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CONNECT THE WORLD

Iranians Celebrate Nuclear Deal With West; President Putin Meets Pope Francis; NASDAQ Hits 4,000; Heavy Storms Expected To Cause Holiday Travel Delays In U.S., Oil Prices Falling; Investors Flock Into Stock Markets; Ukraine Protests; Mexico Mass Graves; "Hunger Games" Sequel Has $300 Million Box Office Debut; Pakistani Film Revival; Pakistani-American Actor in Film Alongside Schwarzenegger, Stallone; The Louvre; Parting Shots: Prince Harry's Antarctic Trek

Aired November 25, 2013 - 15:00   ET

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


MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight, the politics of a deal as Iranians celebrate an historic agreement with the west over the country's controversial nuclear program. We example the power dynamics inside the country and why the time was right for a deal.

Also ahead, as Ukraine grapples with the biggest protest since its orange revolution, nine years ago. We'll speak to the daughter of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko about why her mother has resorted to a hunger strike.

And --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before you get and accept (ph) the ideas are more daunting than the reality of it.

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FOSTER: We meet the Pakistani-born actor who says sharing the screen with two of Hollywood's biggest heavyweights is just the beginning.

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

FOSTER: Fresh off an historic deal to limit Iran's nuclear program, world powers still have tough challenges ahead in making sure the temporary accord becomes permanent.

British foreign secretary William Hague says Iran's commitments will be carefully monitored over the next six months. In a speech to parliament in London, he warned international skeptics against any attempt to sabotage the deal, specifically naming Israel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM HAGUE, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: So while it is only a beginning, there is no doubt that this is an important, necessary and completely justified step, which through its restrictions on Iran's nuclear program, gives us the time to negotiate a comprehensive settlement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn't buying it. He's sending a team to the United States to discuss what he calls a bad deal with Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I spoke last night with President Obama. We agreed that in the coming days, an Israeli team, led by the naitonal security advisor Yossi Cohen, will go out to discuss with the United States the permanent accord with Iran. This accord must bring about one outcome, the dismantling of Iran's military nuclear capability.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Now another long time rival of Iran, Saudi Arabia, is cautiously welcoming the deal reached in Geneva. It says it could be a first step towards a comprehensive solution if Iran has good intentions.

The deal will ease sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy. Cheering crowds turned out in Tehran to welcome home Iran's negotiating team, greeting them as heroes.

CNN's Reza Sayah got more reaction from the streets of Tehran. He explains why the nuclear agreement is cause for celebration.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Max, one day after this agreement between Iran and the P5+1, this deal is still the talk of the town here in Iran with the exception of a small minority of ultraconservatives and hardliners that are still weary about this deal. Most Iranians are thrilled about it. One Iranian told me whatever it takes to improve our lives and this economy I'll take it. Another Iranian tweeted she was shedding tears of joy.

Remember, this is a country that hasn't received much good news over the past 34 years, especially on the world stage. This is a very young, highly educated population that suffered through years of economic and political isolation and crippling sanctions. Even though this interim deal doesn't impact the most powerful sanctions, the ones that have to do with oil exports and banking restrictions, Iranians feel that this is a positive first step and they welcome it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were happy actually. We were a lot happy. After all these tensions, we're going to finally reached an agreement so with the west that also protects our rights and also -- I mean, remove the (inaudible). So of course we are happy. I think that's everybody's reaction.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've become very happy, because at the first thing I think about it, it's about medicines --

SAYAH: The medicines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- and the price of medicine, because it's very high in Iran. And I think it's better now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody is happy about it, because we hope for a change in the economic situation that we are entangled in at the moment.

SAYAH: This agreement does not happen without the support and the backing of Iran's ultimate authority, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. For the past several months, there were strong signs of a supreme leader supported negotiating with the west and supported a fair deal.

And the big question being debated here and elsewhere and why, why did Iran's leadership push for a deal with the west and the P5+1 now. If you talk to western leaders, they'll tell you that it was the sanctions, that the sanctions made Iran desperate for a deal. The narrative much different here in Tehran. Iranian leaders acknowledge the sanctions did damage the economy, but they deny that they were desperate for a deal.

What we can tell you is back in June millions of Iranians, many of them young, educated Iranians, voted Hassan Rouhani the new president into office and they gave him the mandate to improve the economy and improve relations with the outside world. And in roughly four months it seems as if President Rouhani has taken a major step in fulfilling that mandate. And at this point, much of the country behind him -- Max.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, the deal everyone is talking about right now is officially the called the Joint Action Plan. It provides the two sides a six month window for hammering out a more comprehensive deal. Under the deal, Iran will halt enrichment of uranium above 5 percent purity and will not build any more enrichment facilities and stop on the Arak heavy water reactor. It'll also allow IAEA inspectors to visit nuclear sites on a daily basis.

In return, the P5+1, led by the U.S., will not impose any additional sanctions on Iran. They'll suspend sanctions on Iran's automotive center and its petrochemical exports and will release nearly $4 billion of Iranian money currently blocked by sanctions.

For more now on the significance of this deal, we'll joined by Iran political analyst Ali Alizadeh. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.

Extraordinary to see those scenes of the negotiators going back to Tehran to this heroes welcome, almost like pop stars. Just explain who they are, who makes up that team?

ALI ALIZADEH, IRANIAN POLITICAL ANALYST: In the head of that team if Javad Zarif, the man who was basically Iran's ambassador in the United Nations, someone who is -- I can say -- I can say he's somehow politically brought up in the United States. He's been living in the United States studied before the revolution and after the revolution, very familiar with international diplomatic language. He can basically connect and explain himself and what he's presenting to American and other western countries.

Very different from the previous team, Mr. Jalili came from a very puritan hardliners who had to spend lots of time during Iran and Iraq war. And basically he wasn't in the diplomatic framework. He -- and the stories tell us that he had left the meetings a few times and he was very difficult to be pleased. He wasn't there to basically negotiate, he was there to make speeches, ideological speeches.

(inaudible) I think tell us in a very metaphoric way, Mr. Fabius, French foreign minister, became a slightly of a hated figure inside Iran for the last few weeks. And at the end of Geneva talk, Zarif went and hugged him.

FOSTER: It was an awkward hug, but it was a hug I guess.

ALIZADEH: It was an important moment, because Iranians are unfamiliar with seeing diplomacy. And that's diplomacy. You fight with someone, but then you hug them and you make up with them.

FOSTER: And that's what's interesting here, because we are so caught up in the negotiations between the west and Iran, but what exactly was that team playing to in Iran? Where was the delicacy there?

ALIZADEH: Because, first of all, Mr. Rouhani was elected with the promise that he will solve the problem of sanctions and also normalizing the relationship with the international community. The window for that is not unlimited. Mr. Rouhani was very, very much insistent from day one after elections that he's there to negotiate. He said in his inauguration that he not there to waste time. The dialog between Iran and the west is not to buy time. Because one of the rumors was Iranians are only there to buy time to finally make their weapons.

And he has shown, the real will that they are there to make real deals. And as Zarif said that immediately after the interim deal was finished, they are ready to work on the permanent deal.

FOSTER: But what they've shown is that there's a mainstream that is interested in this type of negotiation when externally we often just see the view of the hardliners.

So what -- how are the hardliners handling this there? And the supreme leader, how is he dealing with it?

ALIZADEH: OK, let's look back at the election, what happened in the election. And after eight years of Ahmadinejad, after four years of sanctions and what happened in 2009 election in Iran, there rift (inaudible) factions of elite became wider and wider. And in the kind of -- in the election campaign we saw a real fight between different factions.

The criticism of Ahmadinejad and Mr. Jalili, the previous head, didn't only come from Rouhani, it came for very close to the supreme leader. They were very unhappy about the way that the previous team was handling the negotiations.

The election and the fact that Rouhani was elected, as somehow possible -- was made possible by the greenlight from the supreme leader.

In September, the supreme leader gave his speech, famous speech, about heroic flexibility, which was a green light to diplomacy.

And also recently, two days ago, he called the negotiations in Geneva a success. That's what -- the supreme leader is part of the team.

But he wants to have his cake and eat it, he wants to be both part of the negotiation team and also he wants to keep his stance as the ideological leader, which somewhat prevent his followers from falling down.

FOSTER: Ali Alizadeh, thank you very much indeed for joining us with your insight.

There are so many angles to this angle. Do check out our selection of insightful and thought provoking opinion pieces on our website, including how President Obama's legacy could be changed by this deal. Just go to CNN.com/interantional.

Still to come tonight, world diplomats have finally set a date for a long awaited Syria peace conference, but they still don't know who exactly might be coming. We'll explain in a live report from Damascus.

Two high profile and seemingly opposite leaders meet face to face for the first time. Ahead, we'll go live to Rome to hear what Pope Francis and Russian President Putin have been discussing.

Plus, standing in solidarity with Ukrainian protesters, Ukraine's jailed former prime minister vows to go on a hunger strike.

All that and much more when Connect the World continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now after months of delays, the UN has finally announced date for an international conference meant to end Syria's civil war. UN officials say Geneva II will convene on January 22, but it remains to be seen which opposition groups will show up.

If both sides attend, it would be the first such meeting since the war began.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAN KI-MOON, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: This is a mission of hope. We go with a clear understanding the Geneva conference is a vehicle for a peaceful transition that fulfills the legitimate aspirations of all the Syrian people for freedom and dignity and which guarantees safety and protection to all communities in Syria.

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FOSTER: CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is now following developments for us from Damascus. Fred, getting these sides together will be crucial. What would it actually mean if that happened?

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, a lot of things would have to happen. On the first side of it, Max, of course the government would have to attend. Now, the government has already said that it wants to attend, and there are already several people that they've named who could be part of the government delegation, one of them would be the deputy foreign minister Faisal al-Mikdad, another one would be Bouthaina Shaaban who is an adviser to President Assad.

The big question is which of the opposition is going to show up and who is going to show up for the opposition. That, of course, the Syrian National Council, which many countries in the west have named as the representative of the Syrian people. But they don't really have very much leverage on the ground here in Syria, especially with a lot of the fighting groups. There's a lot of groups as well who said that they don't want to attend at all.

Now the UN says, of course, that's a big problem. They don't actually know who is going to attend just yet, but they also say that they see something at the Geneva conference more as a process rather than something that will yield results immediately.

I want you to listen in to what Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy for Syria had to say earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI, UN ENVOY TO SYRIA: Not all the people who want to come to Geneva will be able to come. But they should know that this is not an event, this is a process. And in this process, I'm sure that everybody who wants to participate in rebuilding what I call the New Republic of Syria will be able to do so in the course of the process.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PLEITGEN: So, in general he's saying it will take a lot of good will from all sides to actually make all of this a success. Of course, we have seen that there are a lot of especially Islamist groups who say they don't want to participate in anything like this at all, who want to continue to fight until President Bashar al-Assad is gone.

One of the other big points of contention has been whether or not Assad would be part of any sort of transitional body that might emerge from such a conference. There are some groups that say they flat out reject that, that he couldn't be any part of that. The government for its part says that is a precondition that will not be met. President Assad is very much part of the equation.

The big thing is, of course, what do Syrian people want. And you talk to people on the streets of Damascus here they're not very confident that a process like Geneva will yield any results. They've been disappointed too many times in the past three years. But certainly most people that you speak to say the one thing they want right now is for the violence to end as fast as possible and that certainly goes for people on both sides of the equation who live in rebel controlled territories and also those who live here on the government side. They simply want the violence to end, Max.

FOSTER: Fred, thank you very much indeed.

England cricketer, Jonathan Trott has left the team's tour of Australia, because of a stress related illness. The 32-year-old batsman admits to being on poor form on the Ashes tour. But he says his priority now is to take a break from cricket so that I can focus on my recovery.

A storm barreling across the United States is threatening to reach Thanksgiving plans, or wreck them, at least, for millions of Americans. Samantha Moore joins us from the CNN world weather center with the very latest, Samantha.

SAMANTHA MOORE, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Oh, my goodness. Yes, Max. We had almost 500 flights canceled in Dallas/Ft. Worth. You can see now the active weather is pushing into the Mississippi River Valley, into the Tennessee Valley towards the east. And there is (inaudible) it actually stayed in the liquid form, above freezing as the storm moved through. Thank goodness for them.

But to the north here in Oklahoma, we have some video to show you of the snow that was coming down here. This is Lawton, Oklahoma. Some of these spots picked up 20 to 30 centimeters of snow within a very short period of time.

Oklahoma City only about 5 centimeters further off to the northeast.

But this caused some problems out there on the roadways, to be sure of it.

Now we're concerned as this system moves further to the east. So back to the maps we go. And we talk about how it's going to be affecting the folks -- oh, I want to -- yeah, travelwise here, we're talking about Atlanta Tuesday and Wednesday could be impacted by this. Washington Tuesday and Wednesday. And then on Wednesday, the busiest travel day on the year, we have Boston, New York, Philly as well as Pittsburgh added to those cities.

So it is going to be a rough go of it as we head into the busiest travel time of the year.

So here is the timing of it, the heavy rain in Atlanta. And then it could turn over to more wintry as it approaches D.C. midmorning on Tuesday here in the D.C. area, moving into New York, gusty winds, heavy rains. So Wednesday on the busiest day, we're seeing the wintry weather work its way in behind it and the winds here are going to be gusting incredibly, so that can cause problems with flight delays here as well.

Heavy snow eastern Great Lakes into the Northeast on the backside of this as well.

And if you're headed in this direction, keep in mind pack the overcoats, temperatures are well below average for this time of year, so button up your overcoat or your scarf hat and gloves, Max.

FOSTER: We will. Samantha, thank you very much indeed.

Live from London, this is Connect the World.

Coming up, Ukraine's jailed former prime minister says she's going on hunger strike. We'll speak to her daughter just ahead.

Historic pictures just in, the moment Putin met the new pope after a millenium of tension between eastern and western Christianity, how significant is this moment? We'll discuss next.

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FOSTER: Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin met face-to-face for the first time today. The two leaders sat down for a closed door meeting in the Vatican just a few hours ago. The crisis in Syria and the plight of Christians across the Middle East was expected to dominate the agenda.

For more, I'm joined by Ben Wedeman who is in Rome.

Ben, it was a symbolic moment as much as anything, wasn't it? Despite what they were talking about, it was just that picture that seems to poignant.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think we need to keep in mind this is actually the fourth time Vladimir Putin has met with the pope in the last 13 years. He met twice with Pope John Paul II and once with Benedict XVI.

I think what's important is the moment their meeting in, it's at a time, of course, when Christians in the Middle East are increasingly under pressure, given the violence many of them have decided simply to abandon that part of the world they've inhabited for nearly 2,000 years.

Last week, Pope Francis said there is no Middle East without the Christians. And certainly, Russian, for instance, going back to the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, saw itself very much as a protector of the Christians of the Middle East.

So we do know that both men are very concerned about the situation in Syria. Pope Francis did send a direct message to Vladimir Putin on the eve of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg last September saying that there can be no -- violence will not resolve the situation in Syria. So we understand that that was very much the major topic of their discussions today.

But in terms of the broader issues, the divisions between the Catholic church and the Orthodox Church of the East, they apparently did not go into very much detail regarding those -- that schism that goes back to actually 1054 -- Max.

FOSTER: Absolutely.

Thank you very much for that.

Well, the Russian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church has had that tumultuous relationship for much of the last millennium, as Ben was saying, but with today's meeting between the pope and Putin comes a suggestion that this tension might be easing. Our next guest thinks it's a significant moment for relations between eastern and western Christianity. CNN's senior Vatican analyst John Allen live with us now from Denver.

John, they won't be discussing religion, will they? So, in terms of any sort of healing in that sense, it's not going to come from this meeting.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, (inaudible) Russia. It's not actually the Russian Orthodox Church, he doesn't have the spiritual authority. But that said, these images are going to be carried back to Russia. In the eyes of the Russian Orthodox (inaudible) what they are likely (inaudible) this kind of gradual (inaudible), because while Ben is (inaudible) Putin has met popes, this particular pope has never met a Russian (inaudible).

And (inaudible) he is neither pope (inaudible)

FOSTER: John, we're going to leave it there. We're having real problems with your audio, but we're going to try and get back with you a bit later on.

Latest world news headlines just ahead.

Plus, she was prime minister of Ukraine, now she's in jail and about to go on hunger strike. We'll speak to the daughter of Yulia Tymoshenko just ahead.

And why after 50 years in the global shadows of global cinema, Pakistan's film industry could be about to regain its glory.

Plus, we go behind the scenes of the most visited museum in the world. Inside the Louvre is just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: This is Connect the World. The top stories this hour.

New diplomatic efforts are underway just a day after the historic deal on Iran's nuclear program. The French foreign minister says the EU could lift some sanctions as early as next month. Iran promised just to slow its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions. The U.S. President Barack Obama spoke about the deal just moments ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Iran seizes this opportunity and chooses to join the global community, then we can begin to chip away at the mistrust that's existed for many, many years between our two nations. None of that is going to be easy, huge challenges remain, but we cannot close the door on diplomacy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: The UN has finally set a date for its long awaited peace conference with Syria. It says Geneva II will convene on January 22. They're still not sure who will show up. Syria's government has previously said it will attend. Some opposition groups are pledging to boycott.

China, has called on the United States not to interfere in its territorial dispute with Japan. The U.S. has warned of increased tension in the region after Beijing laid claim to airspace around disputed islands in the sea in the East China Sea.

And there's been another record breaking day for U.S. markets as the NASDAQ went past the 4,000 mark for the first time in 13 years. For more on that, let's cross over to Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange.

Another landmark, Alison?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A landmark that is quickly fizzling out, though. It looks like stocks, Max, are giving up some of their earlier gains, this after the Dow and the S&P 500 rose to fresh all-time highs right out of the starting gate. The NASDAQ was doing well as well. Still in positive territory, though, earlier touching the 4,000 level for the first time in 13 years. Part of what boosted stocks that deal -- that nuclear deal with Iran that looked to relax economic sanctions in exchange for the country scaling back its nuclear program.

The reason the market gains are really being limited at this point, though, is because of a drop in pending home sales in October. This reading that came out earlier today showed that the number of homes -- pending home sales fell for a fifth month in a row as the government shutdown apparently sidelined potential buyers.

We have been seeing a bit of a slowdown in what's been a really strong recovery in the housing market making investors a little cautious today -- Max.

FOSTER: And you had mentioned Iran there in the deal. It is having quite an impact, isn't it, on the international markets. Oil prices as well falling as a result, I presume, of increased supplied potentially from Iran?

KOSIK: That is what is expected, yes. So we did see oil prices close lower by almost one percent today to just above $94 a barrel. Crude was all the way above $110 a barrel earlier this year.

And remember this, that Iran is an oil-producing country, and the thinking is that the deal could mean more oil coming into the global market. The amount of oil being exported from Iran has dropped big time because of sanctions, and production there is at the lowest level in 20 years.

Another reason oil prices are down today, the deal signals that potential tensions are easing up, at least easing up on paper, and that always makes Wall Street feel better. Max?

FOSTER: And in terms of where people are putting their money right now, it does seem as if people are piling into stocks. How much money is going in? What are the sort of volumes we're talking about here?

KOSIK: Well, the volumes this week are going to be light simply because it's a holiday week. Thanksgiving -- the Thanksgiving holiday a Thursday and then Black Friday, sort of the unofficial holiday shopping season starter on Friday. That's when the markets will close a half day.

You are still seeing, though, if you look at the broader picture, you are seeing investors flock into stocks because of the stimulus money coming from the Fed, the $85 billion a month that the Fed is pouring into the financial system. It's keeping interest rates low, making still the best investment in town, at least, stocks. Max?

FOSTER: Alison, thank you very much, indeed.

Loyal to the jailed Ukrainian opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, says she plans to go on a hunger strike as thousands of people rallied for a second night in protest against the government's decision to suspend talks with the European Union. CNN's Phil Black has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These free trade and political association agreements have been under negotiation between the European Union and Ukraine for some years, now, and the many angry people on the streets of Kiev believe they represent an historic opportunity for their country to further integrate Ukraine with with the European Union.

It's not full membership status, but they believe it would give them the chance to open Ukraine up to European business, ideas, culture, values, standards and, importantly, rule of law. They believe it is a chance to more rapidly modernize Ukraine's economy and political system. It would be an historically decisive step moving Ukraine further from the orbit, from the influence of its old Soviet-era master, Moscow.

It has been no secret that Moscow does not want Ukraine to sign up to the EU in this way. Moscow would prefer Ukraine join its own rival block of countries, its so-called Customs Union, which includes Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. And Russia has long argued there would be economic consequences, particularly in trade, if Ukraine were to proceed down the EU route.

Now, the most senior officials in Brussels have effectively accused Russia of bullying the Ukrainian government into turning their back on the European Union. They say they are aware of the external pressure Ukraine has been under, and they strongly disapprove of the action and position that Russia has taken in this. Russia denies pressuring Ukraine in any way and accuses the EU of trying to blackmail Ukraine into signing up.

Now, there was another issue that was thought to have the potential to scuttle these agreements, and it has more to do with Ukrainian domestic politics. It is the fate of Ukraine's former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko.

She is in jail, convicted of abusing power while in office, and Europe has long believed that she is the victim of selective justice, political payback, because she is the main political rival to Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovych.

The EU long ago set as a precondition to these agreements the release of Tymoshenko from jail. Ukraine has long stalled, showed little enthusiasm for letting Tymoshenko go from prison. But in the end, Ukraine says it has rejected the chance to sign on with these agreements for very different reasons. The European Union says its offer to move forward with Ukraine remains on the table.

Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Ukraine's history is fraught with political upheaval. The protests now taking place in Kiev are the biggest seen in Ukraine since the Orange Revolution nine years ago. In 2004, millions protested against reports of vote-rigging in the country's presidential election. After a second election was killed, Viktor Yushchenko was elected president.

In 2009, Russia stopped all gas supplies in a row over unpaid bills. Supplies were restored after a week, and a ten-year deal was signed.

In 2010, there were new troubles at the ballots. Viktor Yanukovych was declared the winner of the presidential election, but Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko alleged fraud. In 2011, Yulia Tymoshenko was jailed after a court found her guilty of abuse of power over the 2009 gas deal with Russia.

Eugenia Tymoshenko joins us now via phone from Kiev. She is the daughter of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. First of all, just an update on what we've been hearing about your mother's hunger strike. Has she started one, and how is she?

EUGENIA TYMOSHENKO, DAUGHTER OF JAILED FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF UKRAINE, YULIA TYMOSHENKO (via telephone): Thank you. I've been visiting her today, actually. All I could go to was the hospital, because I was not allowed in. And then we got a message from her through different people there -- thank God they're there -- that she's locked in her room. She's not allowed out. Her windows are locked.

But she's -- she has a very strong morale, and she's very happy that all these people, all the Ukrainian people outside on (inaudible) of the world and protesting. And in order to support them, in solidarity with them, she is now on indefinite hunger strike. And she gave us this message to give to my dad in Kiev and other places to support the people.

FOSTER: She's already unwell, though, isn't she? Can you just explain her current illness and why she does need, in your view, medical attention from outside?

TYMOSHENKO: Well, exactly two years ago, when she was placed in jail in Kiev with no hot water in a cold cell and with no, really, proper human conditions there, she became disabled there, with her back problems. She had a curvation in her spine. And since then, she cannot walk.

All this -- one year and a half she hasn't had proper medical care, only pain killers, which were denied to her in order to blackmail her to participate in an investigation and different types of psychological torture used against her.

So, at the moment, she's in incarceration in the hospital, but it's like a prison, because she's not getting medical care there, just some treatment, but not invasive therapy. And Professor (inaudible) both said that it wouldn't be possible for her to get better, and she needs the surgery urgently. So far, she cannot move by herself, really. She's in pain.

FOSTER: Does she feel that the current political atmosphere is comparable to what we saw just before the Orange Revolution?

TYMOSHENKO: Well, actually, she made her appeal on the 24th to my dad -- my dad in Kiev, and she said that Yanukovych again managed to deprive Ukrainian people like nine years ago, and she believes that now Ukrainian people, together with the nation, should finish what they started back in 2004.

It's very similar, and really the numbers of people are more than 100,000 and several hundred thousands around Ukraine, really, made these memories alive. And people are still there under the rain in very cold weather, under attacks of the police. Many were injured, and many people also are now on hunger strikes now.

FOSTER: Would she consider speaking to the current leadership and coming to some sort of compromise?

TYMOSHENKO: Well, in the last several months, after Yanukovych decided and made it appear that he would sign a law that would allow her to go for medical treatment, she accepted it. Of course, it was a difficult decision for her, because really, she's fighting and we're all fighting for her political restoration.

She's an innocent person and political prisoner and the whole Western world, democratic world now accepts it, and we're very thankful that they help her. So, she made very big compromises on the way just for the sake of restoration agreement.

And after, a cabinet minister announced that they are halting this protest, she said that she would stay in jail just for the restoration to be signed. So she said that if Yanukovych changes his mind in the days before the summit and decides to sign the agreement, she will appeal to European leaders that her criteria and other criteria are not that important. What's important is the Ukrainian future in Europe.

FOSTER: is she having conversations with leaders outside Ukraine?

TYMOSHENKO: Well, she is very much isolated. She is not allowed telephone calls or computers or internet, so all communication is through our defense team, the few people who can come in and report back with messages of support. She can file her appeals and messages to these -- to the European leaders.

And now, we've got her messages that they support her, they support Ukrainian people, and the most important part that the doors are open to Ukraine.

FOSTER: OK, Eugenia Tymoshenko, thank you for your time.

The team at CONNECT THE WORLD want to hear from you, facebook.com/CNNconnect, have your say. And you can tweet me @MaxFosterCNN, your thoughts, please, @MaxFosterCNN.

Now to a disturbing example of the toll taken by the Mexican drug war: 42 bodies have been pulled from a mass grave southeast of Guadalajara in the area bordering two Mexican states. Now, there's a concerted effort by one of those states to keep the bloodshed at bay.

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RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A grim discovery, but not the first. Mexican authorities recently unearthed yet another mass grave in the western Mexican municipality of La Barca. The area lies on the border between Jalisco and Michoacan states not far from the tourist destination Lake Chapala.

(GUNFIRE)

VASSILEVA: Michoacan has seen an explosion of violence in recent months, with authorities trying to maintain order amid rampant fighting between cartels and vigilante civilian groups. This as authorities in Jalisco aim to keep the violence from spilling over the border.

LUIS CARLOS NAJERA, GENERAL PROSECUTOR, JALISCO STATE (through translator): We have personnel spread out, and we're working in coordination with the federal authorities so that the problems in Michoacan do not have a negative effect on Jalisco.

VASSILEVA: So far this month, dozens of bodies have been unearthed from several graves on the Jalisco side of the border. Authorities say the bodies had bullet wounds and showed signs of possible torture.

Mexico is no stranger to mass graves and cartel violence. Earlier this month, bodies were found in a clandestine grave outside of Acapulco, and nationwide, hundreds of bodies have been found in similar graves in recent years.

In Jalisco, federal police continue to scour the area of the latest find for clues, but face an uphill battle.

Ralitsa Vassileva, CNN, Atlanta.

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FOSTER: We'll be back in just a moment as CONNECT THE WORLD continues.

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ELIZABETH BANKS AS EFFIE TRINKET, "CATCHING FIRE": Chins up, smiles on!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There she is! Katniss Everdeen! The girl on fire!

LIAM HEMSWORTH AS GALE AWTHORNE, "CATCHING FIRE": People are looking at you, Katniss. You're giving them an opportunity. They just have to be brave enough to take it.

WILLOW SHIELDS AS PRIMROSE EVERDEEN, "CATCHING FIRE": You saved my life --

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FOSTER: As it's blazing its way to the top of the box office charts, the "Hunger Games" sequel, "Catching Fire," is burning up the record books. It pulled in more than $300 million worldwide in its debut. That's nearly double what the original movie made in its first weekend.

Another film hoping for success during the award season is the Pakistani coming of age film "Zinda Bhaag." It's been nominated for an Academy Award, the first time for a Pakistani film in over 50 years. CNN's Saima Mohsin has more on the hopes for a revival of Pakistani cinema after years in the doldrums.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It is said that he who hasn't seen Lahore hasn't yet been born.

SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This year, five independently-funded films have been released by Pakistan's reincarnated movie industry, and its young, talented Pakistanis, who may not have the experience and expertise, but certainly have the passion that's driving this productivity.

MEHER JAFFRI, PRODUCER, "LAMHA/SEEDLINGS": I think what fueled us on was the talent that was literally bursting at its seams over here. At the beginning, we would go to NAPA, which is the National Academy of Performing Arts, and we would look at theater students over there who were just -- the talent there was humongous.

My partner had contacted over Facebook this kind of musical prodigy that he had come across, Usman Riaz, who replied to our Facebook message and ended up composing the entire musical score of the film."

MOHSIN: "Lamha," which means "Seedlings," isn't the usual South Asian style movie that we see coming out of Bollywood. It's a raw drama about how a couple copes after losing a child.

"Zinda Bhaag" is also very different. It's about the people who risk their lives by land and sea to escape poverty at home in hope of a brighter future abroad.

MEENU GAUR, DIRECTOR, "ZINDA BHAAG": Not a story about the geopolitical significance of Pakistan, about terrorism and religious fundamentalism. It's a story about the struggles of everyday boys in a small neighborhood.

MOHSIN: In the fledgling industry, it's not easy to make big-budget movies. Actors, musicians, the entire crew took a subsided wage to make "Lamha."

JAFFRI: Our excitement kind of infected them, and their excitement kind of infected us. And it was just an exponential rise in passion and energy to see this come to fruition. We were accepted into the New York City International Film Festival, and where the film won the Best Feature Film award. And Aamina Sheikh won the best lead actress.

MOHSIN: And it was students who made up the majority of the crew that made "Zinda Bhaag."

GAUR: And I think right now in Pakistan, to make films, you have to be some sort of a nutcase. Because it just doesn't make sense. It doesn't make monetary sense. So it has to be passion that's driving the project.

MOHSIN (on camera): Their commitment has paid off. "Zinda Bhaag" has been chosen as Pakistan's first entry in 50 years in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars.

FARJAD NABI, DIRECTOR, "ZINDA BHAAG": Something hibernating has just woken up. The giant has stirred, and Pakistani cinema has arrived on the stage.

MOHSIN: Saima Mohsin, CNN, Karachi, Pakistan.

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FOSTER: One Pakistani-American who is already brushing shoulders with Hollywood's biggest names is Faran Tahir. In the new film "Escape Plan," he's cast as a fellow prisoner with action icons Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. CNN's Rosie Tomkins went to meet him.

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ROSIE TOMKINS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Long-running and warring icons of actions, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, have finally joined forces.

SYLVESTER STALLONE AS RAY BRESLIN, "ESCAPE PLAN": This is a setup. Somebody wanted to bury me.

TOMKINS: Teaming up to escape from the world's most secure prison, newly- released "Escape Plan." Joining them in their fight for freedom, Pakistani actor Faran Tahir.

TOMKINS (on camera): Your costars, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone --

FARAN TAHIR, ACTOR, "ESCAPE PLAN": Who are they?

TOMKINS: Yes, it doesn't come more --

(LAUGHTER)

TOMKINS: -- iconic when it comes to action heroes. How was it holding your own alongside these two giants?

TAHIR: I think before you get on the set, the idea's more daunting than the reality of it, because when you get on the set, everybody's so focused on trying to make the project the best that you can. So on the set, it's not an issue.

But when you get cast, you go, "Oh, God." This is -- these are two icons that you're working with. But I think that feeling kind of passes. And it has to, because you have a job to do.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER AS EMIL ROTTMAYER, "ESCAPE PLAN": You look like a vegetarian. Looks good.

TOMKINS: Stallone has spoken recently about the sort of long-standing rivalry between them, that dates back to one-upmanship in the 80s. Are they still -- was it a sort of battle of the -- ?

TAHIR: It's kind of, actually, charming. There's a boyish kind of competition between the two of them. They can egg each other on a little bit. Arnold can go -- just lie and go, "You know what? Your arms looked a little smaller on the last take, so why don't you do a few push-ups?" And lo and behold, he will do the push-ups.

STALLONE AS BRESLIN: "Say cheese."

TOMKINS: Your character, Javed, his role is also defined by his color and his religion.

TAHIR: Of course.

TOMKINS: So how much do you find that that's -- you're confined to play roles, certainly in Hollywood, where that's the case.

TAHIR: It's not a question of confinement. It's a question of does the character have teeth? You can play anything on the surface, or you can try to dig a little deeper and find something that you can anchor yourself in.

So, there are times when I've taken characters which I've thought, you know what? This is going to be -- stereotypical. And then I've tried to find something a little bit more, even if there's just one moment of vulnerability or one moment of humanity that you can show in that stereotypical silhouette, you've done your job.

Is he defined by his color and his religion? Yes. His name is Javed. What else would he be? My name is Faran. I am the color that I am and I am the religion that I am. So I don't take that as a negative.

My idea of mainstream is not that all of us have to be the same color. I think the idea is to show all different colors, all different religions, ethnicities, as human beings. So if we do that, then we're OK.

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FOSTER: Actor Faran Tahir speaking to Rosie Tomkins there. Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, an inside look at the Louvre. A behind-the-scenes tour coming up.

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FOSTER: The Louvre has stood at the heart of Paris for 800 years, as a medieval fortress, royal chateau, renaissance palace. Now it's the most- visited art museum on Earth, with close to 10 million visitors a year. Its collection is huge, holding a total of 460,000 works of art.

To put that into perspective, if you spent one minute observing each piece, it would take you 64 days to see everything.

All this week, we're taking a behind-the-scenes at the museum, starting off with the Louvre's director-president, Jean-Luc Martinez.

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NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like some sleeping giant, the Louvre stirs slowly into life each morning. And its great and universal art collection awaits the public.

Historically, it's been a medieval fortress, a renaissance palace, and for the past 220 years, a people's museum.

JEAN-LUC MARTINEZ, PRESIDENT-DIRECTOR OF THE MUSEE DU LOUVRE (through translator): There are very few museums which have this kind of identity: the Vatican, the Hermitage. Here, the star is the Louvre itself.

GLASS: CNN has been given rare access to the Louvre, to go behind the scenes at the museum, to explore its endless galleries, and of course, its extraordinary art, all those unforgettable faces, including that Florentine silk merchant's wife called Lisa.

The new director is a history professor and an archaeologist. Like many Parisian schoolchildren, his first experience of a museum was the Louvre, and it was the Ancient Egyptians who made a lasting impression.

GLASS (on camera): So, at 11, you remember entering here.

MARTINEZ: Yes, of course. Because it's very narrow. It's not possible to see with many people. So you're like an archaeologist.

(LAUGHTER)

GLASS (voice-over): This is the tomb of a courtier to the pharaohs some 4,500 years old.

MARTINEZ: Yes. The everyday life in Egypt with the servant --

GLASS: The inescapable problem at the Louvre is overcrowding. Too many people just coming to see the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.

MARTINEZ (through translator): In trying to speak about the Louvre in a different way, it's about showing its other treasures.

GLASS: That means the Rembrandts. At the Louvre, the great man paints himself and ages before our eyes until he's old and worn-out. It also means Johannes Vermeer of Delft, master of light and interior spaces. The Louvre is planning a big Vermeer show.

During the summer, Martinez anonymously joined the queue. He had to wait three and a half hours to get in. His determined plan is to reduce the queues, to improve circulation. There are still a lot of quiet places in the museum where you can look and contemplate the art. Martinez wants to remind us of that.

Unlike most of his predecessors, Martinez is state-educated. He wants the people's museum for everyone.

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FOSTER: Much more from Nick Glass inside the Louvre all week long. If you can't wait to know more about the world-famous museum, you may want to check out this incredible info graphic. It's at cnn.com/international.

Tune into CNN this Friday for an "Inside the Louvre" special, that's Friday, 4:30 PM in London, 5:30 PM in Berlin. Very much worth a watch.

And in tonight's Parting Shots, Prince Harry is getting ready to race across Antarctica along with a dozen wounded servicemen and women, all for raising money for military charities. And ahead of his trip, Prince Harry revealed what inspired him to go on the trip.

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PRINCE HARRY OF WALES: It really was a case of, I just have to do this. I couldn't -- me and my big mouth. There's no way I could have dropped out of this, there's no way that I couldn't have done it. So -- and also, it is a great opportunity.

I know it's slightly mad, but I've got four limbs and I'm completely fine - - well, almost fine up here. These guys have got all these issues and life- changing injuries that are really hard for them. So, I try and think of it.

Well, if I'm given the opportunity and it means that I can actually help these guys out, creating more awareness for them or whatever, then so what to minus 50? So what to 19-mile-an-hour winds? You've got to -- occasionally, you've got to put yourself through that for a good cause.

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FOSTER: Prince Harry in Antarctica. I'm Max Foster, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching.

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