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Serena Williams Upset in First Round Of French Open; 11 Countries Expel Syrian Ambassadors From Capitals

Aired May 29, 2012 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, united in outrage at the horror of Houla. Major western powers expel Syrian diplomats as the UN says most of the victims of the weekend massacre were executed at close range.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London this is connect the world with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: Peace envoy Kofi Annan says we are at a tipping point in Syria. Tonight. Should Gulf states be doing more to put pressure on Damascus.

Also ahead this hour, in the last hour a huge upset in tennis for this star player at the French Open.

And forced to eat humble pie over a patsy, the British snack that's got politicians in a stew.

I want to being tonight with a rare coordinated rebuke of the Syrian regime, a sign of growing outrage over the massacre of innocent civilians. Today, 11 countries announced they are expelling Syrian diplomats. You can see them here on the map. They include the United States, Britain, Germany, and Australia. The move comes as grisly new details emerge about the mass killings in the Syrian town of Houla. UN human rights office says most of the 108 victims were killed in summary executions, that means armed men went house to house slaughtering civilians inside.

Special envoy Kofi Annan says the Syria crisis is at a, and I quote, "tipping point." He met with the President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus earlier, urging him to take immediate steps towards peace.

And we currently don't have permission to report from inside Syria, so our Ivan Watson is following the very latest developments from Istanbul this hour -- Ivan.

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, the massacre in Houla that killed at least 109 people is one of the worst atrocities of an atrocity laden fourteen month crisis in Syria. And the United Nations human rights act agency is accusing Syrian government forces of carrying out this massacre. Take a listen.


RUPERT COLVILLE, UN HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE SPOKESMAN: A fairly small number appears to have been killed by shelling, artillery and tank fire which took place over a period of more than 12 hours. But the majority appear to have been the result of house to house summary executions of home and getting into houses and killing men, women, and children inside.

What is clear is government forces were involved. They were shelling using tanks and artillery. And appears to be Shabiha militia entering the houses and slaughtering the people in what is really an abominable crime that took place throughout the day I'm afraid.


WATSON: Well, Becky, the Syrian government has denied any links to the massacre in Houla. And last night, the deputy foreign minister so far as to claim that the Syrian government has not violated a UN brokered cease-fire plan that it signed on to in April not a single time in nearly two months. Take a listen.


FAISAL MIQDAD, SYRIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): During this time Syria has not done a single violation of Annan's plan or the initial understanding between Syria and the United Nations. At the same time, the other party has not committed to a single point. This means that there is a decision not to implement Annan's plan and make it fail by the armed groups and the opposition.


WATSON: Now that Syrian official was talking after talking with the UN special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan. He's been in Damascus since yesterday talking to the Syrian president and others. And he has once again announced that the time is for the Syrian government today to implement bold steps, to implement his cease-fire agreement, not tomorrow, even though this plan was supposed to go in effect a month-and-a-half ago. And even though we've seen dozens of civilians killed in the 48 hours since that massacre took place in Houla when Syrian artillery unleashed their cannon balls and rounds on the city of Hama. And the killing just doesn't stop in Syria -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Ivan Watson is on the ground for you in Turkey this evening. Ivan, thank you for that.

One Syrian activist says it is unbelievable that we've got 7 billion people on this planet and yet no one can figure out what to do about the horrible violence we are seeing inside Syria every day on our TV screens.

We've got reaction, though, from two major world capitals tonight. I'm going to get to Washington in a moment. First, though, Phil Black in Moscow.



Russia didn't support military action in Libya. It abstained from voting in the Security Council. Officially didn't use its veto. That decision was authorized by then President Dmitri Medvedev, but it was publicly criticized by then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Now Mr. Putin is president again. And Russia's policy on Syria is very much his policy and has been significantly shaped by events in Libya.

There he believes the international community did away with the Libya regime using air power in the name of humanitarian support. And he blames them for what he describes as the revolting slaughter of Moammar Gadhafi. And he points to the many civilian deaths in that conflict as well.

Mr. Putin also believes the Arab Spring shows using force to promote democracy can result in less democracy. So Russia's clearly held long stated position is that is that it will not allow any UN resolution that could result in a repeat of the Libyan scenario in Syria. There is no indication the massacre at Houla has had any influence on that position.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Elise Labott in Washington. The Houla massacre has proven to the United States once and for all that the Annan peace plan will not solve the crisis in Syria. But the U.S. strategy isn't likely to change overnight. On Monday, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he has military options ready for Syria but was cautious about U.S. military involvement.

Now we could see the U.S. working more closely with Gulf state to provide money and military aid to specific members of the opposition, but U.S. officials say until the opposition proves its able to fill a political vacuum, their hands are tied with anything further.

Another factor is Russia's continued unwillingness to push out Assad. But officials are holding out hope that Russia's patience is running out.


ANDERSON: All right. Two views -- one from Washington and one from Moscow.

Arab Gulf countries joining the condemnation of this Houla massacre. The Gulf Cooperation Council is calling on the international community to, and I quote, "live up to its responsibilities to stop the daily bloodshed." And also today, Syria's main opposition, the Syrian National Council to call for a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force.

Tonight we've got two special guests, Syrian National Council member George Jabboure who is in Washington, and Sami al-Faraj is in Kuwait City. He's Kuwait adviser to the GCC.

I know you've said that the GCC cannot sit and watch and wait like other countries are, that being Turkey and the U.S., you suggest. So what do you think the GCC will do next, sir?

SAMI AL-FARAJ, KUWAITI ADVISER TO GCC: Who is the question for?


AL-FARAJ: I think what we are doing now is basically what we've been doing for many months ago, and that is basically the supplies, supply the opposition. We provide logistics, communication, intelligence on the ground as well as money and arms. We have to differentiate between, you know, supplying the Free Syrian Army with arms, basically to tip the balance and supplying the same entity with weapons to defend themselves. They need defensive weapons to actually to quell the -- you know, the offensives launched by the Syrian army on a daily basis.

So the nation is very important. Don't forget that for us, it is -- you know, our image as protectors, especially for Saudi Arabia, cannot just sit still and wait for the others to move, because it cannot be -- cannot be perceived as, you know, a major Muslim power not doing anything regarding the massacres in Syria continuing for months.

ANDERSON: Before I come to you, George -- sir -- Sami, let me just stop you for one -- let me stop you for one moment. To what degree do you have cash and personnel on the ground so far as the Saudis, Qataris, for example Kuwaitis are concerned? To what degree are you helping on the ground?

AL-FARAJ: We are actually giving very substantial aid, especially with regard to what we can provide defensive weapons. They are going there. With regard to how we get them there, we -- there are many routes to Syria. Don't forget these are smuggling routes that have been used a few years ago to smuggle weapons against American army in Iraq. So we using the same routes, the same routes from Iraq, and from Lebanon, from Jordan. I cannot really put a number to what and to what degree, but it is quite substantial.

The aid, also, as far as the money that can provide actually other defensive weapons is going through very easily from the...


AL-FARAJ: But we cannot penetrate as far as we wish to do, basically because there are limitations to our, you know, intervention because of the power that we have as military powers.

ANDERSON: Let me get to George, let me get to George here. You've heard what Sami said, and you've heard our correspondent in Washington, George saying, that the U.S. could support Gulf states more in the future.

Phil Black reporting out of Russia tonight that they wouldn't support a resolution even if you got it tabled. I know that's what you're calling for, an act of force through the UN SC. It's not going to happen, is it?

GEORGE JABBOURE NETTO, SYRIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL MEMBER: Well, despite everything, we stay hopeful. But the better question, there is no doubt that the Gulf states should and are capable and should do more. The issue is how to -- how it should be done.

I think us, (inaudible), and other opposition in the political arm of the revolution (inaudible) with the FSA, I think that's the way to do it, because you want the channels controlled militarization if any. Nobody is for having a war, but if it's self-defense then we need it. And to do it that way is the only secure way so we can have some control.

If the west and the Gulf countries and Turkey just keep staying on the sideline and watching us getting slaughtered, what's going to happen is more radicalization, more militarization, and money like Mr. Sami is saying is coming across, but who is it getting to? We'd rather have people who are responsible and political arm that is monitoring that and then a controlled, somewhat controlled militarization with some buffer zone.

I wouldn't take Turkey off the table. The Gulf countries can provide the support, but so should Turkey being the spearhead of the NATO in the area.

ANDERSON: Mr. Sami, U.S. strategy, our correspondent out of Washington said tonight, won't change until they are confident that the SNC could fill any political vacuum. Are you at the GCC convinced that the SNC is a cohesive enough group to work with an for going forward, or is that your problem?

AL-FARAJ: It's the most cohesive and the most presentative (ph) for us. We don't really can choose. It is for the Syrians to choose. But today, the mandate we have is to protect, and basically we do as much as we can.

Let's not forget that there is the form of war by proxy happening in Syria. We are fighting Iran. We are not going to allow Iran to win in Syria. So there is -- there are no limitations to what we want to do. We actually express our, you know, disunity of the United States with regard to the course in Syria. A few months ago, and this is -- Hillary Clinton came to Riyadh and met with the strategic forum of the GCC.

We have different priorities as I said. We are fighting Iran there. We are fighting intervention by outside powers. So we have to provide as a minimum something to tip the balance until the opposition.

ANDERSON: All right. And at a maximum -- you just told me what you'll provide at a minimum -- at a maximum, and you say you have to fight this war, how far will you go?

AL-FARAJ: As far as it takes. We are not going to allow Iran to win and take (inaudible) and other Arab countries for us and for the Sunni Muslims all over the world. If Iran was (inaudible) from Iran to win (inaudible) it will cut the Arab speaking Sunni world from the territory speak Sunni world. This is not acceptable, neither for us nor for Turkey. You will see different course of action taken place and taking shape.

NETTO: Becky if I may.

ANDERSON: George. The final word, George.

NETTO: So -- yes. I would beg to disagree. We don't want it to be a theater for Shiites and the war. This is not -- we are not a proxy war. Do not forget, this is protesters who are asking for democracy. If we are asking for any military support it's to stop us from being slaughtered, not to fight Iran. We have nothing to do with that.

So I appreciate the Gulf country's help and trust in SNC. And SNC is not perfect, but we are representative right now and we are trying to get better. But all that we're asking is militarization, enough weapons to support as defense those kids who are being slaughtered by knives. We're not asking for much. And we're definitely not asking to lead the region into a Iran Sunni versus Shia war. That is totally unacceptable and that's not what we're trying to do here.

ANDERSON: Your representative from the SNC out of Washington and your representative of the GCC. I have to wind it up guys for the time being. Your representative of the GCC out of Kuwait this evening. We do appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

Your watching Connect the World live from London. Our top story, Syria faces still more diplomatic protests Tuesday when governments around the world expelled, or at least formally rebuked its envoys in the aftermath of an appalling Houla massacre. A message of revulsion no doubt from the outside world, but a tipping point or turning point in this increasingly bloody civil war? Well, that is not clear this hour.

Still to come tonight, it's only Tuesday but it's already been a bad week for Mark Zuckerberg as Facebook share price tumbles.

And huge upset at the French Open.

All that and more when Connect the World continues after this.


ANDERSON: Very warm welcome back. This is Connect the World here on CNN.

Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has arrived in Thailand on her first trip abroad in more than two decades. Cheering crowds turned out to greet the pro-democracy activist as she sets foot on foreign soil in Bangkok. She's due to speak at the world economic forum on a stage later this week before heading to Europe in June. Later in the show, we'll tell you why after 24 years Suu Kyi is finally able to leave her country just as more and more foreign tourists are choosing to enter it.

A look at all that and some other stories that are connecting our world tonight. And at least 15 people have died and thousands have been displaced after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck northern Italy this morning. The epicenter this time was near Cavezzo, a small city near Bologna. The quake was followed by dozens of aftershocks causing damage to buildings and terrifying locals. It comes just nine days after a previous earthquake hit the same region, killing seven.

Facebook's flotation is coming in for trouble. Shares in the social networking site have fallen below $30 each, that's $8 a share less than when the company floated in the stock market just a couple of weeks ago. You'll remember that night. Alison Kosik as the tracking the rise and fall of Facebook shares. And she joins me now from New York.

What a day. What a Tuesday. They say Mondays can be bad, but Tuesday deeply so for a man called Zuckerberg.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yep, especially when you see how the broader market did, the broader market rallied today. The Dow up 125 points, but Facebook shares declined just, you know, more than 9.5 percent here. As you said the shares below $30 for the first time at $28.84, about $10 below that IPO price of $38.

Now what was floated today was speculation that the social network is actually getting ready to by Opera Software. And what Opera does is it makes various web browsers that work on different platforms, on mobile phone, on tablets, on PCs. And it would cost Facebook over $1 billion to buy the company.

Now most analysts as you can see what played out with the numbers here, they're pretty doubtful that a deal would actually come to pass with Opera. There's been a lot of talk, as you know, about how Facebook is going to make any money, how is it going to make any revenue off of mobile platforms. And a belief is that with this deal that is being talked about that it really wouldn't help Facebook's mobile presence.

Then again, there are others who say you know what this could be a perfect fit. It could enhance the limited mobile experience of Facebook. It could help Facebook make money on mobile devices and helps improve Facebook's ability to target adds, especially since the software is already on most iPhones and Blackberries.

But clearly, investors were not convinced today, they were running for the exits. Once again Facebook shares falling more than 9.5 percent today -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Again, a run on the market as well. Alison, thank you.

A virus can turn on your computer's microphone and record your conversations has been found in systems across the Middle East. Now the Kaspersky lab, a Russian anti-virus firm, identified what it's calling the Flame virus. Experts say among its attacks, the Flame spy would target Iranian nuclear networks. It can also capture screen shots and log internet message conversations. This lab workers say its the most complex virus they have ever seen.


VITALIY KAMLYUK, SENIOR VIRUS ANALYST, KASPERSKY LAB: The hackers are smart, they are trying to hide there. And we tried to fool the control servers and infrastructure, but it turned out to be more than a dozen of different servers located in many different countries geographically far from each other and that's why there is no traces, no pointing to any particular country.


ANDERSON: Your headlines there. Another one in about seven or eight minutes time. This is CNN. Of course we're going to take a very short break. When we come back, I'm going to show you something that's never happened to Serena Williams and tennis grand slams. That, after this.


ANDERSON: Right. You're watching Connect the World live from London. I'm Becky Anderson for you. 26 minutes past 9:00 here.

It took just three days for the first big upset at this year's French Open tennis tournament and what an upset it was. Serena Williams, one of the favorites to win at Roland Garos, is out of the first hurdle. And there's quite a story behind the French woman who upset Serena.

Let's bring in Patrick Snell from CNN center to tell us about this.

I never thought I'd see the day when said this Patrick. Out before she's even started effectively.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, incredible Becky. When you go back 10 seasons, Serena Williams was champion at Roland Garos. The only time she's won the season's second major. But this is -- you're absolutely quite right, it's a story of huge magnitude, particularly when you focus in on Virgine Razzano, a lot of people may be asking in non- tennis circles who exactly is she.

Well, I can tell you she's the world number 111th. And she really did become the darling of the Roland Garos crowd last year when she went into the tournament just a handful of days after the sad and tragic death of her fiance who passed away due to a brain tumor.

So she got through that tournament as best she could, but she's come back round one and she's taken care of a former world number one. Serena Williams looked to have the match absolutely locked up, a shoe-in for victory. She let things slip badly. In the end, she loses in three sets.

And as you say, Becky, it's the first time ever she has gone out the round of a major. The only other time I can recall was back in 1998 when she lost in the second round of the Australian, that to her older sister Venus.

This is a huge shock in tennis circles, but we mustn't underplay the achievement of Virgine Razzano, quite incredible feat.

I mean, we were watching in the office. We were absolutely shocked by what was going on.

ANDERSON: I tell you what, I wouldn't bet against Serena at Wimbledon. I mean she is the comeback queen.

SNELL: Yeah.

ANDERSON: If she loses anything, she's not been exactly -- don't count her out. All right.

Listen, I want to talk European football last night. And it's not a great story, unfortunately, but we've got to do it because it's an important one. Football fans expressing concern about the potential for racism and violence at the Euro 2012 championship in Poland and Ukraine in which, of course, starts Friday in a week.

How are the co-hosts responding to all of this, Patrick?

SNELL: Yeah, Becky, this is in response to claims, allegations made actually by a former England player Sol Campbell, the defender who played his club football as well for England's Arsenal and Tottenham as well. And basically coming out speaking on the BBC TV network the show Panorama and making these claims and saying, look, it's not safe. He expressed fears over security and concerns over racism in those countries -- Poland and the Ukraine.

And quite understandably, those co-hosts have been reacting. They've come out fighting in response to this. Let's hear now from one of the co- hosts the Ukraine.


VOLODYMYR KHANDOGIY, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UK: What was aired yesterday during this program, and this is my impression opinion, is unbalance and I would say biased reporting about the situation in Ukraine.

MARCIN BOSACKI, POLISH FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN: There is a problem with racism and anti-Semitism in Poland, but it's blown out of every possible proportions in this material of BBC.

PIARA POWAR, FOOTBALL AGAINST RACISM IN EUROPE: I think we know the situation in domestic football in both Poland and Ukraine. And I'm afraid that the Panorama documentary hit the nail on the head. It's a very, very bad situation.


SNELL: Yes. So the tournament getting underway just days from now, Becky. And you know we've both been to major football tournaments. And we know the fans, the teams start arriving well in advance. So we'll be watching that one very, very closely indeed to see just what happens in the coming days, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah. All right, Patrick, thank you for that. Pat back, of course, with World Sport in just about an hour's time.

Still to come this hour here on CNN, a visit 24 years in the making, why Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is finally accepted on foreign soil.

And ten days before Euro 2012 kicks off, we've got our Eye on Poland's transport system. We're going to take a look at how plans to cope with all those visiting fans are shaping up.

And the threat of a tax on British pasties. The issues that's gotten bakers hot under the collar and forced a government back-down. That coming up.


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.

Eleven Western countries are expelling Syrian diplomats over last week's massacre in Houla. The United Nations says most of the 108 victims were killed by armed men going house-to-house. It says government involvement is, and I quote, "clear."

Thousands of people have abandoned their homes after a powerful earthquake hit northern Italy. A 5.8 magnitude quake killed at least 15 people and injured at least 200 others. Another big earthquake hit the same region just 9 days ago.

In Afghanistan, 160 schoolgirls are thought to have been poisoned. Those who fell ill complained of headaches, dizziness, and vomiting. Police suspect the girls' classroom may have been sprayed with a toxic material. They blame the Taliban.

And Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has arrived in Thailand on her first foreign visit in more than two decades. Many flocked to listen to Suu speak at the World Economic Forum on East Asia.

For 24 years, Aung San Suu Kyi was a prisoner in her own country. When she wasn't under house arrest, she was simply too afraid to leave, fearing that she might never be allowed to return.

But the Myanmar of just a few years ago is a very different place today. In a moment, we're going to take a look at what's changed. First, though, Andrew Stevens is in Thailand, where he witnessed an historic arrival.



ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A new chapter in an extraordinary story is unfolding here in Bangkok. Behind me, the Myanmar opposition leader, the democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is taking her first steps on foreign soil in more than 24 years.

And you can hear the rapturous applause and the shouts from the crowd. A lot of her compatriots coming here to be able to see her arriving here today.

It's only a short hop from Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, to Thailand, but it's a giant leap in restoring the international status of Myanmar which, for years, even decades, has been an international pariah.

Suu Kyi felt confident enough for the first time in 24 years to leave her home in the knowledge that she would be able to return. And it just underlines the growing trust between the new regime in Myanmar and Suu Kyi, who had spent 15 of her 24 years in the country under house arrest for her political activities.

And this moment also marks the start, really, of her coming out tour. She's going to be spending the next few days here in Thailand. She will be addressing businessmen at the World Economic Forum.

Perhaps more important for her right now is that she's going to be meeting leaders from the Myanmarese migrant population. There are something like 2.5 million of her compatriots living, now, in Thailand, many of them economic refugees who've fled the country over the past two, two and a half decades. But also many political refugees, and she'll be making contact with them.

But right now, it's a question of who is more curious. Is it Suu Kyi as she steps into a world which she last was in 24 years ago? Or is it the world itself, looking at a woman who's known simply and widely as The Lady, a democracy icon who is now making her pace on the world stage?

Andrew Stevens, CNN, Bangkok.


ANDERSON: So, what's changed in Myanmar to make this trip possible? Well, the story begins back in March, of course, last year, when this man, Thein Sein, became president in controversial elections.

In October, Myanmar begins to release hundreds of political prisoners and ease media restrictions.

Some months later, Hillary Clinton makes the first visit to Myanmar by a US Secretary of State in more than 50 years.

In December, Aung San Suu Kyi's party is granted permission to register for elections.

Just four months later, Suu Kyi wins a seat in Parliament in the first multi-party elections since 1990.

Since then, the US and the European Union have begun to lift sanctions on the country, opening it up to international trade. And as Paula Hancocks discovered back in December, it's not just foreign companies who have taken a renewed interest in the country. Have a look at this.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the Shwedagon Pagoda, 2500 years old, it's said to enshrine strands of the Buddha's hair and other holy relics.


HANCOCKS: In any other country, such a site would be swarming with tourists. But this is Myanmar. Still considered off the beaten track and, until earlier this year, off the list of desired places, due to the brutal military Junta.

But with a new civilian government, albeit still strongly linked to the military, and tentative reforms, comes new travel interest.

HANCOCKS (on camera): There are definitely more tourists coming here to Myanmar. According to the ticket office, around 1,000 foreign visitors every single day on average come to see this pagoda.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): For a country isolated from the rest of the world for so many years, these images are pure gold. If the top US diplomat, Hillary Clinton, is happy to visit, then why not tourists?

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism says around 790,000 people visited last year. That's expected to rise to 900,000 this year.

GLADYS BLANK, ISRAELI TOURIST: Hillary was coming before us. I figured if it was good for her, it would be good for us. So, we're fine.

BARBARA AUER, GERMAN TOURIST: You recognize that it's changing. We've been there in January this year and now it's getting more modern.

HANCOCKS: Myanmar has a long way to go before it can consider competing with neighboring Thailand. The infrastructure has been neglected for decades and the economy is cash-driven and riddled with widely differing exchange rates.


But with little outside influence for so long, the heritage of the country has been preserved, making it one of Southeast Asian tourism's last frontiers.


HANCOCKS: Paula Hancocks, CNN, Yangon, Myanmar.


ANDERSON: Well, Aung San Suu Kyi has a packed schedule over the next couple of months. Later this week, she's going to address the World Economic Forum on East Asia and visit a refugee camp near Thailand's border with Myanmar.

Next month, Suu Kyi heads to Britain, the former colonial ruler of Myanmar, which was then known as Burma. And she will also travel to Oslo in Norway to finally accept the Nobel Peace Prize she was awarded back in 1991. How good is that?

Still to come after the break, they've shattered the glass ceiling across the boards from fashion to technology. We're going to take a look at the Leading Women of the world. Men and ladies out there, stay with us.


ANDERSON: Well, every Tuesday, we take an opportunity here at CNN to profile women at the top of their game in every industry, from technology to fashion to find out what it takes to maintain success in the boardroom and at home.


WEILI DAI, CO-FOUNDER, MARVELL TECHNOLOGY: Hello, hello, hello. Hello, pleasure meeting you.

All girls, I want to tell you, you are the future of our country, of our world.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Words of wisdom from a woman in a position to know. An audience of schoolgirls transfixed. We're with Weili Dai as she speaks to future leaders.

DAI: If person like me came here and in this beautiful country and be able to co-found a world leading semiconductor or high-tech company, so guess what? All of you guys, absolutely anything is possible.

STOUT: For Dai, this moment is at the heart of who she is, a tech geek born in China who settled in this California neighborhood in 1979, received a top-notch education, and today gladly offers her recipe for success.

DAI: The technology to me is a foundation. Using my own experience, today I see women or girls are really capable of leading our industry.


DAI: Good morning, good morning, good morning. Good morning.

STOUT: And she ought to know. Dai co-founded Marvell Technology in 1995 with her husband of 26 years. The company now boasts 7500 employees designing a product that benefits millions.

Dai has no problem sharing the credit for her company's success.

DAI: I am a true believer of teamwork. I'm a true believer of how do we leverage the natural talent of woman and man to accomplish more?

STOUT: A one-time semi-pro basketball player, Dai credits the game for her early discipline in life. She often makes basketball analogies when talking about business.

DAI: For any company to be successful, it's not about one or two people, it's about a team there with complimentary skills. Even at the top management level, we all have to kind of chip in, playing slightly different positions, but together we are playing championship for the basketball.


FELCIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I'm Felicia Taylor. Like Weili Dai, Venezuelan-born fashion empress Carolina Herrera views teamwork as fundamental in business.

HERRERA: If I don't have my team behind me, I wouldn't be sitting here. Fashion is a collaboration with many people. I have a fantastic precedent for the company who takes care of the numbers of the company. If you ask me to take care of that side, I would be sitting there crying, because I don't know what to do.

Oh, perfect!

TAYLOR: We were in New York recently during Fashion Week as she got ready to present the 40 pieces in her Fall 2012 collection.

TAYLOR (on camera): So, this is how the creative process happens?

HERRERA: This is the -- this is the beginning.

TAYLOR: These colors are --


HERRERA: We started with the colors, so the whole beginning of the collection is quite something with navy blue and black, and I use different materials for that. And then, the evening is very glamorous.

TAYLOR (voice-over): And nothing speaks to glamour more than the dress designed for the show's grand finale, a dramatic silk ball gown with a velvet wrap belt. Treated like a star every step of the way.

Backstage at the show, we find movie star Renee Zellweger.

TAYLOR (on camera): Tell me what you love most about Carolina's designs.

HERRERA: Oh, no, no --

TAYLOR: Oh, come on, they're gorgeous!

RENEE ZELLWEGER, ACTRESS: Classic elegance. But they're always fun. She finds a way to make it fun.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Always savvy, Herrera understands that while the runway abounds in pageantry and glitz, at the end of the day, what matters is the sell.

HERRERA: You might be the best designer, and you are so creative and you have the most beautiful ideas, but if they all stay in your room and they don't go out to be worn by someone, then you are not in business.


ANDERSON: Next week, we'll continue our series with two new Leading Women, including a Venezuelan race car driver. Find out more by heading to the website,

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN with me, Becky Anderson. When we come back, it's been a hot and cold but never lukewarm debate. How the British government has been forced into what has been an embarrassing U-turn over a pastry.


ANDERSON: All this week, we've got our Eye on Poland. Yesterday, we went behind the scenes to show you how police are preparing for next week's kick-off of Euro 2012.


MARIUSZ SOKOLOWSKI, PRESS OFFICER, POLISH POLICE (through translator): The whole security plan is ready. The right equipment has been bought, the sites that needed to be renovated for the tournament have also been completed. And now, it's time to put all that we have done into practice.


ANDERSON: Yes, it is. Well, tonight in our Eye on Poland series, Jim Boulden's road-tripping across the country to find out how the Polish transport network's going to cope with what will be hundreds of thousands of arriving fans. This is what he found.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It doesn't take long when traveling on Poland's roads to see the country has a long way to go before the motorways are up to European standards.

So, when the football championships kick off in June, fans need to decide, is this the best way to get from Stadium A to Stadium B.

BOULDEN (on camera): Though Poland's roads aren't great, many people are expected to travel to the games by car, so we thought we'd take a bit of a road trip and see how long it takes to go from here in Warsaw to Gdansk.

BOUNDEN (voice-over): Poland is spending billions of dollars to upgrade these motorways, using long-term European Union funding, not just money for the games. In total, Poland is spending an estimated $12 billion on stadiums and infrastructure. Stadiums are ready, and so are the airports. The roads clearly are not.

It took us nearly five hours, in fact, from Warsaw to Gdansk, 345 kilometers or just over 200 miles. Endless backups, go-slows, and then after a few miles of new motorway, it's back to side roads and detours.

Not that the train will be any better on the Warsaw-to-Gdansk route. It will take seven to ten hours, also due to ongoing upgrades. Still, trains to and from other Euro 2012 cities is the way to travel.

JANUSZ MALINOWSKI, CEO, PKP INTERCITY (through translator): I am convinced that when moving around the places where matches are being held, the best way to do this will be by train. PKP Intercity has very good connections to Katowice, Krakow, and Poznan, and they have good timing on these routes, which are competitive to the time it would take by car.

BOULDEN: The CEO of Polish state airline, LOT, says the airline will put larger aircraft on its routes, but it does not expect a big increase in travel by air.

MARCIN PIROG, CEO, LOT POLISH AIRLINES: Many fans, they come with their own cars. This is Europe, so distances are shorter than in the US. But if they fly, the vast majority of them, they fly with charter flights.

BOULDEN: There are always questions about the cost of putting on massive sporting events. In a football-mad country, with a Communist-era infrastructure, the government says football is a good excuse.

BOULDEN (on camera): You talked about good economic policy. Is it ever good economic policy to spend billions to throw a party? And was it good for Poland? Will it be good for Poland?

JACEK ROSTOWSKI, POLISH FINANCE MINISTER: It's always bad economic policy to spend billions to throw a party. But on the other hand, it's not bad economic policy to spend billions to build motorways, to build infrastructure, and to say to yourself, well, we're going to try and achieve all this by a certain date when we have this particular party.

BOULDEN (voice-over): But still, Poland's had to admit, it missed some deadlines.

ROSTOWSKI: A deadline that you fully achieve is a deadline that was too easy.


BOULDEN: So, it may be back to the trains.

MALINOWSKI (through translator): Of course the Euro were a catalyst for the modernization of the fleet, but our investment plans are not just linked with the Euros. It is part of our strategy.

BOULDEN: Still, thanks in part to football, for the Polish people, a modern transport infrastructure is nearly within touching distance.

Jim Boulden, CNN, Warsaw.


ANDERSON: And tomorrow, we're going to set sail for Gdansk, that's where we're going to have our eye on an historic shipyard. We're going to meet the French luxury yacht maker who's embracing Polish boat-building tradition. That tomorrow.

Are you looking forward to Euro 2012? Well, the team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you, Have your say.

You can tweet me, of course, @BeckyCNN, your thoughts please. Is your team going to win? Is your team going to lose? Is your team going to show up? Who do you want to win? Who do you think's going to shine at the tournament? I can't wait, @BeckyCNN.

Tonight's Parting Shots for you. It is a scandal that has had people chanting on the streets, it's embarrassed the British government, and it's all over the price of a piece of pastry.


ANDERSON: First it was Pastygate. Well now, it's humble pie. The British government has conceded that slapping a 20 percent tax on food like this, a Cornish pasty or sausage roll is simply unpalatable.

These are the staple of the British working man and woman, and there was a national uproar over initial plans, when they were first announced in March, that would've seen the price of this lowly food skyrocket.

Well, a national bakery chain, Greggs, campaigned against the pasty tax, and after 306,000 customers signed up, it's got to be said, they can claim a sweet victory.

Becky Anderson, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Yes, it was CONNECT THE WORLD, thank you for watching. The world news headlines up after this.