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Former ANC Youth Leader Julius Malema Defiant After Money Laundering Charges; NFL Close To Agreement With Referees

Aired September 26, 2012 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, striking at the heart of Damascus, the moment Syria's capital shook as rebels take their fight to the country's military command.

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

ANDERSON: 18 months and 30,000 dead, a civil war getting worse by the day. Tonight, a former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and UK who headed its intelligence agency tells me he is hopeful about a new plan for peace.

Also this hour, smiling and defiant, Julius Malema is charged with money laundering. He says the case is politically motivated. I'm going to ask South Africa's justice minister whether he's right.

And .


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Every month, all of you, how much do you get.


CHANCE: 200 euros a month? And there are seven adults.


ANDERSON: From making a living to just making due, how one in three Greeks are now living below the poverty line.

I'm Becky Anderson in London. A brazen attack right at the heart of the Syrian regime. This CCTV video capturing one of the twin blasts that rocked the military headquarters in Damascus earlier killing four guards and injuring over a dozen people, that according to state TV.

Well, and ITV journalist on the ground, Bill Neely tweeted this, "bombs were at the most strategic location, army command HQ, opposite state TV and within earshot of the presidential palace. No doubt Assad would have heard huge explosions."

Well, this map shows you just how close those buildings are in the capital Damascus.

Let's get the very latest from CNN's Nick Paton-Walsh. He's been in and our of Syria over the past few months. He's today covering the story live from Beirut for you.

Just how significant were these attacks today?

NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Deeply significant. Very symbolic. I've given it a word, you already explained, but also spectacularly carried off. We have a car bomb that appears to have struck this vital building quite effectively, causing it to catch fire. And then after that rebels appear to have got inside and then slugged it out in the corridors of the compound with Syrian government soldiers for quite some significant time.

Reporters at the scene describing this gunfight and actually describing how the Syrian rebels appear to have perhaps been in army uniform explaining how they've managed to penetrate what should be one of the most secure places. Deeply symbolic attack, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick, hang on for just a moment, I want our viewers to see some of what Bill Neely filed earlier this week reporting that I believe underlies just how desperate things are. Have a look at this.


BILL NEELY, ITV CORRESPONDENT: Whole neighborhoods here are a wasteland, the signs of battle on every building. Few civilians remain. It's almost a shock to see them.

In your heart, when you see your area like this...

SALEH SHATTOUR, SYRIA: Well, I have no heart at all. Can you imagine this loss --I feel very sorry for what has happened.

NEELY: How long will this go on for here?

SALEH SHATTOUR, SYRIA: I don't know. God alone knows. God alone knows.


ANDERSON: Bill Neely there filing out of Homs earlier this week.

Nick you've, as I said, spent months going in and out of Syria, last in Aleppo. The sense of hopelessness on both sides is heartbreaking.

PATON-WALSH: And civilians really caught in the middle here. And the longer this war goes on for, the more I think they are often sandwiched between two increasingly extreme sides. Certainly today we've seen numbers that beggar belief. As you mentioned, 30,000 dead now according to activists, including rebel soldiers, since this conflict began 18 months ago. But today, nearly 300 people killed, over 100 of whom in just one instant.

Let me just explain this to you, because it's deeply troubling. These images you might see are quite graphic. They show Taha Biya (ph) in the suburbs of Damascus where a number of bodies were found, apparently regime forces shelled this particular area for a number of days, rebels withdrew, and then the regime came in and began executing individuals in there, many of them these men are shown with bullet wounds to the back of their head and slit throats. Over 100 of them. One of the most substantial instances I can recall for quite a number of time. And this gives you an idea, really, is the scale of brutality, people caught in the middle here.

Mostly men killed here and claim to have been civilians, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton-Walsh for you this evening. So what is the solution?

Well, in a moment, you're going to hear rare Saudi perspective on the Syrian crisis.

Let's just step back for a moment. Today's attack in Damascus comes as Human Rights Watch as Nick said, says more than 30,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict 18 months ago. During that time, the international community has succeeded only in drafting this: Kofi Annan's six point peace plan. Remember that? It was never implemented. At the time we were repeatedly told there was no plan B.

Well, fast forward to this week and the new UN peace envoy is confessed that the prospect for a solution remains dismal.

But speaking to CNN on Monday, Qatar's prime minister said this.


HAMAD BIN JASSIM AL THANI, PRIME MINISTER OF QATAR: You need to make safe haven areas, first of all.


THANI: That will require a no-fly zone. If the Syrian want to break that, that's another subject, that's need also somebody to have the teeth to tell them don't do that, because that will not be allowed.


ANDERSON: No-fly zones, military intervention. If this is plan B, who would be involved? Well, just before the show I spoke to Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal. It's important to point out that Prince Turki no longer speaks for the kingdom. His experience as Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and UK and former intelligence chief makes his analysis well worth hearing. Remember, the oil rich kingdom is a key supporter of the Syrian opposition.

I began by asking him whether he'd be surprised if Saudi supported Qatar's plan for Syria.


PRINCE TURKI AL-FAISAL, CHAIRMAN, KING FAISAL CENTER: No, I would not be surprised. And I think as I said it seems that the Security Council is totally paralyzed, although the issue of Syria, of course, is one of those issues that should be dealt with by the Security Council according to the UN charter. It's a situation that is affecting world security now. And countries like Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and others on the periphery and outside are all being affected, so the security council has a primary responsibility.

But I think the kingdom will support any effort to put a stop to the fighting there.

ANDERSON: Would it also expect to see a lead taken from the Europeans, certainly the SNC tells me that France is ready to take a European lead on this. Would that surprise you?

FAISAL: Not at all. I think what is surprising to me is that nobody has taken the lead so far. And the situation where there is so much killing and destruction taking place, the world community basically has let this situation go on for far too long. And we see neither the United States nor Europe nor the Arab countries nor the rest of the world taking the lead, although as I said before, the Arabs did propose a solution through the Arab League some time ago.

But Europeans of course are there. And if France wants to take the lead, so be it. But what is surprising is not the fact that they will take the lead, but rather that they haven't done so since the beginning.

ANDERSON: That despite NATO insisting of course that military intervention in Syria wouldn't improve the security situation as late as last Friday. NATO's chief of staff said, and I quote, "the political process has to be pushed forward. Sanctions need to take effect at the moment," he said, "this situation cannot solved by the military in a responsible way." You don't agree with that.

FAISAL: Definitely not. We've been at this now for more than a year- and-a-half and diplomatic efforts have been going for all this time and nothing has happened. So to say now that there is no value from military action would be like putting shades over your eyes and not seeing the situation. I think whether it is NATO or a combination of other countries and groups are required to provide these safe havens for the people of Syria and to provide the shelter and the humanitarian aid and protect it from government attacks.

All of that requires military force. So for someone to deny that this is the time to use it I think is deluding oneself.

ANDERSON: I won't be telling you anything you don't already know when I say that western diplomats are increasingly concerned about the make-up of the disparate groups of fighters on the ground. I wonder how concerned do you think Saudi Arabia is that a disjointed opposition includes foreign jihadi fighters. Is the kingdom happy to provide finance, weapons and intelligence to some of the groups that we've seen on the ground of late?

FAISAL: You know, the kingdom from the very beginning has been warning people that. If the fighting continues it will be an invitation to extremists to come in. So if there had been something done a year ago or six months ago there would not be the situation where there would be such jihadis or other elements coming in.


ANDERSON: Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia talking to me just a short time ago saying he wouldn't be surprised to see Saudi and indeed the likes of France supporting a new plan B for Syria bypassing the United Nations with military action to establish no-fly zones and safe havens for rebels, that on a day the opposition attacked the very heart of the regime's military command.

Still to come on Connect the World tonight, smiling and waving to supporters despite being in the docket, why this controversial politician means South Africa is in store for a very high profile and very fiery trial.


LU STOUT: A firebrand South African politician has been formally charged with money laundering, a ruling party outcast Julius Malema didn't enter a plea in court earlier today, but he had plenty to say once he was released on bail. Nkepile Mabuse has the story.


NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For a man accused of receiving half a million dollars in corruptly acquired cash, South African politician Julius Malema was as cool as a cucumber in court. He even smiled when he was formally charged with money laundering. The state claims that the former ANC party youth president has benefited from government contracts awarded to companies that he has shares in.

Outside court, hundreds of his supporters were less concerned about the seriousness of the allegations and more determined to defend Malema who they say is being punished for criticizing President Jacob Zuma. Malema was kicked out of the ANC for bringing the party into disrepute. Now he's campaigning for Zuma to be removed as party and country president. They believe the charges are trumped up.

While South Africa's middle class cringe at his vulgar language and disrespectful demeanor, Malema strikes a cord with those who feel left out as inequality in the country widens.

JULIUS MALEMA, FRM. ANC YOUTH LEADER: I'm unshaken, I'm not intimidated by (inaudible), I'm (inaudible) for economic freedom.

MABUSE: And it's economic freedom these young South Africans are desperate for. Around half of the country's youth are unemployed. And many are willing to ignore questions around Malema's financial dealings and cling to the hope his words ignite.

Malema was released on bail after the state presented what appears to have been a rushed case against him. Malema's lawyers say they were only given details of the charges late the match before despite investigators having had more than a year to prepare for this day. Prosecutors were also unable to produce documents to prove their case, saying they will do so before Malema's next appearance on November 30th.

Police deny any political agenda, but Malema's recent comeback has left many skeptical. After being axed by the ruling party in April, he reestablished his public image during the recent spate of illegal strikes in the country. Both Zuma and Malema have given their lives to the organization that helped end apartheid. Now they both seemed determined to fight to the bitter end to lead it.

Nkepile Mabuse, CNN, South Africa.


ANDERSON: I want to talk more about this case now with South Africa's justice minister Jeffrey Radebe. He joins us now from New York. Malema claims he's being set up, that senior government officials are behind his arrest in an effort to silence him. What's your response to that?

JEFFREY RADEBE, SOUTH AFRICAN JUSTICE MINISTER: Well, thanks, Becky. There cannot be any substance inside your allegations. Our constitution provides how our legal system has to operate. The police, they do their own investigations and the national prosecuting authority is independent of the executive when they take their prosecutorial decisions. I think...

ANDERSON: Jeff, you must...

RADEBE: I think what is important...

ANDERSON: Jeff, you admit it doesn't help if prosecutors were unable to - it doesn't help if prosecutors were unable to produce documents in court to prove their case.

RADEBE: Well, I understand it, Mr. Malema was before court today. And that the case was postponed to November of this year. So all those issues are going to be ventilated in court as we understand the process of law goes in our country.

ANDERSON: Malema has described the President Jacob Zuma as, and I quote, "the illiterate leader of a banana republic." There will be viewers watching and wondering tonight how charges of corruption, a ruling party in disarray, miners shot in cold blood, how does a country turn itself around?

You fought for democracy and freedom, Jeff, you can't be happy with what you see. Justice minister, tell me, what needs to be done?

RADEBE: Well, it's very clear the tragic events around Marikana are very tragic indeed, that's why the president has appointed an independent judicial commission of inquiry to get into the roots of what happened on that day or days around that time. The Lonmin, all the stakeholders, the workers, all those people who are involved there. This commission of inquiry which is headed by a retired judge of the supreme court of appeal will get into the truth.

It is at that time that we will be able to know what happened on that day.

ANDERSON: Jeff, it goes deeper than this, it goes deeper than this.

RADEBE: ...our democracy is on track in South Africa. The rule of law rules supreme.

ANDERSON: But we see story after story, we see headline after headline of the abject poverty that so many people live in in South Africa today in 2012. People are aggrieved. There is corruption. I put it to you again, how do you turn this country around, Justice Minister?

RADEBE: Well, if you look at 18 years of our democracy, a lot of strides have been made. People have access to running water in South Africa, more than 2 million homes, houses have been built by the ANC government. We are on track. Even the recent report of the South African Institute of Race Relations indicate that we have done a lot of good for the betterment of our people.

But a lot more still needs to be done. In the mere 18 years, we cannot be able to eradicate 300 years of colonial rule and 50 years of apartheid, but we are on track. The problems that you are talking about, the triangle of poverty, unemployment and inequality, those are the program of action that the ANC government is embarking upon in order to ensure that we create a better life for the people of South Africa.

ANDERSON: A man who fought so hard against apartheid, your justice minister out of South Africa this evening. Sir, thank you for joining us.

A look at some of the other stories that are connecting our world tonight.

And Egypt's new president made his debut on the world stage when he addressed the UN General Assembly earlier this Wednesday. Mohammed Morsi says the world's top priority should be resolving the stalemate over Palestinian statehood. He said leaders who supported the Arab Spring must now help Palestinians achieve independence.

Earlier, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took to the podium. He barely referenced Israel at all today and didn't even mention the war in Syria, one of Iran's main allies. Mr. Ahmadinejad instead called for a new world order free of western domination. He also accused the west of nuclear intimidation.


MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent. Testing new generations of ultramodern weaponry and a pledge to disclose these armaments in due time is now being used as a new language of threat against nations to coerce them into accepting a new era of hegemony, continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality.


ANDERSON: Well, there weren't major walkouts like we've seen before. Mr. Ahmadinejad's speeches have been fiery, let's say. But some countries, including the United States and Israel stayed away from the start.

Well, this was the scene outside the UN. Hundreds of people waved flags and held signs to protest Mr. Ahmadinejad's appearance as well as Iran's support of the Syrian regime.

Well, the latest in the ongoing legal drama surrounding radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza, the UK's high court granted him a temporary injunction on Wednesday against extradition to the U.S. where he is wanted on terror charges. Now that comes just two days after Hamza lost his final appeal at the European Court of Human Rights. It's not yet clear on what grounds Hamza's lawyers are arguing his appeal.

You're watching Connect the World live from London. I'm Becky Anderson for you here on CNN.

We're going to take a very short break as we often do at this time of the show. When we come back, could the NFL's replacement refs be on the verge of, well, being replaced themselves? That and a build up to what is a great golfing event at the end of this week. Don Riddell with the answers after this.


ANDERSON: Chicago getting set to host the world's best golfers at this year's Ryder Cup and one man may be feeling the pressure more than any other. Don Riddell joining us from CNN Center. Pray tell who is getting the yips?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I don't think he's getting the yips, although the American team, Becky, would certainly hope that becomes the case. We're talking about Rory McIlroy. I mean, he is definitely the young, brilliant, new exciting star of world golf. He's won three events in his last five. And he is the man going into this Ryder Cup. He is downplaying his impact, though, saying look I'm just one of 12 guys, but the Americans have made it quite clear they're going to target him. And you know what, that's probably not a bad idea, because you remember all those Ryder Cups where Tiger Woods was the big star, he's only ever won this thing once, that was back in 1999. He's played in six and lost five of them. So, you know, being the big star doesn't necessarily help.

But McIlroy has been speaking about that today. He's playing down his impact and saying he's just looking forward to it, getting his head down and getting on with it.


RORY MCILROY, GOLFER: I don't think I have a bull's eye on my back. I think it's a huge compliment that people are saying that they want to beat me and whatever, but you know, I - whoever wants to take me on, they can take me on.


ANDERSON: That certainly doesn't sound like a man who is getting the yips at all, or indeed feeling the pressure. Good for him. Kicks off on Friday. I can only imagine the roar of that first tee, particularly from the American crowd. It's going to be a tough one for the Europeans.

Let's just get NFL done, because it's a right all huli (ph) over these replacement officials. Is the NFL and its officials close, or any closer to striking a deal?

RIDDELL: Well, the NFL chatter is that actually a deal is imminent, Becky, between the NFL and the regular refs. We all know what happened on Monday night with that absolute, you know, disgraceful decision which led to a touchdown for Seattle which gave them the win against Green Bay, that was played out on Monday Night Football. It is now one of the biggest talking points in the United States at the moment. And everybody that loves the sport is hoping that the real refs can return.

As I said to you the latest is we understand that a deal is close to being reached, but whether or not if that does actually happen, Becky, we see the real refs back in time for the Browns game against the Ravens on Thursday night remains to be seen. We probably will see replacement refs for that game as well, but let's hope that by the weekend at least we can get the real refs back. And we can talk about some real football again.

ANDERSON: Yeah, absolutely. No one likes a referee, do they, ever unless of course they're blowing up for a mistake, then if it's your own team - anyway, nobody really...

RIDDELL: Becky, some people are married to refs. They love them.

ANDERSON: No - you know, I guess I can - OK, well, good point.

Not that Don is, of course. His wife isn't a ref, I can tell you.

This is CONNECT THE WORLD. Don back in an hour. I'm Becky Anderson. Just ahead, escalating anger. Why protesters are back on the streets of Greece and Spain.

And architect Barry Hughes tells us his inspiration, why his favorite building is a chapel in France. Those stories follow your headlines after this.


ANDERSON: Just after half past nine in London, a very warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Becky Anderson. These are the latest world news headlines here on CNN.

And disturbing news we've just received out of Syria. Opposition activists say 298 people have been killed in violence across the country so far on Wednesday. That would make it one of the deadliest single days in the crisis. Most of those were reported dead in Damascus and its suburbs, including an apparent massacre in one community.

Syrian rebels staged a brazen attack on army headquarters in the capital earlier today. The government reports 4 deaths and 14 injuries.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is accusing the West of, quote, "nuclear intimidation." He addressed the United Nations on day two of the General Assembly. Mr. Ahmadinejad limited his comments about Israel to criticizing its military threats against his country.

Smoke and flames in Athens after some of the thousands of Greek protesters there threw petrol bombs at police. They responded by firing teargas back. Today's clashes broke out during the latest general strike over Greek austerity, the government there pushing for new budget cuts to win more eurozone rescue money.

Europe's stock markets sold off today on the escalating debt crisis. Spain's benchmark, the IBEX, was the worst hit, you can see there, losing almost 4 percent. What a terrible day there after new figures showing Spain's economy sliding deeper into recession.

Well, more cuts, more clashes. We've been watching the eurozone crisis unfold, now, for what? About two and a half years, nearly three? Poverty getting worse, despair is deepening.

Tonight, we're watching a new wave of anger and protests grip two countries, Greece and Spain. In a moment, we'll get the very latest from Madrid and Javier Ruiz, but we're going to go now to the Greek capital where Elinda Labropoulou has been monitoring one of the biggest anti- austerity demonstrations Athens has seen since May of last year. And what's the mood, Elinda?

ELINDA LABROPOULOU, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far, everything's very quiet in Athens this evening, but we did have quite a bit of violence earlier on today during this protest.

It was a big protest. Overall, of course, it was peaceful, but both police and organizers agree that this was one of the biggest protests we've seen. And what's important here is that, in a way, it sets the mood -- it certainly shows the mood -- because this is the first protest, the first general strike that we've had since the new coalition government came into power in June.

And what we've seen is that there is a lot of anger, there's a lot of resentment, and a lot of people who certainly oppose the measures that are to come in Greece.

ANDERSON: Elinda there for you in Athens. Anger fueled by real need, there. That's the story we are showing you tonight. For many Greek business owners and homeowners, people a lot like our neighbors and friends, the middle class life they built is vanishing, replaced by soup kitchens and care packages.

We know this is true because our Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance has been showing us the steady decline there for months. Tonight, Matt shows us how members of a once well-employed family have been turned into paupers, and they are not alone.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're a Greek family who've fallen through the cracks. In their run-down squat in central Athens, three generations of this country's new poor are crowded in. Not a regular job or a pension between them.

CHANCE (on camera): How much money do you get every month?


CHANCE: Every month, all of you, how much do you get?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two hundred euro.

CHANCE: Two hundred euros a month? And there are seven adults?


CHANCE: And the babies.

UNIDENTIFIED: -- but for babies. It's very difficult.

CHANCE (voice-over): In the decrepit kitchen, she shows me how the cupboards and fridge are almost bare.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see? Nothing to eat.

CHANCE: Until last year, she was a nurse, but the hospital closed, she told me. Then her husband died. Now, they're penniless, like their neighbors, and don't even qualify for state benefits.

CHANCE (on camera): Across Greece, families just like this one have been plunged into this dire poverty. Unemployment, food shortages, lack of medical care, have all combined to push the standard of living in this country off a precipice. And few here can really see any easy or quick way back.

CHANCE (voice-over): But there are some trying to help.

CHANCE (on camera): So, this is what you give family with a girl going to school?


CHANCE: Two girls.

TSISAKI: Two girls?

CHANCE: Oh, great.

TSISAKI: This also.

CHANCE: These are really nice bags. They're going to feel good at school.

TSISAKI: That's what we need, and for the younger kids, if we give her a doll.

CHANCE: Right. And this is all to sort of lift people's spirits to make them feel a bit --

TSISAKI: To feel normal.

CHANCE: -- a bit more dignified.

TSISAKI: To feel that they have the right to live. What happened is that suddenly the middle class is disappearing, and we have only poor people and rich people. The rich became richer and the poor became a huge amount of people.

CHANCE (voice-over): So deliveries of free supplies like this one have become essential, not just for a few struggling families, but to keep Greece's entire middle class alive.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Athens.


ANDERSON: Well, massive unemployment also a nightmare in Spain. One in four adults can't find work there. While that frustration erupts onto the streets of the Spanish capital, the government bracing for more anger on Thursday. These are live pictures out of Madrid. And do remember, demonstrations turned pretty ugly on Wednesday, another big day of protests there.

Now, Thursday is when the government goes public with what we expect to be an even tougher austerity budget. Spain's central bank added to the mounting concern earlier, saying the country's GDP is still contracting at a significant rate.

And on top of all of this, Spain's borrowing costs soared above 6 percent. That is adding to predictions that the eurozone's fourth-biggest economy may have to ask for a bailout.

In fact, that's what the markets want. They want some stability out there. They want he Spanish government to tap what is a sovereign debt bailout fund of about 100 million -- 100 billion euros. But the government doesn't want to do that.

Journalist Javier Ruiz joins us now from Madrid, where he's been watching this latest demonstration at the parliament building. And Javier, as I suggested, it doesn't look anything like as violent as these demonstrations were yesterday.

But the Spanish people as a whole feeling incredibly let down by a government they say effectively lied to them when it got in.

JAVIER RUIZ, JOURNALIST: Yes. Betrayal is the word they're using. They're saying the government betrayed them, and they're accusing both the government and the opposition party of treason. That's what people are yelling here.

There are about 2500 protesters gathering around the congress, around -- right now. Actually, the police are calling for backup, 20 new police vans just arrived. So far, this has been a peaceful demonstration with a few isolated incidents after the clashes last night, which ended with 35 people arrested and 65 injured.

The people here are yelling "Give us back democracy!" And they are waiting for tomorrow, because tomorrow, as you said, the government is unveiling the new budget for 2013, and that is going to mean more cuts.

People in the street are mainly youngsters because unemployment here for people under 35 is 54 percent. That explains the pictures you're seeing now.

ANDERSON: Absolutely remarkable stuff. Who'd have though in 2012 we would be speaking about figures like that. Javier, it's a pleasure to have you on.

You've been watching viewers' pictures, a set of images both live and images we've had into here. The violence that we saw yesterday. Pictures coming into CNN. So, peaceful, I must add, these protests this evening. Let's hope they stay like that. People in Spain absolutely furious with the government there. The budget -- 2013 budget out tomorrow.

As part of CNN's global coverage of the US election, we're going to be looking at a number of big issues that are not only important to US viewers and voters, they are also the questions, concerns, hopes, and fears shared by people all over the world.

You are closer than you think to the US election which, of course, is in November this year. So, each week, we'll be asking everybody, all of you, to share your opinion on one question, and your answer could be included in our coverage.

This week, we are looking at taxes. The question: would you pay higher taxes for better services in your country? And by no means do you need to be a US citizen here. We are looking for responses from all over the world, be it Greece, Spain, wherever you're watching. Go to and tell us what you think.

Well, coming up after this very short break, I'm going to head to Frankfurt. Discover how your fish stays fresh as it travels through Europe's biggest food Gateway. It's a miracle.


ANDERSON: Landlocked Frankfurt may not be the most obvious fishing center, but Frankfurt Airport takes in or transits 20,000 tons of fish every year. That is more than any of Germany's seaports. Now, it's stored in a center in 18 different climate zones, and a 13-strong team of vets are employed there to make sure that the product is of the highest standard.

Well, in the last of this month's Gateway show, I went to find out what it takes to keep everything -- everything -- fresh.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Sitting at the heart of Europe's busiest road and rail intersections, Frankfurt Airport is a strategic international Gateway. Fifty-six million people and more than two million tons of cargo came through this airport last year.

ANDERSON (on camera): Our access to global travel has whetted our appetites for foodstuffs from all over the world whatever the season, be it fruit, veg, or even the tuna in these Maki rolls. Now, 110,000 tons of perishable goods are shipped through Frankfurt Airport every year.

ANDERSON (voice-over): A fifth of that is fish, handled here at Europe's largest perishable center. While around-the-clock operations ensure the speedy delivery of time-critical goods, it takes a well-trained eye to authenticate the quality of what we eat.

ANDERSON (on camera): So, what are you looking for here?

GABRIELLE SPATKOWSKI, VETERINARIAN, TGSH BORDER INSPECTION: We look first about the skin and about the eyes and his color. I think the fish looks very well and he smells it should be, very slight smell, like the oceans. But it's not fishy.

ANDERSON: So, where's this dolphin fish from?

SPATKOWSKI: This is from Sri Lanka.

ANDERSON: How long ago would that have been in the sea?

SPATKOWSKI: Usually the time from the really -- the fish were caught at the ocean up to the time of the landing is about two weeks.

ANDERSON (voice-over): If anything looks suspicious, further investigations are carried out to protect consumers from any potential health dangers.

SPATKOWSKI: Sometimes there's problems with maturing, so a few of these filets will be sent to the laboratory. I look for the temperature. I go deep inside the muscle and you see, it should be about zero and two degrees Celsius and looks quite good.

The quality, it looks very good. This is a quality that would have for sushi.

ANDERSON: Right. If you were suspicious of this tuna, I assume you wouldn't eat it. That would be the last thing that you do.

SPATKOWSKI: No. No. I eat nearly everything.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Fish that passes the grade will receive a seal of approval and then continue its onward journey to cities across Europe and beyond.



ANDERSON: Sinuous towers and shards of glass. All this week, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Program, hearing from some of the world's leading architects about their favorite designs and projects that they wish that they'd been involved in.

Well, tonight, Nick Glass reveals -- or revels -- or just takes a look at the Flame Towers of Azerbaijan, and he meets the man behind them.


BARRY HUGHES, ARCHITECT: It's pushing and saying we're trying to do something spiritual here. We're trying to do something sculptural. We're trying to make buildings that touch people.

It's a high ambition, but I think Thoreau said man would inevitably fail, so aim high. But if you're not aiming high, then you're probably not going to fail, but you're not going to succeed as much as you would like, either.

NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Which building do you wish you had yourself designed?

HUGHES: Not a day goes by I see something where I think, wow, I wish I had thought of that. But big picture, going back, Ronchamp. You wish that you had that vision Corbusier clearly did then to draw that shape and to make a building that has that kind of evocative nature.

Having sat in university in a dozen hours of darkened rooms with slide shows with a professor telling you why this is special and why this means something in the canon of great pieces of architecture, it's really a piece of sculpture. It's very abstract.

It was one of those rare things where you walk up the hill around a tree and you go, oh, wow, that -- and you get that lump in your throat and that feeling that, oh, I am seeing something special.

GLASS: What impact is a great building supposed to have?

HUGHES: I think a great building can actually make you feel more important. Not the person who designed it, but everybody.

When people are -- experience great architecture, they know it. I think it can uplift the human condition, make people feel better.

GLASS: Why are the Flame Towers your favorite building at the moment? Simply because you've been working on them most recently?

HUGHES: They're a very provocative and pure image. I mean, if you draw something really aggressive on the skyline of any city, and if you see the Flame Towers today on Baku, it is a very aggressive image. And from a certain angle, you think, wow, that's almost overpowering. And then, from other angels, you think, wow, that's a remarkable symbol.

GLASS: Why flames, why fire? Why -- you know.

HUGHES: There -- and this is -- it's an incredible, direct series of ideas. If you go back to the Azerbaijan -- the region around Azerbaijan, the Zoroastrians sort of were -- populated this entire area, and they worshiped flame.

Allied to that, and one of the things that's propelling the economy forward in Azerbaijan today is natural gas. It does start with that single germ, that one gestural sketch that says this is the idea, there you go.

I became an architect because I've always liked the idea of crafting space and making things. You can look at a great building and say, wow, that's -- that's man at its -- that's the gold medal of that. And I think everybody gets that feeling from seeing great architecture.


ANDERSON: Our series on iconic buildings continues all this week, and you can see more online at

And in tonight's Parting Shots, Google's Street View takes a trip underwater. This is your chance to see the ocean like you have never seen it before. Phil Han reports.


PHIL HAN, CNN DIGITAL PRODUCER (voice-over): Get ready to explore the Great Barrier Reef. The best part? You don't even need to get wet. Scientists have teamed up with Google to offer high definition underwater panoramas of the reef to anyone with access to the web.

Tens of thousands of images have been stitched together to create the virtual dive in the hopes it will bring attention to how climate change is affecting the 23,000-kilometer-long reef.

Google users will be able to log on to take a dive as of today. The lead scientist behind the project says it could even bring some unexpected surprises.

OVE HOEGH-GULDBERG, UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND: What they found was four new species' records of corals for the Great Barrier Reef and a brand- new species of pygmy seagulls.

HAN: A specially-designed camera explored depths between 30 and 100 meters, a region that makes up 93 percent of the reef. The 360-degree panorama show in crystal clear quality the brimming sea life and corals.

People will even be able to help scientist with the study by measuring the size of the coral and the number of fish in the area. If it's a success, the project could be expanded to other parts of the world.

Phil Han, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Amazing stuff. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thank you for watching. The world news headlines up after this.