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Thousands Pay Respects to Nelson Mandela; TIME Names Pope Francis Person of the Year; The Sex Trade Of Cambodia; India Criminalizes Gay Sex; Ukraine's Political Crisis; Uruguay Legalizes Marijuana Trade; How Web Shapes Fashion World; Parting Shots: Prince Harry's Antarctica Trek

Aired December 11, 2013 - 15:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Humble, simple, an ambassador for the poor, some of the qualities that have made this man TIME Person of the Year 2013.

Tonight, a look at Pope Francis's papacy and why he's being called the People's Pope.

Also ahead...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...which defined the association agreement with Europe.


ANDERSON: Why Europe is still hopeful for a solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

And as Uruguay moves to legalize pot, Mexico's former president tells me whether other countries should follow suit?

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

ANDERSON: On the Catholic Church is entering a new era in public perception. Less than a year into his papacy, Pope Francis has been named the magazine's person of the year. TIME said of their choice, he took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The septuagenarian superstar is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century. He gained the distinction over other finalist, including NSA leaker Edward Snowden, gay rights activist Edith Windsor. And Syrian president Bashar al Assad.

Well, the pope has not publicly acknowledged the title, but the Vatican gave a positive response saying it brings the tension to issues of the faith.

Well, let's bring in our team for more on this story. Senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman is standing by in Rome. Shasta Darlington is in Sao Paulo with more on the South American perspective. And CNN's religion commentator Father Beck is with us from New York.

Ben, let's start with you. Given the lineup, you might say, or many people might say around the world that he was a shoe-in. But leaving the competition aside, the Vatican will be understandably delighted. But is this as much about the way they've managed their message as much as it is about what they've done that makes the decision hardly a surprising one?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Well, certainly they've been very clever, Becky, at managing the message. And it's difficult to tell whether this is orchestrated or this is simply Pope Francis continuing the sort of things, the habits, the gestures large and small that he became famous for when he lived and served in Argentina.

Now, for instance, earlier just a few weeks ago we had an opportunity to meet somebody who was on the receiving end of one of his small, but surprising gestures. This is our report.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After four hours of work, Vinicio Riva is done. Five days a week, he does odd jobs at a home for the elderly in Vicenza in northern Italy.

By the way, did you notice something? Yes, 53-year-old Vinicio suffers from a hereditary genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 1. His body's almost covered from head to toe with growths, swellings and sores.

His mother had the same condition, as does his sister. He's had it since the age of 15.

His appearance often terrifies strangers. Vinicio recalls trying to take a seat on a bus, but being told by the passenger next to him to sit somewhere else.

"I wanted to answer back, but I controlled myself," he says. "I felt my blood pressure rise. I wanted to leave the bus, but I had a doctor's appointment. There were lots of people on the bus, but no one said a word."

Not all strangers, however, react like that. Earlier this month, Vinicio went with his Aunt Caterina to St. Peter's Square where Pope Francis approached him and without a moment's hesitation kissed and hugged him. "When he embraced me", he recalls, "I quivered. I felt a great warmth."


WEDEMAN: And of course he -- this is just one of many small acts, but also a variety of larger acts. Let's keep in mind that even though he's done these things like embracing this man Vinicio that we spoke to, calling people up out of the blue. He's also launched some fairly serious initiatives.

Tomorrow, we'll be reporting on reforms and Vatican finances. He's made it clear that he wants the church to be inclusive to not be a place of small rules. It's obsessed with things like gay marriage and abortion and contraception. He wants to bring people into the church, not exclude them -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is in Rome for you this evening. Ben, always a pleasure to have you on. Thank you for that.

Shasta is in Sao Paulo for you. Brazil, no doubt, delighted. In Argentina, Shasta, is there a unanimous vote of confidence in the man who hailed from there and now runs one of the -- if not the biggest organization in the world?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky it's interesting. You know, when this man Cardinal Jorge Borgoglio was first elected, it raised a lot of expectations and hopes throughout Latin America that he would change the papacy.

But at the same time, it raised a lot of questions. And that's because while he was well respected as a cardinal, he wasn't exactly revered. People didn't know him that well. He went to the slums on the weekend to celebrate mass. He was very austere, but he wasn't this charismatic personality that we're getting to know now.

Of course, listen to what Argentine's have to say about him today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He is a representative not only for Christians, but for all religions. He is really working towards peace, towards union. This is a revolutionary change. We need world leaders who can call for peace in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): All the things that he is doing are incredible. And I really hope he can do much more. I hope he's allowed to do much more, which is our concern.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He is a different pope. He has different ideas. He wants to get other religions together.


DARLINGTON: Now the impact was really felt across Latin America. In fact, when Pope Francis made his first international trip to Rio de Janeiro here in Brazil, the crowds were just following him everywhere. There were more than a million people on the beach hoping to hear him and see him when he was celebrating mass there. And this is a region while it's traditionally Catholic it's been losing ground to evangelical Christians. There's a lot of hope that that trend will now be reversed, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Shasta, thank you for that.

France's influence, then, goes far beyond the Vatican and regular churchgoers. This year he was the most talked about topic on Facebook, pushing out other huge news stories, including the birth of the royal baby and the typhoon in the Philippines. He's even a verified Vatican man with 10 million followers on his multiple Twitter accounts.

And you've been having your say on Prince believes, "for his humble service to humanity, Pope Francis deserved it."

And Keira Rodriguez adding, "yeah, it's actually the right choice. As a non-religious person myself, I think actions speak louder than words. And the pope's actions," she says, "have certainly done that."

Something we're going to discuss in a moment.

Let's bring in Father Edward Beck now. He's in New York this evening.

And, Father Beck, what is it about a man that has made him so popular not just to those of the faith, but to such a wide demographic? The most talked about man on Facebook, or person on Facebook this year. That's not a demographic that you would have expected to have monopolized is it?

REV. EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: Certainly not. And Becky, when you and I were in Rome, it seems like eons ago, but it was only nine months ago. So in nine months now, this man has changed the face of the Catholic church perceptionwise and with real action.

We've kind of moved from a church of thou shalt not to a church of thou shall. He says get with the people, get off your pedestal and do the missionary work of Jesus with your people.

And so I think who could have thought nine months ago what would have occurred and yet he has indeed, as you say, become the most popular on the Internet, Facebook, Twitter. His Twitter account approaches I think Justin Bieber.

And so I think it's because he simply is who he is. He was simple when he was in Argentina. And he is simple now. And he kind of eschews all of the trappings that would be natural for a man in his position and says I'm really about something else.

ANDERSON: Father Beck, let's just go through some of the highlights, if I may, of the -- what is it -- last six months or so. Pope Francis's approach to faith is being described as being very hands on. In just nine months it's had a big effect, of course, as Father Beck said on the church. He's led by example and made the church seem less formal. He didn't mind when this little boy, for example, upstaged him during his homily. He's simply smiling and patting the boy's head.

He took on the highly contentious topic of homosexuality within the church saying the church had no right to, and I quote him, "interfere spiritually in the lives of gays and lesbians."

And just weeks ago, he released the apostolic exhortation, an official document which outlined the major changes he sees in store for the church.

Now, Father Beck, I mean you are out amongst a flock, as it were, so you're talking from as much from experience as you are from the heart when you talk about the pope. He said it himself, he's no saint. He has critics both on the liberal left -- they say all talk, no action on things like women priests and gay rights. And on the conservative right, of course, he's shaking things up, they say, to the detriment of the faith.

Now, as the Vatican manages its message going forward, to they care about those extremes?

BECK: I really don't think they do. Now, of course they're going to care if there's inaccurate reporting, if things are being said that aren't true. But I think what they're saying to Pope Francis, and I don't think they have to tell him, do what you do, be who you are, and let it just happen as its meant to happen.

He's already now going to bring a group of eight cardinals together in October and they're going to start to talk about some very serious, one of them being -- so for those who say he hasn't really done anything, he's talked about the divorce and remarried, why can't they receive communion? Maybe we should look at that. So in October that commission of eight is going to look at that.

He's reformed the Vatican Bank. It's more transparent than it's been.

He's called together a commission for sex abuse for the clergy. And he wants to dig deeper into that issue where people say he hasn't done enough yet.

So he is making strides in very important areas.

ANDERSON: When you talk to people on a daily basis about your faith and the work you are doing, what more needs to be done by the church to engage with a wider audience, if there were one thing that has struck you in the last nine months that the pope has talked about or achieved and that your sort of congregation, as it were, has reacted really positively to, what would it be?

BECK: I would say, Becky, that people have come back to the church and said to me we have been away and this man gives us hope. We have felt alienated. I've had gay people come to my congregation and say, you know, I've been away for ten years because I felt I was being pushed away. And when this man says to me who am I to judge I was so moved that I'm here.

I had a divorce woman come and receive communion just last week. And she said I know it's not even accepted yet, because I'm remarried, but I believe this pope would understand.

So people are beginning to feel included in a way that they haven't for a very long time.

And I'd say that is primarily the perception that I see, that people are showing up who haven't darkened the door for quite some time.

ANDERSON: Not a bad CEO, huh?

BECK: I would say that's very true.

ANDERSON: Always a pleasure. Thank you very much, indeed. Who would have thought when we were together doing this story in a room outside the Vatican this would be where we were nine months on.

Well, this is also a pontiff who has had a wide ranging experience in life, including a one-time stint as a bar bouncer. Check that out on our special section of the website And you've been having your say on TIME Magazine's decision toward Pope Francis's Person of the Year. Head to to join in the conversation. You can post a video with your thoughts on Instagram, just use the hashtag #CNNconnect.

All right, we're going to take a very short break. When we come back, crowds gather to bid an emotional farewell to Nelson Mandela as he now lies in state in the place where his presidency began.

Also this hour, Ukrainian protesters are in no mood to compromise. We're going to see why they are rejecting the government's offer for national dialogue.

Plus, we investigate the children forced into prostitution by the people they trusted most. That's tonight's Freedom Project. You're with CNN. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Now, family members, world leaders and average South Americans -- let me start that again, average South Africans all came together in Pretoria today to pay their last respects to Nelson Mandela. Thousands of people lined up for hours for a chance to file past Mandela's coffin.

Well, the former president is lying in state at Pretoria's main government building, the same place where he was sworn in back in 1994.

CNN's David McKenzie joined the lines a little earlier today.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Some people have been waiting since 4:00 in the morning here in Pretoria to pay their respects to this great man. They say they wanted to come here because it's the last time they can see Madiba, the last time to tell him how much he did for this country. It really is reminiscent of '94, the election lines for a peaceful transition here in South Africa.

The amazing thing is the union buildings used to be the absolute seat of the apartheid government, many people expressing that coming here is really the end of an era, the people allowed to go into the seat of government to pay their respects to this great man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are all one nation because of this man, because he did a lot for us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, to pay the last tribute to an excellent vita, you know, it's chance in a lifetime and to pay tribute to a really a leader that inspired everybody in South Africa and he was a true leader.

UNIDENTIFEID FEMALE: I need to pay my last respects and to see him for the last time, because he fought for us. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't be in a proper school. So that's why I'm here.

MCKENZIE: The buses are leaving all through the morning for people to go pay their respects. This has been very like a pilgrimage this morning here. People have a very personal connection here to Nelson Mandela. And for today, their main aim is to go and see him and to say goodbye.


ANDERSON: And David joining us now with more.

David, there is some controversy over the sign language the interpreter used during yesterday's memorial service for Nelson Mandela. What's the latest on that?

MCKENZIE: Well, the latest is really it's worth remembering that man standing next to these world leaders very confidently giving sign language through several hours of the memorial, the Nelson Mandela memorial at the FNB stadium. You know, those of us who don't understand sign just assumed that he was accurate.

But even during that event people from the deaf community here in South Africa were sending in social media messages saying pull him off the stage, because he doesn't know what he's doing, that he doesn't make any sense, embarrassing revelations now continuing that the ANC saying they might have employed this man before, but didn't in this case and that the government saying it's looking into the matter and the report and will report back at some point.

But it does seem, according to at least experts out there that understand South African sign language that he might have just been making it up all along -- Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. More on that as we get it. David for the time being, thank you.

Well, French troops are pressing ahead with efforts to disarm militia in the Central African Republic despite the death of two French soldiers there.

Now those casualties came just hours before French President Francois Hollande stopped in the capital to visit his troops. The soldiers were killed when their patrol was attacked there. France is helping African Union troops try to restore order after deadly violence between Christian and Muslim militia.

In India, gay rights activists are calling a supreme court ruling a dark day for freedom. The supreme court there has overturned a lower court ruling and made sex between consenting homosexual partners illegal once again.

Well, the lower court had decriminalized gay sex four years ago.

U.S. and UK governments are suspending non-lethal aid to Syria's northern rebels because of frequent violence near the Turkish border. The suspension does not affect humanitarian aid efforts. Meanwhile, harsh winter weather threatens hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The storm is bringing snow and heavy rain and organizations are working around the clock to deliver blankets and heating fuel they need.

Well, live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up we follow Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino as she goes to Cambodia to track down the men who force their kids into prostitution.

And a policy change in a South American country could have a global impact.


ANDERSON: Now if you are a regular viewer of CNN. And I do hope that you are. You'll know that we are and continue to be committed to shining a light into the dark corners of modern-day slavery. Now as part of our ongoing Freedom Project, a new documentary debuts this week about the horrors of child prostitution.

Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino traveled to Cambodia and came face- to-face with the men who sell their own children into the sex industry. Have a look at this.


MIRA SORVINO, ACTRESS: Don says the children of Sweipak (ph) are still sold for sex every day, it's just gone underground.

Many are sold as virgins by their own parents. As we walk along the dirt roads, Don points out a table of men playing cards. He says they're there every day.

DON BREWSTER, ACTIVIST: Instead of caring for their family or working, they sit there and gamble and drink all day because they traffic kids, including their own.

SORVINO: These guys do?

BREWSTER: Yep. Yep. These guys right here. It's...

SORVINO: Their own. They traffic their own children?

BREWSTER: Their own kids as well as others, not just their own. See. See what happens when the light comes.

SORVINO: Yeah. Yeah. Roaches scatter when the light comes. That's what happens, the roaches and the rats scatter when the light comes.

I just want to yell at them. But I don't know if it's going to happen if I yell at them.

BREWSTER: Well, you know what the truth is?


BREWSTER: They think they're untouchable because they have them.

SORVINO: Do you think any of them speak English?

BREWSTER: No. No. Most of them speak Vietnamese.

SORVINO: I knew they probably wouldn't they understand me and that it wouldn't make any difference at all, but I felt compelled to say something, as futile as it might be.

I just want them to know that the world is watching them, you know, I just want them to know that there's a tally being taken.

Yeah, we're filming. It's not OK to sell children. It's not OK to sell children to pedophiles. It's not OK. And the world is watching.

Protect your children, do not hurt your children, protect them.

Oh, god. I can't deal with it. I can't deal with the reality of it.

BREWSTER: It's. You know...

SORVINO: I know. I know. I know. Jesus Christ. Oh, my god. Sorry, I feel like I'm going to cry every moment of this entire experience. I've been so afraid of this experience. I've been like, you know, because -- you know, I've met a lot of survivors, but I haven't been in the -- you know, the environment where it's happening every day, every day. That they would sell their own children. I mean, when I think about how much I love my own children, my -- if they'd do it to their own children, they would do it to any children.

BREWSTER: Oh, yes.


ANDERSON: And be sure to tune in for more on that. A very powerful story. CNN's Freedom Project documentary featuring Academy Award winning actress Mira Sorvino. "Every Day in Cambodia" airs Saturday at 8:00 in London, 9:00 pm in Berlin. And of course you can find out much more about this story, including Mira's own account of her experience in Cambodia on our Freedom Project website

Well, the latest world news headlines just ahead.

Plus, police in Ukraine retreat after a dramatic attempt to disperse protesters. We'll have the very latest on the political crisis in a live report from Kiev.

And growing debate as Uruguay legalizes the production and use of marijuana.

Plus, blogging about fashion, we take a look at how the industry is adapting to the digital era. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is offering a nationwide dialogue to try to resolve a growing political crisis. Protest leaders say they will not join any talks until the president meets their demands.

Thousands of South Africans waited in long lines to pay an emotional farewell to Nelson. He'll lie in state at Pretoria's Union Building. He's got another two days before his burial on Sunday.

Groundbreaking legislation has been passed in Uruguay to legalize the trade of marijuana. The country's senate approved a bill which allows the state to regulate the sale and distribution of the drug.

In India, gay rights activists are calling a Supreme Court ruling a dark day for freedom. The Supreme Court has overturned a lower court ruling and made sex between consenting homosexual partners illegal once again. Sumnima Udas has more.



SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Surprised, their anger over what some are calling a retrograde ruling, India's Supreme Court upheld a law which dates back to the 1860s basically banning gay sex.

This overturns a 2009 judgment by a lower court which decriminalized consensual gay sex. That 2009 landmark ruling encouraged many homosexuals in this country to come out of the closet.

Now, gay rights activists worry the Supreme Court ruling will give conservative forces full rein to discriminate against the gay community. They're calling it a black day, they say they fear harassment, being ostracized by society, and perhaps even losing jobs.

The Supreme Court says it's up to the parliament to change that law, but until then, this statue from the colonial times will live on.

Sumnima Udas, CNN, New Delhi.


ANDERSON: OK. For more now on Ukraine's political crisis, it is about 10:30 PM in Kiev, protesters are once again out in force, and they've rebuilt barricades torn down by riot police nearly 24 hours ago.

The police eventually did retreat after failing to disperse the crowds. The US government is condemning the crackdown and now says it is considering sanctions against Ukraine.

CNN's Diana Magnay has been in among the crowds again tonight. She joins us now, live from Kiev. What's the scene like there now, Di?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, it's testimony to the resilience of these protesters that those barricades, which were torn down last night, have, as you said, been rebuilt with anything that they can get their hands on.

And they've reinforced them with snow, pouring water over the snow so that they're icy so that now, the police, even if they have chainsaws, even with brute force, will not be able to rip them down.

A little after 1:00 AM last night, this was the scene that I witnessed. Let's take a look.


MAGNAY: So, the police have moved down here with chainsaws to try and saw through these barricades and also use brute force to pull them back.


MAGNAY: And it does look as though in that corner, it is giving way.


MAGNAY: Thirty seconds?


MAGNAY: This move by police to remove the barricades, Becky, happened at a time when Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, was in Kiev. She met Mr. Yanukovych, the president, for three and a half hours yesterday. She said those meetings were substantial.

I talked to her again today to find out what her reaction to this was on the eve of yet another meeting with the president. I began by asking her what she would say to her today.


CATHERINE ASHTON, EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF: The important part of this is going back to the conversations with him yesterday. He indicated he still wishes to sign the association agreement with the European Union. From our perspective, we think that's good for this country.

But the present crisis that's happening right now needs to be resolved, and it needs to be resolved because he reaches out and says to the many, many people, civil society as we call the ordinary men and women and children who are out there, look, this is what I'm going to do, this is the direction I want to take the country in.

MAGNAY: You've spoke to opposition leaders also. How much of a setback is this to any kind of negotiated settlement?

ASHTON: Well, in the end, there needs to be conversation. There needs to be a discussion, negotiation, that without question has got to be the way forward.

And the people who've been arrested need to be released. The people who have perpetrated any kind of violence need to be brought to justice. We've talked about the importance of an independent inquiry led, perhaps, by the Council of Europe.

MAGNAY: You've spoken to all these various parties. How likely is it that they will sit down together around a negotiating table anytime soon?

ASHTON: We need to see people feeling that they're being listened to. I had a good meeting with many of the civil society people, and I've been deeply impressed by the way in which people have conducted these demonstrations.

This is not about people being angry and wanting to be disruptive, it's about saying hang on, this country is on a journey. The journey is set. You set it, Mr. President, but it was set by the way in which the people decided who they would elect and the laws that they have. And that journey is about closer links to the European Union through an association agreement.

MAGNAY: What kind of a role does the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, have in all of this?

ASHTON: Well, certainly, this country needs to have a good relationship with Russia. We've always said -- always said -- that's really important. They share a border, they have strong links historical and otherwise.

And we've never disputed that. That means they need to have good trade links, they need to think about the potential of business. And incidentally, one of the impacts of the association agreement, the free trade agreement part of it, would be a growth in the economy here, but also a positive impact on Russia's economy.

So, we're never disputing that at all. I think there are issues for this country that they want to resolve with Russia about the price of gas, and that means they need to talk with Russia about that. But again, all of these things are not necessarily to signing an agreement with us. And a sovereign nation needs to make its own decisions.


ANDERSON: Diana, what's the president going to do next to stop this crisis getting even more out of control?

MAGNAY: Well, it is hard to second-guess what the president is going to do, because as we saw last night, despite all the pleas from the international community that he resist from using force, as you saw in that video, force was used.

He has now said after the series of meetings that he's had today that he is willing to engage in a roundtable with the opposition, with groups from civil society, but that the opposition has to be prepared to meet him halfway. Let's take a listen.


VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): To reach a compromise, I'm calling on the opposition not to refuse, not to go along the path of the standoff and ultimatums, I'm assuring you that the authorities will act only within the framework of the law and will never use force against peaceful gatherings.


MAGNAY: The opposition have said first of all that really this is in the hands of the people in the square rather than the leaders of the opposition, and that they have some very, very strict demands that those detainees be released, that there is some kind of explanation for the use of force, and that ultimately, the president and his government resign. So it doesn't look as though those roundtable talks are likely to happen anytime soon.

ANDERSON: Sure. I don't think it would be unreasonable, nor would it be naive to suggest that this government must be hoping that the cold weather will eventually help to clear this square, if nothing else does. Just how cold is it? Just describe what conditions are like at present.

MAGNAY: It is bitterly cold, and there are frequent snowstorms. Down there in the square behind me, though, they have got a very well- functioning sort of apparatus going. They have huge soup kitchens, they have tents, they have something like 2,000 portions of hot food for every 1,000 protesters, 4,000 portions of hot drinks.

They have all sorts of facilities there, clothes to be handed out for people who are cold. But it's minus 8, minus 10, minus 15 at night. It is bitterly cold. But these people seem to be very hardy, and its testament to how strongly they feel about this that they're prepared to withstand these very, very cold temperatures and keep on with this protest, which is now entering its 21st day, Becky.

ANDERSON: It's a testament to your profession that you can also keep it up. Well done, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Diana Magnay there for you in a very, very cold Kiev, as you can see.

You can see the determination on protesters' faces as they demand sweeping political change. CNN has compiled a gallery of some of the most compelling images from the city. You can find a lot more about the crisis at the website,

Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, smoke, sell, or grow your own. How almost anything goes with Uruguay's new law on marijuana.

And the race to the South Pole comes to a grinding halt, but the expedition continues. We get the latest from Prince Harry. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Well, Uruguay has become the first country to legalize the marijuana trade, a radical move which could recast the whole war on drugs. The country's senate approved a bill which puts the government in control of the sale and distribution of marijuana.

CNN's Rafael Romo has been following the story. He's read the entire Uruguayan bill. He joins me now. Controversial stuff. What's their argument, Rafael?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Well, the argument is what's going to happen now and how good is this going to be to reduce demand. And Becky, let me tell you, the bill is 22 pages long. I have it here in front of me.

And it specifies that there will be four ways -- four -- in which people can legally use marijuana. But users will have to register with the government first. Now, people will be allowed to grow as many as six plants of marijuana at home and possess as much as 480 grams per year.

The bill also allows a creation of marijuana clubs, where members can grow as many as 99 plants and use the drug legally. There will also be licensed sales at pharmacies, and finally, the drug will also be sold as medical marijuana as long as the user has a prescription.

Now, this is not a free-for-all, and there will be some restrictions, as you can imagine, Becky. For example, no advertising of marijuana of any kind will be allowed. The sale of the drug to minors will be strictly forbidden. People under the influence will not be allowed to drive, and violators of the law will face 20 months to 10 years in prison.

Even though the bill has not yet been signed by President Jose Mujica, this is considered a done deal, because he's repeatedly said he will sign it into law. In fact, he introduced the bill last year. Meanwhile, the opposition says this is the wrong policy approved for the wrong reasons.


SEN. ALFREDO SOLARI, OPPOSITION SENATOR (through translator): This bill, which proposes an experiment in social engineering, as it was described in the public health commission does not comply with any of the ethical safeguards of experimentation with human beings.

Those safeguards are extremely important, Mr. President, given that we're talking about marijuana, a substance that harms human beings.


ROMO: And Becky, one of the most interesting aspects of the bill is that the state will control and regulate production, distribution, and sale of marijuana. President Jose Mujica said the idea is to take the business out of the hands of ruthless drug traffickers and organized crime. Back to you.

ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff. All right, Rafael, thank you for that. My next guest was the president of Mexico until 2006, a country which is, of course, at the very center of the war on drugs. He's now a staunch supporter of the legalization of cannabis for medicinal use. What does he think about Uruguay's drastic move for things other than just medicinal use.

Vicente Fox joins me now on the phone from Huston in Texas. Sir, what is your reaction to this bill in Uruguay?

VICENTE FOX, FORMER PRESIDENT OF MEXICO (via telephone): Well, it's an incredible congratulation to the president of Uruguay, to the congress. I think they have taken a great step forward, and this shows the right position of Uruguay following a trend, when it's so strong, and we can act now.

It is the gains of the two states and the United States, the place of the two that have approved for medical use, the gains (inaudible).

And in Mexico, we've already -- one of the parties have introduced a bill in the same direction, both in congress and in the congress of the City of Mexico. So, I'm sure that in the next weeks or maybe couple of months, that will go through also.

ANDERSON: Should you or would you expect other countries to follow suit?

FOX: Yes. Yes, absolutely, because it's the right measure. This war against drugs and consumption has been a total failure. And number two, the war in Mexico against drugs and cartels has been a total failure of a war. We pay the price of 80,000 kids' deaths, 18 to 25-year-olds, because of that war when it's proven that marijuana not only is good for medical use --


ANDERSON: All right, I --

FOX: -- but also is relevant for taking care of paying attention especially the last criminal date.

ANDERSON: I'm thinking about the war on drugs that Mexico is fighting, and that is, I think, you and I will agree, more a war on cocaine and methamphetamine these days than it is on marijuana. Mexico has fought what many people consider a phony war on drugs for the past seven years. Tens of thousands of people have died, of course. The cartels as strong as ever.

The notion that drug control has failed, though, is missing the point, isn't it? It's the banks, it's the businesses, and it's the politicians, allegedly, supporting the multibillion-dollar industry who are the problem, don't you agree?

FOX: Of course. But the problem in Mexico is very particular because we just happen to be in between those who produce the drug in the south and those who consume it in the north. And we have to get out of that trap, the trap of violence, the trap of violation of human rights, the trap of having the army out on the streets, which is a big mistake. So, Mexico particularly has to get out of this problem.

But everybody knows also, because this is a human right, this is a absolutely respecting the ability of each individual to decide on his own what he has to do with his body and his mind. Government should not have that right. It's absolutely proven that prohibitions don't work. All of them have failed always because we human beings don't respond --


ANDERSON: Yes, all right --

FOX: -- to prohibition, to punishment, or to criminalization. We respond to understanding and being convinced to do our own decisions.

ANDERSON: OK. Mr. Fox, I spoke earlier on to the former head of the UN office on drugs. I put it to him that there are, indeed, examples of legalization and how it works in Portugal, and I think you referenced this, a decade-long experiment resulted in drug abuse down by something like a half.

But he made this point to me a little earlier on. Have a listen.


ANTONIO MARIA COSTA, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF UNODC: Decriminalization has a gigantic impact on dependence, on drug abuse. According to statistics not yet published but from the government of Portugal, the drug addiction has increased by something like 60 percent in the past three years.


ANDERSON: Sir, did you hear that?

FOX: I'm not -- I'm not listening.

ANDERSON: OK, all right. I think we're going to have to leave it there, but we thank you very much, indeed --

FOX: Yes.

ANDERSON: -- for joining us. The former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox. While Uruguay will be the first to legalize the cultivation and sale of marijuana, a number of countries in Europe and South America have also decriminalized the drug.

Consumption allowed, of course, in the Netherlands, where users can smoke marijuana in special cafes. In the US, two states, Colorado and Washington, have approved measures legalizing recreational use of marijuana in small amounts.

Medical marijuana is also legal in 19 other states, and several other countries, including Canada, Finland, France, and Israel do allow the use of medical marijuana, but cultivation and recreational use is still illegal. Certainly, the former Mexican president says where Uruguay goes, others should follow.

Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, wondering where to find next year's top trends? Well, two fashion industry insiders are going to tell us the web is the way to go. Stay with us for that.

Plus, Prince Harry and the team of wounded soldiers continue their expedition to the South Pole despite the organizers calling off the race. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Haute Couture was once the domain of elite fashion shows, pricey boutiques, and glossy magazines. Now, though, the web is helping shape which designs make it from the studio to the High Street. We spoke to two industry experts to find out how bloggers are launching tomorrow's trends.


ANNA DELLO RUSSO, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "VOGUE" JAPAN: I'm Anna Dello Russo. I'm a fashion director and creative consultant at the Japanese "Vogue."

BRYAN BOY, FASHION BLOGGER: My name is Bryan Boy, and I'm a fashion blogger based in New York.

Bloggers definitely have an influence. They translate trends to their readers, support a designer in a way that magazines don't do.

DELLO RUSSO: For me, bloggers are the new paparazzi. They make fashion more accessible. They make fashion more like a global event. It was a phenomenon.

BOY: I think the best way to stand out from the pack is to really be unique.

DELLO RUSSO: Now you can reach in the web a million readers and followers in one day. Before, this was impossible to think about. In the language of fashion now is younger.

BOY: You have to create content that's so compelling, that's very funny, that's very engaging.

DELLO RUSSO: Now, you have to talk to the young generation, the new generation, because that's the generation you want to reach.

BOY: You have to take part in other forms of social media. There's Instagram, there's Facebook, there's Twitter. You really have to put yourself out there, you have to be relevant, and then your content has to, at the end, either inspire other people or entertain people.

DELLO RUSSO: We have less time to convince the people. It has to be shorter, smarter, cool, and clever.

BOY: 2013, I think, by now most brands and fashion houses have an active social media presence. If you're not in the game, you're already too late. I think by 2014, more than ever, it's all about the brands communicating directly to the consumer. Brands and fashion houses will have to find innovative ways to really send their message out there that goes beyond what they've done before.

At this point, everybody is really influenced by the same images that they see online, because we live in such a digital age where, whether you're in Paris, whether you're in New York, everybody looks at the same visual references, so I think for the next few years to come, we're going to celebrate personal style more.

DELLO RUSSO: And I like so much in style to see the different cultures, because you can recognize the French people, the Russian people, the Italian people, because you can understand also, you can drink the culture of clothes.

BOY: I think we're going to see more of a personal dressing, an individual -- people will have to make their own statement.


ANDERSON: What are your predictions for next year? Not just on fashion. On anything, I don't care, What do you think about the show today and, indeed, the stories that we've been covering. It's your show, don't forget.

You can tweet me @BeckyCNN. I'm also on Instagram, just search for BeckyCNN. You can watch my daily preview of the show a couple of hours before we go to air.

And in tonight's Parting Shots, Prince Harry talks about the new turn his polar expedition has taken. The 200-mile race to the South Pole with a group of wounded soldiers had to be canceled for safety reasons. However, the trek continues, and spirits do remain high. Let's have a listen.


HRH RINCE HARRY OF BRITAIN: We are now three and a half days away from the South Pole. I think it's going to come pretty quickly. Been out here now for about three, three and a half weeks or so. Everyone is in really high spirits.

The race, obviously, got canceled a couple of days ago, three days ago, I think it was. Really fitting that happened. It's nice to see everybody sort of intermingling with each other, not only every night, because we camp together, but also during the day as we go on our way.

And really, these guys have the chance to consider how they feel, to think about friends at home, think about fellow soldiers who injured and stuff like that. So, I think it's a really, really good thing that the guys have got more time on their hands.

As I said, we're three and a half days away, and everybody can't wait and really excited and spirits are incredibly high. The weather is still holding off, which is really nice. It's about minus 35 now, and 24 hour sunlight, which is nice, and these tents keep us warm at night. But all is well. Everyone's happy.


ANDERSON: Wow. You've got to wish them the best of luck, haven't you? Sounds absolutely freezing. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching.