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CONNECT THE WORLD
Ariel Sharon Laid To Rest; Christiano Ronaldo Wins Ballon d'Or; Interview with Aaron David Miller; French First Lady in Hospital; State of France; Iran Nuclear Deal; Golden Globes
Aired January 13, 2014 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: And tonight, paying their respects to Ariel Sharon. As Israelis say farewell to a controversial figure, is a lack of leadership stalling efforts at the Middle East peace? Also, this evening; taking football's top honor, Christiano Ronaldo wins the Ballon d'Or. But tonight we find out whether you think that it was deserved.
And capturing the world's disappearing cultures: meet the intrepid photographer determined to document dying tribes.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very good evening.
One of the most influential leaders in Israeli history was laid to rest today. The Israeli and foreign dignitaries eulogized former prime minister Ariel Sharon as a military hero and a statesman, making only passing reference to the most controversial parts of his career.
Senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman begins our coverage tonight in Jerusalem.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: His friends, his countrymen came to bury Ariel Sharon and also to praise him in the most glowing of terms.
TONY BLAIR, FRM. PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: A warrior to create his country, yet wise enough to know that war alone could not secure its future. He was a giant of this land, born of the union of a great spirit and a big heart. Let him take his place in the history of Israel with pride.
WEDEMAN: At the Knesset, Israel's parliament, full honors for a man whose legacy as a soldier and later as a politician, is as disputed as the land he was born in.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Ariel Sharon was one of the greatest military leaders that the Jewish people and the Israel Defense Forces ever had.
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But when the topic of Israel's security arose, which it always, always, always did in my many meetings over the years with him, you immediately understood how he acquired, as the speakers referenced, the nickname Bulldozer. He was indomitable.
WEDEMAN: The Bulldozer could, in the words of Tony Blair, leave considerable debris in his wake. The only mild reference to what his critics said was a history of violence and bloodshed. Afterward, Sharon's casket was brought to his farm not far from the Gaza Strip. His body interred next to that of his wife Lilly who died almost 14 years ago.
OMRI SHARON, SON OF ARIEL SHARON (through translator): Look at around and see the people cherishing your memory and bowing their heads.
GILAD SHARON, SON OF ARIEL SHARON (through translator): Beloved father, you have come home.
WEDEMAN: Home after a very long and often controversial journey.
Ben Wedeman, CNN, Jerusalem.
ANDERSON: Well, Mr. Sharon was a polarizing figure, revered and reviled at equal measure. Israelis called him, as you heard there, the Bulldozer, a fearless leader who got things done. But to his opponents, he was merely a bulldozer in a china shop, destroying anything that came in his way.
Never far from controversy, as a military man, Sharon was ruthless. In 1953, led a raid on the border town of Kibia (ph) where 69 Arab villagers were killed. He said that he thought the houses were empty.
And as a politician, well things weren't that different. In 1983, he was found indirectly responsible for the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in refugee camps by a Lebanese militia during the Israeli- Lebanon -- the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. He was forced to resign as defense minister at the time.
Well, love him or hate him, Ariel Sharon was a stunning consequential, larger than life historic figure, the likes of whom we will not see again.
Not my view, the view at least, though, of my guest tonight who says his passing highlights the troubling reality of a region without any true leadership today. I spoke earlier with Aaron David Miller, former Middle East adviser to six U.S. secretaries of State.
I began by asking him about the current state of the peace process.
AARON DAVID MILLER, FRM. STATE DEPARTMENT ADVISER: I don't think that conflict solution is possible right now. What is possible, and it will take heroic action nonetheless, is an outcome, an outcome on a framework agreement which John Kerry is now negotiating, that would actually take the Israelis and the Palestinians -- Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas -- farther than they've ever been on several of those core issues. If, in fact, you could get that, not a solution, but an outcome and a process, a credible process that would actually involve serious negotiations on all of the issues, particularly the ones that may not be referred to in the framework agreement, then I think you would at least preserve the possibility.
ANDERSON: You started off by saying if -- if the objective at present is a conflict ending solution, but you seem to be emphasizing the "if." I'm wondering whether you actually queried the entire conceit of the Middle East peace process as we know it today?
MILLER: Right, no -- I mean, I think John Kerry's conceit is the only alternative. In other words, in the interim agreement, which just deals with one issue, or some sort of interim Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank in exchange for something on the Palestinian side won't cut it. Oslo proved that, it seems to me.
So what John Kerry is trying to do, which is to create a framework -- not one that can be implemented quickly, not one that actually has all of the details on the core issues nailed down, that issue, trying to create a political horizon toward which the parties could work is, it seems to me, the only viable option.
ANDERSON: Do you think if there were a leader of the stature of Ariel Sharon -- and I know that we don't -- we're not using the term greatness, and rightly so, because he's an incredibly controversial man, but leaders of the stature of Ariel Sharon we might be closer or in a better situation to create a conflict solution here?
Is it the lack of leadership, do you think in the region that is the problem?
MILLER: If I had to identify any single factor, there's no -- there's no single magic key to this, but if I had to identify in my judgment the most important one, yes, it is leaders who are not prisoners of their political constituencies, but masters of them. It is leaders who are -- leaders who are prepared to acknowledge the fact that peacemaking is, in fact, a strategy, not a tactic. And, yes, it is leaders who are prepared to understand what reciprocity and partnership means.
You give me leaders like that on both sides of this thing and you can have what I think right now is unimaginable, which is in fact a conflict ending agreement.
Right now, you have Israeli prime minister who has the power to make peace, but not the desire. And on the Palestinian side, you probably have a Palestinian president who has the desire, but not the capacity or the power.
You need to find a way to create in each leader both intention and capacity. You do that and we can go to a whole other level with respect to what is possible in terms of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
ANDERSON: Aaron David Miller speaking to me just before the show.
Before we move on, one final word on Ariel Sharon. As commentator (inaudible) puts it, if you can define his legacy in one line, then you have missed most of the man. The Miami Herald columnist wrote an in-depth piece for CNN called Ariel Sharon's brilliant moves and disastrous mistakes. She explains how he stood at the center of numerous controversies that, then, quote, "stunned the world with a radical change of heart."
You can read that on our website at CNN.com/international.
Still to come tonight, on his way home, U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman on the defense once again as he returns from his controversial visit to North Korea.
The king of the pitch, find out why this man has been named the FIFA footballer of the year.
And France's first lady remains in hospital after allegations surfaced with her partner, the president had an affair. That story coming up in a few moments.
ANDERSON: All right, at 12 minutes past 8:00 you're back with CNN out of London. I'm Becky Anderson.
Talks aimed at ending the Syrian crisis are a little more than a week away. And right now, diplomats are focused on getting localized cease- fires as they're calling them in place.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hope that the cease-fires would be in place before talks being.
Now they are also trying to convince Syrian rebel groups to participate in the peace conference set for January 22 in Geneva.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Iraqi leaders to address the -- and I quote him -- root causes of the latest unrest in Anbar Province.
Ban arrived in Baghdad earlier for talks with the Iraqi prime minister. At a news conference Ban also said the government and the people must work together to stop the escalating violence.
And with just months to go before a general election, security still remains a great concern in Iraq.
My colleague Michael Holmes sends this report from Baghdad.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The violence continued in Iraq today. In the space of just a few hours, a series of car bombs around the city killing or maiming dozens of Iraqis.
A police checkpoint just outside the capital was attacked by gunmen killing two policemen, wounding several others.
A high profile visitor to Baghdad today, the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon arriving to discuss regional issues. And of course that includes what is happening here in Iraq, in particular, Anbar Province with this restive cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.
He spoke of the need for social cohesion and inclusive dialogue, a message perhaps for the man he just met with, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki whose Shia led government stands accused of excluding Sunnis, alienating them even in the view of many persecuting them.
And tribal leaders say that while, yes, al Qaeda linked fighters are in their province and towns and cities, the root cause of the Sunni rebellion is years of disaffection, of being cut out of the political system and decisionmaking.
One piece of promising news, though, Mr. al-Maliki who was threatening to move his troops into Fallujah to clear out any al Qaeda linked elements, backtracked saying he would not go in anytime soon and would wait giving local tribes a chance to do the job.
Had he gone in, Sunnis were promising a fight that would have gone well beyond Fallujah's border.
It is a multi-pronged issue for Mr. Maliki to deal with. Yes, al Qaeda in his country, but also an angry minority who say they're not going to put up with the status quo anymore.
Michael Holmes, CNN, Baghdad.
ANDERSON: Well, Michael, as I'm sure you know if you're a regular viewer of CNN has reported from Iraq many times since the start of the war in 2003. Now he's sharing his thoughts with us online. It's a remarkable first-person perspective on where -- or whether life is worse for Iraqis now than it was for example in 2011 when U.S. troops withdrew.
Check it out, tell us what you think, CNN.com/international.
Well, Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has scheduled talks with protest leaders and election officials on Wednesday. And that is to discuss whether to postpone next month's general election.
Around 50,000 anti-government protesters have come out onto the streets of Bangkok. They are vowing to shut down the city until the prime minister resigns.
Well, journalists from 29 media companies have signed a letter demanding the release of three journalists being held in Egypt. Now the three from al Jazeera English were detained last month. They are accused of holding illegal meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood. In their letter, nearly 40 correspondents and editors have said that the men have been detained arbitrarily.
Former NBA player Dennis Rodman headed back to the United States today after a visit to North Korea. Rodman stirred up controversy by leading a team of ex-pros in an exhibition game in Pyongyang, topping it off by singing happy birthday to leader Kim Jong un.
Well, earlier, Rodman passed through Beijing. And that is where Anna Coren was when she filed this report.
DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: I'm sorry about what's going on in North Korea, by certain situation. I'm not God, I'm not an ambassador, I'm no one.
COREN (voice-over): A slightly different tone from Dennis Rodman, arriving at Beijing International Airport after almost a week inside North Korea. Initially not wanting to talk about his trip, then within minutes, he couldn't resist.
RODMAN: I haven't done anything wrong. Nothing wrong. So, I don't know why people are saying that, well, Dennis Rodman this, Dennis Rodman that. It's not about me.
COREN: Rodman believes his efforts inside this reclusive country have been wrongly represented and unappreciated, insisting his basketball diplomacy has been a success.
RODMAN: I just went over there to show the world the fact that we can actually get along in sports. That is it.
COREN: Members of Rodman's team have also spoken out in defense of the controversial visit.
CHARLES SMITH, FORMER NBA PLAYER: I think I'm astute enough to understand the dynamics, especially collecting monetary dollars from North Korea, no. We did not get paid from North Korea at all.
COREN: NBA commissioner David Stern told CNN that money motivated.
DAVID STERN, NBA COMMISSIONER: They were blinded by the payday.
RODMAN: Happy birthday to you... ?
COREN: Rodman's visit featured many bizarre moments, and his profanity-laced interview with NEW DAY's Chris Cuomo.
RODMAN: I don't give a rat's (EXPLETIVE DELETED) the hell you think!
COREN: The outburst igniting a fire storm of criticism, especially after Rodman's seeming justification for Kenneth Bae's imprisonment.
RODMAN: Do you understand what Bae did?
RODMAN: Do you understand what he did in this country?
CUOMO: What did he do? You tell me.
COREN: Rodman later apologized for that comment and the whole episode. As Rodman heads home, the debate over the trip's purpose continues, while the safety and future of detained American Kenneth Bae remains uncertain.
Anna Coren, CNN, Beijing.
ANDERSON: Well, already dogged by scandal New Jersey governor Chris Christie is now facing allegations of wrongdoing on another front. Get this, U.S. authorities are investigating whether he misused federal relief funds in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Now Democratic congressmen requested the investigation saying, Kristie used some funds for a televised ad campaign that benefited his political aspirations.
He is considered a leading Republican candidate for the White House.
Already reeling, of course, from allegations his staff orchestrated traffic gridlock on a major bridge to punish a Democratic mayor.
Live from London for you. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. 19 minutes past 8:00 here.
Coming up, after five years of waiting, Christiano Ronaldo has finally won it. All about the FIFA player of the year award ceremony is after this.
And, France's first lady still in hospital after last week's allegations that her partner, the president, had an affair. What that means for the presidency and indeed for France a little later.
ANDERSON: Who is the greatest footballer of all? CR7 . Who is that? Christiano Ronaldo. He has been crowned 2013's footballer of the year winning the FIFA Ballon d'Or. This is the prestigious award and a fitting round of what has been an amazing real for the Real Madrid and Portugal star. And it was all a bit emotional for the football star himself who thanked his teammates and his family. Alex Thomas reports on the reasons for the win.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: He's fast, strong, full of tricks, a football showman who wins matches single-handedly. And Christiano Ronaldo would own a lot more FIFA Ballon d'Or awards if it wasn't for the rival he's compared with, Barcelona's Argentina star Lionel Messi.
CHRISTIANO RONALDO, REAL MADRID: They compare each other all the time, which is -- you cannot compare Ferrari with the Porsche or -- you know, it's a different engine. You cannot compare.
THOMAS: Born on the Portuguese island of Madira, Ronaldo's footballing talent earned him a contract with Sporting Lisbon before he was even a teenager.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the early beginning, we realized and the people who are involved, more involved in him, that there was a special boy who was very, very focused on what should be done to have success.
THOMAS: When a teenaged Ronaldo impressed Manchester United's players in a game, they convinced their manager to sign him. And under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson Ronaldo thrived.
In seven seasons at Old Trafford, Ronaldo's trophy haul included three Premier League titles, two League Cups, the FA Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Champion's League in 2008. That year, he also lifted the Ballon d'Or and was named FIFA world player of the year when the awards were still separate.
At the end of the season, Real Madrid paid a world record fee of $130 million to sign him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He loves the game. He loves to train. I had in my career so many players in love with the game, and I cannot say nobody more than Christiano.
THOMAS: With Ronaldo's help, Real Madrid became Spanish champions once more. And his game rose to another level. He left United after 118 goals in 292 games, after 219 games with Real Ronaldo had scored 239 times.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said, I want to be the best player in the world. And probably a lot of people say that, a lot of players say that, but he's the one who really worked on it.
THOMAS: From his working class upbringing, Ronaldo's life has changed radically to a world of fast cars, fancy fashions, glamorous girlfriends and even his own museum.
It was laughable once, but when another glittering Ballon d'Or is displayed here, it'll be just rewards for a player whose ultimate challenge is now to try to lead Portugal to World Cup glory in Brazil.
Alex Thomas, CNN.
ANDERSON: Now, Ronaldo won the award despite the lack of big silverware for either his club Real Madrid or his national side, Portugal. And I say that, because it actually bucks the trend, since the Ballon d'Or usually goes to a player that is part of a winning team, outstanding in his own right, but part of a winning team.
In 1998, for example, winner French megastar Zinedine Zidane won the award after helping France win its first ever World Cup. It was glory in another World Cup in 2002 that guaranteed the original Ronaldo -- remember him -- the Brazilian legend his second Ballon d'Or.
But then there's this man, Lionel Messi. He's had a commanding hold over the award for the past four years with or without team glory. And if the deciding factor was being part of an amazing team, then 2013's Ballon d'Or should have cone to Franck Ribery who helped Bayern Munich win the UEFA Championship and the Bundesliga.
He was, in fact, the third hope, as it were, behind Ronaldo and Messi, but he hasn't -- he hasn't made it -- and probably rightly so.
Let's get the latest from CNN's Lara Baldesarra.
65 goals, I think I'm right in saying, in 55 games in one calendar year. And eight of those were hat tricks. I guess I've got to take my hat off to him. I'm not sure I like him particularly as a character or nor to many people, they think he's arrogant. But the guy is amazing, right?
LARA BALDESARRA, CNN CORREPSONDENT: He absolutely certainly is. And those numbers that you just mentioned, yes, they all prove that he is a player that can go out there, he can score goals, but this year more so than any other year Christiano Ronaldo really demonstrated that he's not a selfish player whatsoever. He had a number of assists. He was a major contributing force on the pitch for Real Madrid and for Portugal in terms of setting up balls for other players to then go ahead and score goals.
And he was genuinely happy out there when they ended up scoring, which we don't always really think of. We think that he's a guy that likes them for himself, but he's not all that happy when someone else scores them, but he certainly wasn't. He was very, very, very happy.
And his numbers alone, his stats were far better than Messi's and Ribery's this year. But like you said his club doesn't have all of those trophies that especially Bayern Munich does who won the treble.
ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, it's fascinating. And to hear you just describe a man who is being described this year as unselfish is remarkable and perhaps this is the year that he should win given that in the past that wouldn't have been the moniker that you'd have put to him
Listen, all day our viewers, Lara, have been having a say on who they think should win the Ballon d'Or. Here are the results so far. And look at that, I mean, I guess that sort of reflects exactly what happened. Face -- on Facebook.com/CNNConnect Ronaldo way out front as their footballer of the year.
That leaves 2013 to a certain extent ring fence and takes us to 2013. You can have your say at Facebook.com/CNNConnect.
The latest world news headlines just ahead. Plus, a President Hollande prepares to address journalists on the fate of the nation, many are more interested in the state of its private life. Iran says it's ready to rein its nuclear program in, but will the U.S. Congress derail those plans?
That's 35 tries in three years: one man's quest to document remote people across the globe before it is too late.
Just before the bottom of the hour. We're going to take a very short break. Your headlines follow this.
ANDERSON: The former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon was buried today at his home in the Negev Desert. These are your headlines this hour. International dignitaries attended a service in Jerusalem. Sharon was praised as a war hero and statesman with muted references to the most controversial parts of his career.
Iran has started to eliminate its stockpile of enriched uranium starting next week -- at least it's agreed to do that. In return, the US and other countries will ease some of the sanctions on the country. But Tehran says a bill in the US Senate to impose new sanctions could kill that deal.
Dennis Rodman is en route to the United States after a week-long visit to Pyongyang. At a stopover in Beijing, Rodman says he is sorry about the situation inside North Korea. He has caused controversy over his perceived support of the leader there.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie could find himself on the defensive once again. He's now facing allegations of misusing federal relief funds after Super Storm Sandy to benefit his own political aspirations. Christie is considered a leading Republican candidate for the White House.
France's first lady is still in hospital four days after she was admitted for extreme fatigue. She is reportedly -- or she reportedly learned on Thursday that her partner, the French president, had been having an affair. Jim Bittermann with the latest on the scandal from Paris.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The French first lady's office reporting tonight that she will not be leaving the hospital as expected today but, in fact, will stay there until her doctors say it's OK for her to leave.
She went into the hospital Friday after there were reports in a French magazine that her husband, French president Francois Hollande, had been having a secret affair with a French movie actress. Francois Hollande's reaction has not been to deny it but rather to say that private affairs should remain private affairs, that everyone has a right to privacy, even the president of France.
There are, however, some public manifestations of this in the sense that Valerie Trierweiler has an office in the Elysee with five people who work for her. It's an office that costs about 20,000 euros a month to the French taxpayers.
So, there are some public questions here, even if there is a debate been launched between both the right and the left here about whether or not presidents should have the right to a private life.
In any case, a lot of this is going to come up in a news conference that Francois Hollande has scheduled for tomorrow. It was a normally- scheduled news conference, a chance for Hollande to give his best wishes to the press.
And in fact, what he wanted to do was to further refine some of the things he's talked about in terms of redirecting the economy. However, now it seems very likely that this press conference is going to be hijacked by questions about his private life.
Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.
ANDERSON: Well, as Jim said, these allegations came less than a week before President Hollande was due to hold a press conference to try to rejuvenate his flagging presidency. On Tuesday, tomorrow, he'll address journalists over the current state of the French economy.
Now, it was looking pretty bleak, it's got to be said, at the close of 2013. In December, third quarter GDP results showed negative growth of 0.1 percent. Manufacturing hit a seven-month low also last month, and the unemployment that Francois Hollande promised to curb actually increased half a percent with now more than one in ten French people out of work.
This is all pointing to France being on the brink of another recession, and all this as Mr. Hollande is suffering from the worst approval ratings of any modern French president. I'll give you the numbers: 22 percent.
We're joined now in the studio by the French commentator and journalist, Nabila Ramdani. The handling of the French economy pretty much has already tarnished his credibility. He was -- came in on this great sort of white horse of hope. His policies haven't been received well, his popularity is down in the dumps. What sort of damage has this done to him, do you think?
NABILA RAMDANI, FRENCH POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, this scandal is effectively viewed by the French as a distraction from what the most -- the important work that the president should be doing to save the economy.
As you quite rightly reminded your viewers, the unemployment is well past the 3 million mark in France. The cost of living is skyrocketing, and taxes are incredibly high to the extent that entrepreneurs and, indeed, rich celebrities are moving abroad.
And of course, France had two credit downgrades within the last year, and yet, we have a bungling president who has his mind on other matters, evidently.
But as you said, tomorrow's press conference will probably shed some light about the woeful economic problems in France. But it is also likely to concentrate on the president clarifying his position in relation to the first lady.
ANDERSON: Particularly woeful, given the context of the European space at the moment which, as we know, has been a right old mess since 2008. But actually, you see some fairly healthy growth across the board, not least in places like Greece, for example. France is a real laggard at the moment, isn't it?
When you think about it's position and its sort of Franco-German axis, which is supposed to sort of run this economic space and take it by the horns, it's a real mess, isn't it?
RAMDANI: It really is. And this is precisely why, because Francois Hollande hasn't been able to reform the economy that he has been incredibly --
ANDERSON: What do you think --
RAMDANI: -- unpopular.
ANDERSON: -- he's done wrong?
RAMDANI: I think his measures have focused on policies like gay marriage and, indeed, the abolition of prostitution, which are good measures for some people.
ANDERSON: All important stuff, right?
RAMDANI: Absolutely, but are largely viewed as a distraction from the real economic problems and the turmoil that France is going through.
ANDERSON: What has been interesting, Nabila, is to have watched him on the foreign policy stage. He's been incredibly powerful -- and I use that term loosely -- but sort of front and center when it's come to Libya, Mali, the CAR. His position so far is supporting an American intervention in Syria, if that had happened in 2012.
This is a man who seems to have taken himself out of the domestic sphere and seen the world through a sort of foreign policy prism, which may or may not have caused him a lot of problems, right?
RAMDANI: Well, indeed. And I do believe that it's also to do with his unpopularity at home, so foreign adventures are, according to his view, a way to lift his popularity ratings at home.
ANDERSON: This is something that did Sarkozy damage. Everybody said it was all about the foreign stage and not about domestic issues, right?
RAMDANI: Indeed. And that's why we've seen Hollande taking on the mantle of the most unlikely war monger in the recent history of Europe, effectively.
But I do believe, also, that in spit of the desperate calls from Central African Republic or, indeed, the Malian government for France to intervene, that there are very good reasons for France to intervene for its own personal gain in taking such actions.
And, indeed, France's involvement in its former colonies is a dark one, with France keeping its grip on its political influence and, indeed, its grip on the geo strategy and the natural resources in Africa as well.
ANDERSON: And let me tell you, back to these sort of micro- machinations of what's going on in the Elysee Palace, or back to -- through the back door of the Elysee Palace at the moment.
You've got a first lady who's still hospitalized, you've got a man who hasn't admitted to anything, but certainly hasn't said he hadn't -- he wasn't there, I didn't do it. You've rightly pointed out that we've got a press conference tomorrow. Is this sort of make or break for Francois Hollande, do you think, tomorrow?
RAMDANI: Well, I think it's more make or break for Valerie Trierweiler, who effectively, Hollande's advisors have accused her of emotionally blackmailing the president by putting herself in hospital. She's viewed as being desperately trying to cling onto her position.
And this is, it has to be said, that Trierweiler is an incredibly unpopular figure. In fact, 89 percent of French people would like to see the president separate from her. So, this is not looking good for her, it has to be said.
ANDERSON: Oh, my goodness. All right. Well, one just hopes all of us -- yes, including us at CNN -- moves away from the kind of micro- machinations and we'll concentrate on the bigger story. But thank you very much, indeed. Fascinating.
RAMDANI: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. A deal under threat, now, and how critics say a plan in the US Congress could and can undermine Iran's hard-fought nuclear deal.
And a little bit later: glitz, glamor, and also incredible clothes. We'll go to Los Angeles for you for a wrap of the Golden Globe awards. All that's coming up.
ANDERSON: An interim nuclear deal between Iran and six leading world powers will officially go into effect a week from today. Now, under that agreement, Iran will for the first time in a decade -- and this is historic -- scale back the scope of its nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief.
Now, the six-month deal is designed to give both sides time and space to try to negotiate a more comprehensive deal. That very difficult process will begin in the next couple of weeks when the EU's Cathy Ashton meets with the Iranian FM, Javed Zarif.
Even before those talks get underway, there is a push in the US Congress to get this tightened rather than ease sanctions on Iran, and such a move could undermine all the progress made so far.
I want to get more on that. I'm joined by our world affairs reporter, Elise Labott, from Washington, DC. Just stick us on the Hill, here. How likely is it that Congress could table, affect, and execute more sanctions on Iran at this point in time?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS REPORTER: Well, Becky, there seems to be enough support in Congress, about 70 votes. Our Hill team is told and some of our reporting indicates that would not only be enough to pass the legislation, but also to override a veto.
President Obama and the administration has promised a veto, because they say even if these sanctions -- and the sanctions that they're talking about now, they would be imposed, but kind of put off while this interim agreement goes on. If Iran were to live up to its bargain in the agreement and to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with world powers, then they wouldn't go into effect.
But just the specter, the administration says, of those sanctions could ruin the whole deal. The deputy foreign minister is saying that it would threaten the agreement. And so, they seem to have enough support in Congress.
Now, what we're being told is, there is enough support for the legislation, but maybe not a huge urgency for the vote, because a lot of senators are starting to come around to the argument by the president and others that this does -- while it doesn't violate the agreement, it certainly undermines the spirit of it.
ANDERSON: Elise, any sense of when this vote on the legislation would be at this point?
LABOTT: Well, we don't really know. We have enough votes, they say they have enough votes, but they don't seem to have enough urgency to go ahead and bring it to the floor. And so, we'll have to see --
LABOTT: -- as this negotiation on this comprehensive deal goes forward, as the agreement goes forward, IAEA inspectors are supposed to get on the ground as early as this week. Iran is supposed to start dismantling some of its infrastructure on its nuclear program. It's supposed to stop using these advanced centrifuges, it's supposed to start eliminating some of its stockpile.
So, if it does that, it could start seeing some of these sanctions relief. We're talking to the tune of about $7 billion, or about $4 billion in frozen assets. Maybe if this agreement starts to get going, Congress will kind of lighten up its urgency on actually bringing it to the floor and putting a vote forward.
But some people say even just the threat of this legislation -- and kind of what we call in the US a good cop/bad cop, if you will, does actually help these more comprehensive negotiations.
ANDERSON: Yes, interesting. Well, that's something we're going to discuss now. Thank you for that, Elise. There's little doubt that Iran will remain a top story in 2014. That is because of what some analysts believe is an historic opportunity to resolve the decades-old nuclear standoff with the election of the centrist, Hassam Rouhani.
And that was reinforced after Rouhani and Barack Obama became the first Iranian and American leaders to speak on the phone in 30 years. Discussions over the nuclear deal weren't limited to the phone. Face-to- face talks, you'll remember, between the two sides were key in paving the way for the interim agreement.
And that hasn't -- that agreement hasn't silenced critics like Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who want to see more pressure on Iran.
But additional sanctions on Iran will boost claims by Iran's supreme leader that the West isn't serious about ending this dispute.
Let's do more on this. Reza Marashi is the research director with the National Iranian-American Group, a group that's been pushing for dialogue between the US and Iran. I thought it was really interesting, what Elise was saying. Congress thinks they can play this sort of good cop/bad cop.
I, perhaps, would put it to you that the West is playing the you scratch our backs, we'll scratch yours game. And I -- my sense is, and correct me if I'm wrong, that is a little bit risky at this point. How fragile are these talks at this point. For example, if Congress were to table, affect, and execute legislation on further sanctions, what sort of damage would that do?
REZA MARASHI, NAGTIOANL IRANIAN AMERICAN COUNCIL: That's an important question. And it's not good cop/bad cop. What Congress is doing is good cop/insane cop. And this is why.
Imagine if the Iranian parliament introduced legislation that said we're going to enrich uranium to the 60 percent level, which is just a hair shy of what would be needed for nuclear weapons, if in fact the deal falls through, if the United States doesn't live up to its end of the bargain.
Would Congress or anybody else in the United States or anybody else in Europe or around the world, for that matter, take that as a good measure -- act of good measure -- good faith? Or would they take it as something that would be escalatory and very damaging?
That's how fragile these talks are. Because that's, in fact, what the Iranian parliament is doing in response to what the American Congress is doing.
ANDERSON: How much support --
MARASHI: So, what we need right now --
ANDERSON: Sorry. Sorry, my love. How -- forgive me -- how much support does Rouhani have from the powers that be above him for his position with the West on these talks at present?
MARASHI: Since his election in June, he's created, arguably, the most inclusive political coalition in the 34-year history of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Supreme Leader and most other key individuals and key factions are backing him.
It certainly doesn't mean everyone is. But not everybody's backing President Obama, either. Both sides have the majority of their political institutions and actors backing them, and that's what made taking risks for peace on both sides -- not just the Iranian side -- more viable at this point in time.
ANDERSON: Can you just describe the sort of elements inside Iran who might not be backing any sort of deal at this point, and how far -- what their narrative might be?
MARASHI: Sure. Well, what we know from the presidential election in June 2013 is that there's anywhere between 11 to 15 percent of the country that supports the hardline factions within Iran that oppose making these kinds of concessions to not just the United States, but the international community writ large.
These are the people that voted, for example, Saeed Jalili and some of the other hardline candidates. They believe that the West is out to get Iran and keep it down and deprive it some science and technology, and that they'll never cut a deal in good faith, and that the true goal is regime change.
What's been good about what not only President Obama, but our allies around the world have been doing since Rouhani has been elected is taking steps to disprove that hardliner narrative in Iran and to show that we are willing to compromise and shift from confrontation to collaboration in an effort to peacefully solve our conflict.
ANDERSON: Reza, it's a pleasure having you on. You make a lot of sense. Let's do this again. I've got to take a very short advertising break at this point, so tonight I'm going to leave it there, but thank you very much, indeed.
Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, we're going to look at who won the Golden Globes and what you had to say about that. And one man's quest to document remote tribes across the world leads to what are, it's got to be said, some truly stunning images. We'll have those after this.
ANDERSON: It is award season in Hollywood, and we are just days away now from finding out the nominations for the big Os, the Academy Awards. And if last night's Golden Globes are anything to go by, then "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" are the ones to watch.
More than a million and a half tweets with the hash tag #GoldenGlobes were sent on Sunday. Let's take a look at what some of you had to say.
BEN AFFLECK, GOLDEN GLOBE PRESENTER: The Globe goes to -- Alfonso Cuaron.
TEXT: Amy Otto, @CAAmyO. Tragic dress choice by Sandra Bullock. She was great in "Gravity," though.
Gavin Gallagher, @gav_gall. "Gravity" best director, meh, probably all it deserved. Rubbish movie #GoldenGlobes.
GEORGE CLOONEY AS MATT KOWALSKI, "GRAVITY": I'm losing visual!
SANDRA BULLOCK AS RYAN STONE, "GRAVITY": Can't breathe!
TEXT: Enrique Ajuria, @kike_ajuria. Not surprised with "12 Years a Slave" win, but delightfully surprised with Alfonso Cuaron's win.
MELISSA MCCARTHY, GOLDEN GLOBES PRESENTER: Michael Douglas, "Behind the Candelabra."
TEXT: Simon Mernagh, @SimonTheWorst. So happy with the love "Behind the Candelabra" received. Only film to get two nominations in the same category.
Sophie Hall, @SophieHall. Quite a pleasing #GoldenGlobes horde! "Behind the Candelabra" especially.
MICHAEL DOUGLAS AS LIBERACE, "BEHIND THE CANDELABRA": Baby. She's blind. I'm a seeing-eye person.
TEXT: She oh her, @Rummy McGin. I had no idea "Behind the Candelabra" was made for TV! #GoldenGlobes.
DREW BARRYMORE, GOLDEN GLOBE PRESENTER: And the Golden Globe goes to "American Hustle."
TEXT: Christopher, @ChristopherSepulveda. Most entertaining thing was finding out "American Hustle" is a comedy (or musical).
Firas Haidar, @FirasHaider. I loved "American Hustle," but it didn't deserve Best Picture. #GoldenGlobes.
JOHNNY DEPP, GOLDEN GLOBE PRESENTER: The Golden Globe Award goes to "12 Years a Slave."
TEXT: Crystal Holt, @saviaj. Michael Fassbender ("12 Years a Slave") - this dude is not afraid to go there!
Pat Streater, @RealPatStreater. @saviaj Amazing performance. Made me cry. You're right, Michael is a fearless actor.
MICHAEL FASSBENDER AS EDWIN EPPS, "12 Years a Slave": I saw you talking with her. Tell me.
ANDERSON: Well, now that the Golden Globes are behind us, we've been asking you which film gets your nod for the Oscars, facebook.com/CNNconnect, have your say. And @BeckyCNN, that's my -- where you can find me on Twitter. You can always get me there, @BeckyCNN.
I'm also on Instagram, just search for Becky CNN, and you can watch the daily preview of the show there as well.
A treat for you tonight, now, our Parting Shots provided by photographer Jimmy Nelson. He has traveled all over the globe documenting remote tribes. In just three years, he has visited 35 tribes, spending between one and three months with each, trying to capture who they are and where they are before time and the modern world changes them forever.
Well, I met Jimmy. He's the most remarkable man. And he told me why he is so intent on documenting these tribes before they pass away. Have a listen to this.
JIMMY NELSON, PHOTOGRAPHER: Age of 16, I lost my hair one night as I was giving the wrong anti-virus. I woke up and I looked in the mirror and I'd changed. And subsequently, everybody started treating me differently.
And I went to Tibet for one year in 1986 on the sole mission of mixing with other people I once saw in Tibet, other people with no hair. That started me on this journey of ethnicity of culture. Who am I? Who are you? And still today, photography is not the basis of it, it's the catalyst of making relationships and making contact.
ANDERSON: So, what have you found?
NELSON: I ended up finding much more than I'd ever anticipated. I eventually ended up in the landscape around Mount Yasur. You have in the distance the cone of the volcano. You hear this quiet rumbling. The landscape's very surreal.
The Yakel, extraordinarily beautiful people, and they live on one of the 83 islands of the Vanuatu archipelago in the south, it's an island called Tanna. And it's the mountain, the Mount Yasur, and it's one of the few volcanoes in the world that's accessible.
The main objective is to show these extraordinarily beautiful, natural people and this fantastic environment and try and encapsulate that in one image. And that's what a lot of the images throughout the project, a lot of it's staged. It's very romantic, very idealistic. But it's trying to bring the power of the people with the power of the nature into one image.
ANDERSON: You use some very old equipment, a 50-year-old camera, for example, when you took these photos.
NELSON: I found by using digital photography, the process is too quick. You disassociate yourself from the person. By going back in time, by putting this old camera made out of some bits which are 50 years old, we found a way of connecting. By going into this technology where they're standing there and we -- I've taught them to breathe, and they're standing strong. It's very special.
ANDERSON: Who is this character in Papua New Guinea?
NELSON: The character -- their characters, they're called the Huli warriors. Four years ago, James Cameron made this magnificent film called "Avatar." There are people who live like "Avatar" in that environment still on the planet today, and these are the Huli wigmen.
ANDERSON: What about this shot in Kazakhstan?
NELSON: It's an extraordinary landscape, the Altai Mountains. They're beautiful people, they're like Hollywood heroes. They have these eagles with a five-meter wingspan.
My stupidity, in my childish sort of abandon, I take off my gloves and I put my fingers on the camera, and they stick to the lens, because it's on a metal plate. The freeze to it. I'm stuck. I don't think about it. I take my hands off and I leave the skin behind. They start bleeding, they start freezing, and subsequently, I have to be honest, I start crying.
And by default, I turned around, and two of the ladies had followed us up the mountain. And one of them beckoned me over. And she opened her jacket and she grabbed my hand and put them her breasts. Not literally on her breasts, but on her armpits.
Another one came behind me, she opened her jacket, and they hugged me and they rocked me like a child. Eventually, I regained some feeling. But they were still standing there in that minus 30 degrees Centigrade, and I made the picture.
ANDERSON: As we look at this shot from Kenya, explain to me what you hoped to gain from this project.
NELSON: There are these fantastic men, there are these vain men, they're tall, they're thin, they literally spend half the day walking around looking in this little mirror. They're grooming themselves, playing with the -- stroking themselves. In many ways, often stroking one another.
And we were with them for a couple of weeks traveling through the mountain range, and then at the end, there was a big camel that came up to us covered in scars and bits, and we're going, what happened here?
And somebody said, oh, yes, they often get attacked by lions. Well, how do you deal with it? Oh, we just go off and we catch and we kill it. So you in your skirts and in your beads and your hair and your thin bodies standing around all day in your vanity often run after lions and go and kill them Yes, as a matter of fact.
ANDERSON: When we talk about these tribes being, to our minds, at least, so foreign, how far removed from us are they?
NELSON: They're not. We came to the end of what I regard as the shoot. They don't perceive it as that. And we were making our good-byes. And the chief of the Yakel came up to me and he hugged me and he kissed me and said thank you.
It really felt as if we'd bonded. We'd made a connection. We'd survived the volcano, and I hope -- maybe I'm naive, but I hope they really understood what I was trying to achieve.
ANDERSON: What a man. A man I interviewed earlier this month. Quite remarkable. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thank you for watching. From the team here and in Atlanta, Georgia, this evening, it's a very good evening.