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Crowds Gather To Sing, Pray Outside Pretoria Hospital; Barack Obama Visits Slave Outpost Goree Island; Queen Elizabeth Gets $3 million Pay Raise

Aired June 27, 2013 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Growing up hearing stories about a man their parents call a hero. Young and old, the crowds grow outside Nelson Mandela's hospital.

Why some say scenes like these should lead to intervention in Syria. The case for action from a key negotiator during the Balkan's conflict.

And, slip-ups this Wimbledon, but is it the surface at the All England Club that is to blame?

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

ANDERSON: Well, crowds continue to gather outside the hospital where Nelson Mandela is being treated, expressing their respect and concern for the man many consider to be the father of their nation.

Well, here you see the sheer number of people flocking to the hospital singing songs and chanting Mandela's name. The anti-apartheid icon has been in a critical condition since Sunday. It was around this time yesterday that an official told CNN that Mandela was on life support.

But speaking earlier, a government spokesman said the 94-year-old's condition had improved overnight.


MAC MAHARAJ, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN: Madiba is much better today than he was when I saw him last night. The medical team continues to do a sterling job. We must pray for tata's health and wish him well.

We must also continue with our work and daily activities while Madiba remains in hospital.


ANDERSON: Well, around the world people are expressing their admiration and respect for Nelson Mandela. The U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife spoke earlier of the timeless legacy and example that he will leave behind. Have a listen to this.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's a personal hero, but I don't think I'm unique in that regard. I think he's a hero for the world. And if and when he passes from this place, one thing I think we'll all know is that his legacy is one that will linger on throughout the ages.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: I want you to think of the great South African president Nelson Mandela who is very much in our thoughts and prayers right now. I want you to think about this, if President Mandela could hold tight to his vision for his country's future during the 27 years he spent in prison then surely you all can hold tight to your hopes for your own future.


ANDERSON: Well, the ANC has organized prayer groups around the country for people to come together and pray for Madiba's health, his medical team and his family.

Let's get the very latest, shall we, from our team on the ground in South Africa. Robyn Curnow is among the crowds outside the Medi Clinic Hospital in Pretoria. And Isha Sesay joins us from Nelson Mandela's former home, one of his former homes, in Soweto.

Robyn, let's start with you this evening. We're getting a trickle of information about his health with people, of course, hanging on at these every words. Do we have any more facts at this point?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know what, it's been such a day, such an emotional day for South Africans, a seesawing emotions. Every little word picked on, trying to understand just how bad it is. And I think if you're trying to assess it as I look back through the day, there's sort of -- South Africans got bad news and not so bad news.

At first we heard that President Zuma had canceled his trip to Mozambique, indicating to many here that this was pretty serious. He then went to visit President Mandela and came out afterwards saying he had perhaps improved a bit, that although he was critical he was now stable.

But at the same time a few hours before that comment, Mandela's daughter Maki went on the state broadcaster saying that anything was imminent. Take a listen to this.


MAKI MANDELA, NELSON MANDELA'S DAUGHTER: He doesn't look good. I mean, I'm not going to lie. But I think that for us as his children and grandchildren we still have this hope, because you know when we talk to him he will flutter trying to open his eyes and he will open his eyes. When you touch him, he still responds. And I think for us, as his progeny, as long as tata is still responding when we talk to him, when we touch him, I think that gives us hope.



Now as you can probably hear and see behind me, there's essentially a night vigil going on. People are holding candles. They've been...

ANDERSON: Oh, we seem to have lost the link with -- at least outside the hospital. We are, though, going to stick in South Africa. That was Robyn, of course, outside the hospital where Mandela is in a critical but described as stable condition this hour 9:00 London time, a couple of hours after that in South Africa.

I want to bring in Isha Sesay now who is in Soweto. And Isha, the anxiety in his -- or one of his home towns must be tremendous. What's the atmosphere like there?

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, indeed, Becky. I think that sums it up. There's tremendous anxiety in Soweto as there are in other parts of the country where people were really put on edge when they heard that news of Nelson Mandela yesterday being on life support, news that CNN was able to confirm. And then the additional news about President Zuma canceling that trip to Mozambique. And then you heard what Robyn said today, the information that he was still critical, but stable.

People's emotions have been seesawing here in Soweto. You speak to people on the streets and that is what is on their mind, the condition of Nelson Mandela. And also here in Soweto where just a couple of steps away from the Mandela home, the old Mandela home.

And there's also a night vigil going on here. Members of the ANC Youth League, and I must point out this is a branch of the ANC that Nelson Mandela himself helped form in 1944. They are gathered outside the house and got here about 5:00 pm local time for a gathering of prayers and praise of the ailing leader. And they have been here for many hours singing and saying prayers and generally celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela.

They have been singing the songs from the apartheid days, freedom songs, songs that many South Africans know. And those songs have been filling the night air here in Soweto.

I want to take a moment now and bring in my colleague Ivan Watson, Becky, who is here with me and has actually been out and about in Soweto throughout the day. And Ivan, you've actually been speaking to young people born after apartheid ended. And they feel a connection to Nelson Mandela that is just as strong.

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, of course he's an icon, of course he's revered and such a symbol, but he was elected in 1994. It's been nearly 20 years since there. There are an awful lot of South Africans today who never experienced apartheid, who never saw this struggle that Nelson Mandela and his colleagues waged. So we came across some of these South Africans, a choir that had traveled by bus to Pretoria to sing at the hospital for Nelson Mandela. And I'd like you to take a listen to some of what these talented youngsters from a group that's called -- some people call the born free generation, what they had to say.



WATSON: The song you were singing just now about Nelson Mandela, what do the words mean?

SIMPHIWE JIYANE, 20 YEARS OLD: The words basically mean that, like, Oh, Mandela (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE). Meaning that Mandela is bringing peace. He understands, because June 16 was a struggle and he fought for our freedom. And he was there. And he brought peace amongst the blacks and whites.

WATSON: On Thursday, the Zansi Youth Choir (ph) traveled to Pretoria to sing songs outside the hospital where Nelson Mandela lies in critical condition.

TSHEGO RAHUBE, 13 YEARS OLD: I know a lot of things about Mandela, because my great-grandmother used to tell me about him and how he brought peace in this world.

WATSON: And how did it feel for you to be at the hospital today?

RAHUBE: I felt like I was going to cry.

WATSON: South Africans born after apartheid ended with the country's first democratic elections in 1994 are sometimes called the born free generation, because they did not live to see the brutal area of minority white rule which Mandela and many of his colleagues struggled against.

THANDO MASHININI, 17 YEARS OLD: Things are very different now. I -- well, I went to -- I go to school with a white person like it was different -- white people used to be one side, black people had to be one side. So now it's very different. Everything is just multiracial and there's happiness.

WATSON: Is Nelson Mandela's illness right now something that a lot of people around you are talking about these days?

JIYANE: It's actually affecting a lot of people. I think if they had (inaudible) these days, a lot of people would really be sad, a lot of people would cry over it, because it's somebody they related to, it's somebody they see as a role-model.

MASHININI: We look up to Mandela a lot. And we would like to be leaders like him one day. And we're very inspired by his work. And we'd like to say to the family, the Madiba family that they must keep praying and stay strong. And then we'll hope that everything will go well.



SESAY: And Ivan, a great piece. I sums up the feeling of what they call the born free generation.

But you know something that was said in your piece that really reminded me of the signs that I saw when I was in Pretoria today outside the hospital, I heard someone say in your report there that he really is someone that they feel a connection to, almost like a family member.

You know, a lot of people call Nelson Mandela tata, the Xhosa word for father. And people really feel that connection. It's not just some kind of father figure, they feel he's one -- he belongs to them.

WATSON: It's incredible affection and as a first-time visitor to South Africa, to this beautiful country, you know, one of the first men I talked to said, you know, we're just praying for the old man. And everybody in this country knows who that old man is. And that's just a term of respect and endearment. And these little kids who have benefited from the struggle and the wisdom and the leadership of Nelson Mandela, they may not have experienced that hard times, but they certainly seem to be grateful for the struggle that he and his colleagues waged for them.

SESAY: I also want to point out another thing, that it is not just black people that are on edge right now in terms of their concern for Nelson Mandela, it is testament to the reconciliation that he forged in this country when he was released in prison in 1990 that people of all races, all walks of life are all together in the feeling of concern for Nelson Mandela.

WATSON: Absolutely. And I think also this is a time when people are looking back realizing in a township like Soweto how far South Africa has come in those 20 years where this place which looked far different and was much more violent 20 years ago has people singing in the streets right now.

SESAY: Yeah, absolutely.

Ivan Watson, thank you. Great reporting.

And, Becky, as you heard in that conversation there, South Africans, white and black from different walks of life, different groups all united right now in their concern for Nelson Mandela who lies in that Pretoria heart hospital -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Isha, Ivan, thank you for that. You're watching Connect the World live from London. Our top story tonight is Nelson Mandela remains in critical condition in a hospital in Pretoria. Doctors earlier said that they saw improvements overnight. His daughter told CNN's Robyn Curnow that at this point anything could happen.

He will of course bring you an update on this story as and when we get them.

Still to come this hour, the U.S. president experiences a powerful, and I quote powerful moment during his trip to Senegal. We're going to tell you where he went and what he's urged African leaders to do next.

And a former top peace negotiator urges the world to find the lessons from Bosnia's civil war to Syria. Former British secretary Lord David Owen will join us live.

All that and much more when Connect the World continues.


ANDERSON: Well, a federal grand jury in the United States has indicted Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzohkar Tsarnaev. The 30 counts involve his alleged role in using weapons of mass destruction. Now the double bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April killed three people and injured more than 260 others.


CARMEN ORTIZ, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY: His alleged conduct forever changed lives. The victims, their families and this community have shown extraordinary strength and resilience in the face of this senseless violence.


LU STOUT: Meantime, U.S. President Barack Obama has kicked off his African tour in Senegal. The president visited a former slave trade post on Goree Island, calling it a powerful reminder to keep human rights in focus. He earlier met with Senegal's president.

Vladimir Duthiers has been following President Obama. He joins us live now from Daka.

So what's the narrative from the U.S. president?

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the president spent today meeting with leaders of the judiciary, again stressing the importance of the rule of law across Africa, but specifically in Senegal -- one of the reasons he chose to come to Senegal is Senegal is one of the few countries in Africa that has never suffered a coup.

He pointed to the Senegalese way of government as a model of success across the continent. He stressed how important the rule of law was by meeting with the judiciary. He spent some time at a press conference, a joint press conference with President Macky Sall of Senegal where he answered on a wide range of issues ranging from the treatment of homosexuals in Africa and in Senegal to questions regarding the fugitive Edward Snowden.

So pretty jam packed day for the president, but I would say the most emotional part of his visit today came when he visited Goree Island. This was an island just a few miles off the coast of Dakar that was a strategic trading post used during the Atlantic slave trade. Thousands of men, women and children were taken to this island and held captive on the island for many, many months. The president and the first family took a visit to the island and visited what is called a slave house.

This is -- and a structure that still exists today where these tiny rooms where -- there was one room that's literally just 12 feet across where they would stuff 20 human beings in those rooms where they waited for months at a time before being shipped off to a life of unimaginable horrible, Becky.

ANDERSON: Vladimir Duthiers on the trip.

While in Senegal, Mr. Obama addressed matters a little closer to home. He said he won't be making deals with foreign governments to capture self- avowed NSA leader Edward Snowden. He added that he won't be taking any extraordinary measures.


OBAMA: I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.


ANDERSON: Well, meanwhile a top official in Ecuador says her government never granted a refugee travel document to Edward Snowden and it has not dealt with a request for his asylum.

Senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is in the capital Quito and he joins us live.

This sort of gets murkier and murkier, doesn't it at this point?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it does. And I think that one of the reasons why Edward Snowden, perhaps, hasn't turned up here as expected in Quito, the Ecuadorian capital, is that it has emerged now that he doesn't have the kind of travel documents that it was previously believed he did have.

Obviously the United States has revoked his U.S. passport. It was believed because WikiLeaks said so, that the Ecuadorian government had given him a refugee document that would have enabled him to move out of Moscow and go on to Quito to claim refugee status.

But the Ecuadorian authorities here, and we've spoken to a number of officials earlier on here today, categorically denying that, saying that they have not authorized any issuing of a refugee document to Edward Snowden. They understand there is a document that's been put out there, but they say that was not authorized by the central government here in Quito. And that the person who -- and they haven't named that person -- but the person who issued it will be responsible for it themselves.

And so they're extremely angry it seems that this document has been circulated. And again, they're saying they haven't given any kind of travel documents to this wanted fugitive.

ANDERSON: The latest on what seems to be this story of chasing shadows around the world. Matthew Chance in Quito for you this evening.

Family friends and fans have paid tribute to the Sopranos star James Gandolfini. He had his funeral in New York today. A service held at a Manhattan church a week after the 51-year-old actor died of a heart attack while in Italy.

Hollywood celebrities and past members of the show turned out to pay their final respects to him.

Venezuelan authorities have announced they found the remains of a crashed plane that carried Italian fashion boss Vittorio Missoni. The plane went missing six months ago during a journey from Los Roques Archipelago Resort to an international airport just outside Caracas. Now the plane was carrying Missoni, his wife and four others. Officials said they found the plane underwater just north of the Los Roques islands.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd faces his first full day back in office ousting his long-time rival Julia Gillard. Mr. Rudd was sworn in at a ceremony in Canberra earlier today. A day earlier than that, he defeated Ms. Gillard in a leadership vote within Australia's ruling Labor Party.

Three years ago, Ms. Gillard forced him out of the top job.

Live from London, this is Connect the World. It's 21 minutes past 9:00 here. I'm Becky Anderson for you. Coming up, a royal bonus. We'll have details on Queen Elizabeth's pay rise.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I studied four years for really nothing, because at the end I'm going to be working in a cafeteria or, I don't know, it's like, there's no point. I've lost four years.


ANDERSON: The lost generation, how slow economic growth leaves millions of young Europeans out of jobs.


ANDERSON: Queen Elizabeth II is getting a $3 million pay rise. The crown and state, which manages the property portfolio for the British monarch has posted a record profit. So the queen will see an income of about $60 million next year.

Royal correspondent Max Foster with the details for you.


MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The queen is one of the richest women in the world. Her officials duties and several of her residences are paid for by the British tax payer, which also picks up some of the cost for other members of the royal family.

So how is the money paid? Well, she gets a proportion of the income of something known as the Crown Estate. It's a land portfolio originally inherited from earlier generations of monarchs, which now includes an enormous range of properties from offshore wind farms to prime real estate.

For example, almost every property on Regent Street here in London. It is one of the premium shopping streets, and also Regents Park here in London. Property values have been booming. So that means the queens income is rising too.

But handing the queen a pay rise has proved very controversial at a time when salaries for many people are frozen or even being cut. The anti- monarchy group Republic called for the queen to reject her funding increase whilst most other people in Britain are facing cuts.

Now, the royal family says it needs the money to catch up with a back log of repairs at palaces -- Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, for example.

Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace, for example, is being renovated for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It's a big home, though, a big project. So so far it's cost around $1.5 million, that renovation work. It's due to completion in the autumn. It won't be done in time for the new royal baby.

Now adding travel and other expenses to the equation, for the year up to March, the total cost of the monarchy to the UK taxpayer actually comes to around $47 million.

Max Foster, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, we asked you on our Facebook page whether you think the queen should accept her pay rise, given these austere times. One of you writing, the 5 percent of her earning increase should go to children in third-world countries. Another view asks, what is her job to earn that sleeping?

Another believes she should accept it. People all over the world are feeling the spending cuts and austerity, but that should not allow us to envy the monarchy. The monarchy served its people, too, and needs to be paid.

Somebody else writing in, reckons the queen is worth every penny. Her son, however, in my opinion is not worth one pence.

To join the conversation, just add to Facebook or certainly head to Facebook and add your comment. Let us know what you think. You can tweet me as ever @BeckyCNN. That's @BeckyCNN.

Now just on that, of course, but on anything you've got on your mind.

The latest world news headlines are just ahead, as you would imagine, the bottom of the hour here on CNN.

Plus, two years of war now killed an estimated 100,000 people in Syria. What can be done to finally stop the bloodshed? I'm going to talk with a former peace negotiator for Bosnia who has got some ideas, Lord David Owen.

How Kofi Annan is helping young people around the world tackle that growing problem of youth unemployment. You'll hear from him coming up.

And there's been another slip-up at Wimbledon, but this time it doesn't involve any of the seeds. Coming up, we're going to speak to a man who knows what it takes to keep the court -- that being the lawn grass courts -- in top condition.


ANDERSON: Your headlines this hour.

South Africa's president says Nelson Mandela remains in critical condition, but is now stable. He says his condition improved somewhat overnight. Those comments come one day after an official told CNN the former South African leader was on life support.

A federal grand jury in the United States has indicted the Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The double bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

Well, the United States won't barter for self-avowed NSA leader Edward Snowden. President Barack Obama said he won't be making deals with foreign governments to capture the American fugitive. Snowden apparently remains in limbo at Moscow's international airport.

And President Barack Obama himself in Senegal this evening, the first stop on what is his three nation tour of Africa. He called on countries around the world to decriminalize homosexuality, although his Senegalese host says the African country has no plans to do that. The U.S. first family also visited Goree Island, once a strategic post in the Transatlantic slave trade.

Well, an horrific scene today in the Syrian capital of Damascus. State media say a man blew himself up at a charity agency as people were receiving medical services. Now that attack took place in a Christian neighborhood near a prominent church.

According to both the government and opposition activists, at least four people were killed. One opposition group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the overall death toll from the war has now surpassed 100,000.

Well, that number is pretty much the same as the estimated death toll from the Bosnian civil war back in the 1990s, but of course, the Syrian toll is still, sadly, growing by the day with no end in sight.

You may remember, the Bosnian War appeared just as intractable until NATO airstrikes turned the tide. It was the summer of 1995, just after Bosnian-Serb forces had overrun Srebrenica and massacring thousands of Muslim men and boys.

Well, NATO finally decide to launch an intensive campaign of airstrikes against Bosnian-Serb targets years after -- or after years of failed peace negotiations. Several months after the airstrikes began, a peace deal was, in fact, reached. The Dayton Accords were formally signed in December of 1995.

Well, a key negotiator during the Bosnian War says don't rule out the use of force in Syria. Former British former British foreign secretary Lord David Owen says the threat of military action can actually strengthen diplomacy and the prospects for peace. He served as the EU's peace mediator in the former Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1995.

In an article, sir, that you wrote for "The Guardian" newspaper in June last year, a year ago, now, you suggested that to use force against the Syrian army means NATO or US forces in a multinational grouping. Russia and China, it seems, still don't trust either agreement.

So, what did we learn from the Balkans so far as the guise of intervention, if there were to be any, is concerned that might help now?

DAVID OWEN, FORMER EU PEACE NEGOTIATOR IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA: Well, I think it was a great mistake for Warren Christopher to rule out enforcing a peace settlement in Bosnia in February of 1993. It meant that Mladic, the general who is -- took very little notice of anything that was said, just felt he had a free run. And that's what happened until Srebrenica.

So, the other lesson, I think, coming out of this is the longer these type of wars go on, which are religious and ethnic in their basis, the longer, it is more difficult to get a settlement and also the longer that you are more likely to end up with a partition of the country.

ANDERSON: Let's be clear. It was Russia's involvement in the use of force, be that diplomatic rather than strategic and physical, that ultimately allowed for an end to the Bosnian conflict, wasn't it? Is this something that we are missing at this point in Syria?

OWEN: Well, Russia wasn't involved. It was a NATO action, but it's true to say --

ANDERSON: Behind the scenes.

OWEN: Russia had cooperated with us during that period, all through the negotiations. At times, a little difficult, a little trying, but overall, they cooperated in the Security Council.

There's been a total absence of any cooperation, largely because China and Russia feel we took advantage of them over Libya. I supported the Libya intervention. I think it was right to stop Benghazi being overrun by Gaddafi forces. We have to consider what would happen, say, Aleppo was being overrun by aircraft and by tanks of the Assad regime.

ANDERSON: I want our viewers to get a sense of where we stand this week so far as the UN envoy to Syria is concerned. That, of course, these days is Lakhdar Brahimi, and this is what he said on Tuesday with reference to what has been an ongoing discussion about an international peace conference. Just have a listen to this.


LAKHDAR BRAHIMI, SPECIAL ENVOY TO SYRIA: Frankly, I am now -- I doubt whether the conference will take place in July. The opposition, they are meeting -- I think their next meeting is on the 4th and 5th of July. So, I don't think they will be ready.


ANDERSON: I think he said also what is happening in the region is extremely, extremely serious. Who is holding up this regional conference, and is it a good idea?

OWEN: Well, he's never been given the support from the Security Council that he deserves -- I think he's an excellent man, he's a former Algerian foreign minister -- because the Security Council is split. France, Britain, and the United States want action and China and Russia don't unless we talk to them and listen to their criticisms of what happened in Libya.

And there's been a total absence of discussion. I for a long time have been urging a meeting of the NATO-Russian council to discuss their criticisms of what happened in Libya. And what he needs more than anything else is to be able to enforce a cease-fire.

Say he gets a cease-fire through a negotiation, which is the fundamental thing, and we're going into a conference. He needs to know that that cease-fire will hold. We didn't have that assurance, so Kofi Annan's cease-fire, which was the earlier negotiator, failed miserably.

ANDERSON: It seems so long ago.

OWEN: Force has to work with negotiations. They have to be able to work together.

ANDERSON: I understand. Lakhdar Brahimi also said that Russia and the US have to get their acts together. He wasn't just pointing a finger at Russia.

OWEN: No, he's quite right. Russia has got legitimate grievances. I support and still do what happened in Libya. I think it would have been impossible to have stood by and done nothing over Benghazi --

ANDERSON: Despite the mess now?

OWEN: There is a bit of a mess. It's not perfect by any means, but I think the alternative was to see Benghazi overrun and that we had to intervene. And overall, it's broadly a success. Not a total success.

Now, we are seen as -- forcing regime change. Russia and China won't support that. What they will support, I think, is enforcement of a cease- fire negotiation, if somebody flagrantly breaks it. Now, that means you've got to have some understanding with Russia as to what is the evidence for it?

And basically, it means NATO and Russia has to cooperate more. The days of just thinking only NATO go in for a cease-fire enforcement, I think, are over.

ANDERSON: Which was a great lesson learned during the conflict in the Balkans.

OWEN: We had -- in Dayton, we had Russia working with NATO forces after the Dayton agreement. And even before, Russia, was on the ground in the UN forces.

ANDERSON: What are your biggest fears at this point?

OWEN: My biggest fear is that this just goes on and on. I think this must be a regional conference, the sooner the better. I personally think that Iran should be at the table, and I think Israel should be at the table.

And I think the less we see of the negotiations directly between Russia and the United States, shades of 1919 and the Paris Peace Conference, and the more we see regional negotiations, the better. And ending this will require a regional settlement.

We already see Lebanon involved. Look what happened at Beirut. Only in living memory, and that could happen again. And we also see what's happening with the Kurds that have been given virtual autonomy in the north. It's spreading everywhere.

ANDERSON: Always a pleasure. Thank you, sir. David Owen.

Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Up next, young, educated, and unemployed. How EU leaders hope to get six million jobless youth back onto the jobs market.


ANDERSON: Well, Europe's leaders have gathered in Brussels for yet another summit to find ways to jump start the continent's sluggish economy. This time around, the focus is on the growing problem of youth unemployment, with nearly a quarter of young people across Europe out of a job.

That number becomes more alarming when you take a country, for example, like Greece with 62 percent youth unemployment, or a place like Spain, for example, with a rate standing at 56 percent. So, no surprise the crisis is a top priority for EU leaders. Nina Dos Santos is covering the summit in Brussels. Any concrete, credible plans, Nina?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, the EU leaders have just sat down to the dinner table, and I'm sure they're going to chewing over all sorts of difficult issues, including youth unemployment, which is one of the key four-point plans to try and bring this region back to financial and also social and economic health, Becky.

What can they do about this issue? Well, on the one hand, they're trying to front-load a whole bunch of funds, push them forward, that were due between now and the end of the decade to try and stimulate the young labor market.

They're also trying to funnel money through the European Investment Bank to make loans available to small and medium-sized businesses that form the backbone of this region's economy so that they can invest in hiring young people and also training young people as well.

And they're trying to make the match between education and also jobs that are on offer out there on the market work better so that the labor markets across these countries actually meet at the right point.

But of course, there is no panacea, there is no magic fix, and I spoke to the EU employment commissioner about this very issue earlier.


LASZLA ANDOR, EUROPEAN EMPLOYMENT COMMISSIONER: Well, there is a need for many different measures, not only one. We don't have a single bullet - - or silver bullet to resolve this situation.

In some countries, there's a need for serious labor market reforms because there is an uneven protection and lack of dynamism at the labor market.


DOS SANTOS: So, on the one hand, there's issues of getting the private sector to mop up all of those young people who've graduated from high school and university and can't get a job because the public sector has cut so much in this age of austerity.

And also, we're facing the prospect here across the European Union of perhaps a brain drain, because what the EU is set up to provide, as you and I know, Becky, is employment irrespective of which country you live in.

But reality is, the social and employment mobility really doesn't work ideally at the moment. What Europe really needs to do is avoid all of these people going overseas to places like the United States and China because that is the worst-case scenario. Not just social unrest because people can't get jobs, but also a massive brain drain.

ANDERSON: Yes. All right, Nina, thank for that. Economic statistics like the alarming EU unemployment rate really don't give us the full story, though, of the struggles young people face across Europe. CNN's Al Goodman caught up with three young Spaniards trying to cope in what is this age of economic uncertainty. He filed this report.




AL GOODMAN, CNN MADRID BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): A protest with suitcases in hand. Nearly half a million Spaniards have left the country because of the economic crisis. These protesters at a Madrid train station dramatized the exile.

But these two friends, now graduating from university, say they'll be part of that exile, and soon. Livia Blanco and Paloma Fernandez studied business administration and know this statistic: 57 percent of young Spaniards, like them, are jobless.

PALOMA FERNANDEZ, COLLEGE GRADUATE: The situation is really bad now, and we don't have a clear view of what is going to happen. So, we don't have any job guarantees, and it's really, really scary.

LIVIA BLANCO, COLLEGE GRADUATE: Yes, you do have the sense of, well, I've studied four years for really nothing, because if at the end I'm going to be working in a cafeteria or -- there's no point. I've lost four years.

GOODMAN (on camera): Do you believe in your government, that it has the capacity to get Spain out of the crisis.

FERNANDEZ: No, not really.

BLANCO: No. It's getting even worse. They tried to fix it, and it's getting worse.

FERNANDEZ: We both are thinking about going to Latin America.

GOODMAN (voice-over): At the university library, they search for jobs online, but say they're realizing just how fierce the competition is.

GOODMAN (on camera): The situation is tough for college graduates here, but it may be even tougher for another group of young Spaniards, those who only have a high school diploma or dropped out and went straight into the job market.

GOODMAN (voice-over): Like these two friends also looking for jobs online. They graduated high school just before the crisis started and easily got jobs in stores or swimming pools for a while, but no longer. They just turned 25.

Trying to become more competitive, Javier Pardo moved to England to learn English. He's been there a year, working part time as a dishwasher to help pay the bills. He hopes to become a hotel receptionist. We caught up with him on a visit back home to Madrid, and he took us to his boyhood park.

JAVIER PRADO, WORKING IN ENGLAND: My parents like -- was living with good jobs, with continuing. In my case, in the case of the young people in Spain now, it's impossible. The people are so very, very angry with the government. There aren't solutions. They are in like a black future.

GOODMAN: Back at the university, they concur.

FERNANDEZ: We are a lot of people really prepared, but there's no jobs, so yes, it's like a lost generation.

GOODMAN: Which they want no part of. They get a small break. Their professor, in the middle, introduces them to a professor visiting from Chile, the country where they'd like to get jobs.

Al Goodman, CNN, Madrid.


ANDERSON: Former secretary of state -- sorry, let me put that again. Former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, is also trying to tackle this crisis. He's been engaging young leaders through what is known as a Google Hangout.

He recently hosted one of these sessions with one group of One World ambassadors. So, we asked some of these young leaders and Mr. Annan to give us an idea of the kind of things that they have been discussing. Have a listen to this.


ESTER BOTICA, AMGASSADOR, ONE YOUNG WORLD: Hello, Mr. Annan. Can we introduce hope to people unemployed, to the young people that have been unemployed for so many years?

KOFI ANNAN, FORMER UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: Hope is absolutely essential, particularly when you live in the world with many different challenges and problems. And we can discuss problems, but we should also offer hope.

Hope in the sense that the young people believe that the future will be better, that we are able to cope with the challenges ahead. That the people in the heart working together with the young people are taking measures to ensure that they get the education they need. They get their chin ups.

MILENKO PILIC, FOUNDER, HEYSUCCESS.COM: Mr. Kofi Annan, what's your opinion about the main reasons of youth unemployment.

ANNAN: Obviously we've had, over the past four or five years, serious financial conditions. Small and medium-sized companies, which often create quite a lot confinement, are not getting the financing they need, the funding they need to start new activities.

And I hope the governments will come up with the right focus on incentives to encourage the banks and financial institutions to support these new nascent concepts. And I hope they would also make funding available to the young people.

WICLIF OTIENO, FOUNDER, KILO INTERNATIONAL: How can we hold government accountable with regards to youth unemployment, especially in developing countries?

ANNAN: I think elections is one option. Young people, particularly in the developed world, are considered uninterested in politics. There is a certain apathy that leads to a situation that many of them don't vote. They have to exercise their democratic right and vote. And that also gives them power and influence over the political process.

They can also come together and decide we're going to set up our own funds, we're going to create our own jobs, and ask for the government to help them find sources of funding.


ANDERSON: Some words of wisdom, there by Kofi Annan. And we'll have more personal stories about young people struggling to find work across the continent tomorrow as part of our special series on Europe's Lost Generation. You can watch that tomorrow 4:30 PM here in London.

Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, injuries, withdrawals, drama. But is the Wimbledon grass to be blamed for all of this? I'm going to discuss that up next.


ANDERSON: Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic has had no problems booking his place in the third round at Wimbledon when he claimed a straight sets victory over the American Bobby Reynolds a short time ago.

Christina MacFarlane is there. She's at the All England Club where one slippery issue continues to plague the organizers.


CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Following an unprecedented Wednesday, which saw seven players withdraw from the competition, with some of them blaming the slippery grass as the reason for their injuries, Wimbledon felt moved to make a statement in response to these criticisms. They said that the factual evidence, which is independently checked, is that the courts are almost identical to last year.

Day four, however, saw no such slip-ups, even though at times, players were required to play through light rain. And unlike their counterparts, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, the top seeds sailed through their second rounds here in straight sets.

Up next, Serena Williams will face Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm who, at the age of 42, is the oldest woman in the Open era to reach the third round. The draw is, of course, now wide open for Novak Djokovic, who continues on a potential collision course with home favorite Andy Murray after he defeated Bobby Reynolds in three sets, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1.

This is Christina MacFarlane for CNN, Wimbledon.


ANDERSON: All right, well, let's bring in Geoffrey Webb at this point. He's the chief executive of the Institute of Groundsmanship and an expert in turf, a man who knows his sods, I guess, is the way I should be introducing you. Talk to me about this surface. Firstly, are players whinging? Is it any different, this lawn surface, to anything they've played on before?



WEBB: It's no different than it has been for at least the last four years. That's beared out by independent testing that's carried out during the tournament itself and throughout the years.

ANDERSON: We've got a bunch of grass here, you've just pointed out --

WEBB: Yes.

ANDERSON: -- that it wouldn't be like that at Wimbledon because it is absolutely full of weed. Just point those out for us. What wouldn't we see there?

WEBB: Well, you wouldn't see some of this -- this -- let's just break that one away now. You wouldn't see that for a start.


WEBB: This would all be cleaned out, and there would be science and technology, machinery, and expert groundsmanship that would ensure that none of that would exist at Wimbledon.

ANDERSON: One assumes the weather affects the grass. This is, after all, quite a unique surface, isn't it, as far as the Opens are concerned the world? But it's one we like in Britain.

WEBB: I think in Britain, we have a natural affinity to our lawns, and we do with our sporting events as well. Well, grass is a living, breathing object, so you have to nurture it like you would your own child, really. And that's where the school of the groundsman really comes in, especially at the All England Club and such like.

ANDERSON: Get me right on this. I was -- I've always thought grass was a slower surface, it was about serve and volley. I want to --

WEBB: Faster.

ANDERSON: It's fast -- how can grass be faster than clay?

WEBB: OK. Well, what you've got here, if you look at the length of the grass here, it's quite a high height of grass, if you actually look at that.


WEBB: At Wimbledon, you would see about eight millimeters, so if I can --


WEBB: -- put that one away for you. That's actually reasonably short, but it would be shorter than that.


WEBB: So, it's a bit like if you see a bowling green or a putting green at golf. So, all these different sport surfaces are -- they're optimized for the sports that you're playing in, and certainly that's the case at Wimbledon.

ANDERSON: The All England Club, sir, has defended the court conditions. It's released a statement just recently saying, and I quote, "The court preparation has been to exactly the same meticulous standards as in previous years. The factual evidence, which is independently checked, is that the courts are almost identical to last year."

So, is it the weather? Are they whinging? Will they come back next year? Is grass out of fashion and favor, do you think, at this point?

WEBB: I actually think -- no, it think the reaction -- I've been at the All England Club today and I've spoken to the grounds team there this morning, and the first thing is to reiterate, it is exactly the same surface, and they through a meticulous preparation --

ANDERSON: Are they cross about this? About this whinging, then?

WEBB: I haven't seen anybody who's cross.


WEBB: To be quite honest with you, I think they've got too much to do just making sure the courts are ready for tomorrow and the next day and the next day after that. So, obviously, great players make great tournaments, and whenever great players fall out of the tournament early, then people regret that and like to see them go through, but --


WEBB: -- I don't think it's the court. I think it's right.

ANDERSON: You tell me, is there a conspiracy theory here? He won the Olympic gold, two of his biggest competitors are out. Whether Andy Murray actually likes grass or not, he's a great clay court player, of course, as well, surely if this is as it was last year, and there's nothing wrong with this surface, as it were, at Wimbledon, he must stand a better chance this year, doesn't he?

WEBB: Andy Murray is a great player, I'm going to support Andy Murray --


ANDERSON: You've been playing with the grass.

WEBB: Look, there's still some very good players left in that tournament, so I wouldn't tempt fate, because we all want Andy Murray to win if we're batting for this country. But he's got some great, great opponents, as we know, like Djokovic and others still out there. So, he'll take one game at a time, and that's what the groundsmen do in preparing courts, too.

ANDERSON: We're batting for this Great British Isles, as we know them, because he hates it if you speak with an English accent in the -- and we are suggesting that he's English, because he's not, of course, he's Scottish. Thank you, sir.

WEBB: Pleasure.

ANDERSON: I think I understand more now than I did before, and I certainly will be looking out for these weeds.

WEBB: Get rid of them.

ANDERSON: This month marks the 50th anniversary of the first woman in space, and in the last five decades, there has been some amazing females in space, including this one, US astronaut Karen Nyberg. She's currently at the International Space Station orbiting the Earth from -- get this -- 240 miles away, snapping these pictures along with doing her daily job.

Well, we're going to give you the chance to find out about that day job, ask her questions about her experience, and that is going to be on Friday, that's tomorrow, London time. You can post your questions now at and -- or send it to -- by tweet using the hash tag #CNNspacechat. You can also tweet me @BeckyCNN.

Then join us online Friday to watch the interview live. Again, that's And if you miss it online or you want to see it again - - I can't wait, I'm conducting this interview, it's going to be fantastic. We'll air that interview with Karen tomorrow night right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

I want to leave you tonight with these Parting Shots of amazing sculptures made entirely out of sand sent in by CNN reporter Renee Carson. But it's not all fun and games on the beach here, as the artists behind each one of these creations are competing the first ever world championship of sand sculpting held at the Atlantic City Boardwalk in New Jersey.

And it's a very welcome event in an area still recovering, of course, from the devastation wrecked by Super Storm Sandy last year.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. From the team in London, it's a very good evening. Of course, CNN, though, continues, so don't go away.