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President Obama Tours New Jersey With Governor Christie; Syrian Rebels Claim Regime Drones Are Supplied By Iran; New York's Oldest Hospital Evacuated

Aired October 31, 2012 - 16:00   ET


ZAIN VERJEE, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, President Obama tours New Jersey, one of the areas worst affected by superstorm Sandy. Candidates may have postponed campaigning, but every move they make still counts.

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

VERJEE: Tonight, we take a look at superstorm Sandy's impact on the upcoming U.S. elections.

Also tonight with EuroZone unemployment at an all-time high, we hear from some of the people struggling to make a difference.



RORY MCILROY, GOLFER: Someone needs a week off somewhere. Tiger...

TIGER WOODS, GOLFER: For me, I'm fried.


VERJEE: In an exclusive joint interview, two golfing legends tell CNN why they need a break.

The markets were trading, the airports began to reopen, but right across large parts of the U.S. east coast life is far from normal. Take a look at this video. Along the Jersey Shore, the force of superstorm Sandy reduced buildings to rubble and left homes and livelihoods shattered. Here, the wreckage of a roller coaster, now just lies in the water at Seaside Heights. The structure no match for the power of the sea.

President Barack Obama toured some of the worst hit areas of New Jersey with the state's governor Chris Christie. Just a short while ago, he praised the efforts of emergency crews that he says helped save lives.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones. It's true that because of some good preparation, the loss of life was kept lower than it might have been. But for those individual families, obviously their world has been torn apart, and we need to make sure that everybody who has lost a loved one knows they're in our thoughts and prayers. And I speak for the whole country there.


VERJEE: We want you to take a closer look at some of this amazing video now that we have just received here at CNN. You were looking at the scene in Great Hills, New York on Staten Island. You can see boats that have been tossed around by the sheer force of the rushing water. They just look like dominoes or pieces of Lego just sitting there where they should be on the water. But you can see the situation there right now. That really does give you a sense of the magnitude of the power of the water and the power of the storm.

In New York City, 700 patients are being evacuated from Belleview Hospital after the flooding there affected the building's backup generators. Sanjay Gupta is there. And he tells us more.

Now Sanjay, first, specifically what happened. And where did the patients go?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, there's several hospitals in this area, Zain. You have - one second - several hospitals. So what happens in a situation like this is you get calls made out to these hospitals trying to figure out how much reserve that they have. Are the places to be stations to go?

For example, yesterday they went to Mt. Sinai Hospital. And they were often placed in areas outside the operating room for example that are not typically used to keep patients overnight, but that's sort of making do with what they can in a situation like this.

Zain, behind me is Bellevue Hospital. It's one of the - it's the longest running - continuously running hospitals in the United States. It's a big hospital, 900 patients. Yesterday, they got most of the critically injured patients out, but now they have the task of getting 700 or so more patients out, because the generators simply are starting to no longer work, they're no longer able to get fuel to these generators, and that's what's really prompting this, Zain.

VERJEE: And Sanjay, as we watch the scene behind you as well, they're calling traffic as well as some of the sounds that the emergency services are making as they continue their recovery efforts there.

Just tell us what you think are the biggest health challenges facing the city now?

GUPTA: Well, you know, I think for the hospitals themselves we take a look at a hospital like Bellevue, I mean, just in general it's about 100,000, 125,000 ER visits a year. Now that hospital is no longer going to get functioning. A short way up the road here, NYU - New York University Langone Hospital is another big hospital. I can see it. I'm looking at it, Zain, but it's also not operational right now. The point is that there are - there's becoming very little reserve for emergency room visits.

South of here you still have significant flooding on the island of Manhattan. And there are health concerns associated with that flooding. But just having the hospitals not operational right now is, you know, a big concern. They want to get them up and running as quickly as possible. But that's what a lot of people are focused on, Zain.

VERJEE: Dr. Sanjay Gupta reporting. Thanks a lot, Sanjay.

54 people are now known to have died in the U.S. as a result of Sandy. At least 26 of them were killed in New York State. 6,300 people are in evacuation shelters right across New York City. And JFK Airport has reopened, but with so many delays and cancellations. The city's LaGuardia Airport is still closed. And there's a limited subway service. And that's actually going to be operating from tomorrow.

Take a look at the situation now in New Jersey. Six people have lost their lives there because of the storm. Newark Airport is also reopened, but with really limited service too. The state's rail system has been totally paralyzed with major damage being reported on all the lines.

And then let's take a look at the situation here, because if you look at the whole region itself, you can see that 5.9 million people are still without electricity.

Let's head to New Jersey where we join CNN's Michael Holmes. He's been touring the state's barrier islands. And he joins me now.

Michael, just give us a sense of the devastation that you've witnessed today.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, we were the first media taken over by local police and given a tour around the area. We went from one end to the other through several towns, these interconnected communities, and I can tell you, Zain, the devastation was enormous. We saw houses, three houses in separate places that have been literally picked up off their foundations and dumped in the middle of the street. Other houses, their foundations had collapsed and the - the roofs were all you saw sitting on top of the sand.

The sand itself, these dunes that once stood 10, 12 feet high weren't there any more. All that sand had been pushed hundreds of meters back into the towns.

Extraordinary pictures. There were sink holes with one - one had an entire pick-up truck in it up over the windows.

We saw that the gas, you walked around the - you smelled a leaking gas everywhere. In one place a little town community called Brick, there was an area the size of four football pitches, probably, that had been burnt to the ground. There must have been dozens of houses there, because of a fire caused by gas leaks. Just in the last hour or so we've seen a convoy of gas trucks going over there to join the effort to shut the gas off. It's still a very big issue.

People have been evacuated, 300 today, who had stayed there to ride out the storm despite the mandatory evacuation order. Those we spoke to over there visibly shocked and very much regretting their decision to try to ride this one out.

There was a huge storm here back in 1962 and some of them said, well we went through that one, we wanted to see if we could go through this. Boy, they said it was no comparison. There were elderly people, there were young people. The police are now blocking off that island. Nobody gets over that bridge into the island. And those people who are still remaining there, it's only a few dozen, have been told if they come outside, the police will then take them into custody and get them off the island.

They want no one there while the cleanup begins and the safety precautions continue - Zain.

VERJEE: Michael, what are people saying about what they think the state and federal response has actually been like? And what are their biggest challenges right now?

HOLMES: Yeah, well, the people we have spoken to have actually been very grateful for the response, that it's been as quick as it could have. I mean, we were out during the hurricane, during the night that it came in. We were driving around with the local police chief going to one emergency to another, one rescue to another. And the people were very grateful for the response they got, particularly at the local level, the local cops and fire department and ambulance department. Now it's moved into that more federal level and we've seen the office of emergency management vehicles going across that bridge, National Guard is around, FEMA is doing things as well.

The people we've spoken to understand that this is an enormous disaster and that it's going to take time. But I think that they're generally has been pretty satisfactory response. We've been to two or three shelters where people have just been grateful that they were set up. The Red Cross running some of those, local authorities running others - hundreds and hundreds of people in those shelters at the moment. So, so far I'd say the response has been as good as can be expected.

Challenges wise, over there on the barrier islands it shut off the gas. It's still a huge problem over there. And we've already seen probably 20 or 30 front end loaders going over there starting to get that sand off the streets as well - Zain.

VERJEE: CNN's Michael Holmes giving us some perspective of the situation there on the ground. Thanks a lot Michael.

Well, believe it or not, this storm isn't over yet. Let's just go straight to Jen Delgado who is over at the international weather center.

Jen, how is it looking? And how destructive of force is it now really?

JEN DELGADO, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: You know, it has weakened considerably, but we are still talking about gusty winds as well as rain and snow, a lot of that moving up towards Canada. So show you on the satellite right now. Over the last 12 hours we've seen some rain you can see of really moving into parts of Toronto as well as into Montreal as we go through today and really through tomorrow.

We were going to see the circulation moving up towards the north. And we're starting to see that happening now, but we're also, as I say, going to be still dealing with some gusty winds out there. We could still see some wind gusts up to about 50 especially right over the Great Lakes. And in addition to that snow out there. We're also talking about cool temperatures. And that low is pulling in that cooler air and across parts of the northeast we're telling you people trying to find shelter, it's really cold outside, so this makes the matters even worse.

As I show you some of the winds. The winds have really calmed down over the last couple of days. And that's good, because people are still trying to get out of the northeast.

Now as we show you some of the delays out there, it really doesn't look that bad for you, but keep in mind LaGuardia, which handles so many flights, is still closed. Now for JFK, they are operating, but they're operating under limited flights out of there. So still trying to fly out of this region. It's still going to be hard flying out of say Philadelphia, they're moving fine, 15 minute delays, but keep in mind people have to go somewhere else to try to fly out and into that region.

Now we also want to talk about another aspect of this story and how the National Hurricane Center really followed and tracked Sandy. And Hurricane Sandy actually pretty much verified with the forecasts out of the National Hurricane Center.

So I show you this graphic here, this is Sandy's actual track. Anywhere you're seeing in red. In black, that is the National Hurricane Center's track. We're seeing this actually making landfall about 19 kilometers away from where the National Hurricane Center was expecting it to be.

Now keep in mind that was still a four to five day range. I know a lot of people say, you know, the National Hurricane Center, sometimes they get the tracks wrong as well as the cone of error, but this right here kind of shows you that a lot of times, yeah, sometimes they may not follow the track, but it's really certainly important to follow and listen to the National Hurricane Center, because they have a science behind this - Zain.

VERJEE: Jen Delgado, thanks so much.

You're watching Connect the World here on CNN. Still to come tonight, politics has taken a back seat for storm relief, but with the presidential election now just six days away, Barack Obama's challenger is back on the trail.

The government air strikes intensify: in Syria, activists are accusing Iran of providing military support.

And fighting the jobs figures, we're in Greece with one young man looking for work in the midst of an employment crisis. All that and much more when Connect the World continues.


VERJEE: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me, Zain Verjee. Warm welcome to you back.

The U.S. election is now just six days away, but President Barack Obama hasn't returned to campaigning yet. Today he toured parts of New Jersey that have been ravaged by Sandy with Republican Governor Chris Christie by his side. Let's get more details on this from our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin.

Jessica, with the two men giving a press conference just moments ago standing side by side, what kind of impact do images and words like that have on the presidential race?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we really don't know. This is a true October surprise, Zain. But it is no doubt helpful to President Obama that he has an opportunity to demonstrate leadership through the storm by mobilizing resources to help those in need, that he has a Republican governor in Chris Christie who has been an avid Mitt Romney supporter, such a supporter of Governor Romney that he gave the keynote speech at the Republican convention, heaping praise on President Obama and his leadership, and that the president also has an opportunity to show exactly what in his view the federal government can do to help people, that's been one of the fundamental disagreements between the president and Governor Romney in this campaign about the role of the federal government in people's lives.

If we can pause for just a moment, I'll play you a moment of what Governor Christie, this Republican governor who is such an avid supporter of Romney had to say about President Obama. Listen to this.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: Things we need to do is to make sure that we get power restored as quickly as possible, make sure that people have clean drinking water and waste water treatment plants are working, hospitals are taken care of the way they need to, and that we get kids back to school. And so I discussed all those issues today with the president and I'm pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately to help get us those things while we were in the car riding together.

So I want to thank him for that. He has worked incredibly closely with me since before the storm hit. I think this is our sixth conversation since the weekend. And it's been a great working relationship to make sure that we're doing the jobs that people elected us to do. And I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state.

OBAMA: I instituted a 15 minute rule, essentially, on my team. You return everybody's phone calls in 15 minutes whether it's the mayor's, the governor's, county officials, if they need something we figure out a way to say yes.


YELLIN: So, the president showing his action man spirit and Governor Romney - Governor Christie, again, that Republican with nothing but kind words for the president, bipartisanship in action, Zain.

VERJEE: Wow. And just days before the election. Oh my goodness. Well, we'll - well, you know the polls will see whether he gets a bounce from that.

Let's talk a little practically, Jessica, how is the lack of power and the transportation in some areas that people are facing actually going to impact voting day? I mean, are they considering pushing it back?

YELLIN: The simple answer is no. What people are suffering in the hardest hit areas is devastating and tragic, but it is isolated to those areas. And through the rest of the country, even in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, the hardest hit areas, they are confident that voting will be fine and they plan to proceed with voting exactly as planned on Tuesday, Zain.

VERJEE: Jessica Yellin, our chief White House correspondent, reporting from Washington. Thanks, Jessica.

Neither candidate wants to remain out of the public eye so close to the election, but they also don't want to appear to be putting politics before the really devastating situation and the recovery efforts that are so difficult that people are facing. The president staying in the headlines by doing his job. It's a little bit tougher for Mitt Romney.

Let's talk about all of this with Juliette Kayyem. She's a former assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs in the Department of Homeland Security.

Thanks so much for joining us. What do you make of the images of a Democratic candidate, the president, Barack Obama, and Governor Chris Christie who was such a critic of the president and now praising him. Does that have an impact? It's got to, right?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, FRM. ASST. SECRETARY HOMELAND SECURITY: Yeah, it definitely will. I mean, I think it shows that disasters are the great equalizer, right. I mean, after a year of really hard campaigning between Republicans and Democrats, this is now sort of even the playing field. And I think it will have an impact for one, right, Obama looks presidential and he's acting like a president. He's not being accused of taking advantage of it. And Mitt Romney not only has said things that suggest that he would not have a Federal Emergency Management Agency, he said that in one of the primary debates.

But also there is no natural role for him right now, right. He can neither campaign too hard, because it looks like, wow, he's out to lunch, he's not caring for the victims, but it's not like he can just show up like the president, because he doesn't have any resources behind him to help.

So it is an unlucky role for Romney, and one that he's sort of been struggling the last couple of days to sort of figure out where he best fits in.

VERJEE: And then for the voting itself on election day, which is next week, I mean, how will voting disruptions then potentially effect crucial results?

KAYYEM: Right. So, OK, so there's - the early voting was disrupted for at least 48 hours in some states. And that's a big deal, because in the United States Democrats tend to vote early, or at least traditionally, and so the question was whether that would hurt in these very close states. And it's not just the presidential elections, it's also the senate elections, the local elections, all of these matter. Whether there would be disruption. It looks like those thing - those pre - you know, sort of pre-voting booths are back up and running.

And just picking up on Jessica Yellin said, even though certain areas are devastating, it requires a federal statute to change Tuesday's election day. So it's not going to happen, because most of the states are not affected. And so what you may see is just the movement of election places, you know, sort of buses to take voters to new polling booths where they can place their vote, that's the kind of modification that you see. But you won't see a wholesale disruption of the presidential election itself.

VERJEE: And when campaigning goes back into full force, what can we expect?

KAYYEM: I'm sorry.

VERJEE: When campaigning goes back, if you can hear me, and everyone gets back into the swing of things ahead of the election, what can we expect from President Obama and Mitt Romney, because it's down to the wire now?

KAYYEM: Right. So you'll probably see a sort of uptick by the end of the week, at least by Obama, only because he can't afford not to be seen in swing states that matter to him, in particular Ohio, which is a big state right now. So you probably will see some sort of campaign in those areas.

And there will be an ideological discussion about the role of government and what the federal government means to both this - to both the president and to Mitt Romney. This is not just a debate about FEMA or Federal Emergency Management Agency, it really is an ideological debate between the two parties about the role of the federal government and the role of the federal government in individual's lives. And what you see during a disaster is a lot of people who tend to think of themselves as, well, I can do it, you know, self-reliance, sort of the American spirit of individualism all of a sudden realize you need the federal governments to assist you.


Juliette Kayyem, thank you so much for your perspective on the political impact of the storm and how you see it playing out. Appreciate it.

You're watching Connect the World live from London. Just ahead on the show, we're going to get you the latest on Syria as activists accuse Iran of giving military support to the government.


VERJEE: Hi, you're watching Connect the World live from London. Welcome back. I'm Zain Verjee.

A UN/Arab League envoy for Syria has urged China to help end the long running civil war in the troubled country. Lakhdar Brahimi made his plea during talks with China's foreign minister in Beijing. Both China and Russia have blocked UN Security Council resolutions which are intended to put pressure on President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Back in Syria, there has been no let-up in the violence with government war planes bombarding opposition strongholds just around Damascus as well as in the north. Now activists say that the air strikes have intensified dramatically just over the last few days. And they claim Syria's key ally Iran is giving military support. CNN's Nick Paton-Walsh has got more.


NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Zain, activists say that the last two days, Monday in fact, getting 60 airstrikes on Tuesday, 40, so a massive increase in regime use of air power and contend that surveillance drones are making airstrikes more accurate.

When you can hear them, our skylines often rocked by explosions, rebels name these specks the Wiz Wazy (ph) (inaudible), tiny, but lethal drones.

They improve the accuracy of regime shelling say opposition activists, adding these airstrikes in record numbers in the days since the failed cease-fire were likely aided by drones.

They blame Syria's key ally, Tehran, for supplying this deadly advantage, said one commander in the besieged city of Homs.

"Of course it's Iranian," he says. "It doesn't go up that high. We can see it. Drones film things daily. They say the Wiz Wazy (ph) is out. It's a small drone that films a district of al-Qusayr. Oh, God help al- Qusayr. It will sleep under bombs."

Rebels say they found these three drones in Aleppo, which help make their point. Manuals bearing the Ayatollah's image. Very basic aircraft. Some analysts saying they could be simple training drones, or even fakes. But the rebels are insistent lives are lost to these devices. And Iran is to blame.

Iran has said it's not supplying military help to Syria, but didn't comment on these claims.

Activist video shows an aircraft that defense experts told CNN resembles the Mohajer 4 Iranian drone, although we can't independently verify these images. And a spokesman at the UK mission to the United Nations told CNN they are, quote, deeply concerned by credible information that Iran is providing military support, end quote, to the Syrian regime.

So far, despite the shells continuing to land, there's been no smoking gun of Iranian support, leaving the distant hum as perhaps the only tangible sign yet of a broader, deadlier alliance.

(on camera): Iran's always denied supplying military help, but these tiny specks on the horizon could be the only real palpable sign of what US officials say has been going on: a continued amount of military assistance from Tehran to Damascus. Zain?


VERJEE: Coming up next here on CONNECT THE WORLD live from London, as new figures reveal a worsening job crisis for young people in Europe, we find out how the UK is using its Olympic legacy to buck the trend.


VERJEE: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe as well as around the world. Hi, I'm Zain Verjee and these are the latest world headlines from CNN.

The death toll in the United States from Sandy has risen to at least 54. Nearly half of the victims were in New York. Cleanup efforts are underway along the East Coast. Almost 6 million people are still without power.

And take a look at this amazing video we just got a few minutes ago. You're looking at the scene in Great Kills New York on Staten Island, where boats were just tossed around by the sheer force of rushing water.

Activists accuse Iran of providing military support in the form of drones to the Syrian government. Their claims come as warplanes continue their heavy bombardment just around Damascus, as well as in the northern areas under opposition control.

There's more economic misery for the eurozone nations. Unemployment has hit a record high. One in four people in Spain are jobless, and in Greece, more than half of all young people are out of work.

Myanmar says it's got evidence recent deadly violence in the western state of Rakhine was organized. At least 89 people were killed and thousands left homeless during fighting between Buddhists there, as well as the Rohingya Muslims.

We want to return now to our top story and the cleanup and recovery efforts underway after Super Storm Sandy. CNN's Jason Carroll joins us now with an update from New York.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a picture of what the commuting situation is like post-Hurricane Sandy. I'm on the Manhattan side of the Queensboro Bridge. You can take a look just behind me, see what's going on here.

Thousands of people -- this is what we've been witnessing all day long -- thousands coming across the bridges, like the Queensboro Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, trying to find a way to get to and from work. This is the only way to do it, it's on foot, simply because the subways aren't running, the trains are not running today, as well.

There are buses running, but this is what you have to deal with over here: long lines to try to get on some of those buses. Talking to some of the people out here today telling us they had to wait sometimes three, four hours just to try and get a bus.

If you think it's bad here, it's bad just about everywhere you look throughout the city. Listen to what some of the commuters told us about how they decided to try to get to work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's insane. We knew it was going to be bad coming in this morning, but we didn't know it was going to be this much of a standstill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I didn't even try. The line was around the block, so I said forget it, and I started walking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's crazy. But everyone's doing what they have to do. That's what we do in New York City.

CARROLL: Again, another look as commuters make their way across the Queensboro Bridge. New York City's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, giving us an update today on the commuting situation. He said starting today, later today, there will be some limited rail service restored on the Long Island Railroad, that's certainly some good news.

Also, starting tomorrow, there will be limited subway service. They're in the process of trying to restore that. He also said, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, that starting tomorrow at 6:00 AM -- and this is only for non-commercial cars coming into the city -- you have to have at least three people in your vehicle in order to get into the city, as New York City tries to get up and running again in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


VERJEE: Unemployment in the eurozone has hit a record high, dragging down an already sluggish economy. There are new figures out that show almost 12 percent are without a job right across the 17 nations. Look, now that is up nearly 150,000 people in one month.

Now, I just want to take a look at this screen here and show you just how these figures break down, OK? Spain, as you can see here, is actually faring the worst with 25.8 percent out of work. Next is Greece on 25.1 percent, and then you can see here, followed by Portugal at 15.7 percent.

Then take a look at the other end of the scale, OK? Here is Austria, which is just 4.4 percent unemployed there. If you look at Luxembourg it's doing comparatively well, as well. You're looking at 5.2 percent. And then, finally, Germany here, take a look there, as well as the Netherlands, 5.4 percent of the population are jobless.

In Greece, though, that 25 percent unemployment rate, you can see the number, but it really only tells half the story, because it shoots up to 55 percent when you just focus on the young people, and that is the worst figure in all of Europe.

So, what that means is, many under 25s have gone abroad to look for work. So, what is it like for those who've stayed behind? Diana Magnay finds out.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just as he has done every week for one and a half years, Petros Korelas prints off his CV, ready for his trip to the jobs center.

Age 24, he still lives with his parents, because like most young Greeks, he can't afford not to. Greece has 55 percent youth unemployment. Very few jobs even for graduates like Korelas, with two masters degrees.

PETROS KORELAS, JOB SEEKER: They look at me like, "What are you doing here, child? Go abroad." That's what I say.

MAGNAY: Whilst we're waiting, we meet George Kaligaris, back at the job center to cancel his unemployment benefit. His old employers offered him part-time work for 400 euros a month.

MAGNAY (on camera): How much is your rent?


MAGNAY: So, how do you survive?

KALIGARIS: I look at what other job -- extra.

MAGNAY (voice-over): If you're unemployed in Greece, you get 360 euros -- $460 -- a month for one year only. After that, you're on your own. And if you've never paid national insurance contributions -- i.e. you've never had a job, you don't get anything, which means many of the young can't claim.

MAGNAY (on camera): You'll often hear Greece referred to internationally as the "sick man of Europe" being given a dose of medicine -- austerity -- that's just not working.

And yet, when you speak to people here, they give you this kind of psychological profile to match, that the country is in a national state of depression, which people find hard to shake, even with jobs and a steady income, and where the young, the qualified, only see a future for themselves outside of Greece.

MAGNAY (voice-over): At a time when so many need counseling, psychotherapists admit that few can afford it. The aptly-named Therapia Stamou-Mazaraki offers a special rate for the jobless who need her help.

THERAPIA STAMOU-MAZARAKI, SYSTEMIC PSYCHOLTHERAPIST (through translator): The depression tends to make you passive, so I tried to encourage people to set small goals like, tomorrow will be fun, or I'll take the time to play with my children, to be energetic, take walks, and to stop talking about the past and what they used to have or don't have now. We can't perform miracles, but we can take simple steps.

MAGNAY: But sometimes miracles do happen.

KORELAS: You can't understand how I feel right now. I am coming for one and a half years, and for the first time, I just received a bit of paper. I never asked for something more, I never asked for something less.

MAGNAY (on camera): Well, you wanted a job, didn't you? This is just a phone number.

KORELAS: It's a phone number, but it's a phone number that could -- it's a lead.

MAGNAY (voice-over): Just an answer phone for now, but maybe a job tomorrow.

Diana Magnay, CNN, Athens.


VERJEE: While job markets are stuttering right across Europe, here in the UK, the figures are looking a little bit brighter. Youth unemployment fell sharply over the summer, and that was really helped in part by targeted campaigns from charities. Erin McLaughlin has been to meet one young apprentice who's using the legacy of the London Olympic Games to get his future on track.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This summer, it was the place where athletes has their chance to shine. And while the main show has left town, the rejuvenation of East London and Olympic Park is still helping people realize their dreams. For 19-year-old Mark Fordham, that dream has been a job.

MARK FORDHAM, APPRENTICE: It took me a very long time, actually, because I was actually applying for jobs online. I made quite a few applications, maybe around a few hundred, actually, I made, applications. I only heard from one or two of them.

MCLAUGHLIN: But now, Mark is an administrator for the team, tasked with transforming the game site into a thriving new neighborhood.

PAUL BRICKELL, LONDON LEGACY DEVELOPMENT CORP.: For many capable young people around here, it's really difficult to get their first foot on the job ladder to get that tick in their CV. That's why even quite short work placements are very, very, very valuable to young people, because it gives an opportunity to show what they're made of and what they can do.

MCLAUGHLIN: For Mark, that opportunity was initiated by City Gateway, a British charity set up to give young people a start in their careers.

JAMES COPELAND, CITY GATEWAY: The problem is we have a lost generation of young people who are starting out their working life in a situation of hopelessness, which can then stay with them for the rest of their working career and affect their earning potential.

So we work with them to gain the skills and qualifications, as well as the soft skills, supporting them around areas of confidence, helping them break down the barriers that they perceive that they have for getting into work. So, things like hopelessness.

MCLAUGHLIN: Now, four months into his working life, this young East Londoner is confident he'll no longer count among the jobless.

FORDHAM: It changed my life completely, to be honest, because I was sitting at home before doing nothing. It's something I want to do in the future, so it will help me to get the qualifications and experience I need for the future.

MCLAUGHLIN: Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


VERJEE: This news just coming in now to CNN. Authorities in New York are saying LaGuardia Airport is going to open tomorrow at 7:00 AM local time. We also understand that the air carriers that will be operating will be operating very limited flight schedules, but that is a piece of good news.

LaGuardia airport, according to authorities, will be opening at 7:00 AM local time, and we understand from a website that they have posted this information up on is that air carriers that will be operating are going to be operating on a very limited schedule.

Still ahead here on CONNECT THE WORLD, it is so rare to have what you'd describe as a friendly rivalry, but that's actually what seems to be developing between Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. We got you an exclusive interview with the golfing greats here on CNN.


VERJEE: This month on the Gateway, we're in Tokyo to learn about Japan's world-famous railways. Now, the country's trains may be fast, but staying on track actually relies on a platform performance known as the Seven-Minute Miracle. Paula Hancocks will tell us about it.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The platform of the Tokyo station. The world's fastest trains get the quickest turnaround. They call this the Shinkansen Theater, and the show is about to begin.

HANCOCKS (on camera): This operation is planned literally to the very last second. If you bear in mind, the train's only actually in the station for about 12 minutes. In that time, you have to get the passengers off. You also have to introduce new passengers.

So, it really only leaves about seven minutes for the team to do their job, and they affectionately call those seven minutes the seven-minute miracle.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Hidekazu Setoguchi has been at this for six months. Not a long time, but long enough to know that he's cleaning more than a train. He's looking after a national icon.

"Most people don't get a chance to ride the Shinkansen," he says. It's a train that diplomats, ambassadors, and governors from around the world come to see and to watch the crews match the speed and efficiency of the Shinkansen they clean, up to 168 trains a day.

"I have to do this very quickly," Setoguchi says, "or I can't finish in time." His seven minutes are up. It's time to leave the cabin.

"I hardly have a chance to see a passenger's face when they enter the train," Setoguchi tells me. "But I always hope they'll have a comfortable journey."

And with that, the Shinkansen Theater ends the same way it began, one last bow to passengers before the crew exits their stage.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Tokyo.



VERJEE: We just want to bring you an update now on the efforts to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. New York's LaGuardia Airport will open Thursday at 7:00 AM, that's local time. Air carriers will be operating limited flight schedules. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey just made the announcement on their website.

You're looking at a live signal from LaGuardia, and runways there were totally flooded. It was impossible to reopen it until 7:00 AM this morning, now, but only partially, where New York's LaGuardia Airport authorities are saying they will open at 7:00 AM local time. Air carriers will be operating limited flight schedules.

Sandy's affected so many people, as we've been reporting over the past couple of days, in the New York area. And now, it's impact has also been seen in the sports world as well. Alex Thomas tells us about it. What's been happening?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Zain, there were three sporting fixtures in that area that authorities are worried about, and we just heard in the last couple of hours that one has fallen victim to the Super Storm Sandy, and it's one of the opening NBA fixers. The new basketball season tips off this week. We already saw three games last week.

But actually, we've got a graphic here showing you what we're talking about, and it's the Nicks versus the Nets that was due to take place on Thursday. That has been called off.

It was due to take place in the brand-new Barclays Center, a $1 billion building. That's fine, that's not damaged. But the authorities are saying, look, we can't police the event because the police are needed elsewhere to help members of the public. And also the transport system is just completely shot. So fans would really struggle to get there.

So, the think the best thing is to call it off. They haven't made further announcements about the Nicks are also playing later in the week, or due to be, at Madison Square Garden, for example.

A couple of other events still going ahead, though. The NFL game involving the New York Giants is still due to take place, and on Sunday, the New York Marathon, New York's mayor said, will go ahead as planned despite tens of thousands of international runners struggling to get into America because of those flight problems you just mentioned, Zain.

VERJEE: Let's talk a little bit about a big get CNN got. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy. We interviewed them in China. How come they had time to talk to us and they actually skipped an event?

THOMAS: Well, golf's -- yes, golf's two biggest stars. You've got Tiger, who's been the biggest thing --

VERJEE: Right.

THOMAS: -- for over a decade now. And possibly his heir apparent, Rory McIlroy. Not only huge rivals, but actually quite good mates, according to Shane O'Donoghue, the host of our "Living Golf" show, who went out there to be the first ever to interview them sitting down together.

And they played in an exhibition event, but they're not playing in a big world golf championship tournament taking place this week.


THOMAS: Seven of the top ten -- well, take a listen to a snippet from these two, because they claim they're just both exhausted.


RORY MCILROY, 2012 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER: Someone needs a week off somewhere, and if I played HSBC, I would be playing five events in a row to finish the season.

And after such a busy summer on the Ryder Cup and everything that went on, there's got to be an event somewhere that has to be left. And this year, unfortunately, it was HSBC for the reason that I wasn't a fan of the golf course, and I just needed a week off.




WOODS: I've played a lot of golf towards the end of the year, and doing outings, it's so easy, they're very easy to do. But getting up for another championship for me, I have one more tournament for the year, and I'm done until next year, so that's how I looked at it.

I wanted a break. I wanted a very long, extended break from competing and get back into training.


THOMAS: And I spoke to Shane about what it was like to be the first to do a joint interview with Rory and Tiger, you can see that on "World Sport" in -- oh, just over half an hour's time.

VERJEE: What did he say?

THOMAS: He'll explain, too. Tune in.



VERJEE: Thanks so much.

It's Halloween, and in tonight's Parting shots, no tricks, just a big treat. One man in the US has taken his love of all things scary to a whole new level. Just watch this.


DAN BAKER, BUILT HAUNTED HOUSE: This is a specially-made 20-gauge coffin.

JONATHAN BETZ, WFAA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What's really scary about this haunted house --

BAKER: I shaved my head for the haunted house --

BETZ: Is how passionate Dan Baker is about Halloween.

BAKER: To add to the creep factor, if you will. We've made probably the largest home haunted house in the state of Texas. This is the pride and joy of --

BETZ: The father of two has spent a month and $12,000 turning his Lakewood Village back yard --

BAKER: Frankenstein, the wolf man, the mummy, and Dracula.

BETZ: -- into a sprawling haunted house.

BAKER: Why not? People do it for Christmas. Halloween's not given the attention it deserves, in my opinion. Now, this section here --

BETZ: The house covers a quarter of an acre. Thirty actors are required to keep it running.

BAKER: And lots of creepy white masks.

BETZ: Baker's decked out his yard for years, but this time he teamed up with friends to make it bigger than ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have never come across anything that's even remotely close to this.

BAKER: I put this wall up so that nobody --

BETZ: It might be homemade, but by no means, they insist, amateur.

BAKER: We spend days and days making sure that this was as safe as possible.

BETZ: From having emergency exits to using low-heat LED lights. It's expected to draw 1,000 people to a subdivision. Parking, no doubt, will be a night mare. Yet town leaders approved the idea.

BAKER: The witch that we have here, her name's --

BETZ: The dream for Baker, still in love with the holiday he never outgrew.

BAKER: And the coolest thing for me about being an adult is that now I can afford to do all the cool things I wanted to do as a kid.

BETZ: The house is only up for two nights. A lot of work, he admits --

BAKER: Go! Go! Go!

BETZ: -- for a quick thrill.

BAKER: Go! Go!

BETZ: In Lakewood Village, Jonathan Betz, Channel 8 News.


VERJEE: Well, that was a good use of $12,000 for two days. I'm Zain Verjee, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. We're going to leave you now with some really incredible video from our iReporters. They have captured it as they begin to assess the damage that Super Storm Sandy has left in their communities, just take a look at this.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remnants of Hurricane Sandy. Got to love it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black smoke come out of the ground at 62nd and New York Avenue. Fire crew is on the scene. The fire crew does not know what happened, but there is some thick, black smoke coming out of the ground behind me.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Devastation in White Plains, where literally trees are ripped from its roots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the river started to rise and -- it's the Hudson River, right there. And we have a lot of damage and flooding downstairs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, what are you guys doing to clean up the flooding?