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Iraq Conflict Approaches Point Of No Return; Gay Rights Activism In Russia; Britain Special Forces May Have Helped Plan Assault On India's Golden Temple

Aired January 15, 2014 - 15:00   ET


JIM CLANCY, HOST: Tonight, a country on the brink as dozens die in another day of violence across Iraq, we ask if the bad old days are back.

Also ahead, a tale of two revolutions, why three years after the Arab Spring uprisings Egypt and Tunisia are on very different paths.

And doing it her way, we're going to hear from this Filipina caregiver who has won her dream, Israel's X Factor becoming a singer.

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

MANN: Tonight, Iraq is on edge after another wave of deadly violence fueling fears of an outbreak of full sectarian war. At least 61 people now we are told killed, many more wounded in a series of attacks in and around the capital Baghdad. Seven car bombs targeting mostly Shia areas exploded in the city. And another bomb also went off at a funeral in the northern town of Baqubah.

So what is behind the recent uptick in violence, a wave really? CNN's Michael Holmes has spent a lot of time on the ground in Iraq. He joins us now live from Baghdad.

You know, two questions come to the fore, "who were the targets? Who are the suspects?"

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there was such a string of events around Iraq today, Jim. You mentioned the bombs here in Baghdad, nine of them, seven car bombs, two roadside bombs. But there were the shootings of soldiers, some of them in civilian clothing being shipped by bus between bases. There were the seven truck drivers driving along with construction material hauled out of their vehicles and shot dead.

This is the sort of carnage and randomness, if you like, of the violence around Baghdad. The targets either military or police security forces all predominately Shia targets around town.

Jim, it's one of the deadliest days in Iraq this year. And people here are wondering if it will only get worse.

CLANCY: As we look at this, is the government able to increase security? Are they able to control this, because from a distance it doesn't appear that they are. What's the prime minister saying?

HOLMES: Yeah, no, it's a good point. There is security all over Baghdad. I've never seen so many road blocks and rolling checkpoints and things like that. But the bombs are still getting in.

Nuri al-Maliki spoke today. It was his weekly address. And he said that while the tribes, he called on the tribes in Anbar to fight against these al Qaeda-linked militant so that the army didn't have to go in, he also made it clear that the government would do its part to tackle these elements. Have a listen.


NURI AL-MALIKI, PRIME MINISTER OF IRAQ (through translator): We don't want to harm our sons and peoples, so we will distinguish between those whose houses were usurped and used as bases by al Qaeda and those who facilitate al Qaeda and cooperate with it. The house that the source of the fire that kills our sons and the security and armed forces definitely will be targeted by those forces.


HOLMES: Nuri al-Maliki of course long been accused of being uninclusive. He came into power promising power sharing, promising reconciliation. Sunnis say none of that happened. And that disaffection has provided a fertile breeding ground for the resurgence of the al Qaeda- linked fighters we've been talking about.

He called in that speech today for national unity. At the moment, Jim, there doesn't seem to be much of that.

CLANCY: Michael Holmes reporting there live from the ground in Iraq.

Now we talked about how Michael has reported in the past so many times since the start of the conflict there. He's sharing some of his unique perspectives online with you. I want to point you towards that from the daily dread that people live with about when there will be another bombing to the growing sectarian divisions not really seen since the height of the conflict in Iraq. Check it out on a special section of our website and tell us what you think at

Now violence is on the upswing across Iraq and it's been a process that has gone on really for the better part of a year. According to the website Iraq Body Count more than 510 civilians have been killed so far this month alone.

Take a look at this map. While CNN can't independently confirm all of those numbers, you can see that most of the casualties are centered in and around Baghdad where 167 people have been killed to date in January. More than 50 in Ramadi, 40 in Fallujah, 39 in Mosul.

UN casualty figures show hundreds of Iraqis killed in each of the past six months, including more than 600 civilians killed back in December.

Now according to the UN, 2013 was the deadliest year in Iraq since the height of the war back in 2008.

Almost 8,000 people, most of them civilians, were killed in the war. This makes Iraq the second most violent country in the world after neighboring Syria -- I should say this year.

With more on all of this, let's bring in John Burns, former Baghdad bureau chief for the New York Times. He joins us now live via Skype from Cambridge.

What are we to make of the political scene as it is reflected in these ongoing bombings?

JOHN BURNS, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, when I hear Michael Holmes talking I think back to the future, back to 2006, 2007 and a situation which actually was predicted at the time by some of the American commanders and diplomats in Baghdad that if Maliki and his government, Shia dominated government, did not move to address the root causes of the sectarian conflict in Iraq with the Sunni minority, the formerly governing Sunni minority, then nothing that American troops, indeed nothing that Iraqi troops might do would solve the problem.

And today we hear that Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary- general is appealing to Maliki in just exactly the same sort of terms that American representatives back then six, seven years ago now.

He says that Maliki has to address the root causes of unrest and make sure that nobody gets left behind. It's code, but it's exactly what General Petreaus and before him General Casey and the ambassadors the United States sent to Baghdad were telling Maliki all those years ago.

CLANCY: Well, let's talk a little bit about Nuri al-Maliki, he -- we heard him there just a few moments ago pointing a finger directly at al Qaeda. Some of the people inside Iraq who support him say this is all a spillover from Syria's ongoing civil war.

But how much responsibility, really, does the prime minister bear in all of this? Do we believe accusations that it's al Qaeda that he's battling?

BURNS: No. No. And I think there's a false distinction in any case. It was common in the time that American troops were in Iraq. You can't simply draw a line between the al Qaeda inspired insurgency and the Sunni tribal and other insurgencies.

You have a deeply disaffected Sunni minority who have been marginalized, as of course the Shia majority were marginalized in their turn under Saddam. And unless that problem is addressed, unless in fact the Sunnis, the Shia and the Kurds sit down and address the fundamental problems involved in building a civil democratic state with respect for minority rights, this situation will only get worse. And very, very hard to say this, but all that America expended so much blood and treasure to achieve will simply be buried beneath the Iraqi sands.

CLANCY: All right, we look at this problem, John Burns, and we have to ask is it a trajectory toward renewed civil war? Or the way that it's playing out is it showing us that that's no long possible, it's going to be too limited, just a long death spiral if you will for some of the communities, the minority communities inside Iraq?

BURNS: No. I think we argued in the New York Times and other media organizations in Iraq in '05, '06, '07 as to whether we should refer to what was going on as a civil war. I was a little bit hesitant at the time. I thought it was too strong a term.

Look back on it and looking at the numbers we know now that are similar to the sort of numbers we are looking at now, the ones that you recited only a minute or two ago, I think we are once again very close to a civil war in Iraq and I think we have to -- we can't blame this only on Maliki, although I may sound as if I do. I think this is ultimately an outgrowth of a schism in Iraq, indeed a schism in the Muslim world which has lasted now nigh on 1,000 years in which we -- by which I mean, the west, the United States, the United Kingdom, are no longer if we ever were in a position to significantly mediate, correct, ameliorate.

CLANCY: John Burns of the New York Times with us there from Cambridge. John, always good to talk with you. Thank you very much.

BURNS: Thanks, John.

CLANCY: And still to come right here tonight, there's a new video of that Asiana crash rescue operation. It may help to answer some pressing questions about the tragedy that happened.

Also ahead, newly unclassified documents reopen an old wound. At issue, an Indian military raid decades ago on a temple held by militants and Britain's possible role in it.

Also coming up, she is not gay, but she doesn't like how gays are being treated in her country and so she's standing up, speaking out. Now she's become a target herself. We'll have a report from Russia ahead.


CLANCY: All right, you're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Jim Clancy. Welcome back.

America's secretary of state put it in blunt terms -- I'm quoting here -- the humanitarian situation in Syria is an outrage. At a Syria donor's conference Wednesday in Kuwait, the U.S. and six other nations backed that up with pledges of cash, almost $1.4 billion in new humanitarian aid.

Now this is going to help Syrian civilians inside and outside the country. The UN secretary-general says almost half of Syria's people are in need of urgent help.

There's a debate ongoing about whether or not the government is allowing access to some of the rebel areas with that aid.

Fighting between rival anti-regime groups inside the country has made the situation worse. We watched that daily on our television screens.

Wounded Syrians here arriving in Turkey after a devastating car bombing just across the Syrian border.

Three Syrian army fighters are battling extremist militias in the northern part of the country, a war within a civil war.

Meantime in Israel, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has apologized for his sharp comment disparaging U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. They were meant to be off the record, they were published.

Ya'alon said he didn't mean to offend Kerry by reportedly calling his approach to the Middle East peace talks misplaced obsession and messianic fervor.

Shezanne Cassim spent nine months in a maximum security prison in the United Arab Emirates for making a home video. Now, a week after his release, he's back home in the United State speaking to CNN about that ordeal. Cassim and four friends were arrested in Dubai over this parody video that they made about wannabe gangsters. He was sentenced to a year in prison for defaming the UAE's image.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Kate Bolduan he said for awhile he didn't even know why he had been arrested.


SHEZANNE CASSIM, ARRESTED FOR HOME VIDEO: The hardest part was just not knowing. We didn't know what our crime was, we didn't know how long we were going to be in there for.

So when you are in a position like that, you don't really know how to deal with it. So you have to take things day by day and there was so few facilities at the prison, so we had to kind of rely on each other for support. But in the end it made us stronger.


CLANCY: A new video has emerged from the crash of that Asiana Jetliner in the U.S. It may -- may help sort out what actually happened when the emergency services arrived at the scene there.

Now two people were killed in that Asiana Airlines accident last July, but a third person allegedly died during the actual rescue operation.

Let's get more now from Dan Simon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop, stop, stop! There's a body right -- there's a body right there, right in front of you.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chilling new video obtained by CBS News giving us a rare, up-close look from a firefighter's helmet-cam, the chaotic moments first-responders encountered after Asiana Flight 214 crashed landed in San Francisco last July.

Sixteen-year-old Ye Meng Yuan was accidentally run over twice by fire trucks. Her family has since filed a wrongful death claim against the city. In particularly blunt language, it accuses first-responders of deliberately and knowingly abandoning the teen where they knew she would be in harm's way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop, stop, stop! There's a body right -- there's a body right there, right in front of you.

SIMON: Does the new video prove the tragic accident could have been avoided?

There's also this. Another camera appears to show a firefighter directing a truck around the victim.

CHIEF JOANNE HAYES-WHITE, SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT: We're heartbroken. We're in the business of saving lives and many lives were saved that day.

SIMON: This video may be crucial in understanding what happened to Ye, who the coroner says survived the crash, but died from injuries she suffered after being run over.

At the time, officials said Ye's body was obscured by foam and couldn't be seen by the trucks, that combined with the chaos of putting out the fire and rescuing victims.

MAYOR EDWIN LEE, SAN FRANCISCO: I will say this. It was very, very hectic, very emergency-mode at the crash site minutes after the airplane came to rest and there was smoke inhalation and people were coming out of the fuselage as fast as they could.

SIMON: The spectacular crash of Asiana Flight 214 was captured on amateur video and on surveillance cameras, the Boeing 777 descending too low on landing, crashing into the seawall and cart-wheeling across the runway, tragically claiming the lives of three passengers and ejecting flight attendants from the aircraft on impact.

A court may eventually have to decide whether fire crews in this video were negligent and should be held accountable for the teenager's death.


CLANCY: That was Dan Simon reporting there.

CNN has reached out to San Francisco's fire department to get an official response. We've yet to hear back from them.

It is important, though, to note that in spite of the many firefighters of this tragedy, many of the firefighters that day acted heroically. They saved lives. Clearly, this is something, though, that for the family and for investigators they will need to fully explain.

Well, four men accused in the deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall appeared Wednesday in a Kenyan courtroom. The four are charged with helping al Shabaab militants carry out the assault last September that left at least 67 people dead.

Wednesday's hearing was meant to determine if there's enough evidence to put those men on trial. The hearing will continue Thursday.

At least 17 school children have died in a van crash in Pakistan. Three teachers and the bus driver were also killed. They were all on their way home from a school quiz competition when that van collided with a truck. More than 10 students who survived are being treated for injuries.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the latest rape report in India, that's according to the police there. A Danish woman alleges that she was gang raped and robbed in New Delhi. The woman was reportedly assaulted after she asked a group of men for directions back to her hotel.

New and worrisome questions today about a bloody military operation at India's Golden Temple that was almost 30 years ago. Newly released documents suggest that Britain may have helped plan the assault on the Sikh's holiest shrine that resulted in the deaths of some 400 people.

We get details and reaction now from Jonathan Mann.


JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been nearly 30 years since India launched Operation Blue Star, a military assault on the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The goal was to remove separatist Sikh militants from the temple complex. Hundreds of people died in the six day operation: Soldiers, sikh militants and civilians.

Now the Golden Temple is once again a place of peace and pilgrimage. But new documents are opening up an old wound and raising the question did British elite forces advise the Indian government on Operation Blue Star?

Declassified under Britain's 30 year rule and published on a blog called Stop Deportations, the documents appear to show correspondence between Thatcher government officials about a plan to send India a special ops officer with advice on removing the Sikh extremists.

British prime minister David Cameron has asked his cabinet secretary to investigate.

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: He will establish this urgently and establish the facts. The process is underway. I want it to be fast. I want it to find out the truth. And the findings will be made public.

MANN: The commander of Operation Blue Star says he already knows the answer.

LT. GEN. KULDIP SINGH BRAR, OPERATION BLUE STAR COMMANDER: There was no interference whatsoever in any foreign agency or any political (inaudible). We were given a free hand to carry out the operation. It was completely planned and executed by (inaudible) Indian army.

MANN: But some Sikh leaders in India are demanding an investigation.

AVTAR SINGH, PRESIDENT SGPC (through translator): If they have helped the government in attacking our people, then they have committed the highest crime.

TARLOCHAN SINGH, INDIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: I request that there should be a probe by India. And everybody should know what happened at that time and how the Golden Temple attack was...

MANN: Chairman (ph) is among millions who have visited the holy site. Now his government will investigate what happened there three decades ago.

Jonathan Mann, CNN, Atlanta.


CLANCY: Russia's leaders and lawmakers have come under a lot of criticism lately for their stand on gay rights. Coming up next, we're going to tell you the story of a Russian teacher who is trying to teach her country a lesson about tolerance.

And Egypt votes on a new constitution that gives more power to the military three years away from Arab Spring we're taking a closer look at Egypt just ahead.


CLANCY: Welcome back. You're watching Connect the world live from CNN Center. I'm Jim Clancy.

You know with the Sochi Olympics just a little over three weeks away, all eyes are on Russia. Recently, the country has come under some harsh criticism for its stance on gay rights. One teacher's call for tolerance has made her the target of an investigation.

Let's get more now from Phil Black in St. Petersburg.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: In a country where gay rights activists are usually attacked or arrested within moments of starting a protest, you don't get many gay rights activists who are straight.

This woman is one of the few. Here, she is being led away by police. "For nothing" she says.

Her name is Ekatarina Bogich (ph) and she teaches Spanish at this school at St. Petersburg. Her activism is now threatening her career because someone complained to local education authorities and her conduct is being investigated.

So you will not change your behavior?

She says, "when discrimination starts in one part of society it inevitably leads to other parts."

Bogich (ph) was inspired to act because of this man: Vitaly Malanov (ph), an Orthodox Christian, local St. Petersburg politician and father of what's known as the gay propaganda law.

Malanov (ph) became one of the most high profile politicians in the country by fighting for legislation which makes it illegal to tell children gay and straight relationships are equal.

She says, "suddenly, St. Petersburg was famous as a religiously fanatical city with xenophobic authorities at the top levels of power."

We asked Malanov (ph) for his view of Bogich (ph) as an activist and teacher. And said as a parent he'd be concerned about what she is saying to children. But student's parents say Bogich (ph) doesn't discuss gay rights in class.

"That is her personal opinion and it has nothing to do with school," this woman says.

Russian politicians say the gay propaganda law is designed to protect children. Ekatarina Bogich (ph) says it's purpose is to divide society and to boost intolerance. And she says her case is just another sign that proves its working.

The local head of the education department says there is an investigation to determine if her activism is continuing in the classroom. But regardless of the outcome of that investigation, he's already publicly stated his personal view which is Ekararina Bogich (ph) should either stop fighting for gay rights or stop being a teacher.

Phil Black, CNN, St. Petersburg.


CLANCY: The latest world headlines are just ahead.

Plus, new constitution is on the horizon in both Egypt and Tunisia. We're going to look at the diverging paths these two countries have taken since the Arab Spring.

And plastic surgery for kids? How a new app let's nine-year-olds get hold of a virtual scalpel.

And a bit later, the story of a caregiver who worked in a foreign country, lived in a crowded apartment and dreamed of becoming a singer. And now after an appearance on a popular reality TV show in Israel her dream suddenly has come a lot closer.


CLANCY: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Jim Clancy, and here are your top stories this hour.

At least 54 people have been killed, many more wounded in a series of attacks in Iraq. Seven car bombs exploded in the capital of Baghdad alone. Another bomb exploded at a funeral in the northern town of Buhriz.

A YouTube video purports to show the aftermath of a massive car blast in a Syrian border town. Free Syrian Army fighters have been battling al Qaeda-linked militants there. Hundreds of Syrians have been killed.

In Kenya, four men accused of helping Somali militants in that deadly Westgate mall attack appeared in court Wednesday. The hearing is to determine if there is enough evidence to try them. It continues Thursday.

The US military has obtained a new video allegedly showing the only American serviceman captured in the Afghanistan War. Bowe Bergdahl was taken captive in June of 2009. He's believed held by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani Network in Pakistan. Moments ago, we heard from Bergdahl's family. In a statement, they pleaded for his captors to release him safely and asked Bergdahl himself to remain strong through patience.

Well, the polls have closed on Egypt's second day of voting on a new constitution. This referendum was highly anticipated, people are closely watching turnout. Egypt's national news agency says 125 people were arrested Wednesday, accused of trying to obstruct the electoral process.

The draft constitution is being voted on. It is controversial, putting more power in the hands of the military, banning religious parties, like the Muslim Brotherhood, and gives parliament the right to impeach the president. Let's get more from CNN's Reza Sayah in Cairo.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Day two of Egypt's constitutional referendum didn't see the violence we saw on day one. You recall on Tuesday, things started off with a scare when a bomb exploded in front of a Cairo courthouse, and there were several people killed in protests and clashes, authorities say, at or near polling stations.

Day two seemed to go relatively peacefully and calmly. We visited several polling stations throughout Egypt. Obviously, the military-backed government wanted a strong turnout for this referendum.

If you listen to state media and some political officials, they describe the turnout as "unprecedented," as large, but based on what we observed at the polling stations we went to, this is what we saw: not very long lines, small lines, and a steady stream of voters coming in to cast their votes.

The polls closed at 9:00 PM on Wednesday night. Authorities say it's going to take them about 72 hours to count and collate the vote. It's widely believed that this referendum is going to pass by an overwhelming margin, and analysts say many Egyptians are going to view the passing of this constitution as a mandate, as an invitation for General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to run for the presidency.

Many Egyptians we've talked to tell us that that's what they want, but rights groups say General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is a step away from the democratic principles many Egyptians fought for back in the 2011 revolution and a step towards an autocracy that many Egyptians suffered through for decades.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Cairo.


CLANCY: What is happening in Egypt today of course stems from the Arab Spring uprisings three years ago, when we saw mass protests on the streets and calls for change from a regime that had ruled Egypt for nearly three decades.

The Egyptian army boosted the opposition, and in February of 2011, President Hosni Mubarak stepped down. Better-organized and better-funded, the Muslim Brotherhood overwhelmed other political parties. It rewrote the constitution and quickly began consolidating power.

But the military stayed waiting in the wings of power. In July this year, it instigated a counter-revolution, ousting Egypt's first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsy of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Clashes and crackdowns followed, and Morsy's party has now been criminalized. Now, Egypt is on the verge of approving a new constitution that ultimately gives more power to the military.

Egypt's neighbor, Tunisia, where the Arab Spring really began, has taken a divergent path. After the revolution, its repressive police state collapsed and a coalition government was formed. Now, Tunisia has had its own share of political upheaval. The assassinations of two left-leaning politicians last year prompted calls for the government to resign.

Earlier this month, power was transferred to a bipartisan caretaker government and elections are expected to take place this year. Oh, and a new constitution is expected to be agreed upon soon, enshrining universal freedoms and providing guarantees that Tunisia will see separation of church and state.

Well, with Egypt back to the old guard and Tunisia on the verge of agreeing to, well, what many consider the most liberal constitution in the Arab world right now, let's get the perspective of two people who closely followed the revolutions in both of those nations.

Youssef Gaigi is the founder of Tunisialive, that's an English- language website in Tunisia, of course. He joins us now from Tunis. And Gigi Ibrahim is an Egyptian blogger. She joins us from Cairo.

Same question to both of you, Gigi, we'll begin with you. How far along do you perceive your country in this march to, well, whatever made people go to the streets for the Arab Spring?

GIGI IBRAHIM, EGYPTIAN BLOGGER: Well, I can't say we have walked down the same road as Tunisia. We definitely have taken steps back with the military coup on July 3rd of 2013, and even steps before that, we were heading in the wrong direction.

In three years, we've had three different referendums, six or seven governments, four different heads of state from military to Morsy to al- Sisi now. And this all comes after toppling Mubarak and -- in a military rule for 60 years since 1952 and still continuing.

So, I can say we're taking steps ahead of ourselves. You see Tunisia having transitional justice law while Egypt we're having an anti-protest law. I mean --


CLANCY: So, you feel like you're going in circles, Gigi?

IBRAHIM: -- where Egypt is heading. Excuse me?

CLANCY: You feel like you're going in circles?

IBRAHIM: It's more like musical chairs, and it's not that pretty.

CLANCY: All right. All right.

IBRAHIM: We have over 21,000 political prisoners at the moment, and over 7,000 dead in just seven months.

CLANCY: All right. Standby right there. We're going to come back to you. Youssef Gaigi, I want to ask you, how far along do you feel like you are there in Tunisia?

YOUSSEF GAIGI, FOUNDER, TUNISIALIVE.NET: Well, I feel that Tunisia has changed in many ways since the beginning of the Arab Spring and that Tunisia has taken a very different path compared to Egypt.

The process here has been a lot more inclusive and participatory. We had the first election in which a large part of the population participated. And then we had the constitutional assembly, which is the parliament, 217 people who are representing in many ways the different parts of society in Tunisia.

And these people worked -- it took time, and the process was not that easy. We had a little problems along the way. But we are hoping that this week they will finalize the constitution. Already, two thirds of the constitution have passed.

And we're hoping that we will not need to go to a referendum. And in that way, I believe the process here was a lot more inclusive compared to Egypt.

CLANCY: Gigi, I want to ask you, because the constitution is really the framework for any government. Recognition and protection of minority rights, guaranteeing the justice system.

And one of the things that we heard from many Egyptians when the Arab Spring first launched on the streets was an end to the military courts and all of that, where we have a real judicial system. But this new constitution paves the way for yet more military courts, and the military gets to choose who they put on trial.

IBRAHIM: This constitution, just like Morsy's constitution, only is cementing the powers of the military, military trials for civilians, and taking away minority rights. And that's not any better than what Morsy did.

Just so people don't misunderstand me, when I say that the constitution is bad and we don't believe -- I don't believe that it will fulfill any rights and is just income paper.

At the end of the day, there is no political will in Egypt from day one to -- from day one in this revolution to actually make this transition and justice happen, whereas you have in Tunisia, you have small reforms, you have -- it seems that the signs are there is a window of democracy, and there is a window of protection for those rights.

And those who are fighting to continue the revolution are getting something from that fight, whereas in Egypt, we have fighting for three years, we have been demanding the same thing, and exactly the opposite has happened, where military is cementing its powers more, the remnants of the old regime are coming back in full force.

Essentially, the revolutionaries are divided between the -- this polarization between the political Islamist forces, who are not any better, to be honest, than the military. When they had their chance, they didn't grant any of the revolutionaries the demands that they wanted.

You are talking about the one minister of interior who murdered, who massacred people in Rabaa. Until now, we have over 21,000 political prisoners that are not just Muslim Brotherhood, that are also revolutionaries. And this is --



IBRAHIM: -- the military that was supported by --

CLANCY: Gigi, let's give Youssef a chance here. Maybe Youssef --

IBRAHIM: -- Morsy.

CLANCY: Look. The cases of Egypt, very different. From the size of the countries, the sheer size, from the history of their militaries, very different countries. But Youssef, do you have any advice for the Egyptians like Gigi that are, frankly -- and you can hear it in her voice -- frustrated?

GAIGI: Well, there are lots of differences. But I think there are more similarities, and I identify myself to Gigi in every single sentence she says. We are both young Arabs, we share a lot of tradition and culture and identity and religion and the aspiration. We look to the same model that we looked at three years ago, which is democracy in Islam and the economy. We want everything to live together.

And not to say Islam, but every single part of the country, every single minority can live in freedom. And we do not want any regime to impose or to exclude anybody from this process. And we realize here as young Arabs, we have a lot of differences in terms of demographics or in terms of different minorities in society.

But I believe since the Tunisian government and let's say the Tunisian path, in some way, when we saw what happened in Egypt and how Morsy was taken down from power, it reminded the government here that they have to be a lot more inclusive to convince people --


GAIGI: -- that they actually can lead the way.

CLANCY: Youssef Gaigi and Gigi Ibrahim, I want to thank both of you for being with us. Obviously, a long way to go in both countries, especially in Egypt, where even though we're making some progress, the question is, is it enough? Does it fulfill the original dreams of the young people, the young Arabs of the Middle East wanted to see in their own governments? Thank you both for being with us.

Now, what is your take on this proposed new Egyptian and the Tunisian constitutions, the situation in both countries? The team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you. Have your say at And you can always send me a tweet @ClancyCNN.

Live from Atlanta, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. How a new app tried to teach kids that they can cut out the fat -- literally.

Some critics are comparing her with singer Susan Boyle. We're going to tell you how this Filipina caregiver has become a musical sensation almost overnight.


CLANCY: I went on a search for this app -- I'm kind of glad I couldn't find it. It's a plastic surgery app, and it's aimed at children. And, I think, is well-justified it sparked some outrage. The game urges users to perform a technical nip-and-tuck on a cartoon girl, and it's since been taken down.

Let's get more on this story. Samuel Burke joins us live from New York. I was kind of disappointed I couldn't see it, but then again, I was kind of glad it wasn't there anymore.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, Slice and Dice Barbie, that's what this application, plastic surgery for Barbie, allowed its users to do. But Mattel, the company behind Barbie, said they never even gave this app permission to use the famous iconic doll's namesake.

Now, I want to show you some of the images from this app before it was taken down. This is what it looked like. You could send a somewhat heavyset Barbie to the doctor, to the plastic surgeon.

And then it actually showed the users -- and the app maker said it was appropriate for girls as young as 12 -- it actually let them show -- make marks on the stomach where they were going to inject, put bandages, where they had done surgery. At one point, it even allows the users to take out a scalpel and then pump fat out of the stomach.

But Jim, I want to read you the description from this app maker, and I think this is really what upset so many people. The description said, "This unfortunate girl has so much extra weight that no diet can help her. In our clinic, she can go through a surgery and liposuction that will maker her slim and beautiful," the description said.

"We'll need to make small cuts on problem areas and suck out the extra fat. Will you operate on her, Doctor?" Now, this set off people on social media, but not just online. Listen to what people told me offline.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It shouldn't be for kids, first of all. Because these are children -- I know children today are very sophisticated and everything, but certain things should be not for children, and that's one of them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think based on kind of a freedom of expression platform, while it may not be a message that I personally agree with, it's OK. Not good for kids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a personal trainer, and I think it's awful. So, this is -- so they basically are marketing this to kids to change their face, change their body. I think it's sad, because it's not showing anything about your self esteem. How can you change to be more beautiful?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Show a girl doing exercise or something like that instead of getting surgery, doing liposuction.


BURKE: So, Jim, the app is down, gone from both iTunes and Google Play, the famous app stores. And it's really in thanks to this group called the Everyday Sexism Project. Every time we see an app or a website, this group rallies its more than 100,000 Twitter followers to tweet at these companies, and they have a lot of success. So watch out for those online social media campaigns.

CLANCY: All right, Samuel Burke, thank you much for that preview. The app has been described as "disgusting," and it raises concerns over the warped view of beauty that it promotes. Let's discuss this just a little bit further. We're joined by Melanie Notkin, lifestyle expert and founder of Savvy Auntie, live from New York. What did you think of it?

MELANIE NOTKIN, LIFESTYLE EXPERT AND FOUNDER, SAVVY AUNTIE: Oh, it's egregious. It's terrible. And I actually saw that the age could be 9 years old. This is not something that children ages 9, 12, 15, should be exposed to. It is really an egregious app, and I am so happy that it was taken down. This is not something that any child, girl or boy, should be playing with.

CLANCY: As I look at this, I see all of the publicity that this app is getting, and I know that this company that produced this, produces a lot of other apps, I wonder if it's not a publicity stunt. I almost hope that that's what it is, even though we're being used for all of this. Because whoever invented this app, I think they need therapy. What do you think?


NOTKIN: Well, the person who developed the app has developed about 20 other apps for kids, beauty, fashion, et cetera on iTunes. And they are not as egregious as this one. This one really pushed the envelope.

But on the other hand, I think it actually speaks very positively to what happens on social media. The fact that it was just within hours that iTunes heard what was going on on Twitter and decided to remove it.

So, whether this -- if this was a positive publicity idea, I don't think it worked in their favor. In fact, it was a really positive thing for Twitter and for the society of men and women on Twitter who said we won't stand for this for our daughters and our nieces and the girls we love.

CLANCY: Children are out there, they're downloading apps, they have their own phones, iPhones much of the time, expensive phones. And parents -- are parents paying enough attention to what their children, even at that young age, are bringing in off the Internet?

NOTKIN: I think that a lot of parents are paying attention, but I think that our tweens and teens are very savvy, and they're able to hide things from parents and from guardians. Look at Snapchat, right? The picture disappears in seconds. So, they're really good at hiding this stuff.

So, it's really important that parents and those who care about these girls and boys are making sure that all of the apps that they are playing with are either safe, meaning they cannot connect with other people on the Internet as friends, et cetera. And that those apps don't do things that will harm their psyche.

So yes, parents have to make sure, but also understand that kids are actually really savvy about technology and, frankly, are often more savvy than the grownups who love them.

CLANCY: Well, you're the Savvy Auntie, so lend us some advice here. How do you communicate to a child, to a young girl, that maybe doesn't have a perfect body what is all right and how they should build their self- esteem?

NOTKIN: Well, the first thing is, don't put yourself down. Women have a way of putting themselves down in front of little girls. They'll say, "Oh, I look so fat today. Oh, I wish -- I need liposuction, I can't wait to get plastic surgery." And girls hear this.

So first of all, be careful of the messages that you communicate around little girls, even if you're not speaking to them directly. Make sure that the media that they are watching and playing with, whether it's toys, games, apps, are positive message endorsers. And make sure that the girls that they play with have a positive influence on those girls.


NOTKIN: Look, we've been playing with Barbies forever. We know that this exists. What we want to do is limit the amount of pressure we put on girls to live to that.

CLANCY: OK. Melanie Notkin, I want to thank you very much for being with us, the Savvy Auntie, very good to have you here.

And coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, a surprise win in one of Israel's biggest talent shows. We're going to bring you a remarkable voice up next.


CLANCY: Well, Israel is buzzing -- or maybe humming -- about the new winner of the Talent Show "X-Factor." Her name, Rose Fostanes. CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance brings us her story.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There are moments when reality television can highlight a country's sensitivities. Israel's version of "The X-Factor" has done just that, won not by a Jewish Israeli, but by a migrant worker from the Philippines.

ROSE FOSTANES, WINNER: Thank you so much for all the Israelis who support me. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, also, for giving us a chance to join in a competition like this. Thank you. Thank you so much.

CHANCE: At the embassy of the Philippines in Tel Aviv, the nation's ambassador to Israel congratulates its newest star, presenting her with a hastily-made certificate of achievement. It is highly unusual for migrant workers in Israel to have any kind of public profile, let alone win one of the country's most popular talent shows.

CHANCE (on camera): How surprised were you at the level of support you got from Israelis?

FOSTANES: I was surprised that I'm on "The X-Factor" and I won the title, because I didn't expect that I would win, first because I'm not Israeli and I don't have residence here and I'm only a worker. I received from them a lot of love and cares.

CHANCE (voice-over): That's very different to how many migrant workers in Israel feel. In recent weeks, there have been regular protests by activists demanding greater rights for migrants, accusing the authorities of discrimination and turning a blind eye to abuse.

It's a prejudice the "X-Factor" winner, who's been working as a caregiver in Israel for the past six years, said she had experienced. Even now, her work visa does not permit her to make money performing or recording in Israel unless an exception is made.

CHANCE (on camera): Migrant workers in Israel are often viewed very negatively by many Israelis. How do you think that your victory may help to change that image, that perception.

FOSTANES: I don't know. But may -- I think there's good communication, now, between the employer and the worker since they saw me on "X-Factor."

CHANCE (voice-over): And for at least one migrant worker, singing her way into the hearts of Israelis, attitudes have, indeed, changed.



CHANCE: Matthew Chance, CNN, Jerusalem.


CLANCY: And I'm Jim Clancy, and those are some of the stories that are connecting the world tonight. Thanks for being with us.