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Zimbabwe Opposition Leader: No Way Election Were Free Or Fair; CNN Finds Chief Benghazi Terror Suspect; Turkish Police Clash With Protesters In Cairo

Aired July 31, 2013 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, as polls close in Zimbabwe, a presidential candidate tells me this election cannot possibly be free and fair.

Also ahead...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's horrible. And nobody should go through this.


ANDERSON: Vile, online trolls force a UK lawmaker to take on Twitter.

And backstage with the Bolshoi Ballet in London. Meet the director shrugging off the scandals.

And from CNN Abu Dhabi tonight, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.

We begin for you in Zimbabwe where ballot counting is underway after what has been a fiercely contested election. African Union monitors say initial reports suggest the vote was peaceful, free and fair. Turnout was high, as Zimbabweans faced a critical choice about their future.

President Robert Mugabe trying to extend his 33 years in power. In the opposing corner, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a long time political rival. Tsvangirai has repeatedly expressed concerns the vote may have been rigged.

Well, a short time ago, I spoke with ITN's Neil Connery who is covering the election from the capital of Harare. And I began by asking him about the atmosphere there.


NEIL CONNERY, ITN NEWS: There is a huge amount of excitement here, but also nervousness about what the coming days could bring. The key point today has been the turnout. That has really what has stuck everybody. I've been around Harare and outside the capital as well. And huge lines of voters are going on into the distance as well. I think the turnout is going to be an important factor.

In terms of an indication of this result, we may get some very early indications later on this evening. But the official result will not be released until a couple of days. So we're going to have a vacuum where I think things could get very tense here. Will the opposition, for instance, decide that they may try and call victory here ahead of those results?

There's a whole range of things that could happen here in the coming hours and days that are making many people here quite worried.

ANDERSON: And Neil, how confident are people that the loser of this contest will actually concede, whoever that might be?

CONNERY: That is the biggest question in all of this. President Robert Mugabe, who has been Zimbabwe's only president since independence in 1980, serving in office for 33 years, said at a press conference yesterday that were he to lose in this election, then he would respect the wishes of the voters and he would leave office.

But of course there have been a whole range of concerns over this electoral process, whether it is free and fair, whether it has been rigged, questions over the voters' register, for instance the timing of this election as well. And that register, for instance, was only released to the political parties yesterday. It's not really giving them enough time to try and work out what is really going on here.

So huge question marks still hanging over this.

Were President Mugabe to lose, would he leave office, that is the question people are asking here.


ANDERSON: that was Neil Connery in Harare.

One U.S. polling company conducting ahead of this election found that some 11 percent more people were looking to vote for Mugabe this time. One reason that more Zimbabweans may be declaring support for Mugabe last year could be the economy after years of severe problems, Analysts say it is beginning to stabilize.

Have a look at these numbers. They point to the fact that hyperinflation has gradually ended, slowing to 3.5 percent. We're up in the million percentage points at one point. And GDP growth has rebounded.

But Zimbabwe remains one of Africa's poorest countries with extreme unemployment estimated at 95 percent back in 2009. Those are the last semi-reliable figures we can find. And more than two-thirds of its citizens living below the poverty line, according to the most recent World Bank numbers.

Well, Zimbabwe's main opposition group, the Democracy Movement for Change, is split into two rival factions, one headed by Tsvangirai, the other by Welshman Ncube. Ncube is also a presidential candidate in this election. He's currently Zimbabwe's minister of commerce and industry. And I spoke to him before this show first asking whether he believes the vote can, indeed, be free and fair.


WELSHMAN NCUBE, ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION LEADER: No, we have said again and again even what transpired before the electoral campaign started, the election cannot possibly be free and fair. The issue is whether or not the outcome will be legitimate or credible, that is what is at issue.

ANDERSON: Well, Mugabe has said that he will stand down if he loses. Do you believe him?

NCUBE: I very much want to believe him, but I'm extremely skeptical given what has gone on in the past. I sincerely hope and pray he means it so that (inaudible) is accepted by all candidates. Whoever loses will (inaudible) anybody else. We must accept the (inaudible) of the people.

ANDERSON: You are the commerce and industry minister. You have overseen quite phenomenal changes in the economy over the last 18 months. Ironically, your success with the Zimbabwean economy may just give President Mugabe a door through which he can walk into the next five years worth of running the country. Does that bother you?

NCUBE: No, no, it doesn't bother us. It's for the people to make a judgment on all of us as a collective on what we did during the last four years as the inclusive government. All that we ask people to do - we've been asking people to do in the campaign is to cast their minds back to 2008 when Mugabe was running this country. The economy was on its knees. Just about everything didn't function. And clearly it could not be the credit of Robert Mugabe (inaudible) massive improvement.

That has been our message. And we hope that the people understood it.

ANDERSON: Can you honestly look me in the eye tonight and say that you can see the end to cronyism or corruption - and/or corruption in Zimbabwe going forward? Or is that just a reality of day to day life at this point in 2013?

NCUBE: I think I can look you in the eye and say if the people of Zimbabwe elected the party and the leadership which is in both - in theory and in practice opposed to corruption, of course the cronyism we can see an end to corruption. And regrettably, one of messages has been if Morgan Tsvangirai wins, if Robert Mugabe wins, we will see the same corruption as we have always seen in this country.

So, it depends on the outcome of the election whether that corruption will come to an end. And I hope the people of Zimbabwe have listened to us and they vote accordingly.


Welshman Ncube, the Zimbabwean minister for commerce and industry and the president of the opposition MDC, could be king maker, would be king maker if, indeed, Tsvangirai does well, talking to me from Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Time, nine minutes past midnight here tonight, fresh political tension in Egypt this evening as the interim government says it's time for pro-Morsy supporters to go. We'll be live in Cairo for you with the latest on that.

And, a boost for the most popular social network, how Facebook's shares are adding up. Live to the New York Stock Exchange.

And the main suspect in last year's deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. CNN found him. So why hasn't Washington? That report still to come.


ANDERSON: If you are a regular viewer at this time, you now know this week that we are in Abu Dhabi. That is the Sheikh Zaid Mosque behind me. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World at the UAE this week. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Now, in the region, the United Nations says it will be sending inspectors to Syria as soon as possible, and I quote them on that, following three reports of chemical weapons use.

Let's get more on this story, and it's an important one.

Nick Paton Walsh joining me live from Beirut.

How significant is this development?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's fairly important and the Syrian government are finally allowing the UN to address these allegations, but the details of course are key. The one place they name they will be allowed to look at is (inaudible), that's a town near the northern city of Aleppo where weapons were allegedly used in March.

Now this is, of course, key because the regime alleged the rebels got hold of chemical weapons and used them against people loyal to them.

Another fly in the ointment here, too, that particular town fell to the rebels last week, so government forces are trying to retake it at present. It's highly possible it will not be a place that the weapon inspectors could actually get to if the violence sustains.

The other two places they're looking at haven't actually been named. It's possible one publicized case near Damascus maybe on their target list, but this is again the Syrian regime perhaps trying to push its narrative of them being the victims of chemical weapons that have fallen into rebel hands whilst the majority of western international community countries believe that actually chemical weapons when they have been used have been exclusively used by the regime against rebels and though civilians loyal to them, Becky.

ANDERSON: Right, OK, that story just into CNN. And of course, Nick, as ever will be on that as will be our other newsmakers. And as we get more on that and find out exactly where these weapons inspectors are expected to be, we'll bring that to you. A development out of Syria this evening.

Well, U.S. soldier Bradley Manning has already been locked up for three-and-a-half years. And some time in the coming days, he'll find out how many more years he'll remain that way.

The sentencing phase is now underway for the man convicted of the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history. He was found not guilty of the most serious charge - aiding and abetting the enemy, but guilty on 20 other counts.

Well, a father of NSA leaker Edward Snowden says the FBI planned to fly him to Moscow to encourage his son to come back to the U.S. Lon Snowden tells the Washington Post that he chose not to go, because it wasn't clear he'd be allowed to actually speak to his son. He says for now, he wants his son to stay in Moscow until he is confident he can get a fair trial in the United States.

We're going to turn your attention to economic news out of the United States now. The Dow closing up slightly, adding 4 percent, a positive mood in the markets on the back of good GDP data for the second quarter. And Facebook shares have reached levels not seen since their IPO more than a year ago. Felicia Taylor is in New York. And she joins us from their.

And Felicia, let me start with Facebook. Scaling the heights at which the stock actually launched, it's been a roller coaster ride for Facebook shareholders. What was it about today's results that drove that stock up?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know - listen, they actually closed down about 2-and-one-fifth percent at $36.80, but intraday, you know, it did cross that $38 level. And that of course is where the IPO launched about a year or so ago. And that's obviously the level that everybody has wanted to see it crossed.

The reason for that is really on the back of what has been an incredibly positive earnings report.

The stock itself has been up about 43 percent in the last five days. And so that's where - you know, the good news out of that earnings report is the fact that Facebook, which was the major concern for Facebook, wasn't going to be able to get revenue off of its mobile adds and it did. Right now you can see that mobile advertising makes up about 41 percent of its revenues, and that's incredible. Monthly active users are up 21 percent year-on-year. And obviously it's reaching new users in some of those emerging markets.

The number of people using Facebook on mobile advertisers and mobile devices, rather, surged 51 percent. Basically it's proven that it can make money and have a presence in terms of mobile advertising and that's what users needed to see and that's why you've seen shares rally.

So it's not unusual to see a little bit of profit taking after it's seen such wide gains.

And again, today is also the last day of the month. A lot of profit taking coming off of the table. Where that money will go into August, we will just have to wait and see - Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. Thank you for that.

So, the stock down at the end of play, but what a day - one exciting day, at least. And continues to be a roller coaster ride for these stockholders in the biggest social network in the world.

Well, Facebook shares may be on the up, ultimately, but the social network is facing a difficult and tragic situation in Italy. A prosecutor says he may file a criminal complaint against the company in connection with the death of this teenage girl. Carolina took her own life after being bullied online. And we're going to have much more on that story for you. We're going to hear from another trolling victim, a UK lawmaker, who met with Twitter bosses this week to demand action.


STELLA CREASY, BRITISH MP: This isn't about banter, this isn't about people even being offensive, this is about people making direct threats to do things to us - to kill us, to harm us sexually. It's illegal in this country. And we want Twitter and the police to be able to work together quickly and proactively to identify the people setting up these many different accounts to do this and to hold them to account for it.


ANDERSON: Yeah. All right. And we're going to hear more on that.

I just want to clarify one thing. I think I was incorrect significantly. So when I said that the Dow closed up 4 percent. I didn't give Felicia time to give you the closing number and figure. So let me just get that for you once again. I believe that the market as a whole closed lower today, down, there you go, 0.14 percent. Down 21 points. Relatively stable day, ultimately, at the close of play. 15,499.54 as that market steadies out. So down 0.14 percent. And if I confused anybody, I apologize for that. My mistake.

Now to Turkey where riot police were called in today to disperse protests in downtown Istanbul after issuing several warnings they began using force.

Our Ivan Watson is in the thick of the chaos as it unfolded.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the scene in downtown Istanbul. Riot police vehicles out again. And we've seen clashes where we witnessed with our own eyes, the police - now they're shooting the paint guns and these pellets at some of the demonstrators, you can see right now.

This has been a recurring scene - look out, here's another riot patrol vehicle coming in.

Week after week, Istanbul and some other cities around Turkey (inaudible) protests for months now. In this case, the parents of the 14- year-old boy - 14-years-old - Belkin Elfan (ph), he was wounded more than a month ago when he went out to buy bread, his parents say. And he's been in a coma ever since (inaudible) Human Rights Watch, eyewitnesses saw him being hit by a tear gas canister. We can't confirm that.

His parents tried to come out here and read a public statement. The police issued three warnings and then they began using force (inaudible) there's some pepper spray in the air now. And we witnessed, our camera witnessed the police beating and attacking some of the demonstrators.

I'm being sprayed now. We're going to have to stop now in a second.

This is the scene that has been reoccurring week after week in Istanbul and in some other cities. You can see the way the riot police approached in the center of Istanbul. What is striking about this case is that they would not allow the presidents of a 14-year-old boy who is in coma in a hospital to speak and announce their feelings about their wounded little boy.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Istanbul.


ANDERSON: Well, 10 months on since the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya. CNN tracks down the main suspect. So why isn't he in custody? That story after this.


ANDERSON: Skyline of Abu Dhabi for you. Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in the UAE. You're watching Connect the World live from here. I'm - as I say, I'm Becky Anderson.

Now to a story you saw first here on CNN. And it is now making huge waves in Washington. And in a moment, you're going to hear from a suspect in September's deadly attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi in Libya. Now that attack killed the U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. U.S. authorities haven't been able to catch up with the suspect, but CNN's Arwa Damon did.

When that news hit Capitol Hill today, there was sharp reaction.


REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, (R) UTAH: News out today that CNN was able to go in and talk to one of the suspect terrorists. How come the military hasn't been able to get after them and capture and kill these people? How come the FBI isn't doing this? And yet CNN is.


ANDERSON: All right.

Well, CNN chief U.S. correspondent John King standing by with more on the Capitol Hill reaction. Our senior international correspondent Arwa Damon is in Cairo tonight.

And I want to start with you Arwa. I want to play our videos - our viewers, sorry, the part of your report about meeting this man. Let's just have a listen to this.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. officials have often suggested that they would be interested in speaking to a man named Ahmed Abu Khattala about the events the night of the attack. He's really not that difficult to find.

(on camera): We met with Ahmed Abu Khattala in public, at the coffee shop of a well-known hotel here in Benghazi, for around two hours. He seemed to be confident, his demeanor most certainly not that of a man who believed that he was going to be detained or targeted any time soon. And he agreed to let us film audio, but not video, of our conversation.

(voice-over): Did anyone from the American or Libyan government get in touch with you?

AHMED ABU KHATTALA (through translator): Never.

DAMON: Never?


DAMON: No American official or Libyan official tried to contact you?

KHATTALA: Even the investigative team did not try to contact me.

DAMON: You're talking about the FBI team?



ANDERSON: Part of a documentary Return to Benghazi.

Arwa, how easy was it for you to track him down?

DAMON: Pretty easy, Becky. This is not a man who is in hiding. And of course we're not the only ones who spoke to him. There have been a number of print outlets, including the New York Times that have interviewed him in the 10, 11 months since that attack took place. His demeanor was fairly confident. He arrived at that location with an entourage of around half a dozen members of one of the Islamist units that is, in fact, part of the Libyan security forces.

So this is a man whose whereabouts most certainly are known, at the very least to the Libyans. He, himself, has said that he has a very close relationship with a number of Libyan commanders. So, of course, it begs the question that why has he not been spoken to just yet? If not being directly accused of being involved in the attack, at the very least he doesn't deny being on the premises. He most certainly is a key witness to what took place that night, Becky.

ANDERSON: You sat down with him for, what, two hours? What else did he tell you?

DAMON: Well, it was a fairly long and rambling interview. And at times he got a bit contradictory. At times he was friendly, at times he got irritated with the directions. Our line of questioning was taking - at one point accusing us of actually interrogating him. We were trying to nail down a specific details.

He says he's not entirely sure what time he arrived on scene, said that he went after a Libyan commander who was there, called him up, asking him for help, because some of this Libyan commander's men were trying to extract themselves from the situation itself.

He says that when he first arrived, he saw men carrying rocket- propelled grenades, medium weapons, guns, but that he wasn't able to enter the premises. He had to stay on the perimeter because of the intensity of the gunfire.

He says that when he finally managed to enter the compound - and this is where his narrative is a bit odd - says everyone had already evacuated, but he saw no signs of any buildings being on fire.

He also claimed that he believes that Ambassador Stevens suffocated, because he himself was trying to burn sensitive documents.

And he, of course, denied that he had any sort of direct involvement in the attack. But this really goes to show you just how chaotic the landscape in Libya remains. And it brings up a lot of questions as to why these individuals, whomever they may be, have not yet been brought to justice, why it seems as if at least at this point in time the investigation hasn't really significantly moved forward, if individuals who are at the very least key witnesses to what took place are not being spoken to.

ANDERSON: Arwa, thank you for that. Arwa Damon is in Cairo covering that story for you at present.

I want to bring in our chief national U.S. correspondent John King to talk more about this case. Let's start, though, John with the specifics here. Have the authorities responded to this specific criticism that CNN and others have been able to track down a guy who is a suspect in this case, but the U.S., Washington, hasn't been able to do so?

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONENT: Becky, this is one of the fascinating questions. As we approach the one year anniversary, it has been more than 10 months. We're approaching the one year anniversary. And as Arwa just noted, she can sit down for two hours and have coffee with one of the men the FBI acknowledges is a lead suspect or person of interest, but they have yet to speak directly to him.

That's why the criticism is mounting. You can go to the FBI's website, here in the United States, and put the search word in Benghazi. And you will see photographs of five people, surveillance photos from the U.S. mission in B Benghazi that night. The FBI asking for citizens of Libya, people in Libya, citizens of the United States, anyone who might have information to please give them information about these men, including the gentleman Arwa Damon sat down with.

And yet no charges have been filed.

So a lot of questions are being raised.

This is a letter sent today from eight leading Republicans in the United States Congress to the new FBI director James Comey. Now, he doesn't even take office - he was just confirmed by the Senate - but he doesn't take office for a few more weeks. And they're essentially saying it's been more than 10 months. No one has been charged. We seem to have no more new information today as we had in the days just after the attack. The ambassador, three other Americans were killed. What is going on here?

And the question, Becky, is this. Number one, you do get when you talk to the Obama administration, privately officials say both an inability or an unwillingness to cooperate by the Libyan government is part of this. Because they're trying to build a criminal case for a court room. So they need physical evidence. They need other eyewitnesses. And they say they've had a very hard, very frustrating time building that case.

There are some here in the United States who say if you can't get that evidence, skip that process and seize these men as terrorists and try them in the military tribunal, a very different set of evidenciary hurdles you would have gain.

But at this point, the Obama administration says it is proceeding, acknowledging frustration. And now you're beginning to hear very publicly the exasperation of leading Republicans in congress - Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah. All right, we get it.

John King on that part of the story for you. Fascinating stuff.

All right, the latest world news headlines as ever at the bottom of the hour here on CNN. Those are coming up.

Plus, in Cairo, massive crowds like these could be forced to disperse very, very soon. Why? We've got the latest developments on what is an increasingly tense situation in Egypt.


ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD. The top stories this hour on CNN. African Union observers say today's election in Zimbabwe was peaceful, free, and fair. But supporters of presidential candidate Moran Tsvangirai say voter rolls have been manipulated. Tsvangirai is trying to unseat Robert Mugabe, who has run the country for 33 years. Election results are due within about five days.

The Egyptian cabinet is authorizing police to shut down sit-in demonstrations by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsy. They say the sit-ins are a threat to national security and will allow all necessary measures to remove them. Morsy supporters have been camped out since his ouster a month ago.

In a newly-released audio recording, the train driver from last week's deadly crash in Spain tells the judge by the time he activated the brakes, he knew it was too late. He was being questioned about the final moments before the crash that killed 79 people. Francisco Garzon said he couldn't explain why he didn't act sooner.

Thailand says it may need help from other countries to contain what is a major oil spill. On Saturday, an estimated 50,000 liters of crude oil leaked from an offshore pipeline near the popular tourist destination of Koh Samet.

Those are your headlines. Let's get you to Egypt, now. Unrest there, more fears of more bloodshed after the interim cabinet decreed that it will allow all necessary measures to remove large pro-Morsy sit-ins in Cairo. Thousands of former president -- of the former president's supporters have been gathered in Cairo, as I'm sure you're well aware, and they aren't planning on going anywhere.

Let's cross to Reza Sayah, who's standing by in Cairo. I know you've been out and about. There are -- there's a big demonstration still in Giza and there's a big demonstration still in Nasr City. As we see what is expected to be the security forces coming to disperse and move these people on, how likely is that to incite more violence?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, that's just not clear at this point. When you look at these statements, they certainly sound ominous, and I think a lot of people are going to see these statements as signs that perhaps security forces and police are preparing a decisive operation against two main demonstrations being staged by supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsy, one in front of Cairo University, one in front of a mosque in east Cairo.

But I think two points need to be made before we jump to any conclusions. First off, authorities here, the interim government, have made similar statements before, similar threats, but they have not gone in with an operation. So, these could be -- they could be scare tactics coming from the interim government in what's been an information war between these two sides.

And then, if you look at these statements carefully, if you dissect them, you see that things are still vague. What's not vague is what the statements says: they have deemed these demonstrations as national security threats. The interim government is giving the Interior Ministry authority to take all necessary measures to end the dangers.

But technically, they're not saying they're going in. So, a lot of things are not clear, Becky, but certainly after about three days of calm, these ominous statements do have a lot of people on edge once again.

ANDERSON: Reza, I want to look at the outside international response to this. Today, two Republican congressmen being dispatched to Egypt by the US president himself to try and bring an end to what is this polarization and this period of political instability.

We've already seen Cathy Ashton, the -- Europe's top diplomat in town talking with none other than Mohamed Morsy in the past 24 hours. Is the US playing catch-up here? How do -- I guess, how do you see the influence of outside powers at this point? And we're not talking this region, the Gulf. We're talking the US at this point and Europe.

SAYAH: Well, it's increasing. The role of the international community is increasing because if you look at this conflict, there's absolutely no movement. These two sides are digging in, so you're getting more involvement from the international community.

Washington, the Obama administration calling on the two Republican senators to come here as early as next week. When they get here, look for them to call on this interim government to rein in what rights groups describe as excessive use of force by security forces.

Also look for them to push this government to reach a truce with the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsy, and push them to move forward with a democratically-elected government.

Now, that is easier said than done. It's a tall order, but they'll give it a shot when they get here next week, Becky.

ANDERSON: Reza Sayah's in Cairo for you this evening on that part of the story. It continues.

With unrest continuing not only in Egypt, but throughout the Middle East, the United States has turned its attentions back to another long- running conflict as it tries again to forge peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Nick Paton Walsh, now, taking a look for you at Washington's aims and whether they can be achieved.


JOHN KERRY, US SECRETARY OF STATE: Our objective will be to achieve a final status agreement over the course of the next nine months.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The clock is ticking, but the bomb eclipsed by turmoil in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Libya, nightmares swallowing and transforming a region. The Israeli- Palestinian crisis out of the spotlight, so it's Kerry's focus on again trying to forge a peace wise?

YARON EZRACHI, HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM: Given the conditions in the neighborhood, this is the only potentially promising path for America to succeed.

NADIM KOTEICH, POLITICAL ANALYST: If it's not broken, don't fix it. Now, the whole region's broken and the Palestinian issue is calm in a certain way, so the funny thing is that the fire is somewhere else.

AARON DAVID MILLER, WOODROW WILSON CENTER: Can Kerry, Abbas, and Netanyahu us the time that is given them, this quiet period as the rest of the region burns?

WALSH: And it burns. Syria's war has killed 100,000, the UN's top investigator saying Monday the world is now simply used to its, quote, "unthinkable brutality." It's merged into Iraq's violence, that death toll the worst since America's darkest days there.


WALSH: And now, Egypt, where an elected Islamist America didn't like has been opposed by a heavy-handed army it can't embrace. Would a Palestinian peace slow the flames at all?

KOTEICH: The Middle East is writing a new chapter of its history while Washington is reading an old book. The events unfolding in the Middle East are completely disconnected from the so-called "major issue" in the Arab mind, which is Palestine.

MILLER: The United States is stuck in a region it cannot leave, and yet it cannot fix. It's not going to get in the middle of a Syrian civil war. We're really going to be hard-pressed to help the Egyptians in a significant way fashion a democratic polity.

The Israeli-Palestinian problem is the one area where, in effect, America has interests, it has influence, and it has a demonstrated track record. When it does smart diplomacy, it actually succeeds.

KERRY: The parties have agreed here today --

WALSH: Is this simply something America can live with trying again at, and then failing again in?

MILLER: If this proves to be a key to an empty room, it's going to be a huge blow to American credibility and, frankly, another nail in the coffin of a process that many people think is unimaginable.

EZRACHI: Even a moderate success would be considered a great compensation for American foreign policy failures in other areas of this region.

KOETICH: If he succeeded, it will be great news for Obama. If he did not succeed, it will be the normal outcome of the unsolvable issue.

WALSH: Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Beirut.


ANDERSON: We're in Abu Dhabi for you this evening. I'm Becky Anderson, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Next up, the suicide of an Italian teenager because of online bullying. We're going to take a look at how her case is leading for calls around the world for change.


ANDERSON: Just after 20 to 1:00 in the morning here in Abu Dhabi, you're back with CONNECT THE WORLD.

Now, the harrowing story of yet another teenager driven to kill herself after being bullied on social media. The difference with this case in Italy is that it could end up in court. As Ben Wedeman explains, an Italian prosecutor is looking to hold Facebook to account for the 14-year- old girl's death. Have a listen to this.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She was like so many girls her age. Her identity, her pictures, her thoughts, her life splashed across Facebook.

But when a video of 14-year-old Carolina Picchio allegedly showed up on Facebook in which she appeared to be drunk and disoriented at a party, the social network became a social nightmare. An ex-boyfriend and his friends posted a steady barrage of abusive, offensive messages aimed at Carolina.

"He was insulting her, mistreating her," recalls her sister, Talita. "We naturally spoke about it with her, but she told us not to worry." Talita and some of Carolina's friends say they reported the nasty messages to Facebook, hoping they'd be removed. But nothing happened.

In the prosperous northern Italian town of Novara, what started online spilled into Carolina's daily life at school and among her friends. Unbeknownst to her family, it was all becoming too much for her to handle.

WEDEMAN (on camera): Sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning on the 5th of January of this year, Carolina jumped out of her bedroom window and landed head-first on the concrete below.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): She left a final letter addressed to her tormenters, which her mother, Cristina, read to us. "Are you happy now?" asks Carolina. "Have you hurt me enough? Have you had enough revenge?"

Novara prosecutor, Francesco Saluzzzo, is looking into the possibility of throwing the book at Facebook for failing to remove offensive content that may have led to Carolina's suicide.

"In the case of Carolina," he says, "it appears some of her friends, some of her relatives, asked for the removal of this strong content, and it wasn't removed, and this played a role in her decision to commit suicide."

In a response to a request for comment on this story, Facebook provided CNN with a statement. "We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Carolina Picchio and our hearts go out to her family and friends. Harassment has no place on Facebook, and we actively encourage teens and parents to report incidences of bullying using the links located throughout the site.

"We remove content reported to us that violates our statement of rights and responsibilities and we escalate reports of harassment and bullying to law enforcement where appropriate."

Carolina's mother feels the time has come for Facebook to confront the reality of online bullying. "My battle," she says, "is to make the social networks responsible so that there are protections for minors. We can't allow for more Carolinas or other mothers who must cry and be deprived of the lives of their daughters."

Carolina's uncle has posted a video on YouTube dedicated to her. Carolina's death now a rallying point in Italy in the fight against online bullying.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Novara, northern Italy.


ANDERSON: Right. It's not an isolated case, is it? And that is why many are calling on the networks to take more responsibility in fighting online bullying. Let's get one of my colleagues up for you this evening. Samuel Burke joins me from London. He's a specialist in social media. Samuel, I almost don't know where to begin with this. What is being done to put a stop to cases like this?

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Becky, Facebook actually prides itself in the system that they've put in place so that anybody can flag any content on the social network. But what's troubling is that in Ben's piece, you heard Facebook say in response to Carolina's case, they encourage -- "we encourage teens and parents to report problems."

But Carolina's family said that they did exactly that, that they flagged the content up to Facebook. So, Facebook hasn't acknowledged to us or any other media for that matter whether or not they had seen this content, this abusive content toward Carolina before.

Now, Facebook as worked with experts from Yale and Berkeley and a lot of people say that Facebook does lead the industry in putting stops in place. At any point on Facebook, you can report content.

They even have a system in place where you can bring in a third party, a parent or a teacher, to a dispute on Facebook and they sometimes provide young people with talking points, a list of things that they can say to somebody who sent them offensive content.

But in the system, there are documented cases, Becky, of content being flagged up and then falling through the cracks. So, I think the real question is here, did Facebook have this content flagged up to them, and did they somehow ignore it either on accident or because the content didn't meet their standards for deleting it. And I think that's the transparency that we need for Facebook, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, all right. Well, a Twitter trolling case this week that almost defies belief but for the fact, of course, it is true. The victim, a campaigner from the UK whose crime, it seems, was being a woman, right?

BURKE: That's correct. This woman who was pushing to see more women on bank notes, she had tweets sent to her, more than 50 an hour she said, and some of them saying people -- saying that they wanted to rape her.

Now, again, in response to this, Twitter is actually saying that they're going to put a button on the social network much like Facebook's button so that people can report content without having to go and click a link and fill out a form. Just a one-button click to flag up abusive or offensive content.

But again, this shows that some of the other social networks are catching up. Facebook has had that system in place for a long time. Other social networks drag far behind. And in this case, Facebook is the leaders.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Sam. Well, Caroline Criado-Perez was the woman that Samuel was alluding to. She's a feminist campaigner who -- her crime was just simply that she campaigned to get Jane Austen, the British author, on British bank notes.

She wasn't alone in -- or she hasn't been alone in being trolled, as it's known, abused on the internet. So, too, British MP Stella Creasy, who had backed this lady's campaign. Well, I caught up with her a little earlier, and she described just how it felt to be a victim of trolling.


STELLA CREASY, BRITISH MP: It's horrible. And nobody should go through this, whether they are an MP or anybody working in any form of job, whether it's in the public arena or not. It is relentless as well, and that's the thing that's been so shocking.

Caroline Criado-Perez, who started the campaign to make sure that we kept women on bank notes in the UK, has had eight days of this now. I'm up to my fourth. And I have to be honest, it is rather, rather frustrating.

ANDERSON: What do you want to see happen?

CREASY: Well, in these instances, where we are receiving direct threats, this isn't about banter, this isn't about people even being offensive, this is about people making direct threats to do things to us, to kill us, to harm us sexually.

It's illegal in this country, and we want Twitter and the police to be able to work together quickly and proactively to identify the people setting up these many different accounts to do this and to hold them to account for it.

If somebody came up to me in the street and said to me what's been said to me on Twitter in the repeated manner in which it's now being sent to me, that would be harassment in this country.

ANDERSON: Listen. I've been a victim of a trolling as well. At best, it's pathetic. At worst, it is downright disturbing. You're absolutely right to say it's abuse and/or harassment at times. How do you, though, identify those who abuse others and prevent them from doing it again? This is the crux of this, isn't it?

CREASY: Absolutely. And there's a whole range of things going on on online media. Sometimes when people send me abusive messages, I send them back a kitten picture, because clearly they need to calm down.

But in this sort of incident, where it is a threat and it's an illegal act in the UK, then actually what I want to see and why I've reported it to the police is direct actions attract these people. But it is possible to track these people if the technology companies cooperate with the police.

ANDERSON: You want internet companies to be responsible, do you, for their users?

CREASY: Well, internet companies already say that they comply with local laws. And in the UK, this kind of harassment is illegal. But I don't think -- and what's been very clear over the last couple of days is there's a clear process by which the police and these companies can work together to recognize the threat that we face.

Fundamentally, this is about violence against women, and an attitude that it's OK to sexually abuse women in this kind of way. So, to change that, we have to change the culture, but we also have to have the process in place that when they recognize these risks, they act promptly. Those two things are lacking at the moment. That's what we're seeking to change.

ANDERSON: Can I pin you down on this? I want to know exactly what you are trying to achieve here? You're certainly looking to enforce existing rules. Are you wanting to go further than that, and how, if so?

CREASY: No. Twitter tell me that they have a user safety panel that will look at reports of abuse. I want them to be transparent about the numbers of reports they're getting. I also want to be careful about the new abuse button that they're talking about, that that in itself is not used to abuse people. And I want them to have a clear policy on harassment.

As I say, it's a very specific definition here in the UK about repeated contact, about the impact o the victim themselves. That's what these incidences are about.

ANDERSON: But the problem is, that's a UK law. This is an international company, isn't it? How do you get around that, given that the internet is a global sphere?

CREASY: Well -- but the people doing that -- it's a mistake to make us think this is about Twitter. The people doing this are in the UK. The IP addresses of the people that we've been tracing are in the UK, and Twitter do say they comply with local laws.

Now, actually, across other countries as well, harassment is illegal. The point is, we've got recognize that this very, very old form of crime, i.e. violence and hatred of women, is taking a new form and act accordingly.


ANDERSON: British lawmaker Stella Creasy speaking to me earlier here on CNN. We're going to take a very short break here. Coming up, though, after this, what am I going to do? Well, backstage with the Bolshoi is what we're going to do. How this famous but troubled troupe is moving on from a string of scandals, or so they say. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: You're back with us in Abu Dhabi. Now, steeped in history, but more recently, in scandal, the Bolshoi Ballet is hoping to reclaim the spotlight for all the right reasons with a new directory and a three-week tour in London. We went backstage at the Royal Opera House to see just how this world-renowned company is moving on.



ANDERSON (voice-over): Behind the scenes of the world's most famous ballet troupe, dancers from the Bolshoi practicing in London, where the Moscow-based company is celebrating its 50th season at the Royal Opera House.

As eagerly anticipated as the Bolshoi's tours are, it is backstage where the spotlight has fallen this year. In January, artistic director Sergei Filin was the victim of an acid attack masterminded by Bolshoi dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko.

In June, the theater did not renew the contract of principle dancer, Nikolai Tsiskaridze. He lobbied to oust director Anatoly Iksanov. Then, on July the 9th, Iksanov was replaced with this man, Vladimir Urin, head of a smaller Stanislavsky Theater.

VLADIMIR URIN, DIRECTOR, BOLSHOI BALLET (through translator): I'm spending, now, my days meeting people and talking to them and discussing to them and they all want to have real and serious work. So, I don't hear from them any discussion about these past conflicts or any ideas of pulling it apart.

But also, surely, one should understand that certain questions, certain problems, they do exist, and they have to look where they are, and they have to try to solve them in order not to have these reasons in the future for any of these kind of conflicts.

ANDERSON: Sergei Filin continues to recover, but he's been left with just five percent of his sight. The road ahead is long, but his new boss hopes to see him return.

URIN (through translator): Surely, no doubt, I would love. But the only thing we shall wish him right now is to regain his health.

ANDERSON: As for the troupe, the only American dancer with the Bolshoi, David Hallberg, says they are determined to put the spotlight back on the stage.

DAVID HALLBERG, DANCER, BOLSHOI BALLET: Sense of -- of stamina, really, of the sense of moving on, the sense of kind of doing what's most important. And what's most important is dancing.

ANDERSON: Tradition is strong in the company, but under Sergei Filin, modern ideas of dance were also adopted, and that is a legacy the new director says will continue.

URIN (through translator): I'm absolutely sure that theater cannot survive if it stays only on the classical heritage. It should have a movement forward.

You have to be in search of the contemporary ballet language. And this search, this quest, should go on, and the Bolshoi Theater, as well.



ANDERSON: Our Parting Shots this evening courtesy of Bashar al Assad. It appears the Syrian president has joined Instagram and as you can see, well, he's been very busy uploading photographs of himself and his wife being adoring and being adored.

The snaps feature the al Assads comforting children, intently listening to a group of women, and being mobbed by masses.

I'm going to leave you, though, tonight as we close out from Abu Dhabi with striking pictures of this period of time from the region at Ramadan. Good night.