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CONNECT THE WORLD

Bond Buying Program Announced By ECB President; Fierce Battles in Aleppo, Syria; Piano Prodigy Benjamin Grosvenor; Democratic National Convention

Aired September 6, 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, Super Mario to the rescue: global stock markets surge as the ECB unveils its boldest attempt yet to save the battered EuroZone.

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

RAJPAL: It is one of the most important days in the EuroZone crisis. Tonight, we explain why using -- why using a popular board game.

Also on the show, a mysterious shooting in the French Alps leads police baffled as it emerges three of the victims were shot in the head. The latest from the murder scene coming up.

And Pistorius versus Peacock, this hour it is a battle of the blades in one of the most eagerly anticipated finals of the Paralympic Games.

Mario Draghi had pledged to do what ever it took to save the euro. And for now, at least, it seems investors believe that the European Central Bank president is delivering on his promise. Just moments ago the Dow closed up more than 240 points. On the other side of the Atlantic, European markets ended the day in a sea of green, a positive reaction to Draghi's plan to buy up short-term sovereign bonds in order to keep interest rates in struggling EuroZone countries like Spain and Italy down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIO DRAGHI, PRESIDENT, ECB: OMTs will enable us to address severe distortions in government bond markets, which originate from, in particular, unfounded fears on the part of investors of the price stability of the euro.

Hence, under a proper conditions, we will have a fully effective backstop to avoid destructive scenarios with potentially severe challenges for price stability in the euro area.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAJPAL: So how did countries like Spain and Italy get themselves in such a mess? And how could today's announcement get them out of it. Jim Boulden explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To give you a better idea of what's been announced today, let's use a Monopoly board.

Let's say the thimble here is Spain. Since joining the euro, it's been able to take advantage of the benefits of being a member of the single currency. For instance, by using its better access to cash to improve its infrastructure. But as recession hit and tax returns dried up, the money has begun to run out. And as a member of the euro, Spain lost its ability to print more money.

Worse still, the interest on the amount it needs to pay back to its lenders is becoming higher and higher.

Today's announcement means the European Central Bank can step in and try to lower Spain's interest rates by buying its bonds.

In order to get the money, Spain will have to agree to implement reforms and cuts. In other words, it'll need to downsize.

And where will the Central Bank get its money from to buy the bonds? Well, it won't just be able to print money, it will need to use the cash it already has from elsewhere.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: So is this a long-term solution to the EuroZone crisis? It seems not everyone thinks so. Here's Diana Magnay in Berlin to explain why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Mario Draghi said there was one dissenting voice on the governing council of the ECB and the (inaudible) at the German Bundesbank has made quite clear that he opposes the bond purchases, any bond purchasing program by the ECB, then it was more than likely Germany.

The problem that Germany has with any kind of bond purchasing program is that it appears to be like state financing. Mr. Draghi in the press conference made very clear that he believes that the bank was still acting within its mandate, that it was buying bonds in the secondary market, i.e. not directly from the sovereign and that it was taking these non-standard measures, because these are exceptional times in Europe and therefore justified.

Now it's very clear that this program will only function alongside either the EFSF or the ESM, the European bailout rescue mechanism. So only if a country like Spain makes a submission, makes a request to the bailout funds for help will and therefore to the attached reforms that are attached to that program, only then will Mr. Draghi consider buying up the short- term bonds of that government.

Now the Bundesbank's concern, and the concern of many people here in Germany is what happens if a country, then, doesn't stick to its reform promises, is the ECB then lumped with a whole lot of useless bonds that not even the markets wanted and now it has it. Who will it sell them on to. In recent polls by Germany Stand (ph) magazine, just under half of all Germans asked said that they didn't value Mr. Draghi much. 18 percent said that they did. And 30 percent said they didn't even know who he was.

The question is, can Mr. Draghi and the ECB through this bond purchasing program prove them wrong?

Diana Magnay, CNN, Berlin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: Well, my next guest believes Draghi's plan is a good first step, but only a temporary fix to the EuroZone crisis. Ron Hart is the managing director of wealth management at Morgan Stanley. He joins us now from CNN Center.

Mr. Hart, thank you very much for being with us. It seems as though this is a very small Band-Aid solution to a really large wound.

RON HART, MORGAN STANELY: It is. It's a bit kicking the can down the road, but it worked for now. Draghi has a role to play here. He has to give a safety net to the markets. He's done so in a very clear way to the consternation of Germany and some other countries, but it is a role that is developing. And it's important that it develop in a strong manner, that they have a United States-like banking system that can back stop certain countries. And with the back stop comes certain obligations by the countries which is to get your balance sheet in order, stop spending the money the way you've been spending it and there will be metrics against which they'll be judged and that will determine the future of funding for those countries.

RAJPAL: And that's what the Germans are saying, they're saying that the real problem lies in -- these economies need to do, they need to fix their economy. They need to fix their country and more into austere -- austerity measures, I should say. So why isn't Mr. Draghi not going down that route as opposed to this route?

HART: Condition upon getting this money is the fact they will have budget cuts and austerity in the future, that'll be the rest test. Greece is just now coming up on their first test on their agreement to have austerity movement in their country. That'll be interesting to watch how that's panned out. And it will set the precedent for other countries.

Greece is clearly an outlier right here. They're paying 21 percent for their debt, interest rates on their debt. Portugal is 8 percent. Spain is 6 percent. Spain is down from 7.5 percent they were paying for their debt three months ago. So this has been very positive for the markets in the near term.

The opposition would say it's like a heroin addict, we just gave them another shot of heroin, they're OK for now, but the real problem will be down the road. I mean, have you really fixed the problem? Or have you given the addict some more drugs, in this case money, to temporarily fix the situation which will be ongoing.

RAJPAL: So what's the rehab then?

HART: The rehab is not spending money you don't have. Real simple. Same thing your grandmother told you and my grandmother told me, you can't spend money you don't have.

At play here is a little bit a Keynesian economics, the notion being that during bad times the government puts money in to the banking system, into the economy to bail it out and get it on its feet. And when it's good, it basically balances its books and doesn't do it. The problem with most countries, including the United States, is we continue to put money in the system even during good times and then run deficits. You can't do that forever. And the problem here is how much longer will the capital markets tolerate these unsustainable deficits by these countries?

RAJPAL: While all of this sounds, you know, sounds logical and rational in black and white in words and on paper, at the end of the day it's real people that have to live with any of these strict austerity measures. We're looking like in countries like Greece where more and more people are having to use soup kitchens, more and more people are having to live under such dire circumstances. So how does how do you balance the two?

HART: Well, we call it in the United States generational theft, people spending money now for programs today are borrowing money from future generations. It's going to -- at some point you pay the piper, right? You cannot continue to roll up credit card debt or any form of debt and not expect to pay it down the road. The question is how do you pay it? You pay it one or two ways: you print more money, which is the issue right now with the euro where they're going to print money to buy back the sovereign debt, or it's inflation as you saw in Germany in the old days, there would be hyper inflation, because they would be printing so much money, you inflate your way out of it.

At some point in time the governments have to get their programs down to a more minimal levels, more efficient levels. And each country is different, you know, each has their own political circumstances, some more corrupt than others, you know, in terms of the way they spend money. And as Germany's notion is as the most physically austere country that we're not going to be the ones constantly bailing out the other countries who are perhaps more likely to spend money freely than they.

RAJPAL: All right, Ron Hart there, really good to speak to you. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate that.

You're watching Connect the World live from London. Our top story tonight, investors have welcomed the European Central Bank's plan to ease the EuroZone crisis. Markets on both sides of the Atlantic closed up after the bank's president Mario Draghi announced a program to buy short-term sovereign bonds to help lower interest rates in struggling countries.

You're watching Connect the World on CNN. Still to come tonight, paving the way for the president. Bill Clinton energized the Democratic Party faithful in Charlotte, North Carolina Wednesday night, but now it is time for the big ticket act. Isha Sesay is there with more on what's coming up later in the show -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Monita, you're absolutely right. Bill Clinton electrified this crowd, but tonight it's all about the president a short time from now. He will take the stage behind me and sell his argument on why he deserves another four years in the Oval Office. And the atmosphere is building here in the Time Warner Cable Arena, Monita. The crowds continue to stream in, people want to make sure they have a good seat to hear the president speak. We're going to have much more from Charlotte coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RAJPAL: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. Hello, I'm Monita Rajpal.

French authorities call it an act of extreme savagery with no apparent motive. They are trying to figure out who killed three family members and a cyclist on a remote road in the Alps and why. And the family was on holiday from Britain. As Emma Murphy reports, two little girls survived the brutal attack.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EMMA MURPHY, ITV NEWS: They had driven up this road, a family enjoying a holiday. They were driven back down in body bags in vans: four lives snuffed out in an act described as gross savagery.

ERIC MAILLAUD, ANNECY PROSECUTOR (through translator): What we can say at this very moment that three of the four people who died were hit by bullets, three of the four. As for the precise cause of death, we need to wait at the Grenoble Institute on Friday afternoon. We need to discover what happened.

Yes, this is an extremely horrific act.

MURPHY: Beneath this cover at the end of the mountain path is the Allahillie (ph) family BMW. Sardy (ph) died in the drivers seat, his wife Ickbal (ph) in the back next to the grandmother. And on the ground, just beyond, a French cyclist's life ended, possibly shot for what he saw.

And amidst the scenery and the savagery two little girls, an eight year old beaten so badly it was thought she was dead, and a four year old so terrified that she cowered beneath her dead mother's legs, so still that for eight hours no one knew she was there.

MAILLAUD: Later we discovered this little girl who was immobile and who was stuck in the vehicle in the backseat on the legs of one of the women who died, a very large traveling bag and this explains why she couldn't be seen. She's four years old.

MURPHY: The family had been staying at the Solitaire Dulac (ph) campsite near Lake Annecy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just normal people, normal children. And they were just playing, the children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people was on holiday, you know. It's fun here. And somebody else in the mountains is crazy.

MURPHY: The family, then, left the site, but just before four, an ex- forces (ph) British cyclist found them.

MAILLAUD: He could also see moving towards the front the vehicle a little girl who was collapsing before him. He rushed to help this little girl and put her in a lateral and safe position. And then the fire brigade and the police were alerted.

MURPHY: The actions of that stranger on this deserted road may well have saved the little girl's life. As their family car was taken away tonight, the work will continue to discover who threatened her young life in the first place and who took the lives of much of her family.

Emma Murphy, ITV News, Annecy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: Well, French President Francois Hollande is vowing to find the killer or killers. He held a joint news conference today with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): I expressed my emotion earlier today and our solidarity to the British people in relation to the terrible murder that happened in Au Savoir near Annecy. Both a French and British family have been impacted by this terrible event. And we will do our utmost to identify the perpetrators to find the reasons behind the event and to do everything possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MURPHY: Well, let's get the very latest on the investigation from Alex Thompson, chief correspondent for Channel 4 news who is in Annecy, France. And he joins us now on the line. Alex, thanks for being with us. This is one of those stories that has so many questions, so many threads, and yet it seems not -- it's very difficult to piece them together, but perhaps of utmost concern is what happens to these two little girls?

ALEX THOMPSON, CHANNEL 4 NEWS: Yes, indeed, it is. That's a key concern tonight. You have Zena, the younger of these two girls just four years old as you were reporting, apparently hidden for eight hours under large bags and indeed bodies for all that time. The police did put up a helicopter about 11:00 last night when they were alerted by people at the campsite where the family had been staying. They said, look, you know there's another girl, don't you?

The police didn't at that stage. No reason, perhaps why they should.

They put up a helicopter with infrared thermal imaging equipment. That failed to show anything, because perhaps by that stage the girl's body not just small, but was also quite cold. And it was only well after that stage, after eight hours, literally it seems paralyzed with fear, that she came out and her first words were where are my family?

Now there is then Zanab (ph), the older girl, she's eight years old, badly beaten and apparently shot as well. Well, she's been in an induced coma for some time and needs further surgery, but her condition has moved from critical to stable in the hospital in Grenoble.

RAJPAL: What more do we know about this family?

THOMPSON: We know that the father is Alar Healer (ph), which relatively recently, some years back now, several years ago became naturalized as a British citizen, received his British passport. We know that the older woman, which we believe is the grandmother, was a Swedish national, but I think she'd had a British passport as well.

Zaha Healer (ph) was recently from Iraq. And he's trained in the aeronautics engineering industry, and that is where he was making his business. Friends and neighbors in just southwest London, sorry, describe him as a warm, family man. He would come around very often help fixing pieces of equipment in people's houses which had malfunctioned. It was known to people very close family, too, very intelligent, loving and beautiful young girls.

And that is as much, really, as we know. Clearly the police who searched the house, the family house in England today, will be examining any possible leads, because at least in public the police don't have any tonight. And obviously the Iraq connection would be one of those being explored.

RAJPAL: All right, Alex, thank you so much for that. Alex Thompson there in Annecy in France.

I want to take a look now at some of the other stories connecting our world tonight. As our Isha Sesay was saying earlier in the show U.S. President Barack Obama will take to the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in just over four hours time. He will formally accept his party nomination for reelection with a highly anticipated speech. But Barack Obama will need to give a commanding performance if he is to outshine former president Bill Clinton who delivered a rousing address to the convention on Wednesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FRM. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When President Barack Obama took office, the economy was in freefall, it had just shrunk 9 full percent of GDP, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. Are we doing better than that today? The answer is yes.

You must vote...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAJPAL: And coming up on Connect the World, we will take you back live to Charlotte to find out what President Obama will need to say tonight to win over voters in November.

61 people have died after a boat sank off the coast of Turkey on Thursday. Crews were able to rescue 46 people from the sea, two of whom were taken for treatment at a nearby hospital. Officials believed the vessel was carrying illegal Palestinian and Syrian migrants, but it's not clear where the boat originated from or where it was headed.

An accidental explosion in western Turkey has left 25 soldiers dead and at least four others injured. The blast happened Wednesday evening at a military storage site where explosives like hand grenades are stored. Turkey's former foreign minister, I should say, Turkey's foreign minister, has ruled out any links to terrorism, confirming the incident as a, quote, "accident."

South African platinum mine Lonmin has drawn up a peace accord aimed at resolving strike action. IT says some of the unions have signed it, other key players, however, are still holing out. Meanwhile, more miners were released from police custody today. The men had been charged with murder after the death of 34 colleagues during a police shootout last month. Those charges have been dropped.

We're taking a short break now here on Connect the World, but when we come back, it's the battle of the blade runners. The Paralympics -- in the Paralympics. Can Oscar Pistorius hold off the competition? Mark McKay tells us in sport next.

(COMMERCIAL BREKA)

RAJPAL: We are getting down to the wire at the U.S. Open tennis tournament. And one of the sport's biggest names is heading home early. Mark McKay is at CNN Center.

Mark, you know, yesterday we were pondering the question why was football's Christiano Ronaldo sad, today I'm sad.

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Let me guess, you're a Roger Federer fan. I knew that about you, Monita. Yeah, you're not the only one out there. Millions of supporters wondering why Roger went out so early? Well, the world number one who won Wimbledon for a seventh time this summer failed to in his bid to win the U.S. Open six times. The end coming rather decisively in the fourth round Wednesday against Czech Tomas Berdych. IT was in many ways a stunning four set victory by Berdych who later admitted he was able to get Federer out of his comfort zone and that is what did it.

What made -- what it made for was an uncomfortable exit from Flushing Meadows for that popular Swiss player.

Speaking of popular, Andy Roddick is now officially retired as a tennis player. During the first week of the open, the only Grand Slam he had ever won, Roddick announced that this will be his last tournament. Well, the end came Wednesday at the hands of Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro who claimed their fourth round match in four sets, so a lot of tears at Arthur Ashe Stadium for sure as Roddick brings the curtain down on a 12 year playing career that brought with him 32 tournament titles and more than $20 million in earnings.

Roddick leaves the game saying, quote, "I loved every minute of it" -- Monita.

RAJPAL: Well, also tonight there Mark, Oscar Pistorius is trying to bounce back from tough losses at the Paralympics. Any idea on how he is going to do?

MCKAY: We're just about ready to get that much anticipated race started as you were referencing just before the break Monita. One of the most anticipated finals at the Paralympic Games, the gold medal on the line in the T44 men's 100 meters. Oscar Pistorius seeking his second gold of these games. Pistorius was able to come through, win the first one as he was a member of the South African team that won gold at the Paralympics in the 4x100 meters.

It is just coming up on the race time now as they're getting ready to come out of the starting blocks. You see how you mentioned maybe a bit of controversy involving the Blade Runner. He lost the 200 meters final earlier in these games when he complained about the length of the winner's prosthetic legs. Pistorius would later apologize, but he was -- certainly felt battered by that. And I understand the men's 100 just had a false start so they're going to line up against to get this thing going, but you're right, Monita, it is one of the most anticipated moments of the games. And we'll continue to follow it here on Connect the World. And of course bring you full details on World Sport in just over an hour.

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

Still to come here on Connect the World, a city of millions torn apart by turf battles. We'll bring you another exclusive report from the frontline in Aleppo, the commercial heart of Syria.

Our human to hero series meets a former child prodigy using his passion to forge a bright musical future.

And is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, no, it's Russian President Vladimir Putin. We'll have details of his latest adventure coming up here on Connect the World.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RAJPAL: A warm welcome to those of you watching from Europe and around the world. Hello, I'm Monita Rajpal and these are the latest world headlines from CNN.

And this just into CNN. In one of the most anticipated -- eagerly anticipated finals of the Paralympics here in London, Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock has won the 44 men's 100 meter final. South Africa's Oscar Pistorius came in fourth.

Pistorius caused some controversy after taking the silver in the 200 meter sprint. Right after the race, he complained about the length of the winner's prosthetic legs. But again, Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock won gold in the T44 men's 100 meter final just moments ago.

In other news this hour, the Dow has closed up more than 240 points following the announcement of the European Central Bank's plan to ease the eurozone crisis. The bank's president, Mario Draghi, said it would buy up short-term sovereign bonds to help lower interest rates in struggling countries like Spain and Italy.

US president Barack Obama will formally accept the nomination of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in just a few hours' time. He'll then make a highly-anticipated pitch to the American people for reelection in November.

A car in the French Alps where three people were found dead on Wednesday has been traced to an Iraqi-British family. Two young girls survived. One of them is being treated for head trauma and a gunshot wound. A cyclist was also found dead nearby.

A major peace initiative in Latin America's longest-running civil conflict -- longest running conflict, I should say. FARC rebels say they will propose a cease-fire when they sit down with the Colombian government. Talks are due to begin October 8th in Norway.

We take you to Syria, now, where fierce battles are underway for control of Aleppo, the country's commercial heart. Rebels are fighting not only to seize territory, but to hold onto every centimeter they can. Our Nick Paton Walsh filed this exclusive report for us from the front line.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(GUNFIRE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The new dead lie next to the old. Aleppo's old city, thousands of years in the making, torn apart fast.

(GUNFIRE)

WALSH: We're with rebel forces as they push into vital terrain in the fight for Syria's commercial capital towards a key police station. They mass in number, a surge force.

(MEN SHOUTING, GUNFIRE)

WALSH: Chaos, but also bravery.

(MEN SHOUTING, GUNFIRE)

WALSH: They move to retrieve an injured rebel at the very front.

(GUNFIRE)

(MEN SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

(MEN SHOUTING)

WALSH: Somehow, the superior regime firepower lets them escape with their wounded.

(MEN SHOUTING, GUNFIRE)

WALSH: When we rejoin them a few days later, they have fallen back the 100 feet they've gained. Civilians in uniform. They're taking potshots at nothing in particular, goading their enemy with revolutionary song, even offering them a number to call if they want to defect.

But they can't advance again. It's not just the regime's bomber jets that hold them back. Up on the roof, we see how snipers, deadly accurate here, can freeze the front lines.

WALSH (on camera): In this historic part of the city, the rebels are trying to inch forward, but so often are pushed back by government forces. In this case, held back by a government sniper positioned in the buildings opposite us.

WALSH (voice-over): Even from the rebels' sniper positions, the regime is close but well-dug in. Abdul Wahid (ph) was a conscript years ago, but he's now an electrician.

(GUNFIRE)

WALSH: A sniper is shooting at them, and he moves across the road to take him out.

(MEN SPEAKING ARABIC, GUNFIRE)

WALSH: But his discipline and marksmanship is the exception.

(GUNFIRE)

WALSH: He thinks he got him.

It's the older men, here, who are in charge. Hakim (ph), a local commander, briefly visits and tells me his brigade has given up on outside help from the West.

"This is our final word," he says. "We don't want any help from anybody. We're no longer waiting, and we have the means to topple the regime." He outlines a plan to the men.

Shortly afterwards, this bus appears. One rebel tells us they plan to fill it with explosives, then tie a prisoner's hands to the wheel and force him to die driving the bus bomb at the regime.

But even though we saw the brigade take prisoners earlier, that doesn't happen here, and the bus leaves.

A garbage truck arrives instead, which they plan to place down the street as cover for their gunmen.

(GUNFIRE)

WALSH: Preparations drawn for an operation. Handmade grenades, homemade bombs, highly volatile canisters full of fertilizer explosive. But the men still lack focus, shooting in the dark.

(GUNFIRE)

WALSH: Later that night, we leave, but they drive the truck down the street. At dawn, it's in place, and they fall into position.

WALSH (on camera): Overnight, they've tried to gain the advantage by moving that dumper truck about 100 feet down the street past their last position, but still, these men have been unable to advance over this incredibly small amount of terrain.

WALSH (voice-over): The regime fires grenades, setting it alight. The rebels decide to fight back. This is an anti-aircraft gun.

(GUNFIRE)

WALSH: They seem to prefer noise to accuracy. They run forwards to fire a rocket-propelled grenade.

(EXPLOSION)

(SHOUTING)

WALSH: There's too much smoke to know what they hit. More a game here than a fight to the death. But this is a city of millions, torn apart by every pitched battle for every 100 feet.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Aleppo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN. Coming up after the break, we meet the youngest young musician of the year, who has managed to go from child prodigy to adult virtuoso.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(PIANO MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RAJPAL: He was a child prodigy, a piano virtuoso playing at Carnage Hall at just 13 years old. On this week's Human to Hero, at the ripe old age of 20, Benjamin Grosvenor tells us about the hard work, the sacrifice and, above all, the passion it took to get him to the top.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BENJAMIN GROSVENOR, CONCERT PIANIST: There are concerts for which you have about half an hour. You just feel pretty awful. During that time, you're questioning, why am I doing this to myself again?

When I walk out onto the stage, there's this realization of weeks and months of work.

(APPLAUSE)

GROSVENOR: It has been a long process to get there. A lot of time spent just me, alone in a practice room with a piano.

(PIANO MUSIC)

GROSVENOR: I think being a concert pianist is probably the most -- one of the most difficult things human beings can do, because you have the physical aspect to it, to resemble athletes using our fingers. And then, you also have the sort of intellectual side of it: learning how to memorize pieces of music. And then, there's the emotional side to it, as well.

I had my first lessons at the age of five.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GROSVENOR AS A CHILD: Stop now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GROSVENOR: I had no great desire to practice. And then, some friends at school started playing, and I was spurred on to work by the thought of them catching me up. And then, I think from that moment onwards, I gradually fell in love with playing for what it was.

(PIANO MUSIC)

GROSVENOR: Being good at it isn't just about talent. It requires a lot of work. A lot of time practicing. There are really two sides to playing the piano, I suppose. There's the ability to just play the notes.

(PIANO MUSIC)

GROSVENOR: And ability to sort of find meaning in them.

(PIANO MUSIC)

GROSVENOR: Generally, I practice about eight hours a day, playing the same things over and over again to get them under your fingers and to get them in your muscle memory.

There are times when I get very frustrated with certain passages, become very obsessive about it, and there's nothing more frustrating than to leave the piano alone.

To give one example, there's a passage here where we have thirds in the left hand.

(PIANO MUSIC)

GROSVENOR: And that goes quite fast. And because of the nature of how the notes are spaced out, it requires rapid movement of the wrist.

(PIANO MUSIC)

GROSVENOR: Something like that is unfamiliar, and it's a passage which I haven't come across in other music recently, so it's something I have to work on further.

I think the ability to interpret a piece of music well is something that one can work on. It is about complete control of the instrument to a certain extent, and being able to get every sound from it that you want.

The way their rhythm is written is like this.

(PIANO MUSIC)

GROSVENOR: To me, that -- sounds to regimented. So, when I play this, I like to extend the play slightly, then to move though the rest of the bar. So --

(PIANO MUSIC)

GROSVENOR: So, it's going, da-da-da-dayup-da-da-da-da-da. So, it's got a feeling of lilt and a sort of airy quality to it. So, I think that's an example of way -- a place in which you don't really take the score literally.

(PIANO MUSIC)

GROSVENOR: I think if you want to be really good at something, you have to accept that you have to make certain sacrifices. I think one of the greatest difficulties is loneliness of the career. You're not part of an orchestra, you're not part of a group. Especially if you've been giving piano recitals, it's just you. Just you on a stage playing for an audience and just you in a concert hall rehearsing.

If you have critics at concerts, and sometimes they say nice things and sometimes they say things that aren't quite so nice. But the bad ones sort of stick. I think, really, the greatest pressure probably comes from me, and I just have to listen.

(PIANO MUSIC)

GROSVENOR: You spend all your time working so that everything's there in the muscle memory. So that you're very safe when you go on stage. Or at least I do, anyway. So everything can sort of happen without thought. Because then there's less potential for things going wrong.

I think now what really appeals to me about music is the ability it has to communicate emotions to people. And I think that's what it's all about.

(PIANO MUSIC)

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJPAL: Beautiful stuff there. For more on our Human to Heroes series, check out online at cnn.com/humantohero. Next week, we'll meet colorful chef Heston Blumenthal, whose restaurant, the Fat Duck, is ranked one of the world's best.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, the presidential pitch. Barack Obama is just hours away from making his case to America.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROWD CHEERING)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If -- if you want a future of shared prosperity, where the middle class is growing and poverty is declining, where the American dream is really alive and well again, and where the United States maintains its leadership as a force for peace and justice and prosperity in this highly competitive world, you have to vote for Barack Obama.

(CROWD CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAJPAL: Former US president Bill Clinton, there, energizing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. He's primed the crowd ahead of tonight's big event, President Barack Obama's formal acceptance of his party's nomination for November's election. CNN's Isha Sesay is at the convention and joins us live. Isha?

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Monita. Yes, this whole week has been building up to tonight and the speech from Barack Obama, which we'll get a couple of hours from now.

And even though, as I say, that speech is still well over five hours away, I want to show you the sights on the convention floor, and this place is rapidly filling up. The excitement is in the air. It is palpable.

People want to get here, they want to get their seat, they want to hear what the president has to say. This is his moment to sell his plan to the American people, to the delegates here in this hall. And the speeches have already gotten underway on the stage, formal proceedings getting underway at 4:30 PM here in Charlotte.

But I'm joined by a great guest. We've got Ron Brownstein, he's CNN's Senior Political Analyst, he joins us now to talk a little bit about that Clinton speech and also look ahead to the speech from the president a couple of hours from now. Ron, great to have you with us.

You wrote in your piece published today for the "National Journal" that Clinton's speech, while forceful, wasn't eloquent.

RON BROWSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.

SESAY: Well, it was really more of kind of a summation for the defense, almost, for the jury. What he did, I think, very effectively, was try to rebut the arguments that the Republicans have made against President Obama, particularly the argument that he has not produced enough economic progress.

Maybe the most memorable line of the Clinton speech was the -- when he said no president could have completely dug out of the whole that President Obama was left over a single four-year term.

Now, the downside was, it kind of got a little long and thick and sounded a little like some of those State of the Union addresses he gave in the middle part of his presidency in which he went through every possible policy.

When he got up to defending the president on fuel economy standards, I thought maybe he could have a little bit more of a red pen.

SESAY: Well, let me ask you this. The Romney campaign response to Clinton's speech was pretty weak, let's face it.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

SESAY: So that would say to me that Clinton boxed them in pretty good with that argument.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Well, look, these first two nights of the Democratic Convention overall have been about as good as they can get in terms of directing a message to the country. First night was the president cares about people like you. He will defend the middle class because he's come from the middle class -- actually, an echo of Clinton's 1992 convention speech.

Second night, the record is better, in effect, than the Republicans have portrayed it. All of that kind of tees up for tonight and puts a certain amount of pressure on the president. He's the one who now has to look forward and answer what is always the biggest question in an incumbent reelection: does the incumbent have a plan to make your life better over the next four years than it's been over the previous four?

SESAY: So, talk to me about tonight's speech and the challenges he faces as he tries to lay out that vision, because the campaign has already said it's going to be specific.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

SESAY: How specific is the question?

BROWNSTEIN: That's an interesting question, because part of the challenge they have is they have a lot of ideas they put out in the last two years that Congress hasn't acted on. And so, the question of whether you go back to those or you bring in new things, I think, is a real issue.

But look, as I said, the clearly -- I was on a panel this morning, and one of Clinton's former senior aids said, the first two nights have cleared out the underbrush. They've established President Obama as someone who cares about people in the middle class. They've established him as someone who may have a stronger record in his first term than may voters are now inclined to believe.

But ultimately, he is the one who has to carry the load of convincing Americans that things are going to be better in the second term. Because I think one thing no one would say, even those who credit Obama with avoiding a second depression, no one would say they are satisfied with the pace of recovery.

SESAY: But if he lays out the argument that this is what I want to do, but it's going to take Washington --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

SESAY: -- a change in Washington to bring that about, does that make the argument more persuasive to the American people? Because he could say, look, I tried. Washington's stood in the way --

BROWNSTEIN: Right.

SESAY: -- of everything I tried to do in the first four years.

BROWNSTEIN: No, I think he does have to answer that question. And I think what he will -- he will do some variation of saying the election's going to provide a mandate for change and for consensus, frankly.

Because one thing, actually, we know about this election above all. We don't know who's going to win, but we know that it is going to divide the country very closely. More closely and in 2008. Whoever wins is going to win the House, the Senate, and the Presidency by more narrow margins.

And ultimately, the same issue will be there, no matter which side prevails: how do we build a working consensus for change in a closely- divided country.

SESAY: I don't want to let you go without asking you this question. As we talk about how close this election is. The latest CNN/ORC poll, dead heat.

BROWNSTEIN: Right.

SESAY: Right? This is an election about demographics, correct?

BROWNSTEIN: Right.

SESAY: That's what we see when we see the pictures from --

BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely.

SESAY: -- from both conventions. Tampa, predominately white and old. Here, this diverse crowd. Speak to me about the strategy at play.

BROWNSTEIN: In some way, it's demography versus economy.

SESAY: Yes.

BROWNSTEIN: President Obama trying to get elected in an economy that would sink most incumbents. But in the game in large part because of the changing nature of American society. In 2008, 26 percent of all voters were non-white. Double what it was when Bill Clinton was first elected.

Barack Obama won 80 percent of those non-white voters. If he matches that in 2012, he can win reelection by winning only 40 percent of whites. Which means that Mitt Romney could run as well as any Republican challenger ever among whites, as well as Dwight Eisenhower in 52, Ronald Reagan in 1980, George HW Bush in 1988, and still lose.

That is -- you might be able to squeeze out a majority from an almost entirely-white coalition one more time, but it is very difficult for Romney, and it becomes increasingly so as you go forward.

I think the lesson of this campaign, no matter how it comes out for Republicans, is they cannot allow Democrats -- they cannot concede 80 percent of that growing populations to Democrats every four years.

SESAY: And before we let you go, where do you see this campaign going next? What is the next evolution of this campaign on both sides?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, first of all, I think we'll come out of both conventions with a small lead for the president, but the president under 50 percent in the polling, which means that he's ahead but still vulnerable.

I think a lot of it is going to be mobilization of each side's base. There are very few undecided voters at this point. They're very hard to reach. The undecided voters that are going to be left after this are pretty low information folks. The debates matter.

And I think we're seeing the case that each side is making about the other. President Obama is arguing that Mitt Romney favors the rich over the middle class. And I think what we saw in Tampa was the development of the Republican response, a kind of back to the 80s argument that Democrats and the president favors the poor over the middle class.

You say that in things like their arguments about welfare, health care, which they argue is looting Medicare for white -- for seniors, who are predominately white. And I think you're going to see a two-clashing populist arguments with debates that matter.

And ultimately, though, above all, what does the electorate look like? Which side turns out the supporters is probably going to have a big, big part of the answer who wins in November.

SESAY: Some fascinating insight. Ron, appreciate it.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

SESAY: Always great to have you on the show.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

SESAY: Thank you.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks for having me.

SESAY: Well, Monita, there you have it. The stage set for President Barack Obama. Still over five hours before he takes the stage, but I can tell you, this is going to be a very, very jam-packed arena, and they're waiting to hear what he has to say, how he sells his plan. Monita?

RAJPAL: Highly-anticipated, indeed. Isha, thank you so much for that. Isha Sesay, there, in Charlotte.

I'm Monita Rajpal and that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching. The world headlines are next after this short break.

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