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CONNECT THE WORLD
Syrian Foreign Minister Blames West, Middle Eastern Powers For Violence; Europeans Complete Miracle Comeback To Retain Ryder Cup
Aired October 1, 2012 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, razed to the ground: why the citizens of this Syrian city are once again fearing for their lives.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: Well, homes in Hamaa are demolished, evidence tonight of how a deadly civil war is not just tearing apart a generation, but also scorching a centuries old civilization.
Also this hour...
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GEORGE W. BUSH: There's differences.
AL GORE: (SIGHS)
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ANDERSON: Don't forget the body language guys. Ahead of this week's first presidential debate, what today's candidates can learn from the mistakes of contender's past.
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JOSE MOURINHO, REAL MADRID MANAGER: People think they know me, but they don't.
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ANDERSON: The Special One speaks exclusively to CNN. Jose Mourinho in his own words.
I'm Becky Anderson in London. Tonight, to crush a rebellion, call it terrorism and spread the blame, that's what Syria did today at the United Nations as it slammed the west and Middle East powers for what it calls, and I quote, interference and hypocrisy. Well, inside the country was regime bulldozers that did the talking flattening buildings in the city of Hamaa, a flashpoint of determined opposition to Syrian President Bashar al- Assad.
Displaced by the thousands, Hamaa's traumatized residents fear another crackdown similar to the legacy of 1982 when Assad's father was in charge. But as more people died, Syria's foreign minister went on the diplomatic offensive. On the last day of debate at the United Nations General Assembly Syria has dominated the conversation. Walid Moellem accused major governments of funding terrorism inside his country.
We're across the world on this tonight. Mohammed Jamjoom is in the Middle East in Beirut for you, senior UN correspondent Richard Roth as ever at the United Nations.
And let's start with you, Richard, with what some are calling, at least, Syria's dog and pony show today at the United Nations General Assembly. Your thoughts.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he didn't bring any props like the Israeli leader, but he has a touch portfolio to play, but he did the best job he could here. The experienced diplomat, the Syrian foreign minister telling the United Nations General Assembly his country is ready to talk, have national dialogue, that's what's needed, he says, to end this crisis. And he listed several countries as being responsible for the violence inside Syria's borders.
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WALIS MOELLEM, SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We also wonder to what extent the statements made by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States, France and others, to what extent do these statements, which clearly incite and support terrorism in Syria with money, weapons and foreign fighters, to what extent are these in line with the international responsibilities of these countries in combating terrorism.
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ROTH: In the speech, constant references to terrorists, extremists, jihadists supported from elsewhere and even responsible for expanding what he questioned as a refugee crisis.
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MOELLEM (through translator): And while my government is working hard to meet the basic needs of citizens who have been forced by the violence of armed groups to flee their homes, some have sought to fabricate a refugee crisis in neighboring countries through inciting armed groups to intimidate Syrian civilians in border areas and forcing them to flee to neighboring countries.
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ROTH: There could be as many of 700,000 refugees from Syria later this year. And Becky, the UN secretary-general in private told the Syrian foreign minister the violence has got to stop.
Back to you.
ANDERSON: Richard Roth is in New York at the United Nations for you this evening.
Mohammed Jamjoom is across the border from Syria in Lebanon joining us live now from CNN Beirut.
Hamaa, a city whose memories of assaults past will still be very vivid to the older generation. What do we know of the details, Mohammed, from Hamaa this Monday?
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, residents there are telling us that it's systematic displacement and destruction of homes that's being carried out by Syrian security forces there. Many residents and activists that we've spoken to in Hamaa, especially in the Masha al-Barin (ph) neighborhood there say that in the past several days Syrian security forces entered the town, that tanks surrounded that neighborhood, that bulldozers then entered that neighborhood, that they have started knocking on doors, telling families they needed to leave, arresting folks, then they started razing entire homes that at least 120 structures have been razed so far. We've seen a lot of amateur video posted online purporting to show the destruction that we're hearing about.
And as you mentioned, this is conjuring up vivid memories for residents there of what happened in 1982: the massacre of Hamaa. This was carried out under the orders of Haifa al-Assad. You had Syrian security forces essentially putting down a revolt that was going on there. Now there have never been any official numbers, but estimates put anywhere between 3,000 to 40,000 people as causalities of when Syrian security forces were putting down that rebellion that went on in 1982. And many people now think that this could be a precursor to something similar happening in the days and weeks to come - Becky.
ANDERSON: Lest we forget, there are more than 30,000 people now dead in this what is a civil war over the past 18 months. Mohammed, I just want to stay here from Ahmad Fawzi who is spokesman for the UN Arab League envoy to Syria. Earlier today he said the large number of deeply divided rebel groups is one of the main obstacles to the UN's missions in Syria to broker peace. We know the world is at deadlock at this point, nothing coming out of the UN over the past week or so that we could say was a solution to this. Let's just hear what Ahmad Fawzi had to say to CNN just about three days ago. Have a listen to this.
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AHMAD FAWZI, SPOKESMAN FOR UN-ARAB LEAGUE ENVOY TO SYRIA: The situation is catastrophic and if Syria explodes it will have catastrophic consequences in the region not just for the Syrian people. We all, our hearts bleed for the Syrian people. And we want to stop the bloodshed as soon as possible.
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ANDERSON: I think he speaks for everybody, Mohammed, when he says the bloodshed must stop. It's how we stop this bloodshed. And as I suggested earlier on, some say that Syria's activist groups are now divided, and that may be a problem on the ground. Your sense?
JAMJOOM: Now absolutely, Becky. We've known for quite some time now that there have been deep divisions that have roiled the opposition in Syria, not just the opposition groups in Syria, but the opposition groups outside of Syria as well. We also know that there are deep divisions amongst various Free Syrian Army rebel groups as well, that's one concern about how can these groups unite for a common purpose.
But also, let's look at the big picture here as well. On a day like today when the UNGA, when Syria is dominating there as a topic, what is going on in Syria as world leaders are huddling trying to come up with a solution to this crisis these past several days. Let's talk about just Idlib in the north of the country. You have a city there in which there are barrel bombs being dropped according to activists.
So even though there are world leaders that are trying to come up with some sort of a diplomatic solution, the fact is there is deadlock, there is division amongst opposition groups, and it doesn't look like this crisis will get any better anytime soon - Becky.
ANDERSON: And so it goes on.
Mohammed, thank you for that.
We're also getting reports of new battles in Aleppo's old city, a world heritage site. State media says armed forces in this historically important city inflicted, and I quote, "heavy losses upon terrorists there today."
Well, Syrians' lives honed and now their heritage all at the mercy of tanks and shelling.
Take a look at this.
ANDERSON: This video appears to show the destruction of a Medieval market in Syria. It's one of several that have emerged on YouTube which claim to show a fire sweeping through the old city of Aleppo during fierce fighting between Syrian forces and opposition rebels. This is what the ancient suke (ph) looked like before Syria's crisis became an insurgency, a vibrant place where locals would come to buy produce, where women would play cards. A UN world heritage site the tourists would visit in awe.
KARIM HENDILI, UNESCO: What's happened in the old sukes (ph) is, is really a disaster, because very important part of the cultural heritage of the city of Aleppo has been lost. When we talk about that heritage in Syria, we talk about the importance of the culture and heritage of humanity in general.
ANDERSON: Aleppo's historic market survived a long line of rulers and conquerors dating back to the 12th Century. Asked when this modern-day conflict began, UNESCO feared the worst.
HENDILI: Syria is the signatory of the 1954 convention on the protection of cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict. This has to be taken into consideration. This is what we try to recall. And unfortunately, we can only see now this major loss.
ANDERSON: At this point, the extent of the damage to the old city is unclear and it remains at the center of what rebels believe will be a decisive battle against Assad's forces.
ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World live from London. Our top story tonight, another day, another deadly toll. Reports out of Syria that army shelling and air raids killed dozens of civilians including kids today, that as rebels and loyalists continue close quarter battles in Aleppo's main sukes (ph) destroying not just Syrian lives, but a site of a centuries' old civilization.
Still to come tonight, demanding answers: South Africa opens an inquiry into the police shootings at its platinum mine which left dozens of striking miners dead.
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ANDERSON: The kings of comeback, Europe celebrate their win at this year's Ryder Cup. And the celebrations continue. All that and much more when Connect the World continues after this.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're with Connect the World here on CNN. Now in South Africa, the official search for answers has begun, a presidential inquiry is now underway into the shooting deaths of dozens of striking workers at a Lonmin platinum mine. Only four people, remember, were killed when a bitter labor dispute turned violent. CNN's Nkepile Mabuse has been following the inquiry. A warning, this report does contain some disturbing images.
NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The commission of inquiry into what's been dubbed the Marikana massacre here has been given four months by the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma to get to the bottom of what happened on the 16 of August, not only that but to investigate events that lead up to the 16 of August when the police opened fire on protesting mine workers, killing 34 people and injuring 78.
Already for the first two days, the commission has decided it will conduct a local inspection, that's going to all the key areas where significant events unfolded. Already the chairperson of the commission confronted today by protesters holding up posters reading do not let the police get away with murder.
Of course the police investigation central to this. Many people in that Marikana area want to see a police officers prosecuted for what happened. The police still maintain that they acted in self defense. It is up to the commission now to determine whether that is in fact the case.
Lonmin is also in the spotlight, being investigated as regard to the role that it played leading up to the 16th and also following that dramatic shootout that we saw with the police.
Labor Unions were blamed for the rivalry sparking this violence. They will also be investigated. And of course government departments, critically the Department of Mineral Resources and the action that it took in this labor dispute.
And of course the miners themselves and how they contributed to this violence.
Nkepile Mabuse, CNN, Johannesburg.
ANDERSON: OK, a look at some of the other stories that are connecting our world tonight. And Somali forces backed by African Union troops from Kenya have now pushed deeper into the southern port city of Kismayo. It follows last week's beach assault by Kenyan soldiers on the former al Shabaab rebel stronghold. Now the allied forces have, we are told, entered the southern half of the city which the al Qaeda linked militant group has controlled for years.
Greece's international creditors were greeted by boos and shouts of troika out, and traitors will be hung as they headed to the finance ministry in Athens for a look at revised government austerity cuts. The country's labor unions have promised months of nationwide strikes and protest to the cuts they say are simply unsustainable. This comes as new figures out today show Greece has leapfrogged Spain in numbers of young people unemployed. Greece now has the highest percentage of 16-25 year olds without a job in Europe and 55 percent, that's more than 1 in 2 followed by Spain and then Portugal.
Well in Georgia, both the ruling party and the opposition leader have claimed victory in Monday's parliamentary elections. Some exit polls put the billionaire tycoon Zurab Azmaiparashvili and his Georgia Dream Party in the lead. The new parliament will choose Georgia's prime minister an important position in this constitutional changes next year will increase its power.
Well, a new CNN poll just released shows Barack Obama leading his rival Mitt Romney by just 3 points. The figures show 50 percent of likely voters in the U.S. would vote for Obama compared with 47 percent voting for Mitt Romney, a big drop for Obama since his post-convention boost of 52 percent last month when he held a 6 point lead over his rival. The polls roughly back to where they were before the conventions. Remember that margin of error. That effectively means this is a tie at present.
We'll have more news and analysis on the race to the White House in about 15 minutes time.
We are going to take a very short break. Don't go away, though, we're going to take a short break. Back after this. Remember that euro crisis, well, it's over, at least it is on the golf course. We're going to take a look back at the miracle at Medinah. That after this.
ANDERSON: Epic collapse or greatest comeback ever, whatever it was, Europe is celebrating after Germany's Martin Kaymer holed this putt on the final hole of the penultimate match on Sunday to give Europe the 14th point they needed to retain the Ryder Cup against the US of A. Cue wild celebrations from the rest of the team who had done what no other Ryder Cup lineup in history has managed, they came back from the biggest deficit ever away from home, let's remember, claiming eight-and-half points in the final day to emerge victorious.
I don't think I can tell this story enough. Shall I start again now?
The Ryder Cup - the comeback has been the sports story in Britain this weekend and across Europe - well, let me tell you, let's find out how the Europeans felt. We're going to check the pulse of Spain and Germany for you.
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Germany stepping in to save Europe's skin on the golfing green just as it tends to do on the financial front. 27 year old German player Martin Kaymer putting his bad form over the last few months behind him for a tremendous final putt in his singles match against Steve Stricker.
He said he's spoken to German golfing legend Bernard Langer (ph) the day before to ask him how to improve his form and Langer's (ph) always been a kind of mentor to him. Langer (ph) famously lost Europe the Ryder Cup, lost the Ryder Cup for Europe back in 1991 on the final green and Kaymer says in those final few seconds he thought to himself I can't let this happen again, showing true German efficiency when it mattered most.
MARTIN KAYMER, GOLFER: Graeme (ph) had the same experience and me two years ago. And I didn't know how much - how much pressure he must have felt until I get to 16 today and Jose Maria told me we need your point. And I don't really care how you do it, just deliver. But I like those. You know, there's very straightforward, that's the way we Germans are. And fortunately I could handle it and yeah, I made the last putt.
AL GOODMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Football, or soccer, is still king of Spanish sports, so the main sports papers in Spain this Monday were still filled basically with football news. Here, this paper from Barcelona talking about Barcelona and the Ryder Cup victory, the historic win for the European side, relegated to just a mention, that's how it was for the sports papers. And in the national newspapers, really hardly a mention on the front pages.
But if you look inside, it was a different story, because clearly the contribution of the Spaniards to the European team in coming for this historic victory was very much made noticed of. Here we get a headline that says miracle from Europe. They're talking about the coach of the team Jose Maria Olazabal who has won three times as a player, now as the coach. Sergio Garcia, who had a key victory on Sunday to help the European side take this Ryder Cup away from the American side. And of course the late, great Spanish golfer Sevi Ballesteros who died last year, Olazabal saying after the European victory on Sunday, this one is for Sevi. And we see that in this paper here with this headline Sevi, it was like that, wasn't it?
ANDERSON: Al Goodman out of Madrid for you.
Shame on those Spanish newspaper editors, that should have been front page stuff.
Was this the most fantastic comeback ever then by the Europeans, or a monumental choke by the Americans. Let's bring in Don Riddell from CNN Center. Both of us have been the hosts of the CNN show Living Golf over the years. So we ought to be able to debate this one.
I'll tell you what I did, I think I gave up that 18 hours of life, six of them over the last three days, six or seven of them, to (inaudible) of course. I will say that the Americans got the yips. What do you say?
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You know, maybe. I mean, I think when you get a reversal of such epic proportions like this, Becky, it's probably somewhere in between, whether it was a comeback or a collapse. But, you know, I mean, what Europe did was absolutely incredible. And going into the Sunday singles they weren't just four - well, they were four points down going into the singles, but at one point or so in the afternoon, they were six points down and on foreign soil. Nobody really thought Europe could do it except perhaps for Sevi upstairs and one or two players in the European team. But Ian Poulter and Luke Donald got two crucial points on Saturday afternoon. They went into Sunday knowing exactly what they had to do. And I think once they started going up in their matches I think perhaps the Americans did start to feel the pressure. They started to crumble. And in the end perhaps they did give it away.
ANDERSON: Poulter and who was it, who was the other wild card, because Poulter had an absolute result, didn't he, over the three days?
RIDDELL: Yeah, Poulter and Colsaerts were the two wild cards, but Poulter has emerged, you know, as effectively the new Sevi. I mean, his Ryder Cup record is absolutely phenomenal. And he was inspirational in this match. As I said, he took that crucial point on Saturday afternoon. He played four matches in this tournament. He didn't lose a point at all. He won all four points.
It was funny, Lee Westwood in the press conference afterwards said we've already decide the qualification process for 2014 at Glenn Eagles is going to be nine spots, two captains picks and Poults (ph). He has to be there. He has to be there.
Jose Maria Olazabal, the European captain also said, you know, the Ryder Cup should build a statue for this guy. He is just awesome.
ANDERSON: Good stuff.
Listen, I tweeted at the beginning of the last day, can we do it? Yes we can. But I wasn't quite sure we'd pull it off. But you know what, what an absolute result. I feel bad for the Americans, but you know, on their soil for the Europeans to come back on that last day was absolutely phenomenal. And we all enjoy a great sporting moment at the end of the day.
Always a pleasure. And Mr. Riddell back in the house of course in an hour's time.
Still to come here, he's one of the most successful football managers in the world, but he says there is a cost.
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MOURINHO: They hate my social life. My social life.
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ANDERSON: Real manager Jose Mourinho opens up in an exclusive interview with CNN later in the program.
Then Hugo Chavez and his presidential contender hosts rival rallies ahead of next Sunday's election. But up next, what history can teach America's presidential candidates as they gear up for their first televised debate. All that and your headlines up next.
ANDERSON: For those of you who may just be joining us, I'm Becky Anderson in London. This is CNN, a warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. These are the latest world news headlines.
Syria's foreign minister slammed some members of the United Nations and he claimed Western and Middle Eastern powers are funding what he calls terrorist groups in his country. Walid Moallem also told the UN General Assembly in New York that the Syrian regime still believes in a political solution to this conflict.
Syrian state media report that armed forces have inflicted, quote, "heavy losses upon terrorists" in Aleppo today. But rebels say they've launched a new offensive to seize the city's military airport. Activists now say at least 127 people have been killed across Syria alone this Monday.
And this just coming into CNN for you. Chinese media report that eight people are dead after a ferry and a tugboat collided southwest of Hong Kong. Fifteen people are still missing, more than 100 were rescued and taken to hospital. More on that, of course, as we get it into CNN Center.
And a new CNN poll released less than an hour ago puts Barack Obama three points ahead of rival Mitt Romney. Fifty percent of likely American voters say they would vote for Mr. Obama, with 47 percent favoring Mr. Romney.
With just 36 days to go until Americans vote for their new president, CNN's Chief US Correspondent John King joining us now from Denver, Colorado. And -- Obama, it seems, in this latest poll that we've just got in, CNN poll, dropping back in the polls to what is a, John, a statistical dead heat, when you consider the margin of error. Where's he going wrong?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF US CORRESPONDENT: Well, you could say what is he doing wrong? It's a great question, Becky. A part of what he has to deal with is he's the incumbent president of the United States at a time we still have a very sluggish, very unpredictable recovery here in the US.
Just the other day, they revised the GDP number, gross domestic product of the United States, and it showed the economy is, yes, not in recession, yes, it's growing, but just barely. Remember last month's job report was pretty anemic. The United States economy is not creating anywhere near enough jobs, and Barack Obama is president of the United States at that time.
So, he did get a bit of a bounce after his convention. Governor Romney, his Republican challenger, not so much of a bounce after his Republican convention. And now, the race has come back into what is a statistical tie. Slight advantage for the president.
And here's a defining issue. In our poll, we ask, who will you vote for? We also ask, which candidate do you most trust on the economy? And Becky, 49 percent say they trust President Obama more, 48 percent say they trust Governor Romney more.
So, essentially, a tie in the horse race number, and a tie on what is the defining question of the US presidential election, which many, which one of these candidates do you most trust on the economy. So, we head into the last five weeks with a highly-competitive race.
ANDERSON: That's right. And 48 hours from now, John, the first of the televised debates. Stay with me, a lot can change before voting day, of course. It just takes one wrong word, one small slip-up to cause a furor and turn these numbers upside down. So, here's a reminder of why these debates can make or break an entire election campaign. Have a look at this.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): September 26, 1960, the first televised presidential debate, signaling a new era, where appearances matter more than ever, and gaffes, however small, are magnified.
JOHN F. KENNEDY, 1960 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The goals are the same for all Americans.
COOPER: John F. Kennedy, a young senator from Massachusetts, facing off against Vice President Richard Nixon, who was known to be a fierce debater. But on screen, Kennedy looks cool and calm, while Nixon looks uncomfortable, sweating profusely under the hot studio lights.
RICHARD NIXON, 1960 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Think I'd better shave.
COOPER: Nixon flounders under the glare of television for all four debates. Kennedy goes on to win the election.
In 1976, President Gerald Ford makes this blunder in his debate with Georgia governor, Jimmy Carter.
GERALD FORD, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1976: There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration.
I'm sorry, I want -- could I just pause --
COOPER: The remark becomes a central theme in Carter's campaign and is blamed by many for costing Ford the election.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan is repeatedly attacked by President Carter for his stance on health care.
JIMMY CARTER, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1980: Governor Reagan, as a matter of fact, began his political career campaigning around this nation against Medicare.
COOPER: But Reagan wins fans and the election by staying cool.
RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1984: There you go again.
COOPER: Four years later, President Reagan again uses humor to handle attacks on his age during his debate with Walter Mondale.
REAGAN: And I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience.
COOPER: In the next election, Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis is asked this controversial question in his debate with Vice President George Bush.
BERNARD SHOW, FORMER CNN CORRESPONDENT: Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?
MICHAEL DUKAKIS, 1988 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I don't, Bernard, and I think you know that I've opposed the death penalty during all of my life --
COOPER: The public sees his answer as cold and dispassionate, and that very night, his poll numbers dropped.
During the 1988 vice presidential debate, Republican senator Dan Quayle's comparison to John F. Kennedy elicits this blistering response from his opponent.
LLOYD BENSTEN, 1988 VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.
COOPER: Body language plays a part in the presidential debate in 1992. George H.W. Bush deliberately looks at his watch, and he pays for it when the audience and voters see it as disrespectful.
GEORGE W. BUSH, 2000 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The other difference is --
AL GORE, 2000 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (sighs)
COOPER: Body language makes a difference in the debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush, as well. Gore sighs over and over again, and Bush, the underdog, surprises by winning the debate and, of course, the election.
Both President Obama and Governor Romney are seasoned debaters, and experts say neither are prone to making major gaffes. But if there is one thing that history has taught us when it comes to presidential debates, expect the unexpected.
(AL GORE SIGHS)
COOPER: Anderson Cooper, CNN.
ANDERSON: John, both Obama and Romney, of course, are seasoned debaters. So, tell me, what do we need to watch out for from Wednesday's - - in Wednesday's first debate?
KING: Let's start with Governor Romney. Since he is trailing in some of the key battleground states, there's a higher burden on him trying to unseat the incumbent. So, he has a delicate challenge, Becky. He needs to attack the president, he needs to indict his economic record, if you will.
But he doesn't want to appear to be too negative, because people like President Obama. Even those who have doubts about President Obama like him as a person. So, he has to make his case without being too mean and too nasty.
And he also -- as he criticizes the president, needs to also say, "Here, but I have a plan that will make your lives better. A Romney presidency will get you a job, will get you more economic security. So, that's his challenge, and it's delicate. How critical do you be, how mean do you be, if you will, without -- or how can you attack without coming across as mean?
For the president of the United States, this is what his aids are most worried about. He doesn't like Governor Romney. He has made that clear to his campaign staff. Sometimes he can appear a bit smug, a bit arrogant, then president of the United States can, and they are very, very mindful in their debate prep sessions.
We are told, that Senator John Kerry, himself a former presidential nominee, is playing Mitt Romney, and he's attacking the president hard to try to get the president essentially to burst back in meanness or arrogance, and so, they're trying to get it out of the way in the practice session, because they don't want that to happen on national television.
ANDERSON: Well, 48 hours and counting. Watch it here on CNN live. John, always a pleasure. And don't forget, CNN is the place for the most comprehensive coverage of the entire US election campaign. You can see that first debate live Thursday, as I say, starting 1:00 in the morning here in London.
And Barack Obama has received a surprise endorsement.
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HUGO CHAVEZ, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): If I were from the United States, I'd vote for Obama.
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ANDERSON: Coming up, that next, how Venezuela's Hugh Chavez is looking for that kind of support in his own presidential election. That is this weekend. We're going to take a look at that after this.
ANDERSON: Huge campaign rallies held this weekend ahead of the Venezuelan presidential election next Sunday. In Zulia state, thousands of people cheered on the incumbent Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, who's been in power since 1999.
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ANDERSON: And in Caracas, the streets teemed with opposition supporters rallying around their candidate, Henrique Capriles.
Well, there was violence in other parts of the country. Three opposition supporters were killed on the way to a rally in Hugo Chavez's home state. Rafael Romo on the story for us for CNN and with us this hour. I know that we're restricted on reporting polls even a week out, but what is the sense of tension surrounding this election at this point?
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Well, there's no better example than what happened over the weekend, Becky, with this shootout in which three of Capriles' supporters -- campaign workers, actually -- were attacked as they were trying to get to a rally.
They were shot and killed, with Capriles saying that this cannot happen. And also, the Chavez government reacting rapidly and saying that they had already arrested one suspect.
But there has been recriminations on both sides. Venezuela's a divided country. This election has polarized the country, and it's been part of the rhetoric in Venezuela for the last few years.
And let's remember, Chavez has been in power since 1999. If he wins reelection this time around, Becky, he would be in power until the year 2019.
Now, his adversary, political adversary, Henrique Capriles Radonski had a press conference today in which he spoke with international media, and he attacked Chavez on several fronts.
Mainly that he has been wasting precious resources that Venezuela gets in terms of selling oil to other countries by helping other countries that are friendly to Venezuela, mainly Cuba, Nicaragua, and others that are aligned with Venezuela, politically speaking, and mainly with President Chavez.
But let's hear what Capriles say -- said when it comes to relations with countries in other parts of the world.
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HENRIQUE CAPRILES RADONSKI, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): What does Venezuela have in common with Iran or Belarus? Isn't the president of Belarus a dictator? You tell me. Isn't it true that here in Venezuela, we twice gave our independence hero Bolivar's sword to Gadhafi? Is that the kind of relations that we, the Venezuelan people want? No.
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ANDERSON: The Venezuelan opposition candidate there, and Rafael Romo reporting for you on the story from CNN Center. Rafael, always a pleasure. Thank you.
As campaigning came to a head this weekend, many say Hugo Chavez is facing his strongest competition yet. But as Paula Newton reports, the president is hoping his socialist record will stand by itself.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We're on the road to Hugo Chavez's City of Dreams, literally carved into the side of a mountain. He claims it's a socialist utopia built from scratch.
Ciudad Caribia, Chavez's socialist city, is taking shape just a half hour's drive from the capital, Caracas. There are stacks and stacks of cubed apartments, a church, gardens. The sights and sounds of community are everywhere, Venezuelans eager to show off their new home.
She shows us her new living room, her new kitchen with laundry, and all those bedrooms. And she tells us something we hear over and over again here: "It's free," she says. "Thanks to the president, it's all free."
And they say compared to where they used to live in the working-class slums, all of this is like a dream.
"I really like it here," this resident tells us, "because the house we had was horrible. It was falling down.
In the medical clinic, we find a Cuban-trained doctor and, again --
MARICRUZ GARCIA AGUILAR, DOCTOR: All the medical care here is free.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gratis?
AGUILAR: Yes. The government, Chavez's government, pays for everything.
NEWTON (on camera): Now, these communities may be wedged in the side of mountains on land that no one wanted, but you'd be hard-pressed to convince people here who were in the barrios that this is worse than where they came from.
And I want you to follow me now into here, and you can see, we're now walking into the elementary school, and we have kids in here who are excited to be learning. They have supplies, they have a new school. And they have a new community to grow up in.
NEWTON (voice-over): As the teachers tell us, this isn't a question of the school being better or worse. This is a community project, a model for Venezuela.
"We owe all this to the president," she says. "It's his project. We're doing this with his help."
NEWTON (on camera): The red hard hats, the red shirts. There can be little doubt that this is a Chavez initiative. With true revolutionary zeal, he says he is bringing free housing to the homeless and to the poor. For that, he has been rewarded and expects to be rewarded once more at the polls.
NEWTON (voice-over): There are accusations now that Chavez is buying votes and loyalty, easing his way into reelection in the fall by fashioning himself a Venezuela's very own Robin Hood.
ORLANDO OCHOA, ECONOMIST: In the case of Venezuela, the government itself handles oil wealth and then redistributes. And of course, there are electoral intentions with that.
NEWTON: And there is nothing subtle about this place or its intent.
AGULIAR (through translator): Only Chavez's government. I think it would be difficult to believe that another government would do something like this.
NEWTON: These residents are Chavezta loyalists, and their political views seem as fixed as the mountain where Caribia now stands.
Paula Newton, CNN, Caribia City, Venezuela.
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. When we come back --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSE MOURINHO, MANAGER, REAL MADRID: I think it was a perfect example of a fantastic divorce.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: What is he talking about? The Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho on his relationship with a former boss, that being the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Find out more after this.
ANDERSON: He's one of the most charismatic and recognizable faces in world football. Jose Mourinho is the only coach to win European football's top league three times.
But the Real Madrid manager concedes that his success and very public profile has had a devastating impact on his personal life. He made that candid admission when he sat down with CNN's Pedro Pinto in what was an exclusive interview.
PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: If you don't win the Champions League with Real, will you see your stay here as a failure?
MOURINHO: No. No. Because I always say this when I when and when I lose, I say the same with -- in relation to the Champions League. There is an edge where the difference between succeed and not succeed is very, very narrow. So, I don't consider it a failure.
But I know what you mean. The world will consider it a failure, because I won so many times and I brought so many successes to the teams where I am that probably everybody is expecting that.
PINTO: Do you feel people have the wrong idea of you? I don't have to be the one to tell you that many times, people have quite a negative view of you, an aggressive view of you, a tough view of you.
MOURINHO: I know. I know.
MOURINHO: I think it's quite normal, because people -- people think they know me, but they don't. People know the manager, especially the manager during 90 minutes. If I could be a manger, a football manager, and the moment I leave the club or the moment the match finishes, if I could switch off a light and become a person that nobody knows, I would do it.
Because I hate my social life. I hate my social life. I hate not to be a normal father that goes with his son to the son's football match and being there with the other 20 fathers watching the match.
I am in a football match of kids of 10, 12 years old, and I have to be there. The people have to come for photos, the people have to come for autographs, the people have to come to insult me, the people have to go behind the goal of my kids and insult the kid of 12 years old.
So, I would love to be in the street with my family as a normal person, and I can't. So, I am a completely different person in my private life.
PINTO (voice-over): Jose and I spent a couple of hours together, and we discussed his future. So, what's next? And would he consider working under Roman Abramovich at Chelsea once again?
MOURINHO: Of course.
PINTO (on camera): You would?
MOURINHO: Of course.
PINTO: No hard feelings?
MOURINHO: No, no. And I think it was a perfect example of a fantastic divorce.
PINTO: So, you're still in touch?
MOURINHO: A lot in touch, and the last example is when Michael Essien was going to another club and when I did --
MOURINHO: -- leave it to your friend, he left with his friend. We have a great relation, in fact.
PINTO: So, the question has to be asked, then -- and you've said you would like to go to England, that is where you would like to go next -- so would the perfect scenario be to take over from Sir Alex?
MOURINHO: No. The perfect scenario is when I go, there is two coaches. Because I think football would lose a lot when he stops. For me, he's the boss. I call him the boss because he's the boss of the coaches, and I hope when I go back to English football, he's still managing Man United.
PINTO: Would you take a Manchester City job knowing that that would probably stop you from taking over Manchester United one day?
MOURINHO: I don't think about that, especially because I have a four- year contract with Real. I signed it, and when I signed it because I wanted to be in Real Madrid in the spirit of my career. And I don't think in another club.
I just say openly that for many reasons, after this project, the next step will be England for many reasons. But when? I don't know. I don't have an idea. And I'm so happy to be in this moment the manager of the best club in the world.
ANDERSON: And join us as we spend a day with Jose Mourinho. That's "Mourinho Master Class," Friday, 4:30 in the afternoon in London.
Well, I've just got time for tonight's Parting Shots. South Korean rapper Psy has horse-danced his way to the top of the UK charts. If you haven't seen it, have a look at this.
(VIDEO CLIP - "GANGNAM STYLE" BY PSY)
ANDERSON: The video for his hit single "Gangnam Style" also holds the Guinness World Record for the most-liked video in YouTube history, with more than -- let me tell you -- 335 million hits. It's got people gyrating, and they're doing it around the world. Even inmates at a detention center in the Philippines are busting out of some of the video's famous moves.
With that, I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD, thank you for watching. World news headlines up after this.