CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis Profiled; Grand Theft Auto V Released; Interview with Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Atiyya; Salvage Team Rights Costa Concordia; Fashion and Racism; Leading Women: Helene Gayle

Aired September 17, 2013 - 16:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight, as the diplomatic debate on Syria drags on, inside the country a war is raging. As the death toll climbs, I ask the Qatari foreign minister if it's time for the region to step up.

Also this hour...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's an act of racism by not using models of color.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: From the catwalk to the campaign trail, two super models speak out about racism in fashion.

And just how dirty is your QWERTY? A new study might make you see your gadgets in a slightly different light.

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

ANDERSON: First up tonight, Russia and western power are making a new attempt at resolving serious differences over how to enforce Syria's promise to hand over its chemical weapons.

The five permanent members of the UN security council are meeting right now as we speak behind closed doors trying to agree on the wording of a resolution.

Now France and Russia are two of those members. And a meeting of their foreign ministers today exposed just how far apart they still are on Russia.

Laurent Fabius and Sergei Lavrov fundamentally disagreed on the terms of a draft UN resolution. France, like the U.S. and Britain, wants to threaten tough consequences against Syria. But Russia wants threats off the table.

Well, Lavrov says a framework he agreed to with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry does not call for a resolution under chapter 7, a provision that allows for the use of force. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SERGEI LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We have to quite clearly it is not going to be through chapter 7. The document does not speak about that. But it will refer to the commitments of the UN security council to regularly control, verify the decisions of the OPCW.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: All right. Well, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says last month's chemical attack is only, and I quote, the tip of the iceberg in Syria. He's urging the world to not forget about the broader civil war still raging with no end in sight.

Well, according to the opposition, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the death toll from the war now tops 110,000.

Let's get the very latest on the violence in Syria. Nic Robertson is following developments for us from Beirut.

What do we know about what is going on inside the country at present, Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The killing continues on a daily basis, Becky. The reports today more than 20 people killed, that death toll will undoubtedly climb as it always does, more than Germany over the last week, more than 100 killed. And if you just take that snapshot since really the world became focused again on Syria from the 21st of August when the chemical weapons attack happened, more than 2,300 people have been killed according to opposition groups. And that probably doesn't count a lot of the people government soldiers and others who may have been killed as well.

So you just get a sense from that alone that this death toll continues to climb, not by chemical weapons, conventional weapons -- bombs from aircraft, bombs from helicopters, artillery, gunfire, tank fire, explosions, roadside bombs, all these sorts of things. It is all still going on, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nic, we also hear about suicide bombings at border crossings. What's going on between Syria and Turkey at this point?

ROBERTSON: You know what happened today at Babel Hawa (ph) on the Syrian-Turkish border, a major crossing point between Turkey into Syria, this explosion truck or vehicle exploding comes hard on the heels just yesterday of the Turkish airforce, an F-16 shooting down a Syrian helicopter that the Turks say had strayed 2 kilometers inside Turkish airspace. It was given a warning. The Syrian government said, look, it was flying back out of the area. It actually crashed inside the Syrian border after it was shot down by that Turkish F-16.

So these two incidents, the bombing -- the car bomb happening very close to that Turkish border crossing the day after really gives the impression -- we don't know for sure, but gives the impression -- that this was some kind of tit-for-tat retaliation, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right, Nic, I want our viewers just to get the sense of a new report giving us a view of who is it in fact fighting the war on behalf of the rebels in Syria. Just stay with me, Nic.

Half the rebels fighting in Syria are jihadists, or hard-line Islamists, according to the IHS Jane's. There are some 100,000 opposition forces battling the Assad regime, an estimated 10,000 are Jihadists, many of them foreign fighters with links to groups like al Qaeda, another 35,000 are hard-line Islamists who share similar views as the Jihadists are focused on the war in Syria rather than on a global struggle, another 30,000 are believed to be more moderate. Only about 25,000 of the rebels are linked to secular or purely nationalist groups.

This, Nic, one of the problems, it's clear, for the international community that they were reticent, or certainly the general public reticent to back rebel forces who were, quite frankly, not on anybody's side when it comes to the international community at this point.

What do we know about exactly who is fighting what and where in the country?

ROBERTSON: It's very hard to be definitive. The Islamist groups tend to be stronger in the north of the country, they're trying to get more influence in the center. And in the south they're not as -- they don't have that kind of influence that they do in the north.

You could look, if you will, at the group that's most allied to al Qaeda, the ISIL as they're known. They control a town in the sort of north-center-east, if you will, of the country, out in the desert Raqaa (ph). If you examine that town, you can see that they -- this ISIL chased out one of the more moderate groups from there, one of the more moderate rebel groups so that they could take total control. In the past few days, this group, ISIL has cold-bloodedly executed people it claims were members of Bashar al-Assad's regime.

There's also a growing influence of this group elsewhere. They've got roots from al Qaeda in Iraq, experience from there.

And what concerns international analysts as they look at this situation it's not just that we're now seeing this growth, or trend towards more radical groups, but they're drawing in jihadists not just from the Arab world, but they're also drawing them in from Europe. And the concern is they come to Syria, they get training, ultimately they're going to go home. They're potentially very dangerous in the countries they go back to.

So this is a growing problem not just affecting Syria, but potentially will have long reaching effect in the future, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nic Robertson on the story inside the country.

Now Qatar, one of the countries that's backing or bankrolling many of those rebel factions in Syria also calling for intervention in Syria. I spoke earlier with foreign minister Khaled al-Atiyya who is currently in France for talks with the French President Francois Hollande on Syria. I began by asking him to clarify what kind of intervention Qatar wants to see. This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KHALED AL-ATIYYA, QATARI MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: It is not about the military intervention. Qatar is the first country who called to avoid any military intervention by asking the regime from day one to abide to the international standard and to protect the Syrian people, but unfortunately we are -- find that brutal act is over and over again in Syria. And I think the international community has to decide and take a proper mechanism to stop the killing.

ANDERSON: You talk about a proper mechanism, what is that? In the past, Qatar has said it wants to see military intervention in Syria. So are you backing off from that point at present or not?

AL-ATIYYA: No. The proper action, the proper mechanism is not to back off. The proper mechanism is to use every means to stop the brutality of the regime.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about this resolution. The Russians have warned against rushing for Chapter 7, because they say there is no evidence that Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on the Syrian people.

You have helped bankroll Syrian opposition factions. How can you be sure it wasn't the rebels using chemical weapons?

AL-ATIYYA: Since 2011 until now there have been more than 14 attacks on chemical weapons being used. If we say that he has killed 3,000 to 4,000 to 5,000 people by the CW, there is 95,000 people, Syrian people, has been shelled, bombed by all means of weapons.

ANDERSON: Was it a mistake on Qatar's part to bankroll and back Syrian factions in Syria, some of which it now appears, may be allied with al Qaeda?

AL-ATIYYA: Well, I think this is a misunderstanding of the issue. Qatar is working with this group ally, we're working with the USA, we're working with France, Britain and other friends of Syria.

And we work, we work through the proper channel. And the proper channel is the chief of staff Salim Idriss. And this is close, hand-in- hand with our friends and allies in the Syrian case.

ANDERSON: What do you make off this, the sort of shifting tectonic plates between the U.S. and Russia here, because it is clear that Russia is taking an increasingly front seat role, isn't it?

AL-ATIYYA: I don't think the USA has given its role to Russia or the other. The USA is trying to do its best to protect the Syrian people. And I'm sure that this is one step of other steps we'll be taking soon.

ANDERSON: In Qatar, do you fear an attack on U.S. interests in Doha from Iran if the U.S. were to launch military action in Syria? Is that a concern on the part of Qataris at this point?

AL-ATIYYA: Iran is our neighbor. We have a good relation with Iran. We have a misunderstanding with Iran about Syria only. And Qatar, with our allies, we think that this is a man who is trying to eliminate his people, you know, the zero sum game. And in Iran they see it otherwise. And this is what, the difference we have between us and Iran. And it is, it does not effect the other part of our relation with Iran.

ANDERSON: This is often called a proxy war, this Syrian crisis. Is it?

AL-ATIYYA: We in Qatar, we are firm, we are clear. We know that there is a people, people called for their freedom and there is brutal action being taken against them to demolish them, to eliminate them, to finish them. This is how we see it in Qatar.

So whatever we do with our allies, we only do it to protect the people. We don't do it because of proxy or any other agendas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: The very latest on Syria. We were talking there to the Qatari foreign minister.

Still to come this evening, as more details emerge about gunmen Aaron Alexis, we'll be live from the Pentagon with the very latest on Monday's rampage at the Washington Naval Yard.

Job well done: how Italy's Costa Concordia is finally upright after 20 months in Tuscan waters.

And we'll have a fight of the so-called cronut, the delicacy that was a best seller in New York. It's London. All that, much more after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson on CNN.

Now a senior Pentagon official tells us that U.S. defense secretary Chuck Hagel plans to order a review of security and access at all U.S. military installations worldwide. Now that comes one day after the deadly rampage at the Washington Naval Yard that left 13 people dead. Earlier, Hagel laid a wreath at a U.S. naval memorial to honor the victims.

Well, live from the Pentagon, Barbara Starr joins us with more details. Barbara, about the 34-year-old shooter Aaron Alexis, what are we learning at this point?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's an awful lot of information out there that this was a troubled young man, Becky, that he -- his family is saying he suffered from post traumatic stress after viewing the 9/11 attacks in New York. We don't know that for sure. There's no real independent confirmation of that. Family members say they moved around the country as a troubled person after that.

The military is saying that when he served as a reservist, he had at least eight minor violations for misconduct in the military. And he had run-ins with the law here in the United States in the civilian sector over gun violations. He was never convicted of those violations. The military knew about it, thought it was best to get him out of the military, but couldn't use any of that as evidence against him, because he wasn't convicted.

He had the minor inside the military problems. So basically they wound up giving him an honorable discharge. He moved on and got a security clearance. A lot of questions now how he got that clearance, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, absolutely. And that's got to be the question tonight, just how did he get that. What are they saying?

STARR: Well, this is a matter of the investigation. To some extent, talking to the contractors, seeing that he had the clearance with seeing how much they knew about his background, did they conduct a full investigation, did he tell the truth on his security clearance forms. Did they do a background check and find these things in his background? Did it matter? If they knew would he still have gotten the clearance.

I want to be cautious here, because there's an awful lot of information floating around. But until the investigation is done, we may not really have the solid answers.

ANDERSON: Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon for you this evening. Barbara, thank you for that.

Riots in the streets of Bangladesh after the supreme court sentenced an Islamist leader to death for war crimes. Angry protesters set fire to vehicles, exploded homemade bombs and threw stones at police. Now that came after the court handed down the death penalty to Abdul Quader Molla who was convicted of committing mass murder during the 1971 war of independence with Pakistan.

There are also calls for a two-day nationwide strike to protest the ruling. That beginning tomorrow.

Well, there's been another high-profile arrest involving a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. State media is reporting that spokesman Gehad el-Haddad is being held in a Cairo apartment along with two other Brotherhood officials. It's the latest crackdown against the Islamist group. And it comes as an Egyptian court upheld an order to keep assets of senior Brotherhood officials frozen.

Well, at least 21 people have been killed, 70 others injured in a wave of car bombings in Baghdad today. The attacks happened in mostly Shiite areas.

The bombings were just the latest in a surge of sectarian violence, that's according to the United Nations, killed more than 800 people in August alone.

Dramatic developments in the standoff in the Philippines today. Military officials say more than 120 hostages have been released in the past 24 hours. And a police chief who was briefly captured by the separatist rebels convince 23 of his captives and their leader to surrender peacefully. It's unclear how many hostages are still being held. Authorities estimate that more than 100 people have been killed in what is an ongoing crisis. And a further 80,000 have been displaced.

The armed forces hope that the fight against the Morrow National Liberation Front will end soon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIG. GEN. DOMINGO TUTAAN, PHILIPPINES ARMED FORCES SPOKESMAN: The situation is getting better. And hopefully we will be able to have this concluded as soon as possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: The highly anticipated fifth installment of the Grand Theft Auto series has been released. The blockbuster video game has reportedly cost $270 million in five years to produce. The (inaudible) miniseries has caused many controversies over the years for what critics call its extreme violence.

The company wants to investigate how some copies of the game were sent out prior to its official release.

Well, a landmark trial is now underway in China that could shed light on the dreaded discipline inspection commission. That is a shadowy group that carries out investigations and interrogations of Communist Party members and operates outside of the law.

Well, six party officials are on trial for allegedly torturing a fellow party member to death.

CNN's David McKenzie has the exclusive story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a quiet tea house, Wu Qian agreed to secretly meet us. She says she's been followed by state security ever since her husband died.

When she last saw him, he was barely recognizable. Calls at 1:00 am to Wen Jo (ph) hospital after he was missing for more than a month.

WU QIAN, WIDOW (through translator): The man I saw at the emergency room was like a skinny beggar. His hair and beard was long. And his body was covered with bruises. I was completely astonished and I shook him. When I touched him, I felt his body was cold.

He was tortured. I knew it from the moment I saw the bruises on his body. It's evident that he was tortured for a long time.

MCKENZIE: Before his brutal death, Yu Qiyi (ph) was a rising star of the Communist Party, allowing his family to live a life of privilege.

(on camera): Then after a business trip to Beijing, Yu (ph) was picked up by party investigators for, quote, minor misconduct. Driven into town, and according to the indictments, after weeks of interrogation, tortured to death in one of these rooms.

Prosecutors say six men drowned him by dunking his head in ice water in a building called The Garden of Ultimate Justice.

(voice-over): Falling victim to a shadowy system called shuang guei (ph) designed to curb corruption in the party.

(on camera): Hidden from public view, defense lawyers say that interrogation, torture and even suicides are common. But this case gives a rare look at the hidden world of Communist Party style justice.

(voice-over): In this case, the party is taking action against the interrogators, but Wu is pushing for more justice. For her husband's torture and killing, the six men are facing only assault charges. She says she will stop at nothing to fight the shuang guei (ph) system.

QIAN (through translator): The only thing I can do now is to stay strong and have faith. This system is evil. It's sinister beyond our imagination. All I want to do now is to reveal the truth.

MCKENZIE: She says her husband deserves it and wants others to avoid his fate.

David McKenzie, CNN, Wenzhou, China.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, live from London, and 22 minutes past eight this evening. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.

Coming up, celebrations as the Costa Concordia is finally hauled upright, but what next? We'll be live from that wreck sight for you.

And the ugly side of fashion. We hear from two iconic supermodels who say the industry is riddled with racism. That coming up after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, success after 20 months in the water. The capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia has finally been set upright. It took engineers around 19 hours to roll the 114,000 ton ship onto a platform in what has been described as a perfect operation. This is the first time such a salvage operation has been attempted on a ship of this size.

It's not over yet. This is jus the first step in removing and scrapping the nearly 1,000 foot ship, which won't be moved until next summer.

With more on this, Matthew Chance joining us live from very close by to that salvage operation.

A monumental task just to right this ship. And once righted, the extent of the damage, Matthew, very much revealed earlier today.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, really. I mean, it was just an amazing technical achievement that they managed to roll this ship from its side upright. That was in itself something that's never been attempted with a vessel this size.

And now that it is upright it's balanced very precariously on a platform that's been built on the seabed to enable the technical teams to actually survey the damage that was done by the jagged rocks to the side of the ship when it crashed up against the coastline in January 2012, of course killing 32 people.

But all in all, the salvage operation, at least this first step of it, appears to have gone off without a hitch.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHANCE: It was a painstaking and difficult salvage operation that took more than 19 hours to complete. Inch by inch, the giant hulk of the Costa Concordia capsized on the rocks of Giglio was hauled upright.

The technique called parbuckling has never been attempted on a ship this large, twice the size of the titanic. But the results, according to salvage workers, was much better than they hoped.

FRANCO GABRIELLI, HEAD OF ITALIAN CIVIL PROTECTION DEPT (through translator): We are very happy at the outcome. We are happy because the challenges posed by the project as a whole, and everything that the designer imagined and figured out, was confirmed in practice. So their calculations and their design was very accurate to the point that the ship really was in the same place as expected, which was surprising somehow for us too.

CHANCE: And this was the reaction when news of the salvage success was announced. If vast quantities of toxic sludge on board -- engine oil mixed with rotten food and detergents, residents of Giglio were clearly relieved, a threatened environmental catastrophe had been averted.

(on camera): Well, this is the first time this giant ocean liner has been seen upright since it crashed against these rocks with a loss of 32 lives in January 2012. You can see that dark watermark where it has for months laid submerged on its side, two-thirds of the Costa Concordia is still underwater, but at least it's now possible for salvage teams to properly assess the damage on its battered starboard side.

NICK SLOANE, SALVAGE MASTER, COSTA CONCORDIA: 16 months now.

CHANCE: That's crucial, say salvage workers as the ship is prepared to be refloated and eventually towed away.

SLOANE: Last year we had the really bad winter. And we realized that you can't beat the weather here. So we are going to be patient. We'll prepare everything we can through winter. And then in spring we'll start adding the mitigating factors so by late spring, early summer she should be out of here.

CHANCE: But first, a proper search is now being carried out for the two bodies never recovered from the wreck. Amid all the praise of the salvage effort, this is also now a chance for closure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHANCE: Well, I mentioned in that report, but there's an enormous sense of relief amongst the people of Giglio. It's a small island of just 1,000 people. And everyone we've spoken to absolutely relieved that this sort of nightmare in their recent history may soon, by the middle of next year at least, be coming to an end -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Matthew Chance there reporting. Thanks, mate.

Well, the latest world news headlines are just ahead.

Plus, the fashion industry accused of racial discrimination. We're going to hear from the supermodels behind this scathing letter calling for change.

And a leader in international development tells us about her journey to becoming the CEO of one of the world's best known humanitarian organizations.

And...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really good, I would say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Could this smartphone really have more germs on it than your toilet seat? Well, one study certainly says so. We're going to investigate that after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: At half past 8:00 out of London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson. The top stories for you here on CNN.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is calling on the Security Council to unite behind action on Syria, saying the suffering must end. The council's five permanent members just wrapped up a closed-door meeting. They are trying to agree on a resolution that supports a US-Russian framework for Syria to destroy its chemical weapons.

A senior Pentagon official tells CNN that US defense secretary Chuck Hagel plans to order a review of security at all US military sites worldwide. Now, this comes a day after the deadly rampage at the Washington Naval Yard that left 13 people dead.

Meanwhile, a US official says the gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, had numerous run-ins with his superiors before he was discharged as a Navy reservist.

Egyptian state media reporting that police have arrested Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad. It's the latest in what is a series of high-profile arrests of Brotherhood members. This comes as an Egyptian court upheld an order to keep assets of senior Brotherhood officials frozen.

And mission accomplished, or nearly at least. After 20 months in the water, the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia has finally been set upright. Engineers say it was a perfect operation.

Well, London Fashion Week wraps up today. Five days of dreary weather in the capital brightened as 58 catwalk shows helped transform our minds to sunnier days, giving us a glimpse of what we'll be seeing in the shops come spring and summer of 2014.

Amid the glamour, though, two iconic supermodels say it's time for a reality check. First up, Erin McLaughlin looks at what the Fashion Diversity Coalition is calling acts of racism in the industry.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Naomi Campbell, Iman -- two of the original supermodels. More than two decades after they first broke through, they say the fashion world is riddled with racism.

NAOMI CAMPBELL, SUPERMODEL, DIVERSITY COALITION: We're not saying they're racist. We're saying its an act of racism by not using models of color.

MCLAUGHLIN: In a sharply-worded letter to the industry, they call out fashion's elite. Quote, "Eyes are on an industry that season after season watches fashion houses consistently use one or no models of color."

Dozens of fashion's biggest names are listed on what the Fashion Diversity Coalition calls a lack of black of models on runways during the Fall 2013 collections.

CAROLE WHITE, MODEL AGENT: Being a black in the industry today is more difficult than being a white one, that's for sure.

MCLAUGHLIN: Carole White, the agent who launched Naomi Campbell's career, says the problem is nothing new. Of the 300 models her agency represents, just 13 are black, and she says her agency represents more than most.

WHITE: We will take models that clients want. So therefore, the ratio of black versus white obviously is quiet big. We're more discerning about the type of black girl we take because we know they have to be stunningly beautiful, have an incredible body. They have to be, actually, perfect.

MCLAUGHLIN: Nadja Girimata is one of the industry's freshest faces. This is her first time being booked to walk at a Temperley London fashion show. She says she didn't know that Temperley is one of many fashion houses that Naomi's campaign has called out.

NADJA GIRIMATA, MODEL: I would love to be booked for shows and not because, oh, she's going to be the only black girl, no. Because I am me, for my personality, for the person, the model I am.

MCLAUGHLIN: Alice Temperley says last season's casting decision was based on available models.

ALICE TEMPERLEY, FASHION DESIGNER: We have loads of different girls. We have lots. And we always make sure that we try and mix it up. Last autumn-winter -- that last autumn-winter, we had five or six Asian girls, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Asian girls.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): I think the criticism is specifically about a lack of black models on the runway.

TEMPERLEY: Possibly because there's not enough models coming to castings that are black.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Campbell says her campaign has started to work. She noticed improvements during New York's Fashion Week and hopes London, Paris, and Milan follow suit.

CAMPBELL: We don't want to be a trend. We want this to last. And you shouldn't be chosen just because -- not chosen because of the color of your skin. You should be chosen because you're beautiful and you're talented and you have every opportunity to go out for this job.

MCLAUGHLIN: Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, you heard there from supermodel Naomi Campbell. Supermodel Iman and former model agent Bethann Hardison also campaigning alongside Naomi to end racism in fashion. Earlier, I spoke to them, and I asked them why they think it is so important to raise this issue now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IMAN, SUPERMODEL, THE DIVERSITY COALITION: The girls are not a product, OK? So what it is is that I think that is what the whole intention of this action that we took upon ourselves is really about, is to bring the public at large to understand what's going on, and the designers who might not even know what they are doing or what their casting directors are doing to actually know what's going on.

ANDERSON: Well Iman, it's interesting you point that out, because we've spoken to Alice Temperley, one of the designers that you've called out out of London, and she said "last season's casting decision was based on available models" and says there just aren't enough models of color around. That was her response when we went to her with this coalition letter. Bethann, respond.

BETHANN HARDISON, FORMER MODEL AGENT: No, I can understand how that might be true for her. At that moment, sometimes different seasons are different things, and I do know that quite often I've heard designers say that model agencies don't send them to us. And I do understand that.

So, when we talk about the casting directors and the stylists, I definitely also add that model agencies are in a sort of a tight position, too, because they're working critically and politically with casting directors and stylists. They're sort of like cramped in, and they want to send girls to a certain place.

And they're not -- as many models of color as there are whites, that's true. But that's because the market hasn't beared. Once people start to feel that they can really show them and they can sell them and they will actually get results from them, believe me, there will be more. But we have to sort of push this in order to get that to happen.

ANDERSON: Is it time to boycott these designers who aren't getting on with this?

HARDISON: No. There are many people writing us in support and saying you just have to stop using the brand. That's their choice. Someone who feels strongly about something should choose to do what they feel best at.

But me, I'm not sitting here saying boycott designers. What I'm trying to do is educate designers. That's my plan. To educate. To make you be responsible. To think more about what you should be doing and less about let's follow what seems editorially proper. We have to change that.

ANDERSON: Do you want to see a process of positive discrimination?

IMAN: Somebody said to me the other day, why should it matter what's on the runway? I'll tell you why. Because to me, there is a political underlining issues of race here. The photography and runway is a really, very powerful tool. The absence of people of color on these -- on the runways or in photography just reinforces to our young girls that they are not beautiful enough, that they are not acceptable enough. That is my worry.

I have a 12-year-old, and I don't want to see -- because in the diversity that we live in, the world that we live in, is not what the runways are showing. And that, to me, is the concern. It's a bigger issue at large than just about runway and models.

ANDERSON: Has the increased use of Asian models contributed to this issue? Do you think designers using Asian girls instead of black girls at this point?

IMAN: There were more black models were used in 70s and 80s than is being used now. And to me, it is unacceptable. I understand -- trust me, I understand the business of it. I'm a business woman, so I understand. I'm not telling a designer that if that girl does not work --

HARDISON: Exactly.

IMAN: -- for your clothes, for your runway, for that particular season --

HARDISON: Yes.

IMAN: -- that you have to hire her. That's not the issue. But I don't want to ever, ever hear again a young model telling me that they have said to her "We are not seeing black models this season." To me, that's offensive. To me, that's a racist remark.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Iman, you heard there, from Naomi and from Bethann. What do you think about this issue? We'd like to hear your thoughts, add your voice to the debate. Head to facebook.com/CNNconnect. You can also tweet me, as ever, @BeckyCNN. Your thoughts, please, @BeckyCNN.

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD live out of London, 40 minutes past 8:00 here at this new time out of the London studio. Coming up, one woman's journey from being a pediatrician to leading an international humanitarian organization.

And our grubby gadgets can hold hazardous levels of germs. That's according to one study, at least. We speak to a microbiologist about just how dirty our phones and other devices really are.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: This is the part of the show called Leading Woman. This week, Dr. Helene Gayle, the president and CEO of Care USA. Her passion for health care took her from working physician to president and CEO of one of the world's leading humanitarian organizations. My colleague Isha Sesay talked to her about her role at Care and her vision for the future. Have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's a leading figure in international development, a woman on the move. In Kenya, Ethiopia, India, visiting field missions, in Washington advocating for the poor. In Atlanta, attending an event featuring the Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame.

Such is the busy life of Helene Gayle, CEO of Care USA, one of the world's best-known humanitarian organizations. I visited Gayle at the headquarters in Atlanta.

SESAY (on camera): So, tell me about your role here at Care.

HELENE GAYLE, CEO, CARE USA: My job is really to lead this organization, make sure that we're continuing to think not just about what's going on today, but what -- where are we going in the future. So that is working with donors, because we're an organization that is reliant on the generosity of individuals, institutions, corporations, foundations.

SESAY (voice-over): A trained physician, Gayle became Care USA's CEO in 2006, overseeing a staff of more than 6,000 and a budget of more than half a billion dollars, according to Care.

SESAY (on camera): Your story can be called one of transformation. How did you go from being a pediatrician to leading a global organization like Care?

GAYLE: Well, I guess in some ways I think of it as coming full circle. I went into medicine and chose pediatrics and then public health because I really wanted to do something that I felt gave back.

But the more you work in health and look at health inequities, the more you realize a lot of that is not necessarily just due to a particular disease, but it's really also linked to underlying societal issues: poverty, inequity, lack of access to safe drinking water or housing, et cetera. All the things that we focus on in Care.

SESAY (voice-over): Care says in 2012, its services reached more than 83 million people in 84 countries.

SESAY (on camera): Now, you are the first female, the first person of color, to head Care in its 60-plus history. A major milestone. But give me your thoughts on that achievement.

GAYLE: Well, I think it was just a matter of time. Women are playing all sorts of different roles in our society. I happen to have been the one that came at this point in time in Care's history. If it hadn't been me, it may have been another woman. I'm pleased to be there, but I know that there will be one day when this is just not going to be so unique.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And next month, we'll have more on Helene Gayle and the family background that helped pave her way -- or the way to her success. In the meantime, you can get the latest from our Leading Women series by logging onto cnn.com/leadingwomen.

Coming up after this short break, does your phone have a dirty secret? And just how clean do our gadgets really need to be to keep us healthy? That is coming up next.

And the cronut has crossed the Atlantic, but are they making culinary waves here in the UK like they are in the US? We're going to find out when CONNECT THE WORLD continues, 47 minutes past 8:00 here in London, stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: A toilet seat, your SmartPhone, and your tablet computer. Two of them you probably wouldn't think twice about using while you were eating, right? Well, some new information from consumer watchdog Which? might make you look at these sort of gadgets in a completely different light.

Scientists swabbed 30 tablet computers, 30 SmartPhones, and an office toilet seat for a certain type of bacteria. The swab of the filthiest of the tablets showed more than 600 Staphylococcus bacteria, which could cause food poisoning. Moving on to the phones --

(PHONE RINGTONE)

ANDERSON: The swab of the grimiest one contained 140 bacteria. That's not as dirty as the tablet. But it's still in the danger zone, according to the Health Protection Agency. And now, this --

(TOILET FLUSHES)

ANDERSON: The office toilet seat. Despite being found in the most unsavory location, it was -- listen to this -- by far the cleanest of the bunch with less than 20 bacteria -- less than 20 bacteria found compared 600 on your tablet.

Well, researchers say our hectic lifestyles, grubby fingers, and people taking their gadgets into the bathroom with them are all to blame. But are the results all that surprising? Well, we went out into the streets of London to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's really gross --

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- I would say. It's -- ew.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that's gross.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Especially with her hands, she rarely washes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not really, since I touch it with my hands all the time, so I'd imagine it'd be crawling with bacteria.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No -- yes, I have technically used my iPhone while in the bathroom, in the toilet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's impossible to clean it. There's nothing you can use to clean it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: So how concerned should we be? Are our phones and tablets really that dirty? And how do we clean them if they are? Joining me live from London is our filthy iPads guest tonight, on his iPad in the UK is Anthony Hilton, professor of microbiology at Aston University. Sir, thank you for joining us. Look straight into the camera, please. There you go. Behave yourself.

Do you buy this study? Are you as concerned as I was, certainly, when I saw just how filthy my tablet apparently is, if I'm not cleaning it everyday? And I don't know how to clean it anyway. Are you concerned?

ANTHONY HILTON, PROFESSOR OF MICROBIOLOGY, ASTON UNINVERSITY: Not really, no. The -- I think the context is the organisms that we've found are actually part of the normal, healthy skin bacteria, really. And a device that you're regularly touching --

ANDERSON: All right.

HILTON: -- you might expect them to be there. So no, I'm not concerned.

ANDERSON: Certainly the Health Protection Agency classes any count of between 20 and 10,000 units of that bacteria, which is difficult to pronounce, as a potential risk. You're saying that we shouldn't -- be too concerned, right?

HILTON: Well, the guidance is given by the HPA is in the context of food, actually, and the organism can get onto food, and where it will grow and produce a toxin that will make somebody ill. But it's certainly not in relation to organisms on inanimate surfaces like tablets and phones.

ANDERSON: Well, the microbiologist who carried out the testing for Which? said if these levels of bacteria had been found on a hand swab of a food handler, they'd be taken out of the workplace and retrained in basic hygiene.

Although you're not suggesting that all of us carrying these around are a basic hygiene risk, how can we improve the sort of basic hygiene around us on a sort of working basis? The telephones we use, the computer QWERTY keyboards that we use?

HILTON: Well, these objects are only get as contaminated as the hands that are used to operate them, and I think it's sort of well-embedded within our hygiene behavior is to wash our hands after certain things, like visiting the toilet, for example, or handling raw meat and things like that.

But obviously, if you don't do that, and then you use an iPad device, you're going to actually put those organisms on there. So, I think the key even to prevent the contamination of these devices is to wash your hands properly.

ANDERSON: What are the riskiest devices -- not devices. What are the riskiest things we have around us on a daily basis so far as germs are concerned? I don't want to worry our viewers unduly, here, but I've seen studies of some pretty horrific environments.

HILTON: Yes, I think the -- within the domestic home, really, the recognized source of many microorganisms are things like dish cloths and the sink. Things that are repeatedly damp and stored with sort of all manner of food debris on there. They readily grow bacteria.

So, I think in terms of the home and your potential exposure to organisms that might make you not well, I'd be looking more at the dish cloth rather than your iPad.

ANDERSON: All right. So, beware dish clothes, everybody. It's coming at you this evening, I think. It's not so much of a problem with our iPads, then, our microbiologist tells us this evening. Sir, thank you very much, indeed, for that.

It's the pastry that took New York by storm: the cronut, invented at New York's Dominique Ansel Bakery. Fans of the hybrid croissant-doughnut routinely queued for three hours -- three hours -- to get their hands on one of those.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Croissants, great pastry in the morning. Doughnut, also a great pastry in the morning. Really, to combine the two is just representative of the American way. It's really efficient and delicious and fattening and great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is everything America should be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Germ-free, I'm sure. Well, now the cronut has crossed the Atlantic. We're with the bakers here in London launching their own take on it. CNN producer Adam Dunnakey went out to see what all the fuss is about. He filed this for you.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ADAM DUNNAKEY, CNN PRODUCER: Well, I've been trying to track down this elusive pastry for days. Most of the bakeries in London that make it sell out very early, but this place has kept some back for me.

It does taste really good, but it tastes like it could be really bad for you.

ADALAT HUSSAIN, CO-OWNER, WILD & WOOD COFFEE: Well, it's one of those things that I suppose you can't have too many.

DUNNAKEY: Yes.

HUSSAIN: I think it's a great treat.

DUNNAKEY: It's quite messy. Is it OK to eat this with just your hands?

HUSSAIN: Well, what we've found since we've had the cronuts is people are using a knife and fork, OK? But I think using your hands is the best way. We've got to a situation where people are coming in, obviously they read that we've got cronuts, they walk in, and if there's none left, they seem to be a bit ticked off a bit, yes.

So, there's nothing unique about it. But it's one of those things which, it's a simple thing that's really taken off.

DUNNAKEY: One of the companies that makes these said it's the most exciting pastry launch since the sausage roll. And with them selling out right across London, it seems London's pastry lovers would agree.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, I find it quite hard to believe that anything could taste that good. Adam says the proof is in the pudding or in the cronut and has kindly shared one of his coveted doughnuts -- cronuts with me so I can try for myself. So here I go. A taste.

Mm, mm. This is always a terrible idea if you've got to talk after it. That is -- mm. Delicious.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Excuse me for speaking with my mouth full. Thank you for watching. CNN continues.

END