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CONNECT THE WORLD

Greek President Proposes Technocratic Government; Greek People Divided on Leaving Eurozone; What Greek Exit Could Look Like; European Finance Ministers Discussing Possibility of Greek Exit; JPMorgan Chase CEO Leaves After $2 Billion Trading Loss; Syrian Soldiers Killed in Clashes; Palestinian Prisoners End Hunger Strike; China Denies Plot to Kill Dalai Lama; Manchester City Fans Celebrates Champion Team; Reaction from Abu Dhabi; Overview of Manchester City's Win; Massacre Claims 49 in Cadereyta, Mexico

Aired May 14, 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, a glimmer of hope in Greece. As last-ditch talks to form a coalition fail, one party leader says this man, the president, is willing to step in and form a government himself.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: Well, if the president has his way, it would be a government of personalities, not politicians. Could this be the fix for Greece, or is an exit from the eurozone now inevitable? And if so, how messy would that be? We're going to discuss that tonight.

Also this hour, a grisly discovery in Mexico's war on drugs. Now, a country so dangerous that even reporters risk a death sentence just for telling the truth.

And after 44 years of hurt, a victorious squad lifts the spirits of Manchester City fans across the entire globe.

Negotiations to try and cobble together a Greek coalition have ended with no breakthrough. Last-ditch talks led by the president didn't make any headway after one party leader said he wouldn't show up and another refused to take part in any coalition without him.

Well, the Greek president has no proposed a government of what's known as technocrats. The stakes are high. If no coalition is formed, Greece must hold new elections next month. That is a nightmare scenario.

Fears that Greece will leave the eurozone eventually led to a big sell-off on Monday. Investors hate uncertainty. A sea of red all over the markets, here, particularly in Athens, where the composite hit its lowest point in 20 years.

So, for more on the very latest in Greece, our Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance is in Athens for you, tonight. So, stakes couldn't be higher, the politicians couldn't be further apart, Matthew, and the eurozone, quite frankly, couldn't be in a worse state, although, as we've suggested, a glimmer of hope possibly tonight out of Greece?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, possibly, in the sense that this is a new idea that's been floated by the Greek president that instead of the parties getting together and trying to forge a coalition in that parliament behind me there, that they appoint a technocratic government and give them support in the parliament, much in the same way that the Italians have done with Mario Monti.

But The trouble with it is -- and these consultations are going to continue tomorrow here -- the trouble with it is is that if that technocrat government is going to support austerity and push the country towards greater cuts and austerity measures, there's a whole batch of political parties in this country that have made it quite clear they won't support it.

And so, the initiative that, while it's new, doesn't necessarily break the deadlock between the various political parties here. There are still very much opposing views on which direction and, of course, which direction Greece and which direction the euro should take in this country.

ANDERSON: Matthew, I'd call this a soap opera if it wasn't so incredibly important, not just to Greece, but to Europe and the entire world. As I said, investors hate uncertainty, and that is reflected on the stock markets once again today. What are people in Greece saying? When we feel like this, we watch and wait. What do people on the ground say?

CHANCE: I think this all started off, Becky, as a protest vote. People in this country furious with their politicians for leading them into this economic dead end where they've seen their pensions cut and cut, and their wages cut, and all sorts of problems associated with austerity.

I think, though, now, the whole thing is crystallized into a very clear debate: should Greece stay within the euro, or should it crash out of it, potentially taking other countries with it, and adopt the drachma. It's an issue which very much divides people on the streets of Greece. Take a listen to people we spoke to earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the only opportunity to survive, otherwise we'll get very poor, we'll have very significant problems to cope with. And I believe that for most or for the average income or low income people, it will be a disaster.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We used to have drachmas, and we have not so many people living in the streets and eating garbage, and so many -- it was with drachma. The -- the coin, the euro or drachma, it's just miserable. It's not the solution of the problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHANCE: Well, Greece crashing out of the euro, not something that was talked about much previously, it is being discussed, now. But of course, as we've been saying, this could have profound consequences for the rest of Europe and the world, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. All right, Matthew, thank you for that.

As the world waits for lawmakers in Greece, there's no doubt that the country is inching towards the euro exit door. So, what would happen if Greece leaves? Here's a look at some of the possible consequences for you.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: It's the idea that's got investors around the world worried: the "Grexit" or Greek exit from the euro zone. A tricky scenario, but one that is now looking like a real possibility. UK bookmakers Ladbrokes even stopped taking bets on it last week because of the surge in interest in money being put down. So, what would a Grexit look like?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "MARY POPPINS")

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's something wrong. The bank won't give someone their money!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I'm going to get mine. Come along, young man!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON (voice-over): Could we see a run on the banks, something similar to this scene from Disney's film, "Mary Poppins," panic as people try to withdraw their cash?

A new currency would have to be introduced. Billions of bills printed almost overnight. When I asked the Greek foreign minister back in November whether they had such a plan B, he didn't really answer the question.

ANDERSON (on camera): Are you printing drachmas now anywhere in the world if, indeed, you were to pull out of the euro, for example?

STAVROS LAMBRIDINIS, GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER: I can give you only one answer, and this is very sincere. The Greeks, in my view, will not vote no. I do not speculate or anything else.

ANDERSON (voice-over): According to some reports, there'd likely be strict controls to prevent Greeks from moving money abroad. Mortgages and other assets would have to be redenominated, and the new currency would be radically devalued.

ANDERSON (on camera): But the main concern for other eurozone members is contagion. If Greece pulls out, who's to say that Italy and Spain, for example, wouldn't follow suit?

Becky Anderson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Yes, it is. Well, European finance ministers now openly discussing Greece's exit from the European project. They are gathered in Brussels. German chancellor Angela Merkel will be hoping she can attend that meeting, off the back of talks with her new French counterpart. Francois Hollande's expected in Berlin immediately his inauguration is over in Paris on Tuesday.

My colleague Richard Quest is in the French capital. What a busy day everybody has tomorrow, particularly Frau Merkel. But an incredibly important one. Listen, Richard, it seems only yesterday that it was taboo for anyone to suggest showing Greece the door. Now, they are coming out of the woodwork. Why?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and I think they are suggesting quite clearly that whatever happens, it is up to the Greek people and the decision will be taken in Greece.

Ministers, central bankers, anybody you speak to on this, is quite clear that they will not kick Greece out. However, as the Swedish finance minister Anders Borg told me late last week, the Greek people and the Greek government have to live up to the promises and the undertakings the they've given.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERS BORG, SWEDISH FINANCE MINISTER: We are at the point when they have to decide, are they going to deliver, fulfill their obligations, and stay in the eurozone, or will they have a political majority saying, "We don't want to be part of this, and we don't want to deliver." Well, I think we're very close to that point.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: Now, Becky, the seriousness of this can't be overstated, because firstly, two years ago, 18 months ago, we were worried about contagion. Now, over the last 18 months, we thought the markets had got used to the idea that Greece might eventually leave the euro.

But what I think we've seen today is that uncertainty that you elegantly and eloquently spoke of at the start of the program, when you said the markets hate uncertainty.

Yes, they are more prepared than they were, but with Hollande being elected here, Hollande's going off to Berlin tomorrow, with austerity shifting towards growth, with so much uncertainty, frankly, the last thing anybody needs, Becky, is Greece once again upsetting the apple cart.

ANDERSON: Richard, in -- I just want to remind our viewers that in December 2009, the then-Greek prime minister saw, and I quote, "no possibility of a default." Two and a half years ago and a quarter of trillion euros in bailout funds later, it could still be over for Greece.

How on Earth did we get here, and shame, surely, on those officials, those finance ministers, those European politicians who have allowed it to happen, don't you think? You should and must agree with me.

QUEST: I have no --

(LAUGHTER)

QUEST: I have nothing more useful to add because frankly, Becky, you've taken -- you've stolen my close. In the -- look. Yes, there is no question.

They've defaulted already, the debt -- 75 percent has been written off. It's still not enough. The Greek people are angry and furious, unemployment is obscenely high, and we are still at a question of whether they can stay in the euro.

And what beggars belief, Becky, is how politicians and Eurocrats say one thing and the economists tell us one thing other. At the moment, the economics suggest Greece cannot stay in.

ANDERSON: I knew you'd have something to say. I know I wouldn't have stolen your thunder completely. Richard Quest in Paris. Richard, thank you for that.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London, our top story tonight. Will they, won't they? If they do, how messy will it be? More questions than answers about the possibility of Greece dropping out of the euro.

If there is one thing global investors hate -- we've said it again, said it before, I'm going to say it again -- it's uncertainty. A very modern Greek tragedy unfolding in Europe with very, very real global ramifications.

Still to come tonight, even for a country accustomed to violent crimes, it's a shocking and horrific discovery. We're going to tell you about one of the worst massacres in Mexico in years.

And CNN's Freedom Project takes a look at the Nepalese literally dying to work abroad. That and much more, still ahead when CONNECT THE WORLD continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: JPMorgan Chase says its chief investment officer has decided to leave the bank after a $2 billion trading loss. The Wall Street company says Ina Drew is retiring after 30 years at the company.

She was the head of the unit responsible for the huge losses now, sending JPMorgan shares spiraling downwards. Felicia Taylor live in New York to tell us more. Was she -- did she jump, or was she pushed?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is thing. Honestly, after 30 yeas at the company and the company comes out and says that she's going to retire after a $2 billion blunder? Come on. Call a spade a spade, and that's what really is upsetting to investors.

If they had come out and said -- because people want accountability. They want somebody to be responsible for what happened here. Word on the street is that she's not the only one. We'll probably hear about other heads to roll.

And frankly, the pressure is increasingly going to become on Jaime Dimon to -- granted, he did step up to the plate initially, but to accept responsibility for this.

And now, there are officials, certain senatorial candidates, that are looking for him to step down, not only from the Federal Reserve, but to actually take responsibility for this. Take a listen to what Elizabeth Warren, who is the senatorial candidate I'm talking about, had to say about this issue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: There has been a guerrilla war out there in which the largest financial institutions have been doing everything they can to make sure that financial regulations don't get put in place, and if they do get put in place, that they're loaded with loopholes and not very effective.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAYLOR: So, obviously, she is referring to the Volcker Rule, which is something that we've been talking about quite a bit. Investors are still very upset about this, and they've driven down the stock another 9 percent on Friday -- excuse me, another 3 percent -- today in trading.

The point is, though, Wall Street always takes a very different view on things like this, and the traders that I spoke to said, frankly, at this point, this is a screaming by, end of story. Maybe have -- may have already been overdone. Becky?

ANDERSON: Incredible stuff. Felicia, thank you for that. A look at some of the other stories connecting our world tonight. It's a funny old one, tonight, isn't it?

Syrian opposition activists say at least 23 soldiers were killed in fierce clashes today. This amateur video is said to show rebels trying to fend off a government assault in Rastan. Troops launched an offensive to retake the town over the weekend.

CNN's Anderson Cooper now reporting from the region. He visited a refugee camp on the Syrian-Turkish border, meeting the families who've fled the deadly violence.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: About 70,000 Syrians have fled their country so far since protests began. Many are in camps in Lebanon and Iraq, but about 23,000 men, women, and children now living in tent camps like this one along the Turkish-Syrian border.

As far as refugee camps go, it's well-run, it's clean, most importantly, it's safe. But it's not home. Many of the people in this camp have been here for more than a year. New arrivals keep coming. Everybody will tell you, they want to go back to Syria. They want to go home, but not until the regime of Bashar al-Assad has fallen.

Protests began in Syria more than a year ago with calls for reform, but so much blood has been shed, the people here will tell you, nothing short of regime change will satisfy them. They want the international community to do more to help.

Reporting from the Turkish-Syrian border, I'm Anderson Cooper.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And Tuesday on CNN, you can catch more of Anderson's reporting live from that border, Tuesday, 1:00 AM London, right here on CNN.

An agreement has been reached for nearly 2,000 Palestinian prisoners to end their hunger strike. The deal, brokered by Egypt, lays out plans for Israel to move Palestinian prisoners out of solitary confinement and to allow their families from Gaza and the West Bank to visit. The prisoners have been refusing food since April the 17th to protest their living conditions and detention without trial.

China is denying reports that it plotted to kill the Dalai Lama after allegations appeared in a London newspaper. The Dalai Lama told the "Sunday Telegraph" he'd heard reports that Chinese agents training Tibetan women to poison him. The Chinese foreign ministry says those allegations are, quote, "groundless."

The Dalai Lama is in London to receive the Templeton Prize. At the prize's press conference, he refused to be drawn by questions about Tibetan protests.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: All over Tibetan area, Tibetans have been setting fire to themselves, self-immolating in protest against Chinese rule. Can you tell us whether you think that they should stop this now, or should they continue?

DALAI LAMA, EXILED TIBETAN SPIRITUAL LEADER: I think that is a quite sensitive political issue. I think my answer should be zero.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: And there's your break. After this, the blue side of Manchester certainly not feeling blue today. Man City celebrates and indulges in style.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back, 20 past 9:00 here.

Forty-four years between titles means that when you finally win one, you should really enjoy it. And that is the case in Manchester, where supporters of Manchester City have gathered to give their Premier League champion team -- and let me say that again: champion team -- a celebration the likes of which they haven't seen for some time.

And we're covering the Man City victory from all angles. I know wherever you're watching in the world, you probably watched that match. Tonight in Manchester itself, we'll be hearing from Amanda Davies on the home reaction.

Then, we're with Leone Lakhani in Abu Dhabi, where crowds have been dancing in the streets for their team, as they -- I guess they feel like it's their team, owned of course by Abu Dhabi. And finally, we'll be hearing from "World Sport's" Don Riddell at CNN Center.

First, though, tonight, Amanda, what's the reaction been like in Man City since that incredible win on Saturday? On Sunday, sorry.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, it looks a little bit sad behind me, now, but I can tell you, just a couple of hours ago, it was one heck of a party. And you'd expect that, really, because it's not many of us who get 44 years and 3 days to plan that party. But it certainly lived up to expectations.

Thousands of fans still at this square, here, Albert Square, in front of the town hall to relive the season, to celebrate, to hear from their heroes.

The Manchester City team and its manager, Roberto Mancini, they all got up on stage behind me, did a bit of a question and answer session and then went on a parade around the city. There was ticker tape, there were fireworks, there were some fantastic renditions of "We Are the Champions" and "Blue Moon." It really was fantastic stuff.

And you have to remember, Becky, that these City fans have had years and years of their great rivals, Manchester United, winning all the titles, winning all the trophies in Manchester. But this was City's moment, this is City's moment, and the fans are enjoying every minute of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been a City supporter since I was 6, which is about 60-odd years ago, and I've suffered for a long, long time. But I tell you, it feels good. Revenge is sweet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Means the world to us. Means the world to everybody else that turned out today. I wasn't born the last time they won the league, so it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've supported them all my life, and I was in work yesterday when the match was on, but I was just -- I was in where, just slid across the floor on my knees to hug someone when the last goal went in.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Real excited.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You love it, don't you?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And United is wooby.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIES: Becky, the big concern for the Untied fans is how long City are here to stay. Last year, they won the FA Cup. This year, they won the English Premier League. Now, their sights are set on the Champions League. Remains to be seen how long it will take them to get that one in their trophy cabinet.

ANDERSON: Yes.

DAVIES: But I think one thing is for sure is they're not going to be waiting quite so long for their next celebration, are they?

ANDERSON: Well, let's hope not, because that small child will be over 50 if that's the case, I'm sure. Amanda, thank you for that. Amanda Davies is in Manchester for you. Let's get to Abu Dhabi where the owner of Manchester City lives, of course, and that victory has had a real impact across the Middle East.

Leone, you were out with fans during the game Sunday. I saw -- I saw some of the reaction. They really love this club, right, in Abu Dhabi?

LEONE LAKHANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Becky. Completely, completely nail-biting finish and ecstatic fans at the end of it. For a lot of those fans, they told us they didn't even follow the Premier League before Abu Dhabi bought Man City back in 2008.

And Becks, the club was bought by a group headed by a member of the ruling family, here. And since 2008, they've dished up a lot of cash, more than $1 billion on the club in total, $600 million alone on players since 2008.

In fact, for lots of these football clubs, they're also loss-making ventures, so the question is, was all that money well-spent? Abu Dhabi will say yes, it was, because it translated into a title, a Premiership title, which means mass, mass exposure and a huge fanbase and a lot more exposure for Abu Dhabi, now, as a result.

ANDERSON: Yes. What a result, and what a match, as you say. Leone Lakhani's in Abu Dhabi for you this evening. Don Riddell is at CNN Center. Don, somebody wrote today, "Only football can turn on a dime and be so totally loony as that." And the quotes go on. It was remarkable stuff, wasn't it?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It was absolutely incredible, Becky. When you consider all the storylines and the sub plots that were at play here. Of course, Manchester City didn't just win their first title in 44 years, they denied their great rivals the title with virtually the last kick of the season.

Of course, Queens Park Rangers ruined this game. Their opponents, they were trying to stay in the league. They managed to do that yesterday, despite losing the game. And it was just absolutely incredible. The more I see these goals, the more I can't believe it.

And football has had so many of these moments, Becky. When I say that, so many that we remember, but really not that many when you consider that all the games in the season, 38 games in the season, and it doesn't just come down to the last game, it comes down to virtually the last kick, City winning it on goal difference, no less, really rubbing United's nose in it.

ANDERSON: Yes.

RIDDELL: And some of the fans of that game had left. They thought --

ANDERSON: Oh, yes.

RIDDELL: -- "We're going to choke this again, we're going to lose this. We cannot bear the humiliation of seeing our team throw it away at the last minute." And those fans, unfortunately for them, were halfway down the road when they heard what finally had happened.

ANDERSON: And Don, some of them had to try and climb back in. I saw pictures yesterday, it was remarkable.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: Trying to climb back into the stadium rather than out. Don Riddell's at CNN Center, Leone's in Abu Dhabi for you tonight, and Amanda in Manchester. All of you, we thank you very much, indeed. "Only football can turn on a dime and be so totally loony." Is that well put?

Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, another mass killing has got Mexicans asking when will it ever end? We're going to get an update on what is a shocking discovery not very far from the US border.

Thousands of Nepalese migrants seek work abroad in search of a better life. We take a look at why many don't make it back alive.

And "Britain's Got Talent." Apparently. Well, this sort of talent, anyway. Meet the human/canine duo lapping up their victory.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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.

Greece's president will try to cobble together a government of technocrats. He needs to find support from political leaders by Thursday or else he'll have to call new elections. That could eventually lead to Athens's exit from the eurozone.

Days after revealing that America's richest bank lost $2 billion in risky investments, JPMorgan has its first casualty in the executive suite. Ina Drew is retiring as chief investment officer. She was one of the highest-ranking women on Wall Street.

The EU slaps new sanctions on the Syrian regime when it's getting reports of gun battle in the city of Rastan. An opposition group says 23 government soldiers were killed there. Video posted online appears to show rebel fighters running through the streets.

Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike have signed a deal with Israel to end their fast. Up to 2,000 Palestinians have been on strike for a month to demand better conditions.

And those are your headlines this hour.

Just when it seems the gruesome drug war in Mexico can't get any worse, it does. Authorities are investigating one of the most horrific massacres there in years. Rafael Romo joins us now from CNN Centers -- Center, sorry, tonight. What do we know at this point?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: At this point, we know that the total body count is 49. All of the bodies were decapitated and they were missing limbs. This afternoon, a Mexican -- a top Mexican official called the acts "despicable" and he says that his government will do everything in its power to bring those responsible to justice.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROMO (voice-over): Investigators say all of the bodies were both decapitated and mutilated. The victims were 43 men and 6 women, according to local authorities in the Mexican border state of Nuevo Leon.

JORGE DOMENE, NUEVO LEON DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY (through translator): In every single case and in order to complicate the identification process, the victims were missing their head, and they also had their upper and lower extremities mutilated.

ROMO: The bodies were found in Cadereyta near the industrial city of Monterrey and only about 80 miles southwest of McAllen, Texas. Messages left by the bodies claim the cartel known as Los Zetas was behind the massacre.

ADRIAN DE LA GARZA, NUEVO LEON STATE'S ATTORNEY (through translator): In the last few days, we haven't had reports of large numbers of missing people. That's why we believe there's a possibility that the victims could be from a different state or migrants. We're not ruling out any possibility at this point.

ROMO: It's one of the worst massacres in Mexico in recent years. The bodies of 72 migrants were found in 2010 in the state of Tamaulipas only 100 miles from the US border. Twenty-six bodies were found last November in Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city. And last Wednesday, an additional 18 bodies were discovered in the same city.

Mexican president Felipe Calderon last month blamed the violence on an insatiable appetite for drugs.

FELIPE CALDERON, PRESIDENT OF MEXICO (through translator): The key is to cut off the flow coming from up north, because if criminals in Mexico didn't get $15 billion a year from American consumers, we would have been able to finish them off a long time ago.

They have a permanent flow of weapons, as well, which makes them particularly powerful. We've confiscated 140,000 weapons in five years.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMO: And the Mexican government is offering a $2.2 million reward for the capture of the leaders of these cartels. Becky, as you know, Mexican president Felipe Calderon, his presidency has been defined by the war on drugs. He's in his very last few months of his presidency. Becky?

ANDERSON: All right. Rafael, thank you for that.

The death toll, then, in Mexico continues to climb. According to estimates from media outlets in the country, more than 3800 people have been killed in drug-related violence this far -- so far this year, and that's just, what? Five months.

More than 50,000 have been killed since the president took office in December 2006, and that doesn't include the more than 5,000 people who've disappeared, according to Mexico's national human rights commission. And keep in mind, Mexico has deployed some 65,000 soldiers and federal police across the country.

Well, journalists who report on this deadly violence risk becoming the story themselves. More and more, they are targeted by drug cartels who want to silence them, stop their stories getting out, making Mexico one of the world's most dangerous places to be as a reporter.

Let's talk about that with Ricardo Gonzalez. He's the leader of the Mexican team of what's known as Article 19, which is a global activist group that campaigns for press freedom. Can you just, in a nutshell, explain how bad it is to be a reporter in Mexico these days?

RICARDO GONZALEZ, SECURITY AND PROTECTION OFFICER, ARTICLE 19: Well, as you just said it, Mexico has become the most dangerous place to work as a journalist. The problem is not necessarily the criminal groups. You need to act these contacts.

Also, the pressure is coming from the government. Both the government and the criminal groups are really interested in winning the hearts and minds of the Mexican citizens. So, the press is placed right in the middle of the crossfire between these two actors, and obviously, information has been the first victim here.

So, today, a total of 71 journalists have been killed since 2000, 44 have been killed under the administration of President Felipe Calderon. So, this essentially has been building up since the beginning of the millennium.

And at the moment, we have now some black -- black holes, information black holes in some brilliance where information is not coming out, nor is it coming in.

ANDERSON: Right.

GONZALEZ: So, it's important that it's not only -- affecting the press, but it is affecting, now, the democratic system of Mexico.

ANDERSON: You remind us, as well, that this isn't just the expanding influence of the drug cartels, this is also, as you suggest, a problem with -- some corruption within the sort of government sphere. And let's -- let's leave it at that, as it were.

There is an election in July, July the 1st. A new administration post-Felipe Calderon. Will things -- or how should we expect things to change, given who we know to be the contenders at this point?

GONZALEZ: Well, at the moment, the situation is pretty bad. It needs to have a special policy to offer protection to journalists who are willing to keep informing the public.

At the moment, many of the journalists are investigating corruption, they're investigating organized crime, they are operating under a complete lack of protection, both from the government and the media.

So, pretty much, undertaking this kind of job has become a heroic task. So, in some regions were elections will be held in the next months, there's a silence from the press because they're not willing to take any kind of chances for crossing any kind of a line regarding naming names or going -- or undertaking investigations who are -- regarding political and economic issues, as well.

So, pretty much what we have is a situation where anyone who are willing to report needs to think about how will be the consequences, not only in legal terms, but also in terms of physical distress --

ANDERSON: Sure. I get it.

GONZALEZ: -- or even the killings of them or their families.

ANDERSON: Ricardo Gonzalez out of Mexico City for you this evening, we appreciate your time.

Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, just how far would you go to make a living? We're going to take a look at the Nepalese migrants risking their lives to make ends meet. That coming up after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Slavery should have been abolished centuries ago, but estimates show there are up to 30 million slaves in our world today. That is why CNN has joined the fight to eradicate modern-day slavery with our Freedom Project.

Well, in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, thousands leave every day in search of work overseas, but the desperate situation there that they flee at home is often better than what they find abroad, as CNN's Sara Sidner found out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twenty- one-year-old Ramila Syangden never considered the possible consequences of her husband's decision to work abroad. Now, she can't ignore them.

Laid out before her, the body of her husband, which arrived hours ago on a flight from Saudi Arabia. The paperwork says the healthy 36-year-old committed suicide there. Not a single person here believes it.

"I don't think so. He said he would go abroad, see the place, and earn as much money as he could for the children and come back. I think somebody killed him," his wife said.

The couple has a ten-month-old baby. The father was a former police officer and had been working in Saudi Arabia for less than a month without any complaints.

"When my son went, I thought that he would earn money for the family, but his dead body came back instead," his father said. This family's story is not unusual in Nepal.

SIDNER (on camera): Every day, more than 1,000 Nepalese leave from the airport to go work overseas, and every single day, some of them come back in coffins.

SIDNER (voice-over): The official reason for the deaths vary, but once the bodies make it to Nepal, they are rarely investigated farther.

GANEXH GURUNG, SOCIOLOGIST: On an average per day, two to three coffins are coming back to Nepal, mostly from Gulf countries.

SIDNER: Sociologist Ganesh Gurung says Nepali workers, attracted by good money abroad, often face awful problems.

SIDNER (on camera): Are Nepali workers facing physical abuse by their employer?

GURUNG: Yes, mostly domestic house maids, female domestic house maids.

SIDNER (voice-over): This woman was one of them. We are not going to identify her. She stands before us seven months pregnant and tells us the baby inside her is a product of rape. The father, she says, was her employer in Kuwait.

"He beat me up. First, he covered my mouth so I could not scream," she says. "After he did that, I asked for my passport. He wouldn't give it to me."

She told us for a year and a half, she was paid, but then, the payments stopped and the beatings started. She says after being raped, she fled to the Nepali embassy in Kuwait. She now lives in a shelter with other maids recovering from abuse abroad.

SIDNER (on camera): What do you plan to do with the baby?

SIDNER (voice-over): "I wanted to get rid of this baby, but they told me that it was not possible because my life would be endangered. Now, the baby's going to be born." She plans to give the baby away.

For more than ten years, Nepal banned women from traveling abroad to Gulf countries for work after the suicide of a Nepali maid who complained of abuse in Kuwait. But the need to survive surpassed fear, and women did it illegally. The government lifted the ban in 2010.

Now, the lines for foreign work visas are as long as ever, even if the stories of despair keep coming home.

SIDNER (on camera): Human labor is Nepal's largest export. Every single day, more than 1,000 Nepalese leave this country to work overseas, and the money that they send back into the country to their families makes up about a quarter of the gross domestic product here.

SIDNER (voice-over): Masino Tamang is going abroad for the second time to find work even though he says he suffered from backbreaking work the first time and couldn't make enough money. This time he's getting training and trying again.

"I'm not going because I want to," he said. "People have money problems. If I stay home, I won't be able to earn anything."

The government has now mandated any citizen going to work abroad must attend an orientation course. Private companies like SOS Manpower offer skills training and safety training to villagers who will be working on buildings on a scale they have never seen before.

But nothing can prepare these men for the searing desert heat in the countries where they will work. The heat has often been suspected in workers' deaths.

We wanted to know what else the government is doing to protect workers abroad. Nepal's prime minister sat down with us.

SIDNER (on camera): Have you gone diplomatically to the country's leaders themselves and said, "Help us fix his problem"?

BABURAM BHATTARAI, PRIME MINISTER OF NEPAL: Yes, we have done it. We have instructed our missions, those countries to take the issues seriously. But the main problem is still as long as we can provide jobs to the people within our own country and they are forced to migrate.

Then they will use illegal channels, and when they go there illegally, then they don't have legal protections.

SIDNER: Prime Minister Bhattarai has a plan to bring more jobs to his country, but concedes that could take years. Far too late for thee men and women who come back home in a box for simply trying to create a better life by working abroad.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Kathmandu, Nepal.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And to find out more about Sara's report, go to our website, cnn.com/freedomproject. Lots and lots and lots of good stuff there. You can read Sara's blog, get involved yourself. Join the discussion and find out how you can help.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, live form London. I'm Becky Anderson. When we come back, Julia Roberts, Stevie Nicks, they're both fans of this New Zealand fashion designer. We'll take you on her creative journey, up next.

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ANDERSON: Julia Roberts, Michelle Pfeiffer, the girls from "Sex and the City." They are all fans of one designer. This week on CONNECT THE WORLD, we're going to go on a creative journey to meet her.

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(JET ENGINE)

TRELISE COOPER, FASHION DESIGNER: There's a lot of these shoes we haven't used. Do you think you can walk in it? You need to be honest.

Hi, I'm Trelise Cooper. I'm a fashion designer based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Can that little one be flipped?

I think I was born a fashion designer. As a little girl, I changed my clothes all the time. I always had a glimmer about what pair of shoes to wear. My mother was great, she indulged me. And I remember a pear of patent shoes that she bought in Red Inlet, and I went to bed holding one pair and wearing the other.

I have a great imagination. My clothing, my designs, are all about detail.

The Trelise Cooper woman is a woman who's not afraid to show her personality through her clothes. She's a woman who is fun, upbeat, has a joy for life. She's strong, intuitive, passionate at the same time as being vulnerable. She's a woman who wears her heart and her mind on her sleeve.

New Zealand's a fantastic place of great creativity. We do see the sun rise first in the world. That gives us a certain edge, a freshness, and a real individuality.

We're here at Omaha Beach, and like a lot of New Zealand, it's natural, it's untouched, it is a beautiful place to unwind and restore myself.

Omaha is a place I feel a lot of space to be very creative. It's often where the seeds of an idea will begin.

What I'm doing here is setting up a new season. It's the beginning of my inspiration. I'm determining what fabrics I'm using, what prints I'm using, the color palette, what the theme will be. It's a very big thinking process for me.

I'm off to Delhi, and I'm really excited about that, because it means the beginning of a new journey for me and this collection. I like to pack caftans and colorful clothing, because the colors of India are so amazing.

The magic in India is their craft, their technique. It's ancient. A lot of it comes from sari-making, and so families and villages specialize in a particular beading technique.

I love going to India because it's a truly creative journey. It's a place where I go with a completely blank canvass and come back home with a collection being produced. It's a fusion of ideas.

(JET ENGINE)

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ANDERSON: Part of our Fusion Journeys series, and we'll be taking you along on Trelise's journey to India as she soaks up the color, the culture, and the spice of Delhi. Find out what pieces of India might just feature in her next catwalk collection.

That's in part two of Trelise Cooper's creative journey here on CONNECT THE WORLD on Wednesday. As I say, all part of our special Fusion Journeys series.

Find out more at cnn.com/fusionjourneys. And while you are logged on, let us know what's on your mind. If you were watching Sunday's England Premier -- English Premier League game, the Man City match and you were on the edge of your seats as pretty much everybody here in the UK was, tell me where you're watching from and why, who you support, and why. Fantastic game.

Anything else on your mind, facebook.com/CNNconnect. Have your say. You can tweet me @BeckyCNN. Your thoughts, please, @BeckyCNN.

And in tonight's Parting Shots, 2012 will always -- well, it's always going to be a memorable year for Britain. We've got the queen's jubilee, the diamond jubilee, the Olympics, and now, the best of British talent: a young girl and her dog. Have a look at this.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ashleigh and Pudsey, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to impress the judges.

(MUSIC - "MISSION, IMPOSSIBLE" THEME)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And impress they did. Millions watched as the pair danced across the stage.

ASHLEIGH BUTLER, DOG OWNER: He's just taking all the attention all in stride. I think he's just making the most of it.

MCLAUGHLIN: Seventeen-year-old Ashleigh and her dog, Pudsey, became the first canine/human act to win "Britain's Got Talent," the same show that launched the career of Susan Boyle.

BUTLER: He's become a bit more of a diva. He's tried to sneak up to my bedroom a bit more. And also, he's been demanding nicer food, as well.

MCLAUGHLIN: And as I found out, food is the key to Pudsey's performances.

BUTLER: For my semifinals, I used cheese, chicken, and pasta. And then for my finals, he had steak. So, it's getting better and better. Caviar next.

MCLAUGHLIN: And perhaps Hollywood.

BUTLER: Pudsey's perfect for film work. He sees a camera and he just starts posing. It would be good to just show the world what Pudsey's made of and what he can do.

Lie down. Hide. Hide.

MCLAUGHLIN: And with over $800,000 worth of prize money and a date with the queen at the royal variety show, Pudsey will have another chance to take center stage.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.

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ANDERSON: Fantastic. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching. The world news headlines up after this short break. Stay with us.

END