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CONNECT THE WORLD

Suspect Named In Malala Yousafzai Shooting; Facebook Stock Sees Huge Gains After Earnings Report

Aired October 24, 2012 - 16:00   ET

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


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Britain's sex abuse scandal crosses the Atlantis. Tonight, a dark cloud is hanging over this man, the incoming chief executive of the New York Times over what he knew about an investigation into BBC presenter Jimmy Saville.

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

FOSTER: Former head of the BBC Mark Thompson is now embroiled in a scandal which is calling into question his future at one of the world's most famous news organizations.

Also tonight, a CNN exclusive on the main suspect of a shooting of a Pakistani schoolgirl who has become a global symbol of courage.

And with Halloween right around the corner, why the UK is in store for some freaky weather.

FOSTER: Well, from the top of the BBC to the top of the New York Times, the fallout from a pedophile scandal surrounding British TV presenter Jimmy Saville has crossed the Atlantic.

Dan Rivers has been following this unfolding story. And Dan, there are questions being raised about the former head of the BBC now.

DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And we've already had the current head of the BBC George Entwistle being grilled by British politicians this week, but now the focus is definitely shifting to Mark Thompson, we need to say the former director-general, the director-general when this expose was being put together and when this expose into Jimmy Saville was axed.

This is just a story that refuses to go away.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIMMY SAVILLE, BBC PRESENTER: We're already at the (inaudible). Here we go, (inaudible) right now.

RIVERS: You might not have heard of Jimmy Saville, but in Britain he was a household name, a BBC TV presenter, disc jockey, charity fundraiser; eccentric, yes, but a pillar of society, even knighted by the queen for his good works. But now his image is utterly shattered. After his death a year ago, dozens of women and some men have come forward to say they were sexually abused by him when they were children.

The claims were first recorded by a BBC reporting team who were preparing an expose on their own staff.

KARIN WARD, VICTIM OF JIMMY SAVILLE: He promised me that if I gave him oral sex that he would arrange for me and my friends to go to television center and be on his television show.

RIVERS: But what makes this story even worse is that the BBC then axed this damning report from its Newsnight program, instead airing a glowing tribute to Jimmy Saville the day after Christmas.

That decision is now the subject of intense scrutiny. The BBC is in turmoil as it investigates itself. And it's still now clear why the program was axed. George Entwistle, who has been in charged for less than two months insists there wasn't, saying Saville was the one who was covering things up, not his BBC colleagues.

The BBC's boss from 2004 until last month was Mark Thompson. He is about to become the head of the New York Times. On October 13, in a statement he claimed, "during my time as the director-general of the BBC I never heard any allegations or received any complaints about Jimmy Saville."

But now his story has changed. He's now admitting he was told the BBC was investigating Jimmy Saville by a colleague at a party. He then reported that conversation to other BBC managers and was told the story was not going to run, quote, "for journalistic reasons." He insists he handled the matter properly.

The claims against Saville will remain only claims, since his death precludes any prosecution, but the BBC says similar claims of sexual harassment against other current employees, some famous, are also being investigated.

Bad news for the New York Times, bad news for the BBC, and perhaps more bad news yet to emerge. The number of victims coming forward is growing every day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIVERS: Well, Mark Thompson has so far not done anything on camera, but he has talked to the New York Times, his new employers. He told them had I known the nature of the allegations and the credible allegations that these horrific crimes had taken place during his, Jimmy Saville's time at the BBC and in the building at the BBC, I of course would have considered them very grave and I would have acted differently. And that's, I think the key to all this. People asking, well, you know, did he fail to ask the right questions and take an active interest in this?

While he is worrying, obviously, about whether he is going to take up this job of CEO of New York Times, there are two separate inquiries that are being set up with - by the BBC. One is looking at the extent of abuse within the BBC and the culture of sexual harassment, the other one, the narrow point of why that expose was dropped by the editor of Newsnight.

FOSTER: OK. Back with you in a second, Dan, but earlier I spoke to British politician Rob Wilson. He wrote to Mark Thompson this week to clarify what it knew about the claims surrounding Jimmy Saville and the dropping of that BBC investigation. Thompson replied, reiterating, that he had never heard the allegations during his time as head of the BBC. But he was informed of the existence of the investigation.

Earlier, Wilson told me that the former director-general's reply left many questions unanswered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROB WILSON, BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Well, we don't exactly know yet what Mark Thompson knew or didn't know. We've had a statement from him. He's written back to me and given me some details. It does seem the journalist that he spoke to at the drinks party told him more than he originally said that he knew. There's also further information now to be followed up. And I have done that with Mark Thompson about some of the things that he said in his letter to me.

I think it's very important that we find out what those conversations he had were with the head of news and other people within news management, because that's what he told me in his letter. I'd like to know who he spoke to, when he spoke to them, what the conversations that were had, what the details of the conversations were. It's very important we get all the information into the public domain so that the inquiry can be successful.

FOSTER: For the international audience, what sort of sanctions could someone like Mark Thompason face if found guilty in any way during these inquiries?

WILSON: Well, I'm not sure the inquiries have the power to find anyone guilty. They're not judicial inquiries in that sense, but I think that it would be a stain on the reputation of a director-general of the BBC, whoever they were, past or present, were they found to not be on top of something as serious as this.

Well, you've got to remember that these Jimmy Saville allegations are absolutely staggering. The police are undertaking an inquiry to one of the most prolific pedophiles that the UK has ever known. And that pedophile was employed by the BBC at the time. And activities of a very unseemly nature took place on BBC premises. And a Newsnight program, the key program on the BBC, was about to expose that.

Now if there was any form of coverup, and we don't know quite yet whether there was or there wasn't, but if there was, this is going to do incredible damage to the BBC brand around the world and damage to those people who are - who were in decision making positions within the BBC.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: That's the view of a British MP, Dan, heavily involved in this. Now that Mark Thompson is as well.

What's the New York Times saying about this?

RIVERS: Well, it's pretty difficult for Mark Thompson. The public editor, Margaret Sullivan, she is basically like the ethics guru of the New York Times. She's not directly involved with putting the tapes together, but she's there to kind of ensure that they stick to their high moral principles. She's written a blog saying his integrity and decision making are bound affect the Times and its journalism profoundly. It's worth considering now whether he is the right person for the job given this turn of events.

There's a pretty appalling way to begin your tenurship as CEO. He hasn't even started the job yet, and already the kind of - you know, the thought police at the New York Times are questioning whether he's the right person to do that.

He has responded this evening to Reuters, giving them a telephone interview saying all of my colleagues here in the management team of the New York Times have been very supportive of this and more broadly, as I prepare to take on the job. So he's fighting back. He's insisting he's done nothing wrong, that he shouldn't have got involved with this at the time that the director-general sits, you know, above the nitty-gritty of program making. He's in charge of 22,000 people at the BBC. He's done nothing wrong.

FOSTER: He's the editor of - in charge, everything ultimately. That's in his title.

RIVERS: Yeah. So that's what MPs are going to ask him about, should he have got more involved?

FOSTER: Dan, thank you very much indeed.

You are watching Connect the World live from London on CNN. Still to come tonight we'll show you the face of the man Pakistani police say is the main suspect in the shooting of this teenage girl.

Two months after one Republican sparks a row over rape, another would- be senator is forced to apologize for his remarks.

And find out just how much it costs to put on the greatest sporting show on Earth here in London. All that and much more on Connect the World.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Max Foster. Welcome back to you.

Now the U.S. Justice Department is suing Bank of America for more than a billion dollars. The suit alleges the bank is guilty of mutli-year mortgage fraud against government sponsored lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange to explain.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Max, some of these allegations involve mortgage - a mortgage program that was under Countrywide Financial when Countrywide was around. It's called the Hustle that's what the program is called.

Now the government says this program began in 2007 and actually continued under Bank of America when Bank of America acquired Countrywide. It continued through 2009.

Now the goal of this program was to write off lots of mortgages and write them fast to keep these loans moving forward, to get them through the approval process and to keep things moving.

Countrywide actually threw out steps in quality control that could back up the process. And it was up to Countrywide in the first place to make sure that these loans met certain standards before passing them on to Fannie and Freddie. But the thing is that didn't happen. In fact, what the government says happened is in some cases some of these applicants didn't even have critical pieces of paperwork, but were approved anyway for their loans.

Here's what made it worse, Max, Hustle, the program that I'm talking about, gave loan processors bonuses for pushing through more loans. So basically it gave incentives to cut corners. So now you've got the Justice Department trying to collect $1 billion in losses it says taxpayers suffered - Max.

FOSTER: That's the big loss story of the day. The big gain story of the day is Facebook. And we should all have invested in Facebook last night shouldn't we?

KOSIK: You know, I was thinking the exact same thing, Max. Yeah, Facebook shares surged 19 percent today. Did you know this is the biggest one day gain for Facebook since it went public back in May? This is because of social network's third quarter sales came in much higher than expected, up 24 percent compared to a year ago. Investors were encouraged by a slow but steady gains that Facebook talks about in its mobile advertising sales and in its advertising sales overall.

You know, the company's mobile progress it really has been a huge concern for the investor community going into this earnings report. The reality is Facebook, it just wasn't built with cellphones in mind. And it's been slow to adapt.

But CEO Mark Zuckerberg says worries about its mobile abilities are what he calls overblown. And interestingly enough, he spent much of the call, Max, talking about - the conference call I'm talking about - he talked about how the company is monetizing its more than 1 billion users. And that's exactly what investors wanted to hear - Max.

FOSTER: Alison, thank you very much indeed.

Here's a look at some other stories making the news this hour. CNN can exclusively report that the named suspect in the shooting of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai has been identified by Pakistani police. Atta Ullah Khan is a 23 year old chemistry student from Swat. His fiancee, mother, and brother have been arrested.

Malala is said to be making progress after she was shot by - shot in the Taliban attack earlier this month. And doctors treating her in the UK says she's communicating well and is able to stand and help - stand with help, rather.

Journalist Saima Mohsin has just returned from the Swat valley and joins me from Islamabad.

So what can you tell us about this suspect in more detail?

SAIMA MOHSIN, JOURNALIST: Well, Max, I know that his name is Atta Ullah Khan. He is 23 years old. And was a student at a local university up until a couple of years ago. He had studied a Bachelor's in Physics at Jahazeb College (ph) just down the road from where Malala herself lived. And then was studied for a master's degree in Bashavra College (ph) as we understand it.

He is now the main suspect that police are looking for. They've arrested his mother, his brother, and his fiancee. They've been speaking to him over the last few days as I understand it to try and get more information about him, about his whereabouts and his potential involvement in all of this.

I spoke to a senior police official today who didn't want to appear on camera because of the nature of this investigation, but he did tell me that they have arrested six people now, that they are questioning, all of whom they believe to be facilitators in this attack.

FOSTER: Saima Mohsin, thank you very much indeed for that update.

Now Sudan is accused Israel of bombing an arms factory in Khartoum. Sudan's information minister says that four military planes attacked the plant on Tuesday. The fire killed two Sudanese and took more than two hours to be extinguished. Israel has not commented. Sudan is allegedly a starting point for militants smuggling weapons to Egypt and to Gaza.

Another U.S. Republican politician has found herself at the center of a row over comments about rape. Richard Mourdock is running for Senate in Indiana. In a debate, he was asked his view on abortion after rape. He said that he believe pregnancies resulting from rape were something god intended to happen. Mourdock has since said he abhors rape and that he regrets the lack of clarity in his words.

Greece's finance minister says the country is near a deal to get more time to implement austerity measures. There have been months of discussions as Greece is trying to unlock the latest installment of bailout money. The country is currently supposed to cut its budget deficit by 2014. The new deal would see that deadline extended by two years to 2016.

We're going to take you to a short break now, but when we come back Lance Armstrong's troubles don't seem to go away. Hear who is trying to get back at the embattled cycling star now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: You're watching Connect the World live from London. Welcome back. I'm Max Foster.

The so-called group of death is back in action in the Champion's League. Which European powerhouse has the edge? World sport's Alex Thomas has the answers.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: There always has to be a group of death, doesn't there. As it happens, it's the group with the letter D this time. And it involves the champions of four different countries, Max - Germany, Holland, Spain, and England. And it's the English champions coming off worse at the moment.

I think we've got the latest scores to show you with less than 10 minutes remaining on what is match day three at the Champion's League Borussia Dortmund beating Real Madrid 2-1 on German soil, astonishing how Real, the best team in this competition's history got such a poor record in Germany. They're losing as are Manchester City being thrashed over in Holland right now by 3-1. It would City on just a single point and a huge uphill task to qualify.

They might be English champions, Max, but they failed to qualify for the knockout stages last year. It's not looking any better for them.

We'll have more results from all the other games in World Sport in an hour's time.

FOSTER: Things are worse for Lance Armstrong. That still rumbles on, doesn't it?

What's the latest on that?

THOMAS: Well, it's rather overshadow what should have been a joyous occasion for the world of cycling today. The Tour de France organizers announcing the route for the 100th running of this hugely prestigious endurance race, but instead today I'm talking about Lance Armstrong, about how he might have to return prize money in the Tour de France. We've got a huge list of sponsors that have deserted him over the last week. And as well as the prize money being requested back, there's one American company asking for around $7.5 million back because they had to payout as insurance for bonuses paid to Armstrong for winning the Tour de France. And they now think they've got a really good case for getting it back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFREY TILLOTSON, EXTERNAL ATTORNEY, SCA PROMOTION: The only legal obligation that SCA ever had was to pay bonuses if Mr. Armstrong was the official winner of the Tour de France. We contested during the time period that he may have been the official winner, but he had cheated to get that title. And Mr. Armstrong argued differently. Now there is no dispute. We know he cheated to get those titles. And he's no longer the official winner of the Tour de France races in question or any professional races. And therefore, SCA has the legal right to seek those funds back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS: That attorney says there's no dispute he cheated. Of course, Lance Armstrong has always denied that he's ever done anything wrong. And he's still never gone to a sports hearing or court of law to defend those charges. Even if though many top riders say if he did confess it might actually help the sport move forward.

FOSTER: A test case in many ways, I guess. If this works than other sports, other sponsors will be looking at this sort of thing.

THOMAS: This could be why Armstrong has never challenged it, because it means that huge body of evidence brought together by the U.S. Anti- Doping Agency will then be used by whichever is the - whoever is the first person is to drag him into court.

FOSTER: OK, Alex, thank you very much indeed.

The London Olympic games may be over for you, but the back slapping continues with some good news for the host nation. Some of the government money that went into the event will go back into the Treasury.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Six weeks after the Olympics and Paralympic games came to a close and the celebrations haven't finished yet. British athletes were treated to a royal reception at Buckingham Palace as the queen, Prince Philip and Duchess and Cambridge recognize Team GB's best medal haul in a century.

DAVID WEIR, PARLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: I feel like I'm still dreaming. So I just want to carry on that dream for as long as possible.

FOSTER: But the athletes aren't the only games makers getting the thumbs up, so too the organizers. The British government has announced the London Olympics and the Paralympics have come in under budget by $600 million. That money will go back to the government, which contributed $1 billion, a saving organizers have long been telling us to expect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On time and on budget.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going to balance the budget.

UNIDNETIFIED MALE: On time, on budget.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I genuinely believe we have delivered on everything that we've said we would do in Singapore.

FOSTER: Not quite. Despite the savings, the overall cost of the games has been tallied at $14.2 billion, that's four times what was initially forecast when London won the bid in Singapore back in 2005.

UNIDNETIFIED MALE: To the city of London.

(CHEERS)

FOSTER: Before the budget was revised two years later.

And while London 2012 is widely recognized as one of the most successful games, as with all Olympics, only years of hindsight will determine if that equates to value for money.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, coming up next, the latest world news headlines, plus a temporary cease-fire for Syria is on the table, but even the man who brokered it isn't sure it'll hold.

Also ahead, lessons from Tokyo: find out what the world can learn from the railway capital of the world.

Is Skyfall the best James Bond movie yet? Fans are set to find out this weekend and Daniel Craig gives us his own thoughts.

And blood rain, Sydney got a bad case of it a few years ago. But is the UK about to get the same? Jenny Harrison will be here to explain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Max Foster. And these are the latest world headlines from CNN.

CNN can exclusively report that a man has been identified as the main suspect in the shooting of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai. 23 year old Atta Ullah Khan is a chemistry student from Swat. He's still loose, but several of his family members have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Special envy Lakhdar Brahimi says Syria has agreed in principle to his cease-fire proposal. The government is expected to issue a formal response tomorrow. The cease-fire will begin Friday, covering a four-day religious holiday. Brahimi says most rebel leaders are also onboard.

The US justice department is suing Bank of America for more than $1 billion. The suit alleges the bank is guilty of mortgage fraud against government-sponsored lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta has been sentenced to two years in prison in an insider trading case. The India-born businessman was convicted of leaking boardroom secrets. Gupta could have faced as much as ten years in prison.

Let's return now to the proposed cease-fire for Syria. The UN Security Council is urging Syria's neighbors to use their influence to help ensure the truce takes hold. The Council was briefed today by special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

We have two live reports for you on the story. Richard Roth is at the United Nations, Mohammed Jamjoom is in Beirut. First to you, Richard. What else did Brahimi have to say?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Diplomats, ambassadors who exited the Security Council after the closed-door teleconference briefing said Mr. Brahimi once again painted a very sobering, deteriorating situation in Syria.

The German ambassador saying that Brahimi said it was a grim analysis, 67 percent of the hospitals in Syria are damaged, that's dire and grim, said the German ambassador.

Main focus, whether there's going to be a cease-fire for the Eid holiday of four days, Brahimi telling the Security Council from his position in Cairo that he expected the Syrian government to announce on Thursday a cease-fire, the Syrian ambassador in New York saying he expected some type of announcement also.

Russian ambassador Churkin was pleased that the Council was able to endorse Brahimi's call for a cease-fire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VITALY CHURKIN, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: The international community is going to follow it very closely, but you're absolutely right. This is not a structured cease-fire. This is a cease-fire which will depend on the good will of the parties involved.

But I think the eyes of the international community are going to be fixed on Syria, so whoever breaks the cease-fire will be appropriately received in terms of the attitude of the international community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROTH: And that's a key open point. Who would supervise a cease-fire? How would one know that it was truly being observed and if someone was violating it or not? The Security Council in its statement called on all outside actors to use its influence with all parties.

There are many countries who have interests in this Syria crisis, Max. Sometimes, they've been supplying weapons, aid, non-lethal aid. We don't know if they'll be able to keep a cease-fire going, one which some diplomats here hope could be an initial first step towards something bigger.

But there is still a lot of skepticism here. Susan Rice, the US ambassador in a tweet saying that the Syrian government has broken promises before. Max?

FOSTER: Richard, thank you very much, indeed. Mohammed, you're following events on the ground. Again, dozens killed today.

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Max. Carnage today in Syria, we're hearing about. The Syrian government on state media reported that there had been a car bomb that went off in Damascus earlier in the day.

Also, we got reports from opposition activists saying that a massacre had taken place in Douma, announced that there's been very graphic amateur video that's posted online purporting to show a lot of bodies, including children, the result of this massacre they say happened.

The opposition activists say that the -- that regime forces and that militias loyal to the regime stormed into a tenement building and started slaughtering entire families. A very grim picture on the ground in Syria.

Now, when it comes to this cease-fire and talk of the cease-fire, we've spoken to many members of the Free Syrian Army and many opposition activists, all of them expressing a high degree of skepticism with regards to the intentions of the Syrian government.

Practically all of them telling us, hey, we don't mind trying to adhere to a cease-fire, but we don't believe that the Syrian government has any intention of actually agreeing to or, more importantly, adhering to any kind of a cease-fire. Max?

FOSTER: OK, Mohammed, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Let's get some more reaction to the cease-fire initiative now from the opposition. Syrian National Council's George Netto is joining us from Washington. Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. There are some concerns about this cease-fire, whether or not it can work. What do you think?

GEORGE NETTO, SYRIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL: Well, thank you for having me. To start with, there's no doubt, no question such a truce, especially if it can be extended beyond Eid al-Adha would be very welcome news. If nothing else, from a humanitarian point of view, it will allow some kind of -- extension of relief, humanitarian relief to many cities.

As both of your correspondents painted, the picture is very grim. We have cities like Deir ez-Zor, and thousands of people in Deir ez-Zor and Homs have been under siege and bombardment for several weeks, so this may allow an opportunity at least to bring humanitarian relief.

But unfortunately, as also indicated in the previous piece, there is the -- record of the Syrian government leaves us with a lot of skepticism. This has been tried before, and we have not much hope that this time the Assad regime is going to respect promises any more than before.

FOSTER: But can it even hold?

NETTO: In my opinion, the issue is --

FOSTER: Yes, carry on.

NETTO: Sorry?

FOSTER: Finish your thought.

NETTO: I'm sorry? Yes. I think not only based on the record, but I think from a tactical point of view, this is incompatible with the regime maintaining any remaining control that they have.

As you know, more than 50 percent of Syria is now out of their control, and the bombardment and these atrocities are out of desperation. And knowing that, if they stop this, they will barraged again by protesters and peaceful protesters.

So, from the opposition point of view, of course we will adhere to a cease-fire, both the SNC president, Dr. Abdulbaset Sieda, and FSA General Sheikh, both of them expressed the willingness to do that, but at the same time expressed the doubts that the Syrian regime really means what they say.

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: But you don't -- the SNC --

NETTO: So, at this point --

FOSTER: -- doesn't necessarily speak on behalf of the whole opposition, does it? Because at least one faction isn't signed up to this. So, the cease-fire can't work if you haven't got two clear sides in charge, in control of the cease-fire.

NETTO: I would argue with that. I think at least -- we're talking about a cease-fire, so we're talking about rebel -- the armed portion of the opposition, which is primarily the FSA. I agree, there are some hardliners and -- that probably would not adhere to that, but these so far represent a minority of the armed opposition.

The FSA as a premise is -- the premise of the FSA is defending and if the regime really stopped bombarding and stopped attacking, you don't expect the FSA to -- but to adhere to such a cease-fire. But again, it's the framework that it's going to be enforced under, and what's going to follow that.

What a truce for three days going to do or four days going to do to the crisis? Without really a plan for a political transition, a serious plan, and enforcement with the United Nations and a backup from the United Nations Security Council, this is meaningless, to say the least.

And -- Ambassador Churkin is one of the first ones to blame for a lack of any unified voice by the United Nations Security Council.

FOSTER: But you think you speak for enough of the opposition to say that a cease-fire starting on Friday would be that, an agreed cease-fire would actually lead to a cease-fire broadly?

NETTO: First, let's see if they're going to agree. You notice that the Syrian foreign ministry immediately followed the announcement saying tomorrow is when we're going to decide. So, so far, it's only a promise. So, they will drag it to the last minute.

Second, if they do, and actually they stop, we -- many people like myself in the opposition, the political opposition, and I have contacted people on the ground from the armed opposition, they are willing to respect their part.

But again, what timeframe? What framework? Is the bombardment really going to stop? Is the siege going to be relieved? Nobody's going to adhere to a cease-fire where there is a siege and starvation.

To give you an idea, in Deir ez-Zor, a lot of homes are having to dig in their own yards to get to wells of water because of the lack of water, 15,000 people are encircled by the regime forces in Deir ez-Zor for weeks now, no food, no water. So the situation is dire, and a cease-fire like this under these conditions is not going to last.

FOSTER: OK, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us with your time. Hopes high that there will be a cease-fire in place by Friday as planned.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN. Coming up, come rain or shine, Tokyo trains have an average delay of just a minute. After the break, we take a look at what keeps Japan's trains running on track.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Well, every day around 17 million people pass through Tokyo's central station, making it one of the busiest stations in the world. Yet, it's also one of the most safe and one of the most efficient. CNN's Paula Hancocks went to investigate the old-fashioned methods that keep Japan's railways a cut above the rest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shinjuku. Ikebukuro. Tokyo Station. Japan's busiest Gateways.

TAKAO NISHIYAMA, EAST JAPAN RAILWAY COMPANY: We've got 17 million people every day, which is more -- four times more than the New York subway.

HANCOCKS: All connected by one iconic line.

NISHIYAMA: I think on the Yamanote Line, 3,000 people are leaving on one -- just one -- only one train. So, the high capacity is a very important factor.

HANCOCKS: During peak hours, trains run every two minutes. Keeping each one on time is as much about tradition as it is about technology.

HANCOCKS (on camera): Even in the midst of all this high-tech precision, JR is very reluctant to let go of the more human touch. Take this board, for example. You have the train timetable here, all 320 trains on this line are listed. But in a ritual that's been going for decades, every driver has to physically clock in and clock out.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): For a station that was built in 1903 and a line that's been running since 1925, it's a ritual ingrained in every driver and conductor that operates along the Yamanote.

Before she even steps foot on the platform, driver Tomomi Hayashi must pass through a series of checks designed to eliminate human error.

"The smooth operation leads to the reliability of Yamanote Line," Hayashi tells me. "Because many people transfer to other transport systems from Yamanote Line, its operation is the center of the metropolitan transport system," she says.

At 12:20, Hayashi's train arrives, exactly on time. She enters her car, ready to take on the famous loop around Tokyo. "When I look inside during rush hour," she says, "there's a long line of carriages, and I see so many people onboard. I'm proud that I take them to their destination safely."

One tradition not about to change anytime soon.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Tokyo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: I said I'd do it, so I will. It's Foster, Max Foster. Not quite the same impact as the world's most famous spy, James Bond, but the latest 007 adventure, "Skyfall," hits cinemas on Friday. CNN's Neil Curry was one of the at the royal world premier right here in London.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL G. WILSON AS PSYCHOLOGIST, "SKYFALL": Murder.

DANIEL CRAIG AS JAMES BOND, "SKYFALL": Employment.

WILSON AS PSYCHOLOGIST: Skyfall.

(SILENCE)

WILSON AS PSYCHOLOGIST: Skyfall.

CRAIG AS BOND: Done.

NEIL CURRY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The last time Daniel Craig was seen in the presence of royalty was at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, an encounter which apparently ended with the queen parachuting from a helicopter.

CURRY (voice-over): But her son, Prince Charles, kept his feet firmly on the ground on Tuesday evening as he accompanied the Duchess of Cornwall to the world premier of Craig's new film, "Skyfall," the 23rd official Bond movie.

CRAIG AS BOND: Some men are coming to kill us. We're going to kill them first.

CURRY: Director and cast walked the red carpet at the Royal Albert Hall in London, buoyed by the wave of critical approval, but also with a sense of occasion worthy of Bond's 50th anniversary.

BARBARA BROCCOLI, PRODUCER, "SKYFALL": Oh, I can't help but think about my father tonight and how pleased he would be to be here, and I think he and Ian Fleming and Harry Saltzman knew that Bond was going to be around for a very, very long time.

I don't know if they would've predicted 50 years, but I'm sure happy that we're all here tonight, celebrating their original achievement.

CURRY: If most critics are to be believed, and I think on this occasion they can, 007's latest adventure will come to be regarded as one of the best in the 50-year franchise, reinforcing Daniel Craig's claim to the title of the ultimate bond.

CURRY (on camera): People's perception is that "Casino Royale" raised the bar on Bond movies, and there's a similar feeling about this feeling, as well. Do you share that?

CRAIG: I as an actor, that's what I want to do. Every time you make a movie, you always try and make the best movie you can. This was a long - - it was a collaborative process. We got the best people we could for the job, and you just hope for the best.

JAVIER BARDEM AS RAOUL SILVA, "SKYFALL": She send you up to me, not when you are not ready, nor when you would likely die. Mommy was very bad.

CURRY: You yourself have brought a unique take to the Bond villain. What are the key ingredients, in your mind, to a Bond villain?

BARDEM: You have to be theatrical in some way. A Bond villain is between reality and fiction, so you have to be grounded, but at the same time, you can -- you are free to go a little bit out there.

CURRY (voice-over): Impressive performances by other film franchises, such as Batman and Bourne, have put pressure on the Bond producers to raise their game, after the previous movie, "A Quantum of Solace," was less-well received.

RALPH FIENNES, ACTOR, "SKYFALL": I thought "Quantum of Solace" tried to sort of catch up with the style of the Bourne movies, and I think what's really great is they've realized that there's a special spirit to Bond, which you can't -- you shouldn't take away from. It's a kind of -- it's classic stunts, it's embracing the sex-appeal of Bond, women in the Bond movies wit and charm, and that kind of style.

SAM MENDES, DIRECTOR, "SKYFALL": And action!

CURRY: And with director Sam Mendes at the helm, they've done just that.

MENDES: I'm -- honestly more nervous seeing all these people here tonight than I was making the film, because you're in such a tunnel when you make the film. You're so obsessed with detail and making everything work, that you really can't -- you don't have time, almost, to think about what people are going to think.

NAOMIE HARRIS, ACTRESS, "SKYFALL": What really stayed with me is my first day, because I was so nervous, and it was so overwhelming to me. And Daniel was incredibly kind, and he just sort of said, "We're going to get through this together, and I remember my first day, and I'm going to look after you." And he really did.

BERENICE MARLOHE AS SEVERINE, "SKYFALL": You made such a bold entrance into our little club.

MARLOHE: He has this wonderful ability to observe the occasion. And he has a lovely sense of humor, so it was great working with him.

CURRY (on camera): Many people, now, regard you as the definitive Bond. I wonder after 50 years, could you reflect a little on the other actors who helped shape this character?

CRAIG: Well, I think that's what's so special about it. Each individual -- each individually, they added to the whole thing, and I'm a fan of all of them. It's just an honor to be a part of it.

CRAIG AS BOND: Double-oh-seven, reporting for duty.

CURRY (voice-over): Audiences in most parts of Europe and the Middle East will be among the first to see "Skyfall" this weekend, but Bond fans in Germany, India, China, Japan, and the Americas will have to wait until November for a chance to experience Bond's latest mission.

JUDI DENCH, ACTRESS, "SKYFALL": Ian Fleming wrote an endearing and enduring hero who is, really, essentially British. And maybe that's what's -- all the stunts and then the fast cars and beautiful women, I think that'll last maybe for another 50 years. Who knows?

CURRY: Neil Curry, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: And in tonight's Parting Shots, Halloween is just around the corner, and the UK is predicted to get some rather spooky weather. Jenny Harrison is live in the World Weather Center to tell us more, and I'm not sure I believe this, on the face of it, but a red rain, blood rain, what is it?

JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, blood rain, that's what it's called, Max. And you're right, you don't need to panic, I can promise you that. I'm going to start by showing you where it comes from.

Now, if you look at this, you can see, this is actually back in Sydney, Australia back in September 2009, and it looks a bit like the dust storms, those pictures we bring you. Well, that's because it sort of is.

This is really how it all begins. So, you've got this dust, and it actually, of course, gets caught up in these storms. Now, the storms carry this dust a very long way, and it's when it actually mixes with rain that it obviously changes the color. So, that gives it, in many cases, a reddish tint. That's where it gets its name, blood rain.

And then, of course, once the rain is gone and it's dried, you get left with this thin layer of dust. Very often, it's actually a sort of a sandy brown color because literally it does come from the desert. So, this is what happens.

So, for example, what we talk about now, which could be occurring in the UK, the dust gets caught up from the Sahara. The winds, these strong, southerly winds, transport it a long way. The dust, then, mixes with the condensation, the water in the clouds. In many cases, it'll come down actually with a shower, and that is why you get this reddish rain known as blood rain.

And you have this sort of thing happening a couple of times a year, maybe, across in the UK. But much more common across the south of Europe because, of course, it is that much closer.

When you have a short, sharp shower, just some light rain, that's really when you get it. If you get some long rainfall, then it tends to actually wash it away. And usually, the reason you know that this has happened is because you're not outside when it's coming down as red rain, is because you're left with that layer of dust or sand, perhaps, on your car or on the garden furniture.

So, yes, look out for this, Max. Maybe it'll occur next week. And as you say, it's Halloween, so I guess the timing is good. There also was a time, Max, going back a bit, when they really thought it was blood that was coming down in the rain, and it was meant to be a really bad omen. So, I'll leave with that --

FOSTER: I dread to think what they used to think it was. But Jenny, is it dangerous, I'm being asked to ask? Because there are people concerned in this newsroom.

HARRISON: As far as we know, it's not dangerous, and I know why they're asking that, because there have been the very odd occasion when it's thought that it's actually not so much dust, that it's something else that's mixed in there, but something like this, not really dangerous.

Now, of course, having said that, when you get these big dust storms, and if it comes down with a lot of dust, that could be dangerous to people who've got some sort of chest problems, younger children, or older people with problems. But let's say no. This hopefully shouldn't be something to worry about. Just something, perhaps, to enjoy given that it's Halloween next week.

FOSTER: A spectacle, indeed. Jenny, thank you very much, as ever. Just before we go, there was a surprise guest at St. James's Palace in London tonight.

Kylie Minogue joined the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall as they head a special event ahead of their tour to Papa New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. And it certainly looked like the royal couple were enjoying themselves, dancing, no less, in a royal way. There you go. Toe-tapping. They have rhythm, it's true, the royals.

I'm Max Foster, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thank you so much for joining us. The world headlines are up next after this short break.

END