Return to Transcripts main page


Mario Balotelli Threatens To Walk Off Pitch; Microsoft Teaches At- Risk Filipino Youth Computer Skills; Nigerian Forces Gathering For Assault On Boko Haram

Aired May 15, 2013 - 16:00   ET


FIONNUALA SWEENEY, HOST: Tonight, putting his foot down.


MARIO BALOTELLI, AC MILAN STRIKER: If it's going to happen one more time, I'm going to leave the pitch.


SWEENEY: In an exclusive interview, Italian football star Mario Balotelli says he'll walk off the pitch if he's racially abused again.

Also ahead...


NATASCHA KAMPUSCH, KIDNAPPING VICTIM (through translator): The women in Cleveland should really try to savor this joyous feeling as long as possible.


SWEENEY: From one kidnap survivor to another, Natacsha Kampusch speaks exclusively to CNN.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Becky Anderson in Cannes with the glitz and glamor of what is opening night at the world's biggest movie event.

SWEENEY: "I'll walk off the pitch," that's what star football striker Mario Balotelli tells CNN in an exclusive interview. The AC Milan player says he won't stand for racism on the field any longer.

Earlier, CNN's Alex Thomas spoke more about his comments.


ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: The fight against racism in football really appears to be gathering some momentum helped by these comments from Italian superstar Mario Balotelli in an exclusive interview to our CNN colleague Pedro Pinto. He was reacting after the latest incident of racist abuse in the Italian game. This came in a Serie A match between Roma and Milan. Although it was Milan's San Siro stadium, it was the home players receiving racist abuse from some of the Roma supporters.

And Balotelli has basically said enough is enough. And he told Pedro Pinto that he's changed his mind about how to react to this verbal abuse based simply on the color of his skin.

BALOTELLI: I always said that if it happened in the stadium I'd just do like -- if nobody say nothing and I don't care. But this time, I think I changed my mind a little bit and if it's going to happen one more time I'm going to leave the pitch, because it's so stupid.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Did you talk to Prince about that, about leaving?

BALOTELLI: Yeah, I spoke with Prince. And I was about to leave the pitch even Sunday but they're going to think I want to leave because maybe we have some difficulty with the game and then we're going to win 3-0 and that's a no, no. It's better we play and then we talk, that's it. But if it wasn't for this reason, then I'm going to leave the pitch.

THOMAS: Well, after the abuse aimed at Mario Balotelli and the other Milan players, the Italian Football Federation's disciplinary committee did fine Roma a total of 50,000 euros, or $65,000, but in the current climate that has prompted a lot of criticism especially from the FIFA president Sepp Blatter himself often criticized about how world football's governing body is dealing with this issue. But in a strongly worded statement part of which read -- Blatter said, "what is 50,000 euros for such an incident? I'm not happy. And I will call the Italian Federation, that's not a way to deal with such matters."

Blatter and FIFA have of course set up a football task force against racism which had made a number of proposals which will be voted upon by FIFA's whole congress in their next meeting later this month in Mauritius. And the real spark for this change in attitude you could say at the top of football was all after Balotelli's teammate, Kevin-Prince Boateng, walked off the pitch in protest at racist abuse during a friendly game back in January. Now Balotelli says he'll do exactly the same thing as his teammate. It seems as if football really has the catalyst for change.


SWEENEY: Alex Thomas there. And these are just the latest in a long line of high profile incidents of racism on the pitch. In 2012, racism threatened to overshadow the European football championship held in Poland and the Ukraine. Dutch players claim to hear monkey noises during an open training match. And UEFA also launched investigations into two matches after reports of abusive chanting.

Last October, the English under 21 side was subjected to racist and physical abuse while in Serbia with fans and coaches also clashing.

In September 2012, English player John Terry was found guilty of racially abusing QPR player Anton Ferdinand and was handed a four match ban.

And FIFA's president Sepp Blatter came under fire in 2011 when he said on pitch racism could be resolved with a handshake.

I want to bring in two guests now. With me in the studio here in London, Italian football expert Mina Rzouki. And joining me from Cape Town, South Africa is Tokyo Sexwale, ambassador for FIFA's Say No to Racism campaign.

Thank you for joining us, both of you.

Ambassador, first of all to you in Cape Town, if Mario Balotelli were to walk off the pitch the next time he's racially abused, what would FIFA do?

TOKYO SEXWALE, FIFA AMBASSADOR SAY NO TO RACISM CAMPAIGN: Well, let me just give you a background. I'm sitting in the beautiful city of Cape Town just a few kilometers away from Robben Island where I spent 15 years with Nelson Mandela in the struggle against racism. And that was apartheid.

What we are seeing right now with the threat by the young man Balotelli to walk out is somebody taking a stand, somebody taking a position.

FIFA, and I am an ambassador of FIFA, a minister in the government of South Africa, a former political prisoner against the apartheid and racism, and as well as a member of the FIFA media committee. In those positions, we stand very strong against racism. Hence FIFA has got to take very strong measures in the campaign to say no to racism and to show the racism a red card.

The congress of FIFA, which has coming at the end of this month in Mauritius which I am going to attend after speaking with Mr. Blatter this evening. The congress is due to take very strong resolutions, among them expulsion, reducing of points or completely putting very, very heavy fines even relegation.

So those are (inaudible) steps to show that we are serious, because racism is offensive, it's disgusting, it is -- it is denigrating and humiliating to the players.

SWEENEY: All right. Mira Rzouki here in the studio. Expulsion, docking of points, relegation, heavy fines, that would obviously be a start, would it not?

What do you believe is going to be ultimately the end to racism in general?

MINA RZOUKI, ITALIAN FOOTBALL EXPERT: Well, it's got to be more than just simply fining them. And it's got to be about teaching as well. You've got to explain to people what they're doing. This is the fan behavior. I mean, I'm not going to say that racism is a problem that football needs to deal with, because Italy has this problem, and they should deal with it. And it is sort of a symptom of what's happening with the society at the moment, considering that they are drowning politically, economically, financially. It is a chance for these fans to speak out. And they're doing so in the stadiums. And they are going as far as possible to gain attention, to have a voice.

And I can closely link that with what happened in Egypt when -- with everything that happened to oust Mubarak, the people that actually mobilized the troops in Tahrir Square were Ultras, fan Ultras that felt they could have a chance to voice their concern.

SWEENEY: Ambassador, if I can ask you, how organized does FIFA believe this racism to be? Is it just gangs of youth spontaneously getting together, maybe not (inaudible) indeed at football matches, particularly in Italy, or is there something more organized about racism in football?

SEXWALE: No, you know, we can't condemn Italian people or condemn the fans of Roma. These are miscreants. These are people who are small little groups, but who take advantage of an occasion such as -- they tend to see this -- have done it in other parts of the world who want to draw attention to themselves.

So it is not really a football issue, it's a racism issue started by little gangs. As long as this thing does not catch fire and become, you know, go out of control. We know where the world comes from and racism. The Italian people should know where we were in the 1940s with Mussolini and the Germans. People know where we come from and so policy (inaudible) in South Africa.

RZOUKI: But football needs to give more (inaudible), because these people are finding the fact that they can go to the stadiums and do as they like. Kevin-Prince Boateng, when he walked off in that friendly match, he felt he had the chance to -- he was -- they were a little bit scared to do that in this match, because it would mean forfeiting the match. And that is something that Sepp Blatter said, you can't simply just walk out of the match if you are being racially abused, you have to find a different way of doing this.

You're stripping the players of the power. I mean, to simply go on the PA system and say you have to stop racially abusing the players or we will suspend the match...

SWEENEY: So this goes back, ambassador, to what you are saying is going to happen in terms of an upcoming meeting with FIFA where discussing expulsion, docking of points, heavy fines, relegation. Can this be organized at the FIFA level that will impact local games on the ground in any country where football is played?

SEXWALE: What is important are those steps to be taken by FIFA...

SWEENEY: How will you enforce them?

SEXWALE: ...because the beautiful game cannot be held to ransom...

SWEENEY: I know. How do you enforce these rules that any decisions you might take?

SEXWALE: Well, FIFA congress, which is coming, will have to take very strong steps in this case so that a strong message is sent out to every small events, but we can't be held at random and blackmailed by small group of people.

SWEENEY: But if I can ask you how do you foresee FIFA and any decision it takes being able to enforce those decisions on the pitch in any given game in Europe or elsewhere?

SEXWALE: Well, quietly the investigations will have to be done, because you can't just arrive rough shod. Proper investigations, it must be processes that involve looking at the FIFA code, the FIFA principles and then action is taking accordingly.

But one can understand why a player such a Boateng to (inaudible) and why the young man Balotelli threatened that he'll walk off next time.

So we have got to be sensitive to that. FIFA cannot just simply do it on the field, there are rules, there are code which we will have to adhere to.

SWEENEY: And let me ask you, how soon do you see any of these rules or codes in relation to racism being enforced?

SEXWALE: Well, the congress is taking place at the end of this month and I would like to believe -- I'm going to be there to strengthen the resolve that these measures must be taken immediately.

SWEENEY: And a final question to you, sir, if I may about Mario Balotelli which was my first question. If he were to walk off the pitch the next time that there is a racial slur against him, what would happen?

SEXWALE: Well, quite clearly if he walks off and some players have -- like Eto'o once did send that message, it's quite clear that there will be (inaudible) among his fellow players. We don't want to come to that horrible scenario. I hope -- I hope he will relent, but this is a no-no. And the beautiful game of football must not suffer.

SWEENEY: And he won't be fined?

SEXWALE: Well, he can't be fined for walking out. After all, the offense is disgusting, it's humiliating against him and other players who have experienced similar things, therefore, one can well understand why a player has reached the end of his tether by making those threats.

SWEENEY: Tokyo Sexwale, thank you very much indeed, ambassador to FIFA. Say no to racism joining us from Cape Town. Mina, a very quick last point to you, but I have to wrap it after that.

RZOUKI: Well, no, I mean if they're not going to fine the players, sure, but they will make the team probably forfeit the game. And if you're basically help your team lose if you walk off, i.e. the message still is we're all about words and not enough action.

SWEENEY: Mina Rzouki, thank you.

RZOUKI: Thank you.

SWEENEY: And you can watch more of Pedro Pinto's exclusive interview with Mario Balotelli this Friday on World Sport. Find out why the footballer thinks he was treated unfairly in England and how he finds it difficult being a global icon. That is Friday right here on World Sport.

In the meantime, you're watching Connect the World. And still to come this hour, Nigeria fights back against Islamic insurgents. And we'll be live in Lagos right after the break.

Plus, a day after announcing her double mastectomy, find out why Angelina Jolie says she'll be back in hospital once again.

And then a woman who knows all too well the hellish ordeal three female captives in Cleveland recently endured.


KAMPUSCH (through translator): You live with it. You live with it in your head your whole life. You have to try to see the positive and look forward to the future and to bury the hate you feel for the person who did this to you.


SWEENEY: CNN talks to Natascha Kampusch, an Austrian woman who has reclaimed her life after being held four years in a secret cellar.


SWEENEY: Nigeria is preparing a massive deployment of troops and army personnel to hunt down Islamic militants in the country's northeast. On Tuesday, the country's president declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states where he says terrorist groups are staging a rebellion and an insurgency.

CNN's Vladimir Duthiers is in Lagos for us. Now Boko Haram, this Islamic group, is blamed for more than 2,000 deaths in Nigeria. Are citizens welcoming this move by the president, Vladimir?

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fionnuala, certainly there are some citizens in Nigeria who welcome this very bold and decisive action by Goodluck Jonathan, the president of Nigeria to declare a state of emergency in three states in the northeastern part of the country -- Atamowa, Yobe, and Borno states.

Now over the past couple of months, Boko Haram and Islamist militants have carried out a slew of attacks that have targeted government buildings, prisons. The biggest attack happened on April 16 in the town of Baga bordering Chad. There, reports say that over 185 people were killed in a firefight between Nigerian military and joint task force officers and Islamist groups.

But many people have said that civilians were killed during that attack. Meanwhile the government says that only 36 people died in that attack. But satellite pictures that we were provided to by the Human Rights Watch group says that it looks like a significant firefight took place.

A couple of weeks later, there was another attack in northeastern Nigeria in the town of Bama. There, militants used high grade weapons, rocket propelled grenades, weapons mounted -- anti-aircraft weapons mounted on the backs of trucks, things that had not typically been seen in the fights with Boko Haram up until then.

So I think this announcement by President Jonathan is a means by which many people think he needs to fight, step up the fight with Boko Haram.

We spoke to somebody at the University of Lagos and this is what they had to say about that.


DERIN OLOGBENLA, POLITICAL SCIENTIST, UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS: These people have gone beyond the pale of reason and for me and for the majority of Nigerians, enough is enough. And I think the president have also reached that state of mind that these guys are not going to be treated with kid's gloves. And the military have to come in.

If the military go (inaudible), the military will disappear later. But you have to give them a free hand to do their job.


DUTHIERS: There is a fly in the ointment with this, Fionnuala. And that is, Human Rights Watch has said that part of the violence that has been happening in northeastern Nigeria has been fueled, in part, by extrajudicial killings, rounding up of civilians by the Nigerian military. And so this is some talk that some of the actions now that the president has declared a state of emergency, and that gives wide latitude to security forces to detain and to interrogate suspects may actually continue to fuel the violence. That remains to be scene going forward, Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: All right. Vladimir Duthiers, thank you very much for that update on the massive deployment of troops and army personnel in the country's northeast.

To Washington now. And the White House is facing a barrage of criticism over three controversies. Attorney General Eric Holder is being grilled by congress as we speak. He's being asked some tough questions about allegations the U.S. Internal Revenue Service specifically targeted conservative groups like the Tea Party. Holder says he's launched an investigation into that.

He's also coming under fire about the Justice Department seizing phone records from the Associated Press news agency. Lawmakers are demanding an investigation. And some call the behavior criminal.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO: The IRS has admitted to targeting conservatives. Even if the White House continues to be stuck on the word if. Now, my question isn't about who is going to resign, my question is who is going to jail over this scandal?


SWEENEY: All this follows ongoing hearings into the government's reaction to the Benghazi embassy attack last year.

The EuroZone and the wider EU have slumped into their longest recession ever. Q1 of this year was the EuroZone's sixth consecutive quarter of contraction. GDP across the bloc shrank by .2 percent, below most expectations.

And there was particularly bad news for France. The country entered its third recession in four years with negative growth of .2 percent. France struggling with record unemployment and low business and consumer confidence.

For the first time, scientists in the United States have created embryonic stem cells from human skin using the same cloning technique that produced Dolly the Sheep back in 1996. The cells can develop into muscle, nerve, or other cells that make up the body's tissues and could be used to treat diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer's, or heart problems.

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie is drawing praise for her transparency in telling the world about her preemptive double mastectomy. Hundreds of women have said she's given them the courage to be open about their own operations. Jolie is also at risk of ovarian cancer. And she has confirmed she plans to have her ovaries removed as well.

Live from London, this is Connect the World. Up next, from CNN's Freedom Project, we'll take a look at how a simple program in the Philippines is helping children stay out of the hands of human traffickers.

And at the Europa League finals tonight, Portugal's Benfica appear in their first major European final in 23 years as they take on Chelsea. Find out how they do later in the program.


SWEENEY: CNN, as you know, has joined the fight against modern-day slavery with the Freedom Project, shining a light on the issue, the victims and those trying to stop it. Today, the Freedom project takes us to the Philippines where trafficking is one of the biggest threats to the well- being of children.

Microsoft is trying to stop vulnerable children from falling victim through its innovative Step-Up Program. The company is giving computer training to kids in the country's most impoverished communities.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may look like a typical after school program, but these kids are getting farm more than just a little help with their homework.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm scared for I don't know how to use computer. Because if I use -- I think if I use this, I broke a computer.

HOLMES: The students, most of whom come from some of Manila's poorest slums, are taking part in the step-up program.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's beneficially to us, most of the youth, because even though out of school until they can go here to not become human trafficked or drug addicts. Then if they study here, they avoid that.

HOLMES: Part of Microsoft's community outreach program and its ongoing effort to help combat human trafficking, students with the step up program learn how to use computers, becoming familiar in basic IT, Microsoft Office, and other types of business software.

John Bessey, managing director of Microsoft Philippines, says the company has invested around $2 million to create 50 of these centers across the Philippines.

JOHN BESSY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, MICROSOFT PHILIPPINES: I think the important thing that we've learned is that if you've been something like human trafficking, obviously you need safety and security, but you also need to get your confidence back. And what we've seen is with technology and these girls, young girls often using this technology, its a way for them to build skills not only that can be used in the workforce, but just building the skills and having confidence to do something new and brave like go out to the internet again helps them build their confidence, I think, and rebuild their lives.

HOLMES: In the past seven years, the program has helped train more than 30,000 young people -- 30,000 -- with new skills and a renewed hope for what the future might hold.

Michael Holmes, CNN, Atlanta.


SWEENEY: And human traffic in the Philippines is the subject of a new CNN documentary The Fighters. It looks at how migrant workers and their families become unwitting victims of slave labor and also champions some very courageous people who are trying to stop it. This CNN Freedom Project documentary will be presented in two parts over two consecutive nights. And you can see part one Friday at 9:00 in London, and part two is on Saturday at the same time.

The latest world news headlines just ahead.

Plus, his attorneys say he's not a monster. They say the man accused of kidnapping and abusing three young women for about a decade is a regular gut. Excerpts from an exclusive interview ahead.

Also ahead, why roads in Belize will soon be made from ancient treasures.

ANDERSON: And you'll also be hearing from me tonight. I'm Becky Anderson live for you at the Cannes Film Festival where Baz Luhrmann's movie The Great Gatsby has opened what is a 12 day feast of film.

Later in the show, I'll bring you some highlights from day one. We'll hear from director Stephen Spielberg who is heading up an intimidating judging panel. This is, after all, a competition. The coveted prize, the Palme d'Or. Join me in 20 minutes and we'll take a look at some of the films in the running.


SWEENEY: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories this hour. Nigeria's president has announced a massive deployment of troops to the northeast to hunt down Islamic militants. He says the country is facing a rebellion driven by extremists trying to impose Sharia law. On Tuesday, the president declared a state of emergency across three northeastern states.

Egyptian state media reports alleged al Qaeda-linked militants arrested over the weekend planned to attack the French and US embassies with car bombing. The report says an Egyptian army facility in the Sinai was also an intended target. Sources tell CNN the alleged terror cell had ten kilograms of bomb-making material.

France has entered its third recession in four years. The economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of this year. President Francois Hollande says austerity measures, lack of liquidity, and loss of confidence are to blame.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Myanmar and Bangladesh are being asked to leave coastal areas. Cyclone Mahasen is expected to make landfall on Thursday. It could swamp coastal areas where vulnerable victims of religious violence are living in camps.

We're learning more today about the horrific ordeal three young women endured locked away for about a decade at a home in Cleveland, Ohio. A family friend of one victim says all three women were abused by Ariel Castro, the man charged with kidnapping and raping them.

But the friend says Michelle Knight was his main, quote, "punching bag." Castro allegedly beat her repeatedly, causing vision loss, joint and muscle damage, and other health problems.

In an exclusive interview with a CNN affiliate, Castro's attorneys say he will plead not guilty. They say he's being mischaracterized and is misunderstood.


CRAIG WEINTRAUB, ATTORNEY FOR ARIEL CASTRO: Well, I think that the initial portrayal by the media has been one of a, quote, "monster," and that's not the impression that I got when I talked to him for three hours.

JAYE SCHLACHET, ATTORNEY FOR ARIEL CASTRO: He is a human being, and what's offensive is that the media -- and I don't mean it towards you -- but the media and the community wants to demonize this man before they really know the whole story, and I think that it's unfair and it is just not equitable. He's a regular person, the same as you and I.


SWEENEY: Now, you may remember Natascha Kampusch, an Austrian women who suffered a similar fate as the three victims in Cleveland. She has rebuilt her life since escaping from her captor in 2006, but says she can never escape the traumatic memories. Matthew Chance had an exclusive interview with Natasha today. He joins us now, live from Vienna.

Quite a story, Matthew, that you have been following for the last seven years. And then, to have an interview with this woman all this time after her release.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, and she's really changed quite a lot from 2006 when she first emerged from that cellar a short distance from the Austrian capital here, Vienna, into freedom for the first time in -- what? -- eight years.

She was just ten years old back in 1998 when she was abducted by someone called Wolfgang Priklopil. He took her back to his house, he installed her in a cellar he'd had specially made. She didn't manage to get free for another eight years, she was 18 years old when she came out.

So, she missed all those extremely important formative years as a teenager just being kept in the cellar sort of in the grip, being raped, being abused by this one individual, this one man.

So, the parallels with what's taken place in Cleveland are quite astonishing, and she's got a lot to say that when we spoke to her today exclusively at CNN, about what the women who were kidnapped in Cleveland may have been through and what they're likely to go through as well in the years ahead.


CHANCE: What exactly happened on that day?

NATASCHA KAMPUSCH, FORMER CAPTIVE: I walked down the street and I saw a man.

CHANCE (voice-over): If anyone can understand what the Cleveland kidnap victims must have endured, it's Natascha Kampusch. She took us to the street in Vienna where she herself was abducted, age just 10.

KAMPUSCH: Grabbed me and --

CHANCE: Like the women in Cleveland, she spent the best part of a decade torn from her family, imprisoned in her abductor's house.

CHANCE (on camera): When you saw that there were three women in Cleveland, Ohio, that had been through a very similar experience to yours, how did that make you feel?

KAMPUSCH (through translator): I thought to myself, I'm very happy for the three women. Thank God they have survived their ordeal. They are certainly very strong.

CHANCE (voice-over): This is the man who robbed Natascha of her childhood. Wolfgang Priklopil kept her locked in his cellar for eight long years. He raped her, then committed suicide when she finally escaped, aged 18.

KAMPUSCH (through translator): It was an enormous feeling of joy that cannot be compared to anything else. You see all the possibilities laid out in front of you. The women in Cleveland should really try to savor this joyous feeling as long as possible.

KAMPUSCH (in English): I was very -- jealous of him. He had everything, and I had only a small room.

CHANCE: But at the house where she was a prisoner, she's now the owner. It was awarded to her by the Austrian courts as damages. The property is an important symbol, she told me. Keeping it is her way of dealing with her past.

CHANCE (on camera): How do you get over it? A lot of people are going to be watching this situation in Cleveland and thinking about you as well and wondering how do you ever get over an experience like this?

KAMPUSCH (through translator): You live with it. You live with it in your head your whole life. You have to try to see the positive and look forward to the future and to bury the hate you feel for the person who did this to you.

CHANCE (voice-over): It is a sobering thought for the victims in Cleveland. Like Natascha, their captivity has been ended, but their ordeal may be far from over.


SWEENEY: But it will be, I'm sure, reassuring, Matthew, for them to see Natascha Kampusch now in 2013, self-assured. She seems to be happy. You've spent time with her. Does she give any indication of her happiness these days or how she's living her life?

CHANCE: Well, I think, to be honest, she puts up a good front. She's -- it's remarkable, really, and admirable that she's been through so much that she manages to speak in that public way so frankly and candidly about what she's been through.

But she is very shy. When you speak to her, she's a little uncomfortable as well. Socially, she confided in me that she didn't really trust people and had trouble with that. And she doesn't have a partner, either, even though she's 25 years old.

At the same time, that has to be balanced with the fact, as I mentioned, that she's gone out there and given interviews, she's written a book, which has been selling a lot of copies around the world. And a film has been made about her as well.

And so, I think there's a sense in which telling her story has become very therapeutic for her, to help her get over her terrible, terrible experiences.

SWEENEY: Yes, and extraordinary now that she owns that house that she was kept in for so long. Thanks very much, indeed. Matthew there, reporting live from Vienna with that exclusive interview with Natascha Kampusch.

Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, and still to come, one success story leads to another. A car manufacturer's brisk sales mean big business for a major port in Romania.

And wrapping up his US tour, Prince Harry gets sporty. Find out what game he's been playing a little later in the program.


SWEENEY: It's not easy to make a profit during tough economic times, but a car manufacturer in Romania is quite a success story. Renault Dacia is the country's biggest exporter, and that means big business for the major port of Constanta. Becky Anderson has more in this week's edition of Gateway.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These freight trains are integral to the workings of Constanta Port. Round the clock services carry anything from cereals to crude oil and cars.

ANDERSON (on camera): Last year, 110,000 vehicles came through this car terminal, and of those, 90,000 were Dacias, like this one.

STEFAN GAIBU, DIRECTOR OF LOGISTICS, DACIA (through translator): Constanta Port is strategically important for our logistics flow in the delivery of new vehicles. Forty percent of our international deliveries go out through the port. Through Constanta, we are also exporting car parts to at least 12 destinations worldwide.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The Romanian manufacturer Dacia is a subsidiary of Renault. It's here, in a factory north of Bucharest, that 1500 workers and machinery move seamlessly to produce a car every minute.

MARINICA DUTESCU, SENIOR FACTORY WORKER, DACIA (through translator): I've been working here at Dacia for 18 years. When the assembly line normally moves, I attach doors to about 470 cars. It's great to have this job. Look at the economy in Romania and the problems of the workforce. The Dacia factory gives us the opportunity to have a decent job.

ANDERSON: Dacia is a brand with Soviet-era roots and has grown into the country's most profitable export. Around 90 percent of the cars produced here are destined for foreign markets by rail, road, and sea. Every day, an average of three trains are loaded to full capacity. At 700 meters long, each one carries up to 300 cars along the 350 kilometers of tracks that connect the factory to the port.

AURELIAN BRATU, TRAIN DRIVER (through translator): Each shift, we have big trains. This one is quite an exception, though. It's one of the biggest. Having cars behind me is quite a challenge that requires more attention. As you can imagine, when there are so many cars, the stakes are high.

ANDERSON: And the car terminal is cashing in on Dacia's success.

ANDERSON (on camera): You must've been relieved when business was good in 2010, because it must have been a pretty scary time for you.

DORIN JACOB, CEO, ROMCARGO MARITIM: It was a surprise for us because Dacia was against the wave of the crisis. Dacia made my business, actually. In 2008, we export from here 36,000 cars. And in this year, we expect to have 150,000 cars.

ANDERSON (voice-over): A 300 percent increase over the course of five years. Against all the odds, Dacia is flourishing, making Romania and its Port of Constanta key players in the European automotive industry.


SWEENEY: Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, Andy Murray pulls out of a tournament with an injury. Why some are now concerned about his French Open prospects.

ANDERSON: And some glamor for you. I'm Becky Anderson, out of Romania and into Cannes in the south of France for you. It's opening night of the Cannes Film Festival. I'll be bringing you the highlights in about three minutes.



TOBEY MAGUIRE AS NICK CARRAWAY, "THE GREAT GATSBY": Gatsby. He had a grand vision for his life since he was a boy.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO AS JAY GATSBY, "THE GREAT GATSBY": I'm going to fix things just the way they were before. Just you and me.

MAGUIRE AS CARRAWAY: No amount of fire could challenge the fairy tale he had stored up in his heart.


SWEENEY: That's all anyone's talking about. It's one of the most anticipated films of this year. Tonight, Baz Luhrmann takes on "The Great Gatsby" -- his own take on "The Great Gatsby," rather, is opening the Cannes Film Festival.

And let's welcome back Becky Anderson, because some of the biggest names in show business have walked the red carpet this evening, and there in Cannes among them, is Becky. Hi.

ANDERSON: That's right, and it is a soggy red carpet. Fionnuala, it is miserable weather-wise down here tonight, but who cares when you've got the stars out in force? Opening night, of course, at the 66th Cannes Film Festival, and it was all about Baz Luhrmann and those who are starring in his 3D bombastic adaptation of Fitzgerald's 1925 novel "The Great Gatsby."

It is a big movie. Purists will say that he doesn't really do the elegance and the nuance of F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing, but if you like a big Baz Luhrmann movie, then you will really enjoy this. We got a preview of it a couple of days ago, and it is, as I say, an enormous, bombastic movie.

We had the fans out today as well. Before the red carpet, before the torrential rain, we did a bit of a wander around to see what was going on. Have a look at this.


ANDERSON: This is the famous red carpet at Cannes, freshly-laid this Wednesday morning. You can see they're putting the finishing touches down, the cellophane will be pulled off moments before the movie stars arrive here in the south of France for the big opening night.

Take a look around, you can see that lots of other people, though, are already here. The fans and the autograph hunters, who have, let me tell you, brought their stepladders to make sure they get a good position. And why wouldn't they when Leonardo DiCaprio is in town?

Marche du Film is where the real business happens here at the Cannes Film Festival. The beach is where the parties happen, party central, if you like. Let's hope that this weather improves somewhat. The Majestic still getting ready for their celebration.

And then out here, if you've got some real cash, the super yachts also will hold their own parties, the famous Croisette to my right here in the south of France.

And more fans here at the Martinez because this hotel is where many of these famous film stars get their faces done and their frocks fitted and they get a pre-party cocktail or an aperitif, if you've gone local here in the south of France.


SWEENEY: Indeed, that was certainly beyond on a day, particularly when it's not particularly sunbathing weather. But let me ask you, Becky, director Steven Spielberg is leading rather an intimidating judging panel this year, but there is a strong lineup of films in the running for the Palme d'Or. Any tips on a favorite for the grand prize?

ANDERSON: Yes, you're absolutely right. He's the head judge, as it were, on this jury, and it is an intimidating one. It includes Nicole Kidman, Christoph Waltz, and Ang Lee. They will deliver their verdict on that coveted Palme d'Or on May the 26th. Don't forget, this is a 12-day fest.

And this, before we have a look at some of the films in the running, is what Steven Spielberg had to say just a little earlier on today.


STEVEN SPIELBERG, DIRECTOR: I look at film festivals not really as a competition, I look at them as an opportunity to brag, to boast, about all the different things that so many cultures get to say about their own lives and each other. And the entire world comes together once a year at Cannes, and I think it's an extraordinary cultural, global cultural event. So, I look at this as a two weeks of celebrating film.


ANDERSON: Yes, well there are 20 films in the running for the Plame d'Or this year. New films from the Coen brothers. Remember, they first won here in 1991 with that movie "Barton Fink." Their new movie, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a story of a 1960s folk singer, Fionnuala, making his way in Greenwich Village, and it stars Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan, of course, is the costar in "The Great Gatsby."

A new offer from Steven Soderbergh, who I think should be picked for this as well. These are just my ideas. As I say, there are 20, I'm just showing you a couple here. "Behind the Candelabra" is Soderbergh's new movie, and he says, his last. He says he's getting out of the movie-making business. Well, my goodness, he is going out with a bang.

This is the secret story of Liberace and his gay lover, Liberace played by Michael Douglas and his lover played by Matt Damon. I fancy that one, I've got to say, for the Palm d'Or. The competition, though, is as stiff as ever. And we know that generally some of the more rarefied entries actually pick up the prize here, so who knows? But I'm backing that one, "Behind the Candelabra."

I'm in town to get some face time with some of the biggest stars, Leonardo DiCaprio included in that. You'll be able to see the interviews that we're picking up here in Cannes, of course, on CNN Preview at this time on CONNECT THE WORLD on Friday. For the time being, though, it is all yours, Fionn.

SWEENEY: All right, Becky, thank you there from Cannes. As Steven Spielberg said, two weeks of celebrating film. Enjoy it.

The Champions League final takes place in London in ten days' time, but it's a London club that's looking for more European glory on Wednesday. Mark McKay joining us now with the details from CNN Center. Hi there, Mark.

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fionnuala. Yes, that club being Chelsea in pursuit of its own brand of history against Benfica in tonight's Europa League final from Amsterdam.

Benfica looking to end a 51-year wait without a major European trophy. Of course, Chelsea, out of London, hoping to hold the Champions League title and the Europa League title at the same time.

It was Benfica ruing many, many missed opportunities in the first half of this match, and Fernando Torres made him pay in the 60th minute, putting Chelsea out in front. Eight minutes later, though, Benfica were on level terms until the very end, 92nd minute Branislav Ivanovic with a header, and that is how it ended, 2-1 Chelsea.

They have a way of leaving it late, Fionnuala. Remember last year, Didier Drogba's header in the 88th minute in the Champions League final allowed them to go on to penalties and win that one, and they did it tonight. So they hold the Europa League and the Champions League title at the same time. Blues are victorious in Amsterdam.

SWEENEY: Lucky for them. What's this I hear about Andy Murray possibly missing the French Open?

MCKAY: Not good at all. It came as a result of him having to retire from a match in Rome on Wednesday. He has a hip muscle injury, and it's really causing him a lot of pain. He took to the court, onto the clay against Marcel Granollers of Spain, but he could only go into the third set before -- you could see it right there -- terrible, terrible pain that he's facing.

He says this could very well prevent him from playing in the French Open, which begins next week. He's going to have continued treatment on it, but it's not looking good for Andy Murray playing in Paris in just a few days' time. And wouldn't you know it, it was his 26th birthday on Wednesday. Not a good way to celebrate. I'll see you for "World Sport" in about 35 minutes, Fionnuala.

SWEENEY: All right, looking forward to it. And moving on, now, Mark, to a royal sport. Britain's Prince Harry wrapping up a week-long visit to the US with a polo match. Royal correspondent Max Foster joining me now from Greenwich, Connecticut. Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: One of the most glamorous, exclusive events I've ever been to in my life. I'm sure you've been to these before, Fionnuala, but this was extraordinary. An extremely wealthy area and a very exclusive occasion.

The polo match, guess what? Prince Harry won. His team representing Sentebale, which is his African children's charity. He's -- we have heard from some expert players, actually, though, saying that he could actually be a professional, he is that good. But he had a fun day.

It was about raising money for that charity, raising over a million dollars just in sponsorship, and then you have lots of extra donations on top of that, so probably around $2 million raised today.

A very different scene, Fionnuala, from what we had yesterday in Harlem, a very underprivileged area, but probably expresses what Harry's about, trying to be normal. But this is sort of a more natural environment for him, obviously.

SWEENEY: All right. We'll leave it there. Max Foster, thanks for joining us, there, from Greenwich in Connecticut.

Now, in tonight's Parting Shots, a new record has been set at auction following the sale of this rather impressive bit of bling. Christie's today sold the largest colorless, flawless diamond ever put under the hammer. Over 100 carats. Now, it was expected to sell for around $20 million. In fact, it fetched a record $23.5 million.

The diamond was found in a mine in Botswana. It took 21 months to polish. The seller, perhaps not surprisingly, is staying anonymous.

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