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CONNECT THE WORLD

Syrian Conflict Through the Eyes Of Its Youngest Victims; 1 Million March In Brazil For Change; Miami Repeat As NBA Champions; Autopsy Shows James Gandolfini Died Of Natural Causes; Democratic Left Party Quits Greek Governing Coalition

Aired June 21, 2013 - 16:00:00   ET

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


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Tonight, crisis talks in Brazil. The government holds an emergency cabinet meeting a day after more than a million protesters take to the streets. We'll speak to Brazil's ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Also ahead, under a haze of smoke, pollution levels reached record highs in Singapore for a third straight day. And it's not over yet.

Plus...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 22 to 1, it doesn't look like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: James, holds up, puts it in! Four point lead!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: King James does it again as the Miami Heat win their second NBA championship. We find out why the team is so hot.

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

FOSTER: And the calls for change in Brazil are growing louder. And now the government has indicated it may be ready to listen. President Dilma Rousseff held an emergency cabinet meeting earlier to discuss how to handle the worst unrest Brazil has seen in more than two decades. No word yet on what was said or if the president will address the country. What is clear, the protests aren't going away any time soon.

More than a million people took to the streets last night, by far the biggest demonstrations yet to take place.

Clashes turned violent in some areas. This map shows how widespread Thursday's protests were. Protests happened in the country's densely populated coastline as well as more sparsely populated areas to the east.

Shasta Darlington has the latest. She joins us now live from Sao Paulo.

You've been covering this for the recent days. How would you describe the mood today? Is it different from previous days?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, I would say today the mood is pretty tense, and that's because things did get out of hand last night. And as you said, you know, we're waiting to hear from President Dilma Rousseff. The fact is there's no quick fix. The one single concrete demand that these demonstrators had which was for lower bus fares has basically been met. The problem is, it just grew to something so much bigger than that.

We saw massive demonstrations really a rejection of a political system that is widely seen as corrupt.

So, obviously what people want, they want better schools. They want more hospitals. They want less money being spent on expensive stadiums and less money going into politician's pockets. But that isn't something that can be solved overnight.

So what we could expect and what people would like to hear is just something from Dilma Rousseff, something from their president, talking about how she's listening to them and what she's going to do moving forward.

The problem is as you can see right behind me, it's almost night time and we have not heard from her yet. There are rumors that she'll come out of these meetings and address the nation, but people are waiting. And in the meantime, more protests are being planned, Max.

FOSTER: OK. Shasta, thank you very much indeed.

One survey in Sao Paulo revealed who the protesters there are and why they're angry. Firstly, the makeup, more than three-quarters of demonstrators have high education, but not that many are students, only 22 percent. More than half are under 25. And for nearly three-quarters this is the first time they've protested.

Now, the reasons. And 56 percent say it's the hike in fares. Corruption is a big concern: 40 percent. For around a third it's a protest against violence and repression.

One thing that sets these protests apart is the wide variety of grievances against the government and the different collections of groups who were taking part.

Matthew Chance asked people in Rio what they're angry about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's so many problems that we've got to focus. Today, today is about five causes.

CHANCE: You're focusing on five.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is five causes.

But it won't stop here. It won't stop now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm protesting for the corruption, the health system, the transportation system, the education system...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, it's clear that the protests which started over higher bus fares have snowballed into a much bigger movement.

Joining me in the studio now is Roberto Jaguaribe, Brazil's ambassador to the UK. Thank you so much indeed for joining us.

Presumably, no word on the meeting here in London.

ROBERTO JAGUARIBE, BRAZILIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UK: That's correct.

FOSTER: Do you have any sense of what was going to be discussed as they went in?

JAGUARIBE: Well, I think there are several issues to be discussed. Of course there's the security issue, which is very important. When you have more than one reason people going to the streets, as you showed, it is bound to make some difficulties and we have to address that firstly and initially. And when to avoid this becomes of a rioters nature (ph) it is not in rioters natures (ph), but we must make sure that it doesn't become a rioter nature (ph).

FOSTER: And that's the problem now, isn't it? Because it started off peacefully. And the police held back. And the government talked about a respectful expression of democracy. But when it tips into this violent phase as we've started to see, the police are reacting. But when the police react, you get more violence in response. We've seen that happen today.

So how do you handle this sort of situation?

JAGUARIBE: Well, it's a very delicate balance. And it's not very simple, but as everybody believes...

FOSTER: ...but you're not doing either at the moment. You're not committing either way.

JAGUARIBE: Well, the protest, as I say, is essentially very peaceful in nature. Of course there's a dynamic en masse -- manifestations besides a group of people that may feel threatened to do something different. So we have to be careful about all of those dimensions. But essentially we want to protect the protesters, protect property, which has been damaged yesterday as you have seen, and make sure that this continues to be on a very rightful and peaceful manifestations.

FOSTER: As the police do push back, it does create a sense -- more sense of anger. And we've seen over these past few days how concerns have been expressed in a variety of groups. I mean, what are you addressing here, now? You initially thought it was bus fares, but it's not anymore, is it? So how on Earth can you address this range of issues?

JAGUARIBE: Well, I think you put your finger on a very delicate point, because one of our ministers who is dealing with these issues of social -- civil societies, said it would be presumptuous on our parts to be what -- that we know what's taking place...

FOSTER: The first thing is to find out what their concerns are. And efforts are being made that way?

JAGUARIBE: Certainly are. And of course it's very diffuse. So we can perceive, perhaps, a certain uneasiness with, for instance, political representation. They don't really feel represented by the political parties...

FOSTER: But you're not speaking to the protesters. I haven't seen them going into government buildings and holding panel discussions.

JAGUARIBE: Well, who are the leaders?

FOSTER: Well, I don't know. I mean that...

JAGUARIBE: Yes, again. This is a very dynamic process that is happening.

FOSTER: ...talking to them. You're not talking to anyone, you're just trying to work out what's going on, on TV.

JAGUARIBE: Well, we're trying to work out what's going on, because whom do we speak to? Who are the leaders of the protest?

FOSTER: I don't know, that's got to be...

JAGUARIBE: Well, there's no such thing.

FOSTER: You're going through the protesters, trying to work out...

JAGUARIBE: It's a mobilization that has a different dynamic. In fact, it's not a Brazilian thing, it's a global thing. And it has to do with different media, especially the social media, which is very capable of generating the sort of...

FOSTER: We spoke to a young lady yesterday who had a group with 75,000 followers. So effectively you have to go and engage with people like that. Is an effort being made that way?

JAGUARIBE: I think it is. And we have many channels for that purpose.

Of course, you know, one of the problems is that the normal democratic channels that are established are not followed by these people. They don't feel represented adequately in these channels. They want to create something new. We have to understand that and see how it goes. It's...

FOSTER: It's a case of identifying who to speak to and then the government is doing that, isn't it?

JAGUARIBE: Of course. But again we have established democratic process. Changes have to be made through the established democratic process. And we have to follow that route.

But it's important to understand the message and to find what they want and to have a dialogue established.

FOSTER: Were lessons learned from the bus fare issue? Because you thought it was a single issue and there was a U-turn on that. And it kind of back-fired didn't it? Because the protests got worse afterward. There's a moment of celebration, of course, but...

JAGUARIBE: Well, you know, there is a (inaudible) in Brazil are very common for the new years, for Carnival, for football stadiums and mass protests I see it every day. This has acquired a new dimension, we have to understand that. But it's very volatile. You don't know exactly where you're going to end.

FOSTER: FIFA has said the World Cup must continue there. It's one of the points that people do bring up, because it seems to sort of encapsulate the problems. You know, money being spent on the World Cup when it should be spent on schools and hospitals when local hospitals aren't that great, they argue.

How do you handle this World Cup issue? Because it does, at the moment, seem insensitive.

JAGUARIBE: Well, first of all, the investments for the World Cup have already been made. They are there. They have been very use -- very much utilized. The World Cup is prepared. We are ready to host the World Cup. We are hosting right now the Confederation's Cup. In spite of the fact that 1 million people were on the streets yesterday, we had several games going without any difficulties, which shows that we can cope with this issue.

FOSTER: OK, ambassador, thank you very much indeed for your time.

JAGUARIBE: My pleasure.

FOSTER: Still to come tonight, postal workers in China are getting attention for a remarkable catch during their lunch break.

Coming up, more details on how Sopranos star James Gandolfini died as well.

And an abrupt exit plunges Greece into fresh turmoil as it coalition government scrambles to pick up the pieces. We have a live report from Athens.

All that and much more when Connect the World continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Max Foster. Welcome back to you.

Now the smallest party in Greece's ruling coalition has quit the government, throwing the country back into political turmoil. The defection by the Democratic Left Party was triggered by dispute over the government's move to close the state broadcaster ERT. Confirming the party's departure, the country's public administration minister made this announcement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTONIS MANITAKIS, DEMOCRATIC LEFT PARTY MEMBER (through translator): After the decision by Democratic Left to withdraw from the government coalition and to withdraw its ministers, I will submit my resignation to the prime minister today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, the exit leaves Greece's government with a majority of only three seats in Parliament.

For more on this story, journalist Nathalie Savaricas joins us now live from Athens.

Just put this into the context of the crisis there and how stable the government is.

NATHALIE SAVARICAS, JOURNALIST: Well, listen, Max. I mean, Fotis Kouvellis the leader of this small -- the junior -- the most junior coalition partner, at least until now, he implied that he would continue to back the EU reform drive of Antonis Samaras. So when it comes to that, there's no big fears that the government reforms or appetite for that will diminish.

Nonetheless, when it comes to big reforms such as ERT, that's the big question, whether Fotis Kouvellis and his party will be able to back the Antonis Samaras' efforts.

Now, of course, the other big question is as you mentioned in your introduction is that it leaves without (inaudible) very small Democratic Left Party, it leaves the government of Antonis Samaras only with the backing of the Pasok. And that means they only have a very small majority in parliament of only three MPs.

Now political analysts have said that independent MPs might also back them when ti comes to big reforms demanded by the troika, but that raised the big question mark of which reforms and when. Of course, can the government actually survive like this on the long run.

FOSTER: Is there any appetite for snap elections amongst the three parties?

SAVARICAS: No. None. From what we've been hearing at least in the past few days they will be issuing statements right after their meetings, all wanted to avoid the elections, of course, because they know that this would just push the country into a very uncertain terrain and that's very much what they all want to avoid.

Although they have big dispute on how to handle the government. And that's what we've been seeing in the past few days. Not only Democratic Left, but also Pasok, the only coalition partner now that it seems (inaudible) for Antonis Samaras is also raising questions on the governance issue. How this country will be governed.

And of course this paves the way for a government reshuffle. That should be discussed in the next few days. And of course on Antonis Samaras' overall administration of the country, how this will be handled. And of course now with Pasok his only ally, how will they share the government of the country.

FOSTER: OK, Nathalie, thank you very much indeed for joining us from Athens.

Britain's Guardian newspaper says one of the UK security agencies has tapped into many of the world's key fiber optic cables. According to the paper, GCHQ is downloading vast quantities of internet and phone traffic on a regular basis and is sharing the data with U.S. National Security Agency.

The Guardian says this report is based on a number of documents provided by Edward Snowden. He's the man who leaked sensitive top secret intelligence on British and American surveillance operations.

The Guardian has not published the full documents on which the story is based.

GCHQ has told CNN they don't comment on intelligence matters. And they carry out their duties within the legal framework.

An autopsy has been -- has determined that the actor James Gandolfini died from a heart attack. Speaking to reporters, a family friend said no foul play was involved. The 51 year old Sopranos star died on Wednesday in Rome.

CNN's Dan Rivers has more on his final moments.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've learned more details about the final hours of James Gandolfini here in Rome before he collapsed from a massive heart attack. We're told he'd arrived here with his 13-year-old son Michael, that they visited the Vatican. They'd only arrived the day before he collapsed on Thursday, told also that it's not true these reports in the New York media suggesting he'd had a very lavish last supper that may have contributed to his ill health, that was specifically denied.

Family friend Michael Kobold also took the time to explain what was going to happen now that the autopsy had been completed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL KOBOLD, GANDOLFINI FAMILY FRIEND: The body has been turned over to the funeral director who will be performing whatever he does to embalm the body. In Italy, it can take up to 10 days to get all the necessary documents and paperwork to repatriate the body. We are looking forward to working with the Italian government, the officials to shorten that process. It looks like they are doing everything on their end, which is wonderful, so that we can get Jim's body back sooner.

And once we have the clearance, we will put him on a flight to Ameirca.

RIVERS: James Gandolfini was in Italy to attend a film festival in Sicily, a film festival which will go ahead in tribute to the 51-year-old actor who now leaves a 13-year-old son and an 8-month old daughter.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: The Philippines has begun destroying five tons of elephant tusks smuggled in to the country from Africa. It is the first Asian country to eliminate this multimillion dollar stockpile in a landmark move aimed at discouraging the illegal ivory trade.

Now on to an incredible story out of China. A group of postal workers who had made a name for themselves for an amazing catch. The result, a social media sensation as well as well as one very thankful family. David McKenzie has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An incredible rescue in (inaudible) China. Taking a break from work, a group of couriers here crying. They look up, to their horror and see a 2-year-old girl on the ledge outside a window five floors up.

The whole sequence caught on a security camera of the company. They tried to calm the young girl nicknamed Chi Chi (ph). Then the nightmare scenario. Chi Chi (ph) looses her footing. The men rush forward. And she falls.

And just in time, they catch her. And she gets a hug. Their actions have set Chinese social media alit.

"Good job, Mr. Mail carrier," said this user.

"This is the best marketing," said another about the courier company.

The Xinfeng (ph) courier company says they will reward their workers who saved Chi Chi (ph). Two were lightly injured. And a young girl whose parents say she got through the window when they were out buying medicine was left shaken, but with just a scratch and quite a story.

David McKenzie, CNN, Beijing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Heavy flooding in western Canada is forcing at least 75,000 people to flee their homes. A state of emergency has been declared and the military is helping with rescue efforts. So far, there have been no reports of deaths or injuries. At a news briefing Alberta's premier said the full scale of the floods isn't yet clear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALISON REDFORD, ALBERTA PREMIER: Right now, we're focused on emergency response, but in the days to come, those efforts will work towards supporting the rebuilding of our communities. We don't yet know the full scale of what is happening. We know that it's evolving as we go. And Minister Griffiths (ph) will speak to that in a moment.

There are certainly communities downstream of Calgary that have not yet felt the full force of these floods, but our government is ready to provided the financial support that's needed.

FOSTER: Well, live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, a dangerous haze is clouding the Singapore skyline. And it's not going away any time soon.

And learning to play again as Syrian children trying to move on and heal after months of war.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Authorities say more than 550 people have been killed following devastating floods in India's Himalayan region. Severe flooding has left more than 50,000 people stranded as monsoon rains create flash floods and landslides. CNN's Mallika Kapur reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exhausted, but relieved. Car after car brought survivors of the devastating flood that India's Himalayas down to dry, flat land.

One of them stops when they see us. Its passengers are keen to give us a firsthand account of their experience.

"Look," Savjan Singh (ph) says, "I've got something for you."

He shows us this terrifying video he says he recorded on his cellphone.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," he says.

Chilling scenes like this of bridges, homes and cars being swept away have played out in various parts of Northern India which has been lashed by torrential rain since Sunday.

"There was nothing but death in front of us," says his friend Gojip Singh (ph). "Now that we've got out, we feel like we've got a second life."

Rescue teams have brought thousands of people trapped in swirling floods to safety. Some in helicopters, some by road, some on foot. Many are still waiting to be evacuated. Some are still unaccounted for.

Signs of destruction are everywhere. A walk along the bank of River Ganga (ph) show the magnitude of the disaster.

(on camera): Three days ago, the river was almost level with this bridge. The water has subsided now, but people here aren't breathing easy. It's just the beginning of the monsoon, that means there are still two to three months of rainfall ahead.

(voice-over): Deekavig (ph) says this is the heaviest rainfall he's seen in his lifetime. A volunteer at an ashram, he shows us what's left of a giant, iconic idol of the Hindu lord Shiva.

"It was 15 feet high," he says, "but the torrential rain washed it away."

As the weather improves, worshippers return to the river banks to attend a daily prayer service. They stand amid the debris, unshaken in their faith.

Mallika Kapur, CNN, Rishikesh, northern India.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Pollution levels in Singapore have hit a new record high as smoke from fires in Indonesia blanket the city-state. The country's pollution index reached 401 at midday on Friday. Anything above 300 is considered hazardous. Indonesia has deployed aircraft to fight the foreign fires, but Singapore's prime minister warns the smoke could last weeks, even months.

Living in Singapore is U.S. student Alexia Lockman (ph). She's planning on staying inside all weekend and described to CNN just how bad the situation has become.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEXIS LOCKMAN (PH), U.S. STUDENT: Throughout the course of the day the haze will kind of spike around noon, that's when we've seen some of the highest levels. I'm no scientist, but they do rate air quality and the numbers that we're seeing right now it's upwards of 400. And anything below 50 is considered good. So to be up in the 400s, that's categorized as unhealthy and also hazardous.

They're telling everybody to, you know, stay inside as much as possible, especially the very young or the old or if you have allergies, that kind of thing. But most people, when they do go out at this point with it as bad as it is, most people are wearing masks, surgical masks to cover their mouth and noses when they walk outside.

To make a strange U.S. comparison, it's kind of like a snow day right now, we're just trying to stock up on things that we think we might need for the weekend. We really don't want to have to be going outside at all.

The stores throughout Singapore have -- are all sold out of the face masks.

I smell it even before I go outside. To be honest with you, when I wake up in the morning, one of the very first thoughts that hits me is oh my gosh, I can smell the smoke inside again today.

It's very strange. It's very -- especially in a city really is known for being so clean and having such high standards for things like public health and the environment. So it's very strange to see something that they can't control. I think it's very frustrating for everybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: And for more on the smog, Jenny Harrison joins us live from the CNN international weather center. If this wind would wane, I'm sure that would help, Jenny.

JENNY HARRISON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It would. The wind would certainly help, Max. Of course the wind has been a problem it's the direction the wind has been blowing in and will continue to blow in as well.

But just have a look at this. This was taken a couple of days ago. But as soon as you see an image like this, you really begin to understand why there is such a problem. This is so close by in Indonesia. And it is just being blown straight across towards Singapore.

Now look at this Google Earth image. There are literally hundreds of fires that are burning right now. So it's all very well, though, trying to put some of them out. But my goodness they could well just be fighting a bit of a loosing battle.

And of course all of this smoke is being produced and continuing, as I say, to be blown across to these big population centers such as Singapore. And you can see the smoke there on this Google Earth satellite.

So this is what is going on. This is the region. And the reason we have all these fires burning is because the farmers do it themselves. It's the cheapest way to clear the land. It's not necessarily the most effective way, not necessarily the best way to actually feed the land, but it is what they do and they do it year in, year out even though it is -- actually, as I say, illegal.

But the problem is those winds. And this time of year the winds are prevailing from the west. And so it just blows all of that smoke. And so in that first image I showed you, that photograph, you know just how dense that smoke was. And with all these fires burning, just blowing it right the way across Kuala Lumpur, Singapore.

And right now the visibility still down to about two kilometers, that is what it has been for several days now. The temperature 28. The winds are calm. So there's no wind to actually change that air at the moment.

But again just a couple of images to show you.

So back at the beginning of June and then the 20th of June you can barely see the skyline. And then again here's one taken on the 13th of April and then the 20th of June.

So you can just see exactly the problem that everybody there is faced with.

Now for the next few days, well, again typically this particular region, of course, not a huge change with the weather forecast. There's no rain in the forecast over the next few days. You can see here, temperatures in the mid30s. In the overnight hours, no great change either.

And we're not really expecting to see much in the way of strong winds. If anything, again, continuing to come in from the west or the south. They're continuing to blow all of this smoke from these fires that they continue to burn across toward Singapore.

So it's unfortunate they really don't have much there, Max, in the way of good news, but at least perhaps a clearer understanding as to why we've got this smoke and where exactly it is coming from.

FOSTER: Thank you, Jenny.

Now the latest world news headlines just ahead. Plus, smiling once again, but for these young Syrian kids, the past can be haunting. That story is coming up.

And later in the program, a toddler let loose on the CNN set. Why this little boy is making everyone smile.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: This is connect the World on CNN. The top stories this hour. Brazil's president held an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday after huge demonstrations the night before. Dilma Rousseff's chief of staff says the government understands that the protests signaled popular dissatisfaction. More than a million people turned out nationwide on Thursday, and in some areas clashing with police.

The smallest party in Greece's ruling coalition has quit the government, throwing the country back into political turmoil. The defection by the Democratic Left Party was triggered by a dispute over the government's move to close the state broadcaster ERT.

Barack Obama has named a former New York prosecutor as his choice to leave the FBI. If confirmed by the senate, Jim Comey will replace agency director Robert Mueller.

The Reuters News Agency is reporting that 26 Turkish protesters appeared in an Ankara court on Friday. They are being detained on charges of organizing anti-government protests which turned violent last week.

Thousands of Egyptians have rallied in the capital Cairo to show support for President Mohammed Morsi. Egyptian flags and pictures of the president filled the crowds of hundreds of thousands. It was a show of strength ahead of a planned counter demonstration by the president's opponents. That demonstration is set for later this month.

For more on this show of force for President Morsi we go live to Ian Lee covering events in Cairo.

And is it -- where the crowds as big as he had hoped?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a crowd was definitely large somewhere up to around 100,000 people, but it was definitely necessary for the president to get a large crowd out there and to show this kind of force because he has so much opposition to him. Was 100,000 -- roughly 100,000 people enough? That's hard to say. He definitely was able to fill up the area. And on TV it looked very big. So I think that, for him, would be successful.

But the president will need to kind of keep this motivation -- this momentum going as -- especially through this next 10 days leading up to the June 30 demonstration against the president. The opposition are saying that he has really let the country down economically and also hasn't been inclusive enough.

Well, the president's supporters have said that the opposition isn't willing to go out and meet them halfway.

So it is a very critical time right now in Egypt. And the opposition very strong as well. And President Morsi, as we saw today, trying to show his strength as well -- Max.

FOSTER: And in terms of the opposition version, which is a bit later on, of course, what do they hope to get out of that? And what are the numbers likely to be?

LEE: Well, what the word on the street is really the buzz is the most I've seen since the revolution. So we're expecting large numbers to turn out for this. There's a campaign right now that claims to have over 15 million signatures that want President Morsi to step down.

Now there's people in the opposition who want different things. The most extreme would be a military coup that would also have a writing of a new constitution. One side wants that. Others would just like to see early presidential elections for President Morsi to step down after a short period of time.

These seem somewhat unlikely right now. The president, even though his support is waning, it seems unlikely that the military would want to intervene or that this crisis would spill over into Ramadan, which is coming just shortly after that protest. And usually we see a lot of protests die down during Ramadan.

So it will be a critical time for the opposition and for the president, Max.

FOSTER: Ian, thank you very much indeed.

Russia's president continues to criticize the U.S. for recently announcing it would give military support to the Syrian opposition. Vladimir Putin was speaking at the St. Petersburg International Forum, moderated by CNN's John Desterios. And Syria was one of the main foreign policy issues that came up.

Here's what Mr. Putin had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): I can't imagine why weapons should supply to those illegal armed formation in Syria which include people who we fully do not know and do not understand. If the United States and the State Department recognize that one of the key opposition organization al Nusra is a terrorist organization, officially recognized as terrorists, which is linked to al Qaeda, how can they give weapons to that part of the opposition? Where will that weapon end? What is going to happen?

There are at least 600 people from Russia and Europe fighting with the opposition today. So where will those weapons end up? There are no answers to this question as yet. When we ask our partners, they cannot answer.

So, it's not as simple as some people would suggest. We believe that our position is well founded. It's carefully balanced. And we believe that only the Syrian people themselves can guarantee a long-term solution of all the problems that have piled up during the decades before. And we, acting from outside, can only create conditions to achieve such agreements.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Those comments come as Syrian rebels say they've received a shipment of heavy weapons similar to the ones you see here. A Free Syrian Army spokesman said they're from, quote, brotherly nations.

Some FSA leaders believe the weapons could be a turning point in the war against government forces.

The issue of providing military assistance to Syrian rebels is expected to come up tomorrow during a Friends of Syria meeting in Doha.

Story of Syria's civil war has been one of violence, death and terrible injury. But beyond the physical damage, many children suffer psychological scars that are just as traumatic. Frederik Pleitgen reports now from Homs.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As the onslaught in Syria continues, it's often the smallest ones, the country's children, who suffer the most. Many have been killed or maimed, many more displaced.

Like these kids in Homs where fighting is still intense. 8-year-old Bilal has not been to his home in about a year, he says.

"We were visiting some relatives, because there was no electricity in our home. And while we were gone, there was shooting and bombing in our neighborhood," he says. We went home just to get our stuff and never came back.

This center for education and psychosocial support is run by a local aid group and partly funded by UNICEF. Many of the children have not been to school since the conflict began more than two years ago.

Here, they get lessons in English, Arabic and sciences. And perhaps more importantly, the chance to play and be creative and try to forget some of the horrors they've witnessed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of our volunteer teachers have trained how to deal with children, how to make them talk and talk and talk and forget everything that caused pain to them.

PLEITGEN: Homs was one of the first cities where rebels managed to hold territory at the beginning of Syria's civil war, but the government has taken back some of the neighborhoods after intense fighting.

Most of the children come from areas in this town that were engulfed by violence as the two sides faced off.

8-year-old Isra (ph) says she wants to become a teacher.

"We're very happy here," she says. "They're helping us by letting us study and learn."

In many ways, the children who make it to centers like this one are the lucky ones. But the facilities are overcrowded as Syria and international relief groups struggle to cope with a rapidly increasing number of people in need of help.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Homs, Syria.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: This weekend, CNN is looking at the Syrian women who have escaped dangers in their own country only to be confronted by shocking new threats as a refugee. For some teenage girls, the fear of sexual abuse is forcing families to make some very difficult decisions. Here's a clip.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hadiya Hassan (ph) lives in a musty two-room apartment in Amman with 13 children, the oldest 16, the youngest just six months. Her husband was recently released from detention in Syria, but he spends most of his time with his second wife. And Hadiya (ph) is left to fend for herself.

The baby needs vaccinations, but she's afraid to leave her teenage daughters alone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): She has daughters who are 14 and 15 so you want to take care of this family so that others don't come and exploit her situation.

DAMON: Families struggling to cope see marriage as the only way to protect their daughters from something worse, but the social protection of marriage comes at a price.

Not only are these girls unprepared emotionally, many are having children before their bodies are fully developed. In one house, we meet Ayman (ph). She has such a sweet young face. And yet the baby she is awkwardly cradling is hers. Ayman (ph) is 14.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Hear Ayman's (ph) story and many others on Syrian Uncovered, an Arwa Damon special investigation. That's Saturday at 2:00 pm in London, 3:00 in Berlin.

Live from London, you're watching Connect the World. Next up, the film that documents a new global revolution. We give you a preview of Girl Rising.

And the video hit that will make you smile, if not cry. (inaudible) this little boy, deaf from birth here for the very first time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: The CNN film Girl Rising is a personal look at the struggles that seven girls around the world face to get an education. Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins directed the sweeping documentary. It airs on CNN this coming weekend. And Fredricka Whitfield has a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORREPSONDENT: It's a search that took filmmakers around the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm here with a bunch of new friends in Purro, Peru (ph).

WHITFIELD: To interview hundreds of girls and give voice to the challenges and hopes of millions.

RICHARD ROBBINS, DIRECTOR: Girl Rising is about the power of educating girls in the developing world. But ultimately it was a process of trying to kind of find the emotional core of each of the girl's stories.

WHITFIELD: Like the story of Wadley from Haiti. When her parents could no longer pay to send her to school, she refused to be turned away. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): has your mother paid yet, Wadley?

WADELY: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Will you leave, Wadley?

WADELY: No.

MARTHA ADAMS, SENIOR PRODUCER, GIRL RISING: There are 66 million girls missing from classrooms around the world. The goal was to shine a light on the barriers that girls face around he world.

WHITFIELD: In the film, each girl's story is written by a writer from that country.

ADAMS: We wanted to make sure that somebody from their own culture had the task of having to choose one girl to write about.

WHITFIELD: Author Marie Orana (ph) is about to meet a 14-year-old Peruvian candidate. Her name is Sena (ph). It's not long before Sena's (ph) despair over her life surfaces. Marie chooses her for the film.

To get the word out about Girl Rising, producers turned to social media and held more than 500 screenings around the world.

ROBBINS: This wasn't just about creating a cool experience, but was really about creating change in the world.

ADAMS: I think the girls hope that the world would never think to pity them, would never feel sorry for them, but I think they want the world to see them as being courageous.

ROBBINS: I found my experiences out there in the field with these girls incredibly invigorating. It really does restore your faith in humanity and your belief that the world is a good place that's moving in the right direction.

You know, at the end of the day, they're just kids. And they are kids who want to learn.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: A preview there.

Girl Rising, a groundbreaking film that celebrates the power and promise of educating girls. See a special presentation of this film Saturday night at 8:00 in London, 9:00 in Berlin and 11:00 in Abu Dhabi right here on CNN.

Coming up after this short break on Connect the World. The Nigerian music legend paying tribute to his equally famous father. That's next in our entertainment preview.

And back-to-back titles for the Miami Heat. We look at how much credit -- how much credit star player James LeBron (sic) can take for his team's success.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER Time to bring you up to date with what's happening in the world of entertainment. Here's Becky with this week's addition of CNN Preview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This week on CNN Preview, rock history and punk legends. We begin back stage with one of Africa's most famous sons, heir to a musical legacy.

FEMI KUTI, MUSICIAN: Just a bit in front here, because I can always regulate it from here. Thank you.

ANDERSON: Nigerian artist Femi Kuti currently on tour in Europe heads to America this summer armed with a new album flanked by his band, the positive force. Kuti continues his fight for social justice with a mix of American funk and jazz. The Album, "No Place for My Dream" includes a track that honors the memory of his father, musician and political activist Fela Kuti.

KUTI: The message behind the album is more of an alarm raising very big alarm, try to make people understand the extent of the poverty level in the world today, not just in Africa, everywhere like we see in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, in America, England, everybody. No jobs. No work. People can't feed their families.

When I play live, I feel the message gets across, because an audience, after all, is (inaudible) and singing about. I feel they come to my concerts for strength, inspiration and they know I feel their pain and they know and they're hearing -- it's like listening to a very bitter message with a stiff drink.

So I think they get probably I would really hope they are getting strength from watching my gig. And finding some kind of inspiration, or energy, to propel themselves in this difficult times we're in.

ANDERSON: Now to Detroit, Michigan, the Motor City, home of Motown. Soul music and rhythm and blues dominated the music scene in the 1960s. Half a decade later, another kind of sound was rumbling through the streets.

DANNIS HACKNEY, DRUMMER: And here we are in the middle of all of this playing rock 'n' roll.

ANDERSON: The documentary, A Band Called Death is a tale of three brothers who turned their musical talents to making rock so fierce they helped create a new genre: punk. Record mobile Clive Davis, who signed Janis Joplin, Santana, Bruce Springsteen and Whitney Houston wanted to take the brothers to the next level. And the name of the band and their refusal to compromise did not lead to a happy ever after.

DANNIS HACKNEY: There was one sticking point, Clive Davis expressed that he really didn't care for the name of the band.

BOBBY HACKNEY, GUITARIST: He told us, he says you guys might have a record deal if you were willing to change the name.

DANNIS HACKNEY: That sent David into another place, because he had his Death concept. And the concept with the name and the band with the concept and nothing could change.

BOBBY HACKNEY: David in no uncertain terms just said tell Clive Davis to go to hell.

ANDERSON: After 35 years, forgotten in the attic, Death's music has been rediscovered by fans with original vinyl records trading for up to $800.

Now the fairy tale ending has begun. The critically acclaimed film can be seen in movie theaters across America from June 28. Special screenings will be followed by a very live set from Death.

And Kanye West places out of this week's CNN Preview with his latest album Yeezus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kanye has decided to release this, Yeezus, the most exciting record so far. It should be obvious by now...

ANDERSON: He's been teasing fans by projecting new songs such as New Slave and Black Skin-head onto buildings around the world ahead of the official album release date of June 18.

Until next time, I'm Becky Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: And to the hottest basketball team in America right now. The Miami Heat has stamped its authority on the NBA, winning the championship for the second consecutive year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: James pulls up. Puts it in. Four point lead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: The Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88. They did have a home turf advantage, but their biggest weapon was Lebron James. The star forward scored 37 points to lead his team in the back-to-back victory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEBRON JAMES, MIAMI HEAT: Saying hard work pays off was a true testament to what happened tonight. Last year when I was sitting up here, with my first championship, I said it was the toughest thing I've ever done. This year I tell last year, he's absolutely wrong. This was the toughest championship right here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, LeBron James was also named the final's most valuable player for the second straight year.

For more, I'm joined by Mark McKay at CNN Center in Atlanta.

And it's funny to think that he was quite a controversial signing, what was it, three years ago?

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and you know why it was controversial, Max, was the way he went about it. Maybe he could have had a better PR firm behind him and say, you know what, leave Cleveland. Tell Cleveland thank you very much. I've had a great time here. He was from Ohio. He is from Ohio. So leaving Cleveland.

But the way he made that announcement, "I'm taking my talents to South Beach." And then when he teamed with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh saying we're not going to win one championship, we're not going to win two championships, we're going to win multiple championships.

Well, you know what, Max, LeBron James has won just that. He's won multiple championships in back to back years now.

The sky is the limit for LeBron and the Heat if they stay together as a group. But what he did, putting this team on his back. You mentioned he is the NBA finals MVP for the second straight year. He is only the third player in NBA history, Max, to have that very high designation.

FOSTER: And for people not familiar with him, or the game perhaps, let's give them a sense, really, of just how bit the money involved here is. Have a look at some stats on LeBron, specifically.

Forbes ranks him as the fourth highest paid athlete in the world with earnings of $59.8 million. According to research firm Sport One Source, he sells more shoes than any other NBA player. Wait for this, Nike sold $300 million worth of his signature shoes in the U.S. last year.

Kobe Bryant, by the way, had sales worth $50 million.

The Heat always enjoys popularity. It now fills more seats at away games than any other team in the NBA. And its value is up 72 percent since LeBron James arrived in 2010.

This is an enormous business.

MCKAY: It certainly is. And it's a business that is lead, and going to be lead, for at least only a few more weeks by David Stern. The NBA commissioner, Max, came out and said one of his goals when he got into this job and continued on it is to grow the NBA worldwide. Thanks to superstar players like LeBron James, like Dwayne Wade, like Kobe Bryant, they have grown this game outside of the borders of not only North America and the United States, but around the world.

Basketball is an international game with international players. And with the way that LeBron James handles himself, yes, like you said, a bit of controversy at the beginning, but he's a likeable guy. And I was in Miami two years ago when the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks on their home court, they came very close to losing the San Antonio Spurs this time around in Game 6. The one thing you saw when it was crunch time was determination in the eyes of LeBron James. They did not want to go down again. And a threepeat, three championships in a row, could be a strong possibility for this South Florida team, Max.

FOSTER: Is there enough sort of talent behind him as going forward to keep the team in that position, do you think?

MCKAY: And that's what it is, a team. It's not just LeBron James, although many times we find ourselves as LeBron goes, as go the Miami Heat. Dwayne Wade was the superstar player in Miami. Wade is now a three-time NBA champion. But he was the one that stepped aside and said I'm a superstar, but I'm going to let LeBron come in here and he can take over the team.

He made -- he did more than just a secondary role, Wade did, but yeah this is a deep team. This is a talented team with so many weapons.

But the man right at the center is the one who is enjoying it the most today. The NBA champion once again LeBron James and the Heat.

FOSTER: OK, Mark, thank you very much indeed.

Support (inaudible) doesn't all go to LeBron James this week. Amy Wambach has become the leading scorer in the history of international football. The 33-year-old American claimed the title from compatriot Mia Hamm who retired from the game in 2004 with 158 goals.

Wambach only needed two goals to equal the record as she went into a friendly with South Korea, but booted four. The new record now stands at 160 international goals, can you believe it? The most ever scored by a female or male player.

Now what do you think about all of this? Well the team at Connect the World wants to hear from you as ever. Facebook.com/CNNconnect. Have your say and also tweet us @CNNConnect.

And in our parting shots, we wanted to bring you this heartwarming video that's gone viral online in the past 24 -- actually 48 hours.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Daddy loves you. Daddy loves you. Daddy does.

Can you hear daddy?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: That's the power of video isn't it? This was the moment 3- year-old Grayson Clamp (ph) was able to hear his dad's voice for the first time. He was born without cochlear nerves. And that's the auditory nerve that carries the sound signal from the inner ear to the brain. But thanks to doctors at the University of North Carolina, he became the first child in the U.S. to have an auditory brain stem implant. And this was Grayson earlier today on the set of CNN's New Day Show enjoying the newfound gift of hearing. You just cannot imagine what it's like, can you?

I'm Max Foster. That was Connect the World. Thank you so much for watching.

END