomas Lubanga's trial and now we have Charles Taylor.

And so there are things that are happening. And of course a lot of people say, and which is true, that it's only been mostly African dictators or African warlords that have been prosecuted. But here is what I like to throw out to people, the International Criminal Court's work it's not an easy task, it's a difficult one. There are lots of people on the list.

And of course I would assume, practically speaking, you go after the people you are able to actually bring to court. If you go after some people you're not going to be able to bring to court, then actually the court is not going to be able to function and set those precedents that would then allow for all of those other things to happen later on.

So in a way, my opinion I think this is -- this is the trajectory that I see. You know, you start with what you can do, you know, based on the resources. And of course, the legal system everywhere is politicized, no matter what anybody say, you know, that's just the fact.

ANDERSON: You're making a very good point. Ismail Beah, tonight on an extremely good day, I know, for you and many of your fellow Sierra Leoneans. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.

Our top story this evening, a verdict that brings a sense of justice for survivors of what was a brutal civil war. The conviction of Charles Taylor also sends and important message tonight that even the most powerful leaders are not above the law.

You're watching CNN's Connect the World live from London. Still to come, no fault apology. Rupert Murdoch says he should have paid more attention to his newspaper, but also that he was not part of any coverup.

The French actress Juliette Binoche tells me why President Sarkozy has a lot to learn from America's leader.


JULIETTE BINOCHE, ACTRESS: When I listen to Obama, I feel there's more of a person there. I believe in this person. And he has a vision that is beyond himself.


ANDERSON: Well that and more when Connect the World returns after this.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. 17 minutes past 9:00 in London.

Rupert Murdoch has admitted for the first time that phone hacking at one of his newspapers was covered up. He took the stand for a second day at the UK media ethics inquiry earlier. And the media mogul said he had failed and had apologized for the phone hacking scandal, but also denied that he was involved.


MURDOCH: There's no question in my mind that -- maybe even the editor, but certainly beyond that, someone took charge of a coverup, which we were victim to and I regret.


ANDERSON: All right. Well, we'll be doing more on this story and what this means to his reputation and indeed that of his multibillion dollar empire in about 20 minutes time here on Connect the World.

Moving on, Syrian opposition group says troops have killed at least 20 people this Thursday. The violence follows reports of one of the deadliest incidents since the start of the conflict. Arwa Damon has more from CNN in Beirut.

Arwa, what I am referring to is an explosion in Hamaa that I believe has killed more than 70 people. What can we confirm at this point?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that Becky is according to opposition activists and that explosion is said to have taken place last night. And according to opposition activists it was because of a rocket that was fired by Syrian government forces into a neighbor in Hamaa. And the reason why it caused such widespread damage is because the neighborhood it was fired into was made up of apartment buildings that were fairly poorly put together and hence a number of them collapsed on top of one another. And video posted to YouTube shows the scale of the devastation and also the extent of the rescue effort where reports are that a number of women and children also had to be pulled from the rubble.

Now the Syrian government for its part is saying that the explosion was caused due to a terrorist organization that was effectively using these apartments as something of a safe house, a bomb making factory. And whilst they were trying to put together some sort of a bomb, the explosion then went off.

But at the end of the day, what is undeniable is that people did in fact die. The ceasefire at this point in time has ceased to exist. And any sort of resolution to this uprising at this point appears to be, well, something that is entirely unrealistic, Becky.

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon for you in Lebanon tonight.

Of course, we can't report out of Syria as you'll be well aware.

All right, well, a look now at some of the other stories that are connecting our world tonight.

At least seven people had been killed in Nigeria in three bomb attacks there. Police say the first two bombs were targeting newspaper offices in Abuja in the northern state of Kaduna. Now Kaduna was hit by another blast later on Thursday. The U.S. has condemned the violence saying the attacks target free speech.

Vladimir Duthiers is in Lagos with more. Vladimir, what do we know at this point about these attacks?

VLADMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky. What you say is exactly right. These attacks look like they've been targeted at (inaudible), one in Abuja. I spoke to the managing director of one of the newspapers that was targeted by the bombing. He couldn't confirm with 100 percent certainty, but he does believe that these attacks bear a hallmark on the Islamist fundamentalist group Boko Haram.

Which very interesting is, we were shown an email just earlier today that was sent newspaper editors and reporters across the country back in March of this year. And the subject line of that email was warning from Boko Haram. And all we can verify that that email actually did come from Boko Haram there was some very serious language in that email. And I can read you some of it.

One of the statements that they made to the reporters here is that we are messengers of Allah out to scourge this evil that people like you have brought upon Nigeria.

So people here are definitely thinking that this might be the work of this Islamist (inaudible) 400 people at least this year (inaudible).

ANDERSON: CNN's reporter on the ground there in Lagos, Nigeria for you. Thank you for that.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has been convicted of contempt. The supreme court handed him a guilty verdict after his refusal to reopen a corruption probe into the current president. Now Mr. Gilani won't have to serve any jail time, but this does open the way for proceedings to unseat him from office. His lawyers said that he will appeal that ruling.

Fourteen family members of Osama bin Laden are being deported to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan tonight. Bin Laden's widows and daughters have been detained since last May when the al Qaeda leader was killed in an American raid in Abbottabad.

More on this, Reza Sayah joins us now from Islamabad. A story our viewers will be fascinating to hear more about. Reza, what do we know?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Becky, all indications were that the Pakistani government wanted to rid itself of the bin Laden widows and the children and the widows themselves and the children wanted to leave as well. They all got their wish tonight. In a brief statement by the interior minister, the government announced today that the three wives of Osama bin Laden and their nine children were deported to Saudi Arabia. Within the past hour, Saudi Arabia being described by the interior minister as the country of choice for this family.

You're looking at video from our affiliate GOTV, word of their departure came suddenly on local television here in Pakistan. First came word, first came reports that a plane from Saudi Arabia, it landed in Benazir Bhutto International Airport, then word that this minibus that you're looking at arrived at the house where they were being held in custody by Pakistani authorities. Around midnight the family members apparently boarded this minibus. And off it went to the airport.

We traveled to the airport and as we got there, we did manage to see the bus about to enter a private gate to the airport, eventually it got there. Access to it was denied.

But again the big story after a long ordeal, bin Laden's widows and the nine children on their way to Saudi Arabia.

ANDERSON: Yes, it was -- for more on that as we get more we'll bring it to you here on CNN. Reza, thank you for that.

We're going to take a very short break on Connect the World. When we come back, now that his quest for Champion's League and La Liga title are over, will this man step down as the head of Barcelona? Don Riddell with more on that after this.


ANDERSON: Well, the Champion's League final is now set: Chelsea and Bayern Munich shocked the Spanish giants Barca and Real Madrid respectively in what were two extraordinary matches. Now news tonight about Barcelona's manager sending shock waves through football world.

What do we know? Well, Don Riddell is here to tell us all about Pep Guardiola. Is he there? Is he gone? What's going on?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: He's thinking about it, Becky. And we'll know tomorrow.

This is incredible news coming out of Spain within the last couple of hours. Pep Guardiola, Becky, is Barcelona's most successful manager ever. He's only 41. He's been in the job four years. During that time he's delivered two Champion's League titles, three Spanish titles, 13 trophies in all, but as you know he's had a disastrous week, losing to Real Madrid in the league, effectively conceding the Spanish title, losing to Chelsea and going out of the Champion's League.

We understand that he's been speaking with the club's president today. We understand he wants to walk away. Barcelona are trying to change his mind. And they've told him to go home and sleep on it.

We are expecting a decision tomorrow, though.

ANDERSON: Oh my goodness, it's tough at the top in this footballing world.

Moving to hockey tonight, another instance of racism I believe rearing its ugly head. How disappointing is this?

RIDDELL: It's just awful isn't it? Yes, this is in ice hockey, an absolutely thrilling series came to a climax yesterday between the Washington Capitals and the NHL champions the Boston Bruins, that was the moment the Bruins were knocked out of the playoffs by Joe Ward who is a player of Barbadian descent. And afterward the Bruin fans let rip their anger on the social networking site Twitter.

I cannot say what they said, Becky, but I'm sure you can imagine the sort of comments these ignorant and classless people made. It's caused an absolute storm. The NHL today have come out and said that the people responsible for these comments have no place associating themselves with our game.

ANDERSON: Good point.

All right, finally you have I know a bizarre moment in baseball to share with us. Go on.

RIDDELL: I love this.

You know, we live in high definition times where you can go to a sporting events as a nobody and leave as a somebody. Watch this, foul ball tossed into the crowd, a couple grabs it much to the chagrin, if little toddler knows that word, he is absolutely distraught because he didn't get the able.

And look what this couple are doing to him, next to him, posing with the ball. They're having a great time. They are absolutely oblivious to this little child's misery.

And of course this all played out on live television and the game announcer called this couple out on every single moment of their greedy actions. Really quite incredible. That couple were making out a few minutes later, Becky, and celebrating with their ball. But I'm pleased to say there is a happy ending, because someone in the dugout could see this little child's misery. They tossed him a ball as well.

And look at that, you see.

ANDERSON: Oh, bless him.

RIDDELL: How great is that? The smile of a little boy.

ANDERSON: Oh, that's lovely.

We don't like the other two, but we love this little kid.

Thank you for that. Much better story to end your block. With 29 minutes past 9:00 in London.

In an hour, Don will be back with World Sport. Please stick around for that.

Still to come on Connect the World, more courtroom drama for News Corporation. Rupert Murdoch takes the stand for a second day and admits there was a coverup in the phone hacking scandal.

And the world's worst nuclear disaster happened 26 years ago today. We'll take a long look at the lingering effects of radiation.


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

A UN-backed court in the Hague has convicted Charles Taylor of aiding and abetting war crimes. The former Liberian president will be sentenced next month. The court found him guilty of training and supporting rebels in Sierra Leone's brutal civil war.

Rupert Murdoch says he is sorry for the phone hacking at his now defunct newspaper "The News of the World" at the UK media ethics inquiry. He also admitted there was a cover up, but says it was even hidden from him.

A lawyer tells CNN that Osama bin Laden's family is headed to Saudi Arabia after being deported from Pakistan. Fourteen of the late al Qaeda leader's family members have been in custody since the US raid on bin Laden's compound this time last year.

This is the aftermath of what may be one of the deadliest attacks in the Syrian uprising. Activists say a rocket killed more than 70 people in the city of Hama on Wednesday. The government blames terrorist groups. Activists say at least 20 people were killed in attacks today alone.

And those are the headlines this hour.

Well, media mogul Rupert Murdoch took to the stand in London for the second day today, and he knew exactly how to grab the headlines. He apologized for the phone hacking at his now defunct newspaper, but as Dan Rivers reports, he laid the blame firmly elsewhere.


DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid a frenzy of flashbulbs, the news tycoon who now is the news was whisked into London's high court, where he implied some of his executives tried to cover up the scale of phone hacking.

RUPERT MURDOCH, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, NEWS CORP: There's no question in my mind that maybe even the editor, but certainly beyond that someone took charge of a cover up, which we were victim to, and I regret.

RIVERS: It was this man, Colin Myler, who was editor of the "News of the World" when the tabloid was closed down. Rupert Murdoch claimed Myler failed to tell him about widespread hacking.

MURDOCH: A new editor was appointed with specific instructions to find out what was going on. He did, I believe, put in two or three new sort of steps of regulation, if you like, but never reported back that there was more hacking.

RIVERS: Myler now works for a competitor, and his lawyer says they have no comment. But Murdoch also sought to spread the blame for the hacking cover up to other people.

ROBERT JAY, LAWYER: From where does this culture of cover up emanate, Mr. Murdoch?

MURDOCH: I think from within the "News of the World." And -- to one or two very strong characters there, who I think had been there many, many, many years and were friends of the journalists. Or the person I'm thinking of was a friend of the journalist, drinking pal. And a clever lawyer.

RIVERS: Taken to be a reference to this man, legal affairs manager Tom Crone, who hit back with an angry statement saying, "His assertion that I took charge of a cover up in relation to phone hacking is a shameful lie."

As a former deputy editor of the "News of the World," Paul Connew knows Tom Crone well.

PAUL CONNEW, FORMER DEPUTY EDITOR, "NEWS OF THE WORLD": He's a lawyer, a very experienced lawyer. He's obviously very upset. He obviously feels that he is being or attempts are being made to make him culpable, a fall guy.

I don't know how involved he was in the cover up. All I believe is that the buck has to go higher than Tom Crone.

RIVERS (on camera): Until now, it's been Rupert Murdoch's enemies who've been alleging a cover up. Now, the man himself has used that phrase. It may mean more problems for Rupert Murdoch in the United States from shareholders of News Corp.

Dan Rivers, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, as Dan says, revelations from this inquiry have been pretty damaging to Rupert Murdoch and his company's reputation, that being a multibillion-dollar company, of course.

Joining me now to discuss just what harm this might be doing to his US operations is crisis communications expert Josh Zeitz of MWW, one of the largest communications companies in the United States. As far as damage control is concerned, then, when you listen to what Rupert Murdoch has said over the past two days, how would you rate him?

JOSH ZEITZ, MWW GROUP: I -- well, I'm loathe to give it a letter grade, but it isn't strong. I think that the company and its leadership have consistently failed to get ahead of the story.

And we counsel our clients, when they're in a crisis situation, to be as forthcoming and forthright from the start as possible, because the last thing that you want is to die a death of a thousand cuts by the slow and steady seepage of little details of the story coming out that drag the story out for weeks or months, and I think that that's precisely what's happening right -- to News Corp.

ANDERSON: So, a mea culpa, to a certain extent, from Rupert Murdoch, but then a sort of hands-off gambit, "It wasn't my fault," sort of slightly -- sort of dismisses what he'd said when he apologized, didn't it, to a certain extent?

Surely he's -- he must be employing the most -- well, some of the best lawyers in the world. Why haven't they hosed him down? Why haven't they given him the narrative which goes, just be sensitive about what you say, because you have an enormous organization behind you, which could be damaged as a result of this?

ZEITZ: I think you actually hit on exactly the right point. Often in these types of situations, there's a natural tension that occurs or exists between one's lawyers and one's communication staff. The lawyers quite reasonably want you to say as little as possible to avoid any implications down the line.

The communications professionals, on the other hand, want you to say something, to craft the narrative, to tell a story. Doesn't mean you do it indiscriminately, but you have to talk. And we find -- we work with law firms in litigation support and in crisis management all the time. Hopefully, you get good synergy between the two.

But as you say, it's important to issue a mea culpa, it's important to apologize, but the really important thing is to be consistent, to demonstrate that you're being as forthright as possible, and to lay in place or communicate a structure for moving beyond the crisis, and I'm not sure that News Corp has done that yet.

ANDERSON: What sort of reputation or risk is there for News Corp in all of this?

ZEITZ: They have a very specific reputational risk. The way in which their dual stock structure exists, the Murdoch family actually controls 40 percent of the effective votes at News Corp, and they basically have a lock on the company's governance.

That only works for investors if investors believe strongly in the competency of that corporate governance system, and right now, if confidence continues to be shaken, I think that you're going -- you're going to see News Corp continue to trail its competitors and its peers.

It's trading at a sharp discount to its peer group, and it's sharp -- trading at a sharp discount to its asset value. So, that's something that could certainly continue if people don't believe that that unshakable leadership regime is in and of itself in control.

ANDERSON: Josh, we appreciate your thoughts tonight. Thank you for joining us here on CONNECT THE WORLD. Fascinating story.

You're watching CNN. When we come back, 26 years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the effects of the radiation still remain largely unknown. We're going to take a look at some of the children who have been growing up in what is an extremely dangerous zone. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Remembering the world's worst nuclear disaster, 26 years ago today, a botched safety test on a nuclear reactor in Chernobyl caused what was a massive explosion, spreading clouds of radiation across Europe.

Well, 200,000 people were evacuated, never to return, and it's estimated at least 5 million people live in areas labeled "contaminated territories."

What exactly does that mean? Hard to say. On the surface, the area may look like it's recovering, but what's startling is how little we know about the health effects of radiation. Have a look at this.


KATIE WALMSLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the children of Chernobyl. The weren't born during the disaster or even soon after, but they are its legacy.

Seventy percent of the radiation from Chernobyl fell on Belarus. Years later, according to UNICEF, 20 percent of teens there suffer from disabilities or chronic disease. Thousands live in institutions. We asked the nonprofit Chernobyl Children International, or CCI, to film a recent volunteer mission to Belarus.

In 1996, a decade after the disaster, CNN went to Chernobyl, finding many questions and few answers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's certainly enough radiation here to contaminate those mice. What are the consequences of long-term of exposure? We'd just like to know how much it takes before it's a hazard to humans.

WALMSLEY: Sixteen years later, there are still no clear answers as to why so many kids born outside the exclusion zone well after Chernobyl are so sick.

KATHY RYAN, CHERNOBYL CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL: We see a lot of cerebral palsy and neural tube defects. A number of them have intellectual disabilities, such as Down Syndrome.

WALMSLEY: What we do know, up to 5 million still live in so-called contaminated territory. They eat food grown there, they drink the water. Food and water that most countries still won't import.

According to the World Health Organization, residents do have higher rates of some cancers, high rates of malnutrition, and few ways to make a living. Often, their biggest enemy is despair.

RYAN: Children were removed from a home where the parents did not have the resources to take care of them, in many cases because the parents might have had issues with alcoholism or with poverty.

WALMSLEY: Whether they're victims of radiation, a devastated economy, or other factors, CCI has one wish for these children: a family.

RYAN: One of our really important programs we call Home of Hope. These are families that agree to take in ten children who used to live in an orphanage. Donations of sponsors allow us to put together homes with real parents and real siblings.

WALMSLEY: And in the meantime, to let them know they're not forgotten.

MARIE COX, MEDICAL COORDINATOR, CHERNOBYL CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL: Hold them, love them. It's very simple things the children need just to make them happy.

WALMSLEY: Katie Walmsley, CNN.


ANDERSON: For more on this story or to find out how you can help, go to You can read more about the work of Chernobyl Children International and get involved yourself.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN, 45 minutes past 9:00 in London. When we come back, French actress Juliette Binoche, who's raising eyebrows over her role in what is a provocative new film. She will tell us why, up next.


ANDERSON: Well, she is the darling of French cinema, but actress Juliette Binoche is courting controversy with her latest film. It is provocative story about student sex workers, and the Oscar-winning star says she has -- well, she says she set out to shock us.


ANDERSON (voice-over): She is one of France's leading ladies, affectionately known as La Binoche. The French star was just 23 when she wowed critics in the 1988 film "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." And her acclaim has only grown.

RALPH FIENNES AS COUNT LASZLO DE ALMASY, "THE ENGLISH PATIENT": Why are you so determined to keep me alive?


ANDERSON: Binoche picked up an Academy Award in 1996 for her role in "The English Patient," and most recently won the Best Actress award at Cannes for her performance in "Certified Copy," a film by the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.

BINOCHE AS ELLE, "CERTIFIED COPY" (through translator): Nothing is civilized here.

WILLIAM SHIMELL AS JAMES MILLER, "CERTIFIED COPY" (through translator): But you. You've changed.

BINOCHE AS ANNE, "ELLES" (through translator): Hi, this is Lola.

ANDERSON: Her latest film, "Elles," though, has not been so well- received. The now 48-year-old plays a journalist investigating student prostitutes.

ANDERSON (on camera): What is it about this film that made you say, "Yes, this is the role for me"?

BINOCHE: What I like about the story and the script, that it was not black and white. It's not the bad ones on one side and the good ones on the other side. Of course, when you have prostitute and client, you always think, poor girls and poor man.


BINOCHE: In a way. But -- it really gives a sort of inside landscape what's going on, and I think it reflects a feeling of what's going on in the society nowadays.

And I think it's related to family problems, being alone, not being helped with family or state, not being helped -- but the father figure, I think, has to do a lot with it. Because most of the -- those young girls, they usually say older man, middle-aged man or married most of the time, and they go through internet and this kind of a new generation of escorting -- girl escorts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "ELLES" (through translator): Do these men have problems?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "ELLES": No, they're completely normal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "ELLES": But they're old enough to be my father.


ANDERSON: There are critics who describe "Elles" as salacious. What is your response to -- criticism like that?

BINOCHE: I think -- it seems like it at the beginning, because you have those young girls, they seem to be on top of things and it seems to be easy, they're saying it's no problem, I'm free, I can do whatever.

And bit by bit in the movie, if you get really the layers that what the film is saying, you understand that it's actually a nightmare.

BINOCHE AS ANNE, "ELLES" (through translator): People fight to get ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "ELLES" (through translator): What are you talking about? You didn't fight.

BINOCHE: My character, she seems to have everything. She has the house, the husband, children, the job, the furniture. It seems that she has everything. And actually, you scratch a little bit, and there's a sort of emptiness. There's no relationship between people, even though you live in a family, you have a husband, wife, and children, there's no communication.

BINOCHE AS ANNE, "ELLES" (through translator): What's the hardest thing for you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "ELLES" (through translator): The lies. Having to lie all the time.

ANDERSON: Do you have any advice for teenaged girls?

BINOCHE: I think it's so hard to give advice because the journey is so hard when you're alone and you have a passion. When you have a passion, you're saved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "ELLES" (through translator): It's like smoking. It's hard to stop. Suddenly, I've got money.

BINOCHE AS ANNE, "ELLES" (through translator): You don't find it humiliating?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "ELLES" (through translator): No.

ANDERSON: Between making films, being a mother, and helping orphans in Cambodia, Binoche has also been prominent on the political stage. She's campaigned for the release of imprisoned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi and has been a vocal critic of French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

BINOCHE: I supported -- how you call it in English? Green? The Green?

ANDERSON: Right, the Green Party.

BINOCHE: Because Green -- yes, I did, because I think that's where it starts. Because you have to get out of the kind of the system of mondialisation, global kind of way of politics, because I think it's insane.

And when you travel all around the world and you see the same shops, the same apples, the same thing everywhere, it drives me nuts, because I want to sell -- have a sense of the people's goods. I want to have a sense of people's way of cutting clothes or whatever. And this kind of global thing, it makes me mad.

So, in this politics, I don't see myself --

ANDERSON: Juliette, can I ask you one --

BINOCHE: -- and when there's a reflection about -- no, I won't stop.


BINOCHE: When you have a reflection of somebody about -- putting in question the way we live and maybe going back to a village way of independent -- I'm thinking of Pierre Rabhi, who's a fantastic writer and visionary -- then I wake up, and then I'm thinking, we have to think in a different way.

ANDERSON: So, would it be fair to say that you see two candidates in the French election, neither of whom has his heart in the right place to be president of France?

BINOCHE: I think they're running for power. And I understand, we all have that in -- in our being, but you've got to get over that. There's a - - that's why, when I -- I'm sorry, but when I listen to Obama, I feel there's more of a person there. I believe in the person. He has a vision that is beyond himself. It's about taking care of our planet, is the --

ANDERSON: All right.

BINOCHE: -- how do you make things better --


BINOCHE: -- in helping the planet?

ANDERSON: All right. Let's -- let's get back to the film --

BINOCHE: And what I mean by that is -- you want to go back to the film?


BINOCHE: Well, you pushed the buttons. I didn't help you with that.

ANDERSON: Let's get back to the film. You've made some 50 films in your career. Where do you get the energy from?

BINOCHE: It's a cosmic energy, darling. I can't explain it.



ANDERSON: How do you cope with somebody like that? Juliette Binoche with what is on her mind. What is on your mind? Well, the team here at CONNECT THE WORLD does want to hear from you, Have your say. You can tweet me, of course, @BeckyCNN. Your thoughts, please, @BeckyCNN. We read them all or use them in our narrative as we go forward.

In tonight's Parting Shots, in just a few days, Number One World Trade Center will become the tallest building in New York. Now, this time-lapse film shows construction as what's known as Freedom Tower. Over seven and a half years since 2004. It's due for completion next year, when it will reach 1,776 feet.

It's one of several towers being built on the site of the original World Trade Center, destroyed, of course in September, 2001. Now, the architects say it'll create a new standard for high-rise buildings and a new skyline for New York.

There it is. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thanks for watching. The world news headlines up after this short break. Don't go away.