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CONNECT THE WORLD

Ukrainian Paralympian Forced To Give Up Gold; Michelle Obama Gives Rousing Speech At DNC

Aired September 5, 2012 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


MONITA RAJPAL, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, scared by still alive, the little boy pulled from the rubble of Syria's shelling, saved only by his mother's body.

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

RAJPAL: And tonight an exclusive interview with Turkey's prime minister warns that Syria's civil war could yet take a dramatic turn for the worst.

Also this hour, it is one of the richest country's in the world, so why is a new campaign highlighting child poverty in Britain?

And...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM BERNERS-LEE, WORLD WIDE WEB FOUNDATION: For those people who don't have it now, it's unfair.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAJPAL: The creator of the World Wide Web on how two-thirds of the globe still find his invention a mystery.

We begin this hour in Syria where new attacks today have killed at least 246 people across the country. Thick smoke in Zabadani after apparent shelling by government forces. Opposition activists also report fierce attacks on rebel strongholds in Aleppo. They say civilians, including children, are bearing the brunt of relentless shelling in Syria's biggest city.

Well, indiscriminate shelling happens so often that it appears to be a chosen tactic of the Bashar al-Assad regime. One such recent attack in Aleppo sent people racing to search for loved one trapped under the rubble of crushed buildings. CNN's Nick Paton-Walsh has an exclusive report on the aftermath. And we do warn you it has some very graphic and disturbing images.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dawn in Aleppo brings the clatter of gunfire above, a people hunted by the regime's helicopter gunships. And as dusk nears, it is to the roar of bomber jets.

It's that sound that terrifies ordinary residents of Aleppo daily: jets coming in low overhead and never knowing really until you hear the blast exactly what their target is.

There seems to be no pattern to the attacks unless they are designed to sow fear among the civilians.

A helicopter we heard earlier may have fired the rocket that hit this house. It's fathers and neighbors here frantically coordinating the rescue. Hands and shovels, inside a building that could still collapse onto them.

They say the air strike came in about four hours ago, but still they're racing frantically to pull they say nine people still stuck under that rubble, including a father and child.

Throughout, also, the fear the helicopter could strike again. They find the first body. The little girl is lifeless. The blanket providing little dignity. Near her, moments later, they find her father's body.

"I swear to god we've been destroyed," this woman screams. "I swear to god Bashar al-Assad is killing us."

Then, at the hospital where more bodies from the rubble are brought, the toll of the missiles becomes clear. Five, later nine, children, aged from four to 11 from the same extended family. In all, 11 people died.

Then, a brief respite from the carnage, one lone survivor.

"God is great," he says, "Bashar is a dog." God willing, he'll witness Bashar's death.

They say Hussein survived because when the rockets hit, he was feeding from the breast of his mother Narja (ph). She was crushed under the rubble and killed, but her body protected him. A year old, he was born into Syria's bloody revolution and may yet survive it still.

Nick Paton-Walsh, CNN, Aleppo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: And tomorrow you can see more of Nick's exclusive reporting from Aleppo. He'll show us how rebels are fighting to take control of a once picturesque street in the city.

Well, Syria's influential neighbor, Turkey, says the biggest threat from Syria right now involves weapons of mass destruction. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sat down with CNN's Christiane Amanpour for an exclusive interview. And I asked Christiane a short time ago for details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, indeed he does say that that would be a red line. If Syria was to use its stockpile of weapons of mass descruction, then he said that would change the equation, which at the moment stands at no action by the international community. This is how he said it to me.

TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRIME MINISTER OF TURKEY (through translator): One of the biggest things, and not only for Turkey, but the entire region and the world is that he is not (inaudible) information is the deployment of weapons of mass destruction, and chemical ones, of course.

If the slightest suggestion of such an attempt should emerge, not only Turkey, but the attitude of the entire globe is going to change forever. And that's my biggest concern.

AMANPOUR: Do you think the weapons of mass destruction are under control right now? Do you think it's possible that Assad would use them or that they would get into the hands of terrorists?

ERDOGAN (through translator): In the light of the intelligence that we have received so far, they are still being possessed by the regime. They are secure within the regime's possession right now, but if you were to ask me if those weapons of mass destruction could be used against the people of Syria, in the light of everything that we have seen so far, I can say, yes, those weapons can e used against the people of Syria.

AMANPOUR: Monita, Prime Minister Erdogan made it very clear that he's getting increasingly frustrated with the fact that the world is doing nothing to intervene to stop the slaughter. He complained bitterly about how the current security council at the UN is set up saying that just one veto can make the whole world's will invalid.

And he also said, of course, that he would want a no-fly zone in order to be able to patrol a safe zone, a buffer zone, for Syrians who are fleeing the carnage. He said, though, that will take the whole of the five permanent members of the security council to agree. And that doesn't seem to be forthcoming, Monita.

RAJPAL: What about the role, or the lack thereof, of the United States in this crisis?

AMANPOUR: Well, you know, Prime Minister Erdogan has a good relationship with President Obama. He was reluctant to criticize, openly, the president or the administration. But when I asked him if, in fact, had the U.S. been leading as it did, for instance, in Kosovo and other instances, would Turkey have gotten on board with some kind of more muscular, more robust intervention? I asked him did he think that the fact that the U.S. was in an election season, did that have an effect on the lack of action?

ERDOGAN (through translator): Right now, there are certain things we expect from the United States. And the United States had not catered to those expectations. Maybe it's because of the elections, maybe it's because of the pre-election situation in the states, might be the root cause of this lacking of initiative. Nobody has spoken to us about their reasons. And they are not obliged to state anything. We are very (inaudible).

And please, they have stated that they're against this regime.

AMANPOUR: Monita, Turkey has taken in, according to the prime minister, 100,000 Syrians fleeing the carnage. And the number keeps growing. And they're having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build refugee camps and all those things that are necessary to sustain decent life for these people who are fleeing their own homeland.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: Christiane Amanpour speaking to me earlier.

And you can see Christiane's full interview with Recep Tayyip Erdogan straight after this program. That's 10:00 pm here in London, 11:00 pm for you in Berlin, only here on CNN.

Still to come tonight, the eagle has landed. The U.S. president touches down ahead of his formal nomination at the Democratic National Convention. We'll bring you the latest next.

Then, prosecutors are hitting the gas pedal in the gas against British Petroleum. We'll have more on why two years since the Deepwater Horizon accident the case is just starting to fire up.

And blinded by a bomb just a year ago, a former U.S. soldier grabs gold and glory in London.

We'll have all that and much more when Connect the World continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RAJPAL: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World.

Hello, I'm Monita Rajpal, welcome back.

All eyes will be on former U.S. president Bill Clinton tonight at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. He will officially nominate Barack Obama as the party's candidate for November's presidential election.

The president himself touched down in Charlotte ahead of his acceptance speech tomorrow.

CNN's Isha Sesay is at the convention and she joins us now live.

So a lots happening there, Isha there. We've got Bill Clinton and a change of arena.

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, absolutely. Mother Nature is non-partisan and she isn't cooperating with the DNC. We saw all the commotion she caused with the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida last weekend. Here, again, she has scrapped plans for the DNC. President Obama was expected, or scheduled to accept his party's nomination at Bank of America stadium, an outdoor setting that could accommodate more than 70,000 people. Earlier on today, the Democratic National Committee announced that that would no longer be happened, because they were concerned of severe weather problems tomorrow, Thursday. Now it will all happen here at the Time Warner Cable Arena where we are.

The big concern is that this is a much smaller space, really it's set up to seat about 20,000 people. So we have to see how they're going to accommodate all those people that have received tickets for the president's speech. But tonight it's all about the featured speaker, former president Bill Clinton. And there is so much excitement about this speech, because Monita, let's be honest, Bill Clinton is a rock star in Democratic circles. And speaking more broadly, this is a man with extremely high approval rating in the country as a whole. In fact, he's one of the most popular political figures in the U.S. today.

The hope is that the man known as the great communicator will step onto the stage behind me. And when he does so, does so, he will reawaken memories of a time when this country was at peace. It was prosperous. There was a budget surplus. And with that, he will recreate those feelings and also hopefully stir in ordinary Americans the belief that Barack Obama could do the same things for them.

This is a speech we expect will be very strong. He will endorse President Obama's plan to turn around this economy. And he will say he has the right plan to champion the middle class. And also the expectation is that he will draw a sharp contrast with Republicans and basically say they have the wrong plan when they say that the answer to the economic problems are broad tax cuts and a cut in government spending.

It's widely anticipated. He's a great communicator. We'll see whether he does, indeed, boost the president's election hopes tonight and how he does it, Monita.

RAJPAL: Yeah, these conventions are often all about gaining momentum and stirring emotion among the electorate. With Bill Clinton there, that will certainly do that for the DNC.

But perhaps what started it all was last night's speech by the first lady.

SESAY: Yeah, no doubt about that. That was an extremely powerful performance, powerful, stirring speech by the first lady. Like Bill Clinton, she has an extremely high approval rating here in the states, over 60 percent. So she came to the convention and was in unique standing among others that were speaking over the next three nights, over the course of three nights I should say.

And she had a big task. She had to connect with women voters in a critical November vote. She had to sell her husband's personal story. And really convince middle America that he has the best interests at heart.

Take a listen to some of what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: He believes that when you've worked hard and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. No, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: It was an emotional speech, Monita. People were roaring, screaming here in the arena. I spoke to several people that were actually here and heard the speech as it played out last night. And they are all almost still buzzing from the emotion of it all. And really the reviews have been outstanding for the first lady. And according to one that I read, she's given Americans a reason to fall in love with their husband once again, Monita.

RAJPAL: All right, Isha, thank you very much for that. Isha Sesay there in Charlotte, North Carolina.

And do stay watching CNN for extensive coverage of the Democratic National Convention. We will be live in Charlotte, North Carolina tonight starting at midnight in London, 1:00 for you in Berlin. It is all part of our America's Choice coverage of the 2012 U.S. presidential election.

Until then, let's take a look at what -- other stories are making headlines and connections on our world tonight.

A tsunami warning has been canceled after a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Costa Rica. According to the U.S. Geological Survey the quake's epicenter was 140 kilometers west of the capital San Jose. At least one person has died, a woman in her 50s, authorities say from a heart attack.

Libya's former chief of intelligence has been handed over to Libyan authorities. Abdullah al-Senussi was arrested in Mauritania in March when he arrived using a false passport. He is one of the most wanted men of the former regime who fled Libya after Moammar Gadhafi was killed last year. Al-Senussi is also wanted by the ICC for alleged crimes against humanity.

Corruption charges for a former Chinese police official at the center of a major political scandal. Wang Linjun was once the right-hand man of disgraced politician Bo Xilai whose wife was convicted last month in the killing of Britain businessman. Wang sough asylum in a U.S. consulate in February when details began emerging about the killing. And the former police chief also faces charges of abuse of power and defection.

BFM TV reports that four people have been found shot dead in a British registered car in eastern France. The report also says that a girl was found seriously injured beside the bodies near Chevaline close to the Swiss border. Britain foreign office spokesperson tells CNN that the incident is being looked into.

The U.S. justice department -- Department of Justice, I should say, is accusing oil giant BP of gross negligence in the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill two years ago. In a memo filed with Louisiana court, it further attacked the company saying that a culture of corporate recklessness added to the disaster. BP denies the charges, but if the DOJ has its way the company could face enormous new costs. CNN's Jim Boulden reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: To get a sense just how strongly the U.S. Department of Justice plans to prove gross negligence on the part of VP look no further than a few choice quotes in the 39 page memorandum filed a few days ago in the Louisiana court.

Now in response to emails from BP executives sent before the April 2010 explosion, government lawyers have wrote that the words and actions of these executives would, quote, not be tolerated in a middling sized company manufacturing dry goods for sale in a suburban mall.

And government lawyers also wrote that a routine test performed just before the deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig was, quote, so stunningly, blindingly botched in so many ways by so many people that that demonstrates gross negligence.

Now BP says it wasn't gross negligence and a civil trial begins next January. And a finding of gross negligence could under U.S. law cost BP an enhanced fine of more than $20 billion on top of all the other costs. A lot riding on that one phrase.

Jim Boulden, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: German ministers joined Israeli survivors to mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympics massacre. Flags flew at half mast in some parts of Germany today and wreaths were laid inside the Olympic village where Palestinian gunmen seized and killed Israeli athletes in 1972. A minute silence was also observed inside London's Olympic Village led by British prime minister David Cameron.

We are taking a short break here on Connect the World, but when we come back he is rich. He is good looking. And he plays for one of the best teams in the world. So what is eating Christiano Ronaldo?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RAJPAL: Welcome back.

You are watching connect the world live from London. I'm Monita Rajpal. Christiano Ronaldo denies that his complaint about being glum at Real Madrid is a ploy to get more money from the club. The 27 year old sparked a global media storm when he confessed to be sad at the Bernabau explaining that's why he didn't celebrate following his two goals in his club's 3-0 win over Grenada on Sunday.

Well, Mark McKay has more now on this from CNN Center. And Mark, why is he sad?

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORREPESPONDENT: Well, we don't really know, Monita. You know, we're just going to have to keep endeavoring into this story, because those of us in the media, you know, sometimes we like to stir things up. We immediately thought, that yeah, perhaps it had to do with a salary issue considering that Ronaldo's current salary with his club Real Madrid of 10 million euros a year puts him 10th on the world list. Maybe he wanted money, but as many athletes tend to do these days, Ronaldo took the Facebook and Twitter to deny any financial motives are behind his misery.

In fact Ronaldo tweeted, "I'm accused of wanting more money, but one day it'll be shown that this is not the case. At this point, I just want to guarantee to the Real Madrid fans that my motivation, dedication, commitment and desire to win all competitions will not be affected. I have too much respect for myself and for Real Madrid to ever give less to the club than all I am capable of." He concluded by sending hugs to his Madrid supporters.

The thing about it, Monita, Ronaldo did not explain publicly why he's glum saying only it is professional, not personal.

RAJPAL: Interesting, indeed.

Another person might be glum as well, particularly at the Paralympics. A Ukrainian having to give up her gold medal.

MCKAY: Yeah, she's devastated by this, Monita. A Ukrainian Paralympic discus thrower thought she had won gold, she instead was relegated to silver and she's devastated. Last week, Maria Pomazan won what she thought was the gold in the F35, 36 discus at the London Paralympic Games. Then came what organizers called inaccurate results data that put the gold in a Chinese competitors hands. The Ukrainian won silver. And as you might imagine, she doesn't understand how this could have happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIA POMAZAN, PARALYMPIAN (through translator): When I got to know that now I placed second, that was a real shock. I couldn't understand what is going on, like why -- what is happening at the moment, because I was totally sure that during the competition after the medal ceremony is placed, this is official result. How can it change in anyhow, anyway?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCKAY: So, but to put it all behind her, Monita and win gold in the women's shot put on Sunday.

I'll see you for World Sport in about an hour.

RAJPAL: All right. Sounds good. All right, Mark, thank you very much for that.

Still to come here on Connect the World, going for gold, one wounded soldier's remarkable journey to London's Paralympic Games.

And for most of us it's a daily tool we just couldn't live without, but you might be surprised to find out just how few people have access to the World Wide Web. We'll have that story still to come.

And also why a charity that traditionally focuses on helping young people in the developing world is now turning its attention to the UK. That story and much more still to come.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RALPAL: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Monita Rajpal and these are the latest world headlines from CNN.

Syrian activists say at least 246 people were killed across the country today, almost half of those deaths came in Aleppo. Activists say troops have been pounding neighborhoods controlled by rebels resulting in many civilian casualties.

A major earthquake struck Costa Rica Wednesday morning but did not cause major damage. At least one death from a heart attack is attributed to the quake. Buildings were evacuated and tsunami warnings were issued along the Pacific side of the Americas, but they have since been canceled.

One of the most wanted members of Muammar Gadhafi's fallen regime is now in Libyan custody. Mauritania has handed over former intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Senussi. Al-Senussi was arrested in Mauritania back in March for entering the country illegally.

A former Chinese police chief is facing criminal charges. Wang Lijun once worked for disgraced politician Bo Xilai, but in February, he fled to a US consulate, who reportedly broke the scandal that led to last month's murder conviction against his boss' wife.

Save the Children is best known for helping some of the world's poorest families. It may come as a surprise, though, to hear the charity is launching its first-ever campaign in the UK to help feed and clothe a growing number of kids.

Child poverty is, of course, relative depending on where you live in the world, but the charity says some children in the UK are missing out on essentials like warm coats and regular hot meals. Matthew Chance has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It may be one of the world's richest countries, but pockets of Britain are increasingly gripped by poverty. This Save the Children campaign highlights one part of the problem: kids from impoverished homes doing worse at schools.

Amid a recession, Britain's poorest children, says the charity, are missing out on essentials like toys, school trips, and new shoes.

CHRIS WELLINGS, HEAD OF UK POVERTY, SAVE THE CHILDREN: Poverty in the UK is different to poverty in some of the poorest countries in the world. It's about children participating fully in society.

But we are starting to see that with the rising pressures on families at the moment around high unemployment, around rising living costs, around government cuts, we are starting to see that families need to provide the basics, and they're struggling to do that.

CHANCE: Families like Natalie and her two-year-old son, Noah. An unemployed single mum, Natalie says her state benefits don't even pay the bills.

NATALIE, UNEMPLOYED SINGLE MOTHER: It's cold here. I've got jumpers to keep warm in the house and blankets rather than turn the fire on or turn the radiators on. We just can't afford to run them.

CHANCE: There's even a growing problem in Britain with food. Unemployed or overburdened with debt, aid workers say thousands of British families are turning to food banks like this one outside London for basic supplies. The charity puts together hampers for people finding it difficult to feed their families alone.

CHANCE (on camera): Well, this is the kind of food you can expect when a charity in Britain packs your weekly food bags. There are some over here that have already been prepared. You can see there's some milk, some teabags, some biscuits, as well.

Over here, some chopped tomatoes in a can. Some baked beans. Pasta ready to be cooked. Lots of other things. It's all expected to last between seven and ten days for a single family, so it's not that much. But charities are saying that as the global recession intensifies, more and more British families will be dependent on handouts like these just to survive.

CHANCE (voice-over): The British government says it's committed to eradicating child poverty. Save the Children complains they're not doing enough. And this first British fundraising campaign, says the charity, may keep some children here off the poverty line.

Matthew Chance, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: Well, last year in the UK, food banks run by the organization Trussell Trust fed over 128,000 people. That's 100 percent more than they did in 2010. I want you to take a look at this map here of the UK. The green pins show just where the food banks are across the country, and the pink pins are showing you just where they want to plan -- to open in the future.

A lot of these -- many of those are in the northern city of Manchester, where in 2010 nearly half of the children were in poverty. That's according to the campaign to end child poverty.

We're joined now by Laurence Chandy, and expert in global economy and development from the Brookings Institution. Thank you very much for being with us, Mr. Chandy. These children in the UK are going without essential items, and that is, indeed, a growing concern. But are they considered poor if you compare them to children in Bangladesh or Niger?

LAURENCE CHANDY, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Well, it's not really a fair comparison. I think you spelled that out well in the introductory piece. When we talk about poverty in the developing world, we use an absolute poverty line of a dollar a day. It doesn't matter -- whether the country grows richer over time, we stick with that same measure.

Whereas in the UK, like in other Western countries, we use a relative measure of poverty, which does change over time, it does change with the fortunes of the other people in the economy. And at the moment, the UK's poverty line is equivalent to around $10 a day.

So, it's really a very different figure, and it reflects a very different experience being in poverty in the West compared to being in poverty in the developing world.

RAJPAL: OK. When we talk about poverty in the West, then, the UK is not the only developed country suffering tough economic times. In June, CNN reported on an orphanage in Athens which has seen a surge in the number of Greek families unable to feed and clothe their kids. And a single mother told us giving up her children was painful but the best option.

CHANDY: So, I think --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KASSIANI PAPADOPUOLOU, SINGLE MOTHER (through translator): It's really difficult. Really tragic for a true mother to leave her children. But when you understand they are not at fault and deserve a future, it's better to make a move like this than have them beside you without even a plate of food.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAJPAL: Well, sorry for interrupting you, there, Mr. Chandy. We were looking there what the kind of situation that we're seeing in the West when we are comparing the poverty lines in the West. Of course, we have been talking about the developing world.

I guess when it's a situation like this, it is -- we need to put it in perspective in terms of the global scale of poverty and children that are suffering within the poverty line itself. How, then, do you explain that to, say, families that are living in other parts of the world where they don't have access to as much as, say, we do here in the West?

CHANDY: Well, I think that the -- I think that the types of poverty we see in the developing world are, of course, extremely serious. They reflect situations where people are literally --

(CROSSTALK)

RAJPAL: But we're not just talking about the developing world --

CHANDY: -- fighting for their survival.

RAJPAL: -- we're talking about, say, here in Europe in itself, the dire economic crisis happening right now. Families are evening having to give up their children and put them up for adoption.

CHANDY: Well that's -- that's a very extreme situation. I think that the types of examples listed in the Save the Children reports are much more around families whose kids aren't fulfilling their potential, who face daily hardships. And those are really serious.

But I think it's important to distinguish the two types of -- the two types of poverty we're talking about. It doesn't help to muddle them together. It doesn't help to muddle them together when we think about how the government in the UK should be allocating its resources between poverty at home and poverty overseas, because they clearly are quite different things.

RAJPAL: How did it get to this point here in the UK when you've had governments -- both of -- all the political parties, whether it was under Tony Blair, the Labour Party under Tony Blair, promising to eradicate poverty by 2020, and even the coalition government now under David Cameron saying that they want to do the same thing. So, how did it get to this point?

CHANDY: Well, I think that the government under Tony Blair had very good intentions in believing that it would be able to make serious strides against child poverty. It did have some success, but much less than it hoped.

And I think that's because eliminating the kind of poverty we have -- in the UK and in other Western countries is extremely hard to do. There isn't a silver bullet, there isn't a simple fix. It's not simply a matter of resources, either.

You talked a little bit about the regional disparities of income in the UK and the fact that some families simply seem to slip through the net. There's also questions to be asked about how fair the overall economic system is in the UK.

Fixing these kinds of things are really difficult issues. They -- they don't lend themselves to such simple solutions as we have in the developing world, such as getting kids in schools, ensuring that everyone has a job, and getting kids vaccinated.

One of the really striking things in the Save the Children report is they said that a lot of these very poor families, the parents are working, but the work -- that work isn't enough to guarantee those families enough income to get out of poverty. So, even getting people employed is not the solution.

RAJPAL: Whichever way you look at it, whichever way you define it, it's still ultimately a very sad situation and a desperate situation, indeed. Mr. Chandy, thank you very much for your time. We appreciate that.

You're with CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up after the break, we visit Frankfurt Airport to find out how it deals with over 56 million passengers every year.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RAJPAL: Welcome back. Frankfurt Airport is one of the world's busiest. With over 150,000 passengers moving through it every day, operations have to be tight. Sometimes that means turning around a plane of 500 people in less than two hours, and that is no mean feat, as Becky Anderson found out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's rush hour at Frankfurt Airport. With more than 1300 planes taking off and landing here every day, the orchestrated movement of aircraft and ground traffic has to be a collaborative and tightly-coordinated effort.

KLAUS WEHLE, SUPERVISOR, FRAKFURT CONTROL TOWER: We have four runways, two terminals divided into different parts, so we have a lot of taxiing aircraft. Frankfurt is a hub, so we have several peak hours a day -- inbound peaks, outbound peaks. So, punctuality is a big issue here.

ANDERSON: Not least because Frankfurt Airport is a strategic hub for the biggest passenger plane ever built, the A380.

Ramp agent Calvin Wild is in position to ensure the timely turnaround of an inbound super jumbo carrying more than 500 passengers and some interesting cargo.

CALVIN WILD, RAMP AGENT, FRANKFURT AIRPORT: Well, on this flight, the special notes we've got on here, we've got mice onboard, and we've got some radioactive material, which we're going to have to watch out for.

This aircraft is coming from Narita and going over to Beijing. So, it's supposed to be turned around in around two hours. That's going to quick. This aircraft is rather big.

ANDERSON: Once it pulls in, it's all hands to the pump as an army of people have to ensure that the plane is cleaned, maintained, and refueled.

ANDERSON (on camera): Herr Foreman is just refueling this aircraft, the A380. It takes about an hour to refuel and can take upwards of 320,000 liters of fuel.

ANDERSON (voice-over): That's enough to fill up around 6,000 cars. While this four-engine jetliner is on the apron, sign language is the only way of communicating to the ground handlers.

WILD: There's a lot of high end finger work. Jobs are in position, ground power is available, and everybody understands. The main thing that happens is everything going smoothly and safely. It's all dangerous. Everything goes so quickly. And that's what you never have to forget.

ANDERSON: Less than two hours later, the plane is ready to depart again.

ANDERSON (on camera): This vehicle can tow or push back an aircraft weighing over 600 tons. This is no easy operation.

ANDERSON (voice-over): It can take up to 50 people to handle the turnaround of an A380 at this busy international hub. It's the efficient and seemingly flawless running of these operations that's the key to a global gateway.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, the man who brought us the World Wide Web assesses the success of his creation. Find out if he's happy with its evolution. That's up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RAJPAL: Welcome back. The World Wide Web has been part of life now for 22 years, but has it changed our lives for better or for worse? That is the question being answered by a new index which measures the impact of the web.

While many of us can't imagine life without this seemingly vital tool, the study found that only one in three people around the world are making use of the web. So we want to take a look -- a closer look, I should say - - at the findings.

Let's take a look here from the geographic perspective. Of the 61 countries here that have been -- featured in the inaugural index, these are the top ten nations the web is having the greatest impact on the social, economic, and political lives of the citizens.

No big surprise that all are Western democratic countries. Sweden -- I should give you this idea -- Sweden was ranked number one, followed by the United States, and then here in the United Kingdom. Those countries were best at keeping the web open, free, and universal.

Then, the other side of the spectrum, who were the worst? Well, these countries here in red were at the bottom of the index, most of them being in Africa. Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, and Yemen were all found to have little infrastructure and high levels of censorship, leaving their citizens largely disconnected.

Now, the new index was the brainchild of the very man who created the web back in 1990, Tim Berners-Lee. Matthew Chance caught up with him on the eve of the study's launch and began by asking whether he was pleased or disappointed with how his creation has evolved.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TIM BERNERS-LEE, WEB CREATOR: It's always been a massive, ongoing project. Whether I -- and so I've never stood back and thought, yes, we're doing all right, we're doing terrible. It's always the question, what do we have to watch out for in terms of effects and what are the natural opportunities?

So, I suppose the fact that we're bringing out this index, which is looking at how in the world the web -- it's trying to ask that question, how are we doing?

It's in a way, practically asking this worldwide question is a sign of the times. It shows instead of being just something which a few geeks started off doing or people just in English-speaking, developed countries have been doing, it's something which is happening across much of the world, for us to think, you know what? For those people who don't have it now, it's unfair, in a way.

So that that's the big -- so the fact that we can even think about that 90 percent of the world should be using it instead of just that elite set, it's a sign of how it's come of age and really become a global thing.

CHANCE: What do you think is now the greatest barrier to greater usage of the World Wide Web internationally?

BERNERS-LEE: It depends where you are. In some places, it's that there isn't very much connectivity. In some places it's that. In other places, in the developing world, the lack of a device. There may be a signal.

So the question is, can you afford the connectivity, can you afford the device? When you've got a device, can you afford to have a web browser on that? Is there information in your language, and that varies hugely by country to country.

What we try to measure is really the impact. So, socially, is the web helping you get a job? Is it helping you with your health? Is it helping with education? Is it helping with the governance of the country?

CHANCE: Have you detected, as part of this web index, an indication that there are lots of countries that are seeking to control the flow of information that's going to their citizens through the internet?

BERNERS-LEE: Well, interestingly enough, that's something which is very, very current -- a current worry. In fact, when you -- it was difficult for us to find data. Not surprisingly, when you look at a country, the countries which tend to control the internet, there's not -- there's no obvious data about it. So, measuring that is difficult.

CHANCE: Here's a question we've had from one of our Twitter followers on CNN. "The internet has brought many advantages, but do you think it's had any negative effects on social interaction?"

BERNERS-LEE: I -- I think the internet allows people to communicate, so what you get through the web is not really web pages, it's really humanity connected. So, yes. Obviously, there's good and bad out there.

I'm totally an optimist about humanity, so I think -- and my observation is that with time, the good prevails. That people end up being more respectful of people who are different from them, and people end up slowly breaking down the cultural barriers between -- which have been between warring factions and make them between people who are peaceable. So, I think in the long run, I think things are getting better.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: Tim Berners-Lee, there, speaking to CNN's Matthew Chance. So, how has the World Wide Web improved your life? Well, the team here at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you, facebook.com/CNNconnect. Have your say.

The bomb that took away his sight didn't maim one former US soldier's fighting spirit, and on Friday, Brad Snyder will mark the one-year anniversary of the explosion that blinded him by competing for his third Paralympic medal here in London. CNN's Erin McLaughlin has more on this man's truly incredible journey.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): September 7th, 2011, Kandahar, Afghanistan. An improvised explosive device, or IED, detonates, injuring two Afghan soldiers.

Twenty-eight-year-old navy lieutenant Bradley Snyder is on patrol in the area. He's five months into a ten-month tour as an explosive ordinance officer. He had already served six months in Iraq. As Snyder arrives to help evacuate the injured, a second IED explodes four feet in front of his face.

BRADLEY SNYDER, PARALYMPIC SWIMMER: I thought that I was dead. Then, once I -- once the moment extended, I realized, well, I'm probably not dead.

And actually, my vision was still there, so I was able to actually look down and see that I had both of my legs and both of my arms, and so I started to have a lot of optimism early on that the injury may be not as extensive as I'd potentially seen in others.

MCLAUGHLIN: But Snyder would never see again. Doctors had to replace both of his damaged eyes with prosthetics. He returned to the United States to begin his recovery. An avid swimmer as a kid, he now finds solace in the water.

SNYDER: I'm learning how to walk again, I'm learning how to eat things again. It's really hard to just slice up a steak when you can't see where it is. So, to hop back into the pool was -- it was a really organic experience. It was really something that I felt comfortable at.

MCLAUGHLIN: What began as a way to cope with his blindness soon became a mission: to swim at the Paralympics in London. He is now one of 20 veterans and active duty members from Iraq and Afghanistan to compete on behalf of the United States.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): What are some of the challenges of swimming without sight?

SNYDER: Physically, I'm not really detrimented at all, and my stroke is very much the same as it was when I was a sighted swimmer, but my biggest challenges is to -- I kind of doctor my technique so that I stay out of the lane line. And if I can stay crash free, I'm pretty quick.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): He's so quick, Snyder has won gold in London. He placed first in the men's 100 meter freestyle, setting a new Paralympic record in the process. He also took silver in the men's 50 meter freestyle. And on September 7th, one year to the date that Snyder lost his sight, he will swim is favorite event, the 400 meter freestyle.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): I understand you're going to be competing in seven events?

SNYDER: That's correct.

MCLAUGHLIN: Do you aim to be the Michael Phelps of the Paralympics?

SNYDER: I aim to be the Brad Snyder of the Paralympics.

(LAUGHTER)

SNYDER: What I hope to do is utilize the Paralympics as a platform to inspire other military members and to inspire others with disabilities to get out there and pursue success in other avenues. Life happens.

A lot of -- tough stuff happens, but a favorite quote of mine from a friend I lost in Iraq was "tough times don't last, but tough people do." I think that -- hopefully this story shows people that there's no reason that they can't go out and experience the happiness that they want to experience through all of the things that they want to do.

MCLAUGHLIN: Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: Brad Snyder, an incredible Paralympian.

In tonight's Parting Shots, why did the duck cross the road? Well, we're not so sure. These are the astonishing pictures of one mother duck's attempts to guide her offspring across four lanes of fast-moving traffic in Toronto.

There are a number of close calls with the feathered family, so close that at one point, the wind blown from a speeding vehicle sends the ducklings tumbling. But after a nail-biting minute or so, somehow they get to the other side safe and sound. Some very lucky ducks, indeed.

I'm Monita Rajpal, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thank you for watching. We'll bring you the world headlines next.

END