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CONNECT THE WORLD

Crisis in Syria: Refugees; Assad Remains Defiant; Syrian Jihadists; Instagram May Share More Than Users Know; BAFTA Rising Star Nominee Juno Temple; Parting Shots: Canadian Astronaut Tweets Images of Earth from Space; Lionel Messi wINS Fourth Straight Ballon d'Or; Winter Creeping Up On Syrian Refugees; Barack Obama Names Controversial Nominees To Head Defense, CIA

Aired January 7, 2013 - 16:00   ET

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


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, tonight on Connect the World, changing of the guard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, and John Brennan for director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Two controversial figures nominated for top security jobs as the U.S. cabinet gets a reshuffle.

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

ANDERSON: Although he accused of being hostile to Israel and soft on Iran, the other scrutiny for harsh counterterror techniques, tonight what Obama's nominees could mean for U.S. policy abroad.

Also ahead, the picture can tell a thousand words, but are we sharing more than we think when we post our snaps online?

And, another day, another global award. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better for striker Lionel Messi it does.

A very good evening from London. Tonight, controversial choices: U.S. President Barack Obama's picks for his second term security team are drawing plenty of attention, and not just in the United States, the Middle East is also watching. Let me explain why in just a moment.

First, though, a short time ago the president nominated former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary and counterterrorism czar John Brennan to run the CIA. Now, administration appointments can be tense affairs in the U.S. Both nominees will be grilled on Capitol Hill, not least Brennan, architect of the controversial U.S. drone program.

Well, Mr. Obama is keen for Breenan to lead America's spy agency.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Today I can say to the men and women of the CIA, in director John Brennan you will have one of your own, a leader who knows you, who cares for you deeply and who will fight for you every single day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, from the White House to Langley, well John Brennan may have a rocky road to confirmation as America's top spy, even though he was involved in the successful operation that targeted Osama bin Laden. His dramatic escalation of the use of drones to kill suspected terrorists in Pakistan and in Yemen has sparked questions.

Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence brings us now a fuller picture of this man. His name you may not recognize, but he walks, some may say stalks, Washington's corridors of power.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: John Brennan is the White House's point man for targeting terrorists, an office in the West Wing and the ear of President Obama.

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Going to the CIA, you are further away from the West Wing of the White House and immediate access to the president.

LAWRENCE: But in a way, Brennan would be coming home. He joined the CIA after reading a want ad in the newspaper, learned Arabic and became a station chief in Saudi Arabia.

JOHN BRENNAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Al Qaeda is on the ropes. LAWRENCE: Brennan was a candidate for CIA director four years ago, but he pulled out of contention when critics slammed his involvement in Bush-era interrogations.

The job went to Leon Panetta and later David Petraeus, but the former general had a culture clash with some career CIA analysts.

Following outsiders, Panetta and Petraeus, it may be easier for Brennan.

BILL HARLOW, FORMER CIA CHIEF SPOKESMAN: They'll think, here's a guy who understands us and will have our backs and defend us.

LAWRENCE: Brennan was intimately involved in the run-up to the assault on Osama bin Laden.

BERGEN: At one point, the analysts came back in, they said, well, you know, whoever is living in this compound has a dog and, of course, very observe Muslims don't have dogs. But Brennan had been on the bin Laden account for -- himself for 15 years. And he remembered that, in fact, bin Laden had a dog when he was living in Sudan.

LAWRENCE: Brennan supported the raid, but afterwards he initially implied that bin Laden was armed, when he wasn't. Brennan suggested bin Laden cowardly used a human shield, when he did not.

BRENNAN: There was a female who was, in fact, in the line of fire, that reportedly was used as a shield, to shield bin Laden from the incoming fire.

LAWRENCE: Brennan broke new ground last year.

BRENNAN: We can be more transparent and still ensure our nation's security.

LAWRENCE: He became the first official to publicly explain how the government uses drones to target terrorists.

BERGEN: John Brennan is somebody whose within the room when all these decisions were -- was made and is one of the principle architects of this campaign. This is surely going to come up in his confirmation hearing.

LAWRENCE: So will accusations Brennan helped manipulate leaks to boost the administration's national security credentials. An unlike the adviser job, which does not need Congress' approval, this time Brennan will have to face his critics head on.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: So what can we expect from those critics? And what is the international community expecting from the man who may be the next CIA chief. Well, CNN's Fareed Zakaria joining me now live from our New York bureau. And Fareed, we're going to talk about the potential head of the Pengaton tonight as well, but let's stick with Brennan just for the time being.

You heard Chris's report there. Brennan certainly has his critics. What should we expect?

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think, frankly, Brennan will sail through smoothly. The debate about drones, which is the centerpiece of what you're talking about, is a much more vigorous debate outside the United States than it is inside the United States. Perhaps it shouldn't be this way, but the reality is most Americans are very comfortable with the idea that if you have people out there plotting to kill Americans, to blow up American buildings, to embassies what have you, the targeted use of these things is entirely appropriate.

It may not be, you know, a policy that the United States can sustain. It may not be, as I say, it's a policy that does have some complications both ethical and political, but in the United States Congress I would very much doubt that you will find much opposition to John Brennan on that ground.

ANDERSON: Does it surprise you that Obama is obviously unconcerned about the ire this may draw from the international community, specifically from places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen for example?

ZAKARIA: You know, I think that Brennan is in a sense being unjustly credited with being the author of these policies. The author of these policies is the President of the United States. And frankly the drone program began under George Bush. It was accelerated by Barack Obama precisely because he wanted to draw down the very heavy military footprint, the occupation and move to a lighter, more nimble strategy which targeted just the suspected terrorists rather than engaging in largescale occupations and nation building.

Look, I think that these are difficult decisions. There is no -- you know, no policy here is easy, but if you have groups of people, as you do with al Qaeda, who are plotting to blow up buildings in the western world and really all over the world some -- you have to have some policy that intercepts them. And the drone program, while a difficult one, is one that both President Bush and President Obama have signed off on. It's their policy.

ANDERSON: Before we move on to the man who Obama is tapping up for his defense secretary who has also, it's got to be said, is carrying some baggage that is going to be flushed out in these nomination hearings. In a word, if Brennan got the job, are we looking at more drone strikes going forward or less?

ZAKARIA: I think probably it won't make a difference. There are likely to be about the same number, I think, though more than anything else what will determine this is the ability to make these strikes cleanly where you know you have a target.

ANDERSON: All right.

Well, President Obama announcing Brennan's nomination that the same time of course, Fareed, he tapped former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as his defense secretary. Hagel is a veteran of the Vietnam war, an experience that he once said made him determined to prevent such conflicts. He's quoted as saying war is a terrible thing. There's no glory, only suffering. Well, recently several Republican lawmakers have voiced concern about Hagel's stands on Iran, Israel, and Hamas.

So a major changing in the guard of the Obama administration. What could the president's choices mean for U.S. policy abroad?

On Hagel, your sense -- firstly, your reaction to his nomination.

ZAKARIA: I think it's a very brave nomination by President Obama. It's brave because it is bipartisan. Chuck Hagel is not just a Republican, he is a conservative Republican. He's conservative on most issues. He's very tough on national security in general. But he has tended to depart, to dissent from a kind of group think that has taken over Washington on certain kinds of issues -- on the reflexive use of military force, on military strikes, on -- you know, the size of the Pentagon. And all these issues, I think Hagel will bring a very, very useful, fresh pair of eyes, a fresh brain if you will. And that's all for the good.

There's too much conventional wisdom in Washington. There's too much group think. And Hagel has dissented from that time and time again.

ANDERSON: Well, as a cohort in Washington who don't agree with you, one of them is Lindsey Graham. Have a listen to what he said about Hagel in the past 24 hours.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: Chuck Hagel if confirmed to be secretary of defense would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward the state of Israel in our nation's history. Not only has he said you should directly negotiate with Iran, sanctions won't work, that Israel must negotiate with Hamas, an organization, terrorist group that lobs thousands of rockets into Israel. He also was one of 12 senators who refused to sign a letter to the European Union trying to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, in his defense, Hagel is quoted in an article that's just been released online in which he says, amongst other things, and I quote, "not one shred of evidence that I'm anti-Israeli, not one Senate vote that matters that hurt Israel." In his defense.

Your thoughts.

ZAKARIA: Well, first of all, Lindsey Graham needs to learn his history. Harry Truman's secretary of state and secretary of defense threatened to resign if Truman decided to recognize the state of Israel because they thought it was such a bad idea. There are certainly secretaries of state and defense who have had much greater degrees of skepticism about Israel than Chuck Hagel has.

I think that the whole premise of this is silly. Chuck Hagel believes that Israel's security is not furthered by the unlimited expansion of settlements or by doing what Prime Minister Netanyahu and his allies think is in the interests of Israel. There is a healthy debate in Israel on this issue. There are former heads of the Israeli military, former heads of Mossad the Israeli intelligence service, who are frankly closer to Chuck Hagel on these issues than they are to Bibi Netanyahu. That's as it should be in a democracy.

But to say that you are anti-Israel because you do not agree with the current very conservative Israeli government's conception of national security is just not right.

ANDERSON: In brief, then, and finally Fareed, what are these nominations say about U.S. policy going forward? And what might they say for an Obama legacy in the future?

ZAKARIA: I think they tell you that the president is confident about his foreign policy. He's putting his trusted right-hand man, John Brennan, at the CIA. And as I say I think that will go through and will be a continuation of policy as usual.

On Hagel, it's a more interesting nomination. If it goes through -- and this one will be politically difficult -- but Hagel represents an effort to really try to find a diplomatic route to the Iran crisis. I think if there's one message here it is that the president is determined to try to find a diplomatic path to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons or to getting nuclear capacity, because Hagel clearly feels very strongly on those issues. And that voice will now be represented at the highest levels of the American government.

ANDERSON: Fareed Zakaria with Fareed's take here on Connect the World. Always a pleasure, sir, having you on and some fascinating thoughts. Fareed out of New York for you this evening.

You're watching Connect the World live from London. I'm Becky Anderson. Our top story tonight, Obama's nominations for two top security jobs draw ire not just in Washington. Whoever runs either the Pentagon or the CIA has a huge influence on U.S. policy abroad. And both the president's men, it seems, have some baggage to contend with before these jobs are a done deal.

You're watching Connect the World live from London. Still to come, chaotic first day in court, five suspects accused of an horrific crime. You will see why an Indian judge has ordered a gang rape trial closed to the media.

Venezuelans await news of their president's health. Many say there's potential for big political fallout. We'll be live in the capital with the full story.

And rising British star Juno Temple talks to me as the movie awards season gets underway. All that and much more coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back. This is CNN. And you're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. This is out of London. 18 minutes past 9:00.

It promises to be one of the most closely watched trials ever in India, but after today's court session it will now take place behind closed doors. Five men accused in a deadly gang rape left their jail cells today to attend a legal hearing. But chaos erupted in the court room even before they arrived.

Sumnima Udas has more now on the case that has outraged the entire nation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The five men charged with the rape and murder of the 23 year old medical student were brought into a court complex in New Delhi today. Now the suspects were expected to be read out the charges against them and then the case removed to a so- called fast track court which has been set up exclusively because of that brutal gang rape and the massive public outrage that followed.

Now the court has announced that this would be an in camera trial. And what that means is that the media and the public will not have access to the trial. And even if the media were to get information on what exactly is going on inside that court from elsewhere, they would not be able to report on it without prior permission from the court.

Now I should mention this is actually standard procedure for rape cases in India and that is because the assumption is rape victims would not want the media or the public around. In this case, of course, the rape victim is no longer alive, but it remains a rape case and it remains a very high profile and highly sensitive case and the court says it wants to ensure it provides the maximum level of security and safety to the suspects.

Now right before the suspects were brought in court, there was a bit of a ruckus as some of the lawyers there yelled and shouted at some of their colleagues. Other lawyers say, quote, you will not defend those barbarians. But still some of those lawyers have offered up their services.

MANOHAR LAL SHARMA, LAWYER (through translator): They are not convicts until the time is proven in the court of law. If these accused had been children of a billionaire, a senior advocate would have represented them. There would not have been any protest against them.

I know the whole country has branded them as criminals and all the evidence is against them, but the family members of the accused personally requested me, that is why I am taking up this case to prove if the evidence is actually correct or not.

UDAS: These lawyers have not been formally appointed as defense lawyers, but the suspects are entitled to legal representation to ensure that there is, in fact, a fair trial.

Sumnima Udas, CNN, New Delhi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Political uncertainty in Venezuela is rising as the health of the country's charismatic and divisive leader Hugo Chavez remains uncertain. Mr. Chavez is due to be inaugurated for a full term this Thursday, but his ongoing cancer treatment means he might not be well enough to attend.

CNN's Paula Newton joins us now live from the Venezuelan capital. What do we know at this point, Paula?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Extraordinary situation, Becky, no matter any way you slice it. Right now, no update on the condition of Hugo Chavez. We know he's (inaudible) complications after surgery in Cuba. He may or may not be on his death bed.

You mentioned, he was supposed to be sworn into power on Thursday. His allies here saying they're will indeed be some type of an event on Thursday, a rally to give Chavez support. They are still definitively not saying if he will be here or won't be here, but all indications, Becky, point to the fact that this is going to be something unprecedented here in this history that while he is supposed to be here, the constitution says that if he's not, elections are to be called within 30 days. The same time it looks like his allies will abandon that in the constitution and translate it a very different way, saying that look it doesn't matter, Hugo Chavez can be sworn in for his new six year term whenever he is better. His allies, again his vice president, the president of the national assembly saying, look, he will get better. He will be here to resume power.

The opposition saying, look, this is absolutely unprecedented. They're saying it's illegal. And Becky, today, even the Catholic church of this country weighing in saying these changes to the constitution they believe are immoral -- Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. Paula Newton for you in Caracas.

Live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, FIFA have made their choice for player of the year. Messi was the obvious favorite, but was it an upset in Zurich?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back.

Right, let's do some sports for you. The worst kept secret in football was revealed Monday in Zurich. FIFA have named, Lionel Messi the Ballon d'Or winner for the fourth consecutive time.

Don Riddell joins me now. There couldn't really have been any other choice, Don, could there?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORREPSONDNET: Well, you know, there could have been. Christiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta are very, very talented and accomplished and fantastic players in their own right, but they're living in the era of Lionel Messi. It's a bit like Andy Murray playing tennis. It's hard to get a look in when you've got Federer and Djokovic and Nadal playing. And that's really the problem that these other guys have. But it's very hard to argue against Lionel Messi.

Although he didn't have that successful a year with Barcelona, he personally had an absolutely phenomenal year. Of course he broke Gurd Mueller's 40 year old scoring record. He scored 91 goals in the calendar year of 2012. He broke Barcelona's scoring record. He broke the Champion's League scoring record. He scored five goals in one Champion's League game last year, Becky. I mean, it really was just a phenomenal year. And he received more than 41 percent of the vote. So it's clear at least that his peers think he is the world's best player again.

ANDERSON: I was going to get you to remind us, who votes on this, just out of interest?

RIDDELL: Yeah, this is a very elite panel made up of international captains, coaches, and a select group of journalists. So it really is Messi's peers. And that's why it really is such a special accolade for him and any other player that happens to win this award. Beyond that it really doesn't mean very much, but we all know it's nice to be recognized by your own industry and the people that really understand you the most.

ANDERSON: Absolutely.

Ronaldo would like to have said that he was picked at the post, but I mean this was, what, 41 percent to something like 23 percent? I mean, this was a right royal win and a record breaking fourth consecutive win for Messi of course at the Ballon d'Or. This is remarkable stuff, isn't it?

RIDDELL: Yeah, it is. He's just an absolutely fabulous player. He's impossible to defend against. He's absolutely brilliant to watch. I think he's arguable the world's greatest ever dribbler. I mean you just watch the way he runs at defenses with the ball at his foot. It's just kind of magnetically attached to his foot. And he really is very, very good.

Of course the big question now is, is he the greatest of all time? And that puts him up into the comparisons against Diego Maradona and Pele. The problem is that he hasn't won a world cup with Argentina yet. But of course that could change next year in Brazil.

ANDERSON: And he's only, what, 25 years old. The ripe old age of 25. My goodness.

All right, Don, I know for our viewers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa you'll be back at about half past the next hour with World Sport. I hope you'll be talking about the young lady who won the FIFA women's world player.

RIDDELL: Indeed, let's keep that a secret for another hour, though.

ANDERSON: Keep it safe.

Thank you.

The world news headlines are just ahead, plus they are trapped in a no-man's land facing hunger, freezing weather and the fury of being abandoned, we will take a look at the plight of thousands of Syrian refugees for you.

Well, it's not only what, it's now also where and when. A new website changes the way you can see pictures online and raises some serious questions about privacy.

And the red carpets are already being rolled out for the start of this year's film awards season. So we'll get you a look at some of the stars in the running for the big Goldens.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you. Your world news headlines.

US president Barack Obama has officially announced his nominees for defense secretary and CIA chief. He wants former Republican senator Chuck Hagel for the defense job and counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan to lead the CIA. Mr. Obama praised the credentials and character of both men. They will, though, face their critics during confirmation hearings.

Five men charged in the gang rape and killing of a young woman in India arrived at court today under heavy security. Chaos broke out when lawyers furiously objected to some colleagues who offered to defend the men. The judge ordered an immediate blackout of the case.

Patriot missile batteries from NATO are on their way to the Turkish- Syrian border. The contingent from the Netherlands began making its way there today, and they'll join teams from the US and Germany that are already taking part in NATO's mission to protect Turkey's border from Syrian air strikes.

Lionel Messi has been named FIFA's player of the year. He becomes the first male footballer in history to win the golden ball four times in a row. The Barcelona striker beat his teammate Andres Iniesta, and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo for the prize.

Uprooted from their homes by fighting, they are now struggling to survive in a foreign land. I'm talking about huge numbers of Syrians who've fled the civil war in their country, creating what is a refuge crisis.

Now, the UN counts more than half a million Syrian refugees. Turkey has taken in more than 150,000. 185,000 are in Lebanon and near that amount in Jordan, some 173,000. 68,000 refugees have fled to Iraq. And as you see on the map, 13,000 are now in Egypt.

Well, these figures include refugees that are registered in the UN database as well as those still waiting to be registered. Let me tell you, these figures could be a lot higher. The longer the war drags on, the higher we can expect those numbers to soar. And for now, at least, there is no end is sight.

President Bashar al-Assad addressed the Syrian people at the weekend, vowing to keep up the fight against what he calls terrorists. Nick Paton Walsh is following developments for you tonight from Beirut.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, after the remarkably defiant tone of Bashar al-Assad in a theater in Damascus on Sunday to loyalists, which many Western powers had dismissed at out of touch with reality, many fear there will now be an escalation in violence.

There's obviously no political concession that the UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi or even Moscow's diplomats were able to get from him. The fear is, in the months ahead, as violence worsens, we'll also see a rise in the number of Syrians seeking refugee status in neighboring countries, of course, right now, at their most vulnerable as winter approaches.

WALSH (voice-over): They fled this far, almost to safety in Turkey, but still, they dig. For these boys, dragged fast into manhood, it's not really a game. It's an air raid shelter.

"We make it so if the jets come and bomb us," he says, "we put children here to hide them. But of course, we'll make it much bigger for 20 to 30 people."

The holes are so they could see outside when the bombs come, although they've already seen so much. "We were sitting, suddenly, the rocket comes." Making this noise, he says, "A big explosion. An artillery shell."

Here in Bab al-Salama, 8,000 of them fled everything they had, hoping for something, but finding the new free Syria could give them little. A hundred yards from Turkey, they're not allowed into its bustling camps.

"Of course, 80 percent of those here," he says, "came hoping to cross into Turkey, but the Turkish government stopped hosting over six weeks ago. People are furious, and we can't provide a lot of their daily needs."

What was temporary in summer is now looking permanent in frost. The distant thud of shelling, the reason to endure even this.

WALSH (on camera): Even though these people are just about 100 yards from the Turkish border, they still had to bring what little plastic tent shelter they have under cover because of the intense cold approaching. You can still hear sometimes the shells in distance reverberate inside this open concrete hangar, but the real enemy in the months ahead is going to be that bitter winter cold.

WALSH (voice-over): For Abdul Qadr al-Hasan's daughter, Sidham (ph), the cold came too fast. "She wasn't sick," he says. "She didn't have any problems at all. We were up late that night and playing with her. We woke the next morning and her mother checked on her. She was curled into a ball from the cold. We buried her in the village. Her sister is afraid, now, of the cold."

Now he burns plastic to keep warm. Wood is in short supply and expensive. In fact, they've stripped nature almost bare here. Even these plants, cut down for food. Trash plastic, gathered hungrily, its acrid, poisonous smoke cluttering a dense, wretched world. After 21 months of this war, this is the best the world has done for them.

WALSH (on camera): And Becky, their numbers really multiplying. In December, 84,000 refugees sought shelter in neighboring countries. That's out of a total of half a million, perhaps, heading into Turkey every day at the early start of this year, 1,000 Syrians as well.

So the fear really is as the violence gets worse, we'll see these numbers rise and rise as those neighboring countries simply find they're struggling to take any more. Becky?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: All right. We'll be bringing you firsthand stories of the refugee crisis, shot by our own photojournalist Joe Duran inside both Turkey and Syria in the days ahead.

And coming up tomorrow here on CONNECT THE WORLD, you'll meet the 12- year-old orphan working to provide for his siblings in one of those camps.

Now, you may feel far removed from the Syrian crisis, but there is still a lot you can do to help. You can certainly find out more at cnn.com on the Impact Your World site. There, you'll find a list of organizations helping Syrian refugees and ways that you may feel that you can contribute.

Some of the most feared jihadists in Syria belong to the al-Nusra Front, a group recently designated a terrorist organization by the US State Department. Now, as my colleague Nic Robertson reports, its fighters are blamed for hundreds of deadly attacks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(GUNFIRE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is huge, devastating attacks like this that have catapulted jihad al- Nusra to its status as most effective rebel force in Syria.

NOMAN BENOTMAN, PRESIDENT, QUILLIAM FOUNDATION: In many places in Syria, if you go, people think the most effective secret weapon against the Syrian regime, the Shabiha and the army, it's al-Nusra fighters.

ROBERTSON: Benotman is himself a former jihadist, now the leader of a London-based think tank. He says al-Nusra may have no more than 5,000 fighters, but its leaders have plenty of experience because the fought with al-Qaeda in Iraq.

BENOTMAN: They're running the war on behalf of jihad al-Nusra, and most of the leaders now of jihad al-Nusra, they came from that hardcore network.

(GUNFIRE)

ROBERTSON: The report, based on sources with ties to al-Nusra, says the group is deliberately playing down links with al-Qaeda.

BENOTMAN: There's no point to mention al-Qaeda name when your main strategic aim has already been defined as to create and establish an Islamic state in Syria after the fall of the al-Assad regime.

ROBERTSON: Hardened fighters with secure networks and ready to work with other rebel groups, al-Nusra is proving tactically smart. In Aleppo, for example, warning other rebel units not to race in as Assad troops made tactical withdrawals.

BENOTMAN: They insist about that, and they say, "Everybody, just please don't attack the city itself. We don't need to do that, because we will take the burden of feeding and running the lives of the about 5 or 6 million of the population, and we cannot do that." And they think this is, I think, a gift for the regime.

ROBERTSON: Until now, al-Nusra has closely followed the al-Qaeda and Iraq playbook, using assassinations and suicide car bombs. But it has also begun to use, according to Benotman, remote-controlled car bombs, one used last week to attack a government air base.

BENOTMAN: We might experience in the future some kind of attacks in certain capitals in the world because it's a very, very serious issue, to use unmanned cars without a driver. It's still an explosive car.

ROBERTSON: Nada Bakos spent years in Iraq tracking al-Qaeda for the CIA and shares Benotman's concerns.

NADA BAKOS, FORMER CIA OFFICER: Implications that they could, then, take some of their tactics and deploy them into other regions, and possibly within other places within the Middle East, Europe.

ROBERTSON: The longer the war in Syria goes on, she says, the stronger al-Nusra's Syrian and regional networks will become.

BAKOS: Time is of the essence on how strong of a foothold the extremists are going to have inside of Syria.

ROBERTSON: And time is what Benotman says al-Nusra is playing for.

BENOTMAN: Very comfortable with this situation, because while they're fighting, they will have more chance, using this time, to build and expand the structure of the group.

ROBERTSON: With no sign of any meaningful compromise on anyone's agenda, al-Nusra have much to be grateful for.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Do stick with us for our reporting on Syria this week, a series of reports, particularly on refugees.

Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. You may be sharing more than you're aware of online, it seems. A new website shows when and where Instagram users took their pictures.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: We are told time and time again to be careful just how much of our personal information we share online, but those of us using the photo-sharing app Instagram may be sharing much more than we thought without knowing it.

A new website called The Beat shows a constant stream of pictures from Instagram and reveals roughly when and where they were taken using Google's Street View. Stay with me on this. It was designed by students at Rutgers University in the US state of New Jersey.

The Beat says on its website that this project uses entire public Instagram information available from the Instagram API, and viewable in various ways in many other Instagram applications, including its mobile app. It goes on to say street addresses are only approximate and the photo location is randomly altered within a small radius.

Well, that sounds pretty straightforward, doesn't it? The pictures and the information can be accessed through Instagram anyway, but the team behind The Beat says it just does it a different way.

What do Instagram users or people who just post their photos online think about all of this? Think about the idea that you might have a picture, hash tag #bedroom, for example. These days, I could bring that up on The Beat app and my property, my house, where I live, my street, will come up at the same time.

Well, I showed the project to some of our colleagues here at Turner Broadcasting. Well they were, quite frankly, not very happy about it. Have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That the idea that suddenly my personal information and actually personal details about my location and where I've been can suddenly be seen online -- in this day and age, you just shouldn't be doing that. You've got to be very careful.

ANDERSON: He doesn't like it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to expose where I live to anyone.

ANDERSON: Really worries you, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it does. Definitely.

ANDERSON: Doesn't like it.

What do you think? Here's your bedroom, here's your house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's spooky. Oh yes. I would never let them do that.

ANDERSON: He doesn't like it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's quite scary. Yes, I don't like that.

ANDERSON: She doesn't like it, either.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: They don't like it, do they? Let's bring in Samuel Burke from "Cyber Cafe" on CNN Espanol. He's going to take us through what all this means for us Instagram users and our privacy. They didn't like it. They hate this idea. Those I talked to today, and it wasn't just some of my colleagues at Cartoon Network, everybody I spoke to said this was a complete invasion of our privacy.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN ESPANOL CORRESPONDENT: It's interesting, because this is actually nothing new. Geotagging, the ability to have information about your photo, has always been inside these photos, but what they've done at Rutgers University is connect the Instagram photo to the location and then show you that.

But you could actually do the opposite with plenty of other sites, which is to say you can take location and then find all the Instagram photos. This application Spots, for example, you can just use your telephone, type in a location, and then it will show you all the Instagram photos taken there.

What I did today was use Gramfeed.com, I looked for nightclub near my house, I went to that night club, and I could see all the pictures taken there, and then I found a woman who had taken the picture outside the nightclub, clicked on her profile, and followed her on all of her photos. This is my profile, because I didn't want to invade her privacy.

I was able to see the nightclub where she had been by my house, I was able to see inside her bedroom, inside her apartment, see where she went jogging every day, because I was now inside her profile.

So, this is really nothing new, but now people are connecting maps with the Instagram photos, which I think begs the question, do I want my geotagging on or my geotagging off?

ANDERSON: It absolutely begs that question. So, how do we turn these things off?

BURKE: Well, it's relatively easy with Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, when you're setting up your account and it says do you want to be able to share your location, you might want to click "no."

If you're taking a picture on Instagram, for example, every time you take a picture, this is the last screen that you see, and it says "add to your photo map." Well, I turned mine on for this, but I usually keep that puppy off.

ANDERSON: Oi, oi, oi. Take his advice. Scary stuff. All right, Mr. Burke, thank you for that. Outside the cafe with some advice for you this evening.

Coming up after this short break, we're going to hear from one of the most prolific young actresses in Hollywood. She reveals the highs and the lows of being a start at just 23.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, they have paid tribute to a president, revisited a disaster, and told tales of poverty and slavery. Such are the kinds of movies that we've flocked to see in the past year, but which ones and which stars will bring home the annual gongs? This is week is when we will start to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): The latest British star making her mark in Hollywood, Juno Temple is among the year's five nominees for the EE BAFTA Rising Star award, the only BAFTA prize that's decided by the public.

Arguably, she's already made it. At just 23, Juno has more than 20 films under her belt, including the award-winning "Atonement," and more recently, "Killer Joe."

JUNO TEMPLE AS DOTTIE SMITH, "KILLER JOE": I heard y'all talking about killing Mama. I think it's a good idea.

TEMPLE: I've been very inspired by the people I work with, and also the opportunities I've been given, these incredible women to play.

ANDERSON: For the Rising Star award, she's up against fellow Brit Andrea Riseborough, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Olsen, and Suraj Sharma. The announcement marks the start of what will be a telling week this award season. For the first time, the nominations for the BAFTAs and Oscars will be revealed just a day apart.

MARK KERMODE, FILM CRITIC: Every year when you see the Hollywood stars making the journey over here to come and be on the red carpet for the BAFTAs, it shows you just how much they think it's important.

ANDERSON: We may also get an indication of where the prizes will go when the Golden Globes are handed out in Hollywood on Sunday.

TOMMY LEE JONES AS THADDEUS STEVENS, "LINCOLN": We'll have no need to investigate them.

ANDERSON: Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" leads the bunch with seven nods.

(MUSIC - "LOOK DOWN" FROM "LES MISERABLES")

ANDERSON: And with the likes of "Les Miserables," "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," and "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" in the mix, many are tipping another strong year for the British.

KERMODE: There is a reason for that. We produce the best craftsmen in the world, and people come to British acting talent often to play Americans.

TEMPLE AS SMITH, "KILLER JOE" (with American Southern accent): I read some policemen go their whole lives without shooting their guns.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Britain's Juno Temple, there, playing an American teenager in "Killer Joe." That young actress joined me here in the studio a little earlier. I began by asking her about an already prolific career, during which she's tended to choose roles best described, well, as dark.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TEMPLE: A lot of it has been, but what I like about it is the underlying tone of most of it is quite dark, but it's called a comedy, with quite a lot of laughs in the dark movies I've done. Some, there are no laughs.

(LAUGHTER)

TEMPLE: And I can definitely vouch for that.

ANDERSON: Do you expect people to laugh at "Killer Joe," for example?

TEMPLE: Yes. I think so. I laughed at moments. But the enjoyable thing about watching that film, especially in a theater, is people laugh at different moments, and people are horrified at different moments, so the audience is completely alive the whole time.

TEMPLE AS SMITH, "KILLER JOE": How you gonna kill my Mama?

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY AS KILLER JOE COOPER, "KILLER JOE": Well, that's not appropriate dinner conversation, Dottie.

TEMPLE AS SMITH: Unless you poison her.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: Your mother is a producer, your father is a film director. You were cast in one of your father's plays -- films way back when in 2000. So --

TEMPLE: He cast me in my first film and he cut me out.

ANDERSON: Oh!

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: Brilliant! Was it inevitable that you'd go into acting?

TEMPLE: I think I was definitely born bitten by the bug. And it's been amazing because my parents are such big inspirations for me, and my father's body of work is extraordinary. It's so diverse. And he's someone that so strongly believes in doing things for passion, and that's really what I've taken from him, just being passionate about everything you do, because it makes all the difference in the world.

ANDERSON: As a generation, this is a fantastic British cohort of actors and actresses at the moment. Does that help you, do you think, in a way?

TEMPLE: You mean to be inspired? Yes. Absolutely it does. I think it's so brilliant that there's so much British talent happening. And also at the moment, so much young talent happening. There are so many people that are really fighting for it and are brilliant at what they do, and they're so young.

And I think that's incredibly rewarding for everyone to watch that. Because it's just proving a point that at a young age, if you feel passionate about something, you can make it happen.

ANDERSON: People watching this will be inspired by you, given what you've done to date. There must be knocks, though, that you've taken along the way. How tough has this been?

TEMPLE: Yes, it's a tough ride. But it's like a roller coaster. You really enjoy moments, and then you really dread moments.

ANDERSON: Give me your best and your worst moments, then. To date.

TEMPLE: The big knocks happen all the time. There's jobs that you want and you get told "no" all the time.

ANDERSON: "Harry Potter," for example? Was that a knock? When you didn't get Luna.

TEMPLE: Kind of. There have been some that I've been incredibly passionate about that haven't gone my way, and those have really hurt. And I also think the knocks are that you're on your own a lot. You travel on your own a lot, and hotel rooms can kind of become your worst enemy at times.

But at the same time, the joy of it is is you end up in bizarre corners of the world with a group of people that you don't know and it's explosive and you make great friends. And then that also becomes a complication, because you create this little family wherever you are, and suddenly it's over, and that family's gone.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: All right. Well, listen, it's award season. Let us know who you think should win the awards, the big gongs out there. We've got BAFTAs, we've got Oscars, of course, we've got the Golden Globes. Facebook.com/CNNconnect is how you can get in touch, or you can have your say, of course, by tweeting me @BeckyCNN, that is @BeckyCNN.

In tonight's Parting Shots, just before we go, Earth like you have never seen her before. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has been tweeting stunning images of Earth from the International Space Station, earning over 100,000 Twitter followers in the process. Have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: Chris Hadfield

@Cmdr_Hadfield

Mission specialist on STS-74 and STS-100. Currently living in space aboard ISS as Flight Engineer on Expedition 34, to be Commander of Expedition 35.

Orbiting Earth on ISS: http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/default.asp

Italian coast -- like a diamond set in a ring.

Chicago, 2 January 2013. I'm trying to find the time to post some more Canadian views from above -- keep posted!

Ostrich skin of the Sahara. Change your viewing angle and Earth can quickly appear other worldly.

Volcanoes look dramatic at dawn. They startled me when I spotted them through the lens.

Japanese rice fields tidily blanketed with snow.

It's hard to believe the colours of the Bahamas from space.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Parting Shots that are quite literally out of this world. A very good evening from London, I'm Becky Anderson. Good night.

END