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Floods in Pakistan May Help Militants Win Hearts and Minds of Pakistanis as Aid from Islamists Groups Fills Void Left by Delayed Government Aid. Hong Kong Architect Converts One-Room Apartment into Twenty Rooms in Only 32 Square Meters of Space. Investment Expert Discusses Where Real Estate Hotspots Are. Cuban Ballet Dancer Carlos Acosta Talks About his Cuban Roots and His Latest Project.

Aired August 5, 2010 - 16:00:00   ET



NAOMI CAMPBELL, SUPERMODEL: I don't know anything about Charles Taylor. I never heard of him before. I never heard of the country Liberia before. I never heard of the term of blood diamonds before.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is supermodel Naomi Campbell telling the truth?

Prosecutors in the Hague may be wondering. They're trying to draw a direct link between this man, Charles Taylor, and conflict diamonds to show he had motivation behind his alleged crimes in Sierra Leone.

But while diamonds may be a girl's best friend, there's another trade in Africa that everyone is complicit in. Tonight, the story of how you and I use conflict minerals and how to stop it.

On CNN, this is the hour we connect the world.

Well, the United Nations tried to stop the sale of blood diamonds a decade ago. It set up a system to force countries to prove their diamonds were conflict-free. We're going to explore tonight if such a system should and can be set up for the trade of minerals.

With a story that connects everyone who uses an electronic device, I'm Max Foster in London.

Also tonight, the U.S. ups its aid to flood-ravaged Pakistan, but militant groups are trying to do the same to win over the people's hearts and minds.

A British ship lost in Canadian waters 150 years ago is found. We'll find out how and what it means to you and to me.



GARY CHAN, ARCHITECT: You've heard me moving from one room to the other in this home, the place changes for me.


FOSTER: Meet Gary Chan in Hong Kong. His tiny studio can be turned into 20 different rooms. This is the model for busy cities in the future.

We love to hear from you. Comment on that and all of the stories on our -- by going to our Web site, Log in and join the conversation.

We'll begin, though, with Naomi Campbell's testimony at the first ever war crimes tribunal involving a former African leader. Prosecutors hoped she would provide a link -- a clear link between Charles Taylor and blood diamonds. But the most they got from the supermodel were assumptions about dirty looking stones.

Phil Black reports from the Hague.


CAMPBELL: I don't remember them.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): Naomi Campbell was a reluctant witness.

CAMPBELL: Well, I didn't really want to be here, but I was made to be here. So, obviously, I'm just like wanting to get this over with and get on with my life. This is a big inconvenience for me.

BLACK: She had been called before the special court for Sierra Leone to explain what happened during and after this get together 13 years ago. In the middle is the host, then South African president, Nelson Mandela. That's music producer Quincy Jones, actress Mia Farrow and Pakistani cricketer and politician, Imran Khan were also there.

Campbell is standing next to the man now facing 11 charges for war crimes and crimes against humanity, former Liberian president, Charles Taylor.

Campbell says she sat next to Mandela and didn't talk directly to Taylor.

CAMPBELL: When I'm in Mr. Mandela's presence, Mr. Mandela is my focus.

BLACK: Campbell says she went to bed and was woken in the night.

CAMPBELL: When I was in bed, I had a knock at my door. And I opened my door and two men were there and gave me a pouch and said a gift for you.

BLACK: Naomi Campbell told the court she didn't open the gift until morning, when she saw some small, dirty looking stones. She didn't know they were diamonds because they're usually shiny and come in a box. She says her breakfast companions, her agent, Carole White, and the actress Mia Farrow, first said they must be diamonds and they must be from Charles Taylor.

BRENDA HOLLIS, PROSECUTOR: What did you think?

CAMPBELL: I just assumed it was.


CAMPBELL: I don't know. I don't know anything about Charles Taylor. I never heard of him before, never heard of the country Liberia before. I never heard of the term of blood diamonds before.

BLACK: Charles Taylor watched quietly, but Campbell's evidence didn't satisfy the prosecutor, who had called her as a witness.

HOLLIS: Isn't it correct that your account today is not entirely truthful because of your fear of Charles Taylor?

CAMPBELL: No, that's not correct.

BLACK: And Campbell's version will be challenged further, when her former agent, Carole White, gives evidence. She's already told prosecutors Campbell flirted with Taylor over dinner, knew the diamonds were coming and was disappointed by the way they looked.

(on camera): Prosecutors had hoped Naomi Campbell would provide a direct link between Charles Taylor and uncut diamonds, which they say motivated his alleged crimes during Sierra Leone's civil war. What they got was Campbell's admission that she had received a gift of what may have been diamonds, didn't know who they were from and gave them away -- all just hours after being in Taylor's company.

Phil Black, CNN, the Hague.


FOSTER: Well, the appearance of a stylish supermodel at the Hague certainly attracted the global media spotlight. But there's nothing glamorous about conflict diamonds. It's a deadly trade that many governments are trying to stamp out. The United Nations resolved in 2000 to stop the sale of so-called blood diamonds. That's led to what's called the Kimberly Process Scheme that requires countries to prove their diamonds are conflict-free before they can trade them. The scheme has seen the percentage of blood diamonds in circulation fall to just a fraction.

The Ivory Coast is reportedly the only current case of rebels controlling diamond producing areas.

While sales of blood diamonds have been slashed, conflict minerals have surfaced in their place. Unlike diamonds, which cater to an upscale market, these minerals are -- are used to make everyday gadgets that many of us can't live without. And that demand is helping fuel the deadliest conflict in the world.

CNN's Anderson Cooper filed this report from the Democratic Republic of Congo back in 2006.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A young miner descends into the earth, hoping to scratch out a living in the dangerous darkness below.

(on camera): It's pitch black in the mine. The ceiling of this mine is maybe two-and-a-half feet. You're literally crouching down, crawling through the mine.

(voice-over): Hunched over, sitting in a pool of water, we find 23- year-old Siva Jua (ph). The rocks he pulls from the ground earn him just a few dollars a day, but they've also created widespread corruption and helped fuel a civil war that resulted in more than three million deaths. Dozens of warring armies and militias have fought for control of Congo's natural resources.

(on camera): This is a cassiterite mine. It's where tin comes from. We're probably about 100 feet or so inside a mountain in eastern Congo. The mine itself is a low-tech operation, but increasingly, tin is used in high-tech products. Because of changes in environmental regulations, tin has replaced lead in circuit boards used in equipment like, well, like these cell phones. Chances are, if you use a cell phone, you're probably carrying a piece of the Congo with you.

(voice-over): In the last four years, the price of tin has more than doubled. You'd think that would be a great development for the cash- strapped Congo, but very little of the money paid for Congolese tin actually ends up benefiting the people here.

JASON STEARNS, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: It's a predator's state, so you have -- the customs officials are completely corrupt. It's an estimated 60 percent to 80 percent of customs are never embezzled, never get back to the people. You can blame the people who are doing it. They're doing it because they can and they can because there's no state. There's nobody to tell them not to.


FOSTER: Anderson Cooper reporting there, explaining how conflict minerals from the Congo are crucial to the tech industry.

How then you and I, how can we make sure we're not enabling the trustees each time that we buy a gadget?

Let's bring in David Sullivan from the Enough Project.

It's a group working to keep conflict minerals out of the supply chain, which is a very tough job, isn't it, because the demand is huge and it's growing.

DAVID SULLIVAN, ENOUGH PROJECT: Well, Max, that's right. Every time we purchase a new cell phone or a laptop, we send a signal down the supply chains for these products that ends up going all the way to places like Eastern Congo, where traders have been taking a see no evil, hear no evil approach to buying minerals that have been fueling human rights violations in that part of the world.

FOSTER: Just explain how the minerals go from effectively criminal hands and end up in, for example, a product -- a gadget that is made by a brand that we know and love.

SULLIVAN: Sure. Well, the minerals we're talking about in Eastern Congo are the mineral ores that produce what we call the three Ts -- tin, tantaline and tungsten, as well as gold. Now, armed groups and units of the Congolese Army will control the mines or illegally tax the trading routes that take the minerals from Eastern Congo to cities, where they are smuggled across the border into countries like Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. And eventually, they're transported to minerals processing facilities, many of which are located in Asia.

It's there that these minerals are smelted together with minerals from all over the world into processed metals, which are then sold on to component manufacturers for tech companies and eventually wind up as critical parts of cell phones, laptops, almost any piece of consumer electronics, among other industries.

FOSTER: And you, of course, can't smelt diamonds, so the Kimberly Process set up for diamonds isn't really workable with other minerals, isn't it?

Is there some other way you can legislate and make sure that you've got a clean mobile phone, as it were?

SULLIVAN: Absolutely. I mean the biggest problem to date is that the electronics companies at the end of the chain have just asked their suppliers to try not to source from Eastern Congo or they rely just on verbal assurances that they're not sourcing from conflict regions. What we need to do is shift the burden of proof and make those companies find out exactly where they are getting their minerals from and do the due diligence to make sure that they're not benefiting these armed groups.

Here in the United States, the Wall Street reform bill that just passed actually contains strong provisions targeted specifically at this conflict in Congo that will force companies to begin to do that.

FOSTER: This is an area of work that you're in, of course. It's not very glamorous most of the time and a lot of paper pushing, as it were. And we had this bizarre spectacle today, didn't we, with Naomi Campbell at the Hague.

What did you make of that as it unfolded?

I -- I guess she welcomed the media attention.

SULLIVAN: Yes, it certainly -- Miss. Campbell's testimony has captured the world's attention, captured the headlines. But I think it's - - it's just one piece of a much more important story about -- about bringing warlords to justice for the kinds of serious human rights violations that they've committed in the course of seeking these kinds of resources.

FOSTER: OK, David Sullivan from the Enough Project.

Thank you very much, indeed, for that.

Now today's proceedings at the Hague are heating up our blog site. The -- the mysterious middle of the night gift of diamonds seems too much to pass up. Supermodel Naomi Campbell is grabbing most of the attention and criticism.

Our first blogger, like many others, questions Campbell's account of events: "Who's going to have two men show up, be given a pouch and not -- and then not question what was in it?"

Almost to a person, the idea of passing up diamonds is hard to swallow. Regardless of how much everyone thinks supermodels made, a bag of diamonds is a hefty payday.

Others choose to deal with the war crimes tribunal itself: "Why is he not being tried by his own people in his own country? Just who do the U.N. think they are?"

And, finally, many of you think Campbell was far from truthful and in the quarter: "This must be a joke. She assumes they were from Charles Taylor and this is in a court of law," one of the comments there.

It's all there,

It's a landmark find, meanwhile, in the icy waters of the Arctic. Archeologists discovered a British ship that was lost almost 150 years ago. Find out how it got there and why it's so special, next on CONNECT THE WORLD.


FOSTER: archeologists from Canada and Britain are teaming up to investigate an amazing discovery in the Arctic. A mid-19th century rescue ship stuck in the ice and abandoned has been found in remarkably good condition.

Craig Oliver shows us this time capsule to the past.


CRAIG OLIVER, CTV NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first ghostly images of HMS investigator since her crew abandoned her 156 years ago. The wreck was found by a Parks Canada team led by archeologist Ryan Harris.

RYAN HARRIS, PARKS CANADA: The first tantalizing glimpses eventually gave way to a complete picture of the shipwreck for a comparative length, 120 feet overall. And as the ice cleared away, we were able to see the HMS investigator in its glory.

OLIVER: Heavy Arctic ice, which trapped the ship for two years, until its crew was rescued, has sheered away the bowsprit, the masts and damaged the stern. But from the upper deck down, the structure has been well preserved from corrosion and rot by the cold Arctic water.

HARRIS: Essentially, it represents a time capsule with all this information on shipboard life and -- and polar exploration essentially entombed within.

OLIVER: Next summer, the parks department will send robot cameras into what they hope will be the relatively intact crew and captain's quarters. From this point on, the government's priority is preservation of the wreck, according to environment minister, Jim Prentice.

JIM PRENTICE, CANADIAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER: There's no immediate plans to raise the ship. You know, that -- that's a very difficult thing to do, very expensive. This is pretty far north. And so our immediate objectives are -- are really conservation and protecting the ship.

OLIVER: As a never decommissioned British Naval vessel, Investigator is still owned by the British government. As such, where the ship lies, 1,000 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, it's more than just a historical artifact, it's an important part of Canada's claim to sovereignty over that region.

Craig Oliver, CTV News, Ottawa.


FOSTER: And that's the latest of these fascinating discoveries, but there are many others across the globe. Among the more notable finds recently were the remains of the ship likely from the 1700s excavated just last month from the World Trade Center site. Archeologists believe it was sunk intentionally to create landfill for what would eventually become Lower Manhattan.

Last year, deep sea explorers announced they had sold one of the great mysteries in the naval history. Odyssey Marine Exploration located the wreckage of the HMS Victory in the English Channel. This is Odyssey's search vessel. The Victory was considered the world's mightiest and most technologically advanced warship when it sank in 1744 in a bad storm. Some 1,000 people were lost at sea. Odyssey suspects a massive treasure trove of gold may be on board.

I want to talk more about the HMS Victory and the business of ocean treasure hunting with Joe Flatman, a Marine archeologist.

Joe, UNESCO estimates that there are, you know, many, many ships still in the sea.


FOSTER: How many of them contain treasure?

FLATMAN: How many contain treasure?

Impossible to tell. UNESCO estimates there's probably about three million shipwrecks somewhere in the world. Of treasure containing ships, perhaps, you know, let's put 1 percent of that maybe. But if you think 1 percent of that three million is an extraordinary number.

FOSTER: Worth the chase?

FLATMAN: Worth the chase depends what you mean. I'm never going to go and find treasure, though the treasure I want are the ships themselves, the timbers, the insight they give into the people. I mean the examples like the Investigator, that's a human story. I mean that's not that long ago. It's only two or three generations -- well, three or four generations ago, something like that. There are living survivors -- well, ancestors of people from -- who went on that ship. And so they're all the way around the world. It's an incredibly human story.

FOSTER: And so the interest for you, really, is what it teaches us about history. So the public interest, really, is to find a particularly old ship, which teaches us something new about the technology at time, is that what you're doing?

FLATMAN: Absolutely. I mean look at the Mary Rose. The Mary Rose is an incredibly popular place to visit. All of the school kids go there. It's one of the...

FOSTER: It's a ship in London.

FLATMAN: Mary Rose is that ship down in Portsmouth, the Tudor warship. It's an absolute time capsule. You've got little bits there about every single bit of life at sea in the age. It was a revolutionary ship itself. It's an incredible discovery. And all around the world, we've got thousands of shipwrecks. And they're being explored all the time. Teams like the one from Parks Canada there, the National Park Service in the States. Here in the U.K., we have teams at most universities and research looking at these types all of the time.

FOSTER: And where does the law lie then, if, for example, a wreck is found in international waters?

Is it the -- is it the -- the organization that found it that has the rights to it and owns it?

FLATMAN: The -- the law is an extremely tricky one. I mean, I'm a maritime archeologist, I'm not a maritime lawyer. My very simple understanding of it is it's quite similar, if it's in international waters, the very limited rules we have are to do with the UNESCO convention and the law of the sea. And that's just pretty much -- it's fair game to the salvager. Once you get into exclusive economic zones and territorial waters, obviously, it's a lot trickier.

So work like that, there are the various different treasure hunting organizations. If it's in international waters, I may not like it, but -- but legally, there is nothing I could do about it. That's so true of many things.

FOSTER: And is there some sort of map which the -- you know, the commercial companies are looking at to try to get the most valuable shipwrecks?

FLATMAN: I mean, the various -- various companies do exactly the same as me. It's all about endless amounts of time in the library. It's -- it's a classic line from archeology, that 90 percent of our political (ph) research begins in the library.

And that's the way of it, that you spend a lot of time there, patrolling (INAUDIBLE) records. Here in London, we've got the National Maritime Museum, with amazing records. And it's about spending days and days and days buried in those archives.

FOSTER: OK. Joe Flatman, fascinating stuff.

Thank you very much, indeed.

Now, tummy tucks and tango are two good reasons to travel to Argentina. Our extreme tourism series continues next with the search for the body beautiful in Buenos Aires.


FOSTER: For an adventurous spirit, this week on CONNECT THE WORLD, checking out the growing extreme tourism. So far, we met surfers escaping the crowds to catch some waves in Liberia, a country better known for its long civil war. And we soaked up the sun in the Sahara Desert. Ben Wedeman went back to basics trekking Tunisia's sand dunes with plaintiff camels, but certainly no hot showers.

Next stop, beautiful Buenos Aires. It's not the beaches, the wine and the soulful sound, though, that attracts tourists there.

As Brian Byrnes reports, some holiday makers make the trip for a head to toe makeover.


BRIAN BYRNES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Forty-four-year-old James Brandon wants to look younger. Plastic surgery, he says, is the answer. But money was an issue, so he traveled 9,000 kilometers south from Toronto to Buenos Aires for liposuction, a nose job and eye lift.

JAMES BRANDON, PLASTIC SURGERY PATIENT: For what I'm getting done, it probably would have cost me about $50,000. Back home and here, about maybe $10,000, $11,000.

BYRNES: It's this extreme savings that is bringing so many to South America's extreme south. Argentina's weak currency and world renewed surgeons has made it a Mecca for cosmetic surgery tourism. Thousands arrive annually for tummy tucks and tango, soaking up the sexy urban vive of Buenos Aires, where looking good is paramount.

BRANDON: I have definitely noticed people here are more obsessed with the way they look. I have seen many people with plastic surgery.

BYRNES: It's estimated that one in 30 argentines have gone under the knife, making surgeons here some of the most experienced on the globe. James Brandon's surgeon, Dr. Williams Bukret, says he performs some 180 cosmetic surgeries a year.

DR. WILLIAMS BUKRET, PLASTIC SURGEON: People understand what is the importance of the beauty, what is the value of the beauty. In our society, we are -- we understand that it is important to be -- to feel -- to feel better, to feel great, to be and to look great.

BYRNES (on camera): But it is this mentality that has also created body issue problems for many Argentines. Doctors report that breast enhancement surgery is a common birthday gift for 15-year-old girls. And in this fashion conscious society, eating disorders are a major problem, too.

(voice-over): Dr. Mabel Bello of the Argentina Association Against Bulimia and Anorexia, says the country's volatile history, especially the ruthless military regime that ruled in the 1970s and '80s, is to blame.

DR. MABEL BELLO, ARGENTINA ASSOCIATION AGAINST BULIMIA & ANOREXIA: And we have the past and we try to forget and so we try to be always young or always beautiful. It's difficult for us to understand our past.

BYRNES: Thirty-five-year-old Boston native, Tracy Bates (ph), has spent the last year-and-a-half living in Buenos Aires. She says striving to look beautiful in Argentina can be a burden. She recently had rhinoplasty surgery here and many of her friends have traveled to Buenos Aires to have procedures done, as well.

TRACY BATES: But, yes, there is a pressure. I mean and you hear it among all the -- the Americans that come, maybe we're a little chubbier than -- they're like, all the girls are beautiful and perfect and the perfect skin. And so I'd say it would be a pressure.

BYRNES: James Brandon also feels it. That's what led him to record his experiences in Buenos Aires for a planned documentary film about plastic surgery and the gay community.

BRANDON: I'm turning the camera on myself and -- and -- and in the process, maybe learning more about myself, learning why I really want to -- to do this and why I feel the pressure.

BYRNES: As long as the pressure persists and the price is right, people will continue to travel in search of that perfect look.

Brian Byrnes for CNN, Buenos Aires.


FOSTER: And Brian has just caught up with James Brandon, the patient from that report. And he says he was quite moderately satisfied with his surgeries and pleased with the care he received under Dr. Bukret.

Now, tomorrow, we meet a man who traveled around the world for free. This is how he did it -- Twitter. Freelance writer Paul Smith (ph) decided he wanted to go from his home in New Castle, Northern England to Campbell Island off New Zealand in just 30 days. He posted his aims on Twitter. Fellow users came through for him. They both him flights, ferry and train tickets and helped out with spare beds and road trips, even. Hear his story when he joins us this time tomorrow.

On the subject of extreme travel, I want to reconnect you with a story we brought you several months ago that's still getting a lot of reaction online. Fourteen-year-old Laura Dekker set sail this morning on a journey that she hopes will see her become the youngest person to sail around the world solo. It's a controversial voyage. Last August, Dutch authorities placed the teenager under state care after her parents refused to prevent her from taking the trip. Now a Dutch court says she can sail if she fulfills certain requirements.

Loads of you have had your say on our Web site.

QuasiMojo writes: "Adventure flows through the veins of some people. But I doubt this young girl is fully aware of the risk."

Well, highfive says: "Having been a fisherman, I've learned that the ocean is no joke. It's no place for a child."

And BirdSlayer adds: "At 14 years old, she should be going to school and preparing for college. Does the sailing community really condone this?"

Join the debate and have your say on CNN. Go to

Now, as the rains ease and the floodwaters ebb, guess who's there helping the Pakistanis?

A banned Islamist group, for one. It and a handful of Muslim charities are making a difference. Islamabad and Washington worry they may also be making allies.



I'm Max Foster in London.

Coming up, the people of Pakistan's flooded Swat Valley are vulnerable. As Islamist charities step in to offer aid, we ask will the disaster ultimately help militants win the hearts and minds of locals?

Twenty rooms and barely 32 square meters of space -- we go inside Hong Kong's biggest little home. The moving walls insure not even an inch goes to waste.

And we'll dance the night away with our Connector of the Day. You wanted to see Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta on the show, and your wish is our command. He'll be answering the best of your questions later on.

All these stories ahead in the show for you. First, let's check the headlines this hour.

Naomi Campbell says she was given dirty-looking stones after a dinner party in 1997 and assumed they were from Charles Taylor. The supermodel testified at Taylor's war crimes trial at The Hague on Wednesday. The former Liberian president is accused of using blood diamonds to fuel civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone.

A resounding "yes" to Kenya's constitution. Voters approved the document by a 2-1 margin. It reins in presidential powers, creates a more decentralized political system, and offers a bill of rights. President Mwai Kibaki hailed the victory, but cautioned that implementing the new constitution won't be easy.

Across Russia, the temperatures and the death toll are climbing. New fires have ignited, with extreme weather has caused another problem. A wheat shortage. As a result, the Russian government has slapped a ban on grain exports.

A group opposed to execution by stoning says an Iranian woman facing the death penalty has accepted Brazil's offer of asylum. It means nothing unless Tehran allows the imprisoned woman to leave, though. But a human rights activist involved in the case says Iran will execute the woman for adultery, but hasn't decided how.

Misery and mud is all that remains for millions of Pakistanis. The latest rove of monsoon rains may have stopped in the north, but all the water has to go somewhere. A flood surge is slowly rolling down the might Indus River, fed by Swat Valley rains and continuing downpours in the central part of the country.

Like desperate people everywhere, Pakistanis remember those who show up and help. Right now, Islamist groups are the ones showing up. Pakistan's president isn't even in the country. Many outraged citizens say the government has been slow to act. As Dan Rivers tells us, there are fears that the ultimate benefactor of this Islamist aid will be the Taliban.


DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's only a year since the Taliban's occupation of the Swat Valley was ended by the Pakistan military. The insurgents' hardline regime may have been vanquished, but now, a different campaign is being waged between extremists and the army. A battle for aid.

Resources of the army are pitched against the efforts of Islamist charities, both trying to convince a battered population they can deliver where the other is failing.

This camp has been set up by Falah-i-Insaniat, part of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which experts say is linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

FIF staff were wary of appearing on camera, but one agreed to talk if we concealed his identity.

FALAH-I-INSANIAT STAFF PERSON: The government is not working properly. So that is why the people are working on their own self. So we are also from those people, and we are joining hands with hands of these people.

RIVERS (on camera): Some people say that your organization has links to extremists, to terrorist organizations. What would you say to that?

FALAH-I-INSANIAT STAFF PERSON: No, truly, that is very much wrong. These people have no links with those extremists, with those Lashkar-e- Taiba. It is something else. We haven't any link with those people.

RIVERS (voice-over): But western and Pakistan intelligence believes otherwise, saying FIF's food handouts are another facet of a terrorist hearts and minds campaign. And the authorities say they are unaware of the group's activities.

NADEEM AHMAD, GENERAL, NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY: We have never encouraged or facilitated the work of that group as far as relief or for disaster is concerned.

RIVERS (on camera): The people benefiting from these free handouts are the unaware of the politics of aid. What's important for them is that there is free food at a time of acute crisis for their community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (through translator): They're not showing an favor to anyone. They're just doing this for the glory of God. They're doing this for the people who don't have anything.

RIVERS (voice-over): These people have seen the brutality of the Taliban. Now, while some accuse the government of reacting too slowly, hardline Islamists are trying to gain a foothold again with a conspicuous display of compassion. Dan Rivers, CNN, in the Swat Valley.


FOSTER: And you can find out how you can give money to victims of the floods in Pakistan by heading to our special section of our website, You'll find a list of charities that are working on the ground there, and how to get in touch with them and to donate money. They do need your help,

Now, quick-change artists. Hong Kong architect makes the most of cramped quarters. Would you believe this one-room apartment transforms into 20 rooms. The mystery is unveiled next on CONNECT THE WORLD.


FOSTER: Step inside a Hong Kong architect's tiny studio apartment and you'll feel like you're in a palace -- of wonders. With just a flick of his wrist, he transforms his small one room into 20 rooms. How does he do it? Anjali Rao unlocks the mystery.


ANJALI RAO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hong Kong is among the most densely populated places on Earth, with 7 million people sharing just 1100 square kilometers of land. As you'd imagine, demand for space is enormous. Even the dimensions of the window sills are included in the size of properties.

Sure, there are ways to make less look like more, like, say, placing a mirror here and there. But Hong Kong architect Gary Chang has gone one better.

RAO (on camera): Because if there's three hundred and --

GARY CHANG, ARCHITECT: Fifteen, sixteen square feet.

RAO: Square feet. What's that, 32 square meters, something like that?


RAO: And it turns into how many rooms?

CHANG: Mathematically, it's -- roughly a list of 20.

RAO (voice-over): Twenty rooms? In that tiny space? How is that possible, you may ask.

CHANG: Instead of me moving from one room to the other, in this home, the space changes for me. The idea is, when closed, they disappear. OK. That's just one of the walls coming with the part of the TV. Walls that can move as well.

RAO (on camera): Behold! The kitchen!

CHANG: The funny part is, the kitchen is how big do you want. Because it's smaller, bigger. And this is my mini bar.

RAO: I see that. Not so mini.

RAO (voice-over): Nothing goes to waste here. A few more wall shifts reveal the master bedroom, the office, a laundry area, a spa-themed bathroom, guest accommodation, and more. There's even a mini movie theater.

Out of the box thinking for one whose upbringing was traditionally Chinese. Gary grew up in the very same apartment over 30 years ago, sharing it with his mother and father, three sisters, and a tenant.

RAO (on camera): Oh, my God. Did you not get on each other's nerves?

CHANG: Yes. But I always say this is like -- we'd have to learn the art of living close to each other. And one thing that I remember is to always speak quietly.

RAO (voice-over): This city isn't alone in suffering the close quarters quandary.

CHANG: I would try to argue it's now global.

RAO (on camera): Right.

CHANG: Because I did quite a lot of lectures, I explained my home everywhere from here to London, Paris. After that, people always come to me and say, "Oh, my home is similar."

RAO (voice-over): Hong Kong's biggest little home even works as a party pad. Gary once entertained 20 friends here. He admits that when guests wanted to have private phone conversations, well, they had to do it in the shower. But it seems a small price to pay for all that space. Anjali Rao, CNN, Hong Kong.


FOSTER: Well, as you might have guessed, Hong Kong is one of the world's most expensive real estate markets, coming in at number five on the pricey global residential hotspots list. One square meter of prime residential real estate in Hong Kong will set you back around $16,125.

In fourth place, Japan's metropolis, Tokyo, you'd better be prepared to hand over nearly $18,000 for one square meter of space there.

Number three, here in London. Despite the recession's squeeze, you can live in the heart of the British capital for a mere $20,756. That's per square meter.

Number two is Moscow, checking in at $20,853.

And the world's most expensive residential real estate market is Monte Carlo, where one square meter of prime real estate will set you back a stunning $47,578.

Space may be at a premium, but where are the richest of the rich looking to invest their millions next? I'm joined now by a man whose clients have more than a trillion dollars in their investment portfolios. He's a powerful man. James Fetgatter is the chief executive of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, and he joins us from Washington. Thank you so much for joining us.

First of all, what did you make of that flat in Hong Kong? Is that unexpected to you?

JAMES FETGATTER, ASSOCIATION OF FOREIGN INVESTORS IN REAL ESTATE: Well, I'm like a lot of people, I'm sure I've never seen anything quite like it. Hong Kong is so expensive, you've got to be innovative and on the edge. And obviously, that is.

FOSTER: And is that increasingly what we're going to see at these international hotspots? You're going to see more flats broken down into tiny little spaces like that, because so many people want to live there?

FETGATTER: I suppose that's right. I will have to say that most of my investor members are investing in commercial property and not necessarily homes.


FETGATTER: So they may be interested in buying the entire building and then converting it into something like that.

FOSTER: So, where were you looking at right now in terms of hotspots? Because we've had Dubai in the past, for example, where things have gone terribly wrong. But where are people really interested in investing right now? What are your clients talking about? What sort of cities?

FETGATTER: My members are international investors that are institutions. And we survey them every year, and interestingly enough, there's a lot of risk adverseness in the world. They want to be secure. They are looking at places like London, they're looking at places like Washington, DC and New York. If they're looking at Asia as an emerging market, they're looking probably at China and Hong Kong.

FOSTER: Because that does explain a lot, because the London market, for example, continues to rise despite the fact that the country's in a terrible economic situation. And outside London, prices seem to be falling. So these international investors, is it, coming to cities like London?

FETGATTER: Yes, and they're most likely coming into your urban core. They're not going to the outlying areas. Again, it's a part of this being risk-adverse and going for securities -- security, sorry. They want the security of being in an urban environment. They like London because of the long lease terms in the London market. It's a very secure place for them to put a lot of money.

FOSTER: So they place to invest is those secure markets, the established markets, the primaries of New York and Tokyo, Hong Kong, London. Those sort of big, international cities.

FETGATTER: Absolutely. It's different than it was three or four years ago when people were going out on the risk curve and going into some more emerging markets that were just coming into the stream, like eastern Europe, some of the smaller Asian countries. They're really pulling back from that.

FOSTER: And do you ever foresee a situation in the future where people get fed up with living in small spaces in cities and technology allows them to move out of the big cities, do you start investing in areas away from these major capitals?

FETGATTER: Well, there's been a lot of theories about people moving into, because of the telecommunications and transportation, easier to move into some pleasant environments. But the face-to-face is still so important for everybody that I don't think it'll ever be replaced.

FOSTER: OK. Fascinating stuff. We'll see what happens. It's amazing how prices continue rising in some places. Thank you so much for that.

Now, once he worried his father by skipping school. Now he's one of the best ballet dancers in the world. Carlos Acosta has leaped and pirouetted his way from Havana, Cuba, to Texas -- Houston, Texas, and onto London. He's your Connector of the Day. He'll be answering your questions up next.



CARLOS ACOSTA, BALLET DANCER: Dance music is in the street. It's everywhere you look around, there's always dance. Even when you see somebody walk, they sway, their bodies dancing at the same time. Something that came very natural to Cubans.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's one of the most famous ballet dancers of a generation and is credited with bringing masculinity to a field dominated by women.

But Carlos Acosta insists that he was just pursuing his passion.

He was born in Havana, the 11th child of a Cuban truck driver. His father sent him to ballet school at the age of nine, hoping that the strict discipline would keep him out of trouble. And it didn't take long for Acosta to wow the crowds.

Shortly after gradating from the Cuban National Ballet School, he started receiving offers from companies around the world, eventually joining England's Royal Ballet in 1998.

Next month, he's been trying out new forms of dance in his London show "Premiers." Bringing people to their feet one show at a time, Carlos Acosta is your Connector of the Day.


FOSTER: He really is one of the brightest stars in ballet right now, and it seems many of you are very big fans. Carlos Acosta is one of your Connectors chosen by viewer Tim Duncan from London. Becky sat down with the ballet superstar a little earlier at the Colosseum Theater before a performance, and she began by asking him about his new show, which is "Carlos Acosta Premiers."


ACOSTA: It's a very controversial show. Basically, because people come with an expectation of seeing me in ballet tights, and those people are going to be very disappointed. But I'm trying to be bold, I'm trying to move on from what I have already done. And it's always a big risk when you try to go into a different and new territory.

ANDERSON: So why take that risk?

ACOSTA: Well, because I have a very creative brain. So I cannot stick in the same thing over and over again. I cannot carry on dancing "Swan Lake" and the same classics all the time. I have a lot of questions in my mind that I need to explore. I need to find answers. And therefore, I need to try to find new ways to explore and to reinvent myself.

ANDERSON: Let me put this to you. Keira has written to us. She says, "Your career has taken you all over the world, and yet you return time and time again to Cuba. Can you explain why?"

ACOSTA: It's the land. This is where I'm from, this is where my family is from and I feel very strongly about my roots. It's a very great country, and a very beautiful story. Lots of great art. And I just love everything Cuban.

ANDERSON: Question from Tom. He says, "What advice would you give to young ballet dancers, boys or girls?" And I'm sure you've given much advice to those kids in Cuba who idolize you.

ACOSTA: Never stop dreaming, and never stop believing in what they want. And just work hard to get it.

ANDERSON: And if you were talking to those kids today, wherever they are around the world, can you explain how difficult your journey was?

ACOSTA: It was very difficult. I really didn't have much. I have almost all the odds against me, but at the same time, I have something very, very important, which was a lot of people who had recognized my talent and tried to help me.

I also was very blessed to be born in a very humble family. I learned a lot from my parents, and they basically didn't know anything about ballet. And all that knowledge, all that I could learn from my family I took with me.

ANDERSON: You are a man today, you were a kid at one point. And at that point, was it difficult to admit that you were a dancer, as a kid, as a boy?

ACOSTA: I was teased, to be honest. I didn't want to do it. I thought that ballet was the most tedious thing on Earth. And I also -- I used to live in a very rough neighborhood, and I always got teased by my colleagues and mates.

But I carried on forward. I fall in love with these acts along the way. I saw the National Ballet of Cuba for the first time at the age of 13, and I saw these leaps and all these jumps, and I fell in love with it. And from that point on, I carried on forward, and there was no turning back.

ANDERSON: Fabulous. There's a question here from Ulises, who is Cuban himself. And he says, "How do you feel about preserving the wonderful dancing traditions of Africa that still exist in Cuba today." And he's talking about Yoruba and Carabali, if I'm pronouncing that correctly.

ACOSTA: I think it's very, very important to preserve our legacy and our history of the dances in Cuba. I did a few years back an attempt to choreograph my own evening. It was "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale," where I fuse all these elements. The Yoruba, Afro-Cuban elements, plus the classical ballet, plus the contemporary dance. I'm trying to convey in all those elements in one show. And it went down very well.

I think -- this part of dances that we have inherited from the past is what defines us. And it's very important to keep it alive. And that's what makes us unique. And I think, yes, definitely, it's a very important thing to do.

ANDERSON: Tom has written to us. He asks, "What's your favorite part to play and why?"

ACOSTA: Well, I'm telling you, I love them all. I love them all. Zigfried, Albert -- those ballets were a little bit challenging. I was more at ease with the demi-character roles, such as Don Quixote, Le Concert (ph), you know, the big jumps. This is what came more natural to me.

I wasn't also interested to function with only one engine. I try to develop different engines, in case one engine doesn't go, I have other tools to carry on. So, therefore, I try to also learn how to project the princes, the romance, the Romeos, those roles who were not so easy and so comfortable for my nature.

ANDERSON: Would you ever finish what you're doing now and think to get into the politics of the country that you came from?

ACOSTA: A lot of people ask me about that. Politics are tricky business. That's why I prefer art. I am involved in everything that's going on. I'm always paying attention to what's going on in Cuba. I understand that Cuba -- the nation is stuck in time. And it's up to us to sort of like move the arts forward and the country forward.

I want to be able to help. In fact, I'm doing that for a long, long time, to help my country to go forward. And it's up to us to get the information back, whatever we have learned, so that we can educate people over there, the new generations of artists.


FOSTER: Tomorrow's Connector is one of the biggest names in women's tennis. In her career, Martina Navratilova won 18 grand slam single titles, a record 31 grand slam women's doubles titles, and much more. Yet, her toughest ever opponent has come from off the tennis court, and it's breast cancer. The diagnosis shocked not only her, but her friends and colleagues, too.


MARY CARILLO, FORMER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: On March 16, Martina called me, and she said, "I'm sorry I missed your birthday." She said, "But I just had surgery. I have breast cancer."

And here I am, you know -- I'm 53 years old, too, and I've known Martina for more than half my life, and I was -- I had -- I was just so surprised and sad. And I said, "Are you all right?" And she said, "Yes, I'm -- well, I'll be all right."

TIM HENMAN, FORMER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: It's shock first and foremost, and -- she's always been such a great athlete, so fit and healthy. And certain surprise that it can happen to her. But I think that's the biggest issue, cancer really can affect anyone. It's affected a fair amount of people in my family, and certainly my thoughts and prayers went out to her, and it was great to see her here.


FOSTER: Martina Navratilova is sharing the story of her treatment with CNN and the world in a compelling special program airing this Saturday. But tomorrow, she'll be answering your questions. So start sending them in, and remember to tell us where you're writing from. Head to We'll be right back.


FOSTER: Wish upon a star as we take you through the telescopic lens tonight. NASA just got hold of this incredible image of newborn stars. They're cocooned in clouds of gas and dust.

Supernova in the sky. Here's what's left of an exploding star. It first burst into view way back in 1572, when it was as bright as Venus.

This is what's known as a massive baby star. It's the first proof that such stars, much bigger than the sun, are born in just the same way as their punier relatives.

And check out this sprawling constellation. It's called Velo -- Vela. The closest parts are in our very own galaxy, the Milky Way. The furthest, 3300 light years away.

Space odyssey in your -- in our World in Pictures tonight.

Let's return now to our top story. Supermodel Naomi Campbell's testimony at The Hague trial of Liberia's Charles Taylor. She was asked about diamonds she'd allegedly received as a gift from him. Prosecutors were trying to establish a link between Taylor and conflict diamonds. Campbell says she didn't know what the stones were at the time, and she didn't know who Charles Taylor was or even where Liberia was.

It's a hot topic on our website. PeterPanton says, "As far as I'm concerned, this matter must be investigated in depth. Supermodels are just humans."

According to InstentKarma, "There are witnesses who overheard Taylor telling Campbell that he was going to send her diamonds."

Sjoyreed adds, "She's playing stupid. She knows what those dirty- looking stones were, and she probably still has them." That's what she alleges.

Your views there, join the debate online. Get your voice heard on CNN. Head to our website,

I'm Max Foster. That is it for the show on the TV. Thank you very much indeed for watching. Stay connected with us online. "BackStory" is next right after a check of the headlines.