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Interview with Free Syrian Army's Louay AlMokdad; Mexico Reeling From Two Simultaneous Storms; Bus Collides With Passenger Train In Ottawa; Fed Decision; Increased Suicide Rate Since Global Economic Crisis Began; Gateway: River Thames Deep Water Facility; Apple's Latest Lineup

Aired September 18, 2013 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight, Russian roulette, or so it seems. Moscow says it will prove that Syrian rebels were to blame for the August 21 chemical weapons attacking claims that the UN report is biased.

Well, tonight, I ask the opposition Free Syrian Army, what they make of these damning accusations?

Also this hour, a mixed message from the fed chairman Ben Bernanke cast out on the strength of America's economy.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to go to (inaudible) phone myself (inaudible).


ANDERSON: Well, at least 36 hours to go, why these Apple fans think it's worth the wait.

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

ANDERSON: Right, Russia has said all along that it believes rebels could be behind last month's chemical weapons attack in Syria. Well, now it says it has evidence. The Syrian government provided that evidence to Russia's deputy foreign minister earlier today.


SERGEI RYABKOV, RUSSIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: We have indeed received additional evidence collected, analyzed and concluded upon by the Syrian authorities on what they believe is proof for use of chemical weapons by insurgents, so-called insurgents both in eastern (inaudible) on August 21, but also on August 22, 23 and 24 incidents.


ANDERSON: Well, that was the deputy foreign minister during his visit to Damascus today. Russia says it will share this new evidence with the UN security council, but didn't say when. The council's five permanent members are expected to meet again today on a resolution supporting a U.S.- Russian framework for Syria to destroy its chemical weapons.

We've also learned that UN inspectors will go back into Syria as early as next week to investigate more allegations of chemical weapons used. Their report released Monday confirmed a sarin gas attack in Damascus on August 21, but did not -- did not, let me emphasize -- assign blame.

Well, in just a moment, we're going to go live to CNN's Nic Robertson to explore these claims that Syrian rebels, not the government, are behind these attacks.

First, though, a closer look at just who these rebels are as Nic reports a growing number of jihadists are now joining their ranks.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Under pressure by al Qaeda to recite versus from the Koran, she breaks down, orders it may appear these radical rebels, known as ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, are using events like this to win hearts and minds.

Elsewhere, another al Qaeda related rebel group, al Nusra, delivers humanitarian aid. Increasingly in Syria, hardcore Islamist like these are using outreach to convert moderate Syrians to their extremist views.

In a study of Syria's rebel groups by respected military analyst Jane's Defense titled "Syria's Insurgent Landscape," the strength of Islamist groups sympathetic to al Qaeda, like al Nusra, appears to be growing, a view supported by this former CIA officer who tracked al Qaeda in Iraq.

NADA BAKOS, FRM. CIA OFFICER: Nusra has found a sweet spot for terrorism and how al Qaeda is going to -- is evolving.

ROBERTSON: The Jane's defense analysis estimates approximately 1,000 different rebel groups, close to 100,000 fighters. As many as half with radical leanings, according to other experts. According to Jane's, al Qaeda's closest allies, ISIL and al Nusra, total about 10,000 fighters, many veterans of al Qaeda in Iraq. They're experienced and well skilled.

(on camera): And the others close to 35,000 are estimated to be hardcore Islamists who share some of al Qaeda's views, about 30,000 or more moderate Islamists and only 25,000 are estimated to be purely secular, or nationalists. And it's these moderates who are losing ground.

(voice-over): Al-Wiyah Asal al-Rasul (ph) has many as 9,000 fighters and U.S. backed, also helps western intelligence agencies, according to Jane's, recently beaten by al Qaeda for control of Raqaa (ph), a key central city, a worrying trend for analysts like Bakos, as rebels draw recruits from Europe and beyond.

BAKOS: This is an ideology, this isn't just about the safe haven in Syria, but it's about the fact that they've been able to attract so many western recruits in this conflict that this still poses a threat to the United States and to western powers.

ROBERTSON: In Raqaa (ph), now under almost complete al Qaeda control. Crowds flock to see a cold-blooded execution of men rebels claim support the regime, a trend that shows no signs of reversing and puts U.S. allied rebels at a disadvantage.


ANDERSON: And explosive news today is that Russia about to -- or certainly telling the UN that it has evidence that these rebels are to blame for the chemical weapons attack.

Nic Robertson joining us now live with more. He's in Beirut for you this morning. What have the Russia got, Nic? Do we know?

ROBERTSON: We don't. There are indications that perhaps its witness type statements and possibly the use of some videos, videos have recently surfaced on the internet that have been running on Syrian TV a little that are night-time and show what could be construed as being rebels wearing gas masks firing artillery pieces. And this is being construed as being -- as being them firing chemical weapons on the 21 of August.

A lot of people are just crediting that. They say, look, there were also these similar types of what appear to be fabricated videos showing rebels firing chemical weapons during the day time before people realized that actually the weapons had been fired during the night.

So there doesn't seem to be a lot of international credibility in that.

But this, of course, against the backdrop of that UN report, which very clearly shows where those -- at least two of the chemical weapons strikes, the missiles, were being fired from. The points on the map in the UN report show very clearly coming from areas controlled by the Syrian regime where they actually have, and are known to have, these weapons and these guns. So, it's against this backdrop.

And of course we heard right after this chemical weapons attack on August 21 Russia immediately saying it believed that the rebels were responsible.

So we don't know what the Syrian regime have given Moscow that's new. And we don't know precisely what will be shared at the United Nations, or they say it will be shared. But it does seem to be an effort by Assad to shift blame from himself so he won't get prosecuted, the International Criminal Court to help keep support for himself at home and of course head off any potential airstrikes on him -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nic, stand by. Let's get some response from a Syrian rebel spokesman on this. Louay AlMokdad is the political and media coordinator for the Free Syrian Army.

You've heard what Nic's been saying, you've certainly heard what the Russians have said today. They have evidence that the opposition groups in Syria have used chemical weapons. Your response.

LOUAY ALMOKDAD, POLITICAL AND MEDIA COORDINATOR, FREE SYRIAN ARMY: Certainly. My question is why they hide it? Why they hid those evidence from the UN team who visited Damascus for more than 10 days, maybe because the regime came out shooting these videotapes in some studio, maybe because...

ANDERSON: OK, let me put it another way. Do the rebels have chemical weapons?

ALMOKDAD: No, for sure.

ANDERSON: How do you know that, because you're the FSA -- let me, with respect, sir. You're the FSA, what the Jane's report that Nic referred to in his report a little earlier would be described as the sort of moderate factions in the opposition here. You are well aware, as we are, as the world is now, that there are hard-line groups, rebel groups, many, many of them -- and I'm aware -- and I think you're probably going to admit it to our viewers tonight, that you have no idea what those other rebel opposition groups have got ahold of at this point.

ALMOKDAD: Yeah, sure, that's a good point. For us, I'm not defending the extremists or any al Qaeda groups who are fighting them. Today, now on the ground we are fighting both. We are fighting the regime and his gang Hezbollah militia and the Iranians and al Qaeda and al Nusra and (inaudible).

But to be honest, the only the regime who has the capability to do that, this kind of attack. And what the report, the UN report stats, and even by Mr. Ban Ki-moon. He was so clear. He said that al-Assad is guilty. He did a lot of -- as many crimes against humanity.

So how we can say that al Nusra or any other groups who have the capability was using it to...

ANDERSON: I hear what you're saying. Sir, let me just put this to you again so that I can clarify this. Tonight, you are admitting that as the FSA you are fighting not just the Syrian regime now, but other rebel groups. Just how dirty is that fight on the ground and how can you be sure that those other groups haven't -- aren't armed with or don't have chemical weapons?

ALMOKDAD: Actually, we are not sure. But I'm talking about the 21 August attack. It was inside Damascus province. It was for strike 10 different points in the same time under the regime shelling and bombing and using the missiles and the air forces against these points.

So there is two scenarios. Even he's watching with those six teams to do with al Qaeda, because he ensured them the airforce and the shelling and the -- he gave them everything they want. And he's trying to destroy the evidence three days he didn't stop launching and bombing this areas one second. Three days.

So why is that? (inaudible) innocent.

And the other question is, if they had those evidence, why they didn't give it directly (inaudible).

ANDERSON: All right, Louay, let me get you to stop for a moment, because I've got somebody else on the line here. I want to come back to you.

Syrian opposition activists say fierce fighting broke out today between the Free Syrian Army, represented by Louay here this evening, and rebels linked to al Qaeda. It happened in Azaz, a major crossing along the Syrian-Turkish border. A Syrian activist tells us the situation is tense and potentially explosive.

Adnan Hadad joins us now live from the Turkish side of the border.

What can you tell us on the details of these clashes?


Yes, I mean, at around 3:00 pm today, Syria time, a group of the ISIS members attacked the city of Azaz, a liberated city, a city that's totally controlled by the FSA brigades who basically worked hard to liberate the city. And this ISIS members attacked the (inaudible) brigade. And basically occupied the city.

They killed so far two of the FSA fighters. And one is seriously wounded. And a number of others wounded fighters.

Now one of these FSA members is basically a very well known activist who participated and covering most of the stories in Azaz. And I'm sure that some of the journalists, very famous journalists have worked with him. I've personally worked with this guy. And he is one of the very loyal rebels.

And I can tell you now the people of Azaz, the civilians in Azaz are actually terrified, are now hiding in their homes, they cannot get out to get food or they can't even, you know, do their life because they have -- the ISIS members have snipers on the top buildings, on the high buildings in the city, and they are targeting these activists. And they've detained, so far three other...

ANDERSON: Adnan, thank you for that. Let me just get back to Louay to get some response on this, because this is a dirty, dirty war, isn't it at this point?

The FSA now fighting rebels on the ground. Both those organizations - - the opposition was supposed to be fighting the regime. You are in an awful mess at this point, aren't you? And the problem is this, Louay, that the international community now doesn't know who to back. It can't be sure it would be providing arms, weapons and support for the FSA because there are all of these other rebel groups fighting on the ground in the name of the opposition.

This is a mess, isn't it?

ALMOKDAD: They are not rebels anymore. From this point they are terrorists now. We are fighting two terrorist teams on two fronts. One, al-Assad's regime and Hezbollah militia and the Iranian revolutionary guards. And the other, the extremist al Qaeda and (inaudible) and this. That's what the (inaudible) because when we ask for help us to protect our country, to protect our moderate people, to protect our civilians, no one came. And even now, they know who are we. And we met them. We met all the western leaders. We talked even to the American administration. We told them you have to help us. Don't leave the Syrian people alone to face this terrorists.

Most of them -- Bashar al-Assad regime is a terrorist. And al Qaeda they are the other. Now they are fighting us in the liberated area. Can you imagine that? We are fighting the regime from the front line and they are fighting us from behind, al Qaeda. So that's what is our situation now. We are left between two -- by we have two different fronts. And both of them, they are killing us, most of them they are bloody dictators, murdered. One of them, he want to rule it as (inaudible). And he's the prince on these areas.

They want to hijack our revolution, our moderate revolution, our revolution who start because we want democracy country, our moderate country. That's what we want from the start.

Now they are trying to fight back with -- and they're getting all -- fully support from Bashar al-Assad, and I'm very sorry to say that, with (inaudible) from the international community. They are just watching our children (inaudible) dying.

ANDERSON: And with that we're going to have to leave it there, sir. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.

Louay AlMokdad, a political and media coordinator for the Free Syrian Army coming to you from an undisclosed location on the Turkish-Syrian border this evening.

Still to come tonight, a passenger train slams into a city bus in Canada. We're going to be live from Ottawa with the very latest on that.

And as Mexico suffers from some of its most damaging storms in decades, threats of further storms remain. We'll be live from CNN's weather center.

And it's release is still two days away, but these hardcore fans in London are already waiting to get their hands on Apple's new iPhone. We speak to them after this.


ANDERSON: Iranian human rights activist and lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been released from prison in Tehran. Sotoudeh was jailed in 2010 for, quote, acting against national security when she defended Iranians who were detained following the 2009 elections. My colleague Christiane Amanpour spoke to her just hours after her release. And this is what she had to say.


NASRIN SOTOUDEH, IRANIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I'm free from prison today. And I -- I'm glad, but I'm worried for my friends in prison.


ANDEROSN: And you can see that full interview on Amanpour tonight at 10:00 pm London time, 11:00 pm Berlin time. Breaking news there.

At least six people have been killed after a passenger train slammed into a double decker bus in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. Now the accident happened during the morning rush hour and the cause is still unknown. 30 more people were injured, 10 of whom are in critical condition. This comes just two months after an oil train derailed in Quebec killing 47 people.

With more on this, Paula Newton joining us now live from Ottawa.

What do we know at this point, Paula?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We do know that people on that bus, Becky, saw this coming, that they yelled, they pleaded with that bus driver to actually stop and he did not. He slammed right into the side of that train and derailed the train that you can see behind me, Becky.

So terrifying for the people on the bus. They then immediately tried to get off, but they do report that they saw other passengers on that bus were thrown several feet clear of that bus and were lying on the rail tracks, just horrific.

At this hour right now, Becky, still city officials trying to reunite people that were on that bus. Again it was a packed bus going from suburban Ottawa to the downtown core. People still trying to find their loved ones, wondering if they were on that express bus earlier this morning.

Investigators, as you can see as well, crawling all over the site, trying to determine why the bus driver didn't stop -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Paula Newton in Ottawa for you.

This is Connect the World on CNN. 21 minutes past 8:00 out of London. Still to come, shortly after twin storms Mexico's shores, fears of a tropical cyclone loom on the horizon.

And the U.S. fed makes its long waited decision on stimulus spending. All that and much more after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. This is Connect the World live from London.

Now, at least 57 people have died after tropical storms battered both coasts of Mexico. Tropical depression Manuel caused the most havoc in the Pacific state of Guerrero with some having to zip line their way to safety. In the resort city of Acapulco, around 40,000 tourists are still stuck as the airport remains under water.

Well, over to the east, the coastal states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz are still suffering from the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ingrid. And there are also fears that a new tropical cyclone could hit the Yucatan peninsula further south.

Well, more than a million people have been affected by these storms. It looks like things could get worse as Shasta Darlington joins us live now from Acapulco with the latest.

Just describe the scenes there, if you will, Shasta.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, people are not only running out of patience, they're running out of much more practical things. You can see behind me there are hundreds and hundreds of people waiting here at the entrance to the airforce base hoping that they'll get on one of the 17 airplanes, or helicopters airlifting them out of here. And that's because many of them have run out of money, they've run out of food, they've run out of water. In many cases people said they were staying in hotels, the hotels were willing to put them up for one night, but then they said no more freebies. They were kicked out. They spent the night right here.

It's very hot. They're trying to put up tarps. The airforce is distributing water, bananas, doing what they can, but they are really pushed to the limit.

And you can just hear the frustration in people's voices. You know, some buses come in and drive straight through and unload passengers onto the plane so the people who slept out here feel like they're getting a short -- a real short deal.

But again you get the feeling everybody is doing what they can. It's just a desperate situation, Becky.

ANDERSON: Shasta Darlington is in Acapulco for you.

Let's get to the weather center, because if reports are to be believed, it doesn't look like the bad weather is about to let up. Jenny Harrison joins us live from the CNN weather center with more details.

Jen, it is always remarkable. Often we report on these things. And Shasta looks as if she's standing in bright sunlight in a very, very dry environment. But I believe that the forecast is for more disastrous weather on that west coast. What's going on?


You're absolutely right, of course, Becky. Once these storm systems have gone through, you're right, it is very often followed by these clear blue skies. This is a satellite of the last few hours. And look at this, just nothing at all really showing up. So indeed where Shasta is, it is indeed fine and dry.

Just to put this into some context. Look at the rain that's come down. These are the storm totals. So the green is what you need to be looking at. So for Acapulco, they have had well over the monthly average coming down from the storm.

The same as well in Tuxpan and the same in Monterrey. So in all cases that instantly gives you an idea why we are seeing the situation that we are.

As we know, of course, 1 million people displaced, 60,000 tourists stranded, dozens of fatalities, the airport Acapulco, of course, is flooded.

So what we need is a break in the rain for these areas. But the landslide threat, it does continue, even though we have now got this break.

And now you've mentioned the rain that's coming down in the northwest. This is a possible -- and also there's a new storm which is actually forming across the Yucatan peninsula.

This is the new storm. It's likely to push out into the Gulf of Mexico. If it's there it's going to pick up lots of moisture, even if it doesn't develop into a strong storm. That will bring more rain. There's actually a little system just developing as well off the south coast, very close to Acapulco. That will bring more in the way of tropical showers and thunderstorms. And then Manuel, that has regenerated. It's pushed back offshore. So again it's over those open waters. It's picking up all the moisture and that has regenerated once again into a tropical storm.

So this is the forecast, Becky. This is showing you the rain that's going to be around in the next 48 hours. So lots of scattered showers and thunderstorms. This is potentially the next storm in the Gulf of Mexico. This is the disturbance just right here at the bottom of the screen. This is potentially the next little storm system just to the south of Acapulco. And then just off the screen, really, is what is Manuel.

But that, again, of course could produce some showers actually on land.

This is the forecast track for Manuel. There it is. It's literally again parallel with the coast. So that'll bring some more rain showers on the coast. And as you might expect there are warnings in place as well.

So, although the really, really heavy rain, Becky, is not in the forecast, there is so much rain on the ground and there is the more rain in the forecast.

ANDERSON: Yeah, all right, Jen. Thank you for that.

Jenny Harrison at the weather center for you.

Google has activated its person finder, we're told, in response to these floods in the west of Mexico there. If you're looking for someone who is missing in the area or if you've got some information to share, click on to The aim is to match up data and to reunite families and friends.

Well, the latest world news headlines are just ahead.

Plus, the U.S. Federal Reserve decides to put stimulus spending on hold. We're going to find out how the markets are reacting to that.

And a behind the scenes look at the project to build London's new court.

Plus, what are all these people waiting for? We'll tell you after this.


ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. The top stories for you this hour.

Russia calls a UN report on chemical weapons use in Syria "one-sided and distorted." The country's deputy foreign minister sat down with the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad earlier today. He says Syria handed over evidence from the August 21st chemical attack that points to the rebels as being responsible.

And this developing story out of Syria. An al Qaeda group has defeated rebel fighters and overrun the key northern town of Azaz near the border with Turkey.

At least 6 people have been killed and 30 more injured after a passenger train slammed into a double-decker bus in Canada. Officials still investigating the cause of that crash.

Iranian human rights activist and lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been released from prison in Tehran. Sotoudeh was imprisoned in 2010 for act -- for quote "acting against national security" when she defended Iranians who were detained following the 2009 elections.

And the US Federal Reserve has decided it won't cut the amount of money that it's spending on its stimulus program. It comes as the central bank downgraded America's growth forecast for this year and next.

Well, let's get more now on that decision by the US Federal Reserve. Chairman Ben Bernanke has announced the central bank will continue with its current stimulus spending in an effort to boost the economy. This was a bit of a surprise to many people.

Certainly, the markets quite liked this idea, the Fed saying that the country's still struggling to rise from the recession. That's not what they liked. They liked the idea that they were still going to pump prime this economy.

CNN's Richard Quest joining us from New York. In plain English, Richard, what is going on and why should we care?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: In plain, blunt English, the Fed are keeping their foot all the way down on the gas pedal. We thought they might ease off just a little bit, but no, they say the economy's recovery is not strong enough.

The word that Ben Bernanke used in his press release -- press conference was "precautionary," and they want to wait a little bit longer to make sure that this fall in unemployment, this improvement in the US economy has legs and isn't about to just peter out.

ANDERSON: Now, this wasn't expected, and like I suggested, it was a bit of a shock to many people watching the US economy and its -- and the data coming out on it. And yet, the US markets -- of course, the stock markets -- reacting quite positively to this. Just explain why.

QUEST: Very simple: cheap money. The markets are getting their boots filled with cheap money from the Federal Reserve. And if you look at what's happened in that, at 2:00 when we get the announcement, having been down -- you see, the market had been expecting.

I went back and looked today, Becky, at all the brokerage notes that I'd got. HSBC, UBS, Capital Economics. In the last 24 hours, I'd had numerous e-mails from different brokerages all saying we expect tapering to happen today.

And suddenly, the Fed decides it's not going to do it, and the market says, yes, that's more cheap money for longer. And that's why --


ANDERSON: Yes, and we're looking at --

QUEST: -- we're seeing this rally.

ANDERSON: -- we're looking at the Dow Jones, and at the point at which the Dow -- sorry, the Fed made that decision, you can see --

QUEST: Extraordinary.

ANDERSON: -- the market was off, and then it pushed higher. Richard, what is the knock-on effect of this decision likely to be around the world?

QUEST: Not a huge amount because we know that tapering is coming. It's not a question of if, it's when. So, the financial world will see a certain amount of jiggery pokery and book-squaring as people move bonds around and rebalance portfolios.

But for people, for example, looking for mortgages, looking for long- term interest rates, I'm afraid yes, unless you're about to do it in the next month or two, the trend is set. Interest rates will go higher over the next year to 18 months. I've got a document here from the Fed that shows exactly how that's going to happen.

We've probably got another year or so of this very cheap money, but very slowly, it is going to be removed from the table.

ANDERSON: Richard's new showtime is 25 minutes from now, it follows this show --


ANDERSON: -- and he will do more on this, I would expect. Live out of New York out of the news studio there, Richard Quest for you this evening. Thank you, Mr. Quest.

The 2008 global financial crisis has had a massive impact on people around the world, there is no doubt about that. And a new study now shows it may to blame for an increase in suicide rates, especially amongst men. Isa Soares has more.


ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Samaritans run crisis call centers in the UK, and Joe Furns says they're hearing the voices of those on the line.

JOE FURNS, DIRECOTRY OF POLICY AND RESEARCH, THE SAMARITANS: At Samaritans, we've seen a fairly steady increase in the number of calls that are something to do with financial problems or pressures that come from economic uncertainty.

SOARES: And the number of those callers has been on the increase.

FURNS: You go back to, say, 2008, 2009, we were talking about maybe 1 in 10 of our calls. Now, today, we're talking about maybe as many as 1 in 6.

SOARES: From soup kitchens in Greece, dole lines in Spain, to homelessness in Britain, the stresses of recession and unemployment have been evident from day one. The study by researches at universities in Hong Kong and the UK and published by "The British Medical Journal" found that in 2009, one year after the crisis began, there were nearly 5,000 additional suicides in Europe and North America.

SHU-SEN CHANG, DOCTOR, "THE BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL": Currently, the increase in suicide and the increase in unemployment rates, we found a partial registration, which means that the greater increase in unemployment the country experiences, they also show a greater increase in suicide, particularly among men.

SOARES: Male suicides increase by an average of 13 percent in newer members of the European Union. In the US and Canada, they increased by nearly 9 percent. In Europe, its young men are the most affected, with women more used to talking about their feelings and sharing their problems with friends. Furns says this conclusion chimes with their experience.

FURNS: The theory is that men, perhaps, find it more difficult to seek help. We also know that certain types of masculine personality traits, things like wanting to be a perfectionist or perhaps the way that people approach problems or change is less flexible in men.

SOARES (on camera): But the recorded suicide numbers may just only be the tip of the iceberg. Researchers estimate that for every suicide, approximately 30 to 40 people make suicide attempts.

Isa Soares, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, for more on this, I'm joined by Alison Kerry, who's from the UK mental health charity Mind. You'll have seen this report. Does it resonate with you, with what you're hearing?

ALISON KERRY, MIND MENTAL HEALTH CHARITY: Yes, it certainly does. We've long been concerned at Mind about the impact -- the human cost of the recession and what that would mean longer term.


KERRY: And in the last year alone, our Mind info line, which is our advice and support line for people experiencing mental distress, we've had a 50 percent increase in calls and particularly calls that are related to suicidal feelings --


KERRY: -- people who've attempted suicide, or friends and family who are worried about somebody in their life.

ANDERSON: Are they talking about the financial crisis?

KERRY: They certainly are, and it is a challenging time for lots of people out there. We're talking about the economy getting better, but for a lot of people, they haven't had wage increases, they haven't -- they're still worried about job security.

ANDERSON: Sure. Alison, why more men than women?

KERRY: I think more men is actually something that -- it's a staggering figure, but 75 percent of suicides are actually by men, and that's -- we already know that more men feel that they can't seek help, the don't tend to the GP and they don't access talking treatments in the same way that women do.

There are all sorts of reasons why. It could be socialization, it could be big boys don't cry and stiff upper lip.

ANDERSON: So, what's your advice at Mind?

KERRY: Well, I think we really need to try and tackle the self-stigma that exists around mental health. Loads of stigma generally about mental health problems. And also, it's the time to invest in mental health now.


KERRY: Unfortunately, the last couple of years, we've seen less money going into mental health despite the increase in demand.

ANDERSON: Yes. And you see that here time and time again. Give me some examples of just what you have heard.

KERRY: Well, an interesting story that I heard from someone who was involved with one of our campaigns, this person had lost their job, and about 100 people have been made redundant from that particular company, but they felt such a sort of crippling self-doubt and lost all of their self- esteem and confidence and developed depression, which puts them even further away from getting back into the workplace.

And then at the same time, we're hearing different stories of people who are in work and feel like they should be quite likely to have kept their job during a recession, but unfortunately, they're doing the job, perhaps, of three people now, and they've got more tasks put upon them, they're working 15-hour days, and they feel like they can't complain, they've got nowhere to turn with that.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right, we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

KERRY: Thank you.

ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London. It is 41 minutes past 8:00 here. It is twice the size of London's financial district and will house the world's largest ships. We're going to get behind the scenes to take a look at this gargantuan project to build the city's new port. That is coming up on the Gateway.

And they may have a new operating system out today, but that's not why fans in New York and London are queuing out front of Apple Stores. We're live outside both stores when CONNECT THE WORLD continues.


ANDERSON: Fed by the River Thames, London was once the world's busiest port. Well now, a multibillion-dollar project is set to restore that reputation. This week on the Gateway, we are by the River Thames at the new deepwater facility. Atika Shubert reports.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the banks of the River Thames 40 kilometers from the center of London, a deepwater container port has emerged out of the sand of the estuary. This is London Gateway.

SHUBERT (on camera): This dredger works like a giant floating vacuum cleaner. It sucks up all that sand and silt and it puts it right over there. In fact, the entire port is built on land reclaimed from the bottom of the river.

SHUBERT (voice-over): A deeper riverbed means that London Gateway will be able to handle the world's largest container ships, bringing more goods closer to the UK's largest consumer market.

SIMON MOORE, CEO, LONDON GATEWAY: The UK is an island nation, 90 percent of our trade moves by sea. This is simply the best point of entry and export to efficiently distribute around the UK.

It's not often you get the chance to have a -- what I call a cradle- to-grave involvement in a brand-new idea and to deliver that idea from a seed to the drawing board into reality, which is what you see behind me today.

SHUBERT: The port will be built in stages. Only one of six berths will be operational when the first container vessels are scheduled to arrive in November.

TIM HALHEAD, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, LONDON GATEWAY: The biggest thing, of course, is recruiting the people and training them to operate at the kind of standards which that business demands. We've had to future-proof the design as much as possible in terms of capacity, the size of the cranes. These cranes can handle ships that are not yet even designed.

SHUBERT: And with that in mind, trainees and aspiring future employees are being put through their paces.

NICK STARLING, TRAINEE, LONDON GATEWAY: It takes a little while to warm up.

SHUBERT: Nick Starling has been training for more than six months. Soon he hopes he'll be the driver of one of these 2,000 ton cranes.

STARLING: It took me about a week in order to get used to this. I thought it'd be really easy and simple in order to drive it, but it's really not.

SHUBERT: These cranes are the lynchpin of the operation. Every year, they will bring more than 3 million containers and the goods within them in and out of the country.

STARLING: You start sort of memorizing stuff with the container industry. You know that you're going to be importing in and out food for the UK, maybe TVs, PlayStation 4s, things like that that are going to be coming to this country.

I'm a little bit nervous, but again, excitement as well. It's a big thing, and especially being here from the start of it as well, you get to see it from when it was to what it's going to become. It's just an amazing journey at the moment.

SHUBERT: This port is reminiscent of a time when fed by the River Thames, London was a flourishing maritime city. Today, it is set to regain its position and establish itself once again as a gateway to world trade.


ANDERSON: And coming up after this short break on the show, Apple's new operating system is out, but that's not the only thing that's got the fans excited. We're going to hear from -- well, we're going to hear from them after this.


ANDERSON: Just hours ago, Apple released its new operating system. It doesn't really matter whether you understand what operating systems are. This one allows users to update their software to IOS 7. Analysts say it's a bolder new look with bright colors and more than 200 new features.

Well, that's the sell. It all comes as fans eagerly await the release of two new iPhones, the iPhone 5S, pictured here, is the first of its kind and comes with a finger print identity reader. Important.

And the more budget-friendlier of the two is the 5C. It's made of plastic and is available in a variety of colors. I sound like a saleswoman here, don't I?

While the phones don't come out for at least another day, that is not stopping some fans. I headed to the flagship Apple Store, which is just up the road here on Regent Street in London, to see what some of the fuss is about.


ANDERSON: Michael is asleep. He does have a home, but of the last couple of days, he's been here outside the Apple store on Regent Street in London. Why? Well, he is queuing right at the front of the queue for the new iPhone.

His friend, Noah, is awake, so let's talk to Noah. Why on Earth have you been here for 48 hours and will have to be here for another 36? Have you not got something better to do?

NOAH GREEN, APPLE FAN: Not really. What happened is four years ago, I was up in London and I heard that the iPhone 4 was being released.


GREEN: So I decided to come down. I read an article in "The New York Times" of a lady who sold her place for $1,000. So, I sold my place for 400 pounds that time.

ANDERSON: This, Noah, begs the question, how much would you sell this spot for? That, viewers, I the front door. How much would you sell this spot for?

GREEN: Starting at 5,000 pounds.


GREEN: Pounds, yes.

ANDERSON: That's $7,500.


ANDERSON: Do you think you're going to get that money?


ANDERSON: You reckon somebody's, within the next --


GREEN: If anything, I reckon someone will come down. Look, I'm not too bothered about that. I would like to go into the store and get a phone myself and be first.

ANDERSON: Excellent.

GREEN: It's quite an achievement.

ANDERSON: That's good stuff. Thank you very much, indeed. Anybody? $7,500? Worth it? We'll see.


ANDERSON: Well, Noah is still outside the Apple shop and will be there until Friday morning, waiting for his new phone. Out front of New York's flagship store is John Murphy. He is third in the queue, and he joins us now.

Now, I asked Noah what on Earth he was doing and whether this -- he didn't have better things to do, John. I'm going to ask you the same question. Haven't you got something better to do? I believe you've been there since the 6th of September. That is two weeks Friday. That's ridiculous, I'm sorry.

JOHN MURPHY, APPLE ENTHUSIAST: Yes, we have been here for 12 days. We're here on work, so we do -- there are better things that we could be doing, but this is right now the best thing we can do. We're here for and --


MURPHY: -- just waiting for the iPhone 5S.

ANDERSON: Right. So, what's so good about that?

MURPHY: About the 5S? Well, it should be almost the same as the 5, but it should be a faster processor, so it's going to be double the speed.


MURPHY: The camera's going to be a lot better with more functions on it.

ANDERSON: But isn't this the point? It's nearly the same as the iPhone 5. Are we not a little bit over this whole kind of launch nonsense? I know the iOS 7 is also downloadable today, but with so much more on after, aren't we a little bit over these excessive publicity launches?

MURPHY: They're still fun to go to, it's still something that gets Apple's name out there. And everyone still does it, so --

ANDERSON: All right, OK, John, I'm just teasing you. I think we've got Noah with us as well. Noah, you and I spoke earlier on today. I'm not sure he's got his light on -- but it doesn't matter anyway. Start -- well, he can come from a line because it's dark outside.

You're on Regent Street, Noah, with a little bit of time still to go, something like 34 hours. Are people laughing at you yet?

GREEN: They're actually not laughing at us anymore. We put up the greenhouse again, so the land will go at about to do anything, so --


GREEN: -- hopefully it will stay up this time.

ANDERSON: You've downloaded the iOS 7 software, I believe, today. How's that going to improve your digital experience, as it were?

GREEN: Well, it's just going to make it easier to use the phone. It's a lot cleaner, fresher, and it's a nicer way to work your way around the iPhone.


GREEN: It also changed the symbols as well.

ANDERON: Yes, you and I were speaking earlier on today, Noah, when we chatted on Regent Street, and you said, listen, you've been doing this for four years. It's almost -- you've got this kind of almost secret society going on with people who like to queue outside these stores for these launches.

But I was just putting it to John, and I'll put it to you, these days, it's almost -- passe, isn't it, to be an Apple fan, when there's so much else around?

GREEN: That is very true, yes, it is. But we're here really for the community, now, and it's all about the community that we formed four years ago when we started. All of us went into this not knowing what to expect, and now four years on, we have friends around the whole -- throughout the whole of England, ad we all come down for this one week.

ANDERSON: Good, all right. Noah, thank you for that. John, I put this to Noah earlier on. I asked him how much he'd sell his pitch for. He's right outside the front door on Regent Street of the Apple flagship store. $7,500. I know you're sick from the queue. If somebody's watching tonight and wants your position or pitch, what are you going to charge them?


MURPHY: I think we've already been here for 12 days, so we really don't want to give it up for any kind of money, but I guess if we were put a number out there, $10,000 or something crazy like that.


ANDERSON: Viewers, it's yours at a price. Thank you, chaps. Thirty- six-odd hours to go until the new iPhone is out, as these guys were admitting to. Perhaps not the sort of hype on the launch there used to be, butt's interesting, isn't it, to see that people are still ready to queue like that?

Are you excited, prepared to queue, or are you over the whole must- have tech thing? Well, the team here at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you, You know the address, you can tweet me as ever, Becky -- @BeckyCNN, your thoughts, please, @BeckyCNN.

And tonight's Parting Shots before we wrap this show up. Do you remember the Prancercise Lady? She's the woman who took the cyber world by storm when the video of her rhythmic exercise routine went viral. Well now, she says she has gone nuts. CNN's Jeanne Moos has the story.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Prancercise meets Dennis Rodman, even the lady who invented the rhythmic exercise can't hold it in.

MOOS (on camera): What do Dennis Rodman and the Prancercise Lady have in common?


MOOS (voice-over): It turns out both --


MOOS: -- are now pitching pistachios.

DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA STAR: To see what your world peace is -- pistachios.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dennis Rodman does it because he's nuts.

MOOS: Rodman and Joanna Rohrback star in the latest season of the Get Cracking campaign.

ROHRBACK: Let's stop yacking and get cracking! And prance! And prance! And prance! And --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Prancercise Lady does it to stay fit.

MOOS: How many takes did it take?

ROHRBACK: And prance, and prance.

ROHRBACK (via telephone): Between 100 and 200.

MOOS (on camera): Wow.

ROHRBACK (on camera): And prance!


MOOS: The Prancercise Lady says she and pistachios are a good fit because she is a health nut.

MOOS (voice-over): And besides --

ROHRBACK (via telephone): It pays very well.

MOOS: Joanna's life changed when her Prancercise video went viral this past spring.

ROHRBACK: Jeaane, I'm telling you --


MOOS (on camera): It's been a wild ride, huh?

ROHRBACK: Oh, God, honey. It's a bucking bronco when we first started out.

MOOS (voice-over): She was spoofed. She was imitated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a lot of flailing around right now is what I see.

MOOS: Not long after Prancercise, another dance routine went viral.


MOOS: Cafe owners across the street recorded Ellie Cole without her knowledge waiting for a bus in England. She was dubbed the Dancing Queen at the Bus Stop.


MOOS: And the ABBA song replaced what she was actually listening to on her headphones. Now, that viral video has made one of Ellie's dreams come true: she was asked to join a chorus line for a performance at a prestigious theater called The Point.

This was rehearsal. Whether bus stop boogying or Prancercising, these two managed to --


MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --


MOOS: New York.