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African Union Forces Battle al Shabaab In Port City Kismayo; Team USA Tied With Team Europe After Opening Foursomes In Ryder Cup

Aired September 28, 2012 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, assault from the sea. African forces surround a key al Shabaab stronghold. Somalia's prime minister tells me the game is almost up.


ABDIWELI MOHAMED ALI, SOMALIAN PRIME MINISTER: It will be a matter of time and not that long hopefully that this was call to eliminated from the rest of the country.


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

ANDERSON: Also tonight...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Administrative burden that we have in France is just too much.


ANDERSON: On budget day in France, an expat in London explains why he's forsaken home for business in the UK.

And these red rocks may not look like much but they could be crucial to unlocking one of Mars' greatest mysteries.

We begin this hour with the storming of Kismayo, one of the last major strongholds of al Shabaab. African Union troops lead by Kenyan forces attacked the Somali port city earlier today. Now they came ashore by boat backed by air power. The AU force says it's now surrounding Kismayo, but it apparently hasn't yet entered the city. Well, earlier there were competing accounts of the operation on Twitter.

Major Emmanuel Chirchir who is Kenya's army spokesman said, and I quote, "operation sledgehammer executed as planned. But an account linked to al Shabaab said Kenya defense forces cowards, attempt to attack Kismayo from the sea, but the courageous mujahadeen thwart their attacks.

Well, as Somalia's fight against al Shabaab comes to a head, the man charged with leading the country's fledgling government is in New York. Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali spoke to the UN General Assembly yesterday. He thanked the international community for helping battle the militants. Well, just before that speech I asked him how significant the gains made against al Shabaab really are.


ALI: We have made huge gains against al Shabaab for the last year or so. We have liberated them from Mogadishu where they have controlled 50 percent of the city last year. And we also liberated al Shabaab from the largest swath of land in the southwest in central Somalia and the deep south. And this liberation continues.

Now only are we liberating the areas from them, we also are stabilizing it, making sure that we will not return back to the instability and the chaos of the last 20 years. We're trying to build (inaudible) because our communities establish this committee so that the society will be in harmony and will be able to live in peace among themselves.

ANDERSON: Kenyan defense forces working alongside Somali forces, of course. The Kenyans have said that they have detained a Kenyan soldier pending investigation into an attack which killed civilians. It can't be good news that the soldiers you are fighting alongside are killing Somali civilians.

ALI: I am here at the United National General Assembly to represent Somalia and I am not privy to that information yet.

ANDERSON: Let me put this to you, a Somali army spokesman told the BBC that a Kenyan defense force soldier had deliberately executed civilians. And I quote him, it was a deliberate killing. The incident is very hurtful.

If that were to be the case, just how bad would that be?

ALI: As government and as a prime minister we regret - it's a regret if that happened. And we will try every means necessary for us to make sure that innocent civilians are not harmed through that process of liberating them from the yoke of al Shabaab.

ANDERSON: I put it to you that al Shabaab has been forced out of the capital Mogadishu, but it still controls most of the countryside in south and central Somalia. This is a fight at present that you are not winning.

ALI: No. That's not true. Shabaab is not controlling most of the countryside. Shabaab - we liberated Shabaab from south central Somalia. We liberated al Shabaab not only from the capital city, but also from lower Shabele (ph), a major part of little Jubis (ph), the ghetto. Most of the (inaudible) except two cities, bay of (inaudible) area, (inaudible), also a large part of land in the Jubis (ph).

So the assumption that they are controlling the countryside is not true. They lost ground. And they're losing ground every day. And the reason being not only that they are militarily defeated, it's just because they're obnoxious ideology are rejected by the Somali people. And they have lost the hearts and the minds of the Somali, that's where they're losing everywhere. And it will be a matter of time, and not that long hopefully, that this scourge will be eliminated from the rest of the country.


ANDERSON: The Somali prime minister speaking to me just before his speech yesterday at the UN.

Well, CNN's correspondent Nima Elbagir has traveled extensively in Somalia. She joined me here in the studio earlier on with this. Have a listen.


ANDERSON: What do you understand to be the situation on the ground at present?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, with a new president, a new parliament, and an expanding (inaudible) grip things are certainly looking up for the African Union backed Somali government, but there is still quite a road ahead. And you can see here on the map of Somalia, these are the areas in yellow currently under government control and then you can see here in the light green, these are the areas held by the al Shabaab militant group.

ANDERSON: Quite a significant swath of ground there. This is important. How significant would it be if this port had been captured?

ELBAGIR: Kismayo is absolutely crucial. And I'm going to show you here so you can see - we've just got some figures in terms of the revenue, it's a massive resource in terms of revenue generation for al Shabaab. We're looking at something of at least $35 million per year coming in just from taxes to al Shabaab. But it also gives them control of the flow of charcoal export, that's about half a million a month going into the Gulf countries, but it's also incredibly symbolic for an al Qaeda affiliated group to have control of one of the world's busiest waterways.

You can also, looking closer here at the map, you can see how close it is in terms of that link to where the strongest, we believe, al Qaeda franchise at the moment, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula here in the south of Yemen, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating.


Well, you're watching Connect the World live from London. Our top story tonight, Somali and Kenyan troops batter al Shabaab in a major militant stronghold. On this show, the prime minister insists the al Qaeda affiliated group is now living on borrowed time. What's clear is that they are on the run. What's unclear at this point is the extent to which they are a spent force in the country.

Still to come this evening, one of China's rising politicians falls from grace. Bo Xilai is expelled from the party and faces charges.

Russian media mogul Alexander Lebedev speaks about the charges relating to that punch.

And NASA's latest discovery from the Red Planet. Was there life on Mars after all? All that, and more when Connect the World continues.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson in London. 12 minutes past 9:00 this evening here.

The politician at the center of China's biggest political scandal in decades has been expelled from the communist party. Bo Xilai also faces charges of bribery and corruption just over a month after his wife was found guilty of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood. From Beijing, Jaime Florcruz has filed this report.


JAIME FLORCRUZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Communist Party announcement came like a political bombshell. Bo Xilai, the charismatic and controversial politician was widely expected to get promoted to get into the elite group who effectively runs China has been expelled from the party accused of corruption, influence pedaling, bribe taking and womanizing. Bo is also accused of allowing his wife, Gu Kailai to use his position to benefit others with his family accepting huge bribes.

Several weeks ago, his wife, a lawyer, and a business consultant was tried and given a suspended death sentence, found guilty of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood. It was Heywood's death and the expose that Gu Kailai was involved in it that set off the political scandal which lead to Bo Xilai's dismissal. Bo's case, the announcement said, will be handed over to the Chinese judicial organs signaling that Bo could face a criminal trial. If found guilty, one observer said, Bo could face a life sentence.

The decision to severely punish Bo allows the Communist Party leadership to move on and restore order. It was announced that the 18th party congress will convene in Beijing on November 8. The much anticipated meeting with formalize the handover of leadership, a once in 10 years political transition in China.

Jaime Florcruz, CNN, Beijing.


ANDERSON: And watch the space some more. Here's a look at some of the other stories that are connecting our world tonight.

The U.S. says it's monitoring the movement of chemical weapons in Syria. The U.S. Defense Secretary said intelligence revealed that some of the weapons have been moved to what's believed to be a more secure areas. It comes as blood continued to be spilled in Aleppo with rebels there trying to claim the country's biggest city. At least 144 people were killed in violence around Syria on Friday.

And despite the death toll continuing to rise, a defected Syrian general who is a former close friend of the president is standing by the belief that there should not be foreign intervention.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you believe that there should be a foreign intervention to stop the Assad forces?

MANAG TLASS, SYRIAN DEFECTOR (through translator): I don't believe there should be any foreign intervention in Syria. There should be an agreement or resolution. We feel that when it comes to the superpowers, there is no political will.

AMANPOUR: What will it take the Alawites to defect, more Alawites to join the uprising?

TLASS (through translator): Alawites are being told that the Islamists are taking over. They were considered infidels by the Islamists and that's what scares them. But when there is a vision, a plan for Syria that can include all parties, the Alawites will defect.


ANDERSON: And you'll hear more from Christiane's with the former Syrian Brigadier General Manaf Tlass right after this show 10:00 in London, 11:00 in Berlin right here on CNN.

France is getting its first look at what the government calls its combat budget for next year 2013. And the rich are in the crosshairs. Anyone making more than a million euros or $1.26 million today's rates will be hit with a 75 percent income tax. It's a test of confidence for socialist president Francois Hollande whose approval ratings have plummeted. He's putting the focus on tax hikes instead of painful spending cuts. Today he sent his prime minister to the front lines to make the announcement.


JEAN-MARC AYRAULT, FRENCH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): It's a combat budget to fight against a debt that will not stop growing and which current and future generations will pay for. It's a combat budget for social justice, but it's a combat budget for growth. The preparation of the future and its a courageous and responsible budget.


ANDERSON: Well, a plane carrying trekkers to a mountain base, a Mount Everest staging base caught fire and crashed on Friday killing all 19 on board. The include Nepalese, British and Chinese nationals. The investigation into the cause of the crash are still underway, but an airport official say the plane collided with a black eagle shortly after takeoff.

Well, the search for a missing schoolgirl is over. French police found 15 year old Megan Stammers safe and well in the Bordeaux region on Friday. She was accompanied by her former math teacher Jeremy Forest. The 30 year old has since been arrested on child abduction charges. Police say the tipoff they received was thanks to the large media coverage that the story had received.

We are going to take a very short break here on Connect the World on CNN. And when we come back, day one at the Ryder Cup, the world number one makes his mark. Live with the latest from the action in Chicago up next.


ANDERSON: Oh, yes, it's arguably one of golf's greatest competitive fixtures. For fans, it is always a thriller. The Ryder Cup has been a roller coaster of emotions on day one. Let's get you to it. For the latest on Friday afternoons four ball matches, Shane O'Donoghue is standing by. What's the very latest, Shane?

SHANE O'DONOGHUE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very good news if you're an American fan, because they're up in three matches, Becky. And all square in the fourth. It's the four ball matches this afternoon. Beautiful weather here. And about 60,000 in attendance as well for the opening day of this 39th Ryder Cup.

Let's just bring you up to date on the scoring so far. And it's been very hot in the first match can you believe it, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, the Masters and U.S. Open Champions out together. They were rested this morning. And they've been on fire. Seven under par through nine holes, they were six up. But the Europeans have managed to claw one back on the 11th. So the Americans still lead very comprehensively. They're five up through 11 holes at the moment.

In match number two it's Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley who played already this morning. At the moment they are three up through 10 holes against Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.

In the third match it's Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker who were beaten earlier today. We'll tell you more about that in the moment, but at the moment I can tell you that they're all square in their match against the European pairing of Lee Westwood and the Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts. So they have played eight holes and they are all square.

And in the fourth and final four ball match at the moment, on the course Justin Johnson and Matt Kuchar who both were rested this morning. They're doing very well. Three up through seven holes against Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer.

So just to bring you up to date on what happened earlier, in the foursomes matches, well it was a pretty much even morning with both teams scoring two points apiece. The big winners for the Europeans, though, were in match 1 and match 4. And Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, well they went all the way to the 18th for their victory over Brandt Snedeker and Jim Furyk. And in the final match, a big win, a really important win for the Europeans, 2 and 1 the result. Ian Poulter and Justin Rose defeating Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker. And you can tell how much it meant when we spoke to Ian Poulter after that great win.


IAN POULTER, GOLFER: It was a great win. Obviously it's a tough match. You're playing Tiger and Stricker, two very solid guys. And, you know, he's - Tiger has been, you know, two of my three defeat in this Ryder Cup and I didn't want it again. Justin was there to back me up at the right times. And it was a pretty special win.


O'DONOGHUE: Right now, though, everything is going in the way of the home side. And they have got very vocal support here in this fanatical sporting town of Chicago here at Medina country club. The Americans are leading in three of the four ball matches at the moment and all square in the fourth, Becky.

ANDERSON: Listen, I know that the sartorial choices for the teams are always important. Certainly the Europeans looking smart. What do the Americans look like out of interest?

O'DONOGHUE: Well, they're wearing navy today. And we believe that the Europeans will actually be sporting all navy on Sunday as a mark of respect to the late, great Severiano Ballesteros who was such a stalwart of all those great European Ryder Cup teams down through the years.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. All right, just before you go, then, I know it's all to play for still, but you've watched many a Ryder Cup. Who would you be tipping at this point?

O'DONOGHUE: It's very tight, to be honest with you. I mean, the Europeans you would expect as defending champions and with a lot of success of late and having the world number one in their team with Rory McIlroy that they would be favorites, but I think that the home side really do have a lot on their side when it comes to the crowd, because they are going to be the 13th man. That's what they've been talking about all week about it getting so much vocal support and so much tribalism into this particular challenge. So I'm certainly not ruling out the Americans. And the way they're playing this afternoon it looks like they're very, very hot indeed.

ANDERSON: What a great weekend to come. Shane, always a pleasure, thank you for that. The Ryder Cup is up and running.

Elsewhere, Formula 1 star Louis Hamilton is leaving Team McClaren in his rearview mirror. Mark McKay with us from CNN Center with more on this.

This has been muted, but still quite a shock when I saw it earlier on today. Where is he off to?


You're right, Becky, this has been something that's been rumored here since July that McClaren's star, Louis Hamilton, would be leaving to be go to Mercedes and it was confirmed Friday morning. It is confirmation of a three year multimillion deal that will take this guy past his 30th birthday. Gosh, he's getting so old isn't he?

Hamilton believes he'll not only be able to challenge for the world driver's title, but win it with Mercedes or he wouldn't have left the team that he's been associated with for more than half his life. The young Britain has spoken of taking up a new challenge in racing and this new move to Mercedes is certainly one of them.

Sergio Perez of Saber, Becky, will replace Louis Hamilton at McClaren.

ANDERSON: All right.

What's to become of Michael Schumacher? Will he retire for a second time?

MCKAY: We don't know that. When this first came out, that would have certainly been the indication, Becky. The seven time world champion enjoying three years with Mercedes. But, you know, he didn't come close to achieving the same kind of success he enjoyed at his previous F1 life with Ferrari.

When Hamilton's move became official, the initial belief was, yes, he would retire. But Ed Foster of Motorsport magazine told World Sport earlier he thinks Schumacher is not ready to retire just yet and could land with the Saber racing team next year. The 43 year old German legend could remain, though, with Mercedes in an official capacity, but there are even rumors out there, Becky, and wouldn't this be intriguing, that he could take his wares back to Ferrari.

Of course Schumi (ph) has said all the right things. He has a great sportsman for Formula 1. He has welcomed Hamilton into the McClaren - or the Mercedes fold, that's going to be tough to say. Hamilton with Mercedes - we're going to have to get used to that. But Schumacher has also pledged to do the best he can to try and win one of the remaining six races left on the season.

We'll have to see, but Schumi (ph) is not ready to hang it up just yet.

ANDERSON: Do you think it's been worth him coming back?

MCKAY: I think he was able to, like a lot of these great athletes, they're not able to go away. We see it so many times in the past. Remember heavyweight boxers, they never did retire, they just kept coming back for that next fight. I think these guys have such a competitive nature in them that, yeah, they want to give it a go if they're able to.

Health wise, remember, he had that neck problem. And that all proved to be in the past, but he has only had one podium finish, since he's made that much heralded comeback the first time. So there is word, though, with him being 43 now that perhaps he's going to be more of a statesman role now and perhaps join Mercedes in an official capacity.

But we'll just have to wait and see how this all plays out. A lot of domino effects with Louis Hamilton leaving McClaren to go to Mercedes this Friday.

ANDERSON: It's going to be an exciting season. Good stuff. All right, Mark. Mark McKay with World Sport just an hour away. Do join him for that.

This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, another tough budget unveiled in Europe. Why France's president is in for a fight from the country's super rich. We're going to take you live to Paris shortly.

And it may look like red rocks to you and me, but it's a discovery by NASA's robot on Mars that has the science world abuzz.

And then in the last of our great series on iconic buildings, we're going to look at the Guggenheim in New York and hear why one architect believes his job is a public service.

That and your headlines follow this.


ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson, a warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. These are the latest news headlines.

African Union troops stormed the Somali fortress Kismayo, one of the last major strongholds of al-Shabab. AU force says it's now surrounding Kismayo after a beach assault, but apparently hasn't yet entered the city itself.

China has expelled politician Bo Xilai from the Communist Party and relieved him of his duties. Needless to say, he'll face criminal prosecution. He's accused of corruption and abuse of power along with improper sexual relationships. Bo was once considered a top contender for a leadership post.

Rebel forces launched an all-out decisive battle for control of Syria's largest city. We're told this video of opposition fighters is then coming under attack from government soldiers in Aleppo. Fifty people were killed Thursday, reports tell us, bringing the death toll across Syria on Friday to at least 144.

Under siege and sinking approval ratings, France's president is pushing a combat budget to clash the country's soaring debt. Francois Hollande is targeting the super rich, those who earn more than $1.25 million a year. He wants them to pay a tax of 75 percent on seven-figure incomes.

So, is Mr. Hollande in for a fight and will taxing times send France's richest citizens heading for the exits? We've got plenty to talk about with Jean-Marc Illouz, who's Senior Correspondent at France 2. He joins me now from our Paris bureau. Firstly, anything that we should be shocked by in this budget?

JEAN-MARC ILLOUZ, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, FRANCE 2: Well, this is a very divisive budget. The only thing most Frenchmen agree on tonight, that the budget put forward by moderate socialist French president Francois Hollande carries the higher taxes in the last decade.

And the French government wants to save 30 billion euros. Two thirds will be coming from higher taxes for big business, which in France is sometimes less taxes than small business. And the rest will come from higher income --


ILLOUZ: -- households.

ANDERSON: One of the most --

ILLOUZ: Now --

ANDERSON: One of the most -- hang on a minute, hang on a minute. One of the most controversial measures is this decision to tax at a rate of 75 percent yearly incomes over a million euros or about $1.3 million. When I looked at the figures, there aren't that many people earning those sort of numbers, are there?

ILLOUZ: Well -- well, this measure attracted a lot of attention, but it only affects, I would say, 2,000 to 3,000 people. It's mainly a symbolic measure, which has been criticized not only by the conservative opposition, but also by the French Chamber of Commerce, for example, who said that the -- this was a bad signal to investors and France needed investors for growth.

But the main problem as criticized by the conservative opposition parties is that the measures rely too much on taxes and not enough on government spending, and that they don't address France's two most important challenges, that is one, it's competitiveness, and secondly --


ILLOUZ: -- stringent labor laws that make it difficult to fire and hire.

ANDERSON: Yes, which means that growth going forward is going to be tough. The unanswered question this evening, then, is whether today's budget will meet its deficit reduction goal going forward. Will it?

ILLOUZ: Well, exactly, beyond the political and technical controversy surrounding the plan, the growth question is the most important question because the -- after months and months of stagnation, most economists expect 0.15 -- I repeat, 0.5 percent growth, when the government was banking on 0.8. And that's a big difference, and this is going to be a very tough gamble.

ANDERSON: We're going to leave it there, sir. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us on what is a Friday evening out of Paris.

Right. London, a major destination for French ex-pats. So, I took myself off to a South Kensington stronghold a few hours ago to check the prevailing winds. Here's what I found out. Have a listen.


MATTHIEU PREVOST, OWNER, RAISON D'ETRE: I think that my heart is French, but my brain is -- has become very British. The way I think, the way I operate, the pragmatism that you guys have and we lack in France makes me want to stay here even longer.

ANDERSON: Have you been surprised at how deeply unpopular Francois Hollande has become as quickly as he has?

PREVOST: Yes, I mean, it's been unfair, because for him, to some extent, because he cannot be judged on five months of presidency.

ANDERSON: Way back when, he had threatened to tax people earning over a million euros, or $1.3 million, at 75 percent. What sort of damage does that do to the economy?

PREVOST: Wealth in France have organized better themselves to avoid higher taxation. I think it's more of a PR stunt from President Hollande more than anything else.

ANDERSON: If you had the opportunity to go back and run a business at home, could you see yourself doing that in the near future?

PREVOST: Creating a limited company in England and Wales took me 24 hours, off the shelf, 100 pounds thereabouts. In France, it would have taken me over 6 months. The red tape -- and I think we have Napoleon to blame -- the restrictive burden that we have in France is just too much.


ANDERSON: Sort of sums it up, really, doesn't it? Matthieu Prevost, the owner of Raison d'Etre in a part of London they call Froggy Valley. And I don't think the French would mind me saying that.

Well, France's toughest budget in 30 years comes only one day after Spain took the wraps off its own austerity plan for 2013, amid protests, of course. But today, Spain's government got a bit of a break, thanks to the results of what are known as stress tests on its banking industry.

They show that in a worst-case scenario, Spanish banks would need about $76 billion to prop them up. That's the worst-case scenario, in line with expectations. So tonight, I'm wondering, is it any clearer when Spain may go cap in hand to Europe if at all for a bailout? I asked my colleague Richard Quest, who tonight is in Madrid for you.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, frankly, it's not. Until Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister, actually says that he's going to ask for money, then we really have got no idea.

But here's the point, Becky. Just about every broker's report I've read, including a couple that came into my e-mail box today, all say the same thing: there is an inevitability to Spain requiring further help.

And certainly, the budget yesterday adds credence to it, although not much credibility, to the situation. And today's bank recapitalization is an important step. But the big question remains, how long can they go before they ask for big bucks?

ANDERSON: All right, listen, Richard. Just earlier on today, Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, said "The way out of the sovereign debt crisis is difficult." He said, though, that Europe will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever before. Will it? Do you buy that, at this point? Bigger picture, here.

QUEST: Well, yes, in theory, Europe will come out a bit stronger, but that's a bit like saying the scorched-Earth policy gets rid of the bad wood, the fire grate puts out the fire. But it also kills a lot in its way.

You ask the people here din Spain, they're starting to hurt. You ask the people in Greece, they're talking about it being a devastation, a country of suicides for the economy and the people. Ask Italy, things are getting worse.

In -- look. To say it will make things better, Becky, is a bit like the old nanny saying the medicine will do you good. Well, it will, but you may not be the one that has to drink it.


ANDERSON: Richard explaining in his own inimitable way how and where we are in this euro crisis. Spain and France both in the headlines today.

I've got to tell you, the markets not too bad at the moment. They think that things are looking up, at least, at this point. When I say "they," I mean investors. Right.

Coming up after the break, we're going to find out exactly why these pictures have NASA scientists very excited.


ANDERSON: Now, this may not look like much to you or me, but NASA scientists are thrilled by these amazing new pictures. They say what you're seeing is the surface of Mars with features suggesting that water once flowed on the red planet.

Now, the latest discovery was beamed back from NASA'S multibillion- dollar Curiosity Rover. Scientists say the rounded stones are lying in what they believe was once a stream bed.

Now, it's been ten months since the rover blasted into space with the red planet in its sights. During that time, Curiosity has earned itself more than a million followers on Twitter and made several discoveries already. Let's take a look at what the mission has uncovered so far.


NASA LAUNCH ANNOUNCER: Two, one, main engine start, zero, and liftoff of the Atlas 5 with Curiosity, seeking clues to the planetary puzzle about life on Mars.

TEXT: Catch me if you can. I'm 10.8 million miles (17.3 million km) into my 352-million mile (567-million-km) flight to Mars!

Aiming for the finish line: 2 thruster firings tonight will adjust my path for final approach to Mars. 8 days till landing!

Entering Mars' atmosphere. 7. Minutes. Of. Terror. Starts. NOW.

Backshell separation. It's just you & me now, descent stage. Engage all retrorockets!

I'm safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!

Me & My Shadow... & Mount Sharp. My view of the 3-mile-high mountain in the middle of Mars' Gale crater.

Examine my Gale Crater neighborhood in this new gorgeous hi-res panorama. Multiple image sizes.


TEXT: I work out. After driving more than a football field's length, I'll do 6-10 days of arm exercises.

A River Ran Through It. I found evidence of an ancient streambed on Mars, similar to some on Earth.


ANDERSON: So, what is the significance of NASA's latest discover? And just how excited is the scientific world. Joining us now is physicist Martin Archer from Imperial College, London, decked out in Mars-like colored trousers for you this evening. How big a deal is what we're seeing?

MARTIN ARCHER, PHYSICIST, IMPERIAL COLLEGE: Well, it's a great discovery. It's yet more proof that there was water on Mars and, as we're going to look at some of the pictures, just how similar Mars is to Earth now or was similar to it.

ANDERSON: Three of your favorites, I know.

ARCHER: Yes, yes.

ANDERSON: Talk us through this first one.

ARCHER: OK. So, this is probably the main discovery, this is the main picture that they've been talking about today from the Curiosity Rover.

ANDERSON: Right. What are we seeing here?

ARCHER: Well, this is evidence that there was a fast-flowing river.

ANDERSON: Where? Where's the evidence?

ARCHER: Well, basically these sorts of formations here are where you would have expected the water. And actually, if you zoom in onto -- there's somewhere in this certain area with that really, nice, smooth bit of rock, which was the erosion could only be caused by, say, water in the past going very, very fast.

ANDERSON: Amazing stuff.

ARCHER: We'd never known that. This, I think, is just a comparison of what we're seeing on Mars and what we're seeing on Earth. This is a -- this actually a lake in Canada, which they've named this new one in Mars after because --

ANDERSON: Look at the similarity.

ARCHER: It's staggering. Mars -- you think of as the red planet so far away and so different from Earth, but in these sorts of ways, so similar in the past. And then --

ANDERSON: What about this?

ARCHER: Yes, this is -- this one's quite interesting as well. The points that are actually marked out here were areas uncovered because of the rocket boosters of the Curiosity when it landed, so it sort of blew all the dust out of the way, and we can actually see these sorts of things which were basically covered in all the red dust beforehand, and we can see this evidence that there was riverbeds on Mars in the past.

ANDERSON: Did you ever expect to see this sort of image? In your lifetime?

ARCHER: No -- well, no. You couldn't have thought that it would ever look as similar to something that you could just go out to the countryside and see. On Mars. It's staggering. And the -- all of the images we're getting from Curiosity, breathtaking. It's an amazing mission, and we're seeing some very interesting things about Mars.

ANDERSON: Before you tell us what you think this means for the potential of life on Earth, I've got a question from Abbas John, here, on our Facebook page. He says "We cannot say for sure if this was a result of ancient river beds. What if it was an ancient wind storm" for example? Does that make sense?

ARCHER: No, it does. I think a lot of the scientists who have looked at these images and they basically ruled out the sort of -- the wind erosion. I mean, they factor that in, say could wind cause -- especially that really smooth rock, one of the ones that they found -- could that cause it?

And they seem to be ruling that out. And it could only be the sort of water erosion from really fast streams that could cause the smooth rocks that Curiosity's actually seeing.

ANDERSON: So, if that were the case, what does this mean for life on Mars?

ARCHER: Well, we can't say for sure if Mars was even habitable in the past, let alone there was actually life. But as we know of it, life -- one of the prerequisites is liquid water, and the only place that we're sure has it in the solar system is Earth.

And now, we can pretty much say that Mars had it in the past. So, that opens up the possibility of where life could have existed within our grasp up from one place to two.

ANDERSON: Exciting stuff, isn't it?


ANDERSON: What else might we expect, realistically, to see?

ARCHER: Well, I don't know. The Curiosity is on its way to a big mountain range, which is one of the places that scientists are really eager to look at in the Gale Crater. Basically, this crater where it landed is where they thought they'd find all the cool stuff. So, who knows what's going to come in the future from it?

But the images that we're getting from the Curiosity have set the world really excited, so -- I don't know. We'll have to see.

ANDERSON: Always a pleasure.

ARCHER: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Take yourself off, have a good Friday evening. Thank you for that.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, in the last of our Great Buildings series, Mexican architect Fernando Romero tells us why his favorite building is New York's Guggenheim. That up after this short break.


ANDERSON: All right. Tonight, we've got the last of our special series of reports celebrating 50 years of the UNESCO Heritage Program. Katie Walmsley met the Mexican designer Fernando Romero, who explained to her his belief that architects are like doctors, providing a public service. Have a listen.


FERNANDO ROMERO, ARCHITECT: Great buildings can make you feel intimidated, it can make you feel powerful, it can make you feel comfort, it can make you feel excitement.

KATIE WALMSLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One of your most talked-about designs is the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City. Tell me why that one is particularly meaningful to you.

ROMERO: It is about trying to create a building that has certain possibilities, extract the engineering, the relationship between art and architecture. It was also a great opportunity to create an icon.

It's a very beautiful project because it's also about how to bring art for free forever for citizens that in many cases cannot travel beyond Mexico. It's the first private collection in Mexico and Latin America that has a very important presence of European art.

WALMSLEY: With the Soumaya, what's the overall message of the building?

ROMERO: I think the message is accessibility and the generosity of being able to see a universal collection of art forever. But also the possibility that you can see how architecture can become also a piece of art.

WALMSLEY: Which already existing building anywhere in the world do you look at it and think, "I wish I'd designed that"?

ROMERO: Building that is very powerful for me is the Guggenheim in New York, because I think that building also brings to certain limits of possibilities of how you can imagine at that moment a museum.

It was a building that was extremely brave in terms of how it -- all the city of Manhattan was arranging their typological solutions around the park, and then, Frank Lloyd Wright came and brought a building that was breaking all the conventional understanding of how a museum should operate.

It creates a very particular solution with a continuous ramp.

It's a masterpiece of modern architecture that will never get repeated again.

I like to see architecture as a public service. So, a doctor will give us service to try to keep you healthy. But architects should actually give you a service to solve your problems. Should build structures that solve for the city and for the people accessible, easy, sustainable, responsible spaces that, at the end, should also give you emotion.

You should also go to the basics of architecture and being surprised by light and by space and by beauty.


ANDERSON: And our series on Great Buildings continues all this week. You can see more online. I'm saying that, and of course, it's Friday evening. So, you've seen our series all week. You can continue to watch it online at, of course.

Now, in tonight's Parting Shots, we have an apology. Apple has said sorry to its customers for the poor performance of its new map application. CEO Tim Cook said Apple had fallen short and unhappy customers should use other map apps from rival Microsoft. To remind you what all the fuss is about, here's my colleague Jim Boulden.


APPLE MAPS VOICE: Turn left onto Lombard Street.

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPODNENT (voice-over): After all the complaints that Apple's new mapping service does not live up to the Google Maps it replaces, I borrowed an iPhone with the new operating system, iOS 6, and took it for a walk.

BOULDEN (on camera): Our building, in fact, is in the right place, but down here -- the bar that closed here a year ago is still listed. Well, listed sometimes. Sometimes this new place is listed. That's what's confusing.

BOULDEN (voice-over): That's part of the problem, apparently. Apple is melding data from various sources, and some of it is clearly outdated.

BOULDEN (on camera): And this hair dressers is now a coffee shop.

BOULDEN (voice-over): And some of it is just plain wrong.

BOULDEN (on camera): It says here this is the cinema in Westfield's, in Stratford City. Clearly not here. In fact, the cinema is eight miles east of here.


ANDERSON: Oh, dear. Never mind. Jim's gone back for the weekend. I'm sure he wasn't trying to see the movie anyway. It's Becky Anderson here in London for you. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching. The world news headlines up after this short break. Do not go away.