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CONNECT THE WORLD
Egyptians Come Out For Presidential Elections; Chinese Super League Team Shanghai Shenhua In Negotiations With Didier Drogba
Aired May 23, 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: And tonight on Connect the World, an unprecedented moment in Egypt's history. Millions cast their ballots in the country's first free election.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: Well, 15 months ago Egyptians rose up, took to the streets and ousted their dictator. Their biggest prize did not proceed. Well, tonight, the hopes and fears of voters in what is this landmark poll.
Also ahead, more than 120 Afghan school girls are in hospital after this -- being poisoned. And authorities are pointing the finger at the Taliban.
And keeping the flame alive, Chelsea hero Didier Drogba takes part in the Olympic torch relay as final tickets for the games go on sale.
Well, first up tonight, the sun has set on day one of an election that promises to transform Egypt and set a crucial precedent for the entire Arab world. Millions of Egyptians signed up at polling stations for the country's first ever democratic presidential election.
It's the result of people power, the hard fought reward for last year's resolution. Today, many Egyptians remember the sacrifices that made it possible, among them this man, the young executive whose Facebook page helped ignite the uprising.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WAEL GHONIM, ACTIVIST AND AUTHOR: The first time for me to vote for a president, and I think many people from my generation are doing the same thing and I think it's a historical moment. No matter who wins, at the end of the day it's the time where the new president understands very well it's the people who put him in power.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, some voters undecided right up until they cast their ballots. Not surprising, perhaps, since they are not used to having a choice.
Let's bring in Hala Gorani who is in Cairo for you tonight. Hala, witnessing history in the making, it's the first time that Egyptians don't actually know the outcome of an election before the actual vote. How would you describe the mood mid-way through this voting process?
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well I went to a couple of polling stations today and one of them I spoke to voters who had been standing in line in some cases for four or more hours. What they told me was that they were determined to cast their ballots today, because they felt that for the first time they felt a sense of duty, that they felt that their voice would be heard.
Some expressed concern, Becky however, that the process wouldn't be fair, wouldn't be transparent necessarily, but they told me that they hope nonetheless that their ballot would count, would make a difference, and that this presidential election would lead to a president that is representative of his people, but also one that is the result of a process that is going to be transparent.
Of course I spoke with Jimmy Carter of the Carter Center. And he told me that unprecedented restrictions were placed on his monitors. So there are still concerns about the presidential election process itself.
All that being said, you had overall people in a good mood, many of whom were smiling. A grandmother told me she felt that she wanted to cast a ballot today because she's told me her grandchildren shouldn't have to pay for the mess left behind by the old regime.
Now you mentioned that most polling stations are closed. They closed two hours ago officially, although some of the polling stations stayed open a little bit later because so many people were waiting in line to cast their vote. Overall there are 13,000 polling stations in this country of 80 million, 50 million eligible voters. The vote is two days for the first round. And if there's no clear winner after the first round, the second round will take place on the 16th and 17th of June with the winner announced and that is the plan on June 21st, Becky.
ANDERSON: Hala, let's remind our viewers who the frontrunners in this race are of the top four candidates two are islamists and two have ties to the old regime. Amre Moussa, a secularist, was once the foreign minister under Hosni Mubarak. He was also a head of the Arab League, you may remember.
Ahmed Shafik served as Mubarak's prime minister in the regime's final days. He's presented himself as the security candidate.
Well, the religious contender, Abdelmonen Abol Fotoh is moderate. He was ousted from the Muslim Brotherhood after announcing his presidential run.
And Mohammed Morsi heads the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party. He's the party's second choice after the favorite was barred from running.
Hala, I know that you've got a guest with you there in Cairo. Take it away.
GORANI: Well, Becky, over the last several days, both on the international desk and on other programs, we wanted to speak to Egyptians, Egyptians who have a real stake in what happens are far as a result of the presidential election, but not just this election, what happens in the coming year.
Gigi Ibrahim is one of those activists who participated in the initial uprising, those 18 days in Tahrir Square, and ever since has been an activist and a very outspoken critic of the military rulers in this country. Gigi, thanks for being with us.
First off, you're not voting -- why?
GIGI IBRAHIM, EGYPTIAN BLOGGER AND ACTIVIST: Because I don't believe in this process that is engineered from the start and now by the military who have been torturing and trying people in military courts and nothing really on the ground has changed since the revolution has kicked off.
GORANI: You don't believe the military rulers when they say we will leave power on July 1st. You think they're lying.
IBRAHIM: No, I believe that they do want to leave power the day before tomorrow, but I believe that they want to leave power with all their interests protected and without being prosecuted for any crimes that they have committed. I want everyone who committed a crime, whether in Mubarak's era or during the last year-and-a-half to be committed for those crimes. And none of them have been committed for them.
GORANI: But you think the revolution is not over, an activist and revolutionaries are going to have to take to the streets again, yes?
IBRAHIM: Of course, the revolution is not over. No revolution is done in 18 months. And it will take years for this to settle. Of course, the goals that we demanded from day one have -- none of them have been achieved. We were only able to topple the dictator, but the regime is still in place, which part of this regime is the military rulers themselves.
GORANI: But Gigi, here's the thing, I've spoken to many people in Egypt and they told me you know those revolutionaries, good, they took down the regime. Now we want stability. Enough with the chaos, enough with the protests. What do you tell those people who just want to get on with their lives?
IBRAHIM: Because it's the security is just like a fountain that the military chooses to open or close whenever they please.
GORANI: You blame the military, not the revolutionaries.
IBRAHIM: Absolutely, because who is in power. Who is in power? If they want stability to occur, it's -- we see it today in the polls, yes, you know that security is there and everything is protected, but where was the security when you know homes were being stolen, where was the security when protesters were being killed by the security?
GORANI: So you're not taking part in the election, OK, but then someone would tell you, and I'm just saying what critics will tell you. If you don't vote, you have no say. This is a democratic reality.
IBRAHIM: Of course not. We -- in this country, everyone has a say. Those who voted, those who -- democracy is not just through a ballot box, democracy is through the streets, through the universities, and thousands of people are taking those means to their own hands and that's how we're going to achieve this...
GORANI: Are we going to see you on the street again?
IBRAHIM: Of course.
GORANI: Gigi Ibrahim, thank you very much. Thanks for joining us.
Becky, there you have it, one opinion among many here in Egypt on this historic day. Back to you.
ANDERSON: Hala, thank you.
Well, one of the first challenges for Egypt's new leader, president, will be improving the countries finances. The country is a huge economy in the region with millions of dollars of foreign and direct investment.
Joining me now to talk about this is Lord Malloch-Brown, former UK foreign office minister, now chairman at FDI Consulting, a guest on the show on a number of occasions in the past.
Mark, if you had to sum up the significance of this vote, what would it be?
MARK MALLOCH-BROWN, EMEA CHAIRMAN, FTI CONSULTING: Well, I think less important than who wins do ordinary Egyptians see this as a legitimate expression of their own popular will. And if they do, then it can be the prelude to a real return of security and stability in the country. And I think the direction of the country, its direction of travel is pretty clear. It's going to be a little bit more Islamic than it was before, a little bit more feisty and independent vis-a-vis the U.S. and Israel, and domestically it's really going to try and focus on doing a much better deal for poor Egyptians, both the huge number who live in the countryside as well as those in urban areas, the ones who went to Tahrir Square last year.
And to achieve those objectives, it must move from stability to prosperity. And that means stabilizing the foreign investment situation, starting to get some economic growth.
ANDERSON: Are you optimistic, briefly, at this point?
MALLOCH-BROWN: I'm not necessarily optimistic for the next weeks and months. It could easily be a bumpy ride. It's hard to know. I'm very optimistic for the medium to long-term. We went through this in eastern Europe after 1989. It just takes time. People need to kind of settle into a new political order.
So I think it -- as I say, whatever happens in the next month, people just need to hold on to the fact it will get there.
ANDERSON: The Arab Spring of course not just limited to Egypt. More from Mark on a movement sweeping an entire region. We'll have (inaudible) for the world, that's in around 25 minutes here on the show, including a look at Yemen where aid groups are warning a catastrophic food crisis exacerbated by political instability and conflict, now that story has resonates for all of us wherever you are watching in the world.
Up next, Christiane Amanpour also at the top of the hour interviewing retired Egyptian general and former adviser to the country's military in Yemen on how these Egyptians and these elections will change Egypt. That's in around 50 minutes on CNN, 10:00 p London, 11:00 in Berlin. We will be back after a short break. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Now more than 120 girls have been hospitalized after being poisoned at their school in Northern Afghanistan. They began to fall ill after noticing a powerful smell in their classrooms. 40 of the girls remain in hospital suffering from vomiting and dizzying. It's the latest in a series of suspected poisonings targeting females in Afghanistan's schools.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KHALILULLAH ASEER, TAKHAR POLICE SPOKESMAN (through translator): Actually, the Afghan people know that the terrorists and the Taliban are doing these things to threaten girls and stop them from going to school. That's something we and the people believe. Now we are implementing democracy in Afghanistan. And we want girls to be educated, but the government's enemies don't want this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Now reporter Nick Paton-Walsh in Kabul will be here with a full report on that story in 15 minutes time.
A look now at some of the other stories that are connecting our world tonight.
And a lawsuit has been filed over Facebook's IPO launched on Friday. Let me show you where shares were initially priced, $38 each as you can see. The -- well, it's been a bit of a roller coaster since then. Regulators now asking questions over whether Morgan Stanley, the chief underwriter of this offering shared information with a few select clients.
Felicia is covering this unfolding story. She's in New York tonight. Felicia, what is this suit all about?
FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically the question is, did Facebook have -- and how did they handle some selective financial information. The lawsuit alleges that possibly they disclosed it to some of its larger clients, some of the bigger banks, and then actually more importantly is what did they ask the analysts at some of their underwriters -- major underwriters to do. And the allegation is that they asked them to lower their revenue forecast for 2012.
Now that piece of information is crucial, especially if you're a long- term investor. The other two questions around the case would be if you are interested in getting into the IPO. How did they handle selective information. But more importantly, if that revenue growth if indeed analysts had that information where they reduced those earnings forecast. That would affect whether or not you wanted to be a long-term holder of the stock of Facebook.
And we spoke to an SEC -- a former SEC enforcement lawyer. And here's how he said both the plaintiffs and the defendants on each side are going to have to argue their case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM PRITCHARD, FRM. SEC ENFORCEMENT ATTORNEY: The plaintiffs in the private lawsuit are going to argue that there was additional information that Facebook and its underwriters had that would have given a more accurate picture of the company if it had been disclosed. The defendants will presumably argue that they've disclosed the main facts and that what was disclosed to the analysts was not inconsistent with what was disclosed to the public.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAYLOR: And of course Facebook denies these allegations and says the lawsuit is without merit. And it will defend itself vigorously.
You know, it's a very difficult case to prove, especially when it comes to any question of illegality. Is this illegal? Probably not. Did they treat the market fairly? If the allegations are true, probably not. I mean this is information that should have been widely known by everyone.
ANDERSON: And that is the big question here, did the retail investor, you and me, have enough information to know that there could be reduced earnings growth in the coming quarters, right?
TAYLOR: Yeah, I mean -- and to be perfectly honest with you, if you did your homework -- and if you're going to get into an IPO you really need to do this, this isn't something that you mess about with, there was plenty of information that actually the company, Facebook, issued on April 23 saying that their revenue growth wasn't keeping up with, in terms of advertising, with its growth in terms of subscribers. So there was information out there.
And at least one analyst said that there was plenty of information, especially in the couple of weeks prior to -- the last nine days prior to the 18th offering that should have indicated that, you know, maybe it was a little overpriced. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN WEISER, SENIOR ANALYST, PIVOTAL RESEARCH: At the end of the day, everybody should come with their own analysis and understand the fundamentals. To the extent that it would create a negative piece of momentum, it wasn't the only piece of negative momentum, the news from General Motors, although mostly a red herring in our view, was not favorable, the fact that the offering was expanded as it was, there were a number of signs that were not terribly positive for investors going into it. And that was all public.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAYLOR: Brian Weiser for his part thinks that $30 a share is fair value. There -- some investors certainly found a bottom today jumping in. The stock finished higher for the first time in its fourth trading session -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Great. Felicia, thank you.
Well, a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason. Shakil Afridi is believed to have collected DNA to verify bin Laden's presence before the U.S. raid that killed him in May. Now he was arrested shortly after that raid and was tried under the tribal justice system of the Khybur region with no opportunity to defend himself.
Now a scary scene in eastern China, you've got to see this video to believe it, take a look at this. That's a three-year-old boy driving his toy motorcycle right in the middle of rush hour traffic in Wen Zhu (ph) somehow with buses and cars whizzing by he wasn't hurt. A police officer spotted the boy and was able to rescue him. The little boy wandered into the intersection where his grandfather stopped to go to the bathroom apparently.
Well, the Olympic torch hasn't had to navigate traffic like that. Up next, on Saturday he was listing the Champion's League trophy, Wednesday he was carrying the Olympic flame. What a week it's been for Didier Drogba.
ANDERSON: What a busy week for Mr. Drogba. On Saturday, he helped Chelsea claim the Champion's League title, on Tuesday announced he was leaving Chelsea. And on Wednesday, he had this honor, carrying the Olympic flame in Weston, England dressed in all white. The Ivorian jogged for 300 meters along the route before handing it over to the next bearer as the flame continues to make its way around the UK and Northern Ireland: destination London and July 27 start of the summer Olympic games.
We're going to talk to Mark McKay something like 3,000 miles away. I think he's probably about 150 yards away from me at the moment, but he's not staying here, Mark. Where is Drogba likely to go next, do you think?
MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: We have it on good knowledge, Becky, that he is in negotiations with a Chinese club based in Shanghai. It all comes down to a player that wants to go out on top. No he's not retiring from football. Didier Drogba has been negotiating to move on with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, a revelation made this week by the club's owner. Talks with the 34-year-old Ivory Coast striker said to be ongoing.
Becky, he said that he admitted, Drogba did, that he would have been persuaded to stay at Chelsea if they had not won the Champion's League for the first time in their history, but with his goal achieved he said it is time to move on. He said it wasn't necessarily him clinching that title with his penalty, but it was the victory itself. And if it's all about the money, Becky, perhaps so. The Shanghai club offering a deal that would pay Drogba in the neighborhood of $300,000 per week.
ANDERSON: Per week.
MCKAY: Not bad, huh?
ANDERSON: Let's say it again, per week.
MCKAY: Per week. Yes. Read after me. Crazy, huh?
ANDERSON: He's an incredible footballer. And probably deserves every penny of it -- sort of.
Golf and world number one -- well, the rankings have been a tug of war between two European golfers. They get another chance to battle it out at the European PGA Championship. What's the story there, Mark?
MCKAY: It's the game within the game, Becky. This is a subplot going into the European PGA Championship at Wenworth (ph). Rory McIlroy, yeah, he is number one. He is proud to show it, but all year long -- actually over the past, what, month-and-a-half, two months it's been back and forth between Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy. It is quite telling starting in early March, Donald's 40 week reign at world number one came to an end. It has really been like a game of ping pong between these two.
You see Donald/McIlroy, Donald/McIlroy, McIlroy is number one and he sounds like he is up for the challenge this weekend at Wenworth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RORY MCILROY, WORLD NUMBER ONE: I feel like my game is in good shape. You know, I've done some really good practice over the last few days. And you know just looking forward to getting started. You know, my last -- last even wasn't so good. And this cut of the players so, you know, want to sort of make up for that with a good week here.
LUKE DONALD, WORLD NUMBER TWO: I'm excited about where my game is. I'm excited about, you know, all that's happened in the last couple of years that's made me a more confident player and someone that thinks once they get into the situation of contending that I can deal with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKAY: Long gone are the days of Tiger Woods with the solid number one. That seems like eons ago, doesn't it Becky? Instead it's McIlroy, it's Donald, and it could be Lee Westwood if he finishes a good showing this weekend at Wentworth (ph) at the European PGA.
ANDERSON: These UK boys. Fantastic, thank you for that.
Still to come here on Connect the World, as Olympic fever grips Britain, you should seen it. We speak to the producer and star of what is said to be the hit film of the summer.
And he's the future king the next big thing? Prince Charles has turned DJ on his latest world tour. More on that after this.
ANDERSON: And a warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Becky Anderson. Half past nine in London. These are the latest world news headlines from CNN.
Millions of Egyptians cast ballots today in their country's first ever democratic presidential election. Voting was extended by an hour because of an evening surge in turnout. The voting resumes Thursday with results expected this weekend.
Eurozone leaders meeting in Brussels as we speak, discussing how to get Europe growing again. Now, the meeting is French president Francois Hollande's first summit with his EU counterparts. He and German chancellor Angela Merkel may be set for a showdown over the best way to solve the crisis.
Facebook's shareholders are suing CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, and the underwriters, including Morgan Stanley. They say negative information about Facebook was sent to preferred investors, not everybody. Facebook says the suit is without merit.
High-level talks are underway in Baghdad over Iran's controversial nuclear program. An Iranian delegation is meeting with a representative of the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany.
And those are your headlines this hour.
Attacked just for wanting to learn. Unfortunately, that is the reality facing schoolgirls in Afghanistan. Once again, the Taliban are being blamed after more than 120 girls were poisoned in their classroom. Nick Paton Walsh has the story from Kabul.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To Afghanistan's most extreme conservatives like the Taliban, girls going to school is so offensive, they'll do anything to stop it, including poison schoolgirls.
This morning, students went into class at the Bibi Hajera girls' school in northern Takhar province and noticed a powerful smell. They began to fall ill. In panic, 125 girls were rushed to hospital. There, headaches and dizziness set in, 40 of the girls requiring longer treatment.
HABIBULLAH ROSTAQI, DOCTOR, HOSPITAL DIRECTOR (through translator): A number of girls aged from 15 to 18 were brought from a school to hospital today. Generally, they are not in critical condition. We are looking after them, but let's see what happens later. We understand so far from the situation that they are mostly traumatized.
WALSH: Amid the distress here, a growing fear that even in the once peaceful north, hardliners can strike at will. Police have sent blood samples from the poisoned girls to Kabul for analysis to work out what the poison is, but they already know who to blame.
KHALILULLAH ASEER, SPOKESMAN, TAKHAR POLICE (through translator): Actually, the Afghan people know that the terrorists in the Taliban are doing these things to threaten girls and stop them from going to school. That's something we and the people believe.
Now, we are implementing democracy in Afghanistan, and we want girls to be educated, but the government's enemies don't want this.
WALSH: This has happened elsewhere before, and in this province, only a few months ago. Fear, a powerful weapon, but not powerful enough yet to stop these girls from wanting to learn.
ANDERSON: Nick joins us now from Kabul. Nick, what are authorities saying about this?
WALSH: Well, they are placing blame for it squarely toward what they refer to as the "enemy of the government," actually naming the Taliban.
Actually, the Taliban haven't claimed responsibility for this, and there are plenty of other suspects. People say the Taliban, but the insurgency here is a very broad, often fractured collection of extremist groups, many of whom may want to stop women from learning, and these may actually not necessarily be insurgents, just extremists themselves.
But deep concern as to what this poison was. It appears to not have any real fatal effects on anybody, and most of the women appear to to only be in hospital for a short period of time.
But concerns, of course, growing that these attacks aren't becoming more frequent, but are happening with enough frequency that you could begin to start seeing it distract or put women off from going to school, Becky.
ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh in Kabul for you this evening. Nick, thank you for that.
Still to come, the famine after the Arab Spring. Yemen is close to crisis. I'm going to be speaking to the country's foreign minister after this.
ANDERSON: Let's get you back to the Middle East this evening. Saudi Arabia has promised more than $3 billion to Yemen after a group of aid agencies warned the nation faces, and I quote, "a catastrophic food crisis."
Well, that pledge came out of Wednesday's Friends of Yemen conference in Riyadh. The Saudi foreign minister said the aim is to ensure Yemen's security and stability. It's their neighbor, of course. (INAUDIBLE) reports now on a nation in critical need.
CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Middle East's poorest country, Yemen, is a nation in crisis. Monday's suicide bombing that killed more than 100 soldiers in the capital, Sanaa, added to an already unstable security situation.
Now, it appears Yemen's three-month-old government can't even afford to feed its own people, as aid agencies say the country's on the brink of a catastrophic food crisis.
PENNY LAWRENCE, INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR, OXFAM: It's about 10 million people, it's about 44 percent of the population that are going to bed hungry every night at the moment as a result of the current food insecurity.
And about, yes, in some areas, one in three children in Hudaydah, where we're operating, are malnourished, which is the same kind of figures as we got in Somalia.
CORRESPONDENT: A donors' meeting of the Friends of Yemen gathering in Saudi Arabia Wednesday is bringing some hope, as Yemen's wealthy neighbor to the north has pledged more than $3 billion in aid.
But it remains unclear when the money will arrive and how it will be spent. This statement, issued Wednesday by a group of aid agencies, says the nation's political upheaval has caused hunger to double since 2009.
LAWRENCE: This is a very, very poor, underdeveloped country. So, when you have political turmoil in an underdeveloped country, it does things like the fuel prices increase, the food prices increase. There is actually food in the markets, here, but people simply can't afford to buy it.
CORRESPONDENT: A UN humanitarian appeal for nearly half a billion dollars of funding has so far raised only 43 percent of what's needed. During CNN's most recent visit to Yemen in February, we saw children begging for money on the streets and wasting away in hospitals due to malnutrition.
With women especially at risk, the impact of this hunger crisis is expected to be felt for at least a generation.
WISAM AL-TIMIMI, DOCTOR, UNICIF YEMEN OFFICE: Those girls who are now suffering from severe malnutrition, wasting. They will grow up as stunted girls, and as stunted women, and those stunted women will deliver stunted and malnourished and very small kids.
CORRESPONDENT: Aid agencies say the government does have an effective social welfare system, but not enough money to spend on it.
As the government spends more on security to battle the threat of militant extremists, including al Qaeda, the second battlefront is proving to be a more deadly if more silent killer.
(INAUDIBLE), CNN, Abu Dhabi.
ANDERSON: Well, it's only three months since Yemen's chapter of the Arab Spring culminated with the formal resignation of its president. That's fit the pattern that we've seen in other parts of the region, but now it's clear that Yemen's narrative has taken a different turn.
Former deputy secretary-general of the UN Lord Malloch-Brown back with me, tonight, to discuss this. Let's do Yemen, and then give it a sort of wider context. A food crisis, an energy crisis, a security crisis. This is, Mark, a country on the brink, isn't it?
MARK MALLOCH-BROWN, FORMER UN DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL: It is. I mean, not unusual that poor countries, the loss of life ultimately when they're failing as states comes not from the violence in the streets, but from hunger, starvation, illness. We've seen this in Sudan, we've seen it in the Congo.
And we just have to realize that when order breaks down in a country, if it is fragile economically and in terms of food, those are quickly going to display themselves in terms of a life-taking crisis.
ANDERSON: The problem with Yemen is this is a country we know that is fermenting a risk to the security of the West at present.
MALLOCH-BROWN: Yes. And it's why, of course, I suspect that despite the instability, people are going to come through with assistance. There's been a donor's meeting in Riad, Saudi Arabia today, a big Saudi pledge of assistance. I think we'll see people trying to address this.
ANDERSON: That's defensive, isn't it? For the Saudis?
MALLOCH-BROWN: No, it is defensive. It's their neighborhood, and I think the fact that they have come up with money will encourage the West to support it. I don't think the West would expect this burden to fall primarily on its shoulders. It's right that Saudi is the first big pledge.
ANDERSON: So, that's a meeting in Riad about Yemen today, and in London, I know, another meeting about Syria at the weekend. Now, what can we expect from that meeting, given that the West has pretty much sort of fallen -- not fallen foul, but fallen down on its sort of commitment to helping those who feel that the administration there is wanton.
MALLOCH-BROWN: Well, look. The West was persuaded by a reunited Security Council that the way to go on this was to try diplomacy first, and there are --
ANDERSON: Didn't work, did it?
MALLOCH-BROWN: Well, it's not worked so far, but there are UN peacekeepers deployed and there is some dampening down of the violence. But there is not the political negotiation or the military disengagement that the cease-fire anticipated.
ANDERSON: Take your UN hat off, Mark. It's not working, is it?
MALLOCH-BROWN: No, it's not working enough. But the issue is that there was never anything very credibly beyond some kind of negotiation. This is not Libya, this is not an easy one to make a military intervention in, and the West never threatened or promised that. Qatar and Saudi Arabia have come close.
But at this point, the balance of military advantage inside the country still rests with the regime. And so, that's why we keep on getting forced back to diplomacy, because there isn't a very plausible military option.
ANDERSON: So, take us back to the top of this hour. Egyptian elections, the potential of the dawn of a new democracy there. It was what sort of Arab Spring was fermented by, as it were. And yet, we see such disparate results across the region, don't we?
MALLOCH-BROWN: Well, look, it's not had a storybook ending yet, and it's not going to for quite a while. This was a disparate region in the first place.
Egypt with a pretty developed middle class before any of this began. Syria, a country with a really nasty authoritarian regime, but nevertheless one backed by a lot of the minorities afraid of Sunni majority rule.
So, each country has its own story, but I still think the direction of travel is a pretty healthy one. Month by month, the region is moving towards greater freedom.
ANDERSON: Let me put you on the spot here. You now consult for a company that is -- that is effectively in the business of providing advice to emerging economies. So, where are you potentially making money going forward? Who needs your help at this point?
MALLOCH-BROWN: I'm sorry to say that our third world is now right here in Europe. I've spent more time traveling around Europe looking for catastrophe than I thought likely, given that Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, I've got plenty of other responsibilities.
But we've got a lot of trouble close to home, and that of course leads to this loss of focus on the Arab Spring. Europeans have other things front of mind, I'm sorry to say, at the moment.
ANDERSON: And is that a problem, do you think, going forward?
MALLOCH-BROWN: Well, it doesn't help. But equally, it was always going to be Arabs who'd ultimately need to seek -- sort out Arabs' future. And by the way, it should be Europeans who sort out Europe's future.
And just as they can't expect Washington or other capitals to bail them out, similarly, the buck stops with the Arab world itself.
ANDERSON: Glass ball, it's yours. Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt.
MALLOCH-BROWN: Well, I think Egypt is going to be the easiest one to make its way through this. I think Lebanon is all -- is on a precipice and an edge. It's the -- it's the one people are not noticing, but the possibility that it will get dragged into the Syrian conflagration is very, very real.
Yemen, a very poor failing state for a long time. It's just entered a new phase of what's been a downward trajectory, I'm sorry to say, for quite a while.
ANDERSON: Thank you.
MALLOCH-BROWN: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Mark Malloch-Brown with us this evening here on CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN.
When we come back, a new gig for Prince Charles, apparently. Find out what happened when the future king, well, got behind the decks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You'll hear this in your ear. You hear this, right?
HRH PRINCE CHARLES OF WALES: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, we'll do the same thing, but I'll let Ellen show you what to do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, it's pretty much the same thing, what she told you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Some joy for hundreds of Olympics fans who thought they'd missed their chance for a seat at the London Games. More tickets on sale today, but you'd have needed pretty deep pockets for some of the most popular events, with prices ranging up to $710.
Not just fans making sure they get a piece of the action. Also the British film industry. Take a look at this. It's a clip from a new film called "Fast Girls," which is out in cinemas next month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you think you'd handle the relay?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not very good in teams.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come and meet the girls.
We're going to beat the USA, I need silk legs! Give me silk!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's joining us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And her feet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calm. Ten to zero.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've got that whole boy band look there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What the hell was that? That was your fault!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, of course it was my fault! Because nothing touches the golden girls, does it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not risking my chance at the medal because of her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's an embarrassment to the team.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you don't want me on the team, then fine! I'm done, I quit!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: I'm joined by the film's producer, Damian Jones of the "Iron Lady" fame. And Lashana Lynch, one of the stars of "Fast Girls." This was in Cannes this week. I believe you made it, you didn't.
LASHANA LYNCH, ACTRESS, "FAST GIRLS": No. I was unavailable.
ANDERSON: You forgot your passport. Listen, Damian, why make an Olympics-themed big film?
DAMIAN JONES, PRODCER, "FAST GIRLS": It was something just to be proud of. It's uplifting, aspirational, inspirational movie. I was always fascinated what it involved with the athletes in three years and the one time every four years when the Olympics comes along, what it takes to get to that point for that two-week window when the world is watching.
So, it's a film based on the dedication and discipline that was needed to get there. And then, obviously, with the Olympics coming, why not set it in the 100 meter British women's relay team.
ANDERSON: Pretty special for you, I should think.
LYNCH: Yes, absolutely. First feature film, got to train with the GB team. It was a great cast, great writer, great director, great producer. All around an -- amazing experience. It was more like an experience than a job.
ANDERSON: What does London 2012 mean for you?
LYNCH: Well, I've always been into athletics, I've always been into sport, I used to do athletics when I was younger. And so, I think it's just going to be a really special time of year. I don't think many people actually know what we have on our hands until it gets to the crunch. And then, we'll all be kind of scratching at the wool for tickets. Like myself.
ANDERSON: If there's a message, Damian, what is it?
JONES: Well, we're out June 15th, and it's a great way to kick off the Olympics. That's something to be really proud of. I had -- I'm -- the hardest crowd have been playing to the athletes who were involved in the film, and they have loved it. And we really do think that we've done them proud.
And it's just a feel-good -- it's "Bend it Like Beckham" for track and field, and it's about time we had an uplifting British summer film, and I think this is it.
ANDERSON: So, can you tell us what happens in the end?
LYNCH: No! We don't want to give it away!
JONES: We don't tell. We're British, of course we win!
ANDERSON: You said it was great working with the athletes. I mean, the athletes for London 2012 probably have never been more celebrity-like than they are this year, right?
LYNCH: Yes. Yes, I think everyone has kind of a new-found respect -- I know I have a new-found respect for the athletes. They're kind of looked at as these role models and these aspirational figures that you probably will never get to touch.
But they're so close to home. They're just real people who grind every single day and -- they're actually incredible. They're like machines.
ANDERSON: And you worked with a lot of people who hadn't done a lot of acting before, Damian. How was that?
JONES: Well, it was a combination of people who looked the part and we had to train them up, like Lashana, who could also be -- were great actors. And we needed a combination of real athletes making it look genuine and authentic. So, it was a good balance and mix. Our squad is a combination of actors and athletes, and I think we get away with it rather well.
ANDERSON: You've got a ticket?
LYNCH: Get me some!
JONES: I told you, if the film's a big hit, then there will be prizes.
LYNCH: That would be good.
ANDERSON: None of us have got tickets. But thank you guys for coming in.
LYNCH: Thank you.
JONES: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Well, they say hosting the Olympics is like throwing a huge party. Well, it looks like one person is taking that idea very seriously, indeed. Normally, he's Your Royal Highness, but only for one night, or for one night only, you can call him DJ Charlie. Here's Jonathan Mann.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your hand's curled up to the label, and you just want to feel it.
JONATHAN MANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At age 63, he's decades older than the average DJ, a little overdressed and, truth be told, slightly stiff, almost barely, nearly moving to the beat. Don't call him the Fresh Prince yet.
But Charles gamely set out to try his skills at a Toronto youth training center with a lesson at the turntables. The hand that will one day hold the scepter learning its way around the vinyl.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One, two three, and --
MANN: The headphones went on a little awkwardly, but remember, that's a head really born to wear a crown. The result?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three and -- Beautiful! And now --
MANN: Has Britain's centuries-old monarchy found its future with the artist formerly known as Prince Charles?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One, two, three and --
MANN: The royal tour continues. There is no clubbing on the schedule.
Jonathan Mann, CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excellent! And now, the back side.
ANDERSON: It's just wrong, isn't it? If that looks familiar, perhaps he's taken tips from DJ Wills.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HRH PRINCE WILLIAM, BRITAIN: For many of you people who are in a bit of a -- bit of a mood for love, this song is for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The Duke of Cambridge had a stint behind the microphone when was in Chile back in 2000. Imagine the parties they must have at Buck Pal.
What do you think of DJ Charlie? The team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear. Also on the Olympics, revving up for a massive sporting summer. Did you finally manage to get tickets today? Excited, crushed, didn't get your hands on any? Facebook.com/CNNconnect, have your say. Tweet me @BeckyCNN. Your thoughts, please, @BeckyCNN.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thank you for watching. The headlines after this.