Return to Transcripts main page


U.S. State Department Cools Rhetoric; Facebook Announces Android Partnership; A Look Behind the Scenes Of PSG With Owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi

Aired April 4, 2013 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Time to dial it down.


VICTORIA NULAND, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: This does not need to get hotter.


ANDERSON: The United States tries to calm tensions as North Korea moves a missile to its east coast. Tonight, how real is the danger here?

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

ANDERSON: Also ahead on the show, a mystery of the university, scientists shine new light on dark matter.



PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: We're about an hour before kickoff. And how do you normally feel before the game. A little nervous?


ANDERSON; Pedro meets the bankroll behind Beckham's team. A rare look at what it's like to own a prestigious football club.

First up this evening, an attempt to cool down the crisis over North Korea. The United States is urging Kim Jong un to take a, quote, "different course" after communications intercepts suggests his country may be planning to launch a mobile ballistic missile. Well, South Korea also warns that the North has moved a medium ranged missile to its east coast, possibly for a test firing or military drill.

The U.S. State Department says there is no need for things to get even, and I quote, "hotter." It offered a different tone on the crisis today.

Let's bring in Elise Labott for details.

It does seem, Elise, that the days a long time in the west's politics with North Korea. If you pick apart the rhetoric over the past 24 hours, what's the upshot from Washington?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, I think that the U.S., the Obama administration really did not anticipate that things would go so heated, and that they really thought that everything went too far. Now the State Department is saying let's dial it back a little, let's see if we can't cool down the rhetoric and move towards a diplomatic path.

Let's take a listen to State Department spokesman -- person -- Victoria Nuland at the briefing today trying to cool down the temperature.


NULAND: But this does not need to get hotter. It can -- we can change course here if the DPRK will begin to come back into compliance with its international obligations, will begin to cool things down, take a...


LABOTT: And Becky, you heard Secretary of State John Kerry kind of introducing this new tone on Tuesday when he said North Korea has to stop its threat, but the U.S. is willing to get back to the table. They know North Korea is really hurting economically and they can help North Korea with its economic woes. So I think that specifically John Kerry is trying to introduce a bit of realism into the situation. They've been down this road before. They know that North Korea needs some kind of off ramp that they can see to move towards a diplomatic path.

But at the same time, they need this deterrent, all these things that the U.S. has been putting in the region, because they really don't know what North Koreans are up to, but they do think that eventually the North Koreans are going to run out of steam. They need to be prepared for diplomacy when that happens, Becky.

ANDERSON: Be that as it may, the British Prime Minister David Cameron seems to be somewhat off message. If Washington is trying to cool things off somewhat, have a listen at least to what he said earlier today on a visit to Scotland.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: North Korea does now have missile technology that is able to reach, as they put it, the whole of the United States. So if they're able to reach the whole of the United States, they can reach Europe, too. They can reach us, too.


ANDERSON: How is that going to go down in Washington?

LABOTT: Well, I think everyone realizes that the North Koreans are very dangerous. And so that's why they're saying they need a deterrent, but I think even the British recognize that eventually the goal is to try and get some kind of North Korean disarmament going and that's why the United States ultimately is not going to solve this militarily. It has to get back to the table.

I'm sure there will be some calls to London. Let's try and cool down the temperature. Let's not send any more threatening rhetoric. I think everyone realizes it's raising a little too high.

ANDERSON: All right. Well, possibly you've got London on the phone there. Why don't you pick that up? We'll let you go.


ANDERSON: Thank you for that. Out of Washington, Elise this evening.

Let's get more now on this missile that is apparently being moved to North Korea's east coast. A lot of what we're hearing is sketchy. We know we don't have all the details.

Tom Foreman, though, is joining us from Washington. And with me in the studio tonight Alessio Patalano, an expert from King's College London.

Tom, let's start with you. What more do we know about this missile and its whereabouts at this point?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're very correct -- you're very correct, Becky. We do not know from U.S. military intelligence specifically where it is. We know that we're talking about the east coast of North Korea, so somewhere along about a 250 mile stretch, as we'd call it here. That's where it is. We think military intelligence may know where it is, but we don't know at this moment.

We have a pretty good idea, though, of what kind of missile we're talking about. Let me put away the map here and bring in a model, because this is a very simple, stripped down type of missile. We believe that it's called the Musudan. And it was originally a Soviet sub missile. You can see how this profile would fit a submarine launch. There's also a variation of this that is used in Iran called the Shahab missile.

These come in many different sizes. This is not at all life size. Let me bring in some states and put away the model and we'll talk about that some.

This can stretch out from around 40 to 60 feet in length, so very different sizes. It can carry a payload of up to about 2.5 tons. That's important, because the payload in a missile like this is the explosive, the bomb. Could it be nuclear? Yes, it could be nuclear. But the truth is there's not much sense in the North Koreans trying a nuclear payload for a lot of reasons, including the fact their nuclear program is so young it would probably be less reliable. But it could be HE, high explosive.

A high explosive payload, Becky, on a missile of this size could actually pack quite a huge wallop if it went to its target -- Becky.

ANDERSON: All right, Tom, briefly the question may not be just simply what it can do, but also how far it can go. Some pretty sort of -- I don't know, let's call it fairly evasive message from the States today with some pretty emphatic comment from David Cameron out of the UK. What's your sense?

FOREMAN: Well, I think the simple truth is if you're talking about this kind of missile, we do have a pretty good idea of how far it would go. I'll bring in a map here and show you.

The simple truth is if you took the range of this, it can be a one or two stage missile, by the way. If it's a two stage missile, those are inherently harder to make perform properly. But nonetheless, if it were at the outer range of its performance for this type, you're talking about some 2,500 miles out here. So you would not reach targets like Hawaii or Alaska or California, but you would reach, for example, Guam where the United States has huge assets in terms of a bomber base. It would reach places like Japan. You could certainly reach all of South Korea. That's part of the concern.

And Becky, very frankly, one of the real concerns here is if one of these things get launched amid all this talk of a test, nobody is going to know if it's a test or if it's the real deal when it takes off.

And these missiles, by the way, do not have a guidance system. Once they're fired, they're simply pointed, calculated, and shot. They don't adjust in flight. If they're flying toward a target, they have to be treated as if they are attacking that target.

ANDERSON: All right, Tom, thank you for that.

Where does all of this end, then? After weeks of threats and warlike rhetoric, does North Korea's young leader now have to do something to save face of his own people? Alessio is with me, a lecturer at the Department of War Studies at King's College London.

How do you read all of this?

ALESSIO PATALANO, KINGS COLLEGE LONDON: Well, I think this is part of -- there's different levels of interpretation, of course. But I think the first thing to say is that this leader is very different from his father and his grandfather, particularly his father, because he had a relatively short period of time before he took control of North Korea. As a result, we're looking at someone who doesn't have the full credentials that are required for the leader of North Korea. So what we're looking at is a phase in which he's still consolidating his power.

Now this is a very important difference, which in this case would explain some of the chest thumping and the more aggressive posture that he is having.

ANDERSON: It's been fascinating to listen to this sort of bellicose rhetoric, let's be frank, on both sides over the past sort of 48, 72 hours. It seems, the states at least, at this point is trying to sort of dial things down somewhat.

What we haven't introduced into the mix, and I think we should do this evening is the attitude and the sense from China and Russia also, you know, big players in what would be the sort of -- you know, foreign policy sort of analysis of what's going on here. You get the sense that China is pretty cross with not just North Korea, but also the States about the sort of, you know, ratcheting up of what's been going on.

Talk me through -- pick apart what we know at this point?

PATALANO: Well, I think at this point what we know is that over the past few months we looked at a pretty important change in the standard position that the Chinese had. For several years, whether the North Koreans went on (inaudible) to do tests or missile launch, you'd have a very neutral position coming out of Beijing.

Now this -- this past test in December and now the position is very different. You can get a sense that Beijing is growing frustrated with North Korea. And I suppose part of the problem here is also because there is a bit less -- I think they're having a lot more trouble in reading Kim Jong un.

ANDERSON: What's the significance of all of that? Because at the end of the day, China could turn off the taps as far as fuel and food is concerned to North Korea. And surely the administration there knows that.

I mean, is there a direct line of negotiation going on? You know, we're looking at these bilat lines between South Korea and Washington at the moment. You know, where does China fit in to all of this? What's its influence ultimately?

PATALANO: I think it's a double-edged sword in the sense that as you say, overnight they can just decide to switch, you know, the flipper switch and then North Korea finds itself in a very difficult position. Does that mean they do have control over North Korean actions? Not necessarily.

ANDERSON: They don't want a war at this point, do they?

PATALANO: I totally think they don't. I think the status quo, you know, a situation that is a lot more under control is in the benefit of everyone. But I think what they have to very careful with is not for the weaken the position of Kim Jong un. And I think that's where the situation becomes a little bit tricky, because definitely they do have influence, but they don't want to overplay their hand.

ANDERSON: It's going to be an interesting couple of weeks or couple of days, at least. Alessio, thank you very much indeed, for that.

Later on CNN, a special edition of the Situation Room as Wolf Blitzer takes a closer look at this North Korean crisis. That is tonight at 11:00 London time, midnight in Berlin, right here on CNN.

Still to come this hour, new clashes break out in the West Bank as fury deepens over the deaths of three Palestinians, including two teenagers killed by Israeli troops.

Is Oscar Pistorius back on the track? His family says, don't believe it.

And the announcement the world was waiting for. Find out where Facebook is heading next.

All that and plenty more after this.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you. Welcome back.

Now mourning mixed with outrage on the streets of the West Bank today. Thousands of Palestinians turn out of the funerals of two teenagers killed in clashes with Israeli troops. And an elderly man who died of cancer in an Israeli prison. For more, Atika Shubert is with us from Jerusalem.

Atika, you spent the day in the West Bank, how would you describe the mood?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, definitely anger. There's a lot of frustration and deep seated anger that's been bubbling to the surface. And it's really focused on the death of Maysara Abu Hamdyeh. This is a man who had very high standing among Palestinians. He was considered a retired general of the preventative security services. And he was given a full military funeral today.

And so emotions were running very high. So perhaps not a surprise that we then saw clashes less than an hour after he was buried in the town of Hebron. This is a very volatile town, so not surprising that we see that anger bubbling to the surface.

What seems to be happening is a lot of this anger is focused on the issue of prisoner's rights. Abu Hamdyeh died serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison. And he died of cancer. Now according to his family, they believe that he was neglected, that the cancer wasn't diagnosed until February. They say if it had been detected sooner, that they could have had some kind of treatment. Israeli prison authority says that they gave him all the necessary treatment they could, but they simply -- that the cancer was simply too advanced.

So, that kind of anger and that kind of frustration has bubbled to the service in the form of these clashes that we're seeing across the West Bank.

ANDERSON: Atika Shubert here in Jerusalem for you this evening. Atika, thank you for that.

Karima El Mahroug, or Ruby the Heartstealer as she's better known made a tearful plea for the world's media this Thursday saying that she never had sex with former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Speaking outside a court in Milan, the now 19-year-old demanded to be allowed to give evidence in the ongoing trial and slammed prosecutors for waging, as she put it, psychological war against her.

Berlusconi is accused of paying El Mahroug for sex when she was underage. Both deny sexual conduct.

Well, Cyprus's new finance minister says that the country's economy is undergoing shock therapy. Speaking to CNN, Haris Georgiadis says Cyprus has no intention of leaving the euro, but the minister offered a warning to his fellow citizens.


HARIS GEORGIADIS, CYPRUS MINISTER OF FINANCE: We are in for a rough ride. And nobody can be prepared, really, for such an unprecedented correction this shock therapy that we are undergoing.


ANDERSON: The finance minister of Cyprus speaking to you at CNN just an hour or so ago.

After endless rumors, Facebook didn't today unveil a new phone. It did, though, unveil new software that integrates into the operating system of Android phones. Now in plain English, that means Facebook notifications, images, and messages will now appear on your Android home screen instead of via downloadable app.

Let's take a look at what investors thought of that You can see Facebook's trading for the day. And you'll see that shares did rise. The announcement came at around 1:00 Eastern time. And shares certainly up off the back of that, or at least over the period of time after that announcement.

Shares up some sort of three odd percent over the trading day. If you compare that to the Dow, it was up about two-thirds of one percent. So certainly some people buying into potentially what they heard today.

Let's bring in CNN's Dan Simon from Facebook's headquarters at Menlo Park in California. Break this down for us, Dan, what do we learn from Facebook today? What's the headline out of all of this?

DAN SIMON, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the headline is if you're somebody who loves using Facebook, you're obsessed with it, you're always checking it, then I think this announcement will appeal to you, Becky. A couple of quick disclosures, though. No broadcast cameras were allowed in for this event, so what you're seeing is the Facebook provided stream. The other disclosure is if you're an iPhone user, this does not apply to you, this is only for Android users. And you put it correctly, what this does is it takes over your home screen.

So now the way it works with your mobile phone is your experience is based on apps. And what Facebook wants to do is they want to make apps -- they want to de-emphasize them. They want people, as they put it, to come first. So everything that you see in your Facebook news stream, so photos and updates and things that people share on Facebook, they're going to appear right on your home screen. So that's what this is all about.

ANDERSON: All right, so you've got a sense of convenience on one side, you've got the sense of commoditizing all of us to a certain extent even more than we already are on the other side. You know, ultimately, for the world of mobile technology, is this a big deal or not?

SIMON: Well, I think it's a big deal for Facebook. The elephant in the room here is Facebook wants to make more money off mobile users. A lot of people, of course, use Facebook on their mobile devices. In fact, they're using it more than on the desktop. But they haven't figured out how to monetize in an effective way, yet. About a quarter of Facebook's revenue now is coming from mobile devices. So they have to figure out how to make money from all these people, checking Facebook regularly on their phone.

Will it force other people to come up with unique strategies to make their app front and center on the home page? I think you may see that. And I think it, you know, may cause, you know, Google, for instance, to come up with their thing where you see it on the homepage, for instance. But I think we're just going to have to wait and see how this plays out, Becky.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. Dan, thanks for that.

One of the world's most respected film critics, Roger Ebert, has died. That news coming from the U.S. to us from the Chicago Sun Times, which syndicated his column. Ebert had recently announced that he suffered a relapse of cancer.

He was the co-host of the At the Movies TV show until 2010, a weekly film review show that polarized the thumbs up, thumbs down verdict. He was 70 years old.

Live from London, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you.

Coming up, they now have one of the world's most famous football stars playing for them. Up next, we go behind the scenes to meet the man behind Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, a rare look inside what is one of the world's most prestigious soccer environments.


ANDERSON: 23 minutes past 9:00 in London.

Right, some news just coming into CNN for you. Nine people have died and more than 40 have been injured following the collapse of a building in the Indian city of Thane northeast of Mumbai. The incident took place on Thursday evening in a seven story building that was under construction we understand. And according to Mumbai authorities, was illegally occupied up to the fourth floor. As we get more on that, of course, we will bring it to you. That just coming into CNN.

Well, they recently picked up David Beckham and are still in the running for the Champion's League title. Things, it seems, are looking up at Paris Saint-Germain. But their young Qatari chairman says there is still a lot more to do. Have a listen to this.


PINTO: Nasser, how are you?


PINTO: I'm doing well. Good to see you again.

AL-KHELAIFI: Good to see you.

PINTO: We're about an hour before kickoff. And how do you normally feel before the game. A little nervous?

AL-KHELAIFI: It's the most difficult time for me before the match, an hour, hour-and-a-half, because you're in just a single room, just walking around.

PINTO: Do you talk to the players before the game at all?

AL-KHELAIFI: Just motivate them sometimes. I don't like to talk to much, to be honest.

PINTO: Your ritual before a game. Do you have any superstitions maybe?

AL-KHELAIFI: Yeah, I don't go out. I stay home just watching TV. Just try to relax. No meeting. I don't like to talk to people, just relax.

PINTO: You don't wear special socks or special bracelet or something like that for good luck?

AL-KHELAIFI: If I lose any match I don't wear the same suit.

PINTO: Really.

AL-KHELAIFI: All the same, even shoes.

PINTO: OK, well that's good you don't lose many matches. You don't have to get too many suits.

Nasser, kickoff is right around the corner. I'll let you go. Go luck for the match.

AL-KHELAIFI: Thank you. Thank you, guys.

PINTO: Nasser's priority at PSG has always been winning the French league title. They're top of the table right now, but that doesn't stop the chairman attending every home game. The tension around the ground is palpable, especially when you're playing reigning champions Montpelier.

No goals in the first half. And as the players headed back to the dressing room, a nervous Nasser retired to his private quarters just next to the VIP lounge which is where some of the high profile guests in attendance talked to me about the owner.

The mayor of Paris tells me how passionate Nasser is about the club and the city, while the general manager was equally complimentary.

JEAN-CLAUDE BLANC, GENERAL MANAGER, PSG: I think it's a mix of passion and professionalism. I think he's very -- he's very good at mixing the two. It's very hard to be very effective in his job as chairman of a major football club if you don't have the passion.

PINTO: Back to the action and Nasser had to wait until the 80th minute before he could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Zlatan Ibrahimovic setting up substitute Kevin Gameiro who scored what would be the game winning goal. Three valuable points for PSG who are on course to win their first league title since 1994.

After the full time whistle, Nasser gave me his thoughts on the game.

The good news is you don't have to change suits and shoes, because you didn't lose tonight. But it was pretty tough, wasn't it?

AL-KHELAIFI: It was really tough. You know, Montpelier is a good team. They're improving in the last six to seven matches. You know, they've been recovered from the beginning of the season. They didn't start the season very well. You know, we missed a lot, to be honest in first half, as you watched. So I'm very happy that, you know, finally we scored and we have all the three points.

PINTO: So what do you do after a game normally? How do you relax?

AL-KHELAIFI: I go back, you know, to my place and just relax.

PINTO: Nasser, great to spend some time with you here behind the scenes of PSG. And good luck for Barcelona.

AL-KHELAIFI: Thank you very much.

PINTO: I think you're going to need it.

AL-KHELAIFI: Oh, we will. Thank you very much.

PINTO: Thanks.


ANDERSON: Well, they did all right against Barca in the end, didn't they? 2-2 I think in the first leg.

All right, well while PSG get to enjoy life in the Champion's League this season, the quarterfinals of the Europa League are underway right now. Let's get more from Alex Thomas.

Two British teams, of course, Chelsea and Spurs playing. But we need to remember they're playing opponents, of course, can't just be partisan here. How are they doing?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: No, but it's the quarterfinals. And there's three of the four matches have British involvement actually. So, Chelsea-Rubin Kazan is 2-1 to Chelsea. They're the home team. They're currently playing at Stamford bridge. Torres amongst the goal scorers, would you believe, mask and all?

Tottenham Hotspur have just recovered from 2-0 down at home to FC Basel, or Barr (ph), depending on which part of Switzerland you come from. And so it's now 2-2, but two crucial away goals for the Swiss team there. They look really swift and nimble, giving the Spurs all sorts of problems, but at least Andres Villas-Boas's team players have pulled their way back into contention there.

Benfica, who have been unbeaten all season in the Portuguese league and expected to breeze past Newcastle United were 1-0 down. And 1-1 a short time ago in that one when last I heard. And it's now 2-1 to Benfica, I'm hearing. So the Portuguese form has shown so far with a few minutes to go there.

And Fenerbahce-Lazio 0-0 was the last score I saw heard in that game between the Turkish club and the Italians there.

ANDERSON: Good stuff, all right. All exciting stuff in what may would consider the lesser...

THOMAS: Yeah, second tier. I mean, when it was the UEFA Cup it was always regarded as quite interesting one, because the up and coming teams often won that. And they would go through to the European Cup and make a bit of a name for themselves. Now it's the Europa League versus the Champion's League...

ANDERSON: ...Spurs fan or a Chelsea fan or a Newcastle fan tonight, it's the biggest thing that's going.


THOMAS: It's still a trophy.

ANDERSON: It's still a trophy.

Alex, Lance Armstrong, it appears attempting a sporting comeback.

THOMAS: Yeah, this is where I turn my notes over to the Lance Armstrong stuff, because remarkable isn't it? 41 years old, he gives the big interview to Oprah confessing after years of stringent denials that, yes, he did dope. He's been banned for life, of course, from cycling, but that ban has been confirmed by WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, which means effectively he's banned from all sports. And he was trying to enter a swim meet at his local town of Austin, Texas this weekend. And thinking that it was so lower-grade that it wouldn't fall under these rules.

But FINA, the world swimming body, have got involved -- you'd doubt they'd ever get involved with such a small swimming championship -- and said no, you still fall under the WADA code, and they urged organizers not to let him compete. Organizers confirmed they wouldn't let him compete.

And then, they also said that Armstrong's people have been in touch and said look, we don't want to make it a media circus for you guys, we'll withdraw.

ANDERSON: He'll be back. I know he will.

THOMAS: At some stage, somewhere.

ANDERSON: The guy's -- got some staying power. All right, thank you. "World Sport" at the bottom of the next hour. Next is world news headlines, of course, up after this here on CNN. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson out of London for you this hour. These are the top headlines.

The US government says the North Korean crisis doesn't need to get any hotter. It's urging Kim Jong-un to take a different course after North Korea reportedly moved a missile to its east coast. Now, South Korea believes the missile could be test fired or used for a military drill.

Fury in the West Bank as three Palestinians are mourned. One was a prisoner who died in Israeli custody, the others were teens shot during clashes with the Israeli army in the wake of the prisoner's death. The Palestinian Authority president says he holds Israel responsible for the escalation in violence.

Nine people have died and more than forty have been injured in the collapses of a building in India, northeast of Mumbai. The seven-story building was under construction. The authorities there say it was illegally occupied.

China's state-run media confirms that a fifth person has now died from a new strain of Bird Flu. The Xinhua News Agency says 11 people have been infected with the H7N9 virus, a strain of the flu not previously detected in humans. Our David McKenzie is in Beijing with details on what many think is causing the outbreak.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Local and global health authorities have taken notice of this new strain of Bird Flu that's affected several people in the southeast of China. They're saying it causes severe respiratory illness, and a few have died.

But I want to show you what they believe is the source of this new strain. They're calling the strain H7N9, and it's believed to be an avian flu that people contracted most likely from poultry products.

Now, that doesn't mean that people can get sick in a place like this where the health standards are actually very strict, and they believe it can't be transmitted from human to human. But they say it must be watched very closely, and they're mobilizing testing kits and starting work on a vaccine.

LI JIHONG, DEPUTY HEAD OF LIVESTOCK DEPARTMENT, PENGSHAN COUNTY (through translator): The public is concerned about the information regarding those in close contact with those infected. We are tracing many close contacts and they are all under strict medical observation. No one who was in contact with the confirmed cases has exhibited symptoms during the quarantine period.

MCKENZIE: There's a lot of distrust with authorities here in China because of previous outbreaks, which the information wasn't spread effectively to the people.

David McKenzie, CNN, Beijing.


ANDERSON: And that is a wrap of your headlines this hour. Now, how would you feel if your own sibling tried to take your life? If he attacked you with an ax and then called it "honor"? Well, my colleague Anna Coren looks at the horrific plight of a 17-year-old girl who survived just such an attack.


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Slouched over in a chair, her sullen eyes staring at the ground, Gul Meena is a teenager filled with shame. Pulling back her pretty headscarf, she reveals deep scars across her face, her 17 years a life of pain and suffering.

"My family married me off when I was 12 years old," she tells me. "My husband was 60. Every day, he would beat me. I would cry and ask him to stop, but he just kept on beating me."

This small, fragile girl pleaded with her parents to help, but they refused.

"My family would hit me when I complained. They told me, 'You belong in your husband's house. That is your life.'"

After five years of abuse, Gul Meena finally gathered the courage to leave her husband in Pakistan, running away with a young Afghan man to Jalalabad across the border five months ago. But according to strict Islamic customs, this is the ultimate crime.

"I knew my husband and family would be looking for me. I knew we were in danger."

Days later, her brother tracked them down. Armed with an ax, he hacked to death Gul Meena's friend, and then struck his own sister 15 times, cutting open her face, head, and parts of her body.

COREN (on camera): And what about on your face? Do you have pain in your face?


GUL MEENA, ATTACK VICTIM (through translator): Yes.

COREN (voice-over): Left for dead, Gul Meena was brought to the emergency department of this hospital by a stranger.


COREN: With part of her brain hanging out of her skull, neurosurgeon Dr. Khalid held out little help.

ZAMIRUDDIN KHALID, NEUROSURGEON (through translator): We took her to the operating theater, and she'd already lost a lot of blood. Her injuries were horrific and her brain had been affected. We didn't think she would survive.

COREN (on camera): Due to the lifesaving treatment by the doctors and staff at this hospital, Gul Meena miraculously survived. But the problem was, who would care for her, considering her family had disowned her.

Now, the government and authorities knew full well that she was here, but due to the stigma and circumstances, they wanted nothing to do with her.

COREN (voice-over): For two months, she stayed in this hospital, doctors donating money to pay for her medicine. Finally, a women's organization took her in, giving her the love and care she so desperately needed.

Gul Meena is one of thousands of women living in shelters across Afghanistan, many of them victims of attempted honor killings. And while they try to start a new life, for this uneducated, frightened girl, it's going to be an enormous struggle.

MANIZHA NADERI, WOMEN FOR AFGHAN WOMEN: If we send her to her family, she's going to be killed. As far as the family's concerned, she's dead.

COREN: And at times, Gul Meena wishes she was, having attempted suicide several times since arriving at the shelter.

MEENA (through translator): I want to kill myself, but they won't let me. When I look at the mirror, I put one hand to the side of my face. People tell me not to do that, but I'm so ashamed.


ANDERSON: Well, just before this show, I spoke to Anna Coren in Kabul. She told me that not only is this not an isolated incident, but according to the UN, violence against women in Afghanistan is on the up despite foreign troops being on the ground.

I went on, then, to ask her if the situation there, to her mind, is worse than it was before troops moved in more than a decade ago. This is what Anna told me.


COREN: I don't know whether they're worse, but I don't think they've improved the way that the international community had hoped they would have improved. You walk down the streets of Kabul and there are plenty of women walking around with headscarves and not in the burqas that perhaps you would have seen back in 2001, fully covered up and not being able to show themselves.

So, I think perhaps things have changed in that regard. For sure, there are women going to work, but at the end of the day, violence is -- is prevalent across this country, particularly against women. And honor killings, they do happen on a regular basis, and many of them are not reported.

The Karzai government, the government here in Afghanistan, they say they're doing things for the women's rights, they say that their women's affairs department is looking after women and their issues.

But in actual fact, there are some ministers within the government who think very little of these shelters. In fact, they have come out publicly saying that they are places of immorality and prostitution.

And Becky, I can assure you that having visited these shelters firsthand that that is -- that couldn't be further from the truth. These places help these women rebuild their lives and give them some sort of hope towards the future.


ANDERSON: Your report out of Kabul this evening. Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up next, as the French senate debates same-sex marriage, we're going to take a look at how the issue is playing out in other countries around the world. Stay here.


ANDERSON: The French senate has begun a debate on a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry and to adopt. Now, France's lower house has already approved the legislation, but the bill now faces stiff opposition from religious and social conservative groups.

The proposal has sparked a wave of protest in recent weeks, some of them pretty violent. The senate debate is expected to continue into next week. Well, the bill was one of French president Francois Hollande's election pledges, but the issue has sharply divided public opinion.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I am for it. I think in any case, society is evolving and is headed towards this and that we can only head in this direction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm for it. I think it's a matter of equality.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think people should be free to choose in their personal lives whatever they want, and even for adoption, I believe that children can be very happy with two parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's nothing to do with religion. We're talking about civil marriage and not religious weddings, because that is the basis of marriage in France and Western Europe in general.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Gay marriage. I could understand this, but for the issue of children, I don't find this normal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I find that I am a little bit against it because if there are two sexes, this is not for nothing. And secondly, it is not good for the development of humanity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): For me, children must have one mother and one father for their well-being and for them to flourish in their childhood.


ANDERSON: An issue that is contentious and polarizing not just in France. On Tuesday, Uruguayan senators voted overwhelmingly to support a marriage equality bill despite vocal opposition from the Catholic Church. CNN's Rafael Romo joins me live for more on this.

First, I want to take a look, Rafael, at your report on just how this issue is playing out in the Latin American region. Have a look at this.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): Senators debated for almost eight hours, but in the end, the bill sailed through by a 23 to 8 vote. The vote puts Uruguay one step closer to becoming the second country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage after Argentina.

RAFAEL MICHELINI, WIDE FRONT PART SENATOR (through translator): Today we have all become better Uruguayans because we got rid of this prohibition, because we now have a more just legislation, and because we can now raise the flag of freedom even higher.

ROMO: Among those objecting were senators who said Uruguay is getting away from its roots as a conservative Catholic country.

LUIS ALBERTO LACALLE, NATIONAL PARTY SENATOR (through translator): Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and our laws have always reflected that, following the traditions of Western civilization.

ROMO: Uruguay has become polarized by three hot-button issues in the last year: legalization of marijuana, abortion, and same-sex marriage. People on all sides of the issues have protested, including these women, who took off their clothes in front of the parliamentary building for women's reproductive rights. The same-sex marriage bill is the most recent controversial issue parliament has taken up.

ROMO (on camera): The bill will now be sent back to the lower house of the Uruguayan parliament, which is expected to vote on it next week. Lawmakers had already approved a different version of the bill back in December. President Jose Mujica has indicated that he has no objections and would sign the bill into law.

ROMO (voice-over): The gay rights movement is gaining momentum in the region. This was a march in support of gay rights in Chile, but so far, that country has not considered the issue of gay marriage.

VALENTINA SUAZO, GAY ACTIVIST (through translator): We think that society has to accept us as we are so that we no longer have to hide behind a suit because we are already part of society. We're no longer a sexual minority.

ROMO: There was celebration on the streets of Buenos Aires in July of 2010 when Argentina became the first country in Latin America to allow same-sex marriage. Mexico City legalized it three years ago, but it's still outlawed in the country as a whole.


ANDERSON: Rafael, Argentina and Uruguay, then, seemingly moving away from conservative sort of values to adopt this law. What about the rest of Latin America?

ROMO: It's important to take a look at the region as a whole, Becky. Namely, Latin America is becoming more and more secular. Yes, it is true that as the region has the largest number of Catholics in the world, about 483 million, which is more than 40 percent of all Catholics in the world, estimated at 1.2 billion.

But what you see happening in countries like Argentina, what we just saw in the report in Uruguay and, to a lesser degree, in places like Chile, is that, again, society is becoming more and more secular and therefore more open to bills like the one we are seeing right now Uruguay.

ANDERSON: Be that as it may, the idea of these countries becoming more secular, they are still -- predominantly Catholic-based societies, and Latin America, of course, has a new pope. What impact do you think the Argentinean will have on this issue?

ROMO: Well, Pope Francis has done what no other pope had done before, which is, namely, when he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires, we have done reports on the fact that he met with gay rights activists and he was open to dialogue and discussion.

He never openly said that he was in favor of civil gay -- gay marriage, same-sex marriage, but he was conciliatory, he had discussions, he had conversations, and that's definitely a first for the Catholic Church. Now, at the Vatican, he has not openly said that he is going to support either civil unions or same-sex marriage, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. Rafael out of CNN Center for you this evening. Sir, thank you.

This is CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN live from London. Still too come --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one knows what this missing mass, now called dark matter, actually is.


ANDERSON: A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Now, scientists are shining new light on dark matter. We are going cosmic, up next.


ANDERSON: Well, it only took 25 billion tests, but now, a big experiment in space is bringing home what may be new evidence of dark matter. Nick Paton Walsh reports on what we know -- now know about this mysterious component of the universe.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been called the glue that binds the universe together: dark matter. Scientists have never seen it, but guess it must invisibly exist because galaxies are heavier than the stuff they can see and measure, like the stunning phenomenon of the Northern Lights.

They think dark matter accounts for a quarter of the universe, so proving it's there is vital. It's the heavy matter in a galaxy that stops it falling apart as it spins. So, how do they think they've found it?

WALSH (on camera): Well, you can't see dark matter at all, but sometimes it collides with other particles of dark matter in a process called annihilation. And it's annihilation which has given this previously imperceptible dark matter a way.

WALSH (voice-over): When that happens, scientists think they should see a slight rise in the presence of something called positrons. These are the universe's counterbalance for the electrons you learned about in school on the outskirts of every atom.

ROBERT FLACK, DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY, UCL: If our theories are correct, especially Einstein's theory of relativity, which explains the motion of our planets and the stars and the galaxies, if that is still to be maintained, then dark matter needs to exist.

WALSH: A rise in positrons is what they think they've measured on the International Space Station using a $1.6 billion sensor, the most expensive yet. But finding dark matter is so dramatically important because its mass lets galaxies hang together. It lets us exist.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: From the final frontier to the deep end of the ocean. The high seas make up 47 percent of our planet, but they are the least explored and least governed part of it. A British businesswoman, though, is hoping to change the status quo by turning the oceans into an online country known as TerraMar.

Now, here it is. It's a website where you can sign up and become a citizen, stick your name on a parcel of ocean or become an ambassador for one of the many marine species. I caught up with founder Ghislaine Maxwell to find out a little more about how this whole project works.


ANDERSON: You basically stake a claim to the high seas, and you've called them TerraMar. How are you able to do that?

GHISLAINE MAXWELL, FOUNDER, THE TERRAMAR PROJECT: Well, first of all, it does belong to everybody, and up until now, there hasn't been a defined area around it that everyone can recognize. The high seas alone, it's an area that has some laws and inconsistent laws, areas where there are no laws and conflicting laws.

And the idea is, I'm not sure how is it possible that almost half our planet has virtually no governance, and not one person that is looking after it for the benefit of all of us.

ANDERSON: So metaphorically, TerraMar is a country with citizens, right?

MAXWELL: All citizens of the world are citizens of TerraMar, or citizens of the high seas, if you will, part of the global commons. But say that you feel a sense of identity, we're giving you passports to it. So, when you go to the site, it's where you sign in and you get a digital passport to TerraMar.

ANDERSON: So, I've just signed up, and I've also signed up for Twitter, and I shall tweet about this interview directly afterwards. What do I get as Becky Anderson, a new citizen of TerraMar. What access do I -- or what facilities do I get?

MAXWELL: First of all, we're thrilled to have you.


ANDERSON: Thrilled to be with you.

MAXWELL: You will get a digital passport with your name and your ID number, and we will -- you will be able to follow the progress of the high seas, anything that happens significant on the high seas, now, you'll be able to find out what's going on.

We have a million and a half marine species, and you can select one to be the ambassador to TerraMar and be the spokesperson for that species. You can sponsor a piece of the ocean.

ANDERSON: Can I claim this parcel of the ocean for myself? I guess what I'm thinking are the downsides of the possibility of people going out and saying, well, that's mine, I'm taking that.

MAXWELL: Well, obviously --

ANDERSON: I won't do that, of course.


MAXWELL: Well, obviously, I'm not suggesting that you actually own that piece of the ocean, because that piece of the ocean actually belongs to all of us. Or some of it that's on the map actually belongs to other countries. I don't think they'd be very happy if you said it was only yours. It gives you a digital presence.


MAXWELL: It gives you a connection that you didn't have. And we're trying to give a standing community for the ocean, for the commons, for our future. The Law of the Sea Convention states that the seabed area is -- belongs to us, and it's for us today and for future generations' use. And we've never had a say.

ANDERSON: Are you trying to get TerraMar officially recognized as a country?

MAXWELL: Well, I think that that probably, we must say at this point, that that definitely won't happen. But it could receive some sort of special status, much like World Heritage sites or something, that will allow it to be recognized as one entity. It is a really vast area, and it does require management.


ANDERSON: There you go. An update for you just before we go on Europa League. Tottenham and Basel at White Hart Lane, two-all with a minute to go. Chelsea three up against their opponents, Rubin Kazan.

In tonight's Parting Shots just before we leave you this hour, a day of fun and games literally for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. William and Catherine were testing out the Emirates Arena in Glasgow in Scotland today. The venue will be home to the Commonwealth Games this summer.

Now, the pregnant duchess showed her mettle with a basketball and at table tennis, while her husband, well, he went into a bit of a DJ spin at the tables. He loves his music.

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