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U.S., Iran To Meet For First Time in 34 Years; Pakistan Earthquake Survivors Deal with Heat, Lack of Drinking Water; Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Suit Closing Arguments Today

Aired September 26, 2013 - 15:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Tonight, the end of a stalemate as top diplomats for Iran and the U.S. prepare to meet for the first time in 34 years.

I speak to Ambassador John Linbert, former deputy assistant secretary of state for Iran and the only high ranking American diplomat to have met Iran's current supreme leader.

Also ahead, we report on documents showcasing al Shabaab's al Qaeda associates in Somalia and how they plan to attack targets beyond African shores.

And find out about the amazing story of injured British soldiers preparing to compete in one of the world's toughest off-road races.

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

FOSTER: We begin, though, with the first high level face to face talks between the United States and Iran in more than three decades. Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Jarvad Zarif are expected to meet in about an hour from now on the sidelines of the United Nations general assembly. They are trying to work out a deal on Iran's nuclear program along with their counterparts in Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he believes a deal can be reached within six months. He spoke to a UN forum today calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. He says only one Middle Eastern country has failed to join a non-proliferation pledge.


HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): Almost four decades of international effort to establish a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East had regrettably failed. Urgent, practical steps towards the establishment of such a zone are necessary. Israel, the only non-party to the non-proliferation treaty in this region, should join there to without any further delay.


FOSTER: We have two live reports on this story for you. CNN's Elise Labott is following developments in New York and Reza Sayah is monitoring reaction in Tehran.

Elise, let's start with you. What exactly is the proposed deal here?

LABOTT: Well, Max, this deal was offered to Iran back in February by the so-called P5+1 bloc of countries basically in exchange for the easing of some sanctions on gold and precious metals and aviation spare parts; also deal for a medical fuel for a nuclear medical reactor. Iran must shut its facility at kohn (ph), which is one of the main concerns about where it's enriching uranium. It must ship out its stockpile of uranium that's already been enriched to 20 percent, which is seen as kind of a gateway to the actual enrichment level where they can move towards a nuclear weapon. And they need to suspend further enrichment of that 20 percent.

So Iran has never formally accepted or rejected the deal. It's unclear whether now in this new improved tone between the west and the Iranians, particularly between the U.S. and Iran, whether they be willing to sweeten that deal. But certainly President Rouhani has said he wants to ease sanctions on his country and, you know, it remains to be seen what the west really is willing to give Iran. It's pretty clear what they want Iran to do.

FOSTER: The U.S. is confident, is it, it's got the support of China on this one.

LABOTT: Well, I think Russia and China are really the main ones. And if there's a deal that Iran would accept, I think at the end of the day, Russia and China have always been more sympathetic to the Iranian interests. So if the Iranians who have a very good relationship with Russia were to say this is a deal we can accept, I think you can count on Russian and Chinese support.

FOSTER: OK, Elise, thank you very much.

Reza, Mr. Rouhani, is he speaking on behalf -- how empowered is he? Is he speaking on behalf of the supreme leader? Can we completely rely on everything that he can agree in New York?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly the supreme authority, the ultimate power in Iran, Max, remains the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei. But over the past couple of months, ever since Hassan Rouhani was elected president, there's all kinds of indications that he has the backing of the supreme leader. And it's the supreme leader who has approved this seemingly new campaign to reach out to the west, to make an offering, to offer the west the (inaudible)...

FOSTER: OK, we've lost Reza there. We will try to go back to him later on.

But the U.S. and Iran's thorny relationship is decades old. If you look back, it really started in 1953 when U.S. and British intelligence organized a coup which took the prime minister out of power. In its place, they put in Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

Now the Shah stayed in power until 1979 when mass demonstrations swept the nation -- excuse me -- forcing him to flee to Egypt. Just weeks later, the Islamic leader Ayatollah Khomenei returned from 14 years in exile to Iran. He established himself as the supreme leader and Washington immediately evacuated more than 1,000 Americans from the country.

Now later that year, Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 66 Americans hostage. It would take the U.S. 14 painful months to get them all home.

In 1980, Iran's neighbor Iraq invaded them sparking a war that would go on for eight more years. Iraq received support from the west during that period.

In the mid-90s, President Clinton imposed tough economic sanctions on Iran. He later tried to improve relations with Iranian President Khatami, but with no success.

Now fastforward to 2005 and conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took power as president. His inflammatory remarks about Iran's nuclear program and Israel did little to improve relations.

This year, Hassan Rouhani was sworn in as the new Iranian president. And some think his softer stance on hot issues could signal a new era for these two countries.

Our guest tonight knows from personal experience just how far the U.S.-Iranian relationship has come. John Limbert was a young diplomat when Iranians took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran. He was held hostage for 442 days. And during that time met with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who is now Iran's supreme leader.

John Limbert later served as U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Iran. He's currently a professor of Middle East studies at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Now thank you so much for joining us.

This is a big moment, isn't it, in international relations, because these are two key powers and they don't talk that often.

JOHN LIMBERT, FRM. U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR IRAN: Well, it's a huge change. It -- that's almost 34 years ago today that the two foreign ministers -- Ibrahim Yazdi and Cyrus Vance -- met on the sidelines of the general assembly. And the meeting, if you look at the history of the meeting -- that meeting was a disaster. It went very badly. And there has been no meeting at that level since.

So today will be a breakthrough. And I'm hopeful, at least, that the meeting today will go better than the one 34 years ago.

FOSTER: Will the U.S. be treading carefully to make sure at least this first meeting goes well. Is it so important that things don't blow up? And as you say other meetings have gone so badly.

LIMBERT: They should be. I'm confident they do. I mean, the problem is that both sides have these rusty toolboxes stuck way in the back of their shed. And these are the tools of diplomacy. They haven't used them for 34 years. And they have to get -- they have to get them out. And they're not used to doing this.

But it isn't really all that complicated. It comes down to basic diplomacy, which is listening to what the other side has to say, listen -- seeking behind their words what they really want, and controlling your own language.

FOSTER: The meeting takes place in about an hour. When they emerge from this meeting, how do we judge whether or not it's been successful? What are we looking out for?

LIMBERT: That's always -- that's always difficult. Are they going to meet again? What's the followup? What's the body language? What is the tone? They're both very professional. I mean, you'll hear words like full and frank exchange of views.

But the question -- ask the question, are there going to be other meetings at their level, meetings of experts. Where will they be? What will they talk about? Tone, language, words, I think will be very important.

FOSTER: I'm going to take you back a few years now to a piece of video that you'll recognize. It's when you met the current supreme leader. He was in a different position at the time. But let's just have a quick listen to the video.


KHAMENEI (through translator): I mean in terms of food, clothes, health concerns.

LIMBERT (through translator): Well it's good, what can we do, must manage.

KHAMENEI (through translator): Well, I mean if there's any shortcoming or problem we can solve it.

LIMBERT (through translator): No, there is no problem like that. Just one problem.

KHAMENEI (through translator): Oh, yes, the fact that you are here.


FOSTER: It seems like you actually got on really well. There was a good chemistry between you. I mean, what -- can you give us some sort of sense of what sort of person the west is dealing with right now?

LIMBERT: Well, at that time, he was of course -- we were both much younger. He was a Friday prayer leader of Tehran. He went on to become -- he went on to become president. When he was president, the story goes he complained about his lack of power and how he was overshadowed by other officials.

I don't know what I can say after a five minute meeting. What I wanted to do was to use his own traditions and language against him and say, sir, what you are doing is absolutely outrageous and holding diplomats, for whose security you are responsible, is shameful and goes against every tradition of your own religion and your own culture.

FOSTER: I guess we're really looking for any sort of scraps or indications of what he is thinking, because the reality is whatever happens in New York, the decision will be made by him and, you know, the various people around him in Tehran, right.

LIMBERT: Well, to all appearances the supreme leader and the president have a good relationship. They know each other's thinking. I mean, the president is very much part of the elite, that same rather exclusive men's club that's run Iran for 34 years now. And they know each other's way of thinking.

They don't have to really spell things out. Basically I think the instructions that he -- the president gets, or the guidance that he gets is, look, you know what to do. You know what the policies are. You know how far you can go. And again, I'm sure the supreme leader doesn't have to spell this out, but the message is if you overstep the line you will find - - you will find out.

FOSTER: OK, John Limbert, really appreciate your time, thank you very much indeed.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has promised a new era of constructive engagement with the world. So what do Iranians think about it? Here's some reaction from the streets of Tehran.






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: American people are good people. We want the same thing as the American wants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): America is a great country. And we want to have good relations with America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We Iranian people don't have any problem with America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Our problem is with American politicians, those who are after war and bloodshed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are not fair. Be fair to the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Your behavior is not very good. Your politics is about war and it's terrifying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): America has imperial plans and ideas. It wants to dominate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Your not the boss of the world. You shouldn't think that you're in charge of how the world runs. You have to have equal respect for all countries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Why should we be controlled? Who is America to control us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With all the sanctions they put on us, it's like putting a gun on someone's head.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): If you think you're powerful, power doesn't mean you dominate people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): This talk that we're making a bomb is completely false.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as I'm concerned, I don't think they're making bombs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Don't you make one yourself? Why did you make a bomb?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are dangerous. We are dangerous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iranians are most civilized people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many -- how many wars do we have -- did we have? Can you tell me? Can you tell me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People of Iran, they are friendly outside of the perception of the America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are very peaceful people. We love each other. And we never ever started a war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You respect our civil rights and we'll respect yours. It's just humanity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Don't mettle in our business. Just let us live in peace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the first steps are beginning to have the dialogue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I want things to improve for everyone's benefit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: America live, let live. That's all. Thank you so much.


FOSTER: View from Tehran for you.

Now still to come tonight, the search for victims of the Kenyan wall attack continues as teams from the U.S. and Israel arrive on the scene. We'll have a live report from Nairobi.

Also, battling extreme heat and the lack of water, the conditions facing survivors of Pakistan's earthquake.


FOSTER: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Max Foster. Welcome back to you.

Now an appeal by former Liberian President Charles Taylor of his war crime conviction has been dismissed by a special UN court in The Hague today. Taylor was found guilty and sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in supporting rebels in Sierra Leone in the 1990s in exchange for blood diamonds.

The operation that lifted the Costa Concordia off its side has also led to the discovery of human remains in the wreckage. It may give investigators an answer for the bodies of two victims who were never found. The cruise liner ran aground in January of 2012, killing 32 people on board.

The trial into the death of Michael Jackson could go to the jury later today. The jury -- the lawyer, rather, for the Jackson family is finishing off rebuttal arguments. Casey Wian is outside the court in Los Angeles. Casey, what can you tell us?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, actually that lawyer has just finished that final rebuttal argument. So after five months of testimony and argument, the case of Michael Jackson's surviving family members, his mother and three children against a concert promoter that promoted what was to be his final tour is now about an hour away from the jury.

Over the last couple of days, attorneys for both sides have tried to persuade the jury of their case.

The family of Michael Jackson's attorney saying that AEG Live had a responsibility to make sure that the doctor that -- that was treating Michael Jackson, Dr. Conrad Murray, who of course, is in jail for manslaughter, was competent to treat him. The attorney for AEG Live saying that it was only Michael Jackson's responsibility to hire that doctor and that he never worked for AEG Live so the company should not bear any responsibility.

Let's listen to some of what the attorney said in closing arguments.


BRIAN PANISH, JACKSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: They're going to come up here and accept no responsibility and put it all on Michael, Mrs. Jackson, Karen Fey (ph), Elise Sankey (ph), everybody but them. And we're pointing the finger at someone, you've got four fingers pointing back at yourself. And responsibility, it doesn't stop at the board room.

MARVIN PUTNAM, AEG ATTORNEY: Mr. Jackson selected this doctor. Mr. Jackson demanded this doctor. Mr. Jackson asked for the drug that killed him. Mr. Jackson hid his problem from anyone that could help -- his family, his staff, and most of all his concert promoters.


WIAN: Jackson family seeking somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion U.S. in compensation from AEG Live. If the jury finds that the company is somehow responsible, that ultimate financial reward could be reduced by how much they find Michael Jackson was responsible for his own death, Max.

FOSTER: OK. Casey in L.A., thank you very much indeed.

Now live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, a red alert for the white widow. INTERPOL is on the hunt for the British woman linked to terror group al Shabaab.

Authorities in Pakistan say around 21,000 homes are being destroyed by the earthquake there. And that's just one of the many challenges facing rescue workers. We'll have more on that in just a moment.


WIAN: You're watching Connect the World live from London. Welcome back. I'm Max Foster.

Now authorities in Pakistan say 356 people have now died from a powerful earthquake that hit the southwest of the country. Rescue efforts are underway, but survivors are having to cope with high temperatures and a lack of drinking water. There were also further complications after two rockets were fired at a military helicopter taking officials to the quake zone.

Saima Mohsin has more.


SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rescue workers are still sifting through the rubble hoping to find survivors underneath collapsed buildings and as more teams get to this very remote area, we are getting a clearer picture of the extent of the damage.

Officials are telling us at least 21,000 homes have been completely flattened and obliterated. Now, on average in Pakistan, you have around 10 people per household, that means at least 200,000 people are homeless after this earthquake.

There is no major road network that is helping teams get to it, therefore, the rescue effort is being spearheaded by the military mostly by air using light aircraft and helicopters. But today that not without its dangers and difficulties. Rockets were fired at an army helicopter as the national disaster management team surveyed the area.

Also, a convoy by road bringing in aid was fired upon. No one has claimed responsibility for this. Everyone was safe. But it goes to show the difficulties in this area, which does have separatists and sectarian militants operating there.

Now, as people struggle heading into a third night without tents, clean drinking water and food, there is great criticism that the Pakistani government is saying it can handle this situation itself and not accepting international aid.

Saima Mohsin, CNN, Islamabad, Pakistan.


FOSTER: Well, let's get more on the weather, how it's playing a part in ongoing rescue efforts. Jenny is at the world weather center. It's basically very hot, right Jenny?

JENNY HARRISON, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: It's very hot, Max. In fact, temperatures are very much above the average as well, particularly of course for this time of year. Another couple of pictures to show you. And of course just as Saima was telling us, the damage, the destruction so very widespread in so many areas that are so very hard to actually reach. But I think from these pictures as well you can really straightaway see that the heat is just actually unrelenting.

And that is exactly the problem. It is not about the rain or the snow. And of course very often when we talk about things that are happening in this part of the world it might be in the winter months. This is not the case at the moment.

There has been some rain, some fairly heavy rain. This is much further to the south and the east. In fact, actually to the south away from Karachi. But of course that there, that red triangle showing you the epicenter of the quake which of course was several days ago now.

But there's really been nothing across the country to help ease the actual conditions when it comes to the weather. There's been -- there is the rain, of course. And of course beginning to accumulate as well.

We might just have maybe a stray passing shower, maybe a little bit of cloud cover, but really nothing that's going to help with the people in any of these areas.

And look at these temperatures -- 38 on Friday, 39 the high on Saturday. And by Sunday, 41 degrees Celsius. This, of course, is under very clear sunny skies. But all of these temperatures are for the shade.

Well, of course, these are people who now have got no shade, now shelter and also quite possibly no easy access to clean drinking water.

And these temperatures are well above the average.

The average at this time of year in Awaran is actually 35 degrees Celsius. But by Sunday we're looking at temperatures a good six degrees above average. And as I say these are the temperatures in the shade. So a lot, lot higher and hotter than this if you're actually in the sunshine itself.

Now the only plus, perhaps, with all of this is that the overnight temperatures are close to the average, which is 22 Celsius. We'll look at temperatures for the next few nights close to around 21 degrees Celsius. So at least in the overnight hours without any shelter it's actually going to stay very mild. It's just by day that it's going to make it very, very hard indeed for the people who live in the area. But also for those rescue efforts, or all the people, Max, working so hard to get there. But also once they are there to clear the rubble. This is going to make it very, very hard in temperatures such as those -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Jenny, thank you very much indeed.

Now the latest world headlines just ahead.

And it was a brazen attack that shocked the world, but documents reveal a plot similar to the one at Kenya's Westgate Mall was being planned in London.

Plus a tale of courage and commitment. We look at how a group of soldiers injured in Afghanistan take the dreaded Dakar Rally.


FOSTER: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories this hour. A landmark meeting at the United Nations should begin in around 30 minutes. US secretary of state John Kerry and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif will discuss Iran's nuclear program in the first high-level direct talks between their countries in decades. Ministers from Germany, China, France, Britain, and Russia will also attend.

Authorities in Pakistan say 356 people have now died from a powerful earthquake that hit the southwest of the country. Rescue efforts are underway, but survivors are having to cope with high temperatures and a lack of drinking water.

There are new signs that some of Syria's rebels aren't seeing eye-to- eye with their exiled supporters outside the country. Some rebel groups, including the al-Nusra Front, say they're rejecting the Syrian National Coalition, which is based in Turkey. A spokesman for the coalition issued a statement downplaying the split.

Interpol has issued a red notice for a British woman, Samantha Lewthwaite at the request of Kenyan authorities. Known as the White Widow, she's linked to the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab and there is widespread media speculation about her involvement in the Kenya Mall attack.

Teams from several countries, including Britain and the US and Israel, have joined with Kenyan forces to investigate the Westgate Mall attack. As many as 63 people are still unaccounted for as authorities continue to search the rubble of the devastated complex.

For more, let's bring in CNN's David McKenzie, who joins us now, live from Nairobi, a city you know very well, David. How's it coping?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly it's been a very tragic time here in Nairobi, very different from when I was last here. And yes, more than 60 people have died in this terrible attack on the mall just down the road from me. It's still secured, cordoned off because forensic investigators are in there trying to establish the identity of the bodies trapped under the rubble, in particular, the bodies of potential attackers.

As you mentioned, big news today that Interpol has put out a red notice for Samantha Lewthwaite. Now, she is the woman who's accused of being involved in previous planning of terror attacks. You'll remember, she's known as the White Widow. She was the widow of the one of the London bombers, and then went underground, believed to be linked to terror groups.

There's no suggestion clearly yet -- or no evidence that she was linked to the attack in Kenya, but certainly, that red notice, requested by Kenya, is fascinating at this point and leads to further speculation that somehow this young British mother of two children is involved in this terrible attack.

Now, people trying to find out whether their loved ones might still be dead, trapped inside the rubble behind me. It's been a lot longer wait than we thought there would be to get what remaining bodies might be still in there. Max?

FOSTER: In terms of those families that are having to cope with what they've been left with, what's been your experience speaking to them?

MCKENZIE: Well, the experience is that they're just deeply traumatized. More than 60 dead means that more than 60 family members -- 60 families are traumatized and communities traumatized. We went to the funeral of a very notable Kenyan this morning and really, it's a sense that that whole community is in mourning.



MCKENZIE (voice-over): Shouldering an awful burden that no family should have to bear. A young life tragically cut short by terror. Ruhila Adatia-Sood was a popular radio host and media personality here in Kenya, known and loved by many, but missed most by her sisters. They're still trying to comprehend their loss in a deep state of shock.

PINKY ADATIA ARNAUD, RUHILA'S SISTER: She was everything for us. She -- she's the glue that held us together.

KOMAL SOOD BLOUNT, RUHILE'S SISTER-IN-LAW: She was the light in our family. She's only been with us a short time, but we feel like she was with us forever.

MCKENZIE: They say Ruhila's infectious enthusiasm inspired them and attracted others.

ADATIA ARNAUD: If they knew she was going to be somewhere, they would come out just to see her, just to see what she was like. She loved kids. Kids loved her.

MCKENZIE: On the day of the attack, the children flocked to see her at Westgate Mall. She was hosting a young chef competition, excitedly posting pictures on social media. They would be the last ones she'd send.


MCKENZIE: When the attackers stormed the mall, they killed scores of families, children, and they shot Ruhila. She made one last call to her husband to say she was dying. She was six months pregnant.

MCKENZIE (on camera): Ruhila's friends tell me that she was full of life, joy, and boundless energy, and her tragic killing and the killing of her unborn child has left an irreparable hole in this tightly-knit community.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): A community and a family shattered by their loss.

ADATIA ARNAUD: She was the most wonderful, actually most amazing person. I met so many people today who knew here, and it was so overwhelming, so touching. People had so much to say about her, just wonderful things about her. It made me feel like she was loved by the whole world.


MCKENZIE: Max, there were hundreds if not thousands at Ruhila's funeral today. The deep irony of this is that she is a Muslim and she's part of a very thriving Muslim community here in Nairobi.

There's a sense that I get that the different communities here are pulling together in the wake of this tragedy, trying to move on, getting closer to their families and really trying to put this past them as they search for answers as to how this could have happened here in Kenya.

FOSTER: OK, David, thank you very much, indeed. And as authorities in Kenya are investigating how al-Shabaab orchestrated the well-coordinated and brazen attack, documents obtained from the body of a slain al Qaeda operative back in 2011 have revealed plans for a similar attack on high- profile targets in London. CNN Nic Robertson reports.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Terrorists training for an attack on an al Qaeda video.


ROBERTSON: This clip and others and a trove of documents detailing planned attacks were found on the body of this man, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, an al Qaeda leader in Somalia, killed by government forces in Mogadishu two years ago.

"Toronto Star" journalist Michelle Shepherd was the first reporter to get access to the material that intelligence agencies view as credible.

RICHARD BARRETT, FORMER HEAD, MI6 COUNTERTERRORISM: A warning shot that al Qaeda in East Africa could still come up and bite us. And indeed, maybe in Westgate Mall, we saw that happening.

ROBERTSON: Mohammed was wanted for his role in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The documents found on him revealed new plans for more Western targets, this time in London.

ROBERTSON (on camera): The plans were bold and utterly ruthless and strikingly similar to the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi. They were to be low-cost, use sub-machine guns, pistols, and homemade bombs and were to cause, quote, "a heavy blow against the hierarchy and Jewish communities."

Details included a plot to attack this hotel, the Dorchester, or the nearby Ritz, saying they would check in in advance, bring plenty of petrol, set fire to the lower flowers, then wait by the exits and gun everyone down as they fled the building.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): There were similar plans to attack Britain's most famous school, Eaton, where future kings and prime ministers are educated, saying they would do it on open day, for maximum casualties. Also, plans to attack Jewish community targets on a religious holiday.


ROBERTSON: Plans that were never executed. But as the Westgate Mall attack shows, al-Shabaab is morphing its Somalia war into a regional one. And as it forges closer ties to al Qaeda, the documents offer a worrying insight of intent, if not capability.

BARRETT: To the extent that al-Shabaab is now very, very much more closely allied with al Qaeda, I think we'll see more of that sort of thing. I think they'll have the operatives, they'll have the capability, and they'll do further planning.

ROBERTSON: Much will depend on the power struggle within al-Shabaab. How will the Westgate attack play out? Al Qaeda leaders like Ayman al- Zawahri will cheer them on. But will the complex Somali clans that are al- Shabaab's base sign up for more Westgate-style barbarity?

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


FOSTER: Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, we meet a group of British soldiers injured in Afghanistan who take on the Dakar Rally in the race towards recovery.

And Oracle Team USA retained the America's Cup after being in New Zealand. It was a close call. We'll see why after the break.


FOSTER: It's a completely new musical instrument. The ROLI Seaboard is an evolution of the piano, but it takes its inspiration from the guitar. This week's edition of Blueprint, we speak to the designer of the new instrument and his mentor, Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer.



ROLAND LAMB, FOUNDER, ROLI: I'm Roland Lamb. And I'm a designer, musician, and entrepreneur. I moved over to the UK about five years ago to attend the Royal College of Arts. Well, the piano was the first object I truly loved, but essentially, I was jealous of guitar players who could bend notes and kind of wail on a single note.


LAMB: So, the Seaboard is a new musical instrument that's an evolution of the piano keyboard. It allows you to bend the pitch and volume and tamper each note as you play. It looks recognizably like a relative of the piano, but as soon as you touch it, it seems very foreign.


LAMB: It allows you to do things in real time that were previously only possible through a lot of post-production on computers.

Many musical instruments actually develop over hundreds of years to their modern form, and so we've tried to accelerate that history into a couple years of development with a small team.

On an instrument like a cello, you can play clean, separate staccato notes.


LAMB: On a Seaboard, you can do the same thing --


LAMB: On the cello, of course, though, you can also slide the notes and glide the notes.



LAMB: We now have about 30 people working on the project. It involves material science, software design, electronic engineering. There's a lot of different disciplines that go into actually delivering a fully-fledged new instrument to the world.

Hans Zimmer is one of the world's leading film composers, having created the music for the likes of "The Lion King," "Gladiator," and "Batman." He has a real depth of experience in creating new kinds of sounds and creating textures and landscapes and emotion with sound.


LAMB: In terms of the kind of strangeness of it, the different -- is that something that bothers you, is it -- are there -- what do you see as the --

HANS ZIMMER, SOUND DESIGNER AND FILM COMPOSER: It's not that strange, other than that it comes in black. What I like about it is this -- you've given me the DNA of a keyboard, and at the same time, because the sort of - -


ZIMMER: -- the pressure and the rubbery feel actually make it quite human, in a way. It's like shaking somebody's hand. You've really created an evolution of an instrument as opposed to -- a lot of people have created revolutions of instruments that you go up to and you have no idea what to do with them because they're so alien.

I think just that it -- provides a way of thinking of a completely new way of approaching playing or writing music.


LAMB: One of the most surprising pieces of feedback that I got from Hans was his emphasis on the importance of the touch, and that was a really nice reminder to me of what was of the greatest importance.

We're first producing a limited edition of 88 Seaboard Grands, and we're really excited to be getting those out to the world.

When I look at the Seaboard, my overwhelming feeling is I really want one.


FOSTER: Well, coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, a very determined group is taking on the world's most grueling rally with a message in mind, and we'll take you along to Dakar.


FOSTER: Now to the US and a political storm on Capitol Hill. Republican senator Ted Cruz spent more than 21 hours on the floor of the Congress talking. He was denouncing government funding for President Obama's health care law.

And while Senator Cruz's speech didn't overturn the contentious law, it did provide some entertainment. Jeanne Moos takes a look at some of the more memorable moments.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While the networks clocked him with their Cruz counters, he sighed.


MOOS: He beat his chest.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I tell you --

MOOS: Talking for over 21 hours.

CRUZ: Almost all of us are in cheap suits with bad haircuts. Who cares?

MOOS: We care enough to present the Top Eight Ted Cruz Wackiest Moments. Number Eight, his plug for White Castle.

CRUZ: I like their little burgers.

MOOS: Number seven --

MOOS (on camera): The hairiest moments, quoting words of wisdom from "Duck Dynasty."

CRUZ: Faith, family, and facial hair. If we continue doing this long enough, we may have facial hair on the floor of the Senate.

MOOS (voice-over): Number six --

MOOS (on camera): Senator Cruz not singing.

MOOS (voice-over): Instead of performing Toby Keith's song "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" --


MOOS: -- Senator Cruz spoke the song.

CRUZ: "'Cause we'll put a boot in your" -- posterior.

MOOS: Why didn't he sing?

CRUZ: It would violate rules of musical harmony, human decency, and possibly even the Geneva Conventions.

MOOS: Number five --

MOOS (on camera): Playing "Jeopardy" with a fellow Republican senator asking the questions to give Senator Cruz a break.

SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: Do you know what color the black box is?

CRUZ: Perhaps airplane manufacturers think like Congress, because the black box on an airplane is orange.

MOOS: Number four, the Corner Guy.

MOOS (on camera): Down here!

MOOS (voice-over): The mysterious Corner Guy had to endure the glare reflected from Senator Cruz, stifling a yawn, eyes darting from side to side, the senator's hand in his face. "Does hash tag #cornerguy know he's famous yet?" Probably, since he's legislative counsel John Ellis, handing his boss notes. Number three --

MOOS (on camera): The best reaction when Senator Cruz read from Dr. Seuss.

MOOS (voice-over): He even changed the words to "Green Eggs and Ham."

CRUZ: They did not like Obamacare in a box with a fox in a house or with a mouse.

MOOS: Senator Cruz's daughters seemed delighted to get their bedtime story from daddy on TV. Number two --

MOOS (on camera): Senator Cruz's best imitation of a famous movie line.

MOOS (voice-over): He suggested Darth Vader represents Obamacare.


CRUZ: I am your father.

MOOS: And finally, our aptly-titled number one, the senator's enviable bladder control. How'd he do it? Though he also didn't drink much, check out how he looked at the beginning compared to the end. At least he survived, ignoring his own advice.

CRUZ: You will say the wrong thing if you talk too much.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos.

CRUZ: Bad, bad, bad.


CRUZ: Happy, happy, happy.

MOOS: New York.


FOSTER: He's got stamina, there, hasn't he? Now, they are without doubt the comeback kings. The coveted America's Cup has been claimed by Oracle Team USA, a wrench in what appeared to be the safe hand's of Emirates Team New Zealand.




FOSTER: The celebrations were certainly well-deserved. At one stage, the Kiwis had led the Americans eight races to one in the thrilling 19-day regatta. But against overwhelming odds, Oracle pulled together an astonishing seven wins in a row to level the field.

The victory had come down to the last race, and Team USA which, as it happens, only had two American crew members, defended its title.


JIMMY SPITHILL, CAPTAIN, ORACLE TEAM USA: Come back, the greatest comeback in sport's history, says a lot about a team, a lot about the character, the heart, and the fight they've got inside them. Man, it was worth every single part of it. This is the greatest moment of my life. I'm just loving every minute of it, and I'm doing it with the team around me. Doesn't get any better than this.


FOSTER: The glory of success in one of the world's most challenging events, that is also what's driving injured soldier Tony Harris, who's preparing to compete in his second Dakar Rally. Last time, the former British captain and amputee entered the unforgiving event for charity, but as Becky explains, this time, he'll be competing as a professional.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Checking over their Dakar Rally chariot.

TONY HARRIS, FOUNDER, "RACE2RECOVERY": You've got the front end damage, it's a little bit damaged. Bang this.

ANDERSON: This is the Race2Recovery team, getting ready to take on the world's most grueling rally all over again.

The team, made up of former soldiers injured in Afghanistan, made their Dakar debut in 2013 to raise funds for Help for Heroes. Only one of the team's four cars made it to the end. That was enough to make history as the first disabled team to ever finish the race.


ANDERSON: The success, the overwhelming support from around the world, and the fact that both team founder Tony Harris and owner Ben Gott didn't finish has driven them to give it another bash.

HARRIS: That's become a really good, big name on the Dakar, and let's do it based on our values, our ethos. It's about the courage, it's about the commitment, it's not the way that -- it's not the manner in which you fall, it's the manner in which you rise that really matters.

Let's push it to the next level, and let's see if in five, ten years' time we can get a top three finish in the Dakar. Why not?

ANDERSON: The gritty determination comes just four years after Harris, a former captain in the British army, lost his lower leg in a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

HARRIS: Really wants to put the day I got injured into the past, and I want to make sure that wasn't that day for the rest of my life. I wanted to have something else that I could say, actually, OK, fine, that happened, but I've done other stuff now, and actually, I should be remembered or I can remember that stuff much more positively.

And in hindsight, actually, if I hadn't lost my leg, then I wouldn't have gone to the Dakar, so conversely, it's -- been a good thing -- ish.

ANDERSON: Experience and sponsorship, the only real obstacles separating the Race2Recovery Team from the top Dakar competitors.

HARRIS: I think the overall dream of where we want to go is not only to include other nationalities and more people, it's to also raise the awareness in Britain, make Britain proud of having a Dakar team, and one that's very unique.

ANDERSON: That kind of recognition, says Harris, becomes even more vital as troops withdraw from Afghanistan, many bearing the scars.

HARRIS: For us, those -- that war will never finish. I might have got over the battle of infection, but I did that by losing a leg. I'm proud of what I've done and achieved after injury, but remember those who maybe can't do that, or maybe it's just not feasible, be it the mental scars or the physical scars.

Let's remember that we have a duty and have an obligation to make sure that we look after them and their families for the rest of their lives.

ANDERSON: A duty Harris serves by making sure the message is heard.

Becky Anderson, CNN, London.


FOSTER: Now, the next time you visit Japan, you may want to skip the saki and reach for a fruity glass of wine instead. Locally-produced wine, that is. Japan is not considered a wine-growing power, of course, but as Pauline Chiou reports, Japanese vineyards want the world to know that they make delicious vintages.


PAULINE CHIOU, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nestled in the hills above the town of Katsunuma, about two hours outside Tokyo, an unexpected sight: the vines of Grace Vineyard, run by the Misawa family for 90 years and devoted to Japan's native grape.

AYANA MISAWA, WINEMAKER, GRACE WINERY: This has very elegant smell -- aromas, like citrus, white flower, and very low in alcohol, and it's very crisp acidity, and just a very charming wine.

CHIOU: Ayana Misawa and her father are at the forefront of a small but dedicated movement. They hope to build a global reputation for Japanese wine, especially Koshu. They begin by pushing to improve the quality of the wine.

Eighty wineries in the Yamanashi prefecture combined forces to learn new methods while also competing against each other to create the best product. The younger generation, like Ayana Misawa, headed abroad to study, bringing international techniques back to Japan.

Those efforts appear to have paid off. At the Japan Wine Competition, held annually in Yamanashi, judges say the country's output has improved considerably in the last five years.

ANTHONY ROSE, WINE CORRESPONDENT, "THE INDEPENDENT": They learn very quickly, and I think that they've adapted techniques in the vineyard and also in the winery to their own particular grape varieties.

CHIOU: Wine correspondent Anthony Rose says now they need to grow the brand, part of the aim of competitions like this one.

ROSE: I think if you asked the average man or woman in the street about Japanese wine, nine out of ten people would probably not know that Japan made wine.

CHIOU: Yamanashi's vineyards hope they can change that, riding on the global reputation of Japanese food, known for its high-quality ingredients and its unique flavors. They have organized a PR campaign --


FOSTER: There you are, Japanese wine, it's the next big thing. Tonight's Parting Shots is like something out of an adventure novel, really. A young mountaineer stumbles upon a hoard of mysterious jewels worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The only thing is, it's true.

The climber, who wants to remain anonymous, came across the stash on a glacier near the French village of Chamonix. Authorities are now trying to find out who the jewels belong to. It's thought they could have come from a plane that crashed into the area's mountains on its way from India around half a decade ago.

The mountaineer stands to keep a portion of the jewels' value if ownership can't be established. So, the clock is ticking. I'm Max Foster, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching.