CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

Interview With Somali President Luis Mohamoud; Six Spanish Tourists Raped In Acapulco; UK Parliamentary Debate on Marriage for Same-Sex Couples; Global Marriage Rights for Same-Sex Couples; Marriage Debate; Leading Women: Brazil's Samba Queen; Repeat BAFTA Winners; Documentary Producers Up for BAFTAs; Parting Shots: Face of a King

Aired February 5, 2013 - 16:00:00   ET

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


MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight, from Somalia to the Sahal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HASSAN SHEIKH MOHAMOUD: The world has to address this issue of extremism and the root causes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: As global leaders meet to map out Mali's future, the Somali president shares his wisdom on fighting extremism across the region.

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

FOSTER: Tonight as troops from Chad join the fight for Mali, we look at an entire region under threat. But what lessons African leaders can learn from each other.

Also ahead...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to go in front of a vicker who are -- or a priest who doesn't want to do it. It's supposed to be the happiest day of my life. I want to be really happy and joyous when I get married to the man that I've been together with 25 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Should same-sex marriage be legalized. We hear from two groups at loggerheads over this divisive issue.

And a shocking story coming out of Mexico as six foreign tourists are raped in the popular resort of Acapulco.

First tonigh, a final push to retake the last stronghold of Islamic rebels in Mali. 1,800 soldiers from Chad have joined the fight in the northern city of Kidal. They are trying to secure the city itself while French troops hold down the airport. The French led military offensive in Mali has taken just a few weeks to recapture vast territory from the rebels. Now with the end in sight, long-term planning begins for Mali's future.

Delegates from around the world met in Brussels today to debate how best to rebuild the nation. Mali says the entire world must help to ensure that it rids itself of jihadists once and for all. It says the threat concerns, quote, all civilized countries.

Let's bring in Vladimir Duthiers. He's following developments for us from Lagos in Nigeria. And certainly it does seem to be in the end stages, this process?

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Max. As you mentioned earlier on the French and Malian soldiers had succeeded in for the most part pushing out the Islamist insurgents that had taken grip of the country going back to March of 2012. Chadian troops are on the ground. They are there to seize the key town of Kidal.

Now, the French and Malian soldiers did capture the airport, which is of vital importance to the region, but they believe that there may be some militants that are still hiding within the actual town of Kidal, so the Chadian troops are there to try to secure that location.

Now this is important, because France has always said that they do not expect that this military exercise will become their Afghanistan. They do not plan on staying there indefinitely. Their hope is that they will be able to turn this military operation over to an African contingent of troops which will mostly be provided by the Economic Committee of West African States. They are planning on sending some 6,000 troops to the region. This first contingent of Chadian troops within Kidal is a good sense of what we may see in the days and weeks ahead, Max.

FOSTER: The battle is just one part of this. Of course, Mali will be a completely different country coming out of this. And they're making plans for that, aren't they in Brussels?

DUTHIERS: That's right. UN members, the African Union, the ECOWAS members, they've all met today in Brussels to discuss exactly what the next steps will be in Mali. And there are a couple of things that they really need to take a look at. Number one, the interim president has called for elections in July, that needs to happen. The other issue is the humanitarian issue. Some 300,000 people have been displaced since the turmoil began in March of 2012. The UN estimates that trading and supply routes have been disrupted because of this. Shops have closed. People have moved out of the cities and are now basically living in the desert or moving on to neighboring Niger or Mauritania where there are refugees streaming into those countries as well.

The other thing that they're worried about Max are reprisal attacks. The Malian -- some of the darker-skinned Malians may commit acts of violence against some of the lighter skin Tuare or Muslim -- I should say Arab Malians that are in the area, because they fear that they may have been aligned with some of the insurgents.

So there's a lot of things that the -- that these leaders need to really discuss to map out a viable future for Mali going forward, Max.

FOSTER: Vladimir Duthiers, thank you very much indeed for joining us from Lagos.

Well, the conflict in Mali has shown a light on what's become a troubled region in the north of Africa. It's -- you can see what's being described, really, as the arc of terror. Starts from Somalia where al Shabaab have obviously been dominant for some time, through Egypt, Libya, Algeria, and then down into Mali.

And terror groups are really gaining ground throughout this region.

Back in September in Libya there was an attack on the -- in Benghazi on the U.S. ambassador. A few months later militants who reportedly trained in Libyan jihadist camps attacked a gas field in Algeria.

Now dozens of hostages died in the siege and U.S. officials believed that attack was orchestrated by al Qaeda linked rebels who were based in Mali.

And finally, a regional power in Nigeria is also suffering from its own Islamist terror sect and that is Boko Haram. So it's a region caught up in problems.

Somalia's president says he believes there is a connection between extremists across that region. Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud talked about the threat with our own Becky Anderson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MOHAMOUD: The extremist networks that exist all over the world, they are so fluid and mobile, there are proven experiences that there was a relationship between Somalia in the corner of the Horn of Africa and Boko Haram on the other part of the continent in Nigeria. If that's true, then I can say it's -- there's also a relationship between Somalia and the extremists in Somalia and those in Mali.

So what's required is the world has to address this issue of extremism and the root causes of the extremism in an extensive manner on an international level.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So you agree, at least in principle, there could be elements that have in the past fought in Somalia that may now be working on that arc of extremism?

MOHAMOUD: Just the -- in parts as I said we have evidence, very clearly, some parts we don't have. I don't have evidence for those in Mali now, but I can imagine that there is one in place.

ANDERSON: In a joint article, you and Catherine Ashton wrote recently that Somalia is no longer a failed state, citing a significant reduction in piracy and a military campaign that has, and I quote, "asphyxiated al Shabaab."

Can you look me in the eye today and say that this really is a group on the run?

MOHAMOUD: Yes, they are a group on the run, but that does not mean the threat is completely eliminated. Roadside bombs, suicide bomb, targeted assassinations, this type of activity goes sometimes.

ANDERSON: The (inaudible) mandate runs out in March. I know you're in the throes of rebuilding an army, armed forces yourself, but how close are you to having anything like a quality force for when African troops leave?

MOHAMOUD: It's not -- it's not tomorrow. There are so many other obstacles to do that. One of them is the United Nations arms embargo that was there on Somalia since 1992. So our -- we cannot have the right equipment or the right tools for building a professional security forces.

ANDERSON: If you're asking for this arms embargo to be lifted, and you are talking to everybody at present, including today the foreign minister William Hague. You've spoken to the British prime minister here David Cameron. You're on your way to an OIC leaders meeting in Cairo. How are are you getting? Is anybody, is anybody taking on this?

MOHAMOUD: That is a decision of the United Nations security council. It's not a decision of individual countries. But we have some very positive and encouraging responses that the Somali will be supported to get that arms embargo lifted.

ANDERSON: What is your message to the outside world today?

MOHAMOUD: The outside world today I will say, yes, Somalia has been without function for 22 years. And we are clearing that baggage. But this time around, this is a time we wanted to put in -- to put the foundations into the ground so that a future democratic Somali state is possible.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Still to come tonight, a story from inside Syria that you won't see anywhere else. We'll visit a Christian town to hear the rare voices of people who support President Bashar al-Assad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUIS WALTON, ACAPULCO MAYOR (through translator): We know that it is very important what has happened, but hey, it happens anywhere in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Acapulco's mayor tries to reassure holiday makers after six tourists are raped by gunmen in the Mexican resort.

And we'll have the latest on Lindsey Vonn, the American skier who suffered a serious crash. All that and much more when Connect the World continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Turning now to some rare voices in Syria's civil war. We don't often hear from people who support President Bashar al-Assad, but our reporter inside Syria visited one Christian community to find out why they're loyal to the regime.

Frederick Pleitgen joins us now from Damascus with details of this CNN exclusive -- Fred.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Max.

And of course one of the things that we've been talking about in the Syrian conflict for a very long time is the danger of all of this becoming entrenched across sectarian lines. Now, one group that we've heard very little about, and (inaudible) is the Christians here in Syria. We, as you said, visited one town that's predominantly Christian. Here's what people had to say to us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A checkpoint in the predominantly Christian town Saidnaya, but this isn't a government outpost, it's manned by a local Christian militia loyal to the Assad regime. None of the men would speak to us on camera, afraid they'll become targets for the opposition.

The militia has several checkpoints throughout the town of Saidnaya, but they also have several hundred men under arms who patrol the streets here to make sure that no militants infiltrate this fairly safe area.

Hussam Azar (ph) organizes the group. Driving through Saidnaya streets he tells me he can't imagine Syria without Bashar al-Assad.

"I don't know why, but we love the president very much," he says. "We love him a lot. Sure there have been mistakes, but we love the president a lot."

Christians make up about 10 percent of Syria's population. So far, most of them have not joined the uprising against the Assad regime, weary of Islamist militants within the ranks of the opposition.

There are 44 churches in Saidnaya. The town is a center of pilgrimage for Christians from around the world.

But standing on a hilltop, Hussam (ph) points to nearby towns he says have opposition fighters in them, some of them radical Islamists who have fired mortars at Saidnaya and even kidnapped people from here.

"We will not leave," he says. "Syria is our country and Saidnaya is our town. We will not leave even if it's destroyed, if it's bombed every day and 1,000 people die. It's our land and we will not leave it."

And so the Christian militia members man their checkpoints and patrol the streets, fearful the opposition might try to oust them from their homeland should they prevail.

As the Muslim call to prayer rings over the many churchtops of this town where Christians and Muslims live side by side, many here worry the conflict in Syria might put an abrupt end to a calm that has lasted for generations.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PLEITGEN: And Max, of course there are also Christians here in Syria who are against Bashar al-Assad, but the predominant thinking there in Saidnaya was that this was certainly a community that is feeling very much under threat. And while not everybody might be on the side of Bashar Assad even in that town, they certainly do fear the things that could come if Assad is ousted from power -- Max.

FOSTER: Fred, thank you very much indeed for that.

Here's a look now at some other stories making news this hour. Bulgarian authorities are blaming Hezbollah for an attack that killed five Israelis out of Bulgaria last July. Officials believe at least three people carried out the bombing which targeted a bus carrying Israeli tourists at an airport on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast.

The country's interior minister says two of the suspects have links to the group's militant wing.

More fallout from an historic scandal in Ireland. A new report says the Irish government sent thousands of women and girls to convent run work houses known as Magdalene laundries. The Irish prime minister says he's sorry for the stigma the women had suffered. Many victims say that -- say that and report -- and the report just aren't enough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAUREEN SULLIVAN, MAGDALENE LAUNDRIES WORKER: From an apology from the religious orders and we asked -- I asked the prime minister of my country to give us an apology for what was done to us. They took my education from me. They took my name, my identity, they gave me a different name by the name of Francis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, the Irish backed investigation says conditions were harsh and traumatic and the women worked for no pay. They estimated 10,000 inmates included victims of sexual abuse, unmarried mothers, orphans, and the disabled.

Tonight, a warning from Spain to travelers, "you risk assault in Acapulco." The warning follows the rape of six women, all Spanish nationals, in Mexico's famous Pacific coast resort. The victims were on holiday when a band of hooded gunmen broke into their beach bungalow.

Right now Nick Valencia joins me now from CNN Center. And this absolute horror story isn't it?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is, Max. And what happened in Acapulco on Monday has many wondering how a group of tourists could be ruthlessly attacked in a beach resort town.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VALENCIA: Reports of assaults have become all too common in Mexico, but what's especially shocking about the latest attack is where it took place. Local authorities say five masked and armed men burst into a bungalow in the Mexican resort town of Acapulco as a group of 14 tourists slept. Six Spanish women were tied up with their own bikinis and raped while the men in the vacationing group were gagged and bound.

A Mexican women traveling with the group was sparred according to Acapulco's mayor who surprisingly seemed to downplay the incident.

WALTON (through translator): We know that it is very unfortunate what has happened, but hey, it happens anywhere in the world.

VALENCIA: Mexico has a poor track record of prosecuting crimes. And so far no arrests have been made in the assault.

With its sunny beaches and cool breezes, Acapulco hosts millions of foreigners every year. A recent wave of drug violence has sent the murder rates soaring, but so far violence has only had a minimal affect. The federal government has sent thousands of troops and federal police in Acapulco to secure hot spots where violence has increased.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VALENCIA: And Max, those federal troops and police have helped stem the flow of violence from Acapulco, but as I mentioned in that report the beach resort town has not been immune to the violence that's affected many parts of Mexico -- Max.

FOSTER: The mayor accused of being insensitive with those comments we heard there. What's he saying in response to that?

VALENCIA: Seemingly insensitive remarks. Now he is offering a heartfelt apology saying his words, Max, if you can believe it or not, were misinterpreted. He says he condemned the violence, especially such a ruthless attack against a group of Spanish tourist women.

FOSTER: OK, Nick, thank you very much indeed for joining us with that.

Now for the first time in more than three decades, an Iranian president is visiting Egypt. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was greeted by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy. The Iranian president is in Cairo for a summit of the organization of Islamic cooperation. During the summit, the leaders are expected to draft a declaration calling for Syrian President Bashar al- Assad to hold talks with the country's opposition.

We'll have plenty more after the break, including a closer look at just how exactly you fix a match.

And a painful end to a miserable season for a decorate American skier.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: You're watching Connect the World live from London. Welcome back. I'm Max Foster.

Now it's a sports scandal of potentially enormous proportions. Europol's investigation into match fixing in football may involve hundreds of matches, dozens of players and officials, and a crime syndicate in Asia. Patrick Snell has the latest from CNN Center.

It just seems so widespread Patrick.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It really does, Max, yeah. Singapore to be precise, that's what came out in the Europol report on Monday.

But if we take the story forward, Max, we're -- look, let me take you back briefly to Monday. That report made reference to two European Champion's League games and said one of them had been staged in England, but there were no more specifics.

Well, we will be digging deeper, as the world's media does. We wanted to know where and when. We have one answer to that English question. It's a Liverpool hosting Debrecen of Hungary. That was back in 2009, the qualifying stages of the European Champion's League. It would be Liverpool that won that game by 1-0. Dirk Kuyt, the club's former Dutch striker getting the winning goal on that occasion, but no suggestion -- just to make this very clear -- no suggestion of any wrongdoing from Liverpool FC of England at this point. So making that absolutely clear.

I want to go to a Dan Rivers piece now, because a lot of people -- a lot of people online, on the twittersphere asking well how exactly does this all work? Hopefully with the answers, CNN's Dan Rivers now reporting from England.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Does the beautiful game have an ugly secret? Well, if you believe the back pages of many of Britain's tabloid newspapers it does. One phrase leaps out, "match fixing." The European policy agency Europol claims it's widespread.

And the figures are startling. Police in 13 European countries are investigating 425 club officials, match officials, players and serious criminals. They suspect that up to 380 matches may have been fixed.

So how does it actually work? Spot fixing the number of throw-ins or yellow cards by bribing players, referees and linesmen could be one way. Last year, former Southampton captain Claus Lundevam told Norwegian TV he did just that with teammates. He said, "we could make deals with the opposing captain about, for example, betting on the first throw, the first corner, who started with the ball, a yellow card or a penalty, those were the sorts of thing we had influence over."

These Pakistani international cricketers were found guilty of similar spot fixing in 2010, a scandal that rocked the sport. But experts say in soccer, it goes much further.

DECLAN HILL, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, AUTHOR OF THE FIX: There are now club owners that are looking and dealing at the beginning of the season, they're looking at their sheets. They're saying look, we've got 40 games we're going to play hard in 30 of them and in these 10 we're going to lose. But because we're going to bet against ourselves in the gambling market, we're going to make more money losing those 10 games than winning the other 30.

And so fixing a game like that is actually quite simple. The club owner just walks into the dressing room and orders his team to lose.

RIVERS: Gavin Hamilton edits World Soccer magazine and says it's time the police actually acted on longstanding allegations.

GAVIN HAMILTON, EDITOR, WORLD SOCCER MAGAZINE: The authorities can be seen sort of identify the problem and (inaudible). But I think they now need to pursue the allegations and really come up with some convictions.

RIVERS: Until then, each time the ball goes in the back of the net. There will be questions about what's genuine and what's been staged for profit.

Dan Rivers, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCKAY: Thank, Dan. And there are many who are observing that this could just be the tip of the iceberg, Max. You could be that big. You're absolutely right.

FOSTER: Absolutely. And another big story for you as well the famed champion American skier Lindsey Vonn, she's recovering after this crash in Austria. Just how bad is it?

MCKAY: Yeah, she's hopefully on the road to recovery, Max. Yeah, this happened earlier on Tuesday. Vonn is a two-time world champ, Olympic gold medalist as well, but this was earlier in the day, as I say, a really dramatic incident. She has suffered a season ending injuries. It was a heavy crash. This was during the opening race at the world championships in Schladming. And I say what happened, really, was quite dramatic. She flipped over crashing into a safety gate. The incident saw one of her skis just go cartwheeling right down the slope. Her sister, Laura, was watching it.

And the injuries, well, they are pretty damaging. She suffered an interior and medial cruciate ligament damage, that's to the right knee, plus a lateral tibial plateau fracture as well. So as I say, just to summarize, this is season ending, unfortunately, for the 28-year-old American. Airlifted to hospital, delaying, we understand, surgery for now at least, just a question of whether she has it done in Europe or in her homeland, the USA, Max. But certainly really disappointing news for Lindsey Vonn.

FOSTER: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for that, Patrick. We'll follow that with interest. Patrick will be back for World Sport in an hour's time. He'll be speaking about Vonn's injury with an orthopedic surgeon who also happens to be a ski instructor. She should have some valuable insight to what happens next there.

Still to come, though, on Connect the World, should the UK join the countries that allow same-sex marriage? We'll hear from both sides of the argument.

And the two filmmakers proving that truth can be both stranger and more entertaining than fiction. Becky interviews the producers of Searching for Sugar Man. And that's still to come.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Max Foster, these are the latest world headlines from CNN.

Bulgarian authorities are blaming Hezbollah for an attack that killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian last July. Officials believe at least three people carried out the bombing, which targeted a bus carrying Israeli tourists at an airport on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast.

British lawmakers have backed legislation allowing same-sex marriages. The House of Commons passed the bill 400 votes to 175. The vote deeply split Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party. The draft law must go through several more stages, including approval in the upper House of Lords before it can become law.

An Iranian president is in Egypt tonight for the first time in more than three decades. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in Cairo for a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Leaders at the gathering are expected to urged Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to hold talks with the country's opposition.

US president Barack Obama is planning a spring visit to Israel. It will be his first trip there since he entered the Oval Office. The White House says he'll also travel to the West Bank and Jordan, quote, "to continue his close work with Palestinian Authority officials and Jordanian officials."

Returning to the very contentious issue of same-sex marriage and today's vote in Britain's House of Commons. Atika Shubert spent the day following both sides of the parliamentary debate and filed this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This was really the first time British lawmakers had a chance to contest the details of this bill. And as you can imagine, there was vigorous debate with many MPs wanting to weigh in.

And it's been particularly divisive for the Conservative party. I had a chance to speak with David Davies, he is a Conservative MP, and he explained to me why he personally is against this bill.

DAVID DAVIES, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CONSERVATIVE PARTY: There's a strong possibility that within a few years of this bill going through, people will be saying, "Well, we want -- we demand the right to go along to a mosque, a synagogue, or a church and have a same-sex marriage regardless of what that church actually thinks."

SHUBERT: Here in the UK, same-sex couples can be legally recognized as having a civil partnership, and this gives them many of the same legal benefits of marriage, but supporters of the bill say it is not the same thing as marriage. I spoke to Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow. They've been together for 15 years and are raising five children together. Here's what they told me.

TONY DREWITT-BARLOW, WANTS TO MARRY SAME-SEX PARTNER: For us, we want to be able to go into our church and with our congregation get married and celebrate. I don't want to go in front of a vicar who -- or a priest who doesn't to do it.

It's supposed to be the happiest day of my life. I want to be really happy and joyous when I get married to the man that I've been together with for 25 years.

BARRIE DREWITT-BARLOW, WANTS TO MARRY SAME-SEX PARTNER: It's a long time.

T. DREWITT-BARLOW: I know, it's a long time.

B. DREWITT-BARLOW: A quarter of a century.

T. DREWITT-BARLOW: So, I understand people don't want to do it, and that's fine. I don't want to force anybody to marry us. I just want to have the right to be able to do it.

B. DREWITT-BARLOW: And if somebody wants to marry us, then they should have that right to be able to choose whether they want to marry us. And that's what it's all about, choice. And dignity. It's about dignity for lesbian and gay people and having the same rights in law and in the eyes of God as everybody else.

SHUBERT: Now, the debate and the vote in Parliament today is just really the beginning of the process to get this bill passed. It still has to go through the House of Lords before it can actually become law.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, how do other countries view homosexuality and same-sex marriage? Well, take a look at this map. A dozen countries do have laws allowing same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships, highlighted here in the green. They include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, also Belgium, Holland -- or the Netherlands -- Spain, and a handful of other countries in Europe.

There are nearly 20 others, shown here in yellow, that offer some rights to same-sex couples, including France, Germany, the UK, also parts of the US and Mexico.

A number of countries consider homosexuality, though, illegal, and some homosexual acts are sometimes punishable with death, in Nigeria, Somalia. But that penalty's imposed only in sections of the country that use Sharia Law.

Now, in the last month, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets in France for and against same-sex marriage. The French parliament is locked in debate over plans to legalize gay marriage and adoption. France's ruling socialists are determined to pass the legislation, but the plans are being opposed by conservative groups, including the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations.

The president of that group, Antoine Renard, joins me now from Paris, and in our London newsroom, we have Andy Wasley from Stonewall UK, an advocacy group for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

First of all, Andy, just explain the difference between civil partnerships and marriage. Why is that difference important to you?

ANDY WASLEY, STONEWALL UK: Well, the reason that it's important is that at the moment, we have a situation where in law, gay relationships are treated as fundamentally different from straight relationships. That perpetuates the idea that they are somehow less valuable, less important, less rich, or less stable than heterosexual relationships, and we know that that point of view is simply out of step with 21st century British values.

This is a change that most people in this country want, 7 in 10 people in this country want to see equal marriage introduced. As somebody mentioned in the House of Commons earlier, this is a bill whose time has come.

FOSTER: Antoine, there's lots of debate about the technicalities of changes of law like this, but it is actually just about equality, isn't it, giving gay people the same equality in society as straight people?

ANTOINE RENARD, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF CATHOLIC FAMILY ASSOCIATIONS: Well, the problem in France is not to give the same rights. This is not a civilian issue. The problem is how do you create a family, and marriage in France is a republican institution that is dedicated to protect the weakest partner in that game, and the weakest is obviously the woman and the child.

So, in the case of homosexual unions, as there is no child or no child prospective, I do not see who should be the weakest? Then, the question is, why we should we use marriage, which is an institution, to organize the private life of homosexual persons?

We can have different laws, grant them a lot of rights, there is no issue on that. And it's clear that they should not feel discriminated and they should have social rights. But this should not go through the marriage, which is a very special thing dedicated to the union between man and woman.

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: Andy --

RENARD: And the consequences of the --

FOSTER: -- it was defined when it was set up as a union between man and woman, wasn't it? So, you're changing the definition of what was something created a long time ago in a different environment.

WASLEY: Well, when marriage was created, of course, women were men's property, and at the time that marriage -- well, depending upon when you consider marriage to have started, you could marry girls at the age of nine years old.

I think Antoine betrays a lot of the reality of his point of view when he suggests that women are somehow the weaker party in a marriage. And to address the specific point about children in a marriage, in this country, gay couples can already adopt children and provide very, very powerful, very loving homes to those children.

If you believe that marriage is the best environment in which to raise a child, and many people do, you have to include, in a society where gay people can adopt, equal marriage is a logical move forward.

FOSTER: Antoine, you are out-of-date, perhaps, and you're certainly describing women as a weaker member of the sex, which wider society certainly wouldn't agree with. So, you're out-of-date on that, and you're out-of-date on the changing nature of families in the world.

RENARD: Well, that is right, we see that. But nevertheless, when I say that the woman is the weak partner, it is because in any case, when there is a child, she is the mother, and the marriage is protecting her against any possible escape of the man, which is by law, recognized or supposed to be the father of children of this mother, and is by law forced to take care of them.

So, this is exactly why it is an institution, a republican institution, to protect the future, to create a family and to protect the family against any bad issue.

FOSTER: Let's get a sense of what the wider world is saying about this, then --

(CROSSTALK)

RENARD: And also --

FOSTER: -- as today's debate has certainly created quite a buzz on social media, drawing mixed reactions from across the globe. Here in London, Jennifer Lunn tweets, "I want a wife, not a civil partner. I want a marriage, just like everyone else's. My love is no different from anyone else's."

In Nigeria, this user tweeted, "There's good and there's bad, there's right and there's wrong. There can only be male and female. There cannot be straight and gay values."

And this tweet comes from South Africa, where gay marriage is legal. "British MPs should learn from their former colony, South Africa. Substantive equality for gay men and women are non-negotiable."

One point, Andy, that does keep coming up is that marriage is often held in a church and you're mixing up religion with what you see as a right of equality. Are you forcing something on the Church of England, for example, which is obviously dominant in the UK?

WASLEY: Categorically not. Actually, the bill that was -- that went through Parliament today -- on a thumping majority, incidentally -- makes it very, very clear that the Church of England will not be forced to conduct equal marriage ceremonies.

However, what is important is that if you believe in religious freedom, it has to cut both ways. And just as we shouldn't impose upon, for example, the Roman Catholic Church, we should not impose upon them the condition that they have to conduct same-sex marriages, they shouldn't be imposing the condition on, for example, the Quakers, the Unitarians, Liberal and Reform Judaism.

Faiths that do want to conduct these ceremonies, we believe that they should be allowed to do so, and the bill makes sure that that can happen.

FOSTER: There do seem to be solutions, Antoine, to all of the problems that you do point out. And one thing that does come up often is why are you even making a judgment on other people's relationships? Why does it even bother you?

RENARD: My point of view is not at all coming from the religion point of view. It's just simply human thinking. When you look into our laws in France, at least, you see that marriage is historically linked to adoption, and which will lead to -- medically-assisted procreation.

And in that case, the project of law, which is promoted in France, will create an artificial parenthood. And we simply cannot accept, not from a religious point of view, we simply cannot accept that in that country, which is the country of the human rights, we ignore the rights of the children and the --

(CROSSTALK)

WASLEY: Antoine, are you not arguing against fostering and adoption?

RENARD: -- the fundamental right of a child.

FOSTER: OK. Antoine and Andy --

RENARD: Sorry?

FOSTER: -- we need to leave it there. But thank you very much, indeed, for your time.

RENARD: I'm -- definitely fighting against adoption.

FOSTER: OK, thank you both.

What do you think, though? Are same-sex marriages long overdue or a step too far? That's what we've been asking on our Facebook site. Do join the conversation. Just head to facebook.com/CNNconnect.

Up next on CONNECT THE WORLD, Mercury rising. Samba superstar Daniela Mercury headlines tonight's Leading Women.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: A 47-year-old mother of two is the queen of Samba. Daniela Mercury is the heart and soul of Brazilian music, and she is tonight's Leading Woman. CNN's Felicia Taylor went to Brazil to meet her.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's known for her mega concerts, with people stretching as far as the eye can see.

(DANIELA MERCURY SINGING SAMBA)

TAYLOR: Reflecting the cultural and racial mix that is Brazil. She is part Portuguese and Italian, but has a surprising nickname.

TAYLOR (on camera): And they even say you're "the whitest black girl from Bahia."

DANIELA MERCURY, SINGER/SONGWRITER: A lot of people thought that I was black during a lot of time.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Her career in music started when she was 16, singing in bars and at Carnival. After nearly 30 years in entertainment, this singer, songwriter, record producer, and Latin Grammy winner is recognized for popularizing Samba reggae music around the world.

This musical tour de force is Daniela Mercury.

Music is a big part of Brazilian life. And no one embodies that like this superstar, who doesn't take herself to seriously.

(MERCURY RAPPING)

TAYLOR: She knows how to play to the camera, whether showing a friend how to Samba, or visiting children at a local foundation. Music is in her soul, and she says in her country's, too.

MERCURY: It's incredible, everybody dancing. All the rhythms. And we have a lot of different -- diversity of cultures in Brazil that's amazing.

TAYLOR (on camera): Describe to me what your music is like.

MERCURY: I don't like labels, because labels to me are prison.

If you see my concert, you see that usually I don't play this -- in 20 songs, all songs are different.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Some do label her music as "musica popular Brasileira," Brazilian popular music, or as Samba reggae.

Mercury was born in Salvador de Bahia on the northeastern coast. Bahia is considered the center of the country's Afro-Brazilian culture, which explains why Mercury is so connected to African culture.

MERCURY: The lyrics, like --

(SINGS IN PORTUGUESE)

MERCURY: The color of the sea is me. And the --

(SINGS IN PORTUGUESE)

MERCURY: The thing of the city is mine.

Here's one affirmative song. Imagine my poor black people, Afro-Brazilian people, they think to confirm that they deserve to be happy, you know? They want to be happy, and they deserve it.

What my city, my town gave me as a person, and I want to give back through my music.

TAYLOR (voice-over): And at this concert in her home city, she gives it her all.

(MERCURY SINGING)

TAYLOR: Mercury still keeps a home here, though she's lived in Sao Paulo since 2009. It's Bahia, where she grew up, that she comes to recharge and spend time with family, like her mom, who was a major influence.

Mercury says she was a born leader, but had to learn to become a businesswoman, and as a woman, she says she hasn't always had support.

MERCURY: One time, one director, artistic director of my company, he told me, "You are a woman. You don't have to think."

TAYLOR (on camera): What did you say?

MERCURY: Oh, I -- I laughed.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Her big break came in 1992, as a solo artist, when her album, "O Canto da Cidade," was released, selling 2 million copies in Brazil alone.

(MERCURY SINGING)

TAYLOR: It's credited with bringing her music to the world.

In the coming weeks, more with Daniela Mercury.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: From making culture to changing the culture, don't miss CNN's profiles of other Leading Women. From the management style to their homestyle, it's all about style with substance. Check out the Leading Women website, cnn.com/leadingwomen.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, making a profit out of truth. We speak to the acclaimed documentary makers who have two films up for a BAFTA.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: We are counting down to the BAFTA awards, which will be held here in London on Sunday night. Many of the nominees have been here before and, indeed, taken home the prize. Among them, Daniel Day-Lewis. The star of "Lincoln" already has three BAFTAs under his belt. He won the first back in 1990 for "My Left Foot."

Director Ang Lee owns two for his work on "Brokeback Mountain" and "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon." But it is Dame Judi Dench who has the most, 11 to be precise, for roles both in TV and in film.

This year, it is shaping up as a battle between fact and fiction. Three of the five nominated films are based on true stories, but that doesn't surprise documentary producers John Battsek and Simon Chinn, who have spent the past decade bringing us award-winning true stories that are stranger than fiction.

This year, they've got two films competing for a BAFTA. Becky caught up with the acclaimed pair to find out what makes "Searching for Sugar Man" and "The Imposter" such compelling tales.

(BEGIN VIDEOETAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To many of us South Africans, he was the soundtrack to our lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody I knew had his records.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The message he had was be anti-establishment. Really, the first opposition to Apartheid, they'll tell you, they were influenced by Rodriguez, but nobody knew anything about him. He was a mystery.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And what was it about the story that fascinated you?

SIMON CHINN, PRODUCER, "SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN": It just seemed -- it just seemed -- it was irresistible. It was one of those stories, two South Africans fan go and find him, thinking that he's dead, thinking he's dead, but to try and find the truth about him, and discover him living in a shack in Detroit having worked the last 30 years on construction sites and take him back to South Africa, where he has this amazing sort of resurgence and finds fame.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN")

RODRIGUEZ, SINGER: Thanks for keeping me alive!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BATTSEK, PRODUCER, "SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN": And he's an inspirational character who, in some respects, sets an example that we could all follow in terms of how he pursued his life, how he pursued his passion, his attitude to money, his attitude to his family, his attitude to his daughters. There's so much about Rodriguez that is inspirational.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We didn't know what the word "anti-establishment" was until it cropped up on a Rodriguez song, and then we found out. It's OK to protest against your society, to be angry with your society.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: You've taken the story and made a documentary, but taken it to the sort of wider cinematic release, which is a tough thing to do, particularly in this world that we live in today and the lack of funding for films. How big a challenge is that?

CHINN: I think John and I kind of share a sensibility in that we don't see documentaries as an end in itself. We're not in this to make documentaries. We're in this to make films, we just happen to think that documentaries are the best way to deliver powerful, true narratives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "MAN ON WIRE")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN (through translator): I cried out, "Look! Look!" And then he saluted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BATTSEK: It's part of what enables Simon to do what he does and me to do what I do and us to do what we do together is that he was clever enough to make "Man on Wire." "Man on Wire" is pretty much the best documentary in the last ten years, if not longer.

He set a precedent in terms of making that film as, I suppose, in the same way the first film I made, it was called "One Day in September," which was an Academy Award winner as well, and set us and Passion Pictures up as a company that can make that sort of film.

CHINN: Actually, the film that he made, "One Day in September," was a huge inspiration for me and many documentary filmmakers because, unlike any film that had come before of its kind, a kind of classic, retrospective documentary, a historical documentary, it felt in every way, in its execution, like a thriller, in the use of music, in the use of archive, the way it was cut.

And that film actually really, really, really broke the mold and kind of set the gold standard for feature documentaries.

ANDERSON: Truth, though, as we know in news, is really difficult to sell, isn't it?

BATTSEK: What is universally easy to sell, whether it's movies or documentaries, is story and drama.

CHINN: I suppose what "Man on Wire" and "Searching for Sugar Man," to take two examples, have in common is they are actually tremendously uplifting stories and inspirational. And I think, actually, people do want to go to the cinema to be inspired, and I actually think that documentaries can inspire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "THE IMPOSTER")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I took the phone and I told her that, this is Nicos. We got him. It's him. It's incredible, it's him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: I wonder if you would describe "The Imposter" as a story of inspiration?

CHINN: It's a very, very weird story. And the person at the center of it, Frederic Bourdin, "the imposter," the man who concocts this elaborate ruse, impersonates a missing child in Texas, which is kind of a despicable thing to do, nevertheless hasn't failed to seduce audiences. Audiences, for whatever reason, seem to love him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "THE IMPOSTER")

FREDERIC BOURDIN, "THE IMPOSTER": From as long as I remember, I wanted to be someone else, someone who was acceptable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: And in tonight's Parting Shots, is this the face that launched a thousand myths? Supporters of King Richard III of England today revealed a reconstruction of the British monarch's head. They say they want to show that England's last Plantagenet king was a very human leader who may have been the victim of Tudor propaganda. Shakespeare may have been in mind there.

Richard III is often portrayed as a power-hungry murderer. His royal remains were found yesterday buried under a parking lot in central England, and it's got the world buzzing.

I'm Max Foster, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END