Return to Transcripts main page


Connect the World Special: Delhi Gang Rape One Year On

Aired December 4, 2013 - 15:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: It was a rape that shocked the country, but did it change it?

One year on from the brutal Delhi gang rape, we bring you a special half hour program tonight looking at women's rights in India.

What's being done? What hasn't? And what needs to?

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

ANDERSON: Well, it is almost a year to the day that a brutal gang rape case sparked national protest across India and the world. A 23-year- old medical student was attacked on a bus ride home. She was raped for an hour. Her perpetrators used an iron bar to assault her and then left her on the side of the road to die.

Well, CNN has had its first in depth interview with the family members of the victim. Sumnima Udas looks back at the case that got the world's attention.


SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Chhaya Sharma has been the police investigator in India for 14 years. She has seen a lot in her career, but nothing prepared her for the night of December 16, 2012.

CHHAYA SHARMA, DEPUTY COMMUSSIONER OF POLICE, SOUTH DELHI: That night I had finished my patrolling around 12:00 and had retired home. So it was about 2:15 that my operator made a call and he phoned me. He did not have much details, but I could understand whether something happened to a girl and probably a heinous offense has occurred against her.

UDAS: Moments after the young woman and her friend had boarded the bus, the five male passengers already onboard dragged her to the back of the bus. Her friend was badly beaten. She was gang raped. The men took turns, even violating her with an iron rod while the bus drove around the city for almost an hour.

Then they were dumped by the side of the road left for dead.

But the time Sharma and her team of investigators reached the hospital, the young woman was already in surgery.

DR. MC MICSHRA, DIECTOR, AIIMS HOSPITAL: Atrocious, unbelievable injuries -- what she had sustained, we have never seen before in my almost 40 years career we have never witnessed such a horrific brutality by human beings.

UDAS: Back home, her parents waited anxiously by the phone. When it finally rang, it was not their daughter at the other end.

ASHA DEVI, DELHI RAPE VICTIM'S MOTHER (through translator): We got a call from someone saying our daughter was injured and admitted in the hospital. We found out when it happened after we arrived at the hospital.

UDAS: We were shocked to see our daughter's state. What was in front of our eyes was hard to even imagine. We didn't know how to react for the first few moments.

BADRINATH SINGH, DELHI RAPE VICTIM'S FATHER (through translator): When I first saw her, she was conscious and she was lying on the stretcher. She looked at me and started crying. I told her to keep calm and not to worry anymore as I'd take care of everything.

The doctors felt it was a miracle for her to be alive after such gruesome injuries. They informed us she might not be able to survive the surgery.

DEVI (through translator): She told me they beat her badly. What could she say? Even I didn't have the courage to ask her anything. She was in great pain, so we never asked her anything. Even in so much pain, she would keep saying, don't worry I'm doing better and will get OK very soon.

MICSHRA: Because she was young, she was healthy and because of her willpower that gave us hope that she might recover.

UDAS: Beyond the hospital walls, Sharma and her team of investigators worked tirelessly with the clues given by the male victim. Time was not on their side.

SHARMA: The condition of the girl as told to us was such that I understood that it's really quite a serious case and it's going -- the repercussions can be quite bad. So I informed my team to be prepared for the challenge which lay ahead and we should be ready with answers.

UDAS: But Sharma says what they weren't prepared for was the reaction from across India and around the world. Within days, word of the brutal attack had spread. In a country where rape is often not reported and not prosecuted, the sheer brutality of the attack had struck a nerve. Demonstrators turned out by the thousands to say enough was enough. It was time to do more to protect women in India's capital.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It was because of huge public support that we were able to gather courage to put up a tough fight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We never thought something like this could ever happen to us and in such a brutal manner. It shook the entire nation and led to public outrage on the streets. After seeing all that, we felt humanity still prevails on this Earth.

UDAS: Indian law prohibits naming a rape victim, so even though the public had never seen her face and didn't even know her name, she had become a symbol. In place of her real name, they began calling her Nebaiya (ph), the fearless one.


ANDERSON: Well, Nebaiya (ph) did not survive the ordeal, but the legacy she left lives on.

Let's bring in Sumnima now joining us from New Delhi. And Sumnima, what struck you most when speaking to the victim's family?

UDAS: Becky, right after the interview the father told me their tears have completely dried up. They have had to go through so much this year having to see their daughter in that state, having to come face to face with their daughter's rapist with their daughter's murderers every single day in court.

But what really struck me is just how much they looked up to their daughter. She was, as the mother said, really the pillar of strength for the entire family. She wanted to lift the family out of poverty. She wanted to become a doctor.

Her father, who works as a baggage handler here at the Delhi airport, he worked 16 hour shifts to ensure that she went to school. He sold their only piece of land to ensure that she got a proper education.

So there was so much hope around her. Her brothers were encouraged to study just because of her.

So when they lost her, not only did they lose their daughter, their sister, but they also lost their main source of inspiration.

ANDERSON: Sumnima, thank you for that.

Well, make sure you tune in to hear that family's story in full. That's a special documentary being featured right here on CNN. Don't miss it, Saturday 8:00 in the evening in London, that's 9:00 pm central time.

Well, last January, a commission drew up a list of legal suggestions aimed at cracking down on rape cases. Let's remind ourselves of some of them.

One such amendment calls for the death penalty for repeat rape offenders. A rape crisis will be set up to provide a legal assistants to a rape victim at police stations. And a closed circuit TV systems at the entrance and in questioning rooms. Plus harsher sentences for other offenses, including imprisonment for acid attacks and incidents of stalking.

Well, earlier I spoke to Kavita Krishnan who is a high profile women's rights activist who has been highly critical of the Indian government. I asked her what progress, if any, she thought had been made.


KAVITA KRISHNAN, SECRETARY, ALL INDIA PROGRESSIVE WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION: Some of the changes that were assured after, you know, the movement last year were of course, you know, there were things we had been demanding. For instance, an expanded definition of rape that goes behind -- goes beyond a very, very narrow definition of rape. And of course the inclusion of offenses like stalking and acid throwing and so on in the (inaudible) of the sexual assault law.

But at the same time there were several changes that we had wanted which are yet to come. For instance, we wanted marital rape to be recognized under the law, and that was resisted very strongly. And that hasn't happened. There's also the question of ending the impunity to army officers in conflict areas were accused of rape.

The other problem is that I think in a very blind way, the age of consent has been raised to 18. That has tended to criminalize consensual relationships of young people between the ages of 16 and 18. And especially in a situation of caste oppression and so on and communal conflict, these kinds of -- you know, this change has had very bad consequences.

ANDERSON: But let's just stay in Delhi for a moment and look at the statistics. 1,121 rape cases registered in the first eight months of this year, 2013. That's the highest in 13 years and more than double last year's figure of 468.

Now, do you believe -- that is, as a result of there being more rape cases, or that women are now in fact more prepared to report rape?

KRISHNAN: I would say I think the later, women have been coming forward to report rapes. And there's also greater pressure on the police to actually admit a complaint, which is still an uphill task where police still does resist filing of a police complaint in the cases of rape. But I think that in that matter, you know, the public pressure in such cases, the tendency to pursue the case and enforce -- and force the police to file a complaint, I think that has improved.

ANDERSON: I want you to take us outside of Delhi now and talk to us about the patriarchal society and its influence on women, on rape and sexual violence against women in the rural areas. What have you found? And what does the government need to do next, or India as a society need to do next to change things?

KRISHNAN: I think there are enormous problems with the way in which sexual violence is dealt with. And the response to it in rural areas. It's not that there haven't been movement there. Even before last Decmber, there have been huge movement there. One phenomenon in rural India is especially the way in which women from the oppressed (inaudible) community, the erstwhile untouchable community, the way they are targeted and raped so it's also part of a social phenomenon of oppression, gender and past oppression.

And in those cases, and in the case involved poor rural women, the police tend to not file complaints even in spite of enormous movement these complaints are usually not pursued, not filed, because the media attention on those cases is almost nonexistent.

ANDERSON: The percentage of reported rapes successfully prosecuted in India is down from 46 percent in 1971 to something like 25 percent in 2012. That is, though, still a high percentage than countries like the U.S. and Sweden in what would be perceived as the developed western world.

KRISHNAN: One should not see this as a problem of India alone. Of course India has an enormous problem of gender discrimination and sexual violence, undoubtedly. But I would say so does the entire world. And, you know, what we shouldn't (inaudible) in fact is that there was a big movement in India last year against rape culture, against the attitudes of victim blaming. And I would like to see much more of that in other parts of the world.


ANDERSON: Kavita Krishnan speaking to me earlier.

And still to come tonight on this special edition of Connect the World, I speak with a woman who was gang raped in India last year on her deep scars as she fights for justice.

And we hear from you, everyday women, telling us how you or they cope in modern day India. Stay with us. This is a very special edition of Connect the World out of London. 13 minutes past 8:00.


ANDERSON: You're watching a special edition of Connect the World where we are taking a look tonight at women's rights in India one year in from the brutal Delhi gang rape that stunned the world.

Well, every 20 minutes a woman is raped in India, a shocking statistic from India's own national crime bureau.

Now, the haunting memories and stigma of an attack stay with many victims for the rest of their lives. Earlier I spoke to Suzette Jordan, a woman who was gang raped last year after leaving a Calcutta night club with a man who had offered a lift home.


SUZETTE JORDAN, RAPE VICTIM: The person on my left caught me. He pulled my hair. He beat me. The car went off into -- speeded off out of the hotel and a couple of minutes down there was a gun in my mouth and he was abusing me and that's when it all started.

And I knew in my heart I thought I said, you know, this is the end of me.

ANDERSON: You did make it out of the car. And you reported this crime to the police and indeed to the local media. You concealed your identity to begin with. What happened?

JORDAN: Well, I did go the police after two days, because I couldn't get off of the bed, because I couldn't move. And I said to my father, I said, you know, I want to go to the police. And of course, he didn't want me to go, but not for his selfish reasons, but because I was a single mother. I was at a nightclub. I had been drinking. So he knew the repercussions. He knew that it was going to be blown out of proportion.

ANDERSON: The chief minister of West Bengal called you a liar when you revealed what had happened. How did that make you feel? And has anything changed?

JORDAN: Initially when I went to the police, of course they left no stone unturned to humiliate me, to make me feel it was my fault, to dismiss me, to not take me seriously. In the police station, every officer that was there -- there not a lady officer present -- every every officer that was there kept questioning me. They all kept coming in and asking if I was raped, if I was raped. And I kept saying to them, yes, I was. Yes, I was.

I still wrote my firsthand report and I gave it to the police. And they stole my (inaudible) they stole everything. They kept -- you know, putting it off, putting it off, because when I took the help of the media, when it went into the media as my father had predicted, everybody, you know, part of a section of society of course, you know, they started doubting my character. And so, yes, there were derogatory comments made by a lot of ministers here.

They all said that I was 37 and I deserved to be raped. I was at a nightclub. I deserved to be raped.

A part of society, the ones that judged me and made me feel like it was my fault, stigmatized me.

ANDERSON: How would you describe that stigmatization felt by the victim of a rape?

JORDAN: Firstly, I never got the chance to heal, because from day one I've been fighting my case all by myself. I never, ever got the chance to counsel myself, because I never had the chance to do that.

I am a mother. I can't lie back in bed and say that I've been raped and I am -- now I've got to rest. I can't do that. I have a family. I have to sustain my family. I'm a single parent, I've got to do it.

So I got up, I did it. And people stopped, because I was doing my daily work -- of course it took me three months before I actually got out of home to look for a job. I never got a job.

ANDERSON: You've said that you felt relieved that you have disclosed your name and your identity. You're no longer just the Park Street rape victim. But when you -- when I listen to the way that life has been and the path that you're on, was it worth it?

JORDAN: Well, yes. I -- I wish and I pray that every rape victim, or every victim of any kind of violence subjected on them should stand up as they are and speak, because if you have to fight you need to be heard.


ANDERSON: Suzette Jordan's story from India.

Live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, three Indian women, three different cities, sharing their views on daily life and whether they feel safe.


ANDERSON: Delhi's gang rape case spread like wildfire on social media. Users got online to express outrage, organize protests and attend vigils. And it was with this black dot that they united, using it as their profile picture. It became a symbol for women's struggles in India.

Now you only need to scroll back down a Twitter feed to see the massive reaction at the time. This from one lady, "this has to be the tipping point in India for women's rights. Why should walking down the street fill a woman or a girl with fear."

Another said, "it is sickening to see such moral degradation in society and so is the police response. Police reforms now."

Men also getting involved, "if all this protest is only for death -- of the accused we've got it wrong. Fight for better law and order, not revenge."

Well, I spoke to three women in three different cities across India to gauge if they think things have changed in the past year. I started by asking how safe they feel when using public transport. Have a listen to this.


MEDHA CHATURVEDI, ASSOCIATE FELLOW, OBSERVER RESERACH FOUNDATION, DELHI: I feel safe using the Delhi metro, because it is under CCTV surveillance. But for other modes of public transport the situation I would say mine's -- as a woman, my mindset has changed in the sense of being more cautious.

ANDERSON: Theresa, what about you? Do you feel safe?

THERESA RONNIE, ADVERTISING PROFESSIONAL, BANGALORE: Safe is very subjective, Becky. You know, within the comfort of my home, within the comfort of my office yes I do feel safe, because it's an environment that I can control. But the minute I step outside or the minute I have somebody coming into my home or -- in any way interacting with my family I'm immediately in a non-safe way of interaction.

ANDERSON: And you're in Chennai, Shwetha, how about you?

SHWETHA KALYANASUNDARAN, MARKETING PROFESSIONAL, CHENNAI: There are instances of, you know, groping. Minor incidents do happen when you take the public transportation, but I have never had fear of walking out at any time of the day. I also carry pepper spray with me, just in case.

ANDERSON: Medha, Shwetha alludes to there being incidents of minor gropings, but you know that happens anywhere in the world I think is her suggestion. That's not good enough, really, though is it? But that's certainly not rape.

CHATURVEDI: No, but at the same time that is how the mentality changes, you know. When you -- when you start taking groping as a minor incident, then you start accepting slowly everything and after a point in time how much is too much is the line blurs.

ANDERSON: Theresa, in India still, rape is often not reported and indeed not prosecuted. Do you think the government is doing enough?

RONNIE: Yes. The government is making progressive stance, especially the current government. They may not have been the quickest, they may not have been the most efficient, but I think their heart is in place and they're doing things to bring people to justice. We have had a few high profile cases happen after the Delhi case as well where people have been quick to jump and ask for justice and justice is in the process of being served.

ANDERSON: Shwetha, my producer spoke to you a little earlier before this panel discussion. We got the sense from you that you felt that the -- that India as a whole had been vilified over these cases by the international media. Do you still believe that?

KALYANASUNDARAN: Yes, I do. Recent spat of cases that have been reported in the media has tarnished, you know, our country's image. You know, these incidents of sexual violence happens right across the globe and not just in our country.

ANDERSON: Theresa, a year on from the horrendous crime in Delhi, where do you think India is?

RONNIE: I think that people are way more aware now of their own personal safety and the safety of people that they care about and people that they come in contact with. It's definitely a topic of discussion.

ANDERSON: Medha, how would you characterize the impact that the December Delhi rape incident has had on India?

CHATURVEDI: It has definitely brought to the forefront the conversation about -- the conversation and debate about sexual violence against women. At the same time, I feel that a real change will only come about when real issues are addressed. Quick fix measures may impact the safety of the men for the time being, but unless bigger issues are taken into consideration, this is going to be a recurring problem that will keep coming up.


ANDERSON: Three women in three different cities. One year on, we are asking from the brutal gang rape in Delhi we are asking how much has changed and what more needs to be done.

Well, here's a look at some of the responses I've been getting.

Keira Rodriguez posted on the Connect the World Facebook page, "there needs to be a societal re-wiring so that a woman's clothes, body type or reputation doesn't come into play at all. No one has the right to violate another's body.

(inaudible) said, "we don't have an effective legal procedure. People in the court lack the sense of responsibility. As one of our politicians said in the past, India is facing a crisis of character.

Ben Ram from the UK tweeted, "so we should be more critical of India's law enforcement? Crimes in India are systematically under reported.

And the women's rights group Trust Women has the view, "more rapes are reported in India, but the legal system is still biased."

What do you think needs to be done to stop sexual violence in the country. The team at Connect the World wants to hear from you., have your say. You can always tweet me, of course, @BeckyCNN. Also on Instagram. You can find us BeckyCNN. You can watch my daily preview of the show there as well.

Well, one of the world's untold stories is about the women, or the woman profiled at the beginning of this show. Nebaiya (ph), the fearless one, has become a symbol for change in her home country. This special explores the tragic events that have been a watershed moment for India. That's Saturday, 8:00 pm in London, 9:00 pm in Berlin, only on CNN.

Well, do stay with us. The latest world news headlines are just ahead.


ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD. The top stories for you this hour here on CNN.

Thousands of people packed the streets of the Lebanese town of Baalbek earlier today to mourn the death of a senior Hezbollah commander. Hassan Hawlo al-Laqis was shot four times in the head and shoulders outside his home in Beirut.

Hezbollah initially blamed Israel, but a little-known Sunni group has claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter. CNN's senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh has more from the Lebanese capital.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This assassination, rare inside Beirut to see a senior Hezbollah official attacked and killed in such away, comes hot on the heels of the attack on the Iranian embassy, themselves also a key backer of the Syrian regime in Damascus along whose side Hezbollah are openly fighting now as well.

The question really is, many asking, who was Hassan Laqis in the order of Hezbollah's commanders. I understand from Western security analyst that in the late 90s, early 2000s, he was chief of procurement with strong links to Iran, obtaining high technology for them.

They dropped off the radar in the latter part of the decade. Suggestions, though, still that he knew very senior figures inside Hezbollah on a personal level.

What happens now, he was buried in Baalbek very swiftly by Hezbollah. Quite what comes next, no one is clear, but it's certainly ratcheting up tensions here, people deeply concerned now.

We're seeing on an almost weekly basis this kind of sectarian violence, in many ways reducible down to Sunni versus Shia, the mirror of what's happening inside Syria. Many concerned one day it may just slip out of anybody's control.


ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh reporting there from Beirut. Well, the spike in violence in Lebanon is linked with the bloody civil war raging next-door in Syria. Earlier, activists saying at least 17 people were killed during a rocket attack on the government-held al Furqan neighborhood in Aleppo.

Since the start of the Syrian civil war nearly three years ago, we've seen a number of high-ranking officials defecting to the rebels. Now, though, some who joined the Free Syrian Army are returning to the government's side. Frederik Pleitgen takes a closer look at some of the reasons why.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Adversaries battling each other in Syria's civil war seem beyond reconciliation, but that doesn't mean there aren't some breaking ranks.

The Syrian Army introduced us to 28-year-old Wael Fadel Ninn and 25- year-old Akram Samer Halabi. Both say they worked for the rebel Free Syrian Army but have now defected back to the government side.

"I didn't have much money to get my family food," Akram says, "and the FSA promised me that they would give me $400 a month to carry a weapon and help."

This area in the Damascus suburbs has seen heavy fighting in the past year. Both men say they spent time on the front line with the rebels, but insist they never fired a shot.

"Sometimes I had to dig fox holes and tunnels for them," Wael says, "and sometimes when they went to fight, they took me with them as a driver."

It's impossible to independently verify either of these men's claims. Since the beginning of the uprising against the Assad regime, a lot has been reported about Syrian Army officers and high-level politicians defecting to the opposition, but very little is known about those who come back to the government side.

The officer in charge of military operations here, who refused to be identified, says recent government gains have led to more people defecting from the ranks of the opposition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the last month, the numbers became larger. Yes. We began with one since months ago, finished with dozens a week ago.

PLEITGEN: The army says possible defectors usually make contact over the phone. After verifying their identities, the military sometimes helps them escape.

"At night, the FSA guys were playing cards," Wael says, "so I told them I could take their weapons and stand guard. I was talking on the phone, and they thought I was talking to my wife. I started to run until I got to the highway on the government side."

Both Wael and Akram say they have no more contact with opposition fighters, who remain engulfed in a fierce battle against the Assad regime.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Damascus.


ANDERSON: Revealing testimony today in the high-profile trial involving the British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson. She went before a London court and admitted using cocaine several times, and she also said her former husband threatened to destroy her.

Lawson took the stand against her two former assistants who were accused of embezzling more than a million dollars. Erin McLaughlin has the details.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson appeared in court today, and she addressed allegations of drug abuse. She said that she does not have a drug problem, that she's not a drug addict, instead saying that she thinks that she has a life problem.

She did, however, admit to using cocaine on two separate occasions. The first time with her now-late husband, John Diamond, when they learned that he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They took the drug to escape treatment.

She said she didn't use cocaine again until July 2010, and she was married to her now-former husband, Charles Saatchi. She said that she was subject at the time to, quote, "intimate terrorism" from Saatchi. She said she felt totally chained, isolated, and unhappy, and a friend gave her the cocaine.

Now, she also admitted to at times using marijuana, but says that at present, she is completely drug-free. Now, earlier today, she also testified about Charles Saatchi and how he threatened to, quote, "destroy" her if she did not appear in court and clear his name.

She said that she was surprised to find herself at the center of this trial. After all, she is not the defendant here. The defendants are her two former personal assistants. Their names are Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo.

The prosecution alleges that the sisters at times would use Saatchi's company card to charge fraudulently over a million dollars in luxury goods, funding a luxurious lifestyle, charges that those sisters have denied, pointing to Nigella Lawson as a habitual drug user, saying that she knew of their expenses.

Today was the first time that Nigella Lawson was able to respond to those allegations. Her testimony continues tomorrow.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, the lower house of the French parliament has approved a new law aiming to crack down on sex trafficking rings. The new measure would impose a fine on those caught paying for sex. Prostitution is currently legal in France, but solicitation is not.

Now, under the bill, anyone caught paying for sex would face a fine of at least $2,000. It still has to pass the Senate before that law is brought in.

Well, thousands of demonstrators remain on the streets of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, this evening, in a bid to put pressure on the government. The protests began after the government backtracked on plans for a trade agreement with the European Union.

Now, meeting with the opposition leader earlier today, German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle reassured Ukrainians that the gates of Europe were still open. But the prime minister -- the Ukrainian prime minister says the people on the streets are simply there to provoke the authorities.


MYKOLA AZAROV, PRIME MINISTER OF UKRAINE: There are about 2,500 of military men and people who want to take serious actions in Kiev.


ANDERSON: Well, it's nearly a year since the massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown in Connecticut. Twenty children and seven adults were killed that day, along with the gunmen, Adam Lanza, who shot himself.

We recently got the official report on what happened, and now the 911 recordings of that incident have been released publicly. CNN editorial officials will review the content carefully and decide which portions are suitable for our air.

A day-old truce between anti-government protesters and security forces has remained intact in Thailand. The peace pact between the two sides is out of respect for the much-loved Thai king, who turns 86 on Thursday. Violence has temporarily ceased, but demonstrators do remain active non- violently throughout the region. The government has called for the surrender of the protest leader.

Joe Biden has told the Chinese president that the United States does not recognize China's newly-declared air defense zone. According to senior administration officials, the American vice president told Xi Jinping that the US has deep concerns about the contested zone in the East China Sea. And according to officials, the private talks between the two covered, and I quote, "every single topic in the US-China relationship."

You're live in London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson, 41 minutes past 8:00 here. Coming up, where silence meets the stage. We look at the mimes who don't need noise to convey a message.

And the storms that are expected to bring cold temperatures and travel problems across Europe and the United States. Stay with us. This is CNN.


ANDERSON: Sometimes what we don't say can be just as revealing as what we do say. At the prestigious Jacques Lecoq Theater School in Paris, acting students hone their skills. Tonight on the Art of Movement, CNN's Nick Glass visits the theater school to discover the power of mime and physical theater.



NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here in an old gymnasium in Paris, a group of students are learning how to fall to the ground like a sheet of paper. This is just one of the many objects they'll be asked to imitate during their two years at the prestigious Jacques Lecoq International School of Theater.


GLASS: Alumni include Oscar-winning Geoffrey Rush, Sergi Lopez, and Isla Fisher. They come here to learn the movement techniques created by one of the greatest mime teachers of all time, the late Jacques Lecoq. For him, mime wasn't a substitute for words, but the essential body language of theater.

JOS HOUBEN, TEACHER, JACQUES LECOQ INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF THEATER: He does not teach you to move. He teaches you to look and to see movement. A certain Zen Master said, when I point to the moon, do you see the moon or do you see my hand? So, do you look at my hand, or do you look at the moon? Where is the extension, the direction, the poetry behind the gesture?

TURNER: The basis of this school is really looking at the -- what we call the pneumatic aspect of humanity, how in looking at something, the body reacts. How when we see a tree, how does the body reflect that?

Should we try a building together? Let's try a space together. La Grand Palais.

GLASS: Objects offer an infinite source of inspiration for the actors to create characters, everything from shapes to colors to materials can evoke an emotion that can be turned into motion. The essential lesson as Lecoq saw it was that "tout bouge," everything moves.

HOUBEN: We talk of architecture as frozen music. It is not because it moves that we are moved.

GLASS: Theater begins in silence, the empty stage precedes the action. What we say to each other can take on new meaning, the context of what we don't say.

TURNER: I think movement is really our primary language, it's what we understand. We say the body never lies. It's what we believe when people tell us things. We react a lot more to their physical presence than actually what they say. With words, we lie very well.

PAOLA RIZZA, TEACHER, JACQUES LECOQ INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF THEATER (through translator): When I'm with someone I don't know, I don't talk to them. There is a period of silence, and during this period of silence, lots of things happen -- the looks, the body positions.

All those silent things happen, and that is theater, and that is the greatest lesson of Jacques Lecoq's theater, what is unwritten, what is invisible.

GLASS: Actors will always need to say their lines. The theater will continue to explore what happens between them, looking to the silent world outside to inspire the body and fill in the spaces.

HOUBEN: When he was asked, why do you insist so much on movement? He said, well, because later in life we only have the memory of it. So as long as you're young and you can move, move!


ANDERSON: Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, the Big Chill sets for Europe and the United States as powerful storms approach. We'll get to the Weather Center for you.

Plus, Amazon delivery by drone has caught the world's imagination. We're going to find out if people believe this hype. That after this.


ANDERSON: Batten down the hatches and reach for those warm coats, woolly hats, and gloves because powerful storms are about to sweep across much of Europe and the United States and could cause major travel delays. Let's find out what's going on. CNN's Jenny Harrison is live at the CNN World Weather Center with an update for us. Where are you going to start, Jen?

JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, yes, exactly. Where, indeed, Becky? Good question. I'm going to start in Europe first of all. This storm system is really all about the winds and the possible storm surge. Now, the last few hours, things not really looking too bad at all on satellite.

Some good, clear skies across the central Med, much of the Mediterranean, finally the water, the area of low pressure pushing to the east. But you see this mass of cloud here just now beginning to push into areas of Scotland. This is its next area of low pressure.

Now, the track has changed slightly to what it was looking like this time yesterday, but as you can see where it is basically heading. Now, this is a very intense area of low pressure, so we're going to see some really strong winds, in fact. Once again, gusts could be over 100 kilometers an hour. And obviously, the areas in red are where we expect to see some of the strongest winds.

It is also bringing with it rain and snow, because the temperatures are on the low side. But just look at some of these expected wind gusts in the next 24 to 48 hours. Here's the time frame up here, it's in Central European Time. But if we just start -- and I'm going to pause it a couple of times to show you some of these wind gusts.

So, 104 kilometers an hour expected in Glasgow. That will be early morning on Thursday, but at that point, the winds already becoming very strong across much of the region. Again, later in the day on Thursday, in the afternoon, 104 kilometers an hour, that gusts there expected in Copenhagen. You can see winds generally 70, 80, 90 kilometers an hour, some of these gusts coming in.

And then Friday morning, again, we've got some very strong winds across the north into Stockholm. So this really, the setup here, is obviously late Wednesday on into Friday. And all the way through Friday, look at this. Friday lunchtime, still the winds sustained across northern areas of Europe in the high 80s. So a very intense system indeed.

Now, because of the strength of the system, the force of those winds, storm surge, flooding along coastal areas is a very big concern. Again, these areas in red is where we expect to see some considerable storm surge, but also regions of the UK, particularly down sort of Yorkshire coast, northern areas of the Norwich coast as well.

And of course, storm surge with the -- tied into with the high tides as well really could cause some serious problems. You need to stay away from the coast. People always so inclined to go out there and take some good pictures because it will look amazing, but very dangerous.

As I say, at the same time, we've got snow coming in, we've got the rain coming in, and again, Scandinavia in particular picking up a lot of this. But look at the snow that's going to come down. This is what we mean about the travel delays. It is widespread in the next 48 hours. So you need to be prepared for that.

There's some rain as well. That will be very heavy, again, along coastal areas of Norway, maybe over 10 centimeters. And then at the airports on Thursday, very long delays likely. Stockholm, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Amsterdam, and also some medium delays. So just be prepared for the worst. It's likely to continue into Friday as well.

We've had a lot of problems, mostly the winds beginning to kick up on Thursday, 90-minute delays, the snow with that wind, so blizzard conditions likely in Stockholm, maybe delays of two hours or more, and there could well, of course, be plenty of cancellations as well as the delays, Glasgow as well, 90 minutes beginning on Thursday morning.

It is very cold, so this will not help as well. Temperatures will obviously keep a lot of that snow on the ground. Talking of cold, look at this. Minus 13 Celsius in Denver right now. It is 25 in Dallas. A thousand kilometers between the two, just 600 miles, such a dramatic drop in the temperatures. The wind makes it feel even colder.

And for the next few days, temperatures well below the average. Just look at this, Minneapolis, minus 13, the average is zero. Calgary in Canada, minus 19 Celsius. And Denver, temperatures minus 10 on Thursday.

This is the setup here: the cold air coming through, there's a lot of moisture, certainly, ahead of this system, and in particular between the two, it's all about the ice. And as you know, the ice is the worst thing of all. You certainly can't travel in that. So a lot of problem on the roads as well as up in the skies.

The snow that's accumulating is going to be further to the north across Canada, not particularly heavy out across the west, but even so, enough to cause those delays. It's the ice that's a concern, this area in pink. So we could have as much as 6 or 7 millimeters of ice.

And again, when it comes to the airports, remember, there could be some cancellations, but certainly lengthy delays on Thursday. Dallas, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, and Memphis. And that again, likely continue into Friday as the system pushes towards the northeast.

So, Becky, a lot for travelers to contend with. The best advice is take care, be safe, and also check ahead if you're heading off to the airport.

ANDERSON: Yes, and if you don't have to travel, don't do it.

HARRISON: Yes, absolutely.

ANDERSON: Jen, thank you for that. Holiday shopping season, of course, and more people will be heading online to buy gifts. That means online retail companies have got to find ways to deliver packages faster and earlier.

This week, the retail giant Amazon announced it's looking at delivery parcels by drone. Jeanne Moos on that story for you.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No sooner had Charlie Rose expressed his wonder --


MOOS: -- no sooner had Amazon's delivery drone lifted off in this promotional video, when the drone was attacked by mockery.

STEPHAN COLBERT, "THE COLBERT REPORT": Navigating through the parts of America with no trees, phone lines, or buildings --


COLBERT: -- then landing on your doorstep while your family cowers inside.

MOOS: Is it Amazon Prime Air, or hot air? Will it join the flying taco? And the flying cake?

MOOS (on camera): Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a publicity stunt?

MOOS (voice-over): The Taco Copter was definitely a stunt.

COLBERT: If we can achieve this, perhaps one day, I can finally realize my dream of eating a burrito launched from a nuclear submarine.


MOOS: And the Domino's Pizza Drone was pie in the sky. Just a marketing gimmick. The flying waitress at a London sushi restaurant is still in its testing phase. Wouldn't want that to happen to one of the high-end cakes that were supposed to be delivered by drone in China. Oh, wait. The "Shanghai Daily" reports Chinese authorities grounded the cake over safety concerns.

MOOS (on camera): And then there was the British bookseller that thought it would be a hoot do to something with owls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OWLS. The Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service.

MOOS (voice-over): Waterstones poked fun at Amazon by substituting owls for drones.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OWLS consists of a fleet of specially-trained owls.

MOOS: Just like the ones used to deliver letters to Harry Potter. There were jokes about disguising military drones as Amazon's. Hey, Saddam, do you remember ordering anything from Amazon?

MOOS (on camera): And just in case you missed your Amazon drone delivery --

MOOS (voice-over): -- one joker posted a "we attempted a drone delivery" notice. "Your package has been destroyed, along with the drone, after it strayed into restricted airspace.

Amazon drones might want to avoid the town of Deer Trail, Colorado.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don't want your drone to go down, don't fly it in town.

MOOS: An opponent of drones is trying to get the town to issue drone hunting licenses. And we'll never forget the Dutch artists whose beloved cat died. He had it taxidermied and turned into this. What's next? The cat copter delivering pet food?

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


ANDERSON: And from London, it is a very good evening.