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CONNECT THE WORLD

Oscar Pistorius' Defense Rips Prosecutor's Evidence; Syrian Opposition Evolving Into Islamist Revolution; Bulgarian Prime Minister Resigns; Lance Armstrong Tells USADA No Cooperation; Interview with Mark Zuckerberg

Aired February 20, 2013 - 16:00   ET

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


FIONNUALA SWEENEY, HOST: Another night behind bars for Oscar Pistorius as his bail hearing enters a third day. But the developments today help his case. We'll be live in Johannesburg with all the details.

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

SWEENEY: Also ahead...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK FOUNDER: We don't have enough heroes who are scientists and researchers and engineers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SWEENEY: Step aside Nobel, there's a new prize on the block. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg talks to us about his $33 million breakthrough prize.

And sitting, playing the piano and writing books, what Pope Benedict's life will be like after the Vatican.

Olympian Oscar Pistorius remains in his cell tonight with his bid for bail set to go into a third day. Let's get more from CNN's Robyn Curnow. She's been in court today and joins us from Johannesburg. I mean, the defense really had a very strong day today, Robyn. Have they done anything to persuade or change the court of public opinion?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Fionnuala. Well, we'll find out tomorrow when that magistrate hopefully rules on whether Oscar Pistorius spends tomorrow night in jail or whether he gets released. But in terms of the Pistorius family and Oscar Pistorius himself, they issued a statement earlier on saying they were actually happy with the bail hearing. There was a sense of confidence perhaps at the way thing proceeded today. And you could see it physically in the way Oscar was sitting.

Yesterday when I was in the court, he was slumped over, he cried a lot. He could barely contain himself, control himself. today, he was sitting a bit more upright. A little bit more centered. And in a way that's because his defense team did punch quite a few holes in the state's case.

But his uncle has also spoken to the media. And this is what he has to say about today's proceedings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARNOLD PISTORIUS, UNCLE OF OSCAR PISTORIUS: Like light controls darkness, truth will prevail. And as you go -- as we go along and -- because I know the truth. I know exactly what happened. And I know one thing is that the puzzle is not going to fit where the state wants to fit it. It just won't fit there. It fits here on a very tragic scenario where things happened in such a way that Oscar thought it was an intruder.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: OK. He talks about pieces of the puzzle fitting together.

Let me give you some sense of some of that detail, some of that riveting information that came out today in court. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More riveting details on what prosecutors say happened Valentine's Day morning and countercharges from the defense. According to prosecutors, witnesses heard arguing coming from the Pistorius home for an hour before the shooting, the defense saying the witness' house was about 300 meters, about 1,000 feet away.

On the stand, the investigating officer said Pistorius used a cricket bat to break down the bathroom door. That bat and a cell phone found splattered in blood. Using a diagram projected on a large screen, the officer said Pistorius aimed his gun at the toilet, pointing out that he had to turn and fire at an angle in order to hit the toilet. Police also say a witness heard a gunshot, then heard a female scream, then more gunshots. The defense say no female screamed. Defense attorneys pressed the police officer who admitted that Steenkamp's body had no signs of assault or signs of defending herself. The officer also conceding he find nothing consistent with Oscar Pistorius' version of events. Pistorius said he thought he was shooting at an intruder.

Prosecutors say police found bullets in a safe in the home. They say that will lead to charges of possessing illegal ammunition. But later the investigator said they did not establish whose ammunition it was. Authorities say they also found two boxes of testosterone and needles which defense attorneys contend is actually herbal medicine.

Prosecutors say there's no way the killing of Reeva Steenkamp was self-defense, that Pistorius knew his girlfriend was in the bathroom when he opened fire. They cited two previous incidents of police encounters with Pistorius that suggest he could be prone to violence adding that since they consider Pistorius a flight risk, he should be held without bail. And with that court is adjourned until tomorrow.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SWEENEY: And indeed tomorrow Oscar Pistorius and we will learn whether or not he will remain in jail or be released on bail.

Now he is famous, of course, for his prosthetic legs, and they could prove to be key in this case. Atika Shubert reminds us why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So this is the layout of the bedroom and bathroom. There are two versions of the story. Let's first go through what Oscar Pistorius says happened.

He says he went out onto the balcony, came back into the bedroom. And when he was closing these sliding doors, he heard a noise. Fearing it was a burglar, he then got his gun out from underneath the bed and made his way along this corridor into the bathroom.

He says he believed a burglar was here, in the toilet area, which is as you can see is separate from the bathroom. He then fired shots into the door.

Now Pistorius says throughout all this he was not wearing his prosthetic legs. The prosecution says differently. The responding officer testified that shots were aimed at the toilet bowl. And in order to do that, Pistorius, he says, must have turned left and aimed at an angle. He also said that Pistorius must have known that Reeva Steenkamp was in the bathroom.

Now we go back to one of the main points of contention, whether or not Pistorius who had both of his legs amputated during childhood had his prosthetic legs on at the time of the shooting or not. He says he did not. The prosecutor says he did. And right now ballistics are working out the angle of the shot which will prove, a, whether or not he had on those prosthetic legs and where he was at the exact time of the shooting.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SWEENEY: You're watching Connect the World. Our top story tonight, Oscar Pistorius still behind bars as his bid for bail stretches into a third day. We'll keep following this intriguing case on CNN as The Blade Runner fights to prove he did not intend to kill his girlfriend.

And of course you're watching Connect the World. Still to come tonight, a deadly mortar attack on an unlikely target in Damascus. We'll get a live update on Syria's civil war.

Lance Armstrong ignores a chance to help restore his reputation. What next for the disgraced cyclist? All that and much more when Connect the World continues.

And find out how Mark Zuckerberg is hoping to help us live longer. We've got an interview with the Facebook founder still to come.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SWEENEY: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Fionnuala Sweeney. Welcome back.

Now the Syrian government is blaming terrorists for a mortar attack on a sports stadium in Damascus. The deadly attack comes as rebels claim another victory in their fight against superior air power. Let's bring in Ivan Watson for details. He's following developments from Istanbul -- Ivan.

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Fionnuala. Syrian state media reporting that a series of mortars hit the Tashreen (ph) sports complex and killed at least one football player from a professional football team, this attack coming in the center of the city. We can't confirm this because we're not in Damascus right now.

Now as you mentioned, Syrian state TV calling the attackers terrorists. In fact, the Syrian government has been calling the protest movement since it first erupted nearly two years ago terrorists from the very beginning.

We've been documenting an evolution within the armed opposition of Syria. Within recent weeks and months the rapid rise and influence and in activities of Islamist rebel fighters, and particularly the most famous of these Islamist group, it's called Jabat al Nusra, or the Nusra Front.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WATSON: A lot can change in a year. When we first met Ibrahim Kabani (ph) he was a 19 year old revolutionary who sang about freedom. Always dressed in the colors of the Syrian rebel flag, he worked with a team of activists who called for democracy and human rights while staging voice to anti-regime protests.

A year later, Kabani (ph) has fallen in with a very different crowd with a very different message.

(SINGING)

WATSON: Kabani (ph) won't talk to CNN now. Friends say he's a member of the Nusra Front. It's the most famous of the many Islamist rebel groups now fighting the Syrian regime. Kabani's (ph) ideological evolution is an example of a broader shift in Syria.

RAFIF JOUEJATI, LOCAL COORDINATION COMMITTEE IN SYRIA: There is an increasing militarization and now increased radicalization of the revolution.

WATSON: Many demonstrators at anti-regime protests now wave what they describe as the black Islamic flag of war. And there's been friction between Islamists and protesters who still carry the original Syrian rebel banner.

Part of what's attracting Syrians to groups like Nusra Front is that they've led rebels to several high profile victories in the battlefield, often with the help of foreign jihadi fighters.

Last December, the U.S. blacklisted Nusra Front.

ROBERT FORD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SYRIA: We blacklisted the Nusra Front because of its intimate links with al Qaeda in Iraq which is responsible for the killing of thousands of Iraqis, hundreds of Americans. We know what al Qaeda in Iraq did and is still doing, and we don't want it to start doing that in Syria.

WATSON: But with 70,000 Syrians now dead and little sign of American support for the opposition, even peaceful Syrian opposition groups criticize the U.S. move against Nusra.

JOUEJATI: The U.S. designation of Jabat al Nusra as a terrorist organization perhaps makes the United States feel better, but it really doesn't change things on the ground for Syrians.

WATSON: The Nusra Front has set up a cheap public bus service in rebel held parts of Aleppo while also distributing food and fuel to hungry, freezing Syrians, all of this perhaps contributed to why young Ibrahim Kabani (ph) appears to have joined the Nusra Front. He and other supporters of this staunchly Sunni Muslim group have a chilling message for members of the Syrian president's minority Alawite religious sect.

"Just wait Alawites," the little boy sings, "we will come to slaughter you."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATSON: Now Fionnuala, there are a number of reasons again why groups like the Jabat al Nusra and the Nusra Front are attracting more attention and support from Syrians, one of them is that the more secular Free Syrian Army brigades are dogged by allegations and accusations of corruption and just sheer banditry, while the Nusra Front has a much cleaner reputation, many Syrians -- many Syrians tell us.

And there are other issues here. Of course, their victories on the battlefield.

But there are tensions emerging between the Free Syrian Army and the Nusra Front, between some of the original activists who launched the protest movement. One of these men in Aleppo, Abu Mariam (ph) was detained by Nusra Front fighters last week. We spoke to him. He said he was flogged by them because he insulted the Islamic caliphate.

And then just this week a rebel group of courts that we have profiled in the past -- they call themselves the United Courts Council, they say they were raided by Nusra Front fighters and a number of their lawyers and judges detained and some even beaten and that they have lodged protests and condemned this action.

So we see within the opposition in Syria divisions emerging between some of the more Islamist radical groups like Nusra Front and some of the more secular groups on the ground, even as they continue to battle the Syrian regime -- Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: And Ivan, this scenario that you've just outlined, of course, is the reason the U.S. State Department gives for not supplying weapons to members of the resistance. Who has the momentum at the moment in this war? And isn't this the worst case scenario as far as the international community and the west is concerned that should the rebels win, there would be a schism as to who would actually take over?

WATSON: Well, certainly it's a war of attrition between the Syrian regime and the armed opposition.

Now when you talk to people across the ideological spectrum within the armed opposition, and the peaceful opposition, they insist that they are all united with one goal and that is to bring down the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But there are certainly divisions within that opposition movement and growing fears and concerns from some of the opposition activists I talk to about the rise of groups like Jabat al Nusra.

And there's a lot of condemnation of the U.S. government in particular and the west for having spoken out in support of the opposition, for western governments having condemned the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but offered very little material support to the armed opposition. And in that vacuum, groups like Nusra Front have taken the lead and are now attracting so many supporters in large part because they continue to win victory after victory, capturing Syrian government checkpoints, laying siege to Syrian air bases, and then winning after suffering losses.

That wins a lot of support on the street in opposition areas of Syria -- Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: Ivan, thank you very much indeed for outlining the scenario there for us among the rebels. Thank you very much for joining us.

Now it was in the last hour or so Lance Armstrong says he won't cooperate with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's investigation into drug cheating in cycling.

Now Mark McKay joins me for more.

So why the defiant turn from Armstrong? He had a deadline today. He had to let them know whether he will cooperate of not.

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: And USADA actually extended that deadline, waited to hear from Lance Armstrong and his attorneys. And they said no that Armstrong would not be cooperating with USADA officials, but they would be cooperating with other doping agencies.

Fionnuala, it's no secret that Armstrong and USADA have had this love- hate relationship through the years . For years, the American cyclist believed the organization had him in their sites. He called it a witch hunt at the time. Of course it all changed last year when USADA issued that scathing report that had Armstrong at the very center of the systematic doping program, they said, that was the biggest in sport.

Instead of fighting, Armstrong of course with a lifetime ban and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. Then of course he came clean in that much publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey saying he would cooperate with investigators. But he says he's still got to cooperate, but not with USADA saying, quote, for several reasons -- this is attorney -- Lance will not participate in USADA's efforts to selectively conduct American prosecutions that would demonize selected individuals while failing to address the 95 percent of the sport over which USADA has no jurisdiction.

So we've seen so many statements come out. And this is just the latest from Lance Armstrong, his people.

SWEENEY: And he clearly can't be compelled to share evidence, so are there any penalties that can exacted on him for not?

MCKAY: Well, he's already had -- he has a lifetime that has been imposed, so good luck and having that lifetime ban rescinded. There are also the lawsuits out there. There are two major lawsuits that could actually be impacted if Armstrong does testify under oath. But as of now, no, he will continue to be banned.

He doesn't want to get necessarily back into cycling, he would like to be a triathlete, but with him not -- with him failing to cooperate with USADA officials, good luck in getting that ban rescinded.

SWEENEY: All right, he obviously clearly thought it through. Thank you very much, Mark McKay.

Now in other world news a class action lawsuit has been filed against Carnival Cruise Lines for the events surrounding the disastrous Triumph cruise this month. Now the couple filing the suit alleged that Carnival knew or should have known that the ship had experienced mechanical issues in the past and that their negligence created what they call a severe risk of injury, illness and disease to its passengers. The case was filed this week in the U.S. state of Florida. A spokesman for Carnival did not comment.

Anger over three years of austerity returned to the streets of Greece today. Police in Athens estimate 35,000 demonstrators marched in the Greek capital telling the government they've had enough of wage and pension cuts, a major condition of Greece's bailout. A nationwide strike, the first of 2013, brought public transportation to a standstill.

Bulgarian prime minister and his cabinet have called it quits in the wake of demonstrations fueled by high energy prices. Boyko Borisov says he'll stay on until a caretaker government is appointed and early elections will be held.

CNN's Jim Boulden reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: People power spoke in Bulgaria on Wednesday. After days of street protests that have now turned violent, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said it was the threat that protests could get nastier that led to his decision to step aside.

"It's the people who put us in power," Borisov told parliament in his resignation speech, "and we give it back to them today," he declared.

Bulgaria is the latest in a long line of European countries to lose a government during austere times. From Ireland to Greece to Italy, governments were brought down in the wake of the euro crisis and attempts to get a grip on budget deficits through painful cuts.

The finance minister was let go on Monday in an attempt to quiet protesters. He said he will continue to support the outgoing prime minister and his majority party.

These protests started more than a week ago, sparked by high energy prices during the cold winter. As protests grew, people started to complain about low living standards. And many accuse the outgoing government of official corruption, something they've denied.

Bulgaria is the EU's poorest company per capita and is not in the euro. But its economy relies heavily on exports to countries like Germany and other euro countries, most now mired in recession.

But up to now, Bulgaria has in fact been praised by Brussels for its handling of austerity and for an economy that continues to grow. Bulgaria has not needed a bailout while Hungary and Romania have.

But issues remain. And now a newly formed government will have to tackle these problem, or not, ahead of an election this spring.

Jim Boulden, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SWEENEY: This is Connect the World. Coming up, smuggled for their organs, how German politicians are moving to end this brutal trade in the Sinai desert.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SWEENEY: An update now on a disturbing story that CNN first brought to you last year as part of our Freedom Project. Our documentaries Death in the Desert and Sand in the Sinai uncovered an organ smuggling racket that targeted African refugees in the Sinai Desert. Now as Frederik Pleitgen explains, some German lawmakers are debating what they can do to stop this inhumane trade.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Slavery, torture, rape, and murder: the horrible plight of many African refugees at the mercy of Bedouin people smuggling gangs in Sinai, taken hostage while trying to make their way to Israel from sub-Saharan Africa.

The abuses, even including organ theft, were brought to light into CNN Freedom Project documentaries and were at least in part what sparked German parliamentarian Annette Groth to take action.

ANNETTE GROTH, MEMBER OF GERMAN PARLIAMENT: I feel it's my duty, my responsibility to share this information, disseminate this information and to raise awareness of the public, of the Germans, of the German government.

PLEITGEN: Groth has put human trafficking and modern-day slavery in Sinai on the agenda of the German parliament's human rights committee, not the first time the member of the left wing party de Linke (ph) has pushed the issue.

In a response to a previous query, the German foreign ministry noted in late 2012 it contacted Egypt's ministry for health and population and requested that the authorities actively combat human and organ trafficking. So far, most efforts to help refugees who fall into the fangs of brutal people smugglers in Sinai are from the grass roots. Like the work of the Sinai based New Generation Foundation for Human Rights and its founder Hamdi al-Azzazi. And the anti-human trafficking network put in place by Bedouin sheiks to stop the kingpins from exploiting refugees.

But Annette Groth says it's time for Berlin to use its economic power to pressure Egyptian authorities.

GROTH: You have to clear off this and stop this trafficking and close the door to (inaudible) whatsoever. And this is possible. And then in an exchange, you know, I will, you know, give scholarships -- I'm not a military person so I won't say I will export arms, but other economic assistance.

PLEITGEN: Human rights groups estimate that thousands of African migrants have perished trying to make it to Israel in search of a better life. Now some German lawmakers are putting their plight on the parliament's agenda in the hope that this economically powerful nation will play a more active role fighting abuses in Sinai.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SWEENEY: And you can find out about CNN's commitment to end human trafficking and fight modern day slavery by going to CNN.com/freedom for our latest reporting on this global concern and see what you can do to take a stand, that's the CNN Freedom Project at CNN.com/freedom.

You're watching Connect the World live on CNN. The latest world news headlines just ahead, plus society needs more heroes, that's the declaration from the founder of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg talks exclusively to CNN about his new big project.

Also it isn't every day that a pope retires or every century even, so what is life like after the Vatican?

And imagine making a documentary with your smartphone and then seeing it win an Oscar nomination. The director of Searching for Sugarman tells us the tale.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SWEENEY: And this is CONNECT THE WORLD. The top stories this hour.

A judge in South Africa is expected to decide on Thursday whether to grant bail to Olympian Oscar Pistorius. A second day in court saw the defense undermine key testimony presented by the prosecution, which admitted it cannot refute Pistorius's version of events.

Syrian state media and opposition forces say a football player was killed when mortar shells hit a sports stadium in the capital of Damascus. In Aleppo, an apparent Scud missile demolished a residential neighborhood, killing at least 19.

Lance Armstrong will not testify before the US Anti-Doping Agency about his admitted use of banned performance-enhancing drugs. An attorney for Armstrong issued a statement earlier announcing the former cyclist's decision. The agency wanted Armstrong to testify under oath.

Bulgaria's prime minister and his cabinet have resigned. A caretaker government is expected to be selected on Thursday if the resignation is accepted. Bulgaria has been rocked with more than weeks of violent protests over high energy prices.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a mammoth new project. Along with the founder of 23andMe, he is pouring millions of dollars into research that could save your life. The breakthrough prize for health sciences was announced just a short time ago. Winners will receive a cash reward that's more than twice as big as the Nobel Prize.

In a CNN exclusive, my colleague Ali Velshi sat down with the two backers in San Francisco and started by asking Zuckerberg what got him so excited about this project.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: Well, I just think that society has a lot of heroes for a lot of different things, but we don't have enough heroes who are scientists and researchers and engineers, and these people are just doing great work, the people who won these prizes today.

And what we're trying to do is we're just trying to set up this institution and do what we can from the sidelines of that work to reward and recognize the amazing stuff that all these folks are doing to cure diseases and expand our understanding of humanity, and improve all these people's lives in different ways.

So, we feel like that if we can recognize that work, then it can inspire a lot more folks to do similar work as well.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And when we -- when you announced the first round of winners, I have to say, of them, I probably could identify or recognize two or three of the things that they're noted for doing. They are working on highly-specific things.

This isn't the 50 years later awarding somebody for finding the cure to cancer. This -- these are incremental improvements that are really changing people's lives?

ANNE WOJCICKI, FOUNDER, 23ANDME: Yes, no. And I think that's a really important distinction about this prize and what we want to encourage is that we want to encourage people to take risk, make major breakthroughs, and then be rewarded in the near-term after that.

So, for some of these individuals, their discoveries were relatively recent and they've done recent things that have been really significant, and we really want to get people in this -- in the life sciences to actually think big, take risk, and then recognize that there's a major reward that could come their way.

VELSHI: Now, your own family, Sergey carries a marker for Parkinson's disease, his mother has that. That's one of the things that you'd like to see some progress toward. What else are you looking at?

WOJCICKI: So, we're going to look at -- we're going to look across all of life sciences, but we're specifically interested, our family's always been really motivated to make major breakthroughs in Parkinson's disease.

And Parkinson's is really interesting to me because Sergey, my husband, he actually does have this genetic marker, LRRK2, that makes him high risk for Parkinson's disease.

So, it's a clue, and that's actually -- it's a really unusual situation where I actually think a lot of science is going to go, where we're going to start to understand that people have something earlier, and we actually have the opportunity now to eventually prevent it. And that's super exciting.

And that's one of the things I really want to encourage, is getting more and more people thinking about, wow, how -- we could potentially identify some of these people earlier, and then we can actually prevent disease rather than potentially curing it.

And my goal is to make anyone who's actually coming up with a therapy that you're taking to actually know who is that person who invented that.

VELSHI: And reward them and encourage others to go into it. You, by the way, your company that you founded, 23andMe, is that clue that many people can have, it's the first step in average people taking a swab and finding out what their genetic heritage is.

Mark, so you've got Anne, and you've got Sergey from Google, you've got Art Levinson from Apple, chairman of Apple, you've got Yuri Milner on this group that has financed a lot of companies that you might actually think of as competitors. This is sort of the face of the new technology. You're not all people who normally work together. Certainly in business, you're kind of competitors.

ZUCKERBERG: Yes, I think all these companies actually work together a little bit more than people think. But the big thing here is that science and technology are very closely related, and when you're building these information technology companies, the market rewards you and you can make a lot of money.

But a lot of these folks who are doing just such extraordinary work in science don't have the same opportunity, and because of that, I think it would just be a shame if a lot of folks who are growing up trying to figure out what they want to do now don't choose to go into such critical work because of that.

So, if by having these prizes we can give an incentive and can kind of make some of these folks a little more well-known as figures that some younger students want to grow up to be like, then we're doing our job here.

VELSHI: I have to ask you, I love what you do in 23andMe. But there are a lot of people who are suspicious of genetics and having all that information. And of course, at Google, I use it every day, but there are a lot of people who are suspicious that there's all sorts of information on there.

And you're a computer guy, and just last week you talked about how a hacker got into Facebook. So, we're in this world where we've got all sorts of information. I almost thought you'd be involved in giving out a prize to make sure information is all secure.

Tell my viewers who are watching right now about information and security and what they -- can you assure them that all of this stuff is safe?

ZUCKERBERG: On Facebook, all these companies spend a lot of time working on that. But it's obviously important for the health work that -- and life sciences work as well.

There's this mix between the genetics work to help understand what are the leading indicators for disease, and then work on diseases like lots of forms of cancer to help solve those things once you have those leading indicators.

And a lot of these folks that we were awarding today are just doing work on both sides of that to do -- to really push the state of the art forward on these things and improve a lot of people's lives around the world.

VELSHI: We know that of kids born today, many of them will live to be 100. How old -- how much can we extend life and how much should we extend life, in your opinion?

ZUCKERBERG: You're asking questions that are a bit above our pay grade, I think --

(LAUGHTER)

ZUCKERBERG: -- but --

VELSHI: I'm not sure there are a lot of people in the world above your pay grade.

(LAUGHTER)

ZUCKERBERG: The work that these folks are doing, they're each taking big risks and taking on these big projects, but each of these is a step forward for humanity, right? So these questions about where we're going to be in 10, in 20 years there, they're important, but I can guarantee you that people who are sick or who might have these issues want the cures that these folks are working on building.

And -- in order to get more of the best people and the smartest people who are going through school today to work on these problems to help cure these disease, I really hope that the work that we're doing here today can just be an institution and a signal and an inspiration to a lot of people.

(CROSSTALK)

VELSHI: You talked about like, the Nobel Prize, or it's a thing. People talk about the breakthrough prize. Somebody got awarded that, and that's a big deal.

ZUCKERBERG: Yes. I think about -- this prize isn't really about the people who are winning it today.

VELSHI: Right.

ZUCKERBERG: It's about the college and grad students who are in the lab trying to figure out what they should be researching.

VELSHI: Yes.

ZUCKERBERG: It's about younger kids who are still trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up.

VELSHI: And you --

(CROSSTALK)

WOJCICKI: And I --

VELSHI: -- and Sergey had a similar experience to yours, did things in the college dorm room that became big businesses.

WOJCICKI: Yes, but -- let me just add to that point. I will define success of this prize is when I go to you and I say, "Tell me your favorite basketball player, tell me your favorite celebrity, tell me your favorite scientist."

ZUCKERBERG: Yes. Yes.

WOJCICKI: That's awesome.

VELSHI: Right.

WOJCICKI: And that's success for this prize.

VELSHI: Let me ask you, Mark, what -- how does this work into -- I know it's not a commercial venture for you. But how does this fit into a Facebook world in five years or ten years when this thing is a really big deal?

ZUCKERBERG: Oh, it doesn't. There are thing that -- I focus on Facebook because I think it's a really good thing for the world and I really believe in our mission of helping people connect and making the world more open and connected.

But there are lots of things that I think would be awesome to see exist in the world that Facebook isn't the right vehicle to work on those things through. And it's awesome to be able to work with a lot of folks who are really smart and have been successful in other areas and drawn their experience to do things like this as well.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SWEENEY: And there we leave it, that exclusive interview, there, that Ali Velshi conducted within the last hour or so.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still ahead, his selection may have been divinely inspired, but when he steps down as pope, he'll have to deal with some worldly matters. We'll see what Benedict can expect as a pension when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SWEENEY: Hello, welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. Now, the Roman Catholic Church is facing an extremely unusual situation: what kind of retirement package is fitting for a pope? We now know that Benedict XVI can expect a monthly pension of around $3400, but we still don't know how he'll spend the money, since his new Vatican residence comes with free room and board.

Meanwhile, the pope's successor could be in place earlier than planned. Ben Wedeman is following all these developments from Rome.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Officials at the Vatican are starting to send out signals suggesting that they want to hold the conclave, that meeting of cardinals to elect the next pope, earlier than originally planned.

They had said just a few days ago they were looking at holding it on the 15th of March. Now it may be somewhat earlier. We're also starting to learn about some of the plans of this pope when he steps down.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): It's a retirement home being prepared to fit an ex-pope. A simple ex-convent ideal for prayer and contemplation, a change for a man who for the last eight years has served as the spiritual leader to more than a billion Catholics the world over.

And it's a brave new world for an institution where most popes have died on the job. There hasn't been an ex-pope in almost 600 years, and with Benedict XVI just days away from retirement, there are all sorts of details, great and small, that need to be worked out.

It's still unclear what his title will be. Perhaps Bishop Emeritus of Rome. His public role has yet to be defined. Vatican watcher Giacomo Galeazzi suggests the best way to avoid problems is for Benedict to serve discretely as an advisor to his successor.

"If he's not hidden from the world," he says, "he could become like an alternative reining pope, and that could disorient the faithful, who are already disturbed and upset by Benedict's resignation.

The papal retirement plan is fairly simple. Reports in the Italian media say he'll receive a monthly pension of 2,500 euro. It's around $3,400. Room, board, and domestic help will be provided by the Vatican.

Tailor Raniero Mancinelli has known Benedict for more than 25 years. He explains that the ex-pope will wear a robe along these lines, but a different color.

"I think," he tells me, "he'll wear simple black, like a simple priest. Busy with prayer and writing books." At least he'll have a room with a view.

WEDEMAN (on camera): It's going to take another two months to finish work on the new residence for the pope on the grounds of the Vatican. In the meantime, he will be relaxing at Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence of the pope just south of Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SWEENEY: Ben Wedeman reporting there from Rome. So, we've seen where Benedict will spend his retirement days, but how will he fill his hours? We can't exactly look to previous popes for clues, since the last one to step down did it back in, well, 1415, when the world was a much different place.

So, let's bring in an expert to help us speculate on life after the Vatican. Michael Walsh is a papal historian and longtime Vatican commentator. He joins us from London. Thank you for taking the time to join us.

This announcement by the pope with his resignation really set the cat among the pigeons, as it were. And he himself, I understand, is a great lover of cats. What insights can you give into it and his sensibility?

MICHAEL WALSH, PAPAL HISTORIAN: Well, he does like cats. It was -- he famously had a cat when he was the cardinal in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before he was elected pope.

And he was very upset because he wasn't allowed, so it was said, because he wasn't allowed to take it into the papal apartments. The cat would attack the hangings on the windows, which were too valuable in the papal apartments to allow him to do it.

SWEENEY: Oh, my goodness.

WALSH: No doubt he will --

(LAUGHTER)

WALSH: Well. Quite likely story.

SWEENEY: And do we know the fate of the cat?

WALSH: That cat has certainly destroyed, oh, hangings around our windows, so I can imagine that a papal cat -- a cardinational (ph) cat, rather, because there was never a papal one -- but anyway, I imagine he may very well get it back.

One of the things -- of course, he also apart from being a cat lover, he's a great music lover. He's very fond Mozart in particular and plays the piano extremely well. I'm not altogether sure -- I mean, he's getting on in years -- whether the arthritis has affected his fingers and so on, and so he can't play as well as he used to.

But I can imagine him certainly picking away on his grand piano and perhaps -- no, I'm sure -- putting on DVDs, CDs, rather.

SWEENEY: And do you get the impression that this is a man who will prefer to retreat into the background and we can hear the tinkering of piano keys far away from his retirement home in the distance, or will he be somebody who will occasionally choose to make public pronouncements on issues that he thinks vital to the Catholic Church?

WALSH: I'm absolutely sure -- I mean, I don't know, but I'm absolutely convinced that he won't do the latter. He won't go around making pronouncements. He couldn't possibly do it. It would add confusion upon confusion to -- for the next pope to go around.

The Vatican has been careful to point out that he lays down infallibility along with his papal tiara. So, he's -- he's not in a position to go around making statements, nor I have absolutely no thought that he would want to do so.

He's an academic. He's a rather retiring figure. He's not unfriendly, but he is rather a retiring figure, and he's been writing books while he was in the Vatican, while he was pope, and he may very well continue to do that.

SWEENEY: And do you think that we will, as was suggested by one commentator in Ben Wedeman's report there, choose to become an advisor to the next pope? Will the next pope particularly want his advice?

WALSH: No, I don't think that's true. I don't think it's at all likely. It's exactly for the reason that it would be confusing.

I can't help thinking, though, that when the conclave takes place on the 15th of March or earlier -- I suspect it will be earlier, because they don't really want to have to wait for the cardinals to turn up, which is why there's such a -- supposedly such a big gap between the disappearance of one pope and the coming of the next -- and the election of the next.

I could -- he's not going to be -- he's going to retire entirely into himself.

SWEENEY: Right.

WALSH: He won't be -- he'll be -- but he will be -- I can't help thinking that people will be looking over their shoulders at the pope in retirement.

SWEENEY: And just a quick final question: do you think that he will be able to add to his monthly stipend of $3400 a month by publishing some of these books that he's so fond of writing?

WALSH: Well, it's an interesting question, that. I -- of course he's been publishing them while he's been pope, but I think -- I understand that the royalties have all gone to the Vatican city-state, managed to get it out of the red.

So, whether the money will now go to him -- but as your correspondent rightly said, what's he going to need the money for? If he's going to live in retirement in this -- with everything found in this convent, I can't see that he will want anything at all. His personal secretary, for instance, is an archbishop with his own source of income.

SWEENEY: All right. This very spiritual man, obviously, will have his worldly goods well and truly catered for, at least on Earth.

(LAUGHTER)

SWEENEY: Michael Walsh, thank you very much, indeed, for taking the time to join us and give us that interesting insight into, perhaps, personal aspects of this pope that we might not be familiar with. Thank you.

Well, some Catholics are upset that Pope Benedict is resigning. Others believe it could be an opportunity for the church to move forward. And then, there are those who are nostalgic for the past. Watch what Max Foster discovered when he worked around a popular attraction in Rome.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is one of the oldest markets in Rome, it's the famous flower market. And tourists flock here. When they do, they like to buy a postcard or two. Let's have a look at their choices, then.

If they want one of the pope, they can get them, but inevitably they are of John Paul II. There he is. There he is again, and again, and again. You can get a Benedict one, but there's only one of him on his own. The other one is when he's with John Paul II. So, it gives you a sense, really, of which was the more popular pope.

Hans Heinrich (ph), you're a German tourist, you've come to Rome to have a look at the market, as many people do. Interesting that you met John Paul II.

HANS HEINRICH, GERMAN TOURIST: In an audience with about 30 people who were received by him and personally greeted each and every one.

FOSTER: And you prefer him to the German pope?

HEINRICH: I would say not that I prefer him, but his personality was so overwhelming and he is absolutely charismatic.

FOSTER: There are more postcards of him --

HEINRICH: Of course.

FOSTER: It's down to a star with him, in a way, the fact that he was a bigger figure.

HEINRICH: Well, let's -- he was -- whether he was a bigger figure in the long run, I cannot judge. But he was very popular in particular here in Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SWEENEY: Max Foster reporting there. Up next on CONNECT THE WORLD, got an idea for a documentary? Well, you might end up walking the red carpet. Why? Because the director of "Searching for Sugar Man" is. We'll be talking to him about his hopes for Oscar night next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SWEENEY: He still can't believe it. The filmmaker behind "Searching for Sugar Man" is getting his tuxedo ready for Sunday night's Academy Awards, and he'll be carrying the SmartPhone that helped him land a Best Documentary nomination.

In a week-long look at the directors who've made the Oscars' short list, my colleague Becky Anderson brings us a remarkable tale of true humility.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If ever there is an air of intrigue and mystery around a pop artist, it is around the artist known as Rodriguez.

(GUITAR MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thought he was like the intercity poet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was this wandering spirit around the city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's like a wise man, a prophet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many records do you think he's still remembering?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In America, six.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Virtually unknown in his native USA, this Detroit singer/songwriter found fame in apartheid-era South Africa, a hero. His lyrics of oppression, the soundtrack to the anti-apartheid movement.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The message it had was be anti-establishment. Really, the first opposition to apartheid, they'll tell you, that they were influenced by Rodriguez.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Then he disappeared, his music banned. There were rumors that he'd committed suicide, until years later, some obsessive fans went in search of Sugar Man. Malik Bendjelloul's documentary is the story of that search.

MALIK BENDJELLOUL, DIRECTOR, "SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN": It was this lost masterpiece, like a Cinderella story. It was a fairytale kind of, and I never heard anything like that before in my life, a story that has -- that was so rich and true. It was amazing.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I met a girl in Dearborn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found him! We found him!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Rodriguez was working as a manual laborer in Michigan, unaware that on another continent, he was a rock star.

BENDJELLOUL: He doesn't like to be interviewed because he can't speak about himself. And he asked us, almost Zen-like, almost like a Buddhistic kind of charisma.

ANDERSON: Reconnected with his South African fanbase, Rodriguez made a comeback tour.

BENDJELLOUL: Now he does earn a lot of money. He's touring South Africa. Right now, he plays to 50,000 people in South Africa. But I tell you -- he gives away the money still because he never had it and he doesn't need it. And he knows that the one who doesn't need money is a true free man.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We didn't know who this guy was. All our other rock stars we had all the information we needed. But this guy? There was nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Making the film was a challenge.

ANDERSON (on camera): The filming process was pretty unique. You were not using by any stretch of the imagination the most sophisticated technology, were you?

BENDJELLOUL: I was not, no. Actually, this one story, I started to shoot with a Super-8 camera, which is in the end, even that was too expensive for me, and I was like, how am I going to finish?

And then one day, I realized that my -- there was this app for the iPhone which was called a Super-8 app, and it was $1. And I was like, let's try. And actually, it worked very well. And I actually, I used that for the film.

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

RODRIGUEZ, SINGER/SONGWRITER: Thanks for keeping me alive!

(CROWD CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CILP)

ANDERSON (voice-over): This budget film is now one of the hottest documentaries of the year, racking up awards worldwide.

ANDERSON (on camera): Why do you think that the film has been so successful?

BENDJELLOUL: It's a touching story, that it -- it hits you in the heart. And also, he is such a loveable character. Everyone loves -- you fall in love with him, because a person that you actually can really love.

ANDERSON: Becky Anderson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SWEENEY: And what is this year's best picture? We want to know your Oscar picks. Just log onto cnn.com to vote for your favorite. You can also print your ballot and follow along with the Oscar broadcast on February 24th. And for complete Academy Awards coverage, visit cnn.com/entertainment.

And in tonight's Parting Shots, a lucky rescue for a three-year-old who found herself in a bit of a squeeze. As you can see, firefighters are working feverishly to free the toddler after she got stuck in a washing machine.

You probably noticed by now that the little girl from eastern China's Shandong province didn't cry. In fact, she hardly made any sound at all as her rescuers cut her out of the washer. It took a while, but the toddler was eventually freed unharmed. Happy ending.

I'm Fionnuala Sweeney, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thank you for watching.

END