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CONNECT THE WORLD

UN Investigator Says Evidence Suggests Rebels Used Sarin Gas In Syria; Syria Promises Retaliation For Israeli Strikes; French President Francois Hollande Faces Record Disapproval After First Year In Office

Aired May 6, 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: I'm Fionnuala Sweeney and tonight Syrian rebels under fire, accused of possibly using chemical weapons. Meantime, Damascus accuses Israel of committing an act of war.

Also this hour, you're looking at the world's first working gun made from a 3D printer.

And trafficked from Dubai to northern Iraq, one woman's remarkable story of survival.

We're following two big stories involving Syria tonight both raising tensions across the region. A Syrian opposition group says airstrikes allegedly by Israel on Syrian military facilities have killed at least 42 soldiers. Israel won't confirm or deny responsibility, but a U.S. official tells CNN that Israel was behind the attacks. Syria calls them a declaration of war.

Meantime, a UN commission is clarifying remarks by one of its investigators about alleged chemical weapons used in Syria. It says it hasn't reached any conclusive findings.

Carla Del Ponte raised eyebrows earlier in the day with this statement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLA DEL PONTE, UN INVESTIGATOR, SYRIA: We collect some witness testimony that made to appear that some chemical weapons were used, in particular nerving gas. And what was -- what appear on -- to our investigation that that was used by the opponents, by the rebels.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SWEENEY: Well, CNN is in the region tonight covering these developments. Frederik Pleitgen is the only western correspondent reporting from the Syrian capital in Damascus. Sara Sidner is in Haifa in northern Israel, and with me here in London regional expert and friend of the show Fawaz Gerges.

Let's start with you, Fred. First of all, a relief of some sort to hear that the Syrian rebels, perhaps, are using chemical weapons, at least as Carla Del Ponte put it, but just to clarify Syria -- the Syrian regime has always denied using chemical weapons.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, they certainly have. I mean, I was in interviews with top Syrian officials in the past couple of days and they've always been telling me that their government was not using chemical weapons. And they've always accused the opposition of using them.

One of the things the Syrian regime has always made clear is they keep saying that they were the first ones to actually ask for an investigation into chemical weapons use. This was back in March. They said there was an incident near Aleppo where they say that the opposition forces used chemical weapons. They believed that it was sarin, but it wasn't clear at the time. And they called for a UN investigation, but only into that specific incident.

The UN for its part and went ahead and said they want blanket authority to investigate any sort of chemical weapons used by all sides here in Syria and they want to have access to the whole country. The Syrian regime said that is not possible so certainly the Syrian regime has always been saying they were not the ones to use chemical weapons. However, of course, the United States for its part said chemical weapons have been used. They do have proof of that, but they also are not sure who exactly used them, Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: And let me ask you, Fred, about potential repercussions by Syria against Israel for what it sees as a declaration of war?

PLEITGEN: Yeah, I mean this is something that the deputy foreign minister told me. He said that Syria will retaliate for that massive air strike that happened here in the night from Saturday to Sunday. And I can tell you, Fionnuala, it was absolutely gigantic. It ripped all of us out of our sleep. The skies were illuminated here over Damascus. And what you hear is you had several major explosions that went off and then just dozens of secondary explosions that literally lit up the sky and went on well over an hour.

Now the Syrian regime says it will retaliate, however it's not going to say when and where it's going to do so. I want you to listen in to another segment of my interview with the deputy foreign minister.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAISAL AL MEKDAD, SYRIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: This is a declaration of war. This is not something that is strange, but we dealt with this I mean on several occasions. And we retaliated the way we want and the retaliation was always painful to Israel. And they will suffer again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PLEITGEN: So some very strong words there from the Syrian deputy foreign minister. He's accusing the Israeli government of aiding the armed opposition here. The Syrian government, of course, has always been saying they believe they are fighting a war against Islamist insurgents. However, of course, the opposition has a very different view of that.

But I can tell you the Syrian government is absolutely angry at what happened. And one of the things that we have to keep in mind is that this was not some ordinary military base that was hit, this is the heart of the Syrian military's power center. You have several elite units that are in the vicinity of there.

Of course at this point in time we're not exactly sure what was hit. The Syrians were saying that it was a research facility, others are saying that it might have been a major ammunition dump. Certainly, what was hit caused major explosions and hit the Syrian military right at the heart of its power center -- Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: All right, in Damascus Frederik Pleitgen, thanks for joining us.

Let's cross over to Sara Sidner. She is in Haifa in northern Israel where there have been some developments on the part of the Israeli defense forces putting some Iron Dome missiles in place. What's being said in Israel about developments in Syria over this weekend?

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting because there has been nothing officially said or publicly said by Israeli officials about whether or not Israel is responsible for the strike inside Syria. The latest strike would be the third strike this year that Israel is accused of performing inside Syria.

What we have heard from officials is that there have been two Iron Dome missile defense batteries put in place on the border, because the military has assessed that that is where they need to be at this point. And you can read into that, but obviously they are concerned that there may be some kind of military reaction to the accusation that Israel hid inside of Syria.

The reason why we are here on the Lebanese border is because one of those missile defense systems has been put in place here, one closer to the Syrian border.

The big concern isn't necessarily that Syria is going to be the one that immediately reacts or reacts in some time, but that perhaps Hezbollah, who is very close to Syria, also very close to Iran, backed by Iran, that they may decide that it's time to retaliate in some way from the Lebanese border. And as you know, all this time Israeli officials have been saying very plainly and very clearly that they will not allow any sort of major conventional weapons or any weapons of mass destruction such as chemical weapons that Syria is known to have to end up in the hands of terrorist organizations, Hezbollah in particular has been mentioned, which is on the Lebanese side of the border. And they've said that time and time and time again that they will take action if necessary if they see that those weapons are being moved or that they deemed they may be moved, there are plans to move them.

So that is the reaction here.

Though I have to say that it has been pretty quiet here, that we heard from a major general of the northern command, so in command of this area, who said, look, you're not hearing the winds of war at this point. So tamping down some of the rhetoric about tensions rising, but certainly they wouldn't have moved some of these batteries in place if they didn't think they had to be very sure to be able to protect the citizens here -- Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: And Sara, of course, this Iron Dome missile defense system has been introduced in Israel over the past two or three years in phases, in the south near Gaza, in and around Tel Aviv last year and up in the north. Have you been hearing anything about possible Syrian retaliation in the Golan Heights area?

SIDNER: What we know is that there have been a couple of mortars that have ended up in the Golan Heights area, the occupied Golan Heights where Israel did say that there have been mortars that have landed. But Israel does believe that those were done by accident, that it was because of the fighting inside Syria that spilled over not because Israel was targeted.

What I can tell you, though, is that here in Haifa, this is where you have a very large amount of Israel's refineries. So a big concern that whether there's going to be rockets coming this way, a big concern by the officials here. We had a conversation with the Haifa mayor today and he is the only person that decided to put his city on high alert just to be safe.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YONA YAHAV, MAYOR OF HAIFA, ISRAEL: 2006 the war started here. And this was something which was very unexpected, because this city was never under war, never under shell of rockets. And during four months we were under shell of rockets. About 300 or 400 missiles were shot at us. The distance from Haifa is 15 miles, which is nothing. And actually I can see the citizens of Lebanon from here.

So, I decided that I'm not giving any chance to play around with me. I'm going to be prepared, therefore, once Israel -- not Israel actually, the papers have declared up north is tension I decided to put the municipality under alert.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SWEENEY: Sara Sidner there reporting from Haifa in northern Israel.

Now some analysts say the Israelis may made a gamble that Syria is too preoccupied with its own survival right now to fight back, but our guest tonight says the attacks have changed the dynamic of Syria's civil war.

Fawaz Gerges is director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and a friend to this program.

Why do you believe that what has taken place over the weekend changes the dynamic of the civil war?

FAWAZ GERGES, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: It's no longer an internal struggle between the Assad regime and the opposition, it's an open-ended war by proxy. You have Israel, other regional powers on the western state on one hand, you have Syria, Hezbollah and Iran on the other hand.

SWEENEY: Excuse me, hasn't that always been the case?

GERGES: It's an open-ended conflict now. And I believe as a result of Israel's attacks on Syria both Hezbollah and Iran would deepen their engagement inside Syria, will go to great lengths to basically prevent the removal of Assad from power as Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah has made it very clear.

SWEENEY: So they stand beside Assad until the end. How do you see it playing out, then, with the western powers, the United States and Israel?

GERGES: Well, the reality is, I mean, President Barack Obama has come under tremendous pressure, as you well know...

SWEENEY: And he's coming under pressure tonight. A Democrat in New Jersey, I understand, introducing a Syria stabilization act of 2013 in response to the chemical weapons news.

GERGES: Both Republicans and Democratic leaders would like the President of the United States to intervene militarily in Syria, to become directly involved in Syria, to provide arms for the opposition in Syria.

SWEENEY: And what would that do?

GERGES: Barack Obama believes, and I think he is correct, America's military intervention would exacerbate an already complex conflict, will basically turn Syria into a battlefield, a regional battlefields. Syria, both Hezbollah and Iran would basically come to the support of Assad. In fact, I would argue when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, both Hezbollah and Iran were implicitly supportive of the American invasion. They wanted to capture Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein basically established a Sunni based regime.

In Syria, if the United States intervenes militarily inside Syria both Iran and Hezbollah, not to mention Iraq, and that's the irony, would battle American forces in Syria's killing fields.

SWEENEY: So what you say -- we're talking about an internal civil war, we're talking about the outside interests of Syria, Iran, Hezbollah on one side, and then we have on the other side the United States, Israel. Where would Turkey stand, or is Turkey a pivot in this, because from the beginning many were saying that Turkey held the key to a solution in Syria. Is that gone now? Is that past?

GERGES: Turkey has been the spearhead of the attack against Assad. Turkey would like Assad out. And even though Turkish-Israeli relations are very strained both implicitly -- I mean, you find Turkey and Israeli find themselves in the same camp.

But the reality is this, regardless now what happens inside Syria itself, the conflict itself has mutated, it has taken a dangerous turn. And sadly for the Syrian people, they are paying very heavy cost as a result of the intervention of the regional and the great powers.

Israel says -- I mean, look what Israel says, Israel says the primary targets were not the Assad regime and the military...

SWEENEY: Hezbollah.

GERGES: And Iran itself.

Even Israel is battling inside Syria in order to delever a mark against Iran.

SWEENEY: And Iran on the top of its list of priorities as well.

So again, just a quick final question about President Obama, the pressure on him to be drawn unwittingly into something out of which there seems to be no real exit...

GERGES: Barack Obama has made it very clear, America's military intervention would be counterproductive. And he said according to America's allies, they have told him so. And that's why Barack Obama has been reluctant to intervene in Syria.

My take, given the pressure that Barack Obama is under, you're going to see a shift, a minor shift in American strategy. Barack Obama would most likely provide arms to the opposition in the next few weeks. As a result of both the domestic pressure and the regional pressure. Remember, Israel, Turkey and other powers like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are also exerting tremendous pressure on Barack Obama to intervene in the raging struggling inside Syria.

SWEENEY: Right, escalation one way or the other.

GERGES: Absolutely. This is the name of the game. It's a prolonged conflict, a war of attrition, no one knows the end when and how and the costs of this particular struggle.

SWEENEY: Fawaz Gerges, thank you very much for that insight and analysis.

Still to come this hour, it is a case that has sparked outrage in Germany. A neo-Nazi hit squad operating undetected for more than a decade. And now the highly anticipated trial of the accused ring leader is on hold.

And smiling from the camera, but behind the scenes the French president is under very real pressure.

And FIFA begins its battle against racism. The world football body proposes tough sanctions trying to tackle ugly behavior. All that and much more when connect the world continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now the trial of an alleged leader of a German neo-Nazi cell has been suspended on its first day after defense lawyers accused the judge of bias. Beate Zschape is charged with complicity in a string of racially motivated crimes, including the killings of 10 people and two bomb attacks on immigrant areas.

The case has sparked outrage in Germany since it emerged the far right group, the National Socialist Underground, had gone undetected for more than a decade. Police had initially blamed the attacks on Turkish criminal gangs. The trial is expected to resume next week.

.Thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets of Moscow on Monday, many angry over what they say are political arrests and prosecutions. The demonstrations come exactly one year after a riot in the Russian capital which resulted in mass arrests.

The funeral home holding the body of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is struggling to find a place to bury him. Protesters are making their feelings known outside the funeral home in the town of Worcester. Tsarnaev lived in Cambridge near Boston, but that city has refused to allow his body to be buried there, saying it wouldn't be in the city's best interests. And at least three cemeteries have refused burial requests.

Police declared no rallies are gatherings in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka on Monday after more than a half million Islamist protesters took to the streets in violent demonstrations. They were demanding laws that would impose the death penalty for blasphemy against Islam. At least 14 people have been killed in the protests with some reports putting that number at more than 30. More than 75 others have been injured.

After a hotly contested election campaign, Malaysia's ruling coalition have managed to extend its 56 year grip on power. But the opposition leader has denounced the election results alleging widespread vote rigging. But Malaysia's ruling Barisan coalition says the vote was free and fair. Liz Neisloss with more now from Kuala Lumpur.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LIZ NEISLOSS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This was clearly Malaysia's most heated election. Voters came out in droves. Voter turnout hit a historic high. Official numbers do show that the ruling coalition was able to hold a comfortable lead, however the opposition did continue to slightly shrink that lead. That the ruling coalition was able to hold its traditional sources of support.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think the right way of looking at the results is a very simple way of looking at it, which is that the urban areas voted against the government, but the rural areas said with the government.

NEISLOSS: Despite what seems like a clear win according to the numbers, there have been allegations of fraud that have been overshadowing this election in fact days before the voting began.

Now the opposition leader is insisting that he won't yet concede until the election commission, that's Malaysia's government backed election commission, investigates these reports.

ANWAR IBRAHIM, MALASIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: (inaudible) weak and condone these excesses at this time of stealing the election in this manner. But we have said that they should not do anything that would cause instability.

NEISLOSS: Now the opposition leader called for his supporters to push for questions about fraud to be investigated, but appealed to his supporters to remain calm.

IBRAHIM: We have said that they should not do anything that would cause instability.

NEISLOSS: Some say voters have a short memory and it will be up to the determined opposition members to push these fraud charges forward. The country does seem to be ready to move on. The stock market was boosted on the news of a returning ruling coalition. And the prime minister is appealing to Malaysians to put the election behind.

Liz Neisloss, CNN, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SWEENEY: Former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti has died at the age of 94. Andreotti was elected prime minister seven times during the 1970s and 80s and served in parliament for a total of 60 years. He was a dominant figure in post-war Italian politics, but he was controversial. He was accused and cleared of having close ties to the mafia.

Live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, a year at the helm and the French president is facing growing dissatisfaction. Why his popularity ratings are sinking fast?

And you mightn't see it now, but this 3D printer is making a gun. We'll tell you why the designer is causing controversy around the world.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SWEENEY: Today is one anniversary the French president might prefer to forget. After one year in office Francois Hollande is facing record unpopularity. The 24th French president's approval rating is just 24 percent.

But it was all smiles earlier as Mr. Hollande gathered his ministers to launch a second year, pledging more investment and reform. He'll need to convince a deeply unhappy electorate. Tens of thousands of people protested in Paris on Sunday to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with their first year. Senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann has more now on why the president has so quickly fallen out of favor.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Before he was elected, the French president told CNN that selecting any leader is a risk for voters, you just never know how he'll turn out, he'll told me.

Thank you very much.

But after his first year in office, many French seem to be of the opinion putting their money on Francois Hollande may not have been the best bet. No president has declined so far, so fast in the opinion polls as Hollande has. Nearly three out of four of his countrymen say they are disappointed with his first year. A plurality of French now say they think Hollande's predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy would have done a better job than Hollande has.

The biggest complaint, Hollande's inability to halt the rising unemployment rates or declining economy. But political analysts say there's more to it than that.

BRUNO CAUTRES, PUBLIC OPINION ANALYST: The feelings that Francois Hollande maybe is not (inaudible) person that maybe is lacking the leadership style that the French president normally needs.

BITTERMANN: Indeed, one leading news magazine here last month put out a cover story calling the president Mr. Weak. Perhaps even more worrying is a suggestion of another that France is in a pre-revolutionary state.

The reason for such alarmism is not Hollande's critics on the right, but the disaffection of his one-time supporters on the left. Many who voted for him, such as these steel workers, believed his promises that their jobs would be protected, but they were not and the workers, along with many others here, are disillusioned.

Leading members of Hollande's own Socialist Party are openly critical of the president.

MARIE-NOELLE LIENEMANN, SOCIALIST SENATOR (through translator): There's a bad indicator on the loss in trust of the president in his own electorate. Francois Hollande knows that he cannot govern with only two- thirds of the Socialist Party. He needs allies.

BITTERMANN: But Hollande is having difficulty finding them. His socialists critics say changing the government is not good enough unless there's also a change in policy that takes a clear turn toward the left.

Under the French constitution, Francois Hollande still has four more years in office and nothing short of a revolution could change that. Still, increasingly his supporters and detractors are wondering what could possibly change his political hand for the better if there's no change in the employment and economic picture?

So far, only his quick decision to intervene militarily against the Islamist revolutionaries in Mali gave Hollande a slight uptick in the polling numbers. Even his personal life, sometimes a source of popularity for presidents, has worked against him with continuing criticism in some quarters of his unmarried relationship with a companion who some call the first mistress.

Even dissolving the parliament and calling for new election may not help.

ROLAND CAYROL, POLITICAL OBSERVER: If you are very low in the surveys and political crisis, you pronounce a dissolution and you lose the election.

BITTERMANN: It could back fire, could be disaster?

CAYROL: Could be a real political and electoral disaster.

BITTERMANN: So on both sides of the French political aisle, on the president's first anniversary in office, there are not many plans to celebrate.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SWEENEY: The latest world news headlines are just ahead.

Plus, it's almost entirely made of plastic and you can make it in your garage, the world's first 3D printable gun. And it is triggering fears of illegal firearms, that story coming up.

And she was hoping for a better life and a better job, but instead she was trafficked to the Middle East. One young woman's shocking story coming up.

And a family in mourning, a community in shock, the football referee who died after being punched by a teenage player. That story later on Connect the World.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SWEENEY: This is CONNECT THE WORLD. The top stories this hour. Israel is increasing its defenses after an attack Syria calls a declaration of war. Syria blames Israel for weekend airstrikes on its military facilities that reportedly killed dozens of soldiers. Israel won't comment but has repeatedly threatened to stopped weapons caravans from Syria to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.

A tense calm hangs over the capital of Bangladesh after police banned protests. At least 14 people were killed in the country this weekend when demonstrations by more than a half million Islamic protesters turned violent. They were demanding the death penalty for blasphemy against Islam.

The trial of an alleged leader of a German neo-Nazi has been suspended on its first day after defense lawyers accused the judge of bias. Beate Zschape is charged with complicity in a string of racially-motivated crimes, including the killings of ten people.

A Massachusetts funeral director is having a difficult time finding a place to bury one of the accused Boston Marathon bombers. The Massachusetts city where Tamerlan Tsarnaev lived has refused to allow his body to be buried there. The funeral director of the cemeteries are worried about reprisals.

Its designer has named it the Liberator, the world's first handgun that you can make in your home using a 3D printer. The blueprint for it is now available online for anyone to download. We know it works because the US university student who designed it has now successfully test-fired the weapon. But it is triggering controversy around the world.

Emily Schmidt joins us from Washington with more. Emily, a quick question here. How much has the recent debate about gun control had an influence on the speed with which this technology was ratified?

EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fionnuala, it's a good question. We talked with the person who put this online and who devised this. He said it's about a year ago that he and a friend came up with the idea, saying could you use a 3D printer to make a gun?

Think of all that's happened in the past year. He was able to prove it by firing it this weekend, and he says it's revolutionary and here's why. The idea of 3D printing puts a gun in your hands in a matter of hours. You cut out the middle man -- no gunmaker, no gun dealer, you do it yourself.

Cody Wilson posted a video online. He says he thinks it's the very first time that a gun printed entirely on a 3D printer had been fired. He tried it first, firing remotely on Friday. When that worked, he fired a second gun by hand on Saturday. He has posted a link to the gun design online, and that is what has some lawmakers worried.

SWEENEY: OK. And in terms of how much it has the lawmakers worried - -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Let's think about this for a second. Now anyone -- a terrorist, someone who's mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon -- can essentially open a gun factory in their garage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHMIDT: I want to show you one of the pieces. This is it. A DC 3D gun printing company made it for us from the plans that were posted online. This is the gun grip. Weighs less than an iPhone or a BlackBerry. Took about an hour and 20 minutes to make. Takes only 14 more pieces and one metal firing pin, which amounts to a simple roofing nail, to complete the gun.

Wilson's gun also has a steel in it that's solely to keep it from violating the Undetectable Firearms Act. That's a law that bans any firearm that doesn't set off a metal detector. Fionnuala?

SWEENEY: All right, we'll leave it there. Emily Schmidt, thanks very much. We're going to have much more on this story, and we're going to zoom in, so to speak, on this gun. What you're about to see are 9 of the 16 printable parts of the gun that are needed to make the firearm. All of these can be made from heat-resistant plastic.

A small block of steel is also added to the frame so the weapon complies with US gun laws. That's so it can be picked up by a metal detector. But aside from a metal firing pin, the gun could be made entirely of plastic.

While the handgun may pass US laws, its design is available to be downloaded, as you heard from Emily, anywhere in the world. Let's bring in Victoria Baines from Europol, who joins me via Skype from the Hague. Thanks for joining us.

So, no apparent impediments in the United States for having this gun. What do we know generally speaking in Europe?

VICTORIA BAINES, EUROPEAN CYBERCRIME CENTRE, EUROPOL: Well, we know that the gun control legislation in the European member states, there are differences between the countries, and at Europol, it's our job to flag up the concerns that we have and the concerns in the environment about the threat posed by emerging technologies. And that includes things like 3D printing.

What I would say at the moment is that we would urge caution. We do have concerns that some of these firearms will come into the hands of, for instance, young people who really shouldn't have access to them.

But I think it's worth getting things in perspective, here. At the moment, 3D printing is a very expensive business, and it's going to take a couple of years before it's very much in the mainstream, so --

(CROSSTALK)

SWEENEY: All right. Let me ask you, if I may jump in -- if I may jump in, does this news come as a complete surprise to you, or were you aware at Europol that the technology had been around for some time?

BAINES: Yes, it's absolutely not a surprise. Europol acts as the early warning system for crime in the European Union. It's our job to monitor these technological developments and to highlight some of the benefits, but also some of the risks attached to those. So, it's been on our radar for a while, now.

And we also have precedents for the use of 3D printing in serious organized crime. For instance, a couple of years ago, we saw a case coming out of the US where ATM skimmers were using 3D printing to produce some of their skimming housing.

So, this has been on our radar for a while. As I say, it's our job to flag this up to the member states --

SWEENEY: All right.

BAINES: -- and that's really what we're here to do.

SWEENEY: OK, but do you believe, presumably, that traditional criminals will use the old tried and tested ways of getting a gun before resorting to the 3D printer? Now, it seems to be fairly rudimentary in its operation. It's not an automatic handgun, for example, which makes it actually legal in the United States at the moment.

But in terms of stopping the ordinary individual, curious or otherwise, from getting their hands on this, what are you going to do? Are you going to stop they buying 3D printers? Are you going to look for background searches on that? What's -- where's the -- where is the lack of incentive going to come from to download this?

BAINES: You're quite right. Your established criminals for the most part, and certainly for the time being, are going to find it much easier to continue to source their guns offline.

But in terms of protecting the ordinary citizen, I think it's really interesting to note the developments in recent weeks, that actually the mainstream 3D printing community, if you like, has actually outlawed some of these designs for the 3D printed weapon from their mainstream 3D maker sites. So it's really, really interesting to see the general online community banning these products so far.

SWEENEY: And it --

BAINES: That's not to say that we're not going to be able to -- that people aren't going to be able to get access to them. But this is where Europol advises the member states on how to control that supply, perhaps providing technical prevention measures on that, building into 3D printers, for instance. And it's also part of our job to reach out to the people that are making this technology --

SWEENEY: Right.

BAINES: -- to ensure that we can prevent the risk to citizens.

SWEENEY: All right. So, essentially, keeping tabs on where they're being filled and who's downloading what. It's about one -- keeping one step ahead of technological advances, but in terms of doing that, are you looking at situation where Big Brother will be looking at who's buying the 3D machines?

BAINES: Absolutely not. What we do is we rely on intelligence coordination. So, we have a network of 27 members states and their partners, we have partners in the US, in Canada, for instance, Australia and New Zealand.

What we do here is we harness all of that information, so by piecing all of the intelligence together about illicit firearms trafficking, for instance, at Europol, we're able to have a complete overview of what's going on globally.

As we know, with things like the internet, the internet knows now borders. Cybercrime knows no borders. And we expect the same thing to happen with 3D printed firearms. We track movements of illicit firearms across the world.

We help to intercept those, and we provide support to our European member states and our partners to do just that. We would expect to do exactly the same with 3D printed guns.

SWEENEY: All right, we must leave it there, but Victoria Baines in the Netherlands, there, for Europol. Thank you for joining us.

Let's look at what people are saying about this online. Rebecca tweeted this. "There is a dark side to every technology, even the super cool ones you want to love."

Another user had similar views, saying, "Disappointing that the awesome technology that is 3D printing has been used to create a gun. It could be used in so many worthy ways."

We spotted an interesting tweet from Aaron. "The 3D printed gun will just make it harder for the technology to become commercial. Authorities won't want people to have this in their homes."

What do you think about 3D printing technology? Well, the team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you, and you can find us at facebook.com/CNNconnect or reach us on Twitter, tweet us @CNNconnect.

Live from London, you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. She was lured into a job that didn't exist and ended up the victim of forced labor. The chilling account of one woman trafficked to Iraq.

And ending racism on the pitch. FIFA's anti-racism task force holds its first meeting. We've more on this story coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SWEENEY: As many as 600,000 people may be victims of forced labor in countries across the Middle East. That's according to a new report by the International Labour Organization. It says many victims are lured into jobs that simply don't exist. Atika Shubert has met one woman who was told about an opportunity in Italy, but instead was trafficked to Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eli Anita tells her story in broken English, but there is no mistaking her anger when she recalls how her employer at a labor company in Dubai sexually harassed her in 2007.

ELI ANITA, TRAFFICKING VICTIM: He was so angry, and he also beat me and kidnapped me in a back room for many hours. And he knocked on the door and he said, "Eli, just obey me."

I say, "I'm sorry, I don't want anything from you. I came for working, and I will not allow anybody to touch my body, also looking at my body," I say like this.

And then, he's asking me, "What do you want?"

I say, "I want another job."

SHUBERT: Eli says her employer shunted her off to a new job in a place she'd never heard of, far from the skyscrapers of Dubai.

ANITA: He tell me, "I will send you to a new country, high technology, it's good country."

"Which one? What's the name?" I said like this.

"It's Kurdistan, it's a part of Italy."

SHUBERT: For a village girl from Indonesia, Eli says she had no idea she was being sent to Kurdistan in northern Iraq, at that time, in the midst of war. She says she was flown to Erbil Airport under the constant watch of labor company chaperones, with about a dozen other women from Ethiopia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. She says the labor company took her passport.

ANITA: Every ten minutes is some army stops us with gun, touch our bodies, say, "Show us your identity," like this.

I say, "Oh, my God, I'm in war country." At that time, I was thinking like this --

SHUBERT (on camera): You still didn't know where you were?

ANITA: Yes, I still didn't know where I am right at that time.

SHUBERT (voice-over): Eli finally convinced one of her minders to let her call her Dubai employer.

ANITA: I used the telephone, I called my agency, "You send me to Iraq, and then you're telling me they're a part of Italy?" I say like this.

They say, "Eli, just keep quiet. I already received $4,500 US.

SHUBERT (on camera): $4,500?

ANITA: Yes. So, at that time, I know that they sold me.

SHUBERT (voice-over): She says she tried to run away several times, but after days on the street, she was found by the labor agency, dragged back, and she says, beaten as a punishment.

ANITA: The agency also kidnapped me inside the bathroom with a gun on my head. He said, "If you don't stop your action, call your government, I will kill you."

SHUBERT: Eli finally escaped by secretly contacting the International Labour Organization. They brokered her release from the labor agency and brought her back home to Indonesia. We made repeated attempts to contact the company but did not get a response, so we visited their office asking to speak to the man who Eli says sold her, trafficking her from Dubai to Iraq.

SHUBERT (on camera): Would you like to answer the allegations? We could sit down with you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, ma'am.

SHUBERT (voice-over): He refused to talk to us or give us his side of the story. But Eli is clear about what she thinks this is.

SHUBERT (on camera): Do you feel like this is -- essentially a form of modern-day slavery?

ANITA: It's more modern-day slavery.

SHUBERT (voice-over): Eli now works with migrant care in Jakarta, Indonesia, helping other workers who have returned home. She has no intention to work abroad again.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Jakarta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SWEENEY: Taking a closer look at forced labor by regions around the world, the Middle East ranks third in the number of victims per capita, with 3.4 victims per 1,000 inhabitants.

The International Labour Organization says central and southeastern Europe rank the highest, with 4.2 victims per 1,000. That is followed by Africa. The EU and the world's developed economies have the lowest rates worldwide.

Join us May 17th and 18th for the premier of a new CNN Freedom Project documentary. It follows the passionate campaign of a Philippines human rights pioneer to protect children from the sex trade and her efforts to convince the nation's biggest star, boxer Manny Pacquiao, to join the fight against modern-day slavery. That's "The Fighters," here on CNN.

In the meantime, coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, football's governing body moves forward in the battle against racism in the sport.

And if you're in the US or central Europe, make sure your umbrella is handy. We'll have the latest weather forecast coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SWEENEY: Football's governing body has talked about the battle against racism, but it appears now it is putting the talk into action. FIFA's racism task force is outlining its recommendations, and here to wade through them is Don Riddell at CNN Center. Don, hi.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Fionnuala. Thanks very much. Yes, let's get straight into these recommendations that have been proposed today in this first meeting of this anti-racism task force. We can bring these up onto the screen, now, and show you what we're talking about.

They're now talking about having an official at stadiums who will be there specifically to monitor racist behavior, racist chanting, et cetera. They're talking about stronger sanctions, which would ultimately include point deductions or expulsion from tournaments. This all has to be voted on by the member associations of FIFA later this month.

But it really is a step in the right direction. Earlier, "World Sport's" Amanda Davies spoke to Jeffrey Webb, who's leading this task force.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFREY WEBB, VICE PRESIDENT, FIFA: The sanctions must be -- must be removable from a competition, suspension from a competition, relegation. If we have to take points, if that's a deterrent, then we take points. But we must -- send a very clear message that it's totally unacceptable.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Let me put it to you that Spain, in a World Cup qualifier ahead of the next World Cup, there is a major incident of racism involving Spanish fans. Could you foresee a situation whereby Spain, the defending world champions, would not be competing at the next World Cup as punishment?

WEBB: Well, if, of course, any national association, regardless if they're world champions or someone not competing in a World Cup, if we create the infrastructure, if we set the laws and the parameters, and if you consistently infringe on those laws, then really, you are deciding the outcome yourself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIDDELL: Now, it's know as the beautiful game, but the football community is mourning an absolutely senseless death of a referee in Utah here in the United States. Stephanie Elam has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At a vigil Sunday evening in Salt Lake City, members of the community came together to remember a dedicated family man.

JOHANA PORTILLO, REFEREE'S DAUGHTER: He took a part of me with him.

(CRYING)

PORTILLO: He took my daddy away from me.

ELAM: Police say soccer referee Ricardo Portillo probably never saw the blow coming, the blow that would ultimately end his life.

MARIO VAZQUEZ, SOCCER LEAGUE PRESIDENT: I'm in shock because besides a ref, he's a friend of mine.

ELAM: It happened during an April 27th match for a recreational soccer league just outside Salt Lake City after Portillo called a foul on a 17-year-old goalie.

VAZQUEZ: The goalie pushed one of the forwards from the back.

ELAM: The goalie retaliated by punching the 46-year-old referee in the head.

PORTILLO: When he was writing down his notes, he just came out of nowhere and punched him.

ELAM: Portillo was taken to the hospital with what was believed to be a minor injury, but doctors found that he had suffered serious internal head injuries, police said, and lapsed into a coma. After a week in that condition, he died Saturday night.

Johanna Portillo, the referee's eldest daughter, had spoken with CNN's Jake Tapper the day before he died. She told him her father had lived for his three daughters and for soccer.

PORTILLO: His passion was being there the whole weekend just refereeing. He loves soccer. And it was just really bad. We never thought that this was going to happen. He loved what he did and it was his passion.

ELAM: The family knew the chance of recovery was slim.

PORTILLO: The doctor says only a miracle will bring my daddy back.

ELAM (on camera): The teen, who's not being identified because of his age, was arrested two days after the soccer field incident on preliminary charges of aggravated assault, charges that will likely by upgraded now that Portillo has died.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIDDELL: What an absolutely tragic story. Fionnuala, that's all the sport we have time for just now, but I'll be back with "World Sport" in just over half an hour.

SWEENEY: All right, we'll keep an eye on that, thanks very much. Don Riddell, there, reporting from CNN Center.

Now, wet conditions continue for many people in Europe and the United States. Tom Sater joining me from the International Weather Center with the very latest forecast. Umbrellas all the way, then, in certain parts of the world?

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's wet in a lot of places. In Europe and in US, they're very similar as far as the patterns, but we're seeing a lot more of diversity in the US. Fire and ice -- this is ice. This picture came in from an iReporter. Christine says it's her 50th birthday, and her husband bought her a kayak for -- she's born and raised in Minnesota, just can't use it because the water is frozen. Never seen it before here in the first week of May.

Here is the setup. High pressure in the northeast US is blocking everything from moving. So, we have this area of low pressure that's drawing the cold air down. This is where Christine's from, so it's frozen there. We have flooding rains up ahead of this system. In fact, we even had snow down into Arkansas for the first time in recorded history in the month of May, and records go back to 1819.

But then, we have this area of high pressure, which is causing Santa Ana winds. So, with that, west of the Mississippi, extreme drought. The rain's helping out east of the Mississippi.

And you can start to see how just since the beginning of the year, we're behind in rainfall -- Santa Barbara, LA -- and we're getting pictures like this, when you can see that firefighters have had their hands full over the weekend. The winds were so strong, they couldn't use air tankers. They had to use helicopters, so it's above-average fire season in this part of the country.

And this is early. Typically, it doesn't really start to get going until we get into August. But they did have a little onshore flow bringing moisture in, helping the firefighters save several locations like this.

But let me show you the pictures side-by-side, because it's west coast and east coast. Just crazy when you have the fires in the west and you've got the flooding that's going on to the east.

More when we talk about this area of low pressure. Here's what we're seeing for the eastern US. This is what's happening also in parts of Europe. It's just spinning and spinning, so we're getting record rainfall amounts, even here at CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta, seeing over 100 millimeters.

So, this is going to continue until we can get the system out of here. Then we've got this area of low pressure that continues to produce. Well, on Friday, the tornado in northern Italy. We've had flooding in parts of France, but this is not flooding, this is absolutely gorgeous weather in parts of England.

But now, we're finding this area of low pressure's going to throw its moisture, and they're going to converge in parts of the northwest. So, our flood problems are still a concern in some areas. We're going to watch the sunshine give way to some cloud cover, but again, the thunderstorms right now really coming down.

Southwestern areas of Germany into the same location, where we've had pictures like this. So again, both systems are what we call cut-off lows. They're cut off from the flow and they produce the ongoing showers.

Tomorrow morning, Paris will wake up, 9:00 -- no, 6:00 AM will be 9:00 -- 13 at Marseilles, and in Rome, 13. Not bad, as we get that moisture a little bit further northward. London, 17 by noon. Paris, 17 as well. Really warming up in Warsaw, 26 degrees by 5:00 PM. Back to you, Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: All right, Tom. Thank you so much.

SATER: You're welcome.

SWEENEY: Now, in tonight's Parting Shots, the drama continues for pop star Justin Bieber. Not long ago, the Canadian singer was booed for being late to his concert in London. His pet monkey was confiscated in Germany. Here's the latest, take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(GIRLS SCREAMING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SWEENEY: A fan rushed onto the stage at Bieber's concert in Dubai. Security tackled the guy, but the piano toppled over loudly in the process. Bieber wasn't hurt and he finished his set because, as every fan of his knows, the show must go on.

I'm Fionnuala Sweeney and this has been CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching.

END