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Acid Attack On Two Female British School Volunteers In Zanzibar; Malaria Vaccine?; Propaganda War In Syria

Aired August 8, 2013 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Fighting back against a global killer, a disease that steals the life of a child every minute in Africa could now have scientists -- start that again -- now could scientists have found a vaccine for malaria?

Also ahead...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With that sort of thing, it can start with a joke, but then people just don`t realize how serious it can get.


ANDERSON: Teenagers speak out on cyber bullying as the UK prime minister hits out against online abuse.

And a joyful reunion as a baby smuggling ring is shut down in China, but many families aren`t so lucky.

At just after midnight, live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World.

We begin with what could be a breakthrough in the battle against a disease that has killed millions of people over thousands of years. U.S. researchers tested a malaria vaccine on a small group of volunteers. And they say it works. They hope to conduct large-scale tests and clinical trials soon.

Mosquito born malaria sickens hundreds of millions of us each year in tropical climates.

Well, the new research was done by the National Institutes of Health as well as the U.S. Army and Navy. Western militaries have historically been involved in malarial work.

Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon and she can elaborate on that for you.

What`s the navy`s involvement here and why?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi Becky. The U.S. Navy very involved in this research, because of course navy forces, U.S. military forces and from so many other countries, travel around the world to areas even in peace time, tropical areas and interact with populations where malaria is certainly a risk.

What has happened is they have tested the U.S. Navy, the National Institute of Health here in Washington, D.C. and a pharmaceutical company have done some very initial testing that has had some remarkable results. 100 percent protection against malaria, that is astounding, very small sample. It may be years before they can finish it, get it licensed and bring it all to market. But the research is definitely promising.

And of course we know there`s so many other efforts in the world to do this, the -- for example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation a major philanthropic organization around the world, they are funding millions of dollars of research in this as well.

Why is it so important? As you said, 3.3 billion people around the world live in areas at risk of malaria. Over 200 million cases a year. The last statistics show that 660,000 people died of this disease. So any progress in getting to a vaccine that has 100 percent protection is certainly a very significant development, even though it could be a long ways off -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah. And we want to talk more about that with one of the lead researchers tonight. For the time being, Barbara thank you for that.

We`ve also heard from the Bill and Melinda Foundation. I`ll read you what they say on this shortly.

Let`s get more information on this vaccine, though. Captain Judith Epstein is the lead researcher from the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center. She`s in Cape Cod, Massachusetts for you this evening. And Dr. William Schaffner is a malaria expert. He`s done a lot of work in this field. He`s the chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee.

Guys we appreciate your time tonight.

Captain Epstein, talk me through this trial being hailed by some experts the most important advance since the 1970s when immunization first started, or at least it was clear that one day patients could be protected.

Walk us through this.

CAPTAIN JUDITH EPSTEIN, U.S. NAVY: Yes. So actually these efforts began back in 1969, actually, when investigators at NYU showed that you could completely protect in a rodent model by immunizing with irradiated sporozoites. And that means that you can take mosquitoes that are carrying the parasites and irradiate them and then allow the mosquitoes to bite people and if people got enough bites with these weakened parasites, they would be completely protected from malaria.

And this model was shown -- the navy was one of the first two groups in the world to show that you could do the same thing with humans, that if they got enough bites from these mosquitoes carrying the weakened parasites, they could be completely protected.

And the way we show that people are completely are protected...

ANDERSON: Let me just jump in on you here, for our viewers` sake, we are talking about an extremely small group of people here in what is an early trial, of course.

I know next you trial in Africa. What happens going forward at this point?

EPSTEIN: Well, what will happen is that we have shown that the vaccine from this early model was safe and it will (inaudible) tolerate it and at the highest dose protected six out of six individuals with five doses and six out of nine with four doses. And the next studies will be taking place in Tanzania, again to show that it`s safe and effective in endemic countries.

And then we want to continue to develop it, to try to have a vaccine that can be used for the military, for travelers, and then in eradication campaigns to try to get rid of this scourge.

ANDERSON: Captain Epstein, stay with me. I just want to get our viewers a sense, once again, of just the scale of the issue that we`re talking about and bring in Dr. Schaffner as well.

Malaria is one of the world`s deadliest diseases, let me remind of that. In 2010, it killed some 660,000 people, mostly African kids. According to the World Health Organization it kills a child in Africa every minute.

40 percent of those deaths are in the Democratic Republic of Congo an Nigeria, and more than 3 billion people, as Barbara suggested, are at risk worldwide. The disease caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

Dr. Schaffner, let me bring you in at this point. If we were to get a vaccine, this would be a huge breakthrough for just talking to the number that I`ve suggested. But we get big pharma involved in this. It`s got to be trials. And then it`s got to get out to the areas where malaria is such a scourge.

How long does this take? And how big a breakthrough do you think this is at this point?

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY: Well, Becky, long journeys begin with first steps. And this is a brilliant first step. It is a major advance, because previously there`s been really no successful candidate malaria vaccine.

Malaria, as you say, is one of the three great evils left in the world from communicable diseases -- malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS, of course. So we`re very excited about this.

Now, bringing it to fruition, that will take time. It`s a long journey. I estimate six to eight years, maybe even 10 years. But that`s all right, we have to keep working.

This is an interesting vaccine, because as you know it is administered intravenously. We have no intravenous vaccine yet, so there are lots of problems to solve. But we are ingenious. We`re ready to go to work on those.

ANDERSON: All right. Let me just read what the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation have sent us as a statement on this tonight. They`ve said that the results provide further confirmation that a malaria vaccine is feasible, though this specific construct has hurdles to overcome. What evidence will be required to demonstrate that it could work among people living in malaria endemic countries. That from the Bill and Melinda Foundation, the Gates Foundation, who have invested billions of their money in, of course, malaria nets in countries and into research for a vaccine.

Dr. Schaffner, you heard what they said. It is all about getting any vaccine in the future to the people who need it most, you know, the West African fishermen in these incredibly malarial environments to, I know, have traveled to many, many a time.

If our viewers are watching in that area tonight, what do you say to them? Because in the past, they get let down by governments, they get let down by big pharma, these things cost money. And they`ll be saying to themselves tonight quite frankly this is for the rich west and the traveling public, not them.

SCHAFFNER: Oh, I don`t think so.

This gives them hope. Dr. Epstein and all of her coworkers have provided hope. It`s an initial step on a long journey. They`re going to take it right into the field, as she says, to Tanzania and try this in the field. We need to see how long the immunity lasts, you know. Protecting people for a year or two is nice, but we would like much longer durations of immunity.

There are lots of problems yet out there that have to be addressed.

But this is an important first step.

ANDERSON: Last word to you Dr. Epstein. You have had a long career this surely must be the pinnacle at this stage, isn`t it?

EPSTEIN: Yes. And I think I can speak -- I am a navy Captain and we do want to develop a vaccine for our war fighters, but I think I, like the many people, (inaudible) the fact that thousands of children are dying every day. And we really want to make a contribution and we feel that now that we have shown that we can get (inaudible).

ANDERSON: And the technology lets you down just at the end. But I think for our viewers I hope that you have got a sense of what looks like, at least at this stage, the possibility of a real breakthrough in the fight against a global killer.

We thank our guests very much indeed for joining us.

Still to come tonight, a manhunt in Zanzibar after men hurl acid at two young British women who had been working as volunteers.

Plus, how the tragic death of Hannah Smith has inspired a global conversation on overcoming cyber bullying. We explore what teenagers can do to ensure their safety online.

And the first report of a direct attack against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad since the civil war began. Those details after this.


ANDERSON: Quarter past midnight here in Abu Dhabi. The Sheikh Zayed Mosque here in the UAE. You`re watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I`m Becky Anderson for you.

A suicide bomber killed dozens of people in Pakistan. The apparent target, police officers. The attack happened at a funeral for a policemen in the volatile city of Quetta. And it`s believe 21 officers in attendance were killed. Now we`re told the bomber look suspicious and when questioned by a senior police officer, he blew himself up.

Well, earlier I spoke to journalist Jon Boone in Islamabad and asked if there had been any claims of responsibility or any indication which group was behind the attack.


JON BOONE, JOURNALIST: Quetta is a very dangerous violent place with a complex mix of different groups. You have the Pakistani Taliban, you have sectarian terrorists groups, and you also have separatists who want to break away from the rest of Pakistan. We don`t know which one. It`s quite unusual for the separatists to use suicide bombers. So I think most people would assume this was quite possibly the Pakistani Taliban. But as ever, the -- you know, these groups blend into each other and it can be hard to say precisely who it was.

And this comes amid what would appear to be an escalation of the insurgent violence against the Pakistani state. Every day, we`ve got horrific attacks. And, you know, killing so many policemen will obviously take men off the job, it will also demoralize as well.


ANDERSON: The story out of Pakistan for you.

Now the East African island of Zanzibar where the government there is condemning an acid attack against two young British women. And it`s offering a $6,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Nima Elgabir is tracking the story from Nairobi. This is a shocking and frightening story. What do we know of the details, Nima?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first off Becky we do have some good news for the families waiting to receive those two girls back home in the UK. Doctors treating them in Zanzibar have said that the acid didn`t penetrate too deep within the skin on their faces, the chest and the hands where it was thrown onto them. And they`ve been cleared to travel back to the UK. They`re expected back home first thing tomorrow morning. And they`re going to be taken straight into hospital.

As you said, the manhunt for the perpetrators, that`s intensifying. No clear leads, which is probably what`s led the government to hope that this reward will shake things up a little bit and really send a message of how serious they are not just to the international community, but also to those back home in Zanzibar. This is what the tourism minister had to say, Becky.


ALI MBAROUK, ZANZIBAR INFORMATION MINISTER (through translator): We should cooperate with other government sectors to ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and brought to justice.

And I beg our nationals, this is not something they should be doing, because tourism is the strong pillar of our economy. So if we do such acts, we are killing our economy and our livelihoods in general. So it is not an honorable thing to do. It`s a bad thing. And it`s supposed to be condemned by all the citizens of Zanzibar.


ELBAGIR: This is not the only attack of its kind in recent weeks. Two weeks ago, another Zanzibari businessman this time was also injure in an acid attack, accused because he owned a mall that sold western clothing as being unIslamic. So the Zanzibari government really do feel the need, and are feeling that pressure, to try and at least have something to show, not just for the families of the British girls, but also for the governments looking on, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nima Elbagir reporting for you this evening.

Well, U.S. drone strikes against militants in Yemen are intensifying amid a terror alert. Two strikes reported today, officials in an area called Mareb Province. They say eight people were killed in an attack there, including four militants with links to al Qaeda. Another strike in Hadramout reportedly killed two al Qaeda fighters. According to Yemeni officials, 31 people have now been killed in drone strikes in that country over the past two weeks alone.

A terror threat linked to Yemen led the United States to issue a worldwide travel alert last week as well as close embassies across this region, the Middle East and North Africa.

Well, before the show, I spoke with Yemen`s foreign minister. I asked him how the international community is cooperating with his government in the fight against terror. This is what he said.


DR. ABU-BAKR AL-QIRBI, YEMENI FOREIGN MINISTER: I think what`s important in the fight of terrorism is in situations like this is to consolidate really Yemen`s efforts with the international fight against terrorism and the presence in both in embassies and their staff in Yemen is very important to the administration of this (inaudible) and the exchange of intelligence information and ways of confronting any possibilities of attacks.

ANDERSON: Would you say that that communication between countries at present in the fight against terrorism is inadequate, isn`t good enough? I get the sense from you...

AL-QIRBI: I think it needs to improve. And I think before any decision on such (inaudible) embassy staff should be also discussed with the Yemeni government to really demonstrate the seriousness of such threats and how -- and where and how can we work together to avoid it.


ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi this is connect the World. Coming up, Syria`s government offers this video to prove President Bashar al-Assad is alive and well just hours after a reported assassination attempt. That next.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. I`m Becky Anderson. Now moving on to Syria for you.

Government forces retook the Khaladiya district of Homs after fierce month-long bombardment of course. But let`s start with the story of the day today, and that is the idea certainly that rebels were wanting to suggest that there have a been a direct attack against Assad. Rebels say they attacked the president`s motorcade in Damascus today, but the government calls that completely false.

Mohammed Jamjoom following the story from Beirut tonight for you. And we saw certainly pictures of Bashar al-Assad broadcast on state television. We also heard from rebels today who said that they`d attacked his convoy. What do we know to be the truth at this point?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Becky. There`s been contradictory reports about this all throughout the day starting this morning. And this is really one of those days covering Syria that you see how much of a propaganda war there is going on in Syria going along with the actual civil war that`s going on there.

The day started out with reports that have been posted on social network sites by different opposition forces and rebel brigades claiming that an attack had been launched against Bashar al-Assad`s convoy in Damascus as it was heading toward a mosque there for Bashar al-Assad to participate in the Eid al-Fitr prayers today.

But not that long after that, just a couple of hours after those reports started emerging, we heard the Syrian government the regime there, really lash out at anybody who had gone with these reports, stating that they were outright lies. They put pictures on Syrian state television showing what appeared to be Bashar al-Assad in that mosque smiling, mingling with Islamic religious leaders there in Syria.

And then after that, you had the information minister in Syria Omran al-Zohbi calling into Syrian state TV claiming again that these were lies, saying that Bashar al-Assad had actually driven himself from his palace to the mosque today and then from the mosque back to the palace we saw a picture purportedly showing Bashar al-Assad getting into his car after the prayers. All of this really meant to bolster the idea that`s being given out by the Syrian regime these last couple of weeks that Bashar al-Assad is confident, that he`s comfortable, that momentum has really turned to his favor there and that really the balance in the Syrian civil war has tipped to the favor of the Syrian regime -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Listen, a top CIA official has told the Wall Street Journal there are now more foreign fighters flowing into Syria each month to take up arms with al Qaeda affiliated groups. And there were going to Iraq at the height of the war there. What is this situation on the ground? I know details are sketchy. And it`s difficult to do any reporting from there, but what do you asses or understand to be the situation on the ground?

JAMJOOM: Well, Becky, as you said, it is hard to know, but this has been a concern, especially of the west, especially of the U.S. since militant fighters started crossing into Syria, taking up arms against the regime, waging what they would claim to be a jihad against Bashar al-Assad.

The sectarian lines in that country have deepened since the civil war began, that`s one reason you have Sunni extremist fighters going in there fighting al-Assad and his Alawite branch of government there. That`s a concern.

But we`ve heard from other analysts that right now you have more militant fighters, many linked with al Qaeda, going in to Syria than even went in to Iraq.

The concern by the west, the concern by the U.S. is that weapons, especially chemical weapons, will fall into their hands, that this will be a major threat to the west, to the U.S. and to the region, that`s what they`re trying to stop.

But the problem has been how to counter that. The U.S. wants to bolster the rebel forces, but they`ve not been sending in weapons because they`re afraid weapons will get into the hands of extremist fighters.

On the other hand, they`re afraid if they don`t do anything, extremist fighters will get the upper hand there and that weapons could fall into their hands.

Another concern that`s been going on there by Israel is that Hezbollah, the militant Shiite group from Lebanon, will get their hands on Syrian regime weapons or chemical weapons.

So it`s a very, very thorny issue. It`s only getting worse. No real clear direction as to how this will go and what they can do to stop it and stop the threat -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Mohammed Jamjoom on Syria for you today.

Well, government forces retook the Khaladiya district of Homs after a fierce month-long bombardment. When they recently patrolled the streets, a photographer from Agence France Presse went along and captured the scale of the destruction. Have a look at this.


ANDERSON: Gutted buildings, streets littered with rubble, this is all that remains of Khaladiya, a key rebel district in Homs now captured by Syrian forces, at least according to the government.

As these pictures by AFP photographer Joseph Eid show, the fighting here was unforgiving.

JOSEPH EID, AFP PHOTOGRAPHER: If you want a clear image of it, if you have watched a movie from World War II from Stalingrad -- seeing Stalingrad, maybe, or something like that and, you know, it looks like it was a big monster will crush the city between his jaws. If you look around for 360 degrees, it`s all the buildings, all the shops, everything, everything is either destroyed or damaged or hit by a rocket or by bullet or by shrapnel, whatever. It`s total destruction, devastation.

ANDERSON: Eid was escorted into the district by Syrian soldiers who fought a long battle to take control of the rebel stronghold. Here they are at ease, cheerful even, but the fighting is far from over.

EID: Inside Khaladiya, each five minutes you hear an artillery shell or a gunshot or an explosion or the battles are still ongoing on the sides of the neighborhoods where the regime forces were still advancing to take the neighborhood of Karabis (ph) and Hamadiya (ph). It was a high risk situation there, and one of the soldiers when we were there was hit by a sniper.

ANDERSON: Through the photographer`s lens, the historic Khalid bin Walid (ph) mosque seems to be the only structure that has suffered little damage.

EID: I think that the Syrian army took care not to hit the mosque or destroy it, maybe, because all around it it`s all total destruction.

ANDERSON: Less care taken with the Santa Lee (ph) Church, the Christian place of worship desecrated with Islamic graffiti.

EID: Islamic graffiti saying the Muslim religion will prevail over the infidels, or something like that. The pictures of Jesus Christ, of the Virgin Mary were shredded or even the statue of the Virgin Mary was broken.

ANDERSON: It seems little is sacred in Homs, a war weary Syrian city where the United Nations says a documented 16,400 people have been killed in the past two years.


ANDERSON: Latest world news headlines are just ahead on CNN.

Plus, advertisers walk away from a social media site linked to a teenager`s suicide.

And how China`s one child policy may be contributing to the human trafficking of babies.

Plus, Brazil`s uneven playing field: how the joy of football isn`t equally open to everybody. Taking a very short break. Back in 90 seconds.


ANDERSON: At just after half past midnight in Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. The top stories for you this hour.

A promising breakthrough in the search for a malaria vaccine. US researchers say they`ve successfully tested a vaccine on more than three dozen volunteers who had a weakened form of the disease injected into their veins. Scientists hope to conduct large-scale tests soon.

At least 30 people are dead in Pakistan after a suicide bomber struck a funeral for a police official there. People were lining up for the funeral procession at a mosque when the blast went off. The police chief in Quetta says most of the victims were police officers.

Syria`s government is denying reports of an assassination attempt against President Bashar al-Assad hours after rebels claimed an attack on his motorcade in Damascus. State TV aired this video showing him at prayers marking the end of Ramadan. We can`t confirm when this video was filmed.

Well, it can start with a taunt or maybe a joke that`s gone too far, but cyber bullying is no joke. It`s a real problem for kids and teenagers everywhere. Earlier, British prime minister David Cameron called for a boycott of websites linked to online abuse. Now, this move follows the suicide of a 14-year-old girl last week.

In Canada, police have arrested two men in connection with the death of a 17-year-old girl last April. New laws are being introduced in her home province of Nova Scotia that will allow victims to sue their bullies.

Well, Hannah Smith is a 14-year-old British girl, I mentioned. There`s been a huge response to her suicide in the UK. Laura Kuenssberg has more on the backlash.


LAURA KUENSSBERG, ITV BUSINESS EDITOR (voice-over): Money talks, and cash for adverts they show is disappearing from Big business pulling their brands from the site where anonymous messages can be left.

Hannah Smith, just 14, took her life after being bullied on the online forum. As firms distance themselves, the prime minister almost instructed the rest of us to do so, too.

DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: There`s something all of us can do as well as parents and as users of the internet, and that is not use some of these vile sites. Boycott them. Don`t go there. Don`t join them.

KUENSSBERG: has expressed sincere sympathy to Hannah Smith`s family, but told us this afternoon, "The vast majority of our users are happy teenagers who use to converse with their peers. Bullying is an age-old problem," they said, "that we in no way condone. And while its evolution online is disturbing, it certainly is not unique to our site. We will continue to work with the appropriate organizations to safeguard against bullying."

But those efforts didn`t go far enough for Josh Unsworth`s family. His mum believed she was doing the right thing, checking how and where he spent time online. But only four months ago, after merciless bullying on the site, he hanged himself. Josh, known as a compassionate and loving boy was just 15 years old.

MICHELLE UNSWORTH, JOSH`S MOTHER: What we thought was monitoring and we thought we were taking care and we thought we were understanding where he was and what we were doing, we knew nothing. We didn`t know any of these sites, and we really thought we were on it. So -- and we were trying to be responsible parents.

KUENSSBERG: Many firms now deserting the site didn`t even know their brands were on there. Buying bundles of ad space through agencies is common. But now, they`re hitting where it hurts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To take immediate action to make that site safer, we have to do something that critically influences, and that is to damage their business model in the short term. To tell them that unless they`re going to improve the safety for children that we`re not going to encourage -- in fact, we`re going to discourage advertisers.

KUENSSBERG: As companies scramble to protect their reputations, Hannah Smith`s father has complained to the police, but no fallout could make it easy for him to read her cry for help posted online the day before she died.


ANDERSON: Well, the social networking website,, has released an open letter today conveying condolences to the family and friends of Hannah Smith. The company says it`s working with police investigating the suicide.

It also says -- and some of this was repeated in that film that we just showed you -- "We do not condone bullying of any kind. We are constantly working to improve our site, including its safety features. We are currently working on a series of updates with more safety features and information."

Well, globally, this story has frightening resonance. You may remember the death of Rehtaeh Parsons. She was the 17-year-old from Nova Scotia, as I suggested earlier, after photos of her being sexually abused circulated for months, police announcing today they`ve made two arrests in connection with that investigation. They will not say for what.

Erin Gallagher, a 13-year-old from Ireland, also took her own life. Her family says she was relentlessly bullied online. And an Italian teen, Carolina Picchio, jumped from a window to her death after bullying on Facebook. Her family say they`ve reported the abusive content to Facebook, but nothing happened.

Well, bullying used to be confined to schools. Now with SmartPhones and other devices, it follows children everywhere. Dan Rivers spoke to some teenagers earlier and asked them why, despite the problems, they stay online.


DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the Stagecoach Drama Workshop in Winchester, teenagers are kept busy during the long summer vacation.


RIVERS: But even so, they`re never far from logging onto social media websites with their phones, including, the site where 14-year-old British schoolgirl Hannah Smith was bullied. She later committed suicide.

Though says it`s trying to combat bullying, posts are anonymous, which makes cyber bullying easier. Already, advertisers are pulling their business from the site.

ELLA DIXON, STUDENT: It could be anyone --

RIVERS: These teenagers are all too aware of the dangers of cyber bullying.

RIVERS (on camera): So, what`s your experience of being bullied online?

DIXON: Well, it upset me, of course, like it would with anyone. But at the start, you kind of just dismiss it and hope it will stop.

RIVERS: Some people would say, why don`t you just log off?

KATIE STEEL, STUDENT: You should log off, but people -- if people found out you logged off, they could think that that`s more way to abuse you because then you`ve backed away.

DIXON: It`s quite hard to log off and -- because you know it`s still there.

HOLLY BRANSON, STUDENT: I think sometimes with that sort of thing, it can start off with a joke, but then people just don`t realize how serious it can get.

ETHAN MULSHAW-BARKER, STUDENT: They feel bigger and more empowered when they`re behind a computer screen.


MULSHAW-BARKER: And it makes them -- they`ll say stuff that they wouldn`t say to you face to face.

RIVERS: What would be your advice to teenagers who do get a lot of abuse on something like How -- what would you tell them?

STEEL: You need to make sure you tell your parents, because they will always be there for you and they will stop it. Because if you don`t tell anyone, then it will just get progressively worse.

RIVERS: Is Facebook essential?

MULSHAW-BARKER: It`s not essential, but it`s become such a big part of teenagers` lives now. And even my dad has it. So --

RIVER: So, it is essential.

MULSHAW-BARKER: It is essential in this day and age, really.

BRANSON: My parents do say, "Oh, why don`t you just ring them," you know? Like in the olden days. I`m like, well, no, it`s just times have changed and stuff.

DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: That`s you. So, you`re in charge.

RIVERS (voice-over): British prime minister David Cameron during a visit to a hospital on Thursday was highly critical of anonymous posts on social media websites like

CAMERON: There`s something all of us can do as well as parents and as users of the internet, and that is not use some of these vile sites. Boycott them. Don`t go there. Don`t join them. We need to do that as well. So, I`m very keen, we look at all the action we can take and try and help stop future tragedies like this.

RIVERS (on camera): In a survey by a British child protection agency, 38 percent of children asked had experienced some form of online bullying. It is a massive problem in countries like the UK. The death of Hannah Smith shows how serious it can be.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Winchester, England.


ANDERSON: Well, one children`s charity has provided some tips on preventing things snowballing, parents encouraged to talk to their teenagers and know more about what`s online. It also advises having the right filters installed on your internet. Children encouraged always to tell an adult if something is wrong and to leave a website that`s upsetting.

Well, earlier, I spoke to Peter Bradley, the deputy director of Kidscape charity. He`s worked with children and their parents and says this is hugely significant. I started by asking him about his first bit of advice.


ANDERSON: Let me take point one.


ANDERSON: Talk to your kids, especially teenagers. When I was a teenager, I can tell you that my mum and dad would say that they couldn`t talk to me, or I certainly wouldn`t listen. So, what do you say? It`s a bit basic, isn`t it, that piece of advice?

BRADLEY: It`s very basic, but it`s something which we forget. What we certainly know is that the growing child, growing adolescent finds it very difficult to identify dangers, particularly dangers online. They`re very computer savvy.

The adult can identify dangers. They might not have the same knowledge and awareness as their children about the internet, but they know when something is alarming. The two together can actually come together with a solution and something which is very -- we spoke to that family about trying to ensure that that child remains safe at that appropriate age in their life.

ANDERSON: You`ve talked about 10-year-olds, for example, they shouldn`t be on Facebook. has a 13-year-old age limit. Kids are going to get around these limits.

I only talked to the kids in my own family, and they tell me -- and they were telling me at the age of 11, 12, and 13, they can find a way around these minimum age limits. So again I ask you, what in your experience working at Kidscape, what`s the best advice here?

BRADLEY: The best advice is to talk to your children about why those age limits are in place. So, as you mentioned,, the most popular globally, of course, is going to be Facebook, and many other social networking sites will have an age limit. It`s there for a reason, and that reason is that you need a certain amount of maturity to operate appropriately on those sites.

I would ask the question, why do 8-year-olds, why do 9-year-olds have to social network? That`s the parents` question, you need to answer that and consider yourself, should I be signing my 9-year-old child up to a social networking site? And I don`t think you should, and I think it`s very clear that parents need to take more responsibility for the younger ones.

I`ve got teenagers myself, and I appreciate as they`re getting to teenage years it becomes more difficult. But if you started young and you`ve provided them with the education just like you would about traffic safety, about other dangers when they`re growing up, then they will get that drip, drip feed effect.

So, once they come into adolescence, they`ll be more aware of the dangers out there and more responsible about which sites they sign up to.

ANDERSON: All right. David Cameron, the British prime minister, is calling for a boycott of What`s your response there? Is that the right route?

BRADLEY: Kidscape would be cautious about banning and out-writing certain websites. And the reason being, people need to take responsibility for it. The particular website you`re talking about is reasonably responsible in some aspects. In other aspects, it`s the people themselves who are misusing it.

So, we`ve got to come down to people taking responsibility themselves for the sites that they`re visiting and the tools that they`ve got in place to ensure that they`re going to remain safe.

ANDERSON: You`ve given us some rules for kids as well. We`ve spoken mostly about what parents might be able to do to avoid the sort of pitfalls, these deadly pitfalls at times that kids are falling into. What about talking to the kids? Talk down the barrel of the camera for me and talk to children who may be watching tonight.

BRADLEY: If you`re on the internet, think very, very carefully about the sites that you`re visiting. Why do you visit those sites? Is it for fun? Is it to social network? Is it to meet new friends? Have fun, meet new friends, but be careful at the same time.

If you`re afraid of something, then get out of it. If in doubt, get out.


ANDERSON: Peter Bradley for you. Live from Abu Dhabi, you`re watching CONNECT THE WORLD. A trusted doctor is accused of selling babies in China. These parents were reunited with their son, but many others are still missing. We take a closer look at child trafficking up next.


ANDERSON: Well, imagine having your newborn baby stolen by a doctor who made a business out of selling kids for profit. Authorities in China say a doctor did just that, working with a network of human traffickers. This report by David McKenzie.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The picture of a happy couple. But for months, Qi Kunfeng and his wife have known only despair.

QI KUNFENG, FATHER (through translator): Every night, my wife cries at midnight. She`s too sad to even eat.

MCKENZIE: In May, Wang Yan Yan gave birth to twins. She says her doctor insisted that the newborns were ill, could become paralyzed or brain damaged. So, the doctor took her babies away. "We`ve never even seen our children," they say. "Not even for one second."

WANG YAN YAN, MOTHER (through translator): I just wanted to look at them, but the doctor wouldn`t let me.

MCKENZIE: Now in a scandal that shocked China, the doctor has been arrested, her interrogation shown on state TV. She worked at this maternity hospital in Fuping, accused of betraying the trust of mothers in the most horrible way.

MCKENZIE (on camera): The scam worked by the doctor telling the parents that their child had a congenital disease and then taking the child away and sending it onto traffickers for around $3,000.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Police say the ring was exposed when they got a tip off, rescued a newborn from a neighboring state, his mother overcome with emotion, the doctor and five others being held and scores of cases being investigated. And in the village near where the doctor lived, more families are coming forward.

MCKENZIE (on camera): So, they`re telling us that there could be families scattered throughout this area that gave their young babies to this doctor, and now these families are wondering where are their children?

MCKENZIE (voice-over): "The doctor told us that the baby died," said this woman. "But they never showed us the body."

QI (through translator): We trusted her so much. How could she be so cruel to our babies?

MCKENZIE: And like many in this village, they`re now left wondering, are their children alive? Will they ever come home?

David McKenzie, CNN, Shaanxi, China.


ANDERSON: Well, All Girls Allowed is a group campaigning for the rights of women and girls in China. Its founding president has linked the country`s one child policy to gendercide and the human trafficking of babies.

Well, Brian Lee is the group`s executive director. He joins us from Boston, Massachusetts. And your group advocating for the end to the one child policy in China. You say this story is just the tip of a child trafficking iceberg. Can you explain?

BRIAN LEE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALL GIRLS ALLOWED: Yes, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath this iceberg, there are at the very least 70,000 and up to 200,000 children trafficked every single year within China.

Even in a report that All Girls Allowed did on one city in Fujian, Fujian province, we estimated that in the course of 20 years, up to 600,000 girls were trafficked into that one city alone to become child brides.

ANDERSON: This is --


LEE: The one child policy--

ANDERSON: -- remarkable stuff. I think what was so worrying about the report that David McKenzie -- sorry, my love -- what David McKenzie filed to us is the idea -- and I think this would just be so shocking to people around the world -- the idea that this was a female obstetrician who was taking advantage of these families. You`re not shocked by this? You`ve heard this story before, is that what you`re telling me?

LEE: Unfortunately, this -- if you dig deeper in the iceberg, you find that there`s a moral bankruptcy in China that has been around for years, and in a country that is without God, where people have no direction for what is right and what is wrong, these kinds of things are quite common. Even just two years ago --


ANDERSON: Now this isn`t --

LEE: -- a little girl --


LEE: Yes. Was run over by a truck --


LEE: -- and 18 folks, 18 people walked right on by and didn`t even help her.

ANDERSON: This is not just a problem in China, of course. Let me just give our viewers a sense of how global this story is. UNICEF pointing out the ILO`s estimate of 1.2 million kids trafficked worldwide. Cases continue to crop up. China, some 54,000 kids alone rescued by police, and that according to state media in 2009.

In Indonesia, authorities arrested seven people earlier this year involved in an alleged baby smuggling ring. And Indian government figures show over 126,000 cases of child labor trafficking were reported there in one year alone, in 2011. This is about more than just changing government policy in Beijing, sir, isn`t it?

LEE: Oh, yes. Yes. It goes down to the heart level. People need to be changed from the inside out. At All Girls Allowed, we believe that the God of the universe sent his son Jesus to rescue us and that -- so we advocate change of the heart. We go out in all of our programs to help those who are in need.

ANDERSON: Brian, we appreciate your time. Thank you. Terrible story.

LEE: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, Brazil may be one of the world`s centers for football, but not everyone is taking part. We`re going to take a look at he country`s Uneven Playing Field. That up next.


ANDERSON: Well, it`s called the Beautiful Game, but if you asked five-time world player of the year Marta, she says there is is an ugly side to football, especially in her native Brazil. We`ve been speaking to her and other big names in the women`s game as part of our "World Sport" presents documentary, "An Uneven Playing Field." Amanda Davies has more.


AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Brazil, a country where football rules and the fans are fanatical. But where the men`s team are superstars, the women struggle to get a look in. It`s a mirror of the widespread culture of sexism in society.

Against the odds, two women from two generations of Brazilian female footballers rose to the top of their game, 26-year-old Marta and 46-year- old Sissi are connected in a shared experience that hasn`t changed much over the years.

MARTA, BRAZILIAN FOOTBALLER (through translator): I would see my cousins play football in the middle of the street, and I was always very curious, always wanting to do a little bit of everything. I wanted to play with them, so it was then that I started to realize I had actually a gift for it.

SISSI, FORMER BRAZILIAN FOOTBALLER: I did not see a lot of girls playing, so all the times I played with boys. I even had to dress as a boy to be playing with them.

DAVIES: Between 1965 and 1982, the ruling military government actually made it illegal for women to play football in Brazil during the heart of Sissi`s childhood. The ban was eventually lifted, and Sissi would represent her country in the first Brazilian national women`s team in the late 1980s.

In 2003, Marta made her national team debut. They would both become two of the biggest names in women`s football. They were celebrated, but not supported where it mattered most. Unable to make a living playing football at home, both superstars moved abroad to play in other countries, Sissi to the United States, Marta now in Sweden.

MARTA (through translator): When I started in the national team, there was a big resistance. People hardly knew about the women`s national team. And when we went abroad, we would always be welcome. The audience was very receptive. People would support us, and we would see that difference. In our country, we weren`t acknowledged, but abroad, we were.

SISSI: It got to the point that I got discouraged. I`m glad that I decided to come to the United States, play professional, and I think it was probably one of the hard decisions but the best decision that I ever made.


ANDERSON: A peak there at our CNN special taking 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, 20:00 in London. I`m sure wherever you`re watching in the world, you can work out from those times what time it will be on with you.

In tonight`s Parting Shots, we`re going to take you to Russia, where an unlucky fisherman got himself into what can only be described as a sticky situation. Erin McLaughlin has the details.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The look on this fisherman`s face pretty much says it all, pure agony after he got his hand stuck inside the toothy jaws of monk fish in Russia. This video now gone viral.

It`s not exactly clear how he got caught in this rather awkward position, but they used everything from a wooden plank to a metal bar until finally, success. Check out those jaws. They aren`t the only ones amazed as to how this could have happened. Back to you.



ANDERSON: Nasty. We`ll close tonight`s show, though, for you with something a little more cheerful, images from around the world as Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan. Live from Abu Dhabi, you`ve been watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Eid Mubarak and have a very good evening wherever you are watching in the world.