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CONNECT THE WORLD

Syrian Internet Goes Dark; Interview with Javier Bardem; Tens Of Thousands Still Protesting Egypt's Proposed Constitution

Aired November 30, 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: Tonight on Connect the World, explosions across the skyline of Damascus. This, just one of the few videos to come out of Syria as an internet blackout across the country leaves the rest of the world in the dark.

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

FOSTER: Tonight we'll speak to our correspondent live from inside Syria and explore what's caused the country's communications to fail.

Also this hour, as AIDS infections fall across the globe, the fears that young people are becoming complacent.

And...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAVIER BARDEM, ACTOR: Justice should be on their side and of course it's not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: The bond villain turned humanitarian. Why Javier Bardem is taking aim at Morocco over one of Africa's longest conflicts.

Well fierce clashes are raging in the suburbs around Damascus as nearly all of Syria tries to deal with the mass communications blackout.

New video shows black smoke rising from one suburb of the capital. The road to the city's international airport is back open, but flights in and out remained stalled. Meanwhile in Aleppo, new video shot by our CNN team inside Syria shows widespread destruction.

We can now talk to Arwa Damon whose team shot that footage. She is inside Syria in the north of the country.

Arwa, if you can, just describe what you're seeing and what people are telling you there.

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we were seeing earlier in one of the neighborhoods of Aleppo that we were in was as we were mentioning there the widespread devastation that took place. And what the rebel fighters were telling us was that this was the first neighborhood to fall to the Free Syrian Army when it came to the battle in Aleppo that most certainly is still taking place although rebel fighters are telling us that they control, or rather the regime does not control around 65 percent of the city.

In this particular neighborhood, some three weeks ago residents began coming back for a number of reasons, these strikes had decreased, but also winter is coming in and the option of moving back to their homes was deemed to be better than trying to tough it out in various shelters, tents that they were having to live in or crowding in other buildings in other areas.

We met a woman in line at the bread factory. And her case is really quite tragic, because she, her husband and their three children were turned to this neighborhood from the village thinking that it would be safe, but then her husband was wounded by shrapnel. She had to wait three hours in line with a massive mob in front of the bakery to try to get bread to eat (inaudible). Prices have increased exponentially. They've doubled for bread in this particular area. In some other areas it's even more if bread is even available at all.

We also met a little boy, a 14 year old, who was collecting water in a plastic container at the sight of an airstrike that had damaged a water main and had cut off the water to his home. He, too, had been wounded. His hand was in a sling. But he was wounded in the village that his family had actually fled to for safety.

So while we are seeing some residents return, we are seeing valiant efforts at trying to clean up, restore electricity, it's still very much a gamble for those who have decided to move back into this particular area, Max.

FOSTER: And obviously they're trying to deal with the very basics of life, but this information blackout, this communications blackout, how is it affecting people there?

DAMON: It's making what is already unimaginably difficult life even more challenging, because not only on the basic level are families not able to communicate with one another, make sure that they are safe, when it comes to opposition activists it's very difficult for them to keep uploading those videos to YouTube, communicating with the outside world.

And when it comes to the rebel fighting force, cell phone service is also shut off. They are unable to communicate with one another over great distances because they do not possess advanced military technology that would allow them to do so.

FOSTER: OK. Arwa Damon in Syria. Thank you very much indeed.

Well, our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is with me in the studio. Nic, if you can somehow explain this communications blackout. Why is it happening?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you look at the map of Syria here right now, we know that Syria has four principle internet lines coming into the country. They come in here, three of them under the sea coming into the country. One comes in from Turkey right here. And the way that the experts describe how the system works, and what we have to remember about Syria is, that all the internet facilities are state owned. And here in a country like this when you had the four routes coming in, it's up to the country to tell these roads, these highways coming into the country the maps that they have to take.

And what happened Thursday morning in the space of about four minutes was it appeared that the country stopped publishing those maps to tell all the internet signals where to go. Could that have been because a line was cut? Well, we asked an expert and this is what he told us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDY DANCER, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, TREND MICRO: It's almost certainly an intentional change. The point of internet routing is that you have multiple (inaudible) so just like if there was a traffic jam on one route that you drive and you go out and you come back from a different angle to get in. The whole point of having multiple paths into the country is if there's a problem of one end, (inaudible) example and that line goes off that the traffic would automatically route itself around and coming in via a different path.

For all of the paths to have down at the same time implies that there's a coordinated effort or action going on to make that happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Coordinated by?

ROBERTSON: The government. I asked him specifically that question. He believes it's the government, because the government controls the mapping, the routing. It all went down at the same time.

FOSTER: So it had to be the government.

ROBERTSON: He doesn't think that the rebels would be in a position to be able to shut things down because it was done sequentially. There's - the way that it happened, the technical way that it happened, sequential changing of the routes being closed down means that it does tend to be the government.

You might ask why? Why would the government do that? Well, we have seen over the past week very damaging videos coming from the opposition side being transmitted over the internet, videos of aircraft being shot down, helicopters shot down. This doesn't fit with the government narrative.

It does have to be said the government says they haven't shut the internet down, but in a case like this it would seem - it would seem that they were closing down an avenue for a very negative information about them to get out.

FOSTER: And if that is the aim, then they haven't been entirely successful, have they, because videos are still getting out.

ROBERTSON: They are. And we're not quite clear how they're getting out. One of the places is Benish (ph) here in the north. This was a video that came out during Friday. What we know about benish (ph) is that there are people there with independent means of getting internet signals out with quite good Wi-Fi services locally. But we also know the United States and Great Britain have been supplying communications equipment.

Look, it's almost a no-brainer, we had in Libya and in Egypt the government shutting down the internet and the phone service. The international community has been supporting the opposition giving them communications equipment to stop the government being able to trace them, but also preemptively now, it seems, being able to give them an alternate means. We don't know if that's how these signals were getting out.

I did talk to somebody today, an MP inside Damascus, an independent MP inside Damascus, to find out what she knew about the signals being shut down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIA SAADEH, INDEPENDENT SYRIAN MP: From the inside we can make any calls, but just I think only we have some problems in the internet and from the international calls. But why, I don't know. I don't know these details.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: Well, what she also told me was her frustration about the political situation as well. It's one thing to be in the dark, like she says, not able to communicate and know what's happening around the country, but there's also with independent MPs like her clearly a frustration that they're being left behind by this opposition outside the country who are being dealt with international communities.

He says, look, there are a lot of people, a lot of people in the middle ground inside Damascus also want to have a voice in the future of the country and they're not getting that right now, because the international community isn't talking to them.

FOSTER: Yeah, well let's bring into the discussion Radwan Ziadeh. He's a member of the Syrian opposition and the founder for the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies. He joins me from Washington.

First of all on that point, there are middle ground, if you like, politicians in Syria who are concerned that they're being left out in the opposition being dealt with by other countries is leading the way when actually there's people in the country that need to be involved in the discussion as well. What's your reaction to that?

RADWAY ZIADEH, FOUNDER, DAMASCUS CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS STUDIES: In every transition in each country of course quite difficult to know exactly the mapping of the Syrian opposition, because it's been changing every time. And what's the situation in Syria we always we recognize the arising leaders (inaudible) specially those who are organizing the protests or leading the protests on the ground.

This is why from the day when we start providing all of them satellite phone, internet devices, we expected as much that that the inter - the Syrian government would shut down the whole internet. This is why we still receiving those videos or the activists still will be able to upload the YouTubes and nothing - we don't see that nothing changed, because all of them they have the equipment and the devices to be able to still communicate with international community, with international organizations, also with activists on the ground.

Like what's happened in my hometown. Today, one of my close friends, Mohammed Karatem (ph) who is a key figure went (inaudible) in the city of Dariah (ph) for his peaceful activist and he is a key responsible on the online magazine called (inaudible), he has been killed today by indiscriminate shelling. All his videos how he's been killed, how he's been actually - how he's been affected by indiscriminate shelling, all this video has been uploaded today.

ROBERTSON: Are you sometimes as well suggesting that the government is going to backfire, this PR wise, because everyone is talking about this being a government effort to clamp down on communications when we are all know that we're relying on those videos, for example, for telling the story within Syria. Do you think it could backfire on whoever is responsible for this?

ZIADEH: I think so. I think so. I mean, the main target for the Syrian government right now to crack down, not to allow such activists to upload and for the international community to know exactly what's going on the ground. As you said - pointed out exactly, those videos, this is the only way that we can show the footage of what's going on from the country, since the government kicked out all the journalists, kicked out all the reporters out from the country and did not allow any of them to get in despite all of the pressure, despite all of the demands from the international media to have observers on the ground.

I think it's more important right now for the international media to keep talking and to have a communication with the peaceful activists on the ground to be able to get all the information, the facts, because there is increasing fear among the activists, especially inside Syria there is something bad will happen. There is something that will heppen.

And we see the statements from the international. I meant to mention that before.

ROBERTSON: Radwan Ziadeh, thank you very much indeed. I'm Nic Robertson in the studio.

FOSTER: Still to come tonight, one of the biggest demands of Egypt's revolution was for greater personal freedoms. Now we'll see why some protesters say the new constitution falls short.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now Egypt's president is expected to all a national referendum on a new constitution within two weeks. An Islamist dominated assembly finished the final draft today despite a walkout by liberal and Christian assembly members. Protesters fear the constitution infringes on key rights.

Some of the concerns. It bans, quote, insulting or slandering a human. It says the state will look after, quote, morality and public order. And it guarantees freedoms for worshipers of heavenly religions. Critics say that could limit religious freedom to Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Let's bring in Reza Sayah in Cairo for more.

It does seem as so many of these elements we're talking about there are subjective. That's the concern, right?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know what, if you're not a constitutional expert or a legal expert, Max, and you look at this constitution there's really nothing glaring that jumps out at you. It doesn't seem to be a lot of drastic differences from previous constitutions.

But a lot of these groups behind us: the women, the liberals, the moderates are concerned that it's vaguely written. And maybe down the road Islamists could use this constitution to deny some of the rights.

The protesters are back here in Tahrir Square in big numbers again. Among them many women who are concerned about their rights.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAYAH: There doesn't seem to be an end to the demonstrations here in Cairo. Another mass protest here in Tahrir Square, tens of thousands protesting President Morsi and the draft of this new constitution. Some of the president's fiercest critics here are women, women rights activists. They don't like the way this constitution was drafted. They don't believe they were represented in the panel that drafted the constitution. And here's what else they're saying. We don't trust the president and the Muslim Brotherhood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at all the countries, this secludes all the countries and now they want to seclude Egypt.

SAYAH: And when you say they who is they?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Muslim Brothers. The Muslim Brothers, the Salafis, all these groups. The Muslim Brothers are...

SAYAH: But you don't...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For me, they are not Egyptians, they are an international organization.

SAYAH: So you don't trust them at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course not.

SAYAH: And you don't - you don't...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can anyone trust them?

SAYAH: You don't trust the Muslim Brotherhood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of these people, they don't trust them. We don't - they use religion to push us to do whatever they want, but they are not really religious.

SAYAH: How much longer are you willing to come out here and protest?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every day (inaudible).

Step down. Step down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it just should begin from zero and...

SAYAH: But he says if you don't like it, go vote. What's wrong with that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, sure, we will. I mean, but, we want him off and we want all his people off.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAYAH: Some of the many women that we spoke to tonight here in Tahrir Square. One of the articles in this draft of this constitution says there will be freedom from discrimination, but it doesn't say anything specifically about the rights of women and religious minorities and it doesn't say that women and men are equal. These are some of the things these women are concerned about, Max.

FOSTER: OK, Reza, thank you very much indeed for joining us from there.

Now here's a look now at some other stories connecting our world tonight. Just a day after Palestinians won enhanced status at the United Nations, Israel is reportedly taking steps to expand settlements. News agencies report that Israel plans to build 3,000 new homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Israel media says it's a direct response to the Palestinian's UN bid. The United States, a key Israeli ally, is criticizing the move.

A big scare today in the U.S. state of New Jersey after toxic chemical spill. It started when a rail bridge collapsed. That sent several train cars carrying vinyl chloride tumbling into a creek. Officials say most of that chemical has now dissipated, but 18 people were taken to hospital with sore throats and nearby schools went on lockdown. The U.S. Coast Guard crews are on the scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK AMEEN, PETTY OFFICER, U.S. COAST GUARD: This was an old style swing bridge as its called, one of the few remaining in the northeast, handles a lot of traffic. This train today was 84 cars. There are three - I think there's like three major trains a day that go through that. And by the way, this is disruptive to refining processes downstream and upstream. This is an important line for condrail (ph).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Unemployment in the EuroZone has reached a new record high. The European statistics agency Euro Stat says the jobless rate climbed up to 11.7 percent in October, that's 18.7 million people without a job last month. The news is especially bleak for under 25s. Figures show almost one in four under 25s can't find a job.

We're going to take you to a quick break now, but when we come back the villain turned humanitarian, Javier Bardem stepped up a campaign to end one of Africa's longest running wars. Our exclusive interview with the star up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARDEM: You got me. Now here's your price. The latest thing from my local toy store. It's called radium (ph).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, he may have played the villain in the new Bond film Skyfall, but Javier Bardem stepped into a very different role today, that of a humanitarian.

The Spanish star spoke to this program a little earlier in the year about his film Sons of the Clouds. The documentary highlights the plight of Sawari people caught in the middle of a territorial dispute in the western Sahara for 35 years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARDEM: There is an international disgrace that generations of Saharaui are born, live, and die in these camps. And their compatriots suffer under repression in the territory.

Almost no one has heard of this abuse, because journalists and human rights organizations are not allowed to visit the territory. The denial...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, the conflict is between the Moroccan government which annexed the former Spanish colony in 1976 and the Polisario (ph) Front movement, a group of rebels who are fighting for self-determination for the Saharaui people. Saharaui live in a territory occupied by Morocco and in refugee camps across the border in Algeria.

Polisario (ph) rebels hold much of the land along the border with Mauritania. It has been more than 20 years since the United Nations security council agreed a referendum should be held, giving the people of western Sahara a choice between independence or Moroccan rule.

But the vote is yet to take place as both parties have been unable to agree on the terms. New talks this week failed to end the deadlock.

Well, now Morocco is taking over the presidency of the United Nations security council for one month. In an exclusive interview with Becky, Bardem described the appointment as unacceptable.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You've made a documentary on the plight of the Saharauis. What sort of reaction have you had from the Moroccan government?

BARDEM: None. Would they have any kind of reaction? Actually, one of the issues that one of the goals of the documentary was to have their reaction. It was impossible. We tried for four years, you know, to put in our documentary their point of view, because we want everybody to be free and talk and give their opinion. And we were always finding ourselves blocked by any of their members of the government, Moroccan government members or any authorities.

ANDERSON: For our viewers who may not know or who have heard of the Saharauis, just put us in their shoes. Talk to me about their plight.

BARDEM: In Spain, the Sahara was a Spanish colony. Franco, the dictator dies and then we skate out of the colony and the let that land to the Moroccan. Once the Moroccans take over, they divide the line in two, one the occupied, of course the rich part of it. And then they send refugees to Algeria which are the ones who are living in refugee camps since more than 35 years ago.

And in the occupied territories, the Morocco is really - I mean, it's well proved their abuse in basic human rights.

You cannot allow that for a country that is the president of the United Nations security council to be a country that abuse human rights.

ANDERSON: Why (inaudible) personal interest from you?

BARDEN: I went to this film festival in the refugee camp, the only one that happens in the refugee camp actually. And since then I've been involved with them. And I think it's a very, very right cost to fight, because justice is on their side, justice should be on their side and of course it's not.

ANDERSON: Both sides, Moroccan forces and the Polisario (ph) movement which is fighting for self determination referendum for the Saharauis, have committed acts of violence. I think we have to be clear about that. Do you side with the Polisario (ph) movement?

BARDEM: When we are talking about abuse of human rights in the occupied land or the way that those hundreds of thousands of people in refugee camps are leaving, we're not talking about Polisario (ph), we're talking about people have been and are being as we talk, as we speak, abused constantly by the Moroccan authorities. In that sense, the Polisario (ph) is the only political arm that can fight for those people.

ANDERSON: Are you planning to go back to western Sahara?

BARDEM: Yes. Yes. Every year we do the festival. And I know this year, unfortunately, every year we toast at the end of the festival for that year being the last one, because that will mean that we don't have to go back to a refugee camp, but unfortunately this year, next year, 2013, of course will go and we'll toast again in the name of hope.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, CNN has reached out to the Moroccan government and the country's mission to the United Nations for reaction to Bardem's comments. At this stage we are still awaiting a response.

Still to come, excuse me, on connect the world with HIV testing and treatment more successful than ever, we'll be looking at why the number of infections is still so high.

(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.

Fierce fighting continues in the Syrian capital as a communications blackout moved into its second day. Outside experts say it's almost certainly the work of the government, which controls the vital networks that supply internet and phone services. The government blames terrorists for the blackout.

Protesters in Tahrir Square are outraged with Egypt's new constitution. They say it tramples on key human rights. An Islamist- dominated assembly finished the final draft today. It could come to a nationwide vote within two weeks.

Israel is reportedly taking steps to expand settlements. News agencies say Israel's cabinet approved plans to build 3,000 new homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem neighborhoods. It comes just a day after Palestinians won enhanced status in the United Nations.

A bridge has collapsed in the US state of New Jersey, sending several train cars carrying vinyl chloride tumbling into a creek. Officials say most of that chemical has now been dissipated, but residents were evacuated and schools put on lockdown. Eighteen people have been treated for respiratory issues.

Tomorrow is World AIDS day. Thirty-four million people are currently living with HIV or AIDS, and last year, 1.7 million people died from AIDS- related illnesses. With the advent of revolutionary drugs, infected people are living longer, but there are worrying increases of some infections in some key demographics. Atika Shubert reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Testing for HIV is simple, a pinprick on the finger, less than a minute later, an answer. But the answers are not always good news. Three decades after the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Britain's health protection agency says the UK now has a record number of new HIV diagnoses among gay men.

The numbers are troubling. In 2011, 1 in 12 gay men in London has HIV, and 1 in 20 nationwide. The Terrence Higgings Trust in London offers free testing, but more needs to be done, says the trust's Paul Ward.

PAUL WARD, TERRENCE HIGGINS TRUST: The real challenge we have in the UK is that nearly a quarter of all people with HIV don't know they have it. We have too few people in the most at-risk communities of HIV who are testing and testing regularly for HIV. And secondly, it's still too difficult to get an HIV test.

SHUBERT (on camera): Part of the problem may be the perception of treatment of HIV. New drugs mean that those diagnosed with HIV can live a long and relatively healthy life, and some drugs may even prevent the spread of HIV infection before and after it has entered the body.

But that also means that some are taking extremely high risks, especially in London's club scene.

SHUBERT (voice-over): Dean Gallagher works as a standby medic at the door of several gay bars and clubs in London. What he sees worries him.

DEAN GALLAGHER, NIGHTCLUB MEDIC: I've heard people refer to unprotected sex or, as some people say, "barebacking," as they refer to it, as a lifestyle choice rather than life-threatening behavior. And that worries me.

SHUBERT: It's also generational, he says. Many kids in the club scene, gay or straight, now simply assume medicine will eliminate the risk of HIV/AIDS, a myth, he says, that is very much a mistake.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, let's look at the global trend, because there has been positive. In the last ten years, Africa has seen -- has cut the number of infections and deaths significantly, but in Eastern Europe, there has been a rise in infections.

Along with sex workers, the groups most at risk of contracting HIV are men who have sex with men and intravenous drug users.

Now, as you heard in Atika's report, in Britain, 1 in 20 gay men are HIV-positive, but according to the UN, in some countries like Brazil, it's 1 in 10. In Senegal, it's 1 in 5. And there's a worrying growth in the former Soviet Union, as well, where intravenous drug use has increased. More than 1 in 3 intravenous drug users in Russia has the virus. The country registers nearly 200 new cases every day.

So, is complacency to blame for the rise in the HIV infection? Has the invention of life-prolonging drugs actually backfired now? I'm joined by Dr. Rana Chakraborty, who is medical director of Ponce Family and Youth Clinic in Atlanta. Thank you so much for joining us.

RANA CHAKRABORTY, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, PONCE FAMILY AND YOUTH CLINIC: Thank you.

FOSTER: Is there a problem with the PR, here, really? Because there was so much success for so long, and now the message isn't resonating in the same way, because there has been success in the program, really.

CHAKRABORTY: Yes. I certainly think that there's been an element of complacency that's sort of set in and, like your film showed, there is certainly a generational gap that one sees.

But in addition to that, I suspect the awareness isn't quite the same, and this is only from my own anecdotal experiences in London, but there was certainly much more advertising and much more general awareness in the late 80s and 90s.

And I haven't seen it as much, certainly in the UK. But also in the United States, where I currently work.

FOSTER: There is a knowledge, though, isn't there? I know your specialism is young people in this area. There is a knowledge about the infection, but what's the problem here? They don't realize how serious it is?

CHAKRABORTY: Well, I think because you -- it's not perceived as life- threatening amongst man groups and many individuals. I think that's to some extent where the complacency sets in. When individuals hear that there are life-saving treatments, and most certainly there are, I think many people feel that it's less of a problem.

Whereas looking back historically in the 80s and 90s, people -- when people were given a diagnosis, it was almost a feeling that this was a death sentence.

FOSTER: Well, it was more -- they've got a point, haven't they?

CHAKRABORTY: Yes.

FOSTER: Because the treatments are working more effectively now.

CHAKRABORTY: Yes.

FOSTER: But just explain to us how serious it is if you get it now. How bad a problem is it compared with the 80s?

CHAKRABORTY: Well, my main concern really at this point is the fact that there is a possibility of a transmission of resistant virus now. By resistant virus, I mean picking up a virus which is resistant to many of the anti-retroviral lifesaving medications that are available as options to us.

And so, that certainly is a concern that puts you at a potential disadvantage if you do have a resistant virus in terms of the number of treatment options that are going to be available. So, I think that's certainly -- one of the issues.

But of course, it's the sheer numbers that you've highlighted and that we're seeing the large numbers of individuals that are HIV-infected in London and the UK. I think that's -- that's going to potentially cause enormous problems on individuals, certainly, but in the nationalized health care system.

FOSTER: Dr. Rana Chakraborty, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us from Atlanta.

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up after the break, we pay another visit to this month's Leading Women. We'll see why despite their successful -- despite her successful TV career, our Argentinean talk show host still dreams of Hollywood.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Well, this week on Leading Women, our final chance to meet this month's celebrated figures. One is the head of a leading drug company in India, the other a talk show host in Argentina. Despite their very different and highly-successful careers, both women have dreams they're still chasing. Becky and Felicia Taylor find out what's still driving them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At a health clinic in Hosur, a small village outside of Bangalore in India, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw gives her marching orders.

KIRAN MAZUMDAR-SHAW, CHAIRWOMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, BIOCON: Can we do the complete mapping?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

SHAW: Of every single person in this area?

ANDERSON: She's not so much acting the boss as she's shaping the course of health care at one of her facilities. Shaw is the chairwoman and managing director of Biocon, one of the country's leading pharmaceutical companies, with a portfolio that includes manufacturing and research.

SHAW: Well, India, unfortunately, is a country with a lot of inequities. Whether it's the rich/poor divide, whether it's the divide between the middle classes and the poor, I think we just have so many divides that we need various kinds of large-scale initiatives to bridge these divides.

ANDERSON: And that sums up a major part of her mission. While Shaw is ever the businesswoman, with vast wealth to prove it, she says she also wants to do her part to help the less fortunate in her country.

SHAW: We have started a micro health insurance program under Biocon Foundation. It provides patients cashless entry and treatment at hospitals.

ANDERSON: Biocon is the maker of BIOMAb for cancer and BASALOGTM for Diabetes, among other drugs. Shaw stared the company in a garage in 1978. Her childhood dream was to become a doctor.

SHAW: As a woman in India, you have to basically define yourself. You have to decide what you want to do in life. You can choose to be a conformist woman, or you can choose to be someone who is going to break out of the mold.

ANDERSON: After breaking the mold and accomplishing so much in her life and career, Shaw says her journey has just begun.

SHAW: Oh, there's a huge journey ahead for me. I really feel that we've only achieved one part of our journey. I don't think one can ever say that you've achieved everything you wanted, because life doesn't allow you to do that. But at least if I do half of what I've set out to do, I'll feel very satisfied.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I'm Felicia Taylor. Susana Gimenez is at the top of the entertainment world in Argentina, and yet she too still has some unfulfilled dreams.

SUSANA GIMENEZ, TALK SHOW HOST: At the time it starts, it's too late. But I would like to be a Hollywood star. When I was a little girl, I played to be the most beautiful girl, and Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth were my idols. And I was putting my -- how do you say? -- the pillowcase - - no, not without the pillow. I just put the sham -- I don't know how to say it -- like that, and I make my bust, and I sing like her.

TAYLOR: Many of her dreams did come true, though. She was a successful model, an actress in film and theater, before starting her interview and musical show 25 years ago.

She's now taking a year off from her hugely popular show, and we met her at her home in Miami.

TAYLOR (on camera): You've interviewed many celebrities.

GIMENEZ: Yes.

TAYLOR: Which is your favorite?

GIMENEZ: Sophia Lauren and Liza. I was in love with her, with all the pictures, that incredible woman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "SUSANA GIMENEZ")

GIMENEZ: Are you happy now in this moment?

LIZA MINELLI, SINGER: Oh, I'm so --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIMENEZ: And Liza is so talented, so warm, so I want to protect her always. I love her. I love her with all my heart.

TAYLOR: When you're interviewing somebody, is there a question that you hate to ask?

GIMENEZ: Yes. I hate to put the -- very private things, I don't -- I don't want to bother my guest. I don't want to make them -- no, I don't. If they don't want to tell me, I try to get him to that thing I want to know, but I try to be soft.

TAYLOR: If you were to give a woman advice, say a woman that wants to be in front of a camera, what would you tell her? What is -- it's not easy.

GIMENEZ: You mean in television? No, you have to work very hard, you have to be nice, you have to be educated, you have to try -- try. Try things. To be --

TAYLOR: Take chances.

GIMENEZ: Take chances, yes. And believe in what you're doing and love it and enforce it, and with a smile, you can -- have many things in life, with a smile.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, next week, we introduce you to two Leading Women, the president of GM Brazil and a renowned opera singer from South Korea. To find out more about all of our Leading Women, you can go to our website, cnn.com/leadingwomen.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, facing his last major league soccer final with the LA Galaxy, we ask what's next for David Beckham.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Australia's Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most stunning natural wonders, but it's under attack. Just last week, scientists told us that in the past 30 years, more than half of the coral has disappeared. Now, they're using the power of social media to show the world exactly what's going on Down Under and what we can do to help. Philippe Cousteau saw the effort up close.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We're in the water with the researchers of the Catlin Seaview Survey. They're mission: map the world's coral reefs, creating a comprehensive study for scientists while giving the rest of us a chance to see their work in real time.

Three hundred and sixty-degree panoramic images that will soon be used by researchers monitoring the effects of climate change are already available on Google Maps, and a social media campaign connects the team with more than 2 million followers online.

RICHARD VEVERS, PROJECT DIRECTOR, CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY: Normally, we can get the images that we've taken on the dive up within the hour up on the internet.

COUSTEAU: It's a new approach to science that project director Richard Vevers says should become a model for future research.

COUSTEAU (on camera): This is pretty radical from the perspective of science and research, to be having this much of a consistent and immediate online presence.

VEVERS: Yes, and we wanted -- that is an essential part of the Catlin Seaview Survey. It's really about trying to communicate the science as much as doing the science itself.

COUSTEAU: Yes, there's a greater purpose than just showing pretty pictures of fish to this endeavor to try and help people understand what's at risk here.

VEVERS: Absolutely. They -- the pretty pictures of the fish are really to start getting people engaged in the first place. Then we want to take people on a journey with us so they actually get involved in the science.

So, we explain the science, but then try to get them involved in the analysis of the data, so they really understand what's going on in the oceans.

COUSTEAU (voice-over): Coral reefs are a source of food and income for over 500 million people in more than 50 countries. But for most of us, they remain out of sight and out of mind. And the neglect has taken its toll. Over-fishing, pollution, warming ocean temperatures have all contributed to what scientists are discovering is the reef's rapid decline.

OVE HOEGH-GULDBERG, CHIEF SCIENTIST: We had a paper published down at the Australian Institute of Marine Science that said -- shows that half of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef has disappeared over the last 27 years. That's a momentous change. And if we continue on that pathway, the Great Barrier Reef will largely not have coral on it.

COUSTEAU: The Catlin team says waiting to share results simply isn't an option. The future health of the reefs needs to be understood now, and not just by researchers.

CHRISTOPHE BAILHACHE, CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY: There's amazing scientific work being done, but it's being read by about a hundred people rather than the world. And we wanted to bridge this gap -- well, we need to bridge this gap between scientific awareness and public understanding.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, this Saturday, we bring you a special report from a place that few humans have even seen. What mysteries can be found in the world's second-largest ice mass? Find out on Going Green: Secrets in the Ice. That's Saturday, 8:00 PM in London, 9:00 PM Berlin, midnight in Abu Dhabi.

Well, believe it or not, David Beckham has been playing in the US for five years, if you were following things. He'll be making his final appearance with the LA Galaxy on Saturday. So, is this the end of his career? Let's bring in "World Sport's" Amanda Davies to help us answer that. About it?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It's not going to be the end of his career. He said he's hanging up his boots in the States now because he feels he's got one more footballing challenge in him.

And it's to his credit, at 37 years of age, he's been linked with so may top-flight clubs. It shows his professionalism and how he's done over the years.

His team officially say they're not going to talk about where he's going next until next week, until after the MLS Cup against Houston Dynamo on Saturday, but he's been linked with moves to Russia, to Brazil, more recently he's been linked to move to France with Paris Saint-Germain big --

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: Europe's got to be the big attraction, hasn't it?

DAVIES: You'd think so. Given everything in his private life, as well, with Victoria with her budding fashion career --

FOSTER: Fashion.

DAVIES: -- you would think that would be an option. Monaco has also been spoke about. Again, very glitzy, very glamorous, much closer to their family at home.

The one that's come up in recent days is a move to QPR, the English Premier League side. He has in the past said he doesn't want to come back to the Premier League because he's been there, done it at the top level with Manchester United, but coming back to London, where he's from, where his family are, that might actually have an appeal.

He wasn't giving too much away in his pre-match press conference, but he does say he feels wherever he goes, he's definitely got something to contribute. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID BECKHAM, MIDFIELDER, LA GALAXY: I do believe I've still got another challenge inside -- inside me. And I do feel like I can still play for I don't know how many years left, but I do still feel like I can still play. And I've had an amazing time here, amazing time playing here for the last six years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: And just switching sports -- we're going to follow that of course. When do you get the result of that, by the way?

DAVIES: Well, the game is Saturday.

FOSTER: So, we're going to find out after that.

DAVIES: Yes.

FOSTER: In terms of the NBA, the NBA commissioner not very happy at this point. Just explain why.

DAVIES: This is an incredible story. It's essentially squad rotation. We've seen a similar row in England in the English Premier League in the past, and what happened was in a game, the San Antonio Spurs coach decided -- Greg Popovich --decided to rest three of his big name players. Not just rest them, but not even take them to their match against the Miami Heat.

And he thinks he's just doing what he can with his squad, giving them the best chance to do as well as they possibly can throughout the season, but the NBA commissioner, David Stern, has said it's a complete disgrace.

He says, hang on, we're not just dealing with a game here, we're dealing with a show. It's a business, and it's unfair to all the people who paid all the money and the TV audiences that the best A-list players aren't in action.

But Popovich did feel his side would win this game without those players. They narrowly missed out, 105 points to 100, so they didn't do dreadfully. It was actually quite a decent name.

FOSTER: You can see how some of the fans are frustrated, though, can't you? Amanda, thank you very much.

In tonight's Parting Shots, can you guess who this little girl is in this picture? It is not Amanda, I'll give you that clue.

(LAUGHTER)

FOSTER: This girl dreamt of being a teacher but ended up a princess.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, this is the school that Duchess of Cambridge attended as a young girl from a local village. She wore tartan to mark St. Andrews Day, the patron saint of Scotland. And she revealed to the young children here that she kept guinea pigs here. One named Pip, after her sister, Pippa, and one named Squeak, after her. Now we know the Duchess of Cambridge's nickname.

DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE: I remember when I had a little guinea pig. I had one called Pip and one called Squeak.

(LAUGHTER)

DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE: There you go. Because my sister was Pippa, so one was Pip, and I was Squeak for some reason.

(LAUGHTER)

FOSTER (voice-over): This was the duchess, then Kate Middleton, while she was at St. Andrews. It's difficult to recognize her. But this is where she gained her love of sport, and she relived her days as a school hockey captain. She still holds to this day the school high jump record at one meter 50.

DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE: I absolutely loved my time here. They were some of my happiest years, which makes it so incredibly exciting to be back here today. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, that when I had to leave, I told my mother that I was going to come back as a teacher.

PAUL OUTRAM, ST. ANDREWS SCHOOL: Yes, so I suppose she was -- not retiring, but she wasn't, well, rambunctious or boisterous or loud in any way. But just gentle and -- I don't know. Does that answer the question?

FOSTER (on camera): Has she change?

OUTRAM: A little, yes. She's very confident and suave and sophisticated, which you and I aspire to.

FOSTER: English private schools have their own traditions, and the game of helicopter is one that belongs to St. Andrews. The duchess was reliving her youth, a childhood spent in a country idyll. It was a stable, happy, and comfortable upbringing that was unknowingly preparing her for royal life.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: And that was CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Max Foster, thank you very much, indeed, for watching.

END