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Fire Destroys International Terminal At Jomo Kenyatta; U.S. President Cancels Meeting With Putin Ahead Of G20; Yemeni Government Upset Over U.S. Embassy Closure; Baby Trafficking Ring Stopped In China

Aired August 7, 2013 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight, hitting the pause button as Barack Obama calls off a meeting with his Russian counterpart:, how relations between the two leaders have hit the rocks.

Also ahead, as new details emerge about an al Qaeda plot in Yemen, we'll ask the U.S. State Department, whether it's related to its ongoing terror alert.

And as this teenage girl becomes the latest victim of cyberbullying, CNN asks a self-confessed troll why he does it.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World.

A new freeze in the old Cold War. U.S. President Barack Obama has formally canceled what was a much anticipated meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Now the U.S. says Russia isn't pulling its weight from arms control to human rights, they want Russia to produce results before any meeting.

Well, the U.S. president used his appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno to discuss the difficult relations.


JAY LENO, TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Were you surprised that Russia granted Snowden asylum?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was disappointed, because even though we don't have an extradition treaty with them, traditionally we have tried to respect if there's a lawbreaker or an alleged lawbreaker in their country we evaluate it and we try to work with them. They didn't do that with us.

And in some ways it's reflective of some underlying challenges that we've had with Russia lately.

There have been times where they slipped back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality. And what I consistently say to them and what I say to President Putin is that's the past. And, you know, we've got to think about the future and there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to cooperate more effectively than we do.


LU STOUT: Obama on Jay Leno.

Well, we're going to bring you reaction from both Russia and the U.S. to find out what this means for the two country's relationship. We've got Phil Black in Moscow for you and Elise Labott in Washington.

So let's start with you. What's been the reaction from the Kremlin to this announcement?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, President Putin has a reputation for taking these things personally. So when the Kremlin says it is disappointed, that is probably very well true. But it may not be surprised.

The Kremlin, though, is saying that this is all about one issue, and that is Edward Snowden. It's not talking about the other list of concerns that the U.S. administration has made. And the Kremlin says that this shows the United States is not ready to build equal relations with Russia.

Relations are the key issue here, not just relations now, but as they have been over a period of time declining. They have been in significant decline. They some -- because of big international issues like Syria, but also because of what has been taking place in this country. The United States has regularly criticized what it sees as a rollback of democracy and human rights here. And Russia really doesn't like the United States criticizing what goes on here in its own domestic political affairs. It sees that as meddling

And the timing is important, too, things really started to turn frosty around about 18 months ago. And that was the point where it became very clear Vladimir Putin would be returning as this country's president, Becky.

ANDERSON: What's the latest on Edward Snowden out of interest at this point?

BLACK: He is keeping a low profile somewhere here in Russia. We do not know where. The government is not saying. Snowden's Russia lawyer who has been assisting with the asylum applications is not saying either. He's just adjusting to his new home, his new life, but we do know that he's actively making preparations to bring family and possibly friends from the United States to visit him here.

His lawyer says that they have issued a formal invitation, which will allow Snowden's father to get a visa. So he's expected to be joining him here somewhere around the start of September. And it's likely that Snowden may speak publicly around then.

That was the time that President Obama was due to make his visit here to Moscow, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah. Interesting. All right, Phil, thank you for that. That's the Moscow leg of this story.

Let's turn to Washington now. Authorities there saying the president's meeting in Moscow would have been canceled even before Russia granted Edward Snowden asylum, because Russia hasn't been cooperating.

Elise, what do they mean by that?

LABOTT: Well, Becky, obviously the Snowden affair kind of poured fuel to the fire. But as Phil said, relations between Moscow and Washington have been souring ever since President Putin took office in what officials say is there just hasn't been enough progress in the relationship. The U.S. priorities are missile defense, are talking about strategic armament reductions. Obviously Syria is a very big issue and the Russians didn't seem to be wanting to cooperate any of those issues, really playing hardball in Syria particularly. The Russian support for the regime was a huge problem.

And so what the White House says is listen there wasn't enough progress to really warrant a summit. Officials said there really wasn't privately not much to discuss because Russia really wasn't cooperating on anything.


JEN PSAKI, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: The point was made and this is one the secretary definitely agrees with, is that, you know, there are -- we were not at the point in our progress on a number of these issues where a summit at the presidential level was the most constructive step. But at the same time we recognize there are many areas we need to continue to work on. And the feeling was that the secretary, having continued conversations with the foreign minister and of course Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel having continued conversations would be the appropriate next step.


LU STOUT: Right. OK. So Hagel and Kerry, Elise, meant to meet their Russian counterparts in Washington at the end of this week. And the spokesperson eluding to that. Is that meeting still on?

LABOTT: That meeting is still on. As Jen Psaki, the spokesman of the State Department said, the U.S. will continue to talk to Russia on issues of importance. But certainly there's a little bit of a frost in the air. So I think what the way the U.S. is going about this is continuing to work with Russia trying to make progress where they can.

And obviously the Russians are disappointed, as the Russians have said, about this meeting, but certainly were willing, Becky, to give enough to the United States to warrant this meeting going forward. So while disappointed, don't seem to be really taking it all that harshly. The feeling is the relationship will continue on the kind of rocky track that has been going along so far.

LU STOUT: All right.

Elise Labott in Washington for you.

Well, in 2009, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her Russian counterpart a reset button, a sign that the U.S. wanted to mend relations with Russia. The Russian word on the button had been mistranslated. And actually spelled overcharged. Was it a sign that the two countries are always pushing the wrong button?

Well, joining me to discuss America's relationship with Russia is former U.S. ambassador to Russia James Collins who served between 1997 and 2001.

How would you, sir, characterize what is going on at present?

JAMES COLLINS, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: Well, I think we've had 18 months of a rather substantial downturn in relations. At the same time, a lot of the accomplishments of Obama's first term have continued. We have the START I agreement being implemented. We have the civilian nuclear agreement being implemented. We're working on Afghanistan together.

So, I mean, I think one has to look at this as a question of what would the two leaders have hoped to get out of such a meeting in Moscow? And I think the answer from the White House was that its meeting is postponed and remember, I would underscore postponed, because we're not ready yet. And I think one can't simply dismiss this as political puffery.

ANDERSON: All right. What do you think the long-term diplomatic fallout is here?

COLLINS: Well, I think, you know, we'll have to see how the meeting this -- this -- at the end of this week goes between Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense and their counterparts. I think the reality is that we just are not in a point where we're making much progress on key issues that have divided us.

The atmosphere is not good. Mr. Snowden's asylum has certainly complicated it. But I mean, it also had a lot of issues over civil rights, human rights and so forth that have been dominant. These things are basically making a difficult relationship.

ANDERSON: Let me stop you there, ambassador, sorry. Yes, sorry to interrupt you there.

You were ambassador, of course, during the end of Yeltsin's presidency and the beginning of Putin's first term, Clinton and Bush their counterparts at that point in the U.S. Can you ever remember things being this bad during that time, for example? Just characterize that time for me, if you will?

COLLINS: Well, I think -- you know, we had a different kind of relationship at that point. And I suppose the low point during my time as ambassador was when the Americans in -- bombed Serbia during the Balkan crises and so forth. That brought out a real emotional reaction from the Russians. And it brought a really souring in relations that took some serious work to get rectified.

In the end, we got through the problem and they negotiated their way through it. But there were some very tense moments. And there were some very low points in the relationship at that time. Now this was under President Yeltsin.

Under President Putin, I think the larger -- or the main times that we had difficulties were over the Russian government's actions in the north caucuses in Chechnya.


Let me remind our viewers, of course, that it was Russia's intervention during the Balkans that in the end helped mediate a peaceful solution to things.

What does, do you think -- and for our viewers' sake, what do you think these -- this current spate, as it were, this current chilling of relations. What does it mean for you and me?

COLLINS: Well, I think what it means for you and me is that frankly we are at a moment when we may miss opportunities to do things together, which should be helpful. I think we're going to have to find ways to address what's coming with Iran, the North Korean nuclear issue hasn't gone away. And there are other issues of counterterrorism, cooperation and so forth.

Now it isn't that these things have stopped being a subject on which we're able to work together, but I'm afraid that the atmosphere is not one which is conducive to sort of looking for opportunities or looking for ways to take advantage of new fields for cooperation. I think that's probably going to be the biggest loss.

ANDERSON: Ambassador, it's a pleasure having you on, thank you very much indeed for your analysis this evening here on Connect the World.

We're out of Abu Dhabi just passed 10 past midnight here. Thank you, sir.

Still to come tonight, as foreign nationals leave Yemen, the country's government says it has foiled an al Qaeda plot.

A huge fire causes chaos at East Africa's busiest airport. We're going to get the latest from the ground in Nairobi where hundreds of passengers are stranded.

And Egypt's interim leaders say there is no going back on a decision to disperse mass protests against their rule.

We'll be live for you in Cairo.

We're 90 seconds away, taking a very short break. Back, after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back now. You are watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you.

Yemen's government says it has foiled an al Qaeda plot to capture oil and gas facilities and to seize two strategic ports. A spokesman for the prime minister there says al Qaeda planned to attack locations in the port city of Mukalla and the southern province of Sabwa.


RAJEH BADI, ADVISER TO YEMEN'S PRIME MINISTER (through translator): There was a large operation discovered that appears to have been targeting liquid gas stations in the Shabuwa (ph) district as well as other control of governmental funds, an effort to hamper local authorities. These operations also planned on seizing two important ports in the southern city of al-Mukalla where many foreign experts work.


ANDERSON: Well, none -- news of the plot came as the U.S. moved to evacuate all non-emergency personnel from the country over security concerns. Intelligence also prompting Washington to urge all Americans to leave Yemen immediately.

Well, I spoke to the deputy spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department just moments ago, Marie Harf. And I began by asking if this plot in Yemen was connected to the current threat that the U.S. is so concerned about. This is what she said.


MARY HARF, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: Well, I'm not going to detail exactly the nature of the threat that we are concerned about currently the reason we've closed our embassies there and elsewhere, but needless to say we remain very concerned about any possible terrorist attacks emanating from groups operating in Yemen.

ANDERSON: So has the danger of the terror plot, which the U.S. cited as the reason for pulling its nonessential stat out of Yemen, has that danger now passed?

HARF: Well, certainly we remain concerned in Yemen and elsewhere about the continued threat of terrorist attacks. Our people, as you said, have been left -- some of them have left Yemen. And our embassy will remain closed through Saturday. So we are certainly taking the threat very seriously. We'll continue to look at new information, of course, as it comes in and keep reevaluating on a day-to-day basis the threat that we're facing.

ANDERSON: The Yemeni government has said today through its embassy in Washington that the decision -- and I paraphrase here -- by U.S. and British embassies to withdraw staff from Yemen, and I quote, "undermines the exceptional cooperation between Yemen and the International community in the fight against terrorism." Your response.

HARF: Well, we wouldn't agree with that assessment. We've been clear that we work very closely and cooperatively with the government of Yemen on counterterrorism issues. And we will continue to.

What we're focused on is protecting our people and our facilities around the world, that's a huge priority, of course for us, and we will make decisions as we see fit in the best interests of our security. So that's why this decision was made. We'll keep making decisions as we get new information. And we'll also keep working with the government of Yemen as we do on a routine basis to confront this shared threat.


ANDERSON: The State Department with the very latest line on Yemen.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, a fire ripped through the international hall of Keny'a main airport earlier, causing travel chaos. I want to get you an update on the very latest from there. That, after this.


ANDERSON: All right. You're back with us. It's 20 minutes past midnight here in Abu Dhabi. That's the skyline here at the end of Ramadan. You're watching Connect the World live from Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson.

Air travelers across Africa are facing big delays after a fire engulfed Kenya's busiest airport. Now hundreds of passengers have been left stranded outside Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

The international arrivals hall was damaged extensively in the blaze it took five hours to bring under control. No word on the cause as of yet. Domestic and cargo flights have resumed. And no casualties are thankfully reported.

The Kenyatta airport is the busiest in East Africa, served by 27 airlines, flying to 23 countries. It handles 16,000 passengers a day and more than 5 million a year.

Well, let's turn to the scene on the ground now. And speak to CNN's Nima Elbagir who is in Nairobi. They've said that they resumed domestic flights. They're in evidence, are they now, and we've got some cargo back in the air, right?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they've cleared the cargo that's in -- well, they're in the process, I should say, of clearing the cargo that's in the warehouses here, but they still haven't announced any plane to get those goods that are expected on the global markets -- the vegetables, the third of the world's flowers that Kenya provides, we still don't yet know what's going to happen with them.

And, yes, domestic flights have resumed. And that's working to unknot some of that chaos you spoke about, because they're going to the regional airport in Mombasa.

But, again, you know, this is the hundreds that were affected here in the airport, but this really has disrupted travel for thousands of passengers. And this is the beginning of the tourism season, Becky, so we're going to see quite a financial fallout from this in the days to come.

ANDERSON: Listen, the government has said that international arrivals will resume on Thursday. I was talking to some people today who have been pretty surprised at how quickly they think they can get this -- get these arrivals up and running once again. You rightly point out how important this is to the economy.

I've used that airport numerous times on holidays through Kenya. I mean, it's not the most efficient necessarily, but, you know, it's a busy one.

We've got any more specific details on when these international arrivals will begin once again. And it can get this airport operational, as it should be?

ELBAGIR: Well, the hope is that there will be some sort of a limited service starting from Thursday, which is tomorrow morning here focusing on the international routes, the national Kenya Airways has said that it's going to quickly try and bring back into service that route through Amsterdam and then which goes back through Europe. And again that plays into the financial impact of the tourism that they're trying to limit here.

But as you said, this really isn't the most efficient of airports at the best of times. And people are concerned that these plans that are being announced are perhaps a trifle optimistic.

And of course while they're doing all of this, they're also trying to handle the ongoing investigation into how this could have happened in the first place, given how important, how crucial this airport is, not just to Kenya's economy, but to the whole region.

And questions are being asked about how there wasn't a working sprinkler system in place. How at one point the interior ministry was forced to admit that water supplies that the fire service was using to put out the blaze, that they were running low. And given Kenya's broader economic ambitions, these are issues that the government is going to have to work to find some pretty convincing answers for in the next few days, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah. All right. Nima Elbagir, who I know flew into the airport only hours ago from Rwanda where she was on a trip with -- or reporting on a trip with Bill Clinton. You've used -- you've battled the airport as many other people have had to today, but good to have you with us.

Nima, in Nairobi for you.

All right, health officials in China are cracking down on an alarming rise in newborn baby thefts. Corrupt doctors are said to be selling babies to human traffickers after convincing their parents they were born with severe defects.

Now one family was reunited with their child, but most aren't nearly as lucky.

David McKenzie filed this report.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's an awful case of baby human trafficking in the city in western China that is shocking the nation. Take a look at these extraordinary images as a young mother is reunited with her newborn son who had been trafficked to a neighboring province.

Here are the allegations that a doctor in this town at a maternity hospital convinced the parents that their child had a congenital defect and took the child away from them and sold them on for some $3,000 to human traffickers.

It seems like this is a trafficking ring and that this isn't the first time. Scores of parents in this city have come forward to say that their children, too, might have been taken away and sold to traffickers eventually through several steps to adoptive parents elsewhere in China.

Of course, this is shocking China and shocked the government. They say they're going to have a national review of health care in the country to see whether loop holes could be to allow such an awful thing like a parent losing their child to human traffickers.

David McKenzie, CNN, Chongqing Province.


ANDERSON: Well, Japan's prime minister says that his government will take action to accelerate the cleanup at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The company that runs the plant has acknowledged that highly radioactive water is leaking out of the site into ground water in the harbor nearby. But Shinzo Abe is not content to leave the cleanup in the company's hands. Have a listen to this.


SHINZO ABE, PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN (through translator): The stability of Fukushima is also one of our tasks, notably the contaminated water problem is one that the Japanese people have a high level of interest in and is an urgent issue to deal with. This is not an issue we can let Tepco take complete responsibility of. And we have to deal with this at a national level.


ANDERSON: The latest world news headlines are just ahead here on CNN.

Plus an ugly problem rears its head once again, the vicious Internet troll issue and what can be done to stop it.

And what could happen next in Egypt after authorities there declare that diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis have failed.


ANDERSON: Half past the hour of midnight in the UAE. This is Connect the World from Abu Dhabi. The top stories this hour.

U.S. President Barack Obama will not meet separately with President Vladimir Putin of Russia next month ahead of the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg. A White House statement cited a, quote, lack of progress in bilateral relations, citing issues such as defense and human rights.

Well, domestic flights have resumed at Kenyatta international airport in Kenya after a massive fire broke out. Flames shut down the facility and caused extensive damage, as you can see here. International arrivals are set to resume Thursday, but no word yet on when departures will begin. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The house where three women were held captive for nearly a decade has been destroyed. One of the women who was held in Ariel Castro's home, Michelle Knight, released balloons outside the house (inaudible) of another former captive made the first hit on the building. Castro is serving a life sentence in prison for his crimes.

And lawyers are signed to help U.S. army major Nidal Hasan say that he's trying to help prosecutors in order to get the death penalty. He's on trial for killing 13 people in a 2009 shooting rampage at a Texas military base. Hasan denies the accusation that he is trying to martyr himself.

Egypt's interim prime minister says the decision is final: the government will move to break up mass protests demanding the return of ousted President Mohamed Morsy. Hazem el-Beblawi announced on state television that international diplomatic efforts to end the crisis have failed. He made this appeal to Morsy's supporters.


HAZEM EL-BEBLAWI, INTERIM EGYPTIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We ask them once more to leave quickly and return to their homes and work without resistance. Those who do not have blood on their hands.


ANDERSON: More now on the crisis in Egypt. It's apparently not a question of if, but when authorities will move to break up these protests. The United States and European Union have just issued an 11th hour statement saying that they are concerned about, quote, "further violent confrontations."

Arwa Damon is live for us in Cairo tonight. Has the atmosphere in any way changed on the streets?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, we were down at one of the sit-in sites earlier in the day, and people there most certainly were preparing for it. They beefed up the barricades, had piled of rocks ready.

But all the while, you also saw decorations because it is, after all, the beginning of Eid. And a lot of people are telling us that they're also sharing those very same concerns. Not entirely surprised, though, that these various mediation efforts have fallen flat. But this ongoing crisis is really casting a very long shadow over what should have been a time of celebration.


DAMON (voice-over): It takes an expert to dodge the colorful, psychedelic whirlwind of Cairo's streets. Stifling temperatures drop at night, and it's time to buy gifts for Eid, the holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

But as much of a shopping frenzy as this may seem, it pales in comparison to years past. "You wouldn't have even been able to walk through these streets," Ben Dari Sahmed de Aziz (ph) tells us. He voted for deposed President Morsy, but now stands firmly with the army who helped oust him from power.

"We want Morsy!" a woman shouts as we speak to another family.

DAMON (on camera): Just about anytime you go to interview somebody, it sparks off naturally a debate about the situation, what's happening, and there's an entire divergence and variety of opinions that one finds here.

DAMON (voice-over): Still, for many in this impoverished country, the main concern is not ideology or the role of religion in government, it's about the basic need to make a living. "There is no money," this woman cries out. "Rather than buying two outfits for the kids this year, we're just buying one, and that's a stretch."

Sure, you will still find smiles. This is Egypt after all. But concern about the future overshadows this time of celebration. "This isn't the same happiness of Ramadan," this man tells us, and his wife adds, "Enough. The country needs to move forward."

A basic, fundamental desire. Perhaps the one thing most people can agree on as frustration and fear mount on all sides.


DAMON: And you know, Becky, this is very much novel terrain for all those who are involved. Egypt hasn't really confronted this type of a crisis with the various different challenging dynamics that it poses in its recent history if at all, and navigating it is, as we are seeing, proving to be incredibly complex, challenging, and potentially quite bloody.

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon's in Cairo for you this evening. Now, you may remember Egypt's military asked for a popular mandate nearly two weeks ago to crack down on what they called "terrorism." That was the word. We're now hearing that word more and more to describe supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsy and his Muslim Brotherhood.

Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes since Morsy's overthrow last month. Many were Morsy supporters. The Brotherhood says they are the real victims, but authorities accuse Brotherhood leaders of inciting violence.


DORAYA SHARAF AL-DIN, EGYPTION INFORMATION MINISTER (through translator): The cabinet will rely on the people's mandate to the state to deal with terrorism and violence, which threaten the fall of the state and the destruction of the nation.


ANDERSON: Anti-Morsy demonstrators have also used the "terrorist" label, as you can see, from their protest last month. They are accusing US president Barack Obama of supporting terrorism, claiming he sided with the Brotherhood and failed to recognize Morsy's overthrow as the legitimate will of the Egyptian people.

Well, President Obama has not labeled it a coup and essentially stayed out of the debate, but just yesterday, we heard this from a US senator ostensibly sent there by the president in Cairo.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Circumstances of the former government, the president's removal, were a coup.


ANDERSON: When I talked with US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf just before this show started, we discussed Egypt. I asked her whether Senator McCain's use of the word "coup" was the new position of Washington officially.


MARIE HARF, SPOKESWOMAN, US STATE DEPARTMENT: Well, the US government position on that has not changed, that we don't feel that it's in our interests and we don't believe legally we are obligated to make a determination one way or the other about the events that took place on July 3rd.

We've been clear that we had concerns with the actions the military took. We've also been clear that we had concerns with the way the Morsy government was governing. What we're focused on moving forward is how to help facilitate a return in Egypt to a sustainable civilian, democratically-elected government.

ANDERSON: So, is Washington distancing itself from the very men sent by Obama to help work a solution on this?

HARF: Well, I think we've been clear that Deputy Secretary Burns was on the ground representing the position of the US government in Egypt. We've said it repeatedly from the State Department and elsewhere. So, I want to be clear that our position has not changed.


ANDERSON: She didn't name check Senator McCain or Lindsey Graham, who was with him, once during that interview. It was as if they were sort of steering clear.

Well, our next guest says US policy towards Egypt is, and I quote, "in total disarray." Hani Shukrallah is a prominent Egyptian journalist and former editor-in-chief of Ahram Online. He's live for us in Cairo tonight.

Terrorism, Egypt's biggest and most -- sorry. "Terrorism," a word being used by the interim government here and "terrorists" a word they use when they are alluding to the Muslim Brotherhood. What's going on here? Let's start with the interim government and move onto US policy here.

HANI SHUKRALLAH, FORMER EDITOR OF AHRAM ONLINE: Yes, what we're seeing in Sinai is -- fits, I think, the strictest definition of terrorism. I think where the Muslim Brotherhood is concerned, the term is then being used rather loosely.

Obviously, they are -- the Muslim Brotherhood is using the Sinai events, whether they are actually involved or not, I can't say, and probably more likely not directly involved at least.

But definitely when you get Mr. Beltagi, one of the main leaders of the Brotherhood saying if Morsy comes back, calm will return to Sinai and all the operations in Sinai will stop the next day, that's a very clear indication.

And then, of course, there is the use of violence, the torture of some people who are captured, whether in the two sit-ins and so on. I think that's the sense that's being used --

ANDERSON: All right. Let me --

SHUKRALLAH: -- it's not really applied, yes.

ANDERSON: I hear what you're saying. Let's look at the international mediation efforts here, and particularly those from America. It's been widely criticized today for the comment from the two senators in Cairo on Tuesday. How would you characterize US policy on Egypt now and in the recent past? A success or a failure?

SHUKRALLAH: I think -- I'm actually quite amazed at how -- inept it all seems, how the US administration, which I've always assumed Obama to be rather a clever one, is just botching it in Egypt. They've managed in the past month to antagonize almost everything Egyptian.

They -- what I would call the pro-democracy camp has never been as hostile to American policy, at least, in decades. And definitely the Muslim Brotherhood are not acting as America's friends, either. They constantly in the Rabba sit-in and elsewhere, they accuse the -- what they call the military coup of being in the pocket of the Americans and part of an American conspiracy against Islam.

ANDERSON: All right. So --

SHUKRALLAH: You've managed to lose everybody.

ANDERSON: Yes, and it remains to be seen what happens going forward, of course. There are many people who say that the US have been really, really, really late on this entire sort of two and a half year process since the revolution of 2011, and they've been playing catch-up all the way along.

Last question to you this evening, sir, because we're running out of time. The two senators yesterday from the States calling for the release of Muslim Brotherhood prisoners. They didn't name check Mohamed Morsy specifically. What do you think is going to happen next?

We know that there is a retrial of Hosni Mubarak, the former former president, as it were. The retrial begins mid-August.


ANDERSON: Can you see Morsy detained until then and effectively replaced as it were in the cage that we've seen Mubarak in in the past? Is there any sense that Mubarak may get some sort of leverage out of this and be able to either get out of jail free as it were or at least find exile elsewhere?

SHUKRALLAH: Well, I -- to begin with the last question first, I doubt very much that any court will be releasing Mubarak in at least the foreseeable future. That is highly unlikely.

On the other hand, as far as Mohamed Morsy is concerned, the thing is, there is no -- the Brotherhood leadership has shown no willingness to even contemplate a safe exit. They insist on Morsy getting back to power on the Shura Council, the upper house dominated by them and their allies, getting back. And I --

ANDERSON: All right.

SHUKRALLAH: -- conceivably, it's wholly theoretical, he could have had a deal whereby they disband the sit-ins and you give some sort of assurances as far as a safe exit is concerned. I think that now is accepted either by the majority of Egyptians or by the Brotherhood.

ANDERSON: All right.

SHUKRALLAH: So it's not a likelihood.

ANDERSON: Appreciate your thoughts this evening. Always an absolute pleasure to have you on out of Cairo this evening, the very latest news and thoughts.

Live from Abu Dhabi, you're with CONNECT THE WORLD here, I'm Becky Anderson. A comment, a click, and a consequence. Authorities are trying to crack down on internet trolls. We're going to take a look at what can be done to stop them.


ANDERSON: That is a shot in Abu Dhabi of the tallest building on the skyline at quarter to 1:00 in the morning here.

Now, a 14-year-old British girl has become the latest victim of online bullying. Hannah Smith committed suicide late last week. Her family say vicious trolls targeted her on the question and answer website As Dan Rivers reports, even in her death, Hannah's taunters haven't stopped.


DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She has become Britain's most high-profile victim of cyber bullying, 14-year- old Hannah Smith, driven to take her own life after a vicious campaign of online hate messages. As the family prepare for Hannah's funeral, her sister has been targeted by more abuse on the internet. Cyber bullying is suddenly the issue of the day in the UK.

A Facebook memorial page set up in Hannah's memory has had to be taken down after being targeted by so-called trolls. And here is where some of the abuse is being orchestrated: an unregulated forum called 4chan, set up in New York.

Journalist Mike Smith has helped unmask Twitter trolls, receiving death threats himself. He shows me messages on 4chan where users are planning to celebrate Hannah Smith's death.

MIKE SMITH, JOURNALIST, EXARO NEWS: 4chan is a forum where there are no rules, almost no rules. Anyone can post anything they like, and as a result, a lot of people use it to organize these kinds of attacks on people that they think where it'll be funny. Where can I provoke a reaction, for example, on this memorial page?

RIVERS: Hannah committed suicide after repeated insults on the social media site In a statement, says it actively encourages all users and their parents to report any incidents of bullying. But posts are anonymous, making trolling easy.

Another leading player in social media, Twitter, has also been criticized for failing to tackle cyber bullying. Several prominent British women, like Helen Lewis, have received tweets like this and even death threats. She understands how Hannah must've felt.

HELEN LEWIS, DEPUTY EDITOR, "NEW STATESMAN": It's because you feel that you're being picked on by an enormous number of people. You feel that everybody around you hates you. Everybody knows about it, too. There's a public humiliation aspect to it. And for a vulnerable teenager, that must be incredibly hard to deal with.

RIVERS: CNN managed to ask several questions online to a self- proclaimed troll asking why he did it. He or she replied, "It's the 21st century equivalent of rotting vegetables in response to pathetic demagoguery and the craic like."

CNN responded, "So, fun and a political statement?" He or she replied, "Sure."

PETER BRADLEY, DIRECTOR, KIDSCAPE: Trolling is a huge problem. Over the last four years, convictions relating to trolling has increased by 150 percent. This is just the tip of the iceberg because over a third of incidents do not get reported.

RIVERS: Hannah Smith's last message online was this, a cry for help that is only now getting the attention it so deserved.

Dan Rivers, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, tragedies like Hannah's absolutely cry out for something to be done. Some authorities say that they are trying to regulate this shadowy side of the internet. Today, London police, for example, arrested a man on suspicion of making rape threats on Twitter to two female campaigners, pictured here on the right.

Two others were arrested last week. One of those women, Caroline Criado-Perez is adamant that ignoring trolls is not the answer. Well, our next guest is a feminist journalist and activist. She says she's had countless death and rape threats against her. Laurie Penny joins me now from our studio. Do you recommend any way to stop this?

LAURIE PENNY, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "NEW STATESMAN": I think it's very, very important that our first response to this isn't knee-jerk censorship. There's been a lot of talk this week about how can we make Twitter stop the trolling, how can we shut down websites like

And that really evades what's going on here is that internet is allowing a deep scene -- a deep scene of misogyny and hatred against women and other groups of people to be unmasked online. The internet didn't -- sexist bullying didn't start with misogyny, and bullying of young women didn't start --

Sorry. Sexism didn't start with the internet. Bullying of young women didn't start with the internet. The internet simply makes it easier for people to do this anonymously and without having any kind of interaction -- any human interaction with the people. They don't have to say it to their faces.

ANDERSON: Yes. No, and I absolutely agree with you. I've been trolled, and I was speaking to an MP about this the other night, and you absolutely know that whoever is writing the muck that they write you would not say it to your face if you were standing opposite them.

But listen. We've also got to remember, it's not just men that get bullied. Sorry, not just women that get bullied or trolled online on Twitter and Facebook and things. There are, obviously, kids, boys as well.

But listen, do you think that the phrase "don't feed the trolls," is that just giving into their taunts to a certain extent, do you think?

PENNY: Well, it puts the blame on the person who's being attacked, saying "don't feed the trolls." It's like saying, well, don't ignore -- don't pay any attention to people who are harassing you.

Actually, Helen Lewis, who said that there's an element of public humiliation to this is completely right. And gets to a stage where actually ignoring that, there are huge emotional overheads to that process.


PENNY: I think it's very important for us to remember that this -- when we speak about freedom of speech and we speak about censorship, what people are trying to do here is its own kind of censorship. It's not just about who is free to say any kind of disgusting stuff to women on the internet, it's about silencing women.

People say this to silence, to humiliate, and to hurt women and to make women and girls, sometimes very young girls, feel unsafe in public space. The internet still functions as public space.

ANDERSON: OK, what do you -- let's -- we haven't got very much time, so I want to get on something out here for our viewers. What do you suggest that women and kids do if they get bullied online or abused, sexually abused, harassed? What do you suggest is the best way about countering that, going about countering that?

PENNY: Well, obviously, if there are specific threats made, like I personally received a bomb threat two days ago because of this campaign against women journalists in the UK and women politicians. I had to go stay somewhere else. And in situations like that, you get the police involved.

But what we're doing right now is actually the most important thing of all. It's important that we talk about it. It's important that we don't tell individual people to suffer in silence and ignore the trolls, don't feed the trolls. It's important that we understand that this is not OK. Censorship isn't the only answer. Talking about it is much more effective.

ANDERSON: All right. We're going to leave it there. We've got to take a very short break. But this is a conversation we will continue and it is one on CNN that we think is incredibly important. Anybody who has kids out there will understand the damage it can do to children. We realize that they will also -- it risks them --

PENNY: Absolutely.

ANDERSON: -- committing suicide and they lose their lives. And for any of us who've been the victim of trolls, I can tell you, it's an awful thing, and we'll do something about it.

Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, she came, she ran, and she is still conquering. CNN speaks to Saudi Arabia's first female Olympic athlete. That after this.


ANDERSON: That is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Now, a lot of athletes made history at London's Olympics last year, including Sarah Attar. Amanda Davies has her story.


AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cultural attitudes have proved a major barrier to achieving equality at the Olympics, epitomized by Saudi Arabia, with its strict, conservative religious beliefs. A country where women can't vote until 2015, can't play sports in public schools, can't even drive.

Suddenly, in 2012, they were scrambling to find female athletes to be their Olympians, their hand forced by the International Olympic Committee: allow women to compete or face a ban from all Olympic competition.

Their search turned up two young women, one who would become one of the faces of London 2012, Sarah Attar. A dual citizen of the United States and Saudi Arabia, Attar grew up in California, and that's where we spoke to her for her first television interview since last year's Games.

DAVIES (on camera): So had you ever thought that you could compete at the Olympics?

SARAH ATTAR, 2012 OLYMPIC RUNNER: You know, it was never really in my spectrum of an athletic career. It was kind of briefly mentioned that it was a possibility a couple of months before the Olympics, but it wasn't really confirmed until about a month and a half before.

DAVIES: Did you weight out the pros and cons of doing it?

ATTAR: It was definitely a big thought process going into it, and kind of thinking about what it would really even mean to go to the Olympics, especially since it wasn't something that I'd been working for for so long, which many Olympians do. And essentially, though, it kind of came down to how could I not go?

DAVIES (voice-over): Surrounded by athletes who trained for years for this moment, Attar walked in the 2012 Opening Ceremony waving Saudi Arabian flags, dressed in hijab. She also had to cover up on the track. Her appearance in long sleeves and leggings with a special head covering brought international attention to an otherwise routine 800 meter heat.

DAVIES (on camera): And how different was it for you, you were running in long trousers with your head covered, your arms covered. That's very different to what you would normally wear sitting here in California running.

ATTAR: It's different than what I normally where in the States, but they're both part of my culture, so wearing that doesn't feel like it was that horrible or anything to wear. It was just part of my other culture, and I was representing that side.


ANDERSON: All right, a peak there at our CNN special that takes a deeper look at -- where was I peaking? A deeper look at the issue of gender equality in sport. That's "World Sport Presents an Uneven Playing Field." You can see it Saturday at 20:00 in London. That was just actually picking up a script, if you were interested.

Well, in tonight's Parting Shots, thousands of Muslims around the world are now celebrating the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the Eid al-Fitr festival, or simply Eid, traditionally starts after the new present moon has been spotted.

Now, the moon marks the end of Ramadan, so from all of us here on CONNECT THE WORLD, Eid Mubarak. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching.