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Freed Algerian Hostages Recount Their Harrowing Days In Captivity; Bolshoi Artistic Director In Hospital After Acid Attack Outside Theater

Aired January 18, 2013 - 16:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, lucky to be free.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just glad to be out. And I've got some colleagues still there at the moment. But I am very relieved.


FOSTER: Hostages free from a gas plant in Algeria speak out about their ordeal.

ANNOUNCER: From CNN London, this is Connect the World.

FOSTER: Algerian state media say hundreds of hostages have been freed, but not everyone is accounted for yet. Tonight, we ask a former member of the UK special forces what might be going on behind the scenes.

Also ahead, after Lance Armstrong's big confession, we speak to a former champion who said the disgraced star had little choice but to dope.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he's right in this area and gets out of his car and walks, what's going through your mind at that moment?


FOSTER: The security challenges ahead at President Obama's big day.

Tonight, the fate of a number of foreign hostages hangs in the balance in Algeria. The crisis in the desert isn't yet over. But state media reports that special forces have now freed nearly 600 Algerian hostages as well as 100 foreign nationals. This video of rescued hostages aired today on state TV.

Algerian forces stormed this remote gas facility on Thursday a day after Islamist gunmen attacked it and seized hostages.

Algerian state media now say 12 hostages died in the operation. The French government says one of them was a French citizen.

Some of the hostages who managed to escape are now speaking out. More on that and the latest developments on the ground in Algeria, let's go live to Vladimir Duthiers. He's following the story for us from Lagos in Nigeria.

So what do they have to say, Vlad?

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: HI Maxwell. Some of the survivor -- some of the escapees have described some horrific experiences. We know for example yesterday that the Irish citizen Steven McFaul described -- his brother told in various newspaper accounts and various media accounts that his brother had plastic explosives around his neck. His mouth was gagged with duct tape. His eyes covered up with a bandana. And some of the others that have just recently come out of captivity have had this to say, Max.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't even remember it happened so fast. It happened so fast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So fast. What time? Do you remember the time?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At what time exactly?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot remember.


DUTHIERS: Just some really harrowing stuff there, Max.

And late today we've also learned something quite interesting. Agence France Presse is reporting that the Mauritania News Agency is reporting that the man that is supposedly behind these attacks, Mokhtar Belmokhtar has offered the United States a prisoner exchange. He said that he is willing to release some hostages in exchange for two hostages that the United States has in captivity -- the Egyptian cleric Omar Abdul Rahman, the man who was convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and the Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui who -- she was convicted of trying to kill U.S. officers in Afghanistan.

Now the State Department, Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokesperson said unequivocally that the United States does not negotiate with terrorists, Max.

FOSTER: OK, Vlad, thank you very much indeed for that.

Well, British Prime Minister David Cameron is one of the leaders upset that Algeria apparently didn't consult with anyone before launching the raid. Dan Rivers has more from London.


DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Relief for those who have been released, but this hostage crisis is not over yet. The numbers of those still held by Islamist terrorists at the In Amenas gas field is still not clear. But the Algerian news service says hundreds of Algerians have been freed as well as several westerners, including these Britons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very, very relieved (inaudible) obviously. Still don't know really what's happening, but I couldn't say. So as much as I'd like to be out, I thought some of my colleagues are still there at the moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel safe at the moment, but I won't feel 100 percent happy until I'm back in the UK and I see my family. (inaudible)

But my heart goes out to the guys that are still there and hopefully they (inaudible), because at the end of the day, it's only work, you know, no one should have to go through all this.

RIVERS: Already there are suggestions the terror attack in southern Algerian has regional dimensions. A U.S. official told CNN that terrorists appeared to have crossed from Libya. And a former Libyan intelligence source has told this network they are aware of three terrorist camps south of the Libyan town of Sabaa (ph).

British Prime Minister David Cameron gave a brief update on the situation, clearly irritated neither he nor the American government was warned Algerian special forces had started a rescue mission on Thursday.

DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: Mr. Speaker, during the course of Thursday morning, the Algerian forces mounted an operation. Mr. Speaker, we were not informed of this in advance. I was told by the Algerian prime minister while it was taking place. He said that the terrorists had tried to flee, that they judged there to be an immediate threat to the lives of the hostages and had felt obliged to respond.

RIVERS: The British government has sent a diplomatic rapid reaction plane to Algeria to provide counseling and support for hostages that have been freed, but there's clearly frustration among British officials that they haven't been kept better informed about what is going on in the Algerian desert, a situation that remains unresolved three days on.

Dan Rivers, CNN, London.


FOSTER: Well, all many of us can do is just to anxiously watch and wait on this story, but there are teams working around the clock behind the scenes trying to secure the hostages' release.

Let's bring in international security expert Tim Crockett. He served 10 years in the British special forces. He's now CEO of the Pioneer Consulting Group. I thank you so much for joining us.

Obviously, you can't give away too much detail about what happens in these situations, but can you give us a general sense of what might be going on behind the scenes, what preparations are going on?

TOM CROCKETT, CEO, PIONEER CONSULTING GROUP: Well, Max, as you pointed out there's going to be a lot of things going on behind the scenes. Exactly what and who by, it's difficult to say. We know that the foreign commonwealth office will have representation there advising and dealing with the aftermath, those that have been rescued or those that have escaped as well as trying to advise the host nation to act in a certain way that obviously improves the outcome to those that are still held in captivity.

FOSTER: If there's some truth to the fact that there's a sense of the west, at least, that the Algerians didn't handle this particularly well. If there are special forces from the U.S. and the UK on the ground, world respected, of course, experts in their field, who is taking charge here? Can they take control in some way, or it entirely up to the host countries you're talking about?

CROCKETT: Well, obviously, Dan, at this stage it's entirely being driven by the host country. And those from other nations that have people in captivity will be there try to apply pressure and get some sort of level of control, but until the host government hands over or invites them to take a greater role within it, really all that they can do is advise and try to pressure to control what actions are going to be taken.

FOSTER: I guess there's a sense of pride here as well, isn't there, that the Algerians will want to be the ones to resolve this as any nation would be with an incident on their own turf.

CROCKETT: Well, the Algerians have obviously dealt with an insurgency for some time, maybe not as vicious as this in recent times, but they've sort of dealt with this in their own way. They don't have the sort of negotiated approach where they will consider all options rather than going in there with a heavy hand.

Now, there are reports that the government approved the operation because they felt the lives of the hostages were in danger. At this stage it's difficult to say whether that is accurate, but a facility of this size, type, whether it was a hasty operation, whether it was planned and deliberate, it's one of those things that very quickly it's going to become chaotic. They're going to lose control. And unfortunately, there is a high probability that lives will be lost.

FOSTER: What does happen, generally, on the later stages of these events, because obviously the plan is surrounded. There won't be any sense, I'm sure, of the terrorists inside if there are some expecting to get out.

What's the big concern for the security operation at this point in this operation?

CROCKETT: Well, from what we know of this group and what they've obviously released in terms of propaganda and information, there's a strong possibility that they are -- they are prepared to die, become martyrs, and the risk to those that are already -- or still held in captivity is very dire.

So whatever actions are taken now, whether it's by the various sort of nationalities, countries involved, or the Algerians, it is a very, very difficult situation. And I believe there is an actual ongoing operation now to try and mop up or capture those that are trying to flee.

FOSTER: OK, Tim Crockett, appreciate your time. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.

You are watching Connect the World, still to come tonight, what tennis star Novak Djokovic makes of Lance Armstrong's big confessions?

Plus, an outraged Kremlin calls it an attack on Russian culture, a gruesome assault on the head of one of the world's great ballet companies.


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FOSTER: As Barack Obama gets ready to raise his right hand, we bring you up to speed with 100 inaugurations in just over two minutes.


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

well, one big lie, the words of Lance Armstrong coming clean. In a long awaited interview with TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey, he admitted lying for more than a decade when he repeatedly denied doping in his recordbreaking career as a cyclist.


OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: Yes or no. Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?


WINFREY: Yes or no, was one of those banned substances EPO?


WINFREY: Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?


WINFREY: Did you ever use any other banned substances like testosterone, cortisone, or human growth hormone?


WINFREY: Yes or no. In all seven of your Tour de France victories did you ever take banned substances or blood dope?


WINFREY: In your opinion was it humanly possible to win the Tour de France without doping seven times in a row?

ARMSTRONG: Not in my opinion.


FOSTER: Well, critics say Lance Armstrong didn't go far enough in his doping confession.

World Sport's Don Riddell joins us for all the reaction.

Oprah's questions were pretty clear, though, Don.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely, but let's be honest we all knew that he was cheating, the only thing we hadn't heard was him admitting it himself. So, you know, that was a very powerful bit of television, but in the hour-and-a-half that was broadcast on Thursday night, Max, there was an awful lot that Lance Armstrong didn't say.

He was quite evasive on some topics. and I think if you're familiar with the story you'll know that he didn't actually really bring anything new to the table. Apart from the fact that he finally fessed up and admitted that he doped.

Of course, a lot of people really interested in watching this interview, not just other cyclist and sports fans, but of course legal people were watching this interview as were some of the people involved in the fight against drugs in sport, notably the World Anti-Doping Agency. But they were saying just turning up and having a cozy chat with a chat show queen really doesn't score any points with them.


DAVID HOWMAN, WADA DIRECTOR GENERAL: Well, there's nothing new and nothing that he proffered by way of assistance to the anti-doping community in terms of what he did or how it was done or who he did it with. So I think the story is partly told and there's a lot more to come. And what we do need to remember, of course, is this is halftime. There's another half to come tonight. and as in sport, we well know, at halftime you turn around you go the other way. So I'm not sure whether he's going to go upwind or downwind in the second half.


RIDDELL: Yeah, we'll see in just a few hour's time.

There was some really quite unusual moments. There were some powerful moments in this interview. Armstrong admitted that he was a bully. He admitted that he intimidated people that stood in his way. He, of course, admitted to doping. But the one thing he said he wasn't was a cheat. And he even said he went and looked up the definition of a cheat in the dictionary just so he could be sure himself. And basically he was saying that the definition of a cheat is you're doing something more than what other people are doing to gain an unfair advantage. And he said, well it was really kind of a level playing field, because everybody was doing it.

But one of his former teammates Tyler Hamilton yesterday told CNN that that really wasn't the case.


TYLER HAMILTON, CYCLIST: I think he was basically trying to say like it was an even playing field. We were all doping more or less. And we were all doing the same things, but that's not true, you know. The -- it had a lot to do with money, had a lot to do with connections, had a lot to do with whether you were a risk taker or not. You could have been the best athlete in the world, but if you weren't really -- if you didn't function well under high pressure, you know, with taking risks than you're going to be in the back of the pack.


RIDDELL: I must say I don't think Lance Armstrong really did himself any favors in this interview. He was pushed on the question of the people that he had gone after, the people whose lives he's made very difficult, because he intimidated them, he sued them. He sued people that he knew were telling the truth and he admitted to losing count of the number of people that he'd gone after and sued.

And there seemed to be nor remorse either. He didn't really seem to be sorry at all that he'd made these people's lives so difficult.

Of course, we've all been watching this and talking about it all week, as have the leading athletes in other sports all around the world. The Australian Open is going on at the moment, as you know Max, in Melbourne. And the world number one Novak Djokovic expressed his opinion he's not a Lance Armstrong fan.


NOVAK DJOKOVIC, TENNIS STAR: I think it's disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this. You know, he cheated the sport. He cheated many people around the world with his career, with his life story. I think -- I think they should take all his titles away, because it's not fair towards any sportsman, any athlete. It's just not the way to be successful. so I think he should suffer for his lies all these years.


RIDDELL: The fact that Djokovic is talking about this is a great example of how drug cheats ruin it for everybody. Djokovic shouldn't have been talking about Lance Armstrong or cycling, he should be talking about his own progress in the Australian Open, but of course once you get a drug cheat, especially a famous one line Armstrong, that's all anybody wants to talk about. And he makes it really, really hard for the fans among us and the journalists to believe that the guys that are performing at the top are doing it clean. They spoil it for everybody -- Max.

FOSTER: Yeah. Don, thank you very much indeed. And later on, we're going to have a discussion actually about the psychology of lying. Many people fascinated as Don was saying in how Armstrong dealt with his conscience during all those years of lying about doping.

We're going to take you to a short break now, but when we come back, the battle for Mali intensifies. French and Malian troops push further into rebel territory. We'll cross lines at the capital Bamako for the latest.


FOSTER: French and Malian forces fighting al Qaeda linked militants have seized a key city in central Mali. A high ranking French source told CNN that the soldiers have pushed insurgents out of the city of Konna.

Nima Elbagir has been following the military offensive from Mali's capital Bamako. She joins us now with the very latest -- Nima.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, this is part of a broader military expansion on the part of the French troops and their Malian allies here. Konna, if you remember, was the town that fell on January 10 that triggered France's intervention here in the first place. It's part of that ever shifting frontline between the Islamist held north and the government held south here. and we understand that while Konna has fallen, Diabaly to the west of Konna, which is in the gateway of the western Malian areas where the foreign jihadis, the al Qaeda linked militants have their camps. Diabaly is still ongoing. and if and when that falls, then I think the French will feel like they are finally pushing back that Islamist tide. But nobody is under any impression that this is going to be easy, Max. I spoke to the French ambassador here and this is what he had to say.


CHRISTIAN ROUYER, FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO MALI (through translator): We had a friendly country that was on the verge of dying, I can say. We've increased French military power, because we know we have an adversary who is determined, who is not afraid, knows the terrain well and who is well equipped.


ELBAGIR: West African troops have also finally begun arriving here. And the expectation is that more will be given the signal from their heads of state to also start preparing for mobilization. but as you heard the ambassador say there, Max, that this is expected to be a long and potentially dangerous engagement.

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

Now already flood soaked and in a state of emergency, Jakarta is bracing for more monsoon downpours over the next few days. Indonesians already have to bury at least 12 victims of the raging waters. And about 19,000 people are being forced to flee their homes, some using makeshift rafts and rubber boats. Dirty flood waters turned Jakarta's central business district into a river after a dyke broke on Thursday.

A shocking attack at a top ballet company. And now the question all of Russia is asking: who did it and why? Doctors are fighting to save the sight of the head of the Bolshoi Ballet. CNN's Phil Black reports from Moscow.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The attack on Sergei Filin has shocked Russians because of its cruelty: concentrated acid thrown on his face outside his home. But also because of who he is, the artistic director of the country's most prestigious ballet company, the man who leads the world famous dancers of the Bolshoi theater.

ANASTASIA MESKOVA, BOLSHOI BALLET SOLOIST (through translator): We know that something absolutely beyond understanding has happened, something horrible. It's hard to believe that such a thing could happen in the art world.

BLACK: Filin joined the Bolshoi Ballet in 1988 and danced for the company for nearly 20 years. He became artistic director in 2011. To lead the Bolshoi is an opportunity coveted by many in the ballet world.

ANDREI BUSIGIN, RUSSIAN DEPUTY CULTURE MINISTER (through translator): We at the ministry of culture consider this to be an attack on not only such a bright cultural figure, but also on the whole Bolshoi Theater and Russian culture.

BLACK: This theater is not only a towering icon of Russian culture, it is also known as a house of intrigue, of bitter feuds and passion at rivalries. But even those who know the theater intimately, its egos and the powerful emotions that often shake its walls, are shocked to consider the possibility that a professional jealousy has come to this.

But Sergei Filin's colleagues believe his work must be the focus of investigations to find out who was responsible. The theater says before the attack he experienced months of harassment -- his car tires slashed, his email hacked. He received violent threats.

YEKATERINA NOVIKOVA, BOLSHOI SPOKESWOMAN (through translator): We do hope all the possible authorities will investigate the case and the case will be solved, because it's a question of the global reputation of our country and of the image of Russia.

BLACK: Filin has undergone surgery. It's possible he will lose sight in one or both of his eyes.

Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.


FOSTER: Still to come on Connect the World, the fallout of the lance Armstrong confession continues. We speak to a former racing cyclist and a clinical psychologist to analyze why Armstrong would cheat and how widespread doping really is in the sport.

Then, pomp, ceremony and security, Washington pulls out all the stops to be ready for the U.S. presidential inauguration.

And a candid chat with Sundance film festival founder and Hollywood star Robert Redford. He tells us he's kind of over the 35 year old annual festival, but that he's not ready to give it up just yet. We'll have the details later in the show.


FOSTER: I'm Max Foster in London. These are the latest world headlines from CNN.

The crisis in Algeria isn't over, but a state news agency says special forces have rescued nearly 600 Algerian hostages from a gas plant as well as some 100 foreign nationals. It says 12 hostages died in the siege.

A number of foreign nationals are still unaccounted for, and their governments are desperate for more information. Norway is amongst the countries that has citizens missing in Algeria. Our Frederik Pleitgen is in Bergen, Norway, at a hotel where families of the hostages are gathered. Take us through it, Fred.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Max. You're absolutely right. Norway -- really, the whole nation -- is one that is very concerned at this point in time. There are still eight Norwegians that are unaccounted for in that siege in Algeria.

There was some good news, however, for this nation today, because at the beginning of this day, nine people were unaccounted for. Then later, throughout the day, one of the former hostages was found in that oil and gas facility there in Algeria. What we're hearing right now from the Norwegian government is that that person is receiving medical treatment.

Now, the place that we're at right here is actually a hotel near the airport in Bergen, where not only the families of those who are affected are staying, but also five former hostages have actually arrived here within the past couple of hours. They are four Norwegians as well as one Canadian national. All of them are Statoil employees.

And the reason why all the Norwegians Statoil employees are being brought here is because this is actually a very big oil town. Bergen is on the west coast of Norway, there's a lot of Statoil facilities here. Also, Statoil has offices here.

And that's the reason why the former hostages were flown here. They're being kept here, they're meeting up with their families. Then, at some point, of course, they're going to be able to go back home.

Right now, we are being kept outside. It's also very late here, so right now this hotel has been closed and the families who have been reunited are now with their loved ones. Others, of course, are still waiting and very much worrying, Max.

FOSTER: And we've just been getting information about an American hostage who managed to escape on the first day. There's so many questions here, isn't there, Fred, about what actually happened there?


FOSTER: I guess the families are just desperate to hear if they have got loved ones still alive, how they managed to stay alive.

PLEITGEN: That's absolutely right, and many people here are very concerned. One of the things that Statoil said when they put out a press release earlier today, they said that they -- their employees, the people, their loved ones, are very much concerned. People who have not heard from their loved ones.

One of the things that the company has actually done is it's put people at the side of those who are missing family members to keep them and counsel them the entire time to keep a watchful eye over them as well. So, certainly people are very concerned, people want to know what is going on.

At the same time, the Norwegian government says, yes, they are criticizing, of course, the information policy of the Algerian government, of the Algerian armed forces, but at the same time, they also say, of course it's a situation where very much is still unclear, where there is still an operation ongoing.

So, people here are very much desperate for news, and one of the things that the health minister said in a press conference earlier today, he said, on the one hand, yes, with every hour that goes past, of course that hope dwindles somewhat. However, until they don't know anything specifically, there is at least still hope to go around, Max.

FOSTER: OK, Fred, thank you very much, indeed. We'll come back with you, of course, as they arrive and get those stories.

Our other top stories now: a French source tells CNN French and Malian forces have retaken a key city from Islamist insurgents. Konna in central Mali fell Friday. There are now 1800 French troops in Mali backing up the army.

Britain is battling a winter storm that's causing severe disruption in some parts of the country. Thousands of schools are closed, roads are treacherous, and hundreds of flights have been canceled.

Lance Armstrong has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs to win all seven of his Tour de France titles. Armstrong told Oprah Winfrey he is a deeply-flawed person and that he will spend the rest of his life apologizing. But at the time he cheated, he didn't think twice about doing it.


OPRAY WINFREY, TV TALK SHOW HOST: You've been quoted as saying, "We had one goal, one ambition, and that was to win the greatest bike race in the world, and not just to win it once, but to keep on winning it." And to keep on winning it meant you had to keep on using banned substances to do it.

LANCE ARMSTRONG, CYCLIST: Yes. But -- and I'm not sure that this is an acceptable answer -- but that's like saying we have to have air in our tires or we have to water in our bottles. That was -- that was --

WINFREY: Are you --

ARMSTRONG: -- in my view, part of the job.


FOSTER: Armstrong denies pushing his teammates to use performance- enhancing drugs, but some critics remain unconvinced. So, exactly how endemic is doping in cycling and what drives professional sports people to cheat?

To discuss that, let's bring in former racing cyclist John Eustice, who joins me from CNN New York, and clinical psychologist Paula Bloom as well.

First of all, Paula, it must have been fascinating to you to -- for you to see this interview take place. So many people wondered how he managed to lie so convincingly for so long when clearly it was all just a scam.

PALUA BLOOM, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Right. And for those of us who wouldn't do that, it's very hard to relate to this. The thing is, we can convince ourselves -- the human mind is incredible. We can rationalize things, we can convince ourselves of things.

What I didn't really hear in that interview, he said that it was a bad thing, that he didn't think it was wrong then, but I'm not so sure that he thinks even in retrospect that it's wrong. Getting caught stinks, but does he really feel like it was wrong what he did? He just made it sound like hey, everyone else is doing it, I was just leveling the playing field.

FOSTER: John, was everyone else doing it?

JOHN EUSTICE, FORMER RACING CYCLIST: Well, in that era, absolutely. That was the EPO era. There was this drug that hit the sport in about the mid to late 80s, and it basically infected this micro society.

And it got to a point through the mid 90s that you basically -- or even in the -- the mid 90s into 2000 and the mid 2000s, rather, that you basically couldn't even compete, let alone win, without using it on some level.

And for the sports world, these athletes live in a bubble, and they do what they need to do to keep their spots on the teams, and the team leaders do what they do -- need to do to win the races.

And after a while, they don't consider it cheating. They consider it -- they do consider it part of the job in the same what that a professional football player might use human growth hormone or other things and just think that it's what they need to do to keep their spot in the NFL.

FOSTER: Well, let's just go back to Lance Armstrong, when he was living in that bubble. We've got him speaking to Larry King, here, and it gives you a sense of how convincing he was at the time of this denial.


ARMSTRONG: I said it for seven years -- I've said it for longer than seven years. I have never doped. If you consider my situation, a guy who comes back from arguably a death sentence, why would I then enter into a sport and dope myself up and risk my life again? That's crazy! I would never do that. That's -- no. No way.


FOSTER: Paula, how do you do it so convincingly? What goes through your own mind to convince yourself that you are convincing the world?

BLOOM: Having -- listen. He has a lot of perseverance. He got through cancer. He's an endurance athlete. He has the sense of being able to have one focus. You want something to be true, you make it true.

Here's the thing. The doping is bad enough. It's all of the things he did, accusing people of lying, all of that kind of bullying that I think is what people have even more of a trouble with. It's one thing is to dope. Another thing is to go after people who dare accuse you of doing what you're actually doing.

FOSTER: And the fact that in this interview with Oprah, he seems still quite confident that he's just admitting these lies. And that seems extraordinary for so many people as well. Once you've sort of capitulated, and you're still looking pretty strong, and it's not that long after the event, really.

BLOOM: Right. Right, no. It's just -- there was such an inconsistency between the content of what he was saying and how he was saying it.

He's mentioned that it was in this interview, they talked about the fact that he acknowledge that he is somebody who is all about controlling outcomes. And I'm not sure what would make you think that this interview wasn't in the same style as the way that he admits as how he's lived his life --

FOSTER: And --

BLOOM: -- controlling how people perceive him. Oh, I'm sorry, go ahead.

FOSTER: No, I just wanted to ask John about what this -- how other cyclists really see this. Because if there was a bit of a bubble and there was an acceptance, it seems that Lance Armstrong was taking these drugs, how are they looking at him now? What's their view of him now, and has it changed from their view of him then?

EUSTICE: You've got to realize that there are two different cyclings. There was the cycling that basically ended in 2006. That was the end of the EPO era. The biological passport came in.

And cycling, actually, for all the bad press it's gotten, is at the forefront -- even Rogge, the president of the IOC has said this -- have been at the forefront of the anti-doping fight, via biological passport, blood testing, out of control testing, whereabouts monitoring. It's been tremendous in cycling in fighting this problem.

Today, we have a clean generation of modern cyclists. Whether people want to believe that or not, we in the sport believe that. And these kids, they hate -- they hate what happened with Armstrong. They feel that they are being punished for what happened eight to ten years ago.

That all their hard work, all their clean work -- Mark Cavendish from the GB, obviously, Brad Wiggins -- these riders despise what has happened, and they feel that their careers are being ruined by this news from the past.

So, yes, it happened in the past, and yes it was awful, and yes it was ubiquitous, this use of blood enhancers and oxygen drugs and testosterone and human growth hormone, it was. But now, there's been a new movement, led in major part by Great Britain, France, and Germany, and the United States, we have a great crop of riders in the United States, and we have this clean generation.

So, you have a real divide, and the cycling world here in the United States is rabid. They hate Armstrong. The blogs explode, Twitter explodes with -- venomous commentary about him, his character, and what he did to people in the past.

FOSTER: Can I ask you if you ever took performance-enhancing drugs.

EUSTICE: No, that was a long time ago, and I think this is a focus on Lance Armstrong. But I also know a lot about them, I know the psychology of them, and I know how easily people do slip into this.

And it starts innocuously, it starts when they're in young ages. Eighteen years old, Lance got into the system, and he was brought on this train that would take him to the very top, and he was advised and he followed these teams, and these systems came into place. And you get into this, and it just sort of comes to happen naturally.

And you heard from Lance, he said for him, it was no big deal. It was part of doing the job. And this is what happens --


FOSTER: Well, isn't that the problem, that he's -- this is what there is an unfairness, here. If it was being done by everyone, then he's being demonized, when actually the sport should be demonized, if it was so widespread.

EUSTICE: Well, I think this is an issue -- the past should be -- is being demonized plenty these days. At the same time, you have to take a look at this as a window into the world of professional sports and how they work and how they operate.

And what's happened in cycling, you've got this professional sport that's -- it's a culture clash. Professional cycling was run as a closed architecture sport, the same way that football and baseball are run. They had their own rules, they give their own sanctions, and the doping was actually good for business. That's the bottom line. The athlete -- the performances are great --

FOSTER: The polls --

EUSTICE: -- but then, cycling has led the way to clean themselves up.


EUSTICE: And they're far ahead of these other sports. So, that also in this entire discourse needs to be looked at, the measures that cycling has done to rid themselves of this scourge.

FOSTER: Yes. Well, hopefully, they have. I just want to ask you, Paula, is there a danger here that if Lance Armstrong does do this process, this crisis management process, really, build himself back up and regain the support of people and fans?

That actually that's going to be the most harmful thing, that you can do something this bad, admit it, and actually build yourself back up, and that might make people feel as if actually you can get away with it?

BLOOM: Right. Listen, I'm an optimist. I'm a psychologist. I believe that people can change. But in this situation, words really don't matter. It's what you do that matters, and just like he was able to take the pain of cancer and transform that into something incredible, my hope would be that with time, with action, he will be able to make some changes.

You know, he has to be remorseful. And the truth is, again, he's an endurance athlete. This whole process is a very long road ahead of him. I think he can do it.

FOSTER: OK, Paula Bloom, John Eustice, we really appreciate your time today, thank you. So, has Lance Armstrong lost your trust forever, or will you give him a second chance? That's a question you've been discussing on our Facebook page. Just head to You can have your say there.

Up next on CONNECT THE WORLD, the world will be watching when Barack Obama is sworn in for a second time as US president. It's a two-day event this year. We'll show you what to expect.


FOSTER: More than half of all Americans say US president Barack Obama has met or exceeding their expectations of how he would handle the Oval Office. The latest CNN-ORC poll comes just two days before Mr. Obama takes the oath office to serve a second term.

The survey shows a steep drop off compared to the start of his first term. Still, the president is all smiles in his newest oval portrait from the White House. It was released today as Washington gears up to celebrate his inauguration, a two-day event this year.

The festivities will also pay tribute to civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. The federal holiday named in his honor is also this Monday.

For the swearing in, President Obama will have two bibles, one from Dr. King and one from the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. Then, it's all about celebrating.

The US first family traditionally likes to get out and greet the people during an historic walk along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, and the crowds love it. But for the security teams, Monday is going to be one tough day at the office, as CNN's Brian Todd shows us.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Joe Hagin remembers his first jolt working security in an inauguration. January 2001, just after George W. Bush's swearing in, Hagin's in a motorcade moving with the new president toward the White House.

JOE HAGIN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF: Turned down Pennsylvania Avenue, and the military aid who was in the right front seat of the car I was riding in turned around and said, "Sir, there's a gas mask under your seat. Get ready to put it on."


HAGIN: Which was a little startling.

TODD: That was to prepare for possible teargassing of protesters. Later, as deputy White House chief of staff under President Bush, Hagin coordinated security and logistics for big events: summits, secret presidential trips to war zones, inaugurations.

As we looked at the buildings President Obama will pass, Hagin said the Secret Service, the lead security agency for the inauguration, will make sure the buildings are clear of potential snipers.

Elsewhere, manhole covers will be welded shut. SWAT teams will be deployed all over the city. Plainclothes law enforcement officers mingling in the crowds. Bomb-sniffing dogs. Even teams trained on weapons of mass destruction, and --

DEBRA EVANS SMITH, ACTING ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI: Our dive team, our intelligence analysts will be working around the clock. Our hostage negotiators.

TODD: That FBI official spoke to us inside the multi-agency communications center, where security teams will do real-time monitoring of surveillance cameras posted on buildings and roads. They'll also share tips and incident reports.

TODD (on camera): With all the checkpoints, monitoring stations, and other precautions, it's this stage, the parade route, here along Pennsylvania Avenue, where the real unknown comes in. It's often along here where the president gets out of his car.


TODD (voice-over): That's when the president is most exposed, and the crowds are massive.

TODD (on camera): If he's right in this area and gets out of his car and walks, what's going through your mind at that moment.

HAGIN: Well, what's going through my mind is, having faith in the plan and assuming that the agents are doing their job.

TODD (voice-over): Hagin says the Secret Service often choreographs where the president will get out of his limo and where he'll get back in. A tightly-held secret. When it's all over, a big sigh of relief.

HAGIN: An event of this magnitude takes hundreds, thousands of people to execute it effectively, and those people tend to not have a whole lot of fun.

TODD: Hagin says, no matter how smoothly the day goes, security officials will still conduct a thorough review after the event, so they can tweak their practices for the next time.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


FOSTER: To put it all into context, we've put together 100 years of inaugurations in two minutes for you. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, this is not carnival day in Pumpkin Center. It is the day of days in Washington, DC.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The presidential --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- presidential --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- oath of office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here comes the inaugural parade.


WARREN BURGER, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES, 1969-1986: Are you prepared to take the oath office as president of the United States?


BURGER: Left hand on the Bible and raise your right hand.


BURGER: You will raise your right hand and repeat after me.

REHNQUIST: Repeat after me. I, William Jefferson Clinton, so solemnly swear --



GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 2001-2008: I, George Walker Bush, do solemnly swear --

JOHN F. KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1961-1963: That I will faithfully execute the office --

RICHARD NIXON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1969-1974: That I will faithfully execute the office --

JOHN G. ROBERTS, JR., CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES: -- execute the office of president to the United States faithfully -- faithfully the office of president of the United States --

OBAMA: The office of president of the United States faithfully.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1988-1992: Will to the best of my ability --

BILL CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1993-2000: -- best of my ability --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eisenhower began his second term as leader, not only of America, but all free people.


NIXON: -- protect --


FRANKLIN D. ROOSSEVELT, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1933-1945: -- preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States.

JOHNSON: -- constitution of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and the grief- stricken widow with them, takes the presidential oath aboard the jet, which brings him, together with the body of the late president, back to Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The flag flies at half staff. President Truman asks the full Roosevelt cabinet to remain in office.


JOHNSON: So help me God.

OBAMA: So help me God.

CLINTON: So help me God.

FORD: So help me God.

NIXON: So help me God.

G.W. BUSH: So help me God.


ROOSEVELT: So help me God.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The entire country is behind you, filled with hope and patriotism.


FOSTER: We want to return to our top story right now, the gas field siege in Norway -- the gas field siege. We're going to give you an update about Norway. This is video we are getting in from Norway as some of the former hostages return home.

We just spoke to Fred Pleitgen a few minutes ago, you may remember, from Bergen, where those hostages arrived. Oil's a huge industry in the city that sits on the western coast of Norway, with Statoil offices located there. The company says the fate of eight of its employees remains uncertain.

Algeria state media says up to 650 hostages were freed in a military operation there on Thursday. Islamist insurgents behind the attack are still holding some foreign nationals, we're told, hostage, so it's not over yet. Others who were freed describe a horrific scene, and we're only just starting to get details about that, plus we'll hear more from the Norwegians as they land.

Again, this is video we're getting in from Norway as some of those former hostages, now, return home.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, it's far from Hollywood and proud of it. The 35th Sundance Film Festival just kicked off. We'll have a chat with its founder, Robert Redford, next.


FOSTER: It's a celebration of independent film, and it's now in its 35th year. The Sundance Film Festival kicked off on Thursday in the US state of Utah.

Over ten days, it'll showcase more than 100 films from 32 countries, and Nischelle Turner was able to catch up with the festival's fonder, none other than Robert Redford. She joins me now from Park City, the home of Sundance. A fascinating conversation, Nischelle.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely Max. Hello to you, greetings from Salt Lake -- or from Park City, Utah, just up the hill from Salt Lake City. It's a beautiful day today, and Sundance 2013 is definitely in full swing.

Now, you mentioned that I got to sit down and talk all things Sundance and a lot of other topics with the founder of the festival, Robert Redford. It was a very interesting conversation. One of the things he said was, when Sundance began, it was in one theater, here in Park City, and he had to literally go out on the street and beg people to come into the theater and watch the movies.

Now, you have some films that premier where the lines to get in are around the block. He does say the success is fantastic, but at the same time, it's a little frustrating. Listen to this.


ROBERT REDFORD, FOUNDER, SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: As the thing grew and grew and grew, I thought, well, this is great. And then it wasn't quite so great. It was so big, it became almost like Frankenstein's monster, in a sense. In a good way.

TURNER: Almost -- I was going to say, almost too big?

REDFORD: Yes, you work on something, you build something you build, you build this thing, is it going to work? People say, "You can't create a human being out of mechanical parts." Well, suddenly you do, and you go, "My God, great!" And then it starts to tear the house down.


FOSTER: Well, Nischelle, as well, I know you've had a chance to speak to a rather well-known Mexican actor, so you're ticking them off today.

TURNER: Oh, yes, definitely. I just got done talking to Gael Garcia Bernal, and he has a documentary that is premiering here at Sundance called "Dayani Cristal," and it's about immigration, it's about migrant workers and their plight to come to America and make a better life for their families.

And one of the things we got into was the term "illegal immigrant." He does not like that term at all and feels like there should be a change. Listen to what he had to tell me.


GAEL GARCIA BERNAL, PRODUCER, "WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL?": Right now, it's common to say "illegal immigration," you know? And like, what? I would call it, rather, undocumented migration, because it is happening everywhere in the world, and without documents.

And that doesn't make people illegal, you know? I don't think substantially that makes someone a criminal, because -- and I think that's something that we have to reinvent.


TURNER: Now, one of the things that they said they wanted to do with this documentary is bring a name to all the faceless migrant workers that try to come to America.

And one of the things that Gael did in this film was he stepped into the shoes of some of the migrant workers and took the actual trek that they take to try to come from Mexico or Honduras and come to America to make a better life for their family.

It was a very interesting conversation with him and the director, Marc Silver. And again, this is the film that kicked off Sundance last night, so we'll have to see how it fares. Max, we'll send it back to you.

FOSTER: OK, Nischelle, thank you very much, indeed. A fascinating day for you. I'm Max Foster, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thank you so much for watching. We'll leave you with tonight's Parting Shots, beautiful images of a Sikhayan festival from one of our iReporters in the Philippines.