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Hundreds Of Thousands Of Anti-Morsi Demonstrators Flood Tahrir Square; Yasser Arafat's Body Exhumed; Sebastian Vettel Youngest Ever To Win Formula One's Triple Crown

Aired November 27, 2012 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: And tonight on Connect the World, demonstrators clash with police in Cairo. And thousands continue their protest in Tahrir Square. Live pictures for you just after 11:00 pm in Cairo. Protesters calling for the president to roll back his controversial decree or stand down.

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

ANDERSON: Well, as the protests show no sign of dying down, the former news chief of state TV in Egypt tells me why he fears the country is heading down the same road as Iran.

Also this hour, yet another victim of Mexico's ugly drugs war. This time a beauty queen. And as the country's president-elect visits Washington, we'll assess his top priority back home.



SEBASTIAN VETTEL, FORMULA 1 DRIVER: I think I remember most of it, but probably not everything.


ANDERSON: Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel talks to CNN about celebrating his triple crown.

First up tonight, a massive show of strength by anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square. We're going to get you live to Cairo in just a moment. The pictures that you are seeing there are of Tahrir Square just after 11:00 pm. The very latest on the protests for you shortly.

First, we want to show you the scene earlier today when clashes broke out there. Reza Sayah was amongst the crowds and this is what he filed.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: OK, police have shot another tear gas canister. We're going to see it land in a second. There it is.

This is another one of the ongoing clashes between police and protesters with the 1 million man demonstration happening, the crowds are larger, these clashes are more intense. We're going to give you a really good bird's eye view of what these clashes look like. Protesters throwing rocks and police responding with tear gas and back and forth they go.

In these clashes, a lot of things are thrown back and forth, a lot of debris. There's a lot of tear gas. And that's why we've seen hundreds of injuries.

We're going to head on over to Tahrir. Every day when we come to the square, we have to go through these side streets right through these clashes.

And here we are in Tahrir Square, seen of the 1 million man demonstration organized by the opposing factions. This is one of the biggest demonstrations we've seen in Cairo ever since President Morsi took over. Just like Egypt, most of these people are Muslims, but you're not going to find any hard-line Islamists here. Many of these people represent secularists, western style liberals, moderates, women's rights groups, youth groups. All of them have one demand for Mr. Morsi, they want him to rescind his decrees, some even asking for his ouster.


ANDERSON: (inaudible) to what was happening earlier today, Reza joining us from there now live. And as we look at the pictures from Tahrir Square, certainly things a lot more peaceful at this hour, but still thousands of the street.

SAYAH: Yeah, we were eager to see how big this demonstration was going to be. It was billed as the 1 million man protest, not sure if 1 million people showed up, but certainly a lot of people did. This crowd was large. It was loud. These people were fired up. Their message to Mr. Morsi is that they're not going to stand for his decree.

Many of the people behind us in Tahrir Square calling for his ouster, others demanding for him to reverse his decrees, Becky.

ANDERSON: Very briefly, reports tonight that some of the Muslim Brotherhood offices around the country have been ransacked. What do we know?

SAYAH: According to the Brotherhood, two of their offices in the city of Mansura (ph) and Malhala (ph) were attacked by anti-Morsi protesters. They described the protesters as thugs carrying clubs, knives, and Molotov cocktails and they destroyed these offices, dozens of people injured. Now the Brotherhood not too happy with the Interior Ministry here in Egypt. They say they called police, but police showed up very late.

So remember they had a 1 million demonstration - 1 million man demonstration of their own scheduled today. To avoid violence and clashes, but they couldn't avoid it in these two particular cities, Becky.

ANDERSON: Reza Sayah live for you out of Cairo this evening.

My next guest fears that Egypt could be headed down the same path as Iran, an Islamic theocracy. Before we speak to my guest, let's briefly remind you what happened in the Iranian revolution of 1979.

The western backed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi fled the country in January after months of protest against his rule. Two weeks later, Ayatollah Khomeini made a triumphant homecoming. He'd been leading the opposition movement from exile. Many Iranians welcomed his return and the military declared itself neutral. On February 11, the revolution became official.

So are there any similarities between Iran's dramatic shift to a theocracy and what's happening in Egypt today. Let's bring in Abdel Latif El Menawy. He was news chief for state television in Egypt before and during the revolution I know. And he's also author of "Tahrir, The Last 18 Days Of Mubarak."

Let's just interrogate your thesis that Egypt could be the next Iran. It certainly begs interrogation. What's your evidence that this is a theocracy in the making?

ABDEL LATIF EL MENAWY, AUTHOR: If we go back to 1979 when the Iranian revolution started, it started with the middle class people. It started with the secular. It started with left wings, right wings and partially Islamists. What happened after that, what happened after that is the Islamists just hijacked the revolution. They were in control of everything. They just went the same - the way to control the whole country.

Ayatollah Khomeini before he goes back to Iran, he said that the religion will not go. And after less than two weeks he was the main man in power in Iran and until now after 33 years we can see what's going on.

ANDERSON: We are, what, five days into - let me just stop you there, because you made your point. We are about five days into this. This is man, Morsi, who was (inaudible) at the beginning of last week for negotiating the mediation talks between Israel and Gaza, Thursday he announces this what he calls a temporary decree. And a meeting with Egypt's judges on Monday - this is now a couple of days ago - well, this is certainly just yesterday - Morsi was at pains to reassure that he would limit the use of his powers in his defense what one of the Muslim Brotherhood's senior advisers said on our air on Monday. Have a listen just to this.


JIHAD HADDAD, SENIOR ADVISOR, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: At the end of the day this is a president that was elected to office with no constitution that can define his powers, no division of powers. He later got his legislative powers because CAFTA got in the picture. And there was no parliament in place.

How on earth would that be a president out to grab more power when in fact he cemented the process that would create the institutions that would limit his power, define the constitution and have parliamentary election so that we can say that this is a democracy and institutions that can really govern properly?


ANDERSON: OK. That's the - one of the senior advisers to Morsi at pains to defend his position. This is just a temporary situation until they can sort of circumvent the old guard and get a constitution in place.

Let me just show you one of the tweets from their official site, the Muslim Brotherhood's official site today.

On - at January 25, referring back to the revolution of 2011, United Egyptians Islamists, liberals, leftists, revolted against autocracy, supported by millions across the country. Today, this tweet points out, this is politics, not revolution. Why not give Morsi the benefit of the doubt here? Give him a couple of months and see what he does?

MENAWY: This is exactly like you're all saying, we need to burn something to know what fire can do. We have experiences. We saw what happened in Iran. We saw. We looking now of what's happening in Sudan. Sudan is Islamist country - Islamist regime. So do we need to make a fire to know what fire can do? This is exactly what we - the question is, do we need a temporary dictator - do we need a temporary dictatorship to have a democratic state? This is exactly what Mr. Morsi wants now.

I would like to tell you for the first tweet you mentioned, the 21st of January all the Egyptian united on one goal, to change. Now what's going on? All the Egyptian but Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamists...

ANDERSON: Let me just say, 52 percent of the country voted for the Muslim Brotherhood so when you say all Egyptians that's not really fair, is it?

Let me ask you one question, do you think that political Islam necessarily means the end of a secular state which I know you would feel more comfortable with? Is it you are just completely unconvinced about Morsi and political Islam as an ideology that would work for Egypt going forward?

MENAWY: I'm not convinced that political Islam could lead to a real secular state. I'm completely convinced that political Islam is against to have a real secular state. This is something cannot go together. I mean, if we need a real secular country, we should have a real secular regime. We need to have a real secular constitutions. We need to have a real secular states to give the right for people to vote.

You are talking about 52 percent of Egyptians, they give a vote - their votes to Morsi. I believe that more - a lot of them, they are regretting now that they gave their votes to Morsi. I believe Mr. Morsi didn't play smartly after he won the election. In very fishy circumstances at the time. He had the chance to have the whole country to unite the country again if he just play it smart, if he just try to get the people who didn't vote for him to be with him.

But what's happening now is what we are calling Brothering the state (ph) or (inaudible).


MENAWY: Yeah, this is a term we are using now.

ANDERSON: This is going to go on. We're going to have you back. We're going to take a look at the live pictures. The opposition continues. But we point out that 52 percent of the population did indeed vote for the Muslim Brotherhood, which is lead by Mohammed Morsi and it's not those supporters you see on the street tonight, but the opposition.


MENAWY: Thank you very much.

ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World live from London. Still to come this hour, after eight years in the ground Yasser Arafat's body is exhumed over rumors the Palestinian leader may have been poisoned. That and more coming up. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: He's been dead for eight years, but on Tuesday the body of the late Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat was exhumed. Overnight, his body was dug up and reburied after a team of scientists took samples in order to identify whether he was actually murdered. Frederick Pleitgen sent this report from the West Bank.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORREPSONDENT: Yeah, Becky, of course this whole process was one that was very emotional to a lot of Palestinian people. The actual exhumation of Yasser Arafat's body only took a few hours. And it was kept completely away from the media who was waiting out here outside of the Palestinian Authority simply to keep the dignity of Yasser Arafat's memory intact.

This was all the public was able to see of the exhumation process, a solemn ceremony at the end with members of the Palestinian leadership to lay wreaths to commemorate the late Yasser Arafat. Before that, medical and forensic teams from France, Switzerland and Russia as well as Palestinian doctors worked behind this blue tarpaulin opening the late Palestinian leader's grave and taking samples from the remains.

DR. ABDULLAH BASHIR, HEAD OF THE PALESTINIAN MEDICAL INVESTIGATION TEAM (through translator): Everything was carried out with all ease and clarity and exactly as was agreed upon by all. There were no problems, thank god, and all matters took place in an orderly and agreed upon way.

PLEITGEN: Eight years after Arafat's sudden severe illness and death, the cause is still unknown. Palestinians say Israel is behind any poisoning, a claim the Israeli government refuses to comment on.

The experts involved in the case will examine the samples for possible traces of poison, especially the radioactive substance Polonium 210, which has been used in assassinations in the past.

It was an emotional day for many Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority described Arafat's exhumation as a sad, but necessary process. The samples will now be independently analyzed in labs in Russia, France and Switzerland and results are expected in about three months.

Even after his death, Yasser Arafat remains a towering figure for Palestinians. And not everyone agrees with the exhumation.

"Of course I am against it," he says. "It is insulting to the martyr and to the Palestinian people."

And some international experts doubt that polonium 210 could still be traced in Arafat's remains eight years after his death.

LAWRENCE KOLINSKY, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: At this point, the body being totally skeletonized without any soft tissue, there's very little that they can do. Poisons are not going to be found essentially looking in skeletal remains.

PLEITGEN: If forensic experts do find high levels of polonium in the body, the next question investigators will try to answer is who is behind the death of Yasser Arafat?


PLEITGEN: And of course, Becky, if they do find traces of polonium or some other poison in the remains of Yasser Arafat it would cause an uproar in the Palestinian territories, however, even if they don't find anything it will hardly lay to rest the rumors that Yasser Arafat was murdered - Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. Well, his exhumation has been largely driven by his wife - widow Suha Arafat. In the past she told Cnn that she would not ask for his body to be dug up.

Christiane Amanpour spoke to her earlier and asked her how she felt about seeing her husband exhumed. This is what she said.


SUHA ARAFAT, YASSER ARAFAT'S WIDOW: You know, it's brought all the memory - it was a very, very hard day for my daughter and myself, the house crying all the time. But this is the painful truth. It's very, very painful, but we had to go for the truth.


ANDERSON: Suha Arafat there. And you can see the rest of that interview if you're watching in Europe tonight on Amanpour after our show. That's in about 40, 45 minutes from now here on CNN.

All this comes at the same time that the Palestinian Authority is preparing to head to the United Nations to ask for a change in status. And France has said that it will back that Palestinian bid. And all major Palestinian factions say that they are, of course, behind the move too.

Richard Roth is at the UN headquarters in New York. How significant is this move by France, Richard?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's good news for the Palestinians who want to get as many European, especially Western European nations onboard to give more teeth and more clout to a resolution that is expected to be voted on Thursday afternoon here in New York at UN headquarters. Palestinian ambassador Mansour today calling it a historic move. President Abbas of the Palestinians was here, of course, last year where he - last year and he was here this year. Two years ago in effect he was saying, well - last year he was appealing and saying they want the full state. This year he appeared at the General Assembly saying, well, we're going for upgraded state status here called a non-member observer state.

The UN membership is solidly really behind the Palestinians. Everyone expects this to get approved.

What is not known are the implications, the ramifications of a General Assembly vote where there are no vetoes. Will the Palestinians control their air space and water rights? Will they go the International Criminal Court to pursue Israel for what they consider to be war crimes in the future once they become this non-member UN State? Palestinian Observer Mansour was asked if the Palestinians will indeed go to The Hague very quickly against Israel.


RIYAD MANSOUR, PALESTINIAN OBSERVER TO UN: Once we become a state recognized in the UN and we have the status, we are saying our objective is we want to negotiate. We want to save the two state solutions. But we don't want also to tie our hands with anything. I don't believe that we are going to be rushing the second day to join everything related to the United Nations, including to the ICC.

But yet in the same time, it is not fair for us to tie our own hands of all the possibilities that could be available to us.


ROTH: Palestinian representative Mansour speaking today at UN headquarters.

One senior western diplomat said this vote will do nothing but antagonize the United States which is needed for a peace process. The Palestinians, Becky, saying again that they feel negotiations is what they hope is the outcome of all of this. Israel has vehemently protested and done some lobbying, the U.S. especially. Ambassador Rice here at the UN calling this move by the Palestinians counterproductive - Becky.

ANDERSON: It's all a big day for the Palestinians. Richard out of New York for you this evening. Thank you very much indeed.

We're going to take a very short break here on the show. When we come back, though, a Formula 1 champion - we here from triple crown winner Sebastian Vettel. That after this.



Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel has returned in triumph to the Red Bull headquarters here in Britain less than 48 hours after securing his third world title on the hop. He's 25. And the youngest by six years to secure a hat trick of championships.

CNN's Amanda Davies went to see how the young German - well see how he's holding up. Let's put it that way.


AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Another year, another set of trophies to house in the cabinet here at Red Bull HQ. On Sunday, Sebastian Vettel said he was struggling to come to terms with being a three-time defending world champion. But now three days on with the party well underway, has that changed?

VETTEL: Well, it doesn't feel like three days. Yeah, I think I remember most of it, but probably not everything. I think we had a very good time after the race together with the team and celebrated on Sunday night. So it was a really good night. Generally I think, you know, it's pretty special and still I think it will take some time, but obviously there's a lot of things that - yeah, we have to do now.

DAVIES: What was going through your mind during the race in Brazil?

VETTEL: Well, the difficult race was very long and there was a lot of things happening. You know it was a very eventful race. Obviously, some races it's pretty straightforward and there's not a lot of things that can go wrong, but in Brazil obviously it was a different story with the weather and the circumstances, et cetera. So it was quite dramatic.

But inside the car, you know, I always try to keep going, keep going and obviously I wasn't always aware of whether, you know, it's good enough or not where Fernando is obviously he drove his own race and therefore, you know, for us it was just crucial to keep the head down and keep - stay focused and not to think too far ahead.

DAVIES: Of course they're getting pretty used to these celebrations here. It's the third straight year they've done the double, not just winning the driver's championship but claiming the constructor's crown as well. But according to the team principal, Christian Horner, it still means as much as ever.

CHRISTIAN HORNER, RED BULL TEAM PRINCIPAL: It's a remarkable feeling, I mean, to have completed you know three double world championships is something we could only have dreamed about a few years ago. And, yeah, especially after this year it's been by far the hardest of the three and to have done it with the drivers at the last race, the driver the Sebastian had on Sunday was quite remarkable and...

MARK WEBBER, RED BULL DRIVER: The driver's championship is clearly the most prestigious, but the constructor's championship is special for everyone here and everyone at Renault. So, you know, for me it's nice to know that I have contributed to that for sure. Both drivers need to be operating. And over the last three seasons we have been. So that's - yeah, that's important. It's not super important to me, but it's nice to know that I've contributed to that for the team here, which is important.

DAVIES: So the celebrations may be well underway here, but Formula 1 never rests. And because of Red Bull's dominance over the last few seasons they once again will be the team to beat in 2013. And preparations are well underway.

Amanda Davies, CNN, at the Red Bull factory.


ANDERSON: Well, their remarkable Formula 1. While we've put a bow on that for this evening, at least, the work is just beginning for one-time would be England manager Harry Redknapp. He's at Queenspark Rangers, a west London team making his debut as their manager against Sunderland this evening. And let's be honest, there is no way but up for the club that he is taking over.

If I describe this season for Harry Redknapp as a scrap, Mr. Riddell, Don in - at CNN Center - I think I'd be pretty correct, wouldn't I? How is it all going so far?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORREPSONDENT: I think you're being very generous by saying there's only one way and that's up. They could very easily sink without a trace. It's been an absolute disaster for QPR this season. More than a third of the season is gone. They've only taken four points. When Harry Redknapp took the job he said to the media that's almost impossible that you can be that bad. He hasn't minced his words. He said the players should be embarrassed.

He is known as Harry Houdini. He has been in this position with Portsmouth and Spurs before and he saved them from relegation. Can he do it again? We will see.

So far it seems to be going pretty well. They're in action against Sunderland in the Premier League this evening. Becky, there's just a few minutes left in that game, just about four or five minutes remaining. It is goalless, no score. It's not a victory if it stays that way, but it would at least be a point, which would be very valuable. And for a team that's already got a goal difference of minus 16 to have not conceded a goal would also be a positive start. And remember they're away from home.

Of course, five minutes still to go. It is 0-0 in that game, but Redknapp sure has his work cut out for him for the remainder of the season.

ANDERSON: It's going to be a tough one.

All right. We'll World Sport in about an hour from now. Don, back with that and the result of that and of course the rest of your sports headlines. Mr. Riddell, always a pleasure. Thank you for that.

Coming up, the latest world news headlines for you, including Mexico's new leader, who says it's time to go beyond the war on drugs, and he heads to America to forge a bright new future.

Sun, sea, and saving the planet. Find out why a holiday in Corsica could boost your green credentials.

And later, friend or foe? Just how close might we be to a war with machines? That after this.


ANDERSON: A very warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world wherever you are watching. I'm Becky Anderson, these are the latest world news headlines here on CNN.

Some call them the largest demonstrations yet against Egypt's president. Huge crowds gathered and still gather in Cairo and other cities to demand Mohamed Morsi rescind a decree that increases his powers. Live pictures for you at just after half past eleven Cairo time this evening. The crowds still there. Protesters say he is becoming a new dictator.

Palestinians call it an historic step in their efforts for greater international recognition. Today, France announced it would support the Palestinian's bid from enhanced status at the United Nations, a vote expected in the General Assembly later this week.

Well, the body of the former Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, has been exhumed in the West Bank. A team of scientists took samples before his body was reburied. There was no autopsy when Arafat died eight years go. That exhumation was ordered over rumors that he was poisoned.

Mexico's president-elect, Enrique Pena Nieto, is in America for talks with US president Barack Obama. In the "Washington Post," Nieto said ties between the two countries must go beyond the war on drugs and prioritize their economic partnership instead.

While the drugs violence may not have dominated the headlines over the past few months, it is still very real in the lives of Mexicans. A beauty queen became one of the latest victims during a shootout in the northern state of Sinaloa.

Maria Susana Flores Gamez was killed on Saturday in a gun battle between soldiers and suspected gang members. Her death comes as Mexicans mourn the death of a former mayor who stood up to the drug traffickers.

Maria Santos Gorrostieta's body was discovered beaten and burned at the side of a road. She previously survived two assassination attempts.

Mexico's new leader says he intends to focus on reducing the violence, but has so far offered few details about how he plans to achieve that. Just four days before his inauguration, Enrique Pena Nieto sat down with CNN's Wolf Blitzer and told him about his priorities once he takes power. Have a listen to this.


ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF MEXICO (through translator): Mexico has a great window of opportunity, in my opinion, to reach a grower -- economic growth and social development. They are two main issues of my agenda, of my proposal in the government and what I'll be focusing on for the next few years.


ANDERSON: Worries that Mexico's next leader simply represents the old guard and is unlikely to achieve any great changes across the board. John Ackerman is a professor at the University of Mexico's Institute for Legal Research and joins us tonight from our Washington Bureau. Thank you, sir.

Let's start with the economy. Given that that's what the Mexican leader, of course, was in Washington to flog today, why your pessimism? When I look at Mexico's growth rate, it looks pretty damn good in these somewhat straightened times, when you compare it to other countries around the world.

JOHN ACKERMAN, PROFESSOR, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF MEXICO: Well, you have to take that in context, right? In 2009, the GDP of Mexico went down 6.7 percent, so it's basically just rebounding from the huge loss it had in 2009.

Real growth has been under 1 percent for the last two decades. Poverty has gone up over the last six years. So, Mexico is really in an economic crisis, and that's what really generates all the death and all of the youth who are being recruited into the drug war.

And what we really need in Mexico is, yes, a new change, a new vision, a new future. The problem is that Enrique Pena Nieto really comes from the old guard. There's no question about that.

ANDERSON: What do you mean by that? What do you mean by the "old guard?"

ACKERMAN: Well, Enrique Pena Nieto is relatively young. He's in his 40s, he has a soap opera wife, so he has sort of this modern image, but he's actually from -- actually, specifically, the town in the State of Mexico, it's out of Mexico City, it's Altacomulco, which is sort of the breeding ground for the old guard.

The old guard, what is that? Those are the people who ruled Mexico for 71 years. It's kind of the old politburo, right? They were in control of the country for 71 years, very much based on corruption, inequality, inefficiency, and there was not a commitment towards democracy.

And so, the problem here is that Pena Nieto, when he was governor of the State of Mexico, which was one of those states which has not gone -- undergone democratic transition, that's a state which the PRI has ruled for over 80 years.

The problem is that he looks like he wants to transfer that way of governing as sort of a local, feudal lord, to the federal level. And this could create --


ANDERSON: All right. I hear what you're saying.

ACKERMAN: -- serious problems.

ANDERSON: I hear what you're saying. OK. Let's remind our viewers about the horrifying homicide rate over the past few years in Mexico, because I want to pursue that as a line of inquiry here.

Over the past six years, Mexico's war against drugs has taken a heavy toll. By one count, the number of homicides during outgoing president Felipe Calderon's time in office stands at more than 57,000, the tally published recently by the Monterrey-based "Milenio" daily newspaper. Some say that death toll could be even higher. So, things were pretty damn bad over the past six years.

Highlighting the economy and growth, of course, as we see the incoming president in Mexico doing today in the States doesn't preclude him from tackling corruption, inequality, the war on drugs, and security. And yet, you seem so determined that he is seemingly the wrong man for the job when, quite frankly, many Mexicans will say Calderon did very little to improve their sense of security --

ACKERMAN: Of course.

ANDERSON: -- over six years.

ACKERMAN: Of course. The administration of Felipe Calderon has been a great failure, especially in this topic of violence and also economic growth. Mexico is in a crisis. Pena Nieto comes in -- the interesting thing is, you look at the vote last July 1st.

Actually, the protest vote did not go towards Pena Nieto. It went towards principally Lopez Obrador specifically in those areas, which were rife with violence. Lopez Obrador is a leftist candidate.

The middle class, the urban, educated middle class did not for Pena Nieto. They voted to stay with Calderon or for the leftist candidate.

Pena Nieto basically won by a massive national operation of vote buying. In over 25, 27 percent of the voting booths throughout the country -- independent studies show this -- there was massive practices of vote- buying.

He overspent -- and this is violating Mexican law -- by ten times, perhaps, at least two or three times the spending limits, and basically was able to convince poor folk in Mexico to vote for him when his agenda --


ANDERSON: Thank you. Very quickly, you say --

ACKERMAN: -- is clearly not pro-poor. Yes?

ANDERSON: You say cozying up -- the president of the United States should not cozy up to this man. Is that what you -- that's your point, isn't it?

ACKERMAN: That's what I'm saying. I'm not saying that Barack Obama should ignore Pena Nieto. People have been trying to exaggerate that kind of claim. No, but Barack Obama and the rest of the world should be very aware that this man does not represent modern Mexico, he represents the Mexican authoritarian past.

And he needs to be dealt with very carefully, and specifically we need to bring onboard civil society, journalistic, independent actors in thinking about the future of Mexico and not concentrate --

ANDERSON: Interesting.

ACKERMAN: -- everything in this authoritarian leader.

ANDERSON: Mr. Ackerman, pleasure to have you on, thank you.

ACKERMAN: Thank you. Pleasure talking to you.

ANDERSON: A spirited narrative there out of Washington for you this evening. We're going to take a very short break. Back after this.


ANDERSON: All right. In this week's Leading Women series, meet an Indian entrepreneur at the top of her game and a lady known as the Oprah Winfrey of Argentina.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw's path to success started like that of many youngsters.

KIRAN MAZUMDAR-SHAW, CHIARMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, BIOCOM: I think starting with my mother and father, my father was a man way ahead of his time. Both of them really encouraged me in pursuing an entrepreneurial kind of path.

ANDERSON: In 1973, after graduating from Bangalore University, she headed to Australia, where she studied fermentation, becoming India's first female brewmaster in 1975.

She ultimately used those skills to start Biocon, at first developing enzymes and later, pharmaceuticals.

SHAW: I guess I was determined to prove that I would -- that I could succeed and I would succeed as a woman entrepreneur.

ANDERSON: And succeeded she has. Today, her company, which started in a garage, sits on a sprawling complex. Shaw says part of her mission is finding new and lower-cost solutions to deliver health care, especially to the poor.

SHAW: We simply cannot afford to develop drugs that cost $1 billion to $3 billion to develop because these drugs will not actually reach people who really need it the most.

ANDERSON: She relies on a core team to propel her company and her causes forward.

SHAW: I've been very much a consensus kind of a leader.

I think that's what we need to get to.

I think I'm a good people person. I do manage people fairly well, because I think I engage with people very closely.

ANDERSON: One of the people who helps her manage the company is her Scottish husband, John Shaw, Biocon's vice chairman. The former tech start executive relocated to India after he and Kiran Shaw married in 1998.

SHAW: My husband has played a very important role in my live, because not only is he supporting me, but he's my greatest mentor.


ANDERSON: And she mentors. Here, she's visiting a group of rural children at a school she supports.

SHAW: Being a woman in a country like India, although it seems challenging and daunting, I also believe that it has enabled me to do things which I normally couldn't have even thought of.


FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I'm Felicia Taylor. Argentina's Susana Gimenez may be working from a very different platform than Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, but her mission is still the same: to make people's lives a little easier.

For Gimenez, that's through her top-rated talk show, and she sees the effect she has on viewers every time she meets a fan.

SUSANA GIMENEZ, TALK SHOW HOST: They all say the same: thank you for the smile you put on my face. Every hour, I think I'm part of the family.

TAYLOR: Gimenez has been a part of Argentina's TV-watching family for 25 years, and before that, she had a successful career in film, theater, and modeling. She's one of Argentina's biggest celebrities. And while her show is on hiatus this year, she remains popular, with fans recognizing her while she shops near her home in Miami.


TAYLOR: Gimenez captures viewers with her warmth and genuine spirit.

GIMENEZ: Bia! Bia!

TAYLOR: As seen when a friend arrives during our interview in her home.

GIMENEZ: Bia! She's my granddaughter.

TAYLOR: Gimenez loves animals. In fact, she says after two divorces, she'll take a dog over a man anytime.

GIMENEZ: They never make you cry. If you have a man, you cry almost once a week.


TAYLOR: She says she holds nothing back from her viewers, but she did let us in on a little secret: her method of relaxation.

TAYLOR (on camera): I love that you do needlepoint.


TAYLOR: I do needlepoint. Nobody would believe that I do -- and I crochet, of all things.

GIMENEZ: And you do crochet?


GIMENEZ: Ah, you sweetie!

TAYLOR: Well, I haven't done it in a long time.

Of all the things that you've done, what are you most proud of?

GIMENEZ: I think the TV show. The TV show because it let me come into the people's houses every day of my life, and it became a classic, the show. So, that's -- I'm proud of that, yes.


ANDERSON: Coming up next on CONNECT THE WORLD, the robots are coming. Stay tuned -- (imitating Arnold Schwarzenegger) I'll be back.


ANDERSON: All right. The island of Corsica is, perhaps, better known for its beautiful beaches. But it's also paving the way for a greener future for all of us. Jim Bittermann explains.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The island of Corsica, 100 miles off the south coast of France, has a lot going for it: temperate climate, sparkling waters, striking beauty. But like many islands, what it lacks is carbon-based energy resources.

So, for years now, various forms of renewable energy have been tried here. With an average of more than 210 sunny days per year, the island is a natural for solar power. And with precipitous mountains in the center of the island, hydro-electric power has been a key source of energy.

But now, billions of private and public euros are being spent to determine exactly how the island can use its natural resources to the best advantage. In the process, the island has become a real-time laboratory for testing energy installations and strategies.

The private sector, for example, is developing a huge solar and wind park on a mountaintop at the north end of the island. The area is sometimes shrouded in clouds, but there's almost always wind, so the developers hope to charge lithium-ion batteries both day and night.

BITTERMANN (on camera): This may not be the sunniest part of France, but it has to be one of the windiest, with winds regularly gusting between 100 and 120 miles an hour. Winds so strong that first-generation wind turbines sometimes have to be shut down.

BITTERMANN (voice-over): Once the modern wind turbines are installed next fall, the site at maximum capacity can pump enough electricity into the power grid to supply 5,000 homes.

RONALD KNOCHE, PRESIDENT, ECO DELTA: The power produced here on the island is very, very expensive in comparison to the continent. Therefore, this island, of course, is very, very interesting for new technologies which can decrease the price of production.

BITTERMANN: It's the state-run electrical utility, EDF, which is supplying the biggest part of the investment on the island, building a coordinating infrastructure, which includes a quick start-up thermal plant and energy storage and control schemes to maximize renewable energy use.

The man in charge has spent much of his career managing electricity on islands, and he believes they're the best proving ground for techniques which can later be expanded across continents.

AUGUSTO SOARES DOS REIS, DEPUTY MANAGER, EDF: An island is an isolated electrical system, so you work on the limits much more than in an interconnected system. And particularly with the renewables because there is a technical limit to integrate renewables. And here in Corsica, as in other islands, we've already reached it.

BITTERMANN: That technical limit for renewable energy, the experts say, is about 30 percent. Beyond that, the whole system may become unstable. That's because the amount of energy supplied generated from solar or wind is constantly rising and falling over the course of the day.

But demand changes, too. As the evening begins to fall, lights and heating systems come on and demand is at its peak. In the case of Corsica, that's normally between 8:00 and 10:00 in the evening, just at the moment when the supply from solar power drops to zero and winds often start to diminish.

Managing the constantly rising and falling demand and supply becomes a real puzzle. To even out the supply, EDF is spending 340 million euros on huge diesel-powered generators, which can come online in a matter of minutes, and 200 million on a major new dam, one of four on the island which will store water that can almost instantly be sent to a generating plant, which can supply up to a tenth of the island's electrical demand.

An even more innovative storage facility is being developed by the university of Corsica. Near the city of Ajaccio, researchers have set up large solar panel arrays, which power a system that breaks down water into hydrogen and oxygen. They are stored until needed, and then sent to fuel cells to make electricity. The plant can go online in a matter of minutes when demand peaks.

BITTERMANN (on camera): Like in any laboratory, not every experiment on Corsica turns out to be a winner. In fact, on this very same site back in the 80s, there was a solar project that was only moderately successful and eventually abandoned.

BITTERMANN (voice-over): And not all energy experiments are large in scale or for the moment, financially viable. Some involve individual homeowners. There are the traditional rooftop solar generators of the kind Marius Angeli (ph) installed. Various subsidies will pay for just about half of the installation, and he expects to pay off the rest within seven years.

But retiree Dominique Colan (ph) is part of an even more elaborate experiment. Soon, he too will have solar panels on his roof and a storage battery in his garden shed, but already EDF has installed a management systems, which allows the electric utility to take energy from his solar system, but it also can cut off his consumption by turning off his electric heating for periods of up to 15 minutes.

That control over consumption, EDF believes, will allow the company to go beyond the 30 percent renewable energy limit. And to coordinate both supply and now demand, EDF is building a high-tech control center, which will regulate the island's electrical grid.

DOS REIS: Our mission is to ensure 24 hours a day in real time the balance between consumption and production. And one of the main challenges of the operator that you can see is to maximize the contribution to renewable energies to the whole system.

BITTERMANN: So, the life-sized laboratory on Corsica is giving researchers and operators real experience at how to handle renewable energies in widely varying conditions, making them useful even when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Ajaccio, Corsica.


ANDERSON: CNN Going Green for you.

In tonight's Parting Shots, if you thought robot wars were a figment of science fiction, well, think again.


WILL SMITH AS DEL SPOONER, "I, ROBOT": Murder's a new trick for a robot.

PHIL HAN, CNN DIGITIAL PRODUCER (voice-over): It's a threat that could change the course of humanity, and it's not what you think.

SMITH AS SPOONER: I'm going to miss the good old days.

CHI MCBRIDE AS JOHN BERGIN, "I, ROBOT": What good old days?

SMITH AS SPOONER: When people were killed by other people.

HAN: Just like the Hollywood film "I, Robot," what if machines started developing their own artificial intelligence?

BRIDGET MOYNAHA AS SUSAN CALVIN, "I, ROBOT": Robots might naturally evolve.

HAN: It's a real enough danger that Cambridge University has set up a new center to study the pitfalls posed by artificial intelligence. And their not the only ones. But don't panic just yet.

PETER MCCOWEN, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: There's a transition into a situation where perhaps the balance of power changes between us and artificial intelligence. I think that is far more likely to be something that happens over a period of time.

HAN: While the kinds of robotic technology seen in films may still be a long way off, billions of dollars are being spent each year on developing artificial intelligence in military systems. The US has already developed a slew of high-tech gadgets, from pilotless drones to machines that can run faster than Usain Bolt.

Other robots with artificial intelligence include creations that can even walk on ice or detect uneven terrain.

While many of us may have visions like this scene from the hit "Terminator," where they Skynet military system is destroying the planet, it doesn't look like it'll happen in our lifetime. But then again, no one ever really does know what the future holds.


HAN: Phil Han, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN out of London. Thank you for watching. The headlines will be up after this.