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Nation In Shock After Rape, Murder Of 17-Year-Old Girl; A Look At Front Lines Of Homs

Aired February 8, 2013 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: We may be witnessing the moment when a nation cried enough is enough.


SOPHIA EUROPA, LOCAL COMMUNITY MEMBER: There is no use in giving birth to a baby boy if men treat it women lower than animals.


ANDERSON: Tonight on Connect the World, the brutal attack drawing attention to an epidemic of rape.

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

ANDERSON: Coming up, I ask an official from South Africa's western cape where the attacks occurred. What's being done to change this?

Also ahead, an exclusive view of Syria's front lines we rarely see. Pro-government troops describe the conflict in their own words.

And right now, a travel ban is going into effect for parts of the northeastern United States. This blizzard could be one for the record books.

The South African president says he is outraged. Many of you are telling us you are horrified after Thursday's look at sexual violence in India, tonight on Connect the World developments in a disturbing story out of South Africa starting with word just minutes ago of arrests.

Robyn Curnow reporting for you from Cape Town -- Robyn.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest, Becky, from authorities is that three men have been arrested in the rape and murder of Anene Booysen. They will be appearing in court next week. But I think the big question, and there are many questions in this case, is why has this rape, this murder, garnered national attention, garnered media attention in a country that's largely become numb, in a way immune, to these constant stories of sexual abuse against women. And more importantly, Becky, what does it take to shame a nation, to shame a government into actually doing something?

Take a look at this story.


CURNOW: These women didn't know Anene Booysen, but they've come here to mourn a girl who was savagely butchered just a few hundred meters from her home. Under the midday sun, they bury a cross in the dusty sand of a construction site where police say a teenager was raped and mutilated. She later died.

Someone described it that she was slaughtered like an animal.

CAROL MARTIN, LOCAL COMMUNITY MEMBER: She was so brutally -- not even an animal -- like a dog, not even like slaughtered like this. We never seen something like this in (inaudible).

CURNOW: Anene Booysen survived long enough to name one of her attackers before dying.

Outside her home in rural Bredasdorp in the western cape. Her aunt says they knew one of the alleged attackers.

She tells me, "he was a lovely child to have in the house. He was her friend. And it's just incomprehensible."

Later, many others marched through the streets towards the crime scene.

This is just one protest by one small community to support one of their own. But across South Africa, there is growing outrage surprisingly in a country which is becoming increasingly hardened to high levels of sexual violence.

Every four minutes, this radio station broadcasts a ping during its programming, an audible reminder to its listeners that on average every four minutes a person is raped here. With that kind of statistic, many other women would have been raped since Anene was brutalized last weekend.

This is her mother laying a wreath for her daughter. It's taken nearly a week for the country to learn of her story, a story that has jolted people out of their complacency about rape, because of the sheer violence inflicted on Anene Booysen.

EUROPA: I don't know what we must do, but we must do something to get (inaudible) otherwise there is no use in giving to birth to a baby boy if men treat a woman lower than animals.


CURNOW: All right, Becky. It's just so sad, isn't it, to hear something like that.

What is important is that the president, Jacob Zuma, took the unprecedented step of issuing a statement calling the murder and rape of Anene as shocking, cruel and inhumane. What is interesting is that many of us can't remember the last time he actually issued a personal statement about an individual victim of crime. The question is, does this one girl's death change things? Does it create a momentum, a groundswell like it perhaps did in India for a change in government, for a change in the way things are done? We don't know.

And many people here in South Africa are asking, is this the tipping point? I suppose it's up to political will and President Zuma to make that decision.

ANDERSON: All right. We're going to do more on this story and talk to a provincial politician just shortly.

Robyn, though, thank you for that.

That radio ping Robyn mentioned in her report will have gone off at least once since this show began and will be sounding again in moments in South Africa.

Earlier I spoke to the CEO of the broadcasting company behind that campaign.


TERRY VOLKWYN, PRIMEDIA BROADCASTING: The response has been absolutely overwhelming. I think we all know the statistics and we read them, but when you're sitting listening to the radio and whether you're listening to music or a talk show when that little beep sound drops all the time, you know, eventually after about an hour you can't believe -- in your head another one, another one. And as the day progressed, I mean, the outpouring of rage and emotion has been absolutely overwhelming.

ANDERSON: Well, South Africa has got one of the highest rates of reported rape. More than 70 -- 70 percent of South African women have experienced sexual abuse, that is according to government figures. A 2010 government study found that about one in four men in South Africa admitted to raping a girl or women. And one in seven admitted to gang rapes.

Statistics, though, are one thing. Packing a much harder punch, hearing someone openly admit to raping a woman. Hear what the young men had to say to CNN's Nkepile Mabuse in a story she filed for us in 2009.


NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: How did you feel as a human being doing this to another human being, knowing that she's in pain, she's crying, she wants to get out of the situation, how did that make you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think it's situations we come through in life...

MABUSE: You didn't see it as wrong?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I will tell myself that there is nothing I want in life that I cannot get, even beautiful woman.


ANDERSON: Not a (inaudible) report filed in 2009.

So what is being done today to change prevailing social attitudes and reverse what are these dreadful numbers?

Well, Albert Fritz is a provincial minister for social development in the western cape, the area of South Africa where this attack took place.

Our reporter described South Africa as a country becoming, and I quote her, increasingly hardened to high levels of sexual violence. Why is that?

ALBERT FRITZ, MINISTER FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Yeah, I think one of the first points that we want to say is that it seems that gender violence is systemic in our society. And a lot of it has got to do in many instances about absent fathers, which is nowhere to be found, and no role models as men to their sons and to the daughters. And that's, I think, one of the most frightening phenomenon in South Africa.

And I think when you start in our department with social development where we look at parenting kind of workshops where we almost say to parents, this is your role as a father, this is your role as a mother. We see in those cases a kind of -- the kind of situation improves.

ANDERSON: Why has it taken so long? I want to know what is being done now, sir, with respect to ensure that this savage act, the sickening rape and death of a young girl, doesn't just become another statistic. I hear what you know needs to be done, but surely shaming a society -- you know, getting something done means starting with the government surely.

FRITZ: Yeah.

Let me just say, firstly, that we have existing youth development programs throughout the province. And one of our flagship programs is called the (inaudible) youth development program. We channel those very young men who have fallen through the cracks of society and has been socialized in all these different types of male domination, are coming to a program for three months where we completely change the way people are thinking and the complete minds have changed. And from that, we actually place them in employment.

But because we in South Africa and the Western Cape Province we have high levels of unemployment and of young people who are supposed to still be at school, was out of school, we have massive amounts of alcohol and drug abuse and we have a very interesting gang culture that's very prevalent in the western cape. And the government is all the time in competition with the gangsters to try and win them over to our side instead of them going into gangs. And I think that's some of our challenge.

And I must say in the Bredasdorp area we have a very interesting problem called the oasis program where they use football as vehicle to attack youngsters and they're doing very good work with a lot of youngsters in that area on that basis.

ANDERSON: What I'm hearing here is a sort of symptomatic of a sort of systemic breakdown. This attack seems symptomatic of a sort of systemic breakdown in South African society. Are you absolutely convinced that the government at the very echelons of South African society are taking this seriously? I hear what you're saying and I know that there are actions, there are solutions that people are pursuing, but is this a tipping point I think is what I'm asking?

FRITZ: I think (inaudible) murder of this incredibly young beautiful woman. I think this has become a tipping point. I want to say in the Western Cape, which is a different government than the rest of the country. We have a democratic alliance government where we do things in a very different way. I think we have started to see a lot of gains in a number of areas, specifically around our youth programs that we are carrying out. We are seeing far more of our youngsters staying in school. We are seeing far more of our youngsters and a lot of people coming into this province for schooling, because we just have some of the best schools in the country.

And so there's a good move forward. We need to build on that. We need to pay more attention to it. We need to invest far more in our youth development to keep those youngsters who do this horrendous deed to get them away from that idea.

And one of the focus areas for us is to actually look at behavior change of our young people to -- and we are doing a number of very good programs around behavior change. And I think what we are saying in this country and in the province, we need what we call a social disruption to change behavior around, so that people just -- and our young people completely have a new morality and a new way of thinking. And I think we are on the way to that.

ANDERSON: Albert, thank you. Albert Fritz in Capetown for you this evening.

I've been reaching out to you on Twitter. What do we need to do to stop rape, not just in South Africa, but all over the world. Keira says, "part of it is changing the mentality. Now woman or girl asks or deserves to get raped regardless of her outfit or reputation."

Merli says "no woman or girl deserves to be raped. She's not asking for it. It's not her fault."

Leza says, "we need to vote for governments that act against all crimes."

Do keep them coming in @BeckyCNN. What do we need to do #stoprape is one of the ones we've been using today. Use your own if you think it's going to be more useful. #beyond is another one I've been looking at today, that's about solutions and actions so that this sort of thing doesn't happen again.

You're watching Connect the World live from London. Our top story tonight, outrage in South Africa over the brutal gang rape and murder of a teenager. Three suspects have now been arrested and this hour a local politician tells me gender violence is systemic and a lot of very young men are falling through the cracks of society.

Let's change this.

You're watching Connect the World live from London. Still to come, mourners in Tunisia vow to continue to struggle as the assassinated opposition leader is laid to rest.

Plus, battling a blizzard, a powerful storm closes in on the northeastern U.S. We're going to take you there live.

And if we are what we eat, then Britain is in a total state of confusion. All that and more, much more after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. This is CNN and Connect the World at 16 minutes past 9:00 out of London. I'm Becky Anderson for you.

Now the funeral of an assassinated opposition leader in Tunisia turned into a mass protest earlier today.

Tens of thousands of people chanted anti-government slogans and vowed that Chokri Belaid did not die in vain. Well, later, clashes broke out, riot police fired tear gas to clear protesters setting fire to cars. Belaid's assassination has triggered days of unrest and Tunisia's prime minister tried to calm the storm by announcing he would sack his cabinet and form a caretaker government until new elections could be held. Members, though, of his own Islamist party rejected that move.

Well, the prime minister Hamadi Jebali said he doesn't need his party's supporting insisting he will go ahead with his plan. He spoke today with CNN's Dan Rivers about Tunisia's worst political crisis since the revolution.


DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Who is running Tunisia this evening. There's chaos on the streets. Your party is split. Who is running the country tonight?

HAMADI JEBALI, TUNISIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Today it's another crisis for Tunisia. We've been through many crises. Tunisians protected the revolution. Who is leading Tunisia? I will answer, Tunis now is lead by the prime minister, I'm sure about it.

RIVERS: Is there a split in Ennahda, your party, because they don't seem to say that the disillusion of cabinet is binding on them?

JEBALI (through translator): I will form the technocrat government regardless, but I hope that I will get the approval of Ennahda and other parties, because this is a further guarantee for the government.

RIVERS: The people on the streets today want you to resign and they blame Ennahda, your party, for the death of Chokri Belaid. What do you say to them?

JEBALI (through translator): I already told them, don't play the role of the law. Do not respond with violence, otherwise we are trapped, because the goal of those who shot Belaid is to make us react violently.

RIVERS: Do you fear another revolution?

JEBALI (through translator): Tunisians made the Jasmine Revolution for two goals, revolution against dictatorship and revolution against corruption. And they also wanted social justice. And I think we will not betray our revolution. We are not in a dictatorship. The biggest truth is what is happening in the streets -- protests, free press, we are not corrupt. But if people want a revolution against us, that's their right. And we will bow to the will of our people.



Well the United Nations refugee agency says 5,000 people are now fleeing the war in Syria every single day. It says the total number of refugees has now reached a staggering 787,000.

Let me just break that down for you. Turkey has taken in more than 177,000 Syrians, more than 265,000 are now in Lebanon, 242,000 in Jordan, nearly 90,000 refugees have fled to Iraq, and over 15,000 are in Egypt. These figures do include refugees that are both registered and not registered.

Well, new fighting in Syria claimed at least 82 more lives today. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is one of the few western journalists reporting from inside the country. He got what is a rare opportunity to cover soldiers on the front lines with approval form the government. Here is his exclusive report from Homs.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Taking a breather from fierce house to house combat in the city of Homs. The front line is just around the corner, and many of these soldiers have been fighting here for months.

The Syrian military has been fighting urban combat for over two years now. None of the soldiers here are willing to speak to us on camera, because they say they need special permission, but they assure us that their morale is not waning.

Between front line clashes and manning checkpoints, Syria's army is strained and stretched thin, but still appears mostly combat ready.

Much has been reported about abuses committed by soldiers fighting for the Assad regime, like the indiscriminate use of heavy weapons in urban areas, including tanks, artillery, and war planes. The United Nations say both the Syrian army and opposition forces have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In Homs, this family grieves for a son.

This was 19-year-old Ali Suleiman (ph), a soldier killed a week ago. His mother says Ali's body still hasn't been brought back from the front.

"Him on the front lines was painful for me," she says. "But I was with him hand in hand defending this country. I handed him to god, a sacrifice for the homeland."

The Syrian regime says its army is on the offensive against opposition forces. But this army is also suffering heavy casualties.

We were given access to the military hospital in Homs. The most recent batch of wounded hit by a suicide bomber at an army base. Survivors said about 20 soldiers were killed.

"The first explosion was at the gate," he says. "We went out. And it was awful seeing our comrades on the ground. As we went out, a second car came. We opened fire, but he drove into the building. The explosion caused the whole building and residential houses to collapse."

A senior doctor says the medical teams here are increasingly dealing with severe burns, the result of improvised explosive devices used by growing numbers of Islamist extremists.

"It's the same terrorism the Europeans and Americans faced in Iraq and Afghanistan," he says, "and allowed the French to fight outside their country in Mali. They insist on not seeing it here despite all the casualties and destroyed homes."

The international community says Syria's army has committed many atrocities, but in its ranks many soldiers have also paid the ultimate price defending a regime that's fighting for survival.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Homs, Syria.


ANDERSON: Coming up after this short break here on Connect the World, football fans in Israel may be behind an attack on their own club. We'll explain that next.


ANDERSON: An Israeli football club's offices have been burned in what is an apparent arson attack just days after the club signed two Muslim players. I want to get more on this. Don Riddell joining me from CNN Center.

We say an apparent arson attack. Have we got any more details on this?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, no, the police are looking into it, but I think the assumption is very much that it was an arson attack on the club by its own supporters, some of whom who have been absolutely livid that the club has broken with 70 years of tradition, 70 years during which it hasn't signed a Muslim player, but they've changed course, they've changed direction, and they have now signed two Muslim players Zaur Sadayev and Gabriel Kadiev.

We know that there were protests last weekend, Becky. Four arrests have been made this week. These protesters absolutely did not want the club to sign Muslim players. Their banners on the terraces were saying, you know, such slogans as "Beitar Pure Forever." But those two players have been signed. And clearly those supporters are not at all happy.

I'm pleased to say that there were no injuries during this fire at the club, but clearly there was a lot of damage in the club's trophy room. And clearly a lot of fans are not very happy at the moment, Becky.

ANDERSON: Don, any reaction from the club, or indeed, across Israel?

RIDDELL: Well, there's been reaction from the highest post in the land, the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken out about this, a situation that seems to be getting completely out of hand. He said such behavior is shameful. We cannot countenance such racism. And he went on, the Jewish people who suffered from boycotts and ostracism must be a light unto the nations.

We're now looking ahead to Sunday's home game, Becky, which just so happens to be against an all Arab team in the Israeli League Bnei Sakhnin will be playing against Beitar. And you won't be surprised to hear that security has been increased in that game.

ANDERSON: All right, well let's hope there's no trouble there.

All right, listen, I like to do a -- you know, a story which was all about sport, which is supposed to be all about fun, surely, but the Australian sports, well, we've been doing this story now for some 24, 48 hours. Rocked by the findings of this doping and match fixing investigation, what's the fallout so far as a result of that report, Don?

RIDDELL: Well, you know, any time you get anyone that's found guilty of doping in sport, cheating through drugs, the problem is that a lot of people just assume that others are cheating they just haven't been caught yet. And they really do spoil it for everybody. And that's really now the sense of frustration we're getting from Australia, because no players, no teams, no sports even have been named in this investigation. So until that point, it really just seems as though everybody is guilty.

And quite a few of the sports are speaking out and saying, you know, hang on a minute, you know, there may be some people that are cheating and breaking the rules, but we can't really have a situation where it seems like everybody is guilty.

It's now Saturday morning or early hours of Saturday morning in Australia. It's, as usual, you'd expect it to be a fun weekend of sport in a country that really loves its sport, but of course this is all that anybody is talking about. And some of the leaders in sports like rugby league and Aussie rules football are coming out and saying, you know what, this has just been handled so badly we can't have everybody guilty by association. Let's come out and name names. But of course, while this is an ongoing criminal investigation that's not going to happen.

And this, I'm afraid, is what happens every time people do take drugs in sport, they just spoil it for everybody else.

ANDERSON: Yeah. I was surprised, I've got to say, that it seemed to be such a sort sweeping report without naming even sports let alone sportsmen. But like you said, it's an ongoing investigation, therefore, I guess that's the reason for it. I'm sure you're going to have more on that on World Sport an hour from now. Look forward to that. Don Riddell at the CNN Center for you.

All right, the latest world news headlines as you'd expect here on CNN at the bottom of this hour.

Plus, thousands of flights canceled, a highway pileup and a driving ban. We're going to take you to the drama as the northeast of the U.S. feels the force of what is a growing storm.

Diners in the UK are outraged after a scandal involving horse meat being missold as beef, but do we ever really know what we're eating?

Plus, red carpet royalty will be out in force at this Sunday's BAFTA awards. The stars, the fashion, the films -- offering you a preview of what will be the big night. That all coming up.


ANDERSON: Three suspects have now been arrested in connection with the gang rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl in South Africa. In a case which has shocked and outraged many in the country and around the world, Anene Booysen was also mutilated. The suspects will appear in court on Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of Tunisians turned out for the funeral of an assassinated opposition leader. They changed anti-government slogans and vowed that Chokri Belaid did not die in vain. Belaid's killing has triggered Tunisia's worst crisis since the revolution.

Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousufzai has been released from her latest stay in hospital. The 15-year-old underwent five hours of reconstructive surgery last Saturday. Doctors in the UK were repairing damage to her skull and her hearing from a Taliban gun attack last October.

A deal worth waiting for. That's what the European Council president called today's EU budget agreement. After marathon talks in Brussels, EU leaders agreed for the first time to cut spending. The $1.2 trillion budget covered seven years and focuses on growth and jobs. That's a headline out of the EU today.

And a powerful blizzard bearing down on the northeastern United States with the potential to cause absolute chaos. Forecasters say it's taking a similar path to the one that Hurricane Sandy storm took back in October. Thousands of flights have been canceled, and some parts of the East Coast could see up to two feet of snow by the middle of Saturday afternoon.

Well, the state of Massachusetts is saying stay off the roads. Unless you're in an emergency vehicle, you do not want to be caught driving. Its governor has banned non-essential driving because the blizzard, described as a monster storm, is making itself felt now along the northeast coast of the States.

Now, forecasters say it could break records and rival the great blizzard of 1978. The states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have all declared states of emergency. Now, this storm is already creating havoc in the state of Maine, police blaming the snow for a 19-car pileup on the interstate highway.

Ali Velshi joins me now from Dennis Port in Massachusetts, which of course is near Cape Cod. Things are looking pretty grim. I can see your shot there. Just describe conditions for us, if you will.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, it's become snow. And here's the interesting part: it's been precipitation all day, all through the northeast from Washington all the way up through Maine. But around here, it's been about freezing all day, so it's been coming down mostly as rain. That's why there's not a lot of accumulation.

But the snow has started fairly heavily, and that's going to continue. As it gets colder, the sun is setting, it's going to be a lot of snow. Much more -- it's not -- I mean, Becky, this is New England in February. It's not Arizona in July. People here are used to snow, and they're used to heavy snow.

But the velocity is the issue. We're going to get, in some places, two to three inches per hour. So as you said, Massachusetts has banned all the driving, as of now, at 4:00. Connecticut has joined that ban.

Now, what's going to happen is we're going to have high tide here probably in about five hours or so, and that's when the storm, which is off the coast -- this is south, right now, that's east -- the storm's over there. And by about 10:00 to midnight Eastern Time -- it's 4:30 now -- you're going to see that storm come in as close as it's going to get to land.

Now, we're in Dennis Port, which is halfway down the southern coast of Cape Cod, so the far east part of Cape Cod is over there. Basically, people are not driving, a lot of the stores around here are out of basic supplies, gasoline not available, reminiscent of Hurricane Sandy, there are lineups at gas stations and things like that.

Mayors across the northeast, an area where there are about 40 million people, Becky, have been telling people stay home, don't go out, get your gasoline, be careful about your generators, things like that. Everybody's hunkering down for what looks to be a very serious storm developing now and into about the middle of the day on Saturday.

Here in Cape Cod, things are pretty quiet, because 500,000 or 600,000 people here in the summer, this is a great vacation place, half that number to a third of that number in the wintertime. So, those who are here are hearty northeasterners, they've seen bad weather before. This is going to be worse than they're normally used to, Becky.

ANDERSON: Ali, stay safe. Let's get Jenny Harrison up at the Weather Center, then, and find out what we should expect. As Ali says, this is beginning to build at this point. Jenny, you're tracking the blizzard and its impact, of course, on flights, which is hugely important to anybody watching this show --


ANDERSON: -- who may be traveling. What do you got for us?

HARRISON: Well, as Ali was saying, of course, it really is beginning to wind itself up, now, Becky. The snow's been coming down in the last few hours.

Let me just show you on the satellite, because it's all about these two storms merging. They're doing quite a bit of that in the last few hours. I've got a slightly different view to show you a few hours earlier today, when you can see both clearly the two systems.

So, this is why it is promising to be such a gigantic storm. We have got this system coming in from the northwest, this is bringing with it the very, very strong, arctic air, the strong winds with that really bitterly cold arctic air.

And then, this is the system bringing with it all of the energy that's going to mix with it. So, all this moisture coming in, all this energy off those warmer waters is what is actually going to feed this storm system. So, in just last few hours, you can see things really turning extremely wintry.

And interesting to look at New York City, too, because again, in about the last hour and a half to two hours, you see how it's been coming through as rain, that's the blue. The pink, of course, is the sleet. And then now, beginning to come back because of this cold air and the moisture, it is turning a lot of that precip into snow, just actually as Ali was just telling us there.

So right now, in Boston, it is at freezing with moderate snow. The moderate snow's been coming in for the last couple of hours, visibility continuing to be reduced because the winds are on the increase.

So right now, winds coming in from the northeast at just over 40 kilometers an hour, and not as bad in New York because the snow is pretty light, and we know it's going to be further away from New York, where we have the worst of the weather.

So, all this area in red, this is where we have the blizzard warnings in effect. This is what is really impacting air travel. It's not so much the snow coming down or even the amount of snow, because amazingly, Boston Airport, Logan Airport there in Boston, is phenomenally good at removing snow, 10 to 20 minutes they can clear the runway.

But what they can't do is, of course, operate when there is zero visibility. So, that is what's going to happen. Visibility will continue to be reduced as the snow comes through and as those winds pick up.

Now, we could be actually seeing winds with gusts to about 100 kilometers an hour, easily in excess of 50 centimeters of snow. This is all really specifically more for Boston and up into New England. And of course, all of that impacting travel.

Now, as you said, it's this knock-on effect. It's not just if you're in the US, and certainly not if you're just in Boston, it is elsewhere around the world. Long delays, of course, as we know, and all these cancellations. So far, over 3,500.

Boston and New York, the whole area in the northeast, likely to be impacted as well, and certainly because the storm is continuing through Saturday, it will continue to be impacted. And look at this: 60 centimeters of snow. That is what is expected in Boston.

How will it compare to the great storms in the past? Well, Becky, we really only know once the storm has passed, but 70 centimeters, that was the record back in 2003.

ANDERSON: Seventy centimeters --


ANDERSON: All right. Well, I don't want to bet on this, because I would hate it to happen, so let's just say wait and see.


ANDERSON: Wait and see what happens. Really horrendous conditions in the northeastern part of the US. Thank you, Jen.

Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come, you may think the idea of eating horsemeat is bad, you may not. But do you know how many insect parts were in the last meal that you ate? Insect parts. Probably more than you thought. All the details coming up.


ANDERSON: Well, there is only one story being discussed at the dinner table here in the United Kingdom. All beef products nationwide are to be tested after a frozen beef lasagna was found to contain as much as 100 percent horsemeat. Erin McLaughlin has the details.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Findus beef lasagna as advertised is made with fresh ingredients: pasta, cheddar cheese, and beef bolognaise. Officials in the UK now say that in some cases, that beef bolognaise actually contained horsemeat.

ANDREW RHODES, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY: Findus sampled 18 particular batches, and they found 11 of those batches to be contaminated.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): So, as things stand now, though, that is possible that someone was eating horsemeat.

RHODES: Well, it is possible, because that product did have horsemeat in it, and it was on sale in the UK. But that product has been withdrawn, has been recalled by the original manufacturer.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): The Findus horsemeat debacle is part of a broader issue authorities first reported in January.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): The UK Food Standards Agency says 10 million suspect burgers were taken off shelves in the UK and Ireland after other burgers supplied to supermarkets were found to have traces of horse DNA. Last month, authorities in Ireland investigated a possible link to a beef supplier all the way in Poland.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Suppliers in other European countries are also under scrutiny. For instance, with the lasagna, authorities say it was supplied by the French company Comigel. CNN has reached out to Comigel France, but the company has not yet replied.

Findus says it has pulled the lasagnas from stores in the UK and Ireland. In a statement to CNN, Findus says, quote, "We understand this is a very sensitive subject for consumers, and we would like to reassure you we have reacted immediately. We do not believe this to be a food safety issue. We are confident that we have fully resolved this supply chain issue. Fully compliant beef lasagna will be in stores again soon."

Authorities say they are looking into the possibility that there's more mislabeled horsemeat out there.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well let me tell you, there is huge outrage here about this story. One of the reasons is because the ready-meal or frozen food market here in Britain is huge. Take a look at this: UK consumers spend more than $1.7 billion a year on processed beef products.

Now, the majority of that is on chilled, ready-made meals such as microwave lasagna or pasta bolognaise or just a meat sauce you can buy off the shelf. Burgers and grills are next, making up nearly a quarter of market share, followed by pies that you can just pick up and eat straight from your local supermarket, if you see so fit. I don't, personally, believe me.

On the back of this horse hysteria hitting the headlines, we went out and asked people here in London how they actually felt about it. Here's what some of them had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty bad, isn't it? It's not what you're paying for, and it's misdescribed, so that is actually clearly a breach of consumer rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is OK that if you can eat horsemeat, but they should tell you. If you buy something, they should tell you, this is horsemeat, or this is cow meat, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would not eat -- horsemeat. No, never.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honestly, I don't really necessarily have a problem with it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think it's a bad thing in itself. People can eat what they want. It's just the sort of deception of not allowing people to know what they're eating that people have a problem with.

And obviously, there's the concern, as well, of the health risks with horses being given bute, which can harm people. So, it's more the deception than the concept itself. That's the only issue I have with it.


ANDERSON: All right. So, those are some of the voices that we got on the streets of London today. This horse cuisine has raised one very important question, we thought, at least, as a team. How can we ever, ever be sure of exactly what we're eating?

Well, we're joining -- joined now by a nutritionist, Ben Wilson, who's going to shed some light on this for us. We are what we eat, we are told that from, well, from when we're fairly little.


ANDERSON: But do we actually know, Ben, what we are eating?

WILSON: I think the problem today is that we don't have a clue because all you see on the list is, on something like beef lasagna, what, 50 ingredients? Come on, you're not going to check that out. So, if you're buying packaged foods and you're not putting them in the pan, it is a bit of a guess at what you're going to get.

ANDERSON: Now, some of our voices there on the streets of London weren't too bothered by the fact that things has been mislabeled. Others said this is absolutely disgraceful, this is misinformation.

There are those who said that they were absolutely outraged that there was horsemeat anywhere near what was labeled as a beef burger. What are the dangers in eating horsemeat, out of interest?

WILSON: If you -- there's two different issues to horsemeat. When the pure nutritional idea of what its content is, it's not that different from beef, in that sense. Because it's not so regulated as an industry, the counter-argument is there's more toxins in it, something called phenylbutazone, which is what -- medication they use on horses.

ANDERSON: I want to just run through just some of what we've been investigating tonight as we put this show together. Ingredients like horsemeat, might, viewers, to you sound bad enough, or it might not. But listen to this.

We looked at one of the most stringent government food agencies, the FDA in the United States, and found out that certain amounts of natural contaminants are allowed and present in our food. Not for the faint of heart, but here we go.

Chocolate is allowed to have up to 60 insect fragments per 100 grams. You heard me right, viewers, 60 insect fragments per 100 grams, and the FDA says just one rodent hair in that same sample is OK. But not a hair more, they say.

Peanut butter, one rodent hair and less than 30 insects parts per 100 grams. And if you're going out this weekend, well listen to this. Popcorn, a little rodent excrement, one pellet, to be precise, is the limit there or one hair.

Are you telling me, Ben, as a nutritionist -- I don't know what you're going to tell me or not. Do you want this chocolate now? Do you want that popcorn?

WILSON: It doesn't help anything.

ANDERSON: I'm outraged!

WILSON: We can see!

ANDERSON: Come on. I mean, this is -- this isn't what our viewers are going to want to hear, is it?

WILSON: I think it's a problem now with the way food -- the food is so pressured, especially with margins, we're trying to get -- and there's got to be cheaper and cheaper.

ANDERSON: See, you don't seem to be that bothered. Are you?

WILSON: I think it's pretty adverse. I'm more offended by the whole nutrition industry, and what I'm coaching clients is to be in control of their food. The moment you buy something out of a box, package, you don't have a clue. And this is what the industry's like in this sort of state, too.

ANDERSON: How much rodent pellet or insect hair are you prepared for your clients to sort of put up with these?

WILSON: Well, ideally, none.


WILSON: So, that's the thing. When you're in control of your food, if it is from your kitchen, you're putting all those ingredients in, you haven't got rats running around your kitchen, I hope. So, you're in control of these sort of things.

ANDERSON: There are some people who've said, what's all the fuss about today? Do you get that?

WILSON: Nutrition-wise, people are so un-clued up now, it's unbelievable. And they think -- you sort of forget we literally are what we eat. When you eat badly -- but then, because we're used to feeling badly, we're used to being just like this. We don't even know what it's like to feel on top of the energy, feel in good mood, good spirit.

So, we're sort of losing that link, and it's vital. It goes back to those kids, that we start teaching the kids, because now the parents don't know how to --

ANDERSON: I'm leaving that with you --

WILSON: -- do that, then.

ANDERSON: -- because I've got to see something else.

WILSON: All right.

ANDERSON: You take that, Ben.

WILSON: What time is it?

ANDERSON: Let me just give you a sense of what we've had on social media today. Unsurprisingly, social media is abuzz with this story right now. Even Britain's prime minister has been tweeting on this. His concerns are this: "This is completely unacceptable," he says. "This isn't about food safety but about proper food labeling and confidence in retailers."

JB from London tweets, "Findus beef lasagna containing 60 to 100 percent horsemeat, not even annoyed about it being there, just scared what else they are slipping into my food." Well, you just found out.

But while many others -- many are cross about this, others have seen the funny side. Roxy -- Roxy Squires tweeted, "Told my mate I had a hot date with an Italian Stallion -- sounds a lot better than saying I'm sitting at home eating a Findus lasagna for one."

And Mike Shore had this to say. "They've only just discovered the horsemeat in lasagna because the cheese on top was mascar-pony."

So, what's next? A backlash on ready-meals? A return to the butcher? Send us your thoughts. We want to hear from you,, have your say. You can always tweet me, of course, @BeckyCNN.

Live from London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up -- we'll the winning momentum continue for director Ben Affleck and his film "Argo"? We'll take a look at his competition in Sunday night's BAFTA Awards. That after this.


ANDERSON: The stars are beginning to arrive and the red carpet is set to be rolled out for London's night of nights. I'm of course talking about the BAFTA Awards, being held this Sunday. Let's take a look, shall we, at what films are in the running for what as become one of the most coveted gongs of the awards season.


ANDERSON (voice-over): We've had the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors' Guild Awards, the Directors' Guild Awards, but there's still plenty of red carpet for the stars to walk yet. Next leg, the BAFTA Awards in London on Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're on a list. You of all people should know that once you're on their list, you never get off.


ANDERSON: Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" is indeed on the list for Best Film. Up against "Argo," which for novice director Ben Affleck, has scooped most of the top awards so far.


BEN AFFLECK AS TONY MENDEZ, "ARGO": Can you teach somebody to be a director in a day?

JOHN GOODMAN AS JOHN CHAMBERS, "ARGO": You can teach a rhesus monkey to be a director in a day.


ANDERSON: And apparently, directory Ang Lee can teach a tiger to act.






ANDERSON: "Life of Pi" has nine nominations and may well catch the coveted Best Film prize. But with "Les Mis" in the mix, the competition is fierce.


CHORUS (singing): She'll be nothing but trouble again and again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): You must sack her today!

CHORUS (singing): Sack the girl today!

MICHAEL JIBSON AS THE FOREMAN, "LES MISERABLES" (speaking): All right, my girl. On your way.


ANDERSON: They could all be sent packing, though, by Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," which leads the list with ten nominations.


DANIEL DAY-LEWIS AS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, "LINCOLN": Euclid's first common notion is this: things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.


ANDERSON: That's all very well, Mr. President, but start Daniel Day- Lewis is without doubt red-carpet royalty, up for his fourth BAFTA, not to mention history-making third Oscar for Best Actor.

JOHN WILLIS, BAFTA CHAIRMAN: It's a really fantastic range, from big films to small French films, some really well-established names, and then some people like Ben Affleck who are on the list for the first time. So, it's a really, really great list, actually.

ANDERSON: And it promises to be a really great night, hosted once again by British comedian Stephen Fry, who says his job will be made easier if the stars are less than polished.

STEPHEN FRY, BAFTA HOST: It's great if someone falls over. A heel breaks as she climbs off on the stairs or whatever, and whoop! Falls over. And then, that's -- and is rescued by somebody gallant. Usually it's Hugh Jackman or someone, come and rescue her. And that's very good, and people like that.

ANDERSON (on camera): Slips, slides, and gaffes aside, the BAFTAs are second only in prestige to the Oscars, so what happens in London on Sunday will likely set the stage for the Academy Awards in two weeks' time.

Becky Anderson, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: And do join me this weekend when I'll be live on the red carpet for the BAFTAs, the stars, the fashion, the movies, me and my frock. You don't want to miss a moment of that. That's Sunday afternoon starting at 3:00 in London, 4:00 in Berlin right here on CNN.

And in tonight's Parting Shots just before we go, they say one man meat's is another man's poison, so while there's disgust at the thought by some, at least, of eating horsemeat over hear in England, we got the view from the other side of the Channel.


OTIS LEBERT, CHEF AND OWNER, LE TAXI JAUNE RESTAURANT (through translator): For me, it's red meat. It's red meat, which has a very special taste. It's more interesting than beef, which has become banal.

Horsemeat is, it has to be said, a meat of extraordinary quality, at least in my opinion. Horsemeat is a culinary taboo, of course. I decided to cook with it in my restaurant because I find there is a certain ethic in French gastronomy, and horse is very much a part of it. I am certain of this.

What do I prepare with horse? Horse brain, horse heart, the ribs and, of course, horse steak. There's really a multitude of things. Horse heart is really delicious. I'm sorry to say this for those who might find this upsetting.

EMELINE PERIE, CLIENT (through translator): Horsemeat's good. I think it's good. It's a meat that's less fatty and has other nutrients, like iron, which is something my doctor has told me that I need. So, I think horsemeat is quite tasty.


ANDERSON: Well, they're just -- they're calling us wusses, aren't they, those French? They're calling us Brits wusses.

All right, don't forget, you can send me your views on horsemeat scandals. Are you disgusted or do you think horsemeat is a culinary delight. I want to hear from you, get in touch, and you can tweet me, as ever, on any of the stories that we're covering here on CONNECT THE WORLD or CNN @BeckyCNN.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching. Good evening.