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Kerry, Lavrov Meet; 500 Year Floods In Colorado; Interview with Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou; Twitter Announces IPO

Aired September 13, 2013 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, tonight, the talks go on. While diplomats secure a deal to secure Syria's chemical weapons I ask a man who knows just how hard they could be to find. Hans Blix who headed the team searching for those elusive weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Also coming up this hour protesters in India get their wish as a death sentence is handed to the Delhi rapists.

Plus, is ending a life ever justice served? A special debate for you on that tonight.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can still float on a peaceful lake and have a tornado in my head.


ANDERSON: What actor Billy Bob Thornton makes of what is a new era in his life.

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

ANDERSON: Well, let's kick off tonight for you and what has been another busy day of diplomacy in Geneva as the top diplomats from the U.S. and Russia push ahead with talks on putting Syria's chemical weapons under international control.

Those efforts continue as we speak as the United Nations security general Ban Ki-moon says that an upcoming UN report will likely confirm poison gas was used in an attack near Damascus.

Well, all the while the violence continues inside Syria with the latest reports on state TV suggesting government forces have retaken control of the historic Christian town of Maloula (ph) from rebel forces after days of heavy fighting.

We're going to get the very latest from the United Nations for you in a short moment. Ban Ki-moon's comments will be assessed with our senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh. That in a moment.

Though, let's first cross to Jim Schiutto who is following the talks in Geneva. And Jim another day of talks. Has any side made any progress, or are we a stalemate at this point? How would you describe where we are?

JIM SCHIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I would say the discussions, and I would say this is how the U.S., U.S and Russian officials are describing these discussions, that they have been frank and direct. You've covered enough stories like this to know that -- to read the tea leaves there. It means that they still have disagreement. In fact the U.S. officials told me a short time ago that Secretary Lavrov and Foreign Minister -- Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov have been very clear about where they agree and where they don't agree.

Now one the key places they don't agree is on the threat of force. But a fairly dramatic development just in the last few minutes, this actually coming out of Washington, and that is that U.S. officials saying that in any UN resolution on Syria's chemical weapons, that resolution will not include the threat of force.

So that could be the removal of a major sticking point on these talks here in Geneva. And also what they're forcing on is really the nuts and bolts of how they catalog, collect and then destroy these chemical weapon. And that's why it's not just the talks between Lavrov and Kerry, but really the working groups, the experts, the chemical weapons experts, defense experts who are meeting as well in rooms in this hotel behind me. And those talks are still going on tonight, Becky.

ANDERSON: It's going to be a long night. Jim Schiutto there in Geneva. Thanks, Jim, for that.

The talks in Geneva just the first phase of what is a full blown diplomatic campaign. On Sunday, Secretary Kerry travels to Jerusalem to talk with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there on Middle East peace talks and on the conflict in Syria.

Also French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius visits Beijing to discuss Syria with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

Monday, United Nations experts and inspectors are expected to release their report on that suspected chemical weapons attack from August 21 that the U.S. at least says killed some 1,400 people.

And on Tuesday, the French foreign minister travels to Moscow for talks with the Secretary Lavrov.

September 24, general debate opens at the UN general assembly in New York. Secretaries Kerry and Lavrov will meet again that week to discuss a possible diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria.

But the time frame, it seems, is at least extending somewhat.

Let's bring in Nick Paton Walsh who is at the United Nations. And what we've just heard in the last few minutes from Washington, and Jim alluding to this, is whatever is going on in Geneva, any UN resolution it seems now will not include wording on the use of force.

Now that is a huge concession by the U.S., surely.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At the end of the day, though, they're always going to be found themselves hamstrung by the Russian veto at the security council. Russia is not going to admit through a security council resolution that it's not happy with. And Vladimir Putin was very clear that he doesn't expect a country to disarm when it's threatened with the use of force. He considers that to be illogical.

It was always found in the language the French put forward that became then the British, French and American resolution they're still pushing forward at the moment.

But, yeah, if that concession has been made, it makes sense in some ways, because it was always going to be tough to be to push it through the security council.

And obviously what's happening in Geneva has expedited the chemical weapons inspection process, but left that issue of force potentially off the table right now.

There's been a very busy day at the UN here, Becky. Really, everyone looking towards Monday's report where UN inspectors who worked inside Syria on the 21st of August attacks around Damascus that sparked this whole call for U.S. military intervention will release their findings.

We've got a hint, though, perhaps a misspeak, but a hint from the UN secretary-general earlier on Today where he said that he thought that report would overwhelmingly conclude that chemical weapons had been used.

A spokesman tried to reel him back a little later, saying that he hadn't see the report and wasn't aware the information that was informing Ban Ki-moon's comments.

Ban Ki-moon also said -- and this may be seen as a slightly more political line than those would like to take once the UN inspector's report as being independent and credible -- he went on to say that Bashar al- Assad, the Syrian president, was guilty of crimes against humanity. Here's what he had to say.


BAN KI-MOON, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: What happened in that is that he has committed many crimes against humanity. Therefore, I'm sure that there will be surely the process of accountability when everything is over.


WALSH: Now clearly maybe we'll see that potentially see that potentially hanging over any political settlement with Bashar al-Assad. And quite clear, the UN chief thinks he should face some sort of international justice.

But also continuing here is the issue of Syria saying it wants to join the chemical weapons convention. When that is finally ratified as being underway by the UN's lawyers who are looking at Syria's letter to sure it's the real deal, a time line kicks in.

At that point, when they've joined the convention, they then have 30 days from there until inspectors may find themselves on the ground inside Syria. 60 days later, it may be expected Syria is demanded upon them to release a full list of all their chemical weapons and chemical weapons facilities. And then they have a decade in which to finally destroy all these weapons.

So really, a lot of eyes focused, though, on Monday as to what conclusions come out there -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating.

OK, Nick is at the UN for you this evening.

As the diplomatic activity gets underway and continues, it is worth bearing in mind that this is not the first time the international community has tried to disarm a Ba'athist regime of weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein's Iraq was also accused of having large stockpiles of weapons. And UN inspectors were sent in to find and destroy them.

Back then the U.S. and its allies didn't wait for the findings of the UN inspectors before they took military action. The rush to war widely criticized by the man who led the UN inspection team back then, that was Hans Blix.

Well, earlier I spoke to the veteran Swedish diplomat and began by asking him how he views these recent diplomatic developments.


HANS BLIX, FRM. UN WEAPONS INSPECTOR: I think the opening that has been obtained through Putin's action and through Obama's and the U.S. (inaudible) quick acceptance of this is very welcome, because we were U.S. and the world was heading into something that could be very, very dangerous, in the first place in the area and secondly it also, I think, would undermine the security council. And the U.S. would add to the examples of Kosovo and Iraq 2003, a third one of bypassing it and appearing as the world's policeman.

This, I think, angered and worried not only the Russians, but a great many people in the world. And I'm sure that if the question had gone to the general assembly, there would have been a strong majority against it.

LU STOUT: How realistic is it that within a couple of week's time we may have got to the point of which Lavrov and Kerry and Assad have all joined hands and said, you know what, we're going to give these weapons up. Just how long does that take? And how realistic is it?

BLIX: To send inspectors out in a country where a civil war is raging and removal, that is not easy at all. And I don't know whether they have any thoughts of removing it or taking some of it out to Jordan. I'm sure that both the Russians and the Americans are keen that whoever will be in control in Syria will not grab the chemical weapons, not just the regime that could use it, but others could use it as well.

LU STOUT: You've been watching this narrative develop over the past couple of weeks. When you sit back and you consider and reflect on what you've heard, how do you assess what we've seen?

BLIX: Well, I think that there are many aspects of it. And I think originally my interpretation was that this was about the credibility of the U.S. president. He had happened to say that if Syria were to use chemical weapons, that would change his calculation. And I'm sure that's the intention was to warn Assad against any use of chemical weapons. And I can understand that.

But at the same time, I think he painted himself in the corner. There were many who wanted the U.S. to take action. And many who hoped that there would be a violation by Syria.

And so when it came, all these jumped on him and said that now you must act.

But (inaudible) credibility that the U.S. president has said that if Iran moves one inch closer to a nuclear weapon, then that we all options are on the table. They're already. But we may take action then.

And that credibility was of immense importance to the U.S. Congress and to others as well.

So I think that was a stake. Now that has sunk somewhat into the background. Everybody focuses now on the chemical weapons and the indignation about the use of it, which is understandable.

And I think it is fairly wise politically to focus on it. But at the same time, I think we have to recognize that actually removing the weapons will be very, very difficult.


LU STOUT: Hans Blix speaking to me earlier here on CNN.

Well, still to come this hour, another night of torrential rain and another day of surging flood waters. We're going to get you a live report from the U.S. state of Colorado.

Quiet pyramids and empty hotels, Egypt's recent unrest has scared off vast numbers of businesses there. The tourism minister tells me his country is still safe for foreigners. That interview coming up.

And, a film about one girl's simple dream of owning a bike and the waves that that film is creating back in Saudi Arabia. All that and much more after this. You're 90 seconds away. Stay with us.


ANDERSON" You're back with us at 9:15 in London. I'm Becky Anderson.

Almost a weeklong gun fight between Muslim rebels and Philippines army recruits has come to an end. A cease-fire has been agreed by the Morrow National Liberation Front. That is according to state media at least. About 200 people have been held hostage on the Island of Mindenao since last Monday. At least five soldiers have died in this fighting as well as 11 rebels and two civilians.

Well, after years of speculation Twitter confirms it intends to make its stockmarket debut. The microblogging site made the announcement in a tweet saying it had made a confidential filing for an IPO with U.S. regulators.

For more, I'm joined by CNN Money's Laurie Segall from CNN New York. How significant a move is this?

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY: It's very significant. Everybody -- ever since Facebook filed to go public, everyone says well when is Twitter going? And you know these guys, they've gone -- and I've interviewed them throughout the years, Becky, they've gone from a small startup to a full- fledged company full of management shakeups. They've had quite the last couple of years. And really people want to know, will Twitter be able to keep signing on users? And they also want to know will Twitter actually be able to make money? Especially in a public market.

And you know I actually sat down with Twitter's CEO Dick Costolo right before he actually became CEO of the company back in 2010. And I asked him this question. Listen to what he had to say then.


SEGALL: Are you guys profitable right now?

DICK COSTOLO, TWITTER CEO: We're just -- so we're not profitable right now. I think the specific thing that I try to say over and over and stress is we've got plenty of time to take this model and grow it. We're not worried about having a certain number of advertisers, or a certain amount of revenue by, you know, the end of this year. We're focused much more on the user experience and protecting the quality of the user experience as we begin to monetize the platform knowing that we're big enough and we're growing fast enough that the profits will come.


SEGALL: And, Becky, fast forward around three years later and the profits really have been coming. I spoke to a source close to the company who said although these numbers aren't public, Twitter is expected to hit about a $1 billion in revenue by 2013. And they really focused on doing what a lot of internet companies have trouble doing, which is making money via the smartphone, being able to advertise on the mobile device -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. Monetizing their business, something you'd think they ought to be able to do, but many can't.

All right, thank you for that.

Two roadside bombs have exploded outside a Sunni mosque in the Iraqi city of Baqubah killing, I'm afraid, 30 people. The coordinated attacks left at least 24 people wounded as worshippers left the mosque after Friday prayers.

The recent upsurge in violence there is sparking fears that Iraq is slipping back into a sectarian war.

Well, a huge explosion has rocked the U.S. consulate in Afghanistan's Harrat Province (ph). Militants detonated a truck, damaging the front gate of the consulate and exchanged heavy gunfire with security forces.

Two police officers and a security guard were killed in the fighting along with all seven attackers.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility.

As many as 37 people have died after a fire broke out at a psychiatric institution in northwestern Russia. Investigators believe the fire was started by a patient smoking in bed. Back in April, another fire at a Russian mental health facility killed dozens. Most of the country's mental hospitals are old and fire safety regulations are rarely enforced.

Well, torrential downpours have inundated communities in western U.S. state of Colorado. Rivers across the region are surging over their banks. And the national guard is now evacuated the entire town of Lyons.

CNN's Nick Valencia joins us live from Boulder, Colorado with more.

Just describe what you're seeing there.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, what a difference a couple of hours has made. For 36 hours, these streets completely flooded with water. The good sign for this neighborhood, though, is that the sun is out. It's a little warm here now. And the water is receding.

But part of the problem for this community, if you can see behind me, that culvert, that drainage system, has been blocked up for weeks, according to residents. That exaggerated the problem. And as that wall of water came barreling down that mountainside into this lower lying community it brought debris like this. This is not a light rock, either. It's about 20 pounds. And if you can just imagine that force of water that brought something like this into the town. Tree limbs, mud, debris completely clogged up this area. But the water is receding.

Though earlier at a press conference, the police chief for Boulder said that this town is not out of the woods just yet. There is more rain expected for the weekend, however slight, Becky, it could cause more major problems for this community that's already been hard hit -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Good luck for the weekend.

Nick, thank you for that.

NASA confirms that its Voyager 1 probe has entered interstellar space, making it the first man-made object to leave the solar system. The agency says the spacecraft entered the interstellar medium around August 25th last year.

Now Voyager entered the solar system 36 years ago. And now since entering into stellar space, it is currently 40,000 years away from the closest star.

Are you keeping up? I hope you are.

Live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, the brutal crime that's received the harshest of punishments. Four men are handed the death penalty for rape and murder in Delhi.

And it's been a summer of unrest in Egypt. And foreign tourists are staying away from the country. We ask Egypt's tourism minister if it is safe to go back and if there has been any sign of tensions easing in the capital Cairo.


ANDERSON: Well, for decades, Egypt lured tourists to its sun soaked beaches on the Red Sea and the ancient sites along the Nile, of course. But of late it is images like these of violence political and social unrest that have dominated the world's attention. And tourists, well, they are staying away.

Earlier I spoke to Egypt's tourism minister who told me that a new constitution will be ready within weeks and parliamentary elections could happen as soon as the end of October.

But tensions are still running high especially as the interim government has extended its state of emergency and detained a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

I put it to Hisham Zazou that these aren't signs of an Egypt on the road to recovery. Here is his response.


HISHAM ZAZOU, EGYPTIAN TOURISM MINISTER: Well, it seems like that, but the reality is not like that. You have to appreciate what the people that used violence and force and have blood on their hands.

ANDERSON: Including the military?

ZAZOU: The military were the guys that were subjected to terrorism and subjected to the stat of all this. So you have to appreciate -- I mean, the reality, so-called reality that appeared on your screens and other screens was not the reality. The reality on the ground said we gave -- exhausted every path possible for a peaceful approach to sort out this problem.

ANDERSON: Former Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei due in court this Thursday, accused of betraying national trust, because he resigned after the crackdown on Morsy's supporters. Is that something that you support? Do you want to see Mohamed ElBaradeis of this would behind bars?

ZAZOU: No, I don't think he will be ever behind bars. This was his...

ANDERSON: Do you support this action...

ZAZOU: No, no. I don't. I don't. I think Mohamed ElBaradei has his own views. I respect him. A lot of people in Egypt does respect him. But the Egyptians, the majority of the Egyptians felt that they didn't understand his move that quick in resigning that early on.

ANDERSON: He was horrified by what he saw.

ZAZOU: No. I think not horrified. I think he -- he is an idealistic. He's like the Gandhi of Egypt. He is the Mandela of Egypt. He is too idealistic in that sense.

He said, I see a path without having confrontation in that sense.

Others -- a reality and being pragmatic says that we were moving in a course that we did not want to have what happened, but the other party, the Muslim Brotherhood, pushed us towards that direction.

Now Mohamed ElBaradei said, no we have a chance. That's a difference of views. We respect him. He should respect the other view.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about tourism. Sales for this coming winter, I've read, have plunged something like over 50 percent year on year, according to the GFK, at least. If we look at the stats over the past year or so, things have been pretty grim. I'm looking at 2010 before the revolution, a record of 14 million tourists, I think, arrived in Egypt with the industry representing 13 percent of GDP. I mean, tourism, it couldn't be more important, could it?

One global tourism industry report says bookings to Egypt this summer down some 24 percent year on year. Cairo, no doubt about it, has been hardest hit with hotel occupancy dropping to just 15 percent.

What's your message to tourists? How can you ensure that visitors will be safe?

ZAZOU: First, the situation on the ground, as I speak today, is much, much better security wise. Secondly, what you see in Egypt today is an Egyptian-Egyptian issue. It is not an Egyptian-tourist or a foreigner issue. This is an internal issue that will be resolved out by Egyptians themselves.

The tourist is not a target in that. All factions, this party or the other party is welcoming tourists to come.


ANDERSON: Egypt's tourism minister.

Well, the latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus, as an Indian court hands down the most severe of sentences to four men convicted of rape and murder, we're going to debate the death penalty here on CNN.

And examining attitudes to war on the silver screen. I sit down with Hollywood actor and director, sometimes bad boy Billy Bob Thornton to discuss his new film.

Plus, a bellwether of Oscar glory. We've got the highlights from the Toronto Film Festival. That's coming up in CNN preview in the next half hour. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Very good evening. This is CNN. About half past 9:00 in London. Welcome back.

The top stories this hour for you. U.S. officials say they do not expect that Russia would agree to any UN security council resolution on Syria that included the potential use of military force, that is as diplomatic efforts continue in Geneva where top U.S. and Russian diplomats are waiting on a deal to get Syria to give up its chemical weapons stockpiles.

Torrential downpours continue to swamp communities in the western U.S. state of Colorado. Rivers across the region are surging over their banks and the National Guard has now evacuated the entire town of Lyons.

State media says a cease-fire has been worked out and the five day gun fight between Muslim rebels and the Philippine army. Forces have been fighting the Morrow National Liberation Front. The rebels have been holding nearly 200 people hostage since Monday.

And four men have been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi last December. The victim and a male friend had been to the cinema. They caught a bus home. The woman was repeatedly raped and beaten. Her injures were so severe, she died less than two weeks later. The victim's family has said they are happy with the sentence and believe that justice has been done.

The brutality of that attack on what was a 23-year-old student caused outrage and protests on the streets of India and around the world, and today's sentence drew an equally strong reaction as Sumnima Udas reports, now, for you from New Delhi.


SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The court has just sentenced all four men to death, but these protesters here say that's not enough. They want the juvenile suspect, but he was only given three years in a correction hall, they want him to be given the death sentence as well.

Now, earlier inside that court, the judge said when crime in India against women is on the rise, the court cannot ignore it. The court cannot turn a blind eye, and this is one of the rarest of rare occasions in that this justifies the death penalty.

Now, as soon as that verdict was read out, one of the convicts completely broke down. The defense lawyers have said that they will appeal at a higher court. But the parents of the victim say they are pleased with this verdict and that justice has finally been served.


ANDERSON: Well, while many on the streets of India are celebrating the use of the death penalty, elsewhere it is drawing condemnation. I want to talk about that. We're joined now from New Delhi by the city's former deputy police commissioner, Dr. Kiran Bedi, and from Washington by T. Kumar, the director of international advocacy at Amnesty International USA.

We thank you both very much, indeed, for joining us. Kiran, if I can ask you and start with you, India's legal system allows for execution only in an, and I quote, "the rarest of cases." Would you say, suggest, that in this case, justice has been served?

KIRAN BEDI, FORMER NEW DELHI DEPUTY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Absolutely. Justice has been fully served. This was people's demand -- people were expecting it, but it's gone through a whole due process. Fortunately, very swift justice, which skipped no justice. So, it's been absolutely proportioned justice to the ghastly crime committed by these four convicted of death penalty today.

ANDERSON: It's certainly a message, Kumar. Do you believe it was too harsh, maybe, to assuage a lot of people's anger over what they saw? I'm just asking you.

T. KUMAR, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Yes, first of all, Amnesty International wanted to express its deep shock about the way this young woman was gang-raped and killed. And we also want to salute the people of India for standing up.

But today, the debate that you are proposing is whether executing these four people will bring justice to this woman and to tens of thousands of women in India.

Our analysis that death penalty or executing people never serves as a deterrent, and the best way to deal with this is to not get distracted whether someone should be executed or not, but to focus on long-term plans to protect women of India from being abused like this and gang-raped and killed.

ANDERSON: OK. Let's discuss that, because I want to talk about whether anything has changed since this case came to light. Kiran, you say that the death penalty was exactly the right penalty. The question is, will it act as a deterrent at this point?

I want to bring up some statistics for our viewers here. The National Crime Records Bureau says that a woman is raped in India every 20 minutes. In 2011, the conviction rate 25 percent, that's one in four, and it's estimated that only one in ten rapes are reported. What has this case achieved, if anything?

BEDI: I think it's driven -- it's reaffirmed faith to the rule of law. It's reaffirmed -- it's raised respect for the judiciary. And judiciary is one of the most respected institutions of India. When the judiciary after due process rules, that judgment is very, very respected.

I think this judgment has brought a closure to this ghastly case, which almost impacted nationally, besides internationally, but nationally. If you saw the protests which came on the street --


BEDI: -- by a cross-section of society, the old and the young, men and the women, and the youth.

ANDERSON: Maybe. And you're possibly right. It may have been -- brought closure to this case, but I want to find out whether both of you believe that going forward any progress has been made so far as women's rights are concerned, a change to the culture where it appears that rape is just a sort of run-of-the-mill-type thing.

So, let's talk. T. Kumar, what progress, if any, has been made at this point? As we've suggested, there's closure to this case, but is there any sense that going forward women are safer on the streets of Indian cities and in rural towns going forward?

KUMAR: The best thing happened out of the anger from the people of India is that violence against women in India was brought to the forefront. And people are extremely sensitized. That's the extremely positive thing that happened because of this case.

It's a tragedy that happened to this individual young woman and the family, but we have to think in a bigger picture. But it's the best thing that can happen to protect women in India from facing these abuses in the future.

ANDERSON: All right. Because we're -- let's --


KUMAR: I'll be --

ANDERSON: -- let's remind our viewers that since December, we have seen come to light a number of other incredibly distressing cases. So, Kiran, I come back to you again.

Can you put your hand on your heart tonight and tell me and my viewers that women in India, not just in big cities, but in rural towns around the country -- and we're talking 50 percent of women living in rural towns -- that they are safer today than they were a year ago?

BEDI: I think they're more aware, and comparatively, they've been encouraged to report crime more and police more sensitive to record crime. And now, investigate better, and the courts to try it faster. I think that's -- this case has sent a model of how well cases can be expedited, prosecuted, and then tried.

I think it sent an awareness that the police must register. Earlier, it was trying to avoid registration, and women were trying to avoid reporting. So, I think it's -- unleashed an awareness, saying must report if you want justice. Police must investigate better, use more technology, use more forensics, and courts must expedite trial.

I think it's -- that is the expectation which has unleashed, which is a very good trend. It said that where the criminal justice system is aligned to deliver, it can deliver. That is what is reaffirmed faith, and I think that's an excellent thing which has happened today.

ANDERSON: But T. Kumar, are you convinced by what you're hearing?

KUMAR: One thing we agree is that because of this case, more awareness is there in India. But our argument is that it should be more comprehensive to move forward. There should be a bill, a comprehensive bill should be passed in India channeling this anger into action.

Executing these four people is not going to bring that channeling of anger. Channeling of anger is bringing some meaningful laws. Like for example, Verma Commission, there was a commission that was established after the gang rape of this young woman, and he -- his commission basically gave excellent recommendations. Most of the recommendations have not been implemented.

So, this is the challenge the Indian people should look into to ensure that a comprehensive bill is produced and it's enacted, and meaningful protection is there. Actually, they can name the new bill after the victim, even though the victim's real name is there, she was called Josie. So, they can say Josie Bill or something to protect women in the future.

ANDESON: Let's just get that --


KUMAR: Our fear is that by --


KUMAR: -- by executing these people, they will move on. They will forget everything that happened.

ANDERSON: Let me remind our viewers here there are some 477 people, I think I'm right in saying, on death row, Kiran, in India. Only 3 have been executed in the last 9 years. So, whether execution or not is the appropriate sentence and whether this is serving justice or not, these guys may live on in prison for a very long time. Am I right in saying that, Kiran?

BEDI: I think there would be an equal sense of urgency to follow up this judgment being confirmed by the high court, because the death sentence has to be confirmed by the high court. And then, of course, we have a due process, they can go on appeal to the Supreme Court, and then they can file a mercy petition before the president of India.

But I have no doubt that even this process will see a faster pace compared to many others because of the public pressure and, I think, the need of the case. This is people's demand, and the government can not be oblivious of it, and so is judiciary being very sensitive about the trial of this case.

But not only this, the Supreme Court has ordered fast-track courts, fast-track for all crimes against women, which -- and then, it is that which has seen the light of the day. It was like a hammer.


BEDI: It was like a direction, a dictat by the Supreme Court to the lower judiciary to ensure that it does a day-to-day and the adjournments asked by the defense counsels on flimsy grounds are denied. And that was done in this fast track.


ANDERSON: And T. -- and T. --

BEDI: I do hope that this is repeated for us.

ANDERSON: And T. Kumar, your response? Your final words, if you will?

KUMAR: Yes. Amnesty International want Indian government and Indian people to take a hard look about what's the best way to protect women from abuses like this. That's the best tribute you can give to this young woman who was killed and to the family that is suffering.

So, the best tribute is trying to protect women in India in a long term, in a meaningful manner. That's the best tribute we can pay to this woman, by -- not by executing these four people.

ANDERSON: T. Kumar and Dr. Kiran Bedi from India this evening, we thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

What do you think about the sentences? We want to hear from you. You can get in touch with us, as ever,, have your say. You can always tweet me @BeckyCNN. I know that there is a huge swathe of opinion on both sides of this.

If you're in India, get in touch. If you are elsewhere around the world watching, tell me what -- or how you feel as a woman or a man in your part of the world. Do you feel safe? Has this case made an impression? All of that to us,

You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson, live from London, 42 minutes past 9:00. For Hollywood, conflict has always been a popular subject. We speak with one start whose new film examines how attitudes have changed.

And we'll have a bite of the so-called Cronut, the delicacy that was a best-seller in New York is now in London. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Well, a decade ago, when the US faced the prospect of invading Iraq, we saw strong anti-war messages of out of Hollywood. Remember those? Well, when it comes to possible military intervention in Syria, the big stars, well, they've had little to say. Madonna, "M*A*S*H" star Mike Farrell, and iconic voice actor Ed Asner are among the few celebrities taking a stance. Have a listen to this.


ED ASNER, VOICE ACTOR: It's important for the Obama supporters to realize that the man is not performing as fully as he should, and I think a strike against Syria is a fumbling way to cover up for past mistakes.

MIKE FARRELL, ACTOR: We're perceived by too many people in the world as the world's policemen, and I don't think that's the right position for us to be taking.


ANDERSON: Well, Madonna, meanwhile, has used social media to make her point, sending out an Instagram image that read, "US stay out of Syria."

In a much more subtle way, a new film written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton also addresses the debate over US involvement in foreign conflicts. "Jayne Mansfield's Car" is a film set in 1969, four years after the first US soldiers set foot in Vietnam. In a wide-ranging interview, I asked its acclaimed star and director what message he was hoping to portray.


BILLY BOB THORNTON, DIRECTOR, "JAYNE MANSFIELD'S CAR": The movie is really about how different generations view war, how it affects them, and how they pass the lessons of it along to the next generation. The people of World War I and then of World War II and Vietnam era, there was -- there are very different views on it.

These days, people's feelings are on their sleeves. And in those days, my own father, who was in the Korean War, we rarely had a conversation.

THORNTON AS SKIP CALDWELL, "JAYNE MANSFIELD'S CAR": People say they don't like to talk about war, because it brings up some bad memories. I believe they don't talk about it because nobody wants to hear it.

ANDERON: Was it your father who inspired this movie?

THORNTON: Well, Robert Duvall's character is absolutely at least partially based on my own father for two reasons. One, my father was a war veteran of the Korean War. He wasn't forthcoming with his feelings.

And also, the title, "Jayne Mansfield's Car," which is a metaphor for the romanticism of tragedy, I actually saw Jayne Mansfield's car when they brought it to my town. They took it on tour so people could pay 50 cents and sort of look at it, which is very odd. And my father did stuff like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looks like there's one fatality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you looking at here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're gentile.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I reckon why that son of a bitch has up at every break there is.


ROBERT DUVALL AS JIM CALDWELL, "JAYNE MANSFIELD'S CAR": Well, going to wars are all around. Trying to figure this wreck out here.

ANDERSON: How do you direct acclaimed legends of the big screen like Duvall and Hurt. Do you just let them go? Do their own thing?

THORNTON: Yes, you say "action," and then you say "cut," and you go, "that was great, let's move on."


JOHN HURT AS KINGSLEY BEDFORD, "JAYNE MANSFIELD'S CAR": It come drifting across the road like a cloud, just this fog of poison. And this tractor-trailer rig slowed down -- when it hit the fog. And Jayne Mansfield's car slid right under it. That was it. That was all she wrote.

ANDERSON: This movie has a big message about war and the way that the characters that you depict dealt with their war memories. When you consider what is going on now, the past decade with Iraq and Afghanistan, and now with Syria, is this a prescient time for this movie? And if so, why?

THORNTON: When there is war, there's -- there are very deep wounds both physical and emotional. And so, this movie more deals with those wounds that are after the fact. Those are the things that sometimes we don't think about when we want to go out there and stir things up.

Now, the thing that's going on now in Syria, that's a very difficult one to call. We have -- in the last few years or last couple of decades, really, been involved in wars that even people who are normally very patriotic and flag-waving and wanting to go to war, some of them are even questioning it because we're not sure why we're doing it always.

If we open up this can of worms, is it worse? All I tried to do with this movie, which I think is relevant now, because it deals with the personal things that go along with having served in war, are being affected -- or been affected by war in some way.

THORNTON AS SKIP CALDWELL: You're our flesh and blood. I mean, you're our brother, and we love you to death.

ANDERSON: It's great to see you back doing work like this. This is a great movie. We all remember you in days of yore in celebrity marriages, et cetera. Where are you as a character now?

THORNTON: I'm pretty satisfied as who I am right now, I think. I'm in a relationship with my little daughter Bella's mom, Connie, and we've been together for ten years now.

And I guess I could say that when I go to work now, I feel much more grounded because I know that my home life is grounded, if that makes any sense. So, if you've got a solid base to work off of, then I think it's easier to sort of -- jump off the cliff into the river again.


ANDERSON: You don't miss the madness?

THORNTON: Oh, there's always madness.


THORNTON: I mean -- in one way or the other. Whether it's in my own head or actual madness, it's -- there's always something there, and I think when you're an artist, you've always got a degree of that anyway. So -- I can still float on a peaceful lake and have a tornado in my head, so there's no -- I'm lacking for things to say.


ANDERSON: Billy Bob Thornton. Nor would you expect him to be. Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, an Oscar nominee from Saudi Arabia and the controversial film about a young girl's dreams, directed by a woman.



ANDERSON (voice-over): On this edition of CNN Preview, the new thriller in Manila and Jack Johnson's Hawaiian acoustic soul. We start with the best of the Toronto film festival.

Amongst the movies already moving the critics, "12 Years a Slave," directed by Steve McQueen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Solomon Northup is an excellent player on the violin.

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR AS SOLOMON NORTHUP, "12 YEARS A SLAVE": I was born a free man, lived with my family in New York --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be good for your mother.

EJIOFOR AS NORTHUP: -- until the day I was deceived --


EJIOFOR AS NORTHUP: -- kidnapped, sold into slavery.

ANDERSON: Based on the true account of Solomon Northup, Chiwetel Ejiofor portrays Northup's struggle against injustice and fight for freedom.

EJIOFOR AS NORTHUP: I want to live.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A video was leaked today depicting what appears to be a US military helicopter firing on unarmed reporters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twelve million people have seen that video. You still want to tell me you think it's just a little website?

ANDERSON: Whistle-blowers, conspiracy, and corruption are explored in "The Fifth Estate."

DANIEL BRUHL AS DANIEL DOMSCHEIT-BERG, "THE FIFTH ESTATE": I took down a billion-dollar bank. This is crazy.


ANDERSON: Versatile actor Benedict Cumberbatch morphs effortlessly into WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange, painting a portrait of a man caught between genius and ego.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not a journalist. He's a threat to national security.

ANDERSON: It took over 20 years to bring Nelson Mandela's "The Long Walk to Freedom" to the screen. Idris Elba takes on the role of Mandela. The film spans 80 years in the life of South Africa's first democratic leader.

IDRIS ELBA AS NELSON MANDELA, "MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM": It is not I, but the government, that should plead guilty.

ANDERSON: Toronto comes to a close this weekend.

SEAN ELLIS, WRITER/DIRECTOR: I went to the Philippines in 2007 on holiday, and I witnessed this armored truck pull up and these two armored truck drivers got out and they started having this argument. It was the sort of idea that stayed with me, and I thought, I wonder what they were arguing about. And so, I started to develop an idea for a film around this scene.

ANDERSON: British writer/director Sean Ellis's thriller, set in the underbelly of the Filipino capital. The film follows one man and his family on their ill-fated search for a better life.

Shot entirely in the Tagalog language, Ellis, who does not speak the dialect, trusted the lead actor, Jake Macapagal and other cast members to interpret his script.

EILLIS: It's a process that you suddenly -- that suddenly frees yourself from the worry of line delivery or the way that something's said and you see past it and you see what's really being said. And that's normally physically.

ANDERSON: Jack Johnson's new album release, "From Here to Now," coincides with a world tour. The singer/songwriter will be crisscrossing America, Europe, and Australia-Asia until the end of 2013.


JACK JOHNSON, SINGER/SONGWRITER: A lot of the theme on the record is about home. It's like this journey home. I've been traveling for, like, ten years straight off and on with the family and everything, but it was kind of nice. We had a lot of time around the house while I was writing this record. So, yes, recording it at home in Hawaii, it was really nice.


ANDERSON: Touring doesn't only mean Johnson can connect with his fans. It's also an opportunity to give back to the local community.

JOHNSON: Since 2008, we've made our touring basically the non-profit side of what we do. It just made a lot of sense to be donating the money from our shows to non-profits in that area that we were traveling. Try to leave every town that we played at a better place.



JOHNSON: Thanks a lot.


ANDERSON: And before we go, a quick update on a film we previewed here on CONNECT THE WORLD last year. "Wadjda," the first film to be made entirely on Saudi soil, has been nominated for an Oscar.

The film considered controversial in Saudi, a country where girls and women are subject to cultural taboos, as you know, not only tells the story of a young girl who dares to dream about owning a bike, it was also directed by a woman.

I spoke to Haifaa al-Mansour shortly after "Wadjda" premiered, and here's what she told me about her own dream for the film.


HAIFAA AL-MANSOUR, DIRECTOR, "WADJDA": I hope one day a Saudi man will see that film and want to give his daughter a bike or give her more freedom that will allow her to do something she really wants to do, even if the culture does not really accept it.


ANDERSON: And you can watch that full interview on our blog at She is brilliant. And join us next week when we sit down for an interview with the music icon Sting, that is next Friday on CNN Preview.

And this programming note for you: CONNECT THE WORLD is moving. Not channels -- it'll stay on CNN. Starting this week, though, join me one hour earlier at 8:00 in London, 9:00 in Berlin, and 11:00 in Abu Dhabi. It all starts Tuesday. Monday at that time, you can see a special presentation of Max Foster's interview with Prince William. So, see you at 8:00 London time next week.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thanks for watching.