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Pussy Riot Members Sentenced To Two Years; President Zuma Announced Inquiry Into Miner Shootings; Premier League Officially Begins; 34 Killed in Police Confrontation at South African Mine; "Tiger Mom" Amy Chua; British Fans Celebrate Heptathlon Gold Medalist Jessica Ennis; Parting Shots: Dog Shake Research

Aired August 17, 2012 - 16:00   ET


JONATHAN MANN, HOST: Tonight on CONNECT THE WORLD, a punk band is sentenced to prison. Three members of Russia's Pussy Riot are convicted for an anti- Putin protest in a commandeered cathedral.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

MANN: Their two year sentences drawing sharp criticism from around the world, but dividing opinion within Russia. Tonight, the husband of one of the band members reacts.

Also tonight, bring back the dead they chant, a fatal police shooting brings back memories of an ugly era in South Africa.

And the science behind the shake, why man's best friend loves to shower you.

Thanks for joining us. Amnesty International calls the verdict a bitter blow for freedom of expression. The U.S., EU, and Britain describe the sentences as disproportionate. The jailed members of Pussy Riot may have been silenced for now, but international criticism of Russia is growing louder by the minute.

Phil Black is monitoring developments in Moscow and joins us now. Phil, the case is making headlines around the world, but it unfolded today in the Russian capital. Tell us about what happened.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, it unfolded very slowly, largely because the judge took a long time summarizing the case against these women before she eventually got to that headline, the two year sentence for these three women.

But it never looked good for the women. I lost count of the amount of times the judge used the words insulting, disrespectful, offensive as she was summing up her case before finally getting to the verdict. And throughout all of this, a big crowd of Pussy Riot supporters was waiting outside the court. And in the end, they were not happy with the result.


BLACK: The women of Pussy Riot spent hours waiting in their glass box or the judge to start reading her verdict. Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alyokhina, Madezhda Tolokonnikova chatted together and wondered when they would next see each other and where that would be.

Outside, a crowd of supporters gathered. Police showed some tolerance, but they were easily provoked and many were arrested.

There were also members of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is why Russia's religious were offended, a 30 second performance in Moscow's main cathedral prayer for President Vladimir Putin to go.

The judgment took three hours to read and throughout there was little doubt it would find them guilty. The judge frequently referred to their behavior as insulting and disrespectful to the Orthodox church and all of Russia's faithful. She criticized their short skirts and high kicks and said they were motivated by hatred for religion. She ruled they remained a danger to society and sentenced them to two years.

The women smiled, but looked a little stunned as people in the court shouted shame.

Outside, much of the crowd also reacted angrily. This woman was clearly inspired by Pussy Riot's example. The police waited for her to come down until she pulled on a pink balaclava.

The women's families were in court. The father Yekaterina Samutsevich said his innocent daughter was being sent to jail. Madezhda Toloknnikova husband said he wasn't surprised by the outcome despite Vladimir Puting saying he hoped they wouldn't be punished harshly.

PYOTR VERZILOV, MADEZDA TOLOKONNIKOVA'S HUSBAND: Two years of brutal Russian prison for President Putin is somewhat of a lenient sentence.


BLACK: So, Jonathan, it is possible that that sentence will be reduced a little bit further on appeal. We already know that the time served in custody some six months or so will count towards that full sentence, but it means they're still look at at least 18 months in prison, which is a significant period of time for what the judge said today was ultimately only a 30 second performance, John.

MANN: You know, and it's been years, maybe decades since any Russian dissident ever got this kind of attention around the world. I'm curious about inside of Russia how many people are following the case and what do they think of it?

BLACK: Well, within Russia this is a highly publicized, highly, highly divisive talking point. The country has very much been involved in the debate for the last six months on just what an appropriate punishment should be. And the opinions crossed all regular lines of politics and religion. They cover the four basic camps, I think.

You get those who support the women absolutely who say it was a political artistic statement and it should not be punished, fully stop. You get those who support the message who don't necessarily like Vladimir Putin or the government, but are still not comfortable with the fact they did this in a cathedral. You get the religious who believe they deserve mercy. And you get the religious who believe they deserve a very tough punishment. And I think it is only the people who belong to that final group that are going to be satisfied with the result of this court today, John.

MANN: Phil Black live in Moscow, thanks very much.

Well, there has been a huge movement on the social media to press for the release of the group from celebrities to politicians. And as you can imagine, the verdict is having a big reaction online. Here's a look at trends map, which is tracking all the tweets with the #PussyRiot. And as you can see it's dominating the conversation online.

Here are just a few of those tweets.

Tennis star Martina Navratilova tweeted, "today is free Pussy Riot day. How great is that? Democracy at its best. And by imprisoning them, Putin is making it so much a bigger deal."

The singer Peaches, who has been a vocal advocate for the band reacted by tweeting this, "the only thing these women are guilty of is telling the truth."

We also have this tweet from Russia that translate as, "for covering up the mass killings in the village of Pushefskiya (ph), 150,000 ruble fine. So sing an offensive song about Putin in a Cathedral two years in a penal colony."

Now this message appeared on Russian activist Gary Kasparov's Twitter account. It read that "he had been arrested without cause outside the Pussy Riot trial courthouse and beaten by police." The word we have from one of his aides is that he is now free again.

Peter from Moscow tweeted something different, commenting on public opinion inside Russia. He says, "if Pussy Riot is the litmus test for opposition politics in Russia, then the majority of Russians will support Putin forever."

Now to give you a sense of why this case has provoked such mixed reaction inside Russia, how about some of the lyrics of what they call their punk prayer?

The Pussy Riot members were charged after screaming "Mother Mary, please drive Putin away." In Moscow's Christ the Savior cathedral with worshipers in attendance. Here's video of the group's performance back in February.

Now according to several translations we've seen, their protest song also included the following line laced with expletives. "S-word, s-word, the lord is s-word."

Let's get more now from the husband of Madezhda Toloknnikova, one of the jailed members of Pussy Riot. Pyotr Verzilov is in our Moscow bureau tonight. Thanks so much for being with us. Let me ask you first of all about your wife. Have you spoken to her since the verdict or since the sentence was handed down?

VERZILOV: No. Basically right after the girls heard the verdict we only had a couple of glances at each other for five seconds and that was it. She was lead away by all those numerous guards in the courtroom. And we didn't -- we couldn't speak to each other.

MANN: Well, in all the time leading up to today, though, she must have expected something like this would happen. She has been an activist for so long. And she's done pretty outrageous things: releasing thousands of cockroaches into a courthouse, helping to paint a picture of a man's genitals on a bridge, and enormous picture that was calculated to offend. She couldn't be surprised, I think, after all to head to jail after all that.

VERZILOV: Well, you know, do all these things in Russia, people still kind of feel that the government is not supposed to cross a certain line in arresting people for singing a protest song or doing protest, non-violent protest or actions. So basically the amazing international outcry we have on our hands here is because everyone was amazed the Putin decided to give this brutal sentence to girls for singing a protest song inside a church. No one was expecting that.

MANN: Well, I don't want to sound naive, but it isn't strictly speaking Vladimir Putin who did it, it was in a court. And there was an intriguing poll done by the Levada Center, which I gather is a respected polling agency inside of Russia. And what it found is that 44 percent of Russians thought the trial was fair. Only 17 percent thought it was unfair. The rest, clearly didn't have an opinion. But most Russians obviously aren't that sympathetic. And though this poll was conducted before the verdict was handed down, a great many -- a plurality, I guess you could say, thought that the women were tried fairly.

VERZILOV: Well, you know, the problem with Russia is that a very large portion of the country's population is very much influenced by what they see on federal television, since a big portion of Russia is so really disconnected from the internet, from magazines, from press. And it's really easy to influence people by putting all these programs that portray Pussy Riot as this brutal Orthodox Christian offending Russian traditional values tainting band which has the aim of destroying Russia, and bringing revolution to the country.

It's truly easy to paint a media picture of Pussy Riot as something very horrible. And obviously the government did get a large portion of Russia's population in believing that the girls have done something really bad.

MANN: Let me jump in on that point, is it just Russia? Because one wonders if they had tried something like this at a Cathedral in Rome or at a big church in New York City or at a church for that matter in Israel, they probably would have gotten arrested.

VERZILOV: Well, obviously in all these cases, people would have gotten arrested, but lawyers have repeatedly stated in many countries across the world that never would people get prison sentences for these kinds of actions. This would never happen in any western country. It's just not possible.

MANN: Let me ask you one last question, maybe the crucial one here, President Putin himself has the power to pardon the three women. Are they going to ask for it? Would you ask for it now?

VERZILOV: Actually Nadia (ph), my wife, she has already answered this question. She said that it's not who will be asking for pardon from Putin, it's Putin who should ask for pardon from us and from the whole country. So the girls are pretty strict on this. And I don't think they'll be asking Putin for anything.

MANN: Pyotr Verzilov, husband of one of the members of Pussy Riot sentenced on this date to two years in a penal colony. Thanks so much for talking with us.

Now this isn't the first time, certainly not, that Russia's judicial system has drawn international scrutiny. In December of 2010, the White House said there were questions about the application of what it called selective prosecution after former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was found guilty on embezzlement charges. An outspoken critic of the Kremlin, Khodokovsky has repeatedly said his trial was politically motivated.

And just last month, another key figure of the opposition, Alexei Navalny was also charged with embezzlement, this time over an alleged scheme to steal timber. The anti-corruption blogger has denied any wrongdoing.

Well, still to come tonight, anger and outrage in South Africa as the president announces an inquiry. Many are demanding answers about the killing of striking miners.

And we'll tell you why text messages prompted thousands to literally flee cities across India. Up next.

And we'll find out how a tiger mom brings up her children. All that and much more when CONNECT THE WORLD continues.


MANN: You're watching CNN. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Jonathan Mann. Welcome back.

South African President Jacob Zuma has announced an inquiry into a mass shooting that has left his nation in shock. Police opened fire on striking miners in Rustenburg yesterday killing 34 of them. They call it self defense, saying the miners were approaching with machetes and spears. President Zuma says an inquiry should provide answer and important lessons.


JACOB ZUMA, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA: This offense (ph) are not what we want to see or want to become accustomed to in a democracy that is bound by the rule of law and where we are creating a better life for all our people.


MANN: One newspaper in Soweto ran the headline today, "African Lives Cheap As Ever." Much more on the shooting ahead, including how it's exposing some of South Africa's deep rooted problems.

Here's a look now at some other stories connecting our world tonight. The international effort to calm the violence in Syria has a new envoy: Algerian diplomat Lok'tar Brahimi will take up the joint UN and Arab League role at the end of August, replacing Kofi Annan who recently announced he was resigning. Brahimi previously served as a UN envoy in Iraq and South Africa. His appointment comes as the opposition reports that nearly 160 more people were killed in Syria Friday. And refugees continued across into neighboring countries.

Indian authorities are calling for calm after thousands of people fled major cities. The exodus triggered by text messages, messages sent to natives of the state of Assam apparently threatening retribution for ongoing ethnic violence there. The government has now temporarily banned mass text messages.

Sumnima Udas has the latest from New Delhi.


SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thousands of people from the northeastern state of Assam are leaving various cities across India after rumors that their community will be attacked. Assamee students and workers are flocking to train stations in Pune and Mumbai and Hijabad (ph). And in Bangalore saying they received text messages, threatening retribution for communal violence which has rocked their home state of Assam for the past few weeks.

In the past few days, police say at least 6,000 to 7,000 people have returned to Assam from various states.

Now the trigger for all of this, well police say just a few weeks ago back on July 19 two Muslims were killed by the Buddha(ph) community. The Muslims retaliated by killing some of the Buddhas(ph). And since then it's been attack after attack. And there's been widespread violence throughout the state.

Since then, police say at least 80 people have been killed and at least 300,000 people have been displaced. Tension between the Buddhas (ph) and the Muslims of Assam has been brewing for years. Some politicians blame all of this on an influx of illegal migrant workers from Bangladesh, from neighboring Bangladesh. They say too many of them have moved to Assam threatening the existence of the Buddha (ph) community with Assam.

Now Assam in the northeastern states in general is an area that has been largely neglected by the Central government and even the media. But with the recent state of violence, legislators in both houses of parliament wanted to know what is the government going to do to tackle the situation?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without portioning blame, I would urge this house to send a message loud and clear to all the people of the northeast residing in different parts of our country...

UDAS: And the local police in cities like Bangalore are investigating the source of this after messes. Meanwhile, no new violence has been reported in the state of Assam.

Sumnima Udas, CNN, New Delhi, India.


MANN: Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel's existence an insult to all humanity on a day of rallies in Tehran. State TV showed thousands on the streets in government organized protests marking International Quds Day, an annual day of solidarity with the Palestinians. Mr. Ahmadinejad's speech comes amidst an increasingly public debate in Israel over whether to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.

Fire tore through a night club on the Thai island of Phuket killing four people. 20 others were injured in the blaze which destroyed the Tiger Pub in the early hours Friday. Police don't yet know what caused it, but a senior officer told CNN who believed a nearby transformer caught fire. The hospital director said it wasn't clear if the victims were Thai or tourists.

Now a programming note for you, all next week on CONNECT THE WORLD we'll be taking a focused look at a despicable practice, what are called honor murders. What are the roots of the crime, how widespread is it, what's being done to combat it? Each day we'll define the issue through the victims, the survivors and the perpetrators. That's starting Monday here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

We're going to take a short break now, but when we come back, football fans are getting fired up for another season of Premier League football. Can Manchester City defend their title? Mark McKay is here with a preview next.


MANN: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London. Welcome back. I'm Jonathan Mann. And I love those drums.

Robin Van Persie was officially unveiled at Man United's training ground Friday after completing a $37 million move from Arsenal. The 29 year old Dutch striker passed a medical and put pen to paper on a four year contract rumored on to be worth about $300,000 a week. Van Persie joins United after what was his best season ever at Arsenal. He was the top scorer in the Premier League, voted player of the year as well.

Meantime, Robin's new teammate Rio Fernando (ph) is in some hot water right now. Mark McKay is here with more on that.

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: This is an interesting story of how social media and star players collide. Rio Ferdinand, the Manchester United defender out of $60,000 after the FA on Friday fined him and hit him hard. He has been charged with improper conduct and improper comments, including a reference to ethnic origin and/or color or race. The footballer had taken to Twitter and retweeted a message, which called fellow professional footballer Ashley Cole a choc ice, that's a slang term understood to mean someone who is black on the outside and white on the inside.

A bit of background, Cole had appeared as a witness for John Terry in court this summer after Terry had been charged with making racist comments to Rio's younger brother Anton. Terry was cleared by a court. Still contesting FA charge. As for Fio Ferdinand, one observer feels the FA punishment was warranted.


GREG STOBART, GOAL.COM CORRESPONDENT: It was a foolish thing to do. We know Rio was emotional, especially it was his brother involved in the case, of course. And it was just a stupid thing to do, but it was a retweet. I think that might have come into the FA's consideration as well. But he didn't deserve a ban, but it was a very stupid thing to do. And the fine -- he deserved to be fined. Emmanuel Franco (ph) was fined 6,000 pounds last week for a comment he made. And players just need to be more careful.


MCKAY: Yeah, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said as much, Jonathan. He said that, you know, he believes Ferdinand's punishment is a reflection of the dangers that star players have when they take to social media and express themselves.

MANN: He had a point. Just need to be more careful.

Let's talk about football. Start the season. Man City, ManU, who do you like?

MCKAY: It doesn't matter who I like. I think I turned to the advice and the thoughts of Manchester City's manager, Robert Mancini. He says the nod, even though his team is the defending champions, he thinks the nod goes to their cross town rival. As you'll hear next hour on World Sport, Robert Mancini says Manchester United has the title edge this coming season.

You know, the addition of the gentleman that you just mentioned there, Robin Van Persie who scored 30 goals last season for Arsenal certainly gives United the offensive punch pairing Van Persie with Wayne Rooney. Manchester United, at least in Roberto Mancini's eyes believe it will create on of the best and greatest partnerships in the Premier League.

So, you know, I'll go with what the Manchester City boss believes. Manchester United, the frontrunner for the title.

It all gets going this weekend and early next week.

MANN: Makes for an intriguing interview. We'll be looking forward to it.

MCKAY: Yeah, next hour.

MANN: Mark McKay, thanks very much.

Still to come, though, on this edition of CONNECT THE WORLD, there will be an inquiry the South African president promises answers after the shooting of dozens of striking miners.

A tiger mom tells us that hard work and a bit of tough love is no bad thing if you want to make your kids succeed.

And shaking science to the bone, what dogs may be annoying, yes they are, but they've got researchers kind of excited.


MANN: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Jonathan Mann, and these are the latest headlines from CNN.

A judge in Moscow has sentenced the three members of the female punk rock band Pussy Riot to two years in prison. They were convicted of hooliganism and inciting religious hatred for performing a song critical of President Vladimir Putin after storming inside a revered Orthodox church. The women will get credit for the five months they've already served.

South African president Jacob Zuma has announced a national inquiry into the killing of 34 miners. Police opened fire on a group of armed miners at a platinum mine yesterday. They say it was self defense.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is expected to make a public statement Sunday from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador's government Thursday. British officials say they'll arrest him if he actually tries to leave the building.

The UN and Arab League have named Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi to replace Kofi Annan as the group's special envoy to Syria. He'll take the role at the end of August. Activists say at least 157 people have been killed in Syria this day alone.

It was the deadliest police action in South Africa since the end of Apartheid. The nation is in shock today over the killing of 34 striking miners. Tensions at the mine had been building for days, escalating after two police officers were killed by mine workers. Our Nkepile Mabuse explains how it all ended in a hail of bullets.


NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nbanta Kuza (ph) is desperate. Her husband, a worker at Lonmin Mine, is missing. "My children are asking about their father," she tells me. "He hasn't come back home.

Nbanta's husband was among the striking South African miners whose confrontation with the police on Thursday left 34 dead and some 80 injured. She says her nine-year-old son is convinced he saw his father being shot dead on TV. We went with her to the local hospital, like many families, looking for husbands, brothers, and fathers.

Tension at Lonmin mine began to build a week ago when miners stopped work, demanding more pay. By Thursday, authorities were no longer prepared to accept the occupation of the mine.

XOLI MNGAMBI, ENEWS REPORTER: We saw a whole group of them, police officers, carrying massive guns, R-5s, we understand, and they just moved in immediately. Now --

MABUSE (on camera): Were they provoked?

MNGAMBI: We cannot say to you that the police were provoked.


MABUSE (voice-over): What followed was killing reminiscent of the Apartheid era. The mine's owner, Lonmin, blames the violence, which had already claimed ten lives, on labor union rivalry.

Many of the striking miners had armed themselves with knives, clubs and, according to police, some guns. But one of them denies that workers were behind the violence, saying all they want is more money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): In South Africa, we are supposed to be free. But people who were fighting for their rights are being killed. Whether what they did was legal or illegal, they should not have died. All they want is a wage increase.

MABUSE: The national police commissioner says police used live ammunition as the last resort.

RIAH PHIYEGA, SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSIONER: This is no time for blaming. This is no time for finger-pointing. It is the time for us to mourn the sad and dark moment we're feeling as a country.

MABUSE: Nbanta Kuza's search for her husband takes her to two hospitals. Finally, she discovers her husband is listed among the injured. "I'm very happy," she says. A rare moment of relief among the mourning.

Nkepile Mabuse, CNN, Rustenburg.


MANN: You can think of the killings as a deadly eruption of South Africa's economic and political problems. Workers at the mine are currently paid between $3,500 and $6,000 a year. They're calling for their salaries to be trebled to $18,000 a year.

The mining sector as a whole accounts for nearly one fifth of the country's economy, 18 percent of the GDP. One million South African workers depend on it for their jobs. National unemployment is at 25 percent. Last month, the World Bank downgraded its growth forecast for South Africa, down from 3.1 percent to 2.5 percent. South Africa needs those mines.

Let's get some perspective on the story, now, from the editor-in-chief of South Africa's "Mail and Guardian." Nic Dawes joins us now from Johannesburg. Is it clear to you what happened and why?

NIC DAWES, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "MAIL AND GUARDIAN": There are proximate causes and there are deeper causes. Some of those economic issues you described, profound inequality, a breakdown in authority on the part of the unions, a pretty tough attitude by mine management. Those are some of the causes.

But certainly it looks like what happened at the mine yesterday evening is that the police were not in control of the situation, were not properly trained, and used force that was grossly out of proportion.

MANN: Now, some people are likening it to the massacres of the Apartheid era. Does that resonate with you?

DAWES: It's impossible in South Africa to see police firing into a crowd of protesters and not remember killings like Sharpeville. But this is a very different time, these are different people, it's a different government. And I think it's important that we not be too casual with the analogies.

But look, for South Africans and people around the world, I think seeing those scenes sparks very deep and very painful memories.

MANN: And yet, this situation is so different. The unions, the mines, were the backbone of the African National Congress. What happened to that relationship?

DAWES: Well, for me, I think that's one of the big stories here. The African National Congress and the unions have been a very tight political alliance in all of the years since democracy, and that alliance has -- and its credibility has enabled them to secure compromise and ensure that negotiations happen in a peaceful way, and also in a more or less economically sustainable way, even in very tough situations.

And my impression is that some of the credibility of the unions and, indeed, of the ANC, with ordinary working people has been eroded by the growth in inequality in South Africa, by the perceived corruption and failures of delivery by the state.

And that we are seeing some of the consequences of that now, because the unions were not capable of getting their members to stand down. And that's something they've usually been able to do in the past.

MANN: Now, you've touched on a lot of important ground, there, but let me ask you about the crucial fact in all of this. How widespread is the frustration with the ANC and the transformation of the country, the transformation of millions of lives, that never really materialized?

DAWES: Well, on the one hand, I think many people feel that their lives have changed for the better and many houses have been built and electricity has been delivered to people, and water. But for a huge number of South Africans, the promise of freedom hasn't fully been delivered on.

And they see their political leaders and people in business, whether it's the old white elite or a new elite, accumulating huge money, politicians driving around in very smart cars, and people are deeply angry. And we're seeing a very wide array of smaller protests flaring up all around the country over issues like water, sanitation, electricity, wages, et cetera.

MANN: Well, to that point, Jacob Zuma, he's rushing back from an overseas trip, he's ordered an inquiry. But this doesn't -- well, it puts him in a tough position. He's in a tough position trying to match up to all of these expectations. But what does he do now?

DAWES: Well, he needs to be seen to be taking some substantive action and some honest action. I don't think South Africans are really going to settle for words like, "I'm shocked and appalled" and words like "Let's have an inquiry."

We've got a lot of inquiries going on in this country into the alleged corruption around the arms deal, for example, that have been dragging on for a long time. And I'm not sure the people -- we need an inquiry, clearly. But I'm not sure that that's going to be enough for people. People need to see substantive action about how are we going to move forward on these issues.

MANN: Well, let me ask you, longer term, there is no quick resolution to these issues. These inequalities are very, very entrenched. I don't think anyone can snap their fingers and make the poor of South Africa prosperous. How much patience do the people of South Africa, who have endured so much, how much patience do they have?

DAWES: Patience is the big issue. People have been patient for a long time with the liberation movement that brought them their freedom, and they've been prepared to say, "We trust you to get this right."

Increasingly, that trust has been eroded. And the trouble is that people don't necessarily turn to neat and tidy opposition political parties and constitutional solutions. Some people turn, perhaps, to a violent and badly-managed upstart union movement, or to radical protest.

And what needs to happen is that political vacuum has to be filled by credible leadership, leadership that stands out against corruption, that takes the considerable resources that South Africa has -- and South Africa has many resources -- and says even though the platinum economy is in decline, ever though there are difficulties, we have quite a bit of money in this country.

We need to spend it honestly and efficiently to make people's lives better. That's the only thing that'll calm the situation in the long run.

MANN: And that is the challenge. Nic Dawes of the "Mail and Guardian," thanks so much for talking with us.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up after the break, the children who seem to excel at everything from gymnastics to math, is it parenting? We'll explain.


MANN: Welcome back, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Jonathan Mann. And we've got a question for you and your children. Here's the question: what makes a country successful?

China has one of the world's strongest economies, its people excel in everything from sports to education. Their sporting prowess could be attributed, perhaps, to the strict training that begins in childhood. China's recent success in the Olympics a strong argument the company -- or rather, the country did win 88 medals.

Well, that same attention to detail can be seen in the way children are taught. Both at school and at home, learning by rote. China frequently tops international educational tables. But their system doesn't necessarily leave a lot of time for fun.

We mention that because Becky Anderson spoke to controversial author and mother and lawyer, Amy Chua. In her book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," she advocates what she calls assuming strength in children, and she says that a bit of tough love is good for them.


AMY CHUA, AUTHOR, "BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER": I think -- for me, I'm just -- this is my own analysis -- I think all four women really managed to hit so big in the wild, wild East because they found a way to combine the best of East and West.

So, all four of them were absolutely in love with the West. They had terrible childhoods in China, really miserable. Parents who made them cry and hold up signs declaring self criticism. One woman slept next to a pig sty during the cultural revolution.

But they all made their way to the west and just kind of fell in love with the dynamism, the openness. And some of those spend up to five years in the West, and they brought it back to China. And I think it's that synergy, combining the qualities of creativity and innovation with some really traditional Chinese value like endurance and hard work. I mean, boy, did these women endure hardship.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And it's the sort of -- perhaps not hardship, but the sort of strict parenting and endurance is something that you've advocated. Would this not work on children who aren't from a Chinese background? Some people have said that. Do you agree?

CHUA: No. I -- first of all, I don't really advocate strict parenting. I really think -- my husband came from a very open, liberal household, not strict, and he was great. But I do think that people judge too harshly the other way. You can produce dynamic, very happy people if you're a strict, traditional parent also.

And one of the things that's interesting about these women is that they had resilience. And that's something that I think we in the West can learn. We don't want our kids to give up after one failure. I have had so many rejections in my life, you know?

And you want them to be able to pick themselves up off the floor and say, look, hard work can overcome almost anything. I'm going to try again.

ANDERSON: How do you define success?

CHUA: It would be happiness and having meaningful relationships and contributing to other people. And I think to me, this is one of the most -- I don't know, the biggest misunderstandings about what I think Tiger Parenting is.

Because in the end, I don't think it's about achievement and big medals and A's. I really think it's about helping your child realize their potential and teaching them that they are capable of so much more than they think. And if they just don't whine and make excuses and take responsibility, they can do pretty much anything.

ANDERSON: Yes, let's talk about your youth. When you look around at the kids today, and even people of your generation, and perhaps mine as well, what do you say is missing or differs from your experience?

CHUA: I think the biggest difference is that my parents definitely assumed strength rather than weakness in me. They just thought I could do it. So, they were brutally honest. I would come back with a -- I don't know, an OK score -- and they'd say, "That's not good enough."

And they didn't worry that by saying that they would crush my self esteem and I would just pass out. And it may not work for everyone, but it really, actually, built a lot of strength in me. It made me feel like -- that I could do it.

ANDERSON: The model you advocate -- and I'm going to get really simplistic about this -- is based on the sort of belief that Chinese kids are indebted to their parents. And so it is -- it is their duty, as it were, to succeed. Is that too simple, do you think, and why is that?

CHUA: I was actually trying to be a little funny. I really don't think that we have life indebtedness to our parents, in prison to them. But let me just say this. I think maybe, how about a balance?

Sometimes I think kids these days, they are incredibly not grateful to their parents. And I sort of feel like, look. If we as parents, we don't respect ourselves, we're afraid to say, "Look! Look what I've done for you! Look at this great birthday party I threw for you." Then, if we don't respect ourselves, then how will our children respect us?

ANDERSON: And quickfire questions, here. So, I'm going to take you forward. When your kids are 21, how will they describe how their childhood was, do you think? In a word.

CHUA: Happy. Tough but happy. One word, OK, I've got three. But I think they'll think tough but happy.


MANN: Tough but happy. Amy Chua, author of "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother."

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, find out why the classic dog shake may actually be better than your hair dryer.


MANN: A hero's welcome. British Olympic champion Jessica Ennis, greeted by nearly 20,000 fans as she returned to her home city of Sheffield. Trees and lampposts were painted gold as fans gathered across the city to celebrate the 26-year-old's gold medal victory in the heptathlon.

The Olympic champion became the poster girl for Britain in the buildup to the London Games, and she didn't disappoint. Cheered by her home fans, Jessica Ennis leaped, hopped, and ran to victory. She also sat down with Alex Thomas to talk about whether she ever felt the pressure.


JESSICA ENNIS, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: It was a lot of pressure, definitely. I was really aware of it, because I don't think there was any way I couldn't, to be honest. It was -- people just really expected me to win and to do well.

It was still a great position to be in, though, because I'd not experienced anything like that before, and missing the last Olympics, I wasn't a part of that at all. So, all the way along, I just kept thinking, I'd rather be in this position than at home injured, like the last time. So, I just kind of tried to use all that pressure and turn it into positiveness and support.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You feel like you were under pressure to be a celebrity as well as a great athlete who would go on to win gold at these Games?

ENNIS: Not so much a celebrity, just -- I just felt pressure that people just really wanted me to win that gold medal. And it was just important for me to just remain focused, and I knew how hard it was going to be.

It's not just one day, it's two days of really tough competition, and I knew that I just had to really keep my eye on the ball and not get distracted by what other people expected of me.

THOMAS: Because everyone that knows you says you're very nice and you're very normal. So, that is hard, isn't it, when your performances at your job -- it's a very glamorous job and a very high-profile job, but that is what it is at the end of the day, you've got to be professional about it -- leads to all these sort of extra pressures outside of it all?

You've handled it very well, because you've got gold. Are you prepared for what's to follow now?

ENNIS: I'm not quite sure what's to follow, to be honest. It's somewhere that I've never been before. And obviously, things have changed in the past few months leading into the Games, and it's kind of been a build-up.

Obviously, I don't want to change. I want to keep, if I could, the same in the way I am. But I also want to enjoy some of the things that are going to come up, as well, as a result of this. But more than anything, I'm just so happy and relieved that I was able to get the gold, and that was the most important thing to me.

THOMAS: Who's been the most famous person to congratulate you?

ENNIS: I've had just yesterday met Jamie Oliver, which was quite nice. I'm a massive fan of Jamie Oliver, I'm always cooking his stuff at home. So, it was brilliant to see him, and he was just saying he watched and how amazing it was, so that was very surreal.

THOMAS: No call from the prime minister?

ENNIS: I've not had a call from the prime minister, no. No, not yet.

THOMAS: That's the thing. President Obama calls American athletes all the time.

ENNIS: Does he? I'll have to have a word, then.


MANN: You'd expect at least the prime minister. Well, in tonight's Parting Shots, it may be annoying for their owners, but wet dogs are firing up some researchers in the US. They've been studying the science behind the classic dog shake. You know what we mean. Jeanne Moos has a look.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It may not be research that's earth-shaking, but it's definitely dog-shaking and pig-shaking and even rat-shaking.

Most of us try to avoid getting showered by the dog shake. But researchers at Georgia Tech decided to study it.

DAVID HU, DOCTOR, GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY: They can actually do a miraculous job of drying themselves.

MOOS: They used a high-speed camera to record the shakes, resulting in images so stirring that the journal "Nature" put them to waltz music.


MOOS: A mouse shakes around 30 times per second.

HU: They basically compensate for their size by shaking faster.

MOOS: While dogs shake about four times a second, leaving them 70 percent dry within one to four seconds.

MOOS (on camera): Now, we humans don't want loose flesh. But on a dog, it comes in handy.

MOOS (voice-over): That loose skin increases the speed at which the water is whipped away. While the dog's backbone goes back and forth only 30 degrees --

HU: The skin will go back and forth 90 degrees to the right and 90 degrees to the left. And that's only possible because it's loose enough to perform this whipping action around the body.

MOOS: Increasing the force nine times, mammals have mastered what Devo preached back in the 80s.


MOOS: Hey, a vigorous whipping sure beats sitting under the blow dryer. The researchers even went to the zoo and recorded a lion. Dr. David Hu says furry mammals probably developed the shaking mechanism to avoid staying wet and getting hypothermia. Goats do it. Even sheep shake.

HU: The sheep has some style when it shakes.

MOOS: A Georgia Tech team even managed to x-ray shaking. This guy looks like a rat at a disco.

MOOS (on camera): Now, maybe you think a big butt is easier to shake.


MOOS: But try telling that to a kangaroo.

MOOS (voice-over): It's built for hopping, not shaking.

HU: It can't really shake. It has this sort of large buttocks, kangaroo buttocks, and it just can't shake that around. So, it just shakes its head.

MOOS: Hey, whose butt are you calling big?

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.



MANN: I'm Jonathan Mann and that was our shake at CONNECT THE WORLD, thanks for joining us. The headlines are next after this short break.