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Israeli, Palestinian Leaders Open Direct Peace Talks

Aired September 2, 2010 - 16:00:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, ANCHOR: With the U.S. quite literally in the middle, Israeli and Palestinian leaders open direct peace talks.

With Jordan and Egypt around the table, all players hoping to forge a regional solution, but without Hamas on board, is there any point?

Joining the talks on today's biggest stories on CNN, this is the hour we "Connect the World."

Here's a number for you, eight, that is how many times formal talks between Israel and the Palestinians have failed. This time the White House is optimistic. Let's find out why.

I'm Becky Anderson in London, and also this hour, the murky business of smuggling not just drugs, but humans across Mexico's border with the United States.

Also tonight, a clergyman who says religion is terrible. Answer your questions (inaudible) that is your connector of the day.

And the connection between happiness and where you are at any one time or what the time is. During the day, don't miss my report on what we are calling (inaudible). If you want to hear what to make you happy (inaudible) beckycnn on Twitter. Let us know.

First up tonight, a day of critical diplomacy in Washington has ended, but the hard work has just begun. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to set a one year deadline to resolve a conflict that's eluded peacemakers for decades.

Hala Gorani joins us tonight from the State Department in Washington with the details - Hala.

HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right, well, Becky, the delegations have left. The two leaders met face to face behind closed doors up until about 2:20 p.m. Eastern. So really from the time the talks were launched by the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton until they ended 2:20 p.m.

It was a little more than 4 hours. Now as you mentioned there, the leaders have agreed to meet again. The setting inside of Egypt somewhere, it could be Cairo. It could be a resort, a Red Sea resort. We're not exactly sure, but it's the 14th and the 15th of September so that's two weeks away.

We are also - we understand that the agreement calls for meetings every two weeks after that at various levels. Of course, there's that sticking point of the settlement freeze. Israel's settlement freeze, on September 26th that 10-month freeze of building in the West Bank expires.

Now if Israelis start building again after that date, the Palestinians have told me in uncertain terms and have the world, they will walk away from negotiations.

But for now, the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas say, there is a need to make painful concessions. This is what they said just a short time ago.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A true peace, a lasting peace would be achieved only with mutual and painful concessions from both sides, from the Israeli side, from the Palestinian side, from my side and from your side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We consider that security is of essence is vital for both of us and we cannot allow for anyone to do anything that would undermine your security and our security.

And we therefore, do not only condemn, but we keep on working furiously. Security is fundamental and very sensitive.


GORANI: All right, both leaders there, one thing concession is essential. The other is saying security is one of the major issues and the big challenge now for both is to show that what happened in Washington, D.C. over the last few days was more than just a photo op - Becky.

ANDERSON: All right, Hala. That's the information on the ground as we know it. Hala, we thank you for that.

Many problems in the region, of course, have roots in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. So it's no wonder, the key governments are working to help broke a resolution.

Egypt and Jordan, the only Arab states to make peace with Israel are both attending the talks. Egypt (inaudible) and works with Israel to control crossings.

Struggling with an Islamist movement of its own, Egypt greatly prefers the moderate brand of Palestinian politics that Mahmoud Abbas offers.

Now, Jordan which has a large population of Palestinian refugees is also a crucial player. Israel wants assurances that it could maintain security along its border with the new Palestinian states.

And also of note, Saudi Arabia, the regional power house is a big financial supporter of the Palestinian authority using that power of the persons that were to encourage direct talks with Israel.

But we can't overlook one very important faction not on board this peace process, Hamas. It says satire leader Mahmoud Abbas doesn't have the right to speak for all Palestinians. Ben Wedeman shows us how the Palestinian people are literally a house divided.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Their rivalry began in earnest at the ballot box and then spilled on the streets of Gaza where it was played out with bullets.

And not surprisingly the two main Palestinian factions, the militant Islamic Hamas Movement and the more secular Fattah don't agree on the resumption of direct negotiations with Israel.

Under intense American pressure, Fattah, led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to talk with Israel. Hamas doesn't see the point says senior Hamas adviser, Ahmed Yusif.

AHMED YUSIF, SENIOR HAMAS ADVISER: We had these futile talks for more than 18 years and the big negotiators, North Korea, (inaudible) very hard. They themselves have said that after all these years, what we have achieved just a big zero.

WEDEMAN: The last round of negotiations collapsed in December 2008 when Israel launched its 3-week offensive against Gaza. Fattah veteran Ahmed Qorei was lead negotiator for the Palestinians in that round and even he believes settling the factional feud should come before talks.

AHMED QOREI, FORMER PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER: The first item on our agenda, the priority before negotiation, before anything is the national unity. But without national unity, I think it's - would be more difficult.

WEDEMAN: At best, President Mahmoud Abbas can only negotiate for the Palestinians of the West Bank. Gaza firmly under Hamas is ruled for than three years will be left out of the equation in the Washington talks.

Independent civil society activist, Iyad Sarraj has criticized both factions in the past, but without Hamas, he warns the negotiations will go nowhere.

DR. IYAD SARRAJ, GAZA COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM: That is illogical to go to the peace talks with a divided Palestinian camp, without Hamas.

Hamas is the most important political force today in Palestine. Number two comes the (inaudible) and without Hamas, there will be no peace.

WEDEMAN: But Hamas sent a stark message about how it will approach the talks. The group's military wing claimed responsibility for an attack Tuesday in the West Bank, which left four Israelis dead. A Hamas spokesman warns there are more attacks to come.


WEDEMAN: Palestine is a house divided physically between Gaza and the West Bank, politically between Hamas and Fattah reaching a peace agreement is already a long shot and under these conditions, many Palestinian say it's almost impossible. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Gaza.

ANDERSON: So even if an agreement is reach in Washington, that's a really big if. Can it really be imposed on Hamas? Well, we all seemed stack against this piece.

As of the United States, one remains cautiously optimistic. Let's bring in State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. Sort out the factional feuding first surely before you start talking about peace at any cost.

And that's not going to happen. What's the point without Hamas around this table today or at least Syria?

P.J. CROWLEY, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: Well, we've laid out principles that Hamas has had and available to them. They have the opportunity to participate in the process, but in order to do so, they've got to renounce violence, recognize Israel and abide by existing agreements.

It's Hamas that has chosen a different course and we're encourage today because notwithstanding Hamas' efforts to derail the process before it begins. We saw two committed leaders, President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu who are willing to work through these obstacles despite the violence in pursuit of peace and we're going to support them.

ANDERSON: The problem is that Mahmoud Abbas isn't really representative of the whole of the Palestinian society (inaudible) say that we have nothing more substantive today than we have heard in the past and in the past of being eight official sets of talks. So you tell me what we have today that we haven't heard before?

CROWLEY: Well, let me disagree with your characterization. There are two visions in the Middle East. One is endless conflict and one is the just pursuit of peace that leads actually to a Palestinian state.

And you can see it in the dynamic between the West Bank today where now notwithstanding the violence of the past couple of days. You see relative calm. You see economic growth. You see opportunity emerging and there's a much different, you know, situation in Gaza.

And I know there are a lot of reasons for that, but you see a Fattah unit that is committed to peach and you see a Hamas that is committed to conflict. And I think overtime - and Secretary Clinton appealed to others in the region today.

It's also going to be, you know, the people on the street and the people around kitchen tables that convince Hamas that there's a different and better past.

ANDERSON: I get that. Listen, we all know that the issue of settlement talks is incredibly important as we move forward here. Hala alluding to that just before we spoke to you, but the problem is this. That both leaders say problems in their own countries over the legitimacy of these talks, don't they, P.J.?

CROWLEY: Well, we began today where we think will be an intensive yearlong effort to reach a negotiated settlement on the core of issues underlying, you know, this effort.

Today, the leaders, you know - they agreed on the core issues. We know them all. We (inaudible) understand that there are differences that will need to be worked out.

You know, we re-launched this process to have just one or two meetings. We launched this process to have an intensive effort by the leaders themselves, supported by the United States and we would expect in two weeks time that we'll have a second round of talks.

And from that point, we'll have talks about every two weeks where the leaders themselves will leave the effort to resolve the differences that do exist.

ANDERSON: What do you say today as you say these talks orientated primarily towards U.S. domestic electioneering requirements?

CROWLEY: That's nonsense. You know, the fact is that what is different about the Obama administration relative to other administrations that have had good faith efforts in the past is rather than committing to something just in a second term.

You know, President Obama made this priority from, you know, the first day in office. He appointed George Mitchell on his second day so, you know, George Mitchell himself today in his press briefing mentioned the fact that past efforts sometimes have failed because they ran out of time.

I know this personally having been in the Clinton administration in 2000, but by committing ourselves to this process from the outset of the administration. We are committed to this for as long as it takes, but we anticipate there will be an intensive effort of the next year to bring the parties to an agreement on the core issues underneath the peace process.

ANDERSON: All right, P.J., we'll leave it there. We do wish everybody the best. We thank you for joining us this evening from Washington.

Coming up next, risking death for the American dream. Let's take a look at the long and dangerous trek that south Americans take through Mexico with potentially fatal results.


ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching "Connect the World." I'm Becky Anderson in London for you.

The Mexican president said today that authorities have succeeded in cracking down on drug cartels arresting more than a hundred leaders and (inaudible) thousand hit men since 2006, but they still haven't stopped the violence at the border.

All the flow of innocent people (inaudible) in the crossfire. We begin this part of the show with this report from Rafael Romo.


RAFAEL ROMO, SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR, CNN WORLDWIDE: Aimee Castro (ph) had a dream. The high school student from El Salvador decided to travel by land through Mexico to reunite with her mother living in the United States.

But her life was tragically cut short only a month after turning 15 years old. She was one of 72 migrants who were shot to death at a ranch in the Mexican state of Tamau-lipas only a hundred miles from the U.S. border.

This is just the tip of the iceberg says this amnesty international representative in Mexico. According to an investigation by Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights, more than 9,700 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico in a recent six-month period.

That's roughly 1,600 people per month. The victims of the massacre were migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador and Brazil.

It seems they were traveling with Coyotes human traffickers. One of the survivors of the massacre, an 18-year-old Ecuadorian national has since returned home.

They shot him in the neck and assumed they had killed him, but he was able to walk to a military checkpoint and reported what happened says the Ecuadorian ambassador to Mexico.

The survivor's testimony allowed officials to learn more about the way human smugglers operate. Mexican officials say Lucetas (ph), a Mexican drug cartel might have been responsible for the massacre.

Residents of the Ecuadorian town of Gualaceo are very familiar with the dangers of crossing Mexico in search of a better life.

This woman says, she paid $8,500 to smugglers to take her son to the United States, but hasn't heard anything from him in four years.

Human rights attorney, Andrea Ledesma is investigating the cases of seven Ecuadorians who left for the United States and are missing. She says people are scared to identify the smugglers.

Human trafficking has become one of the most lucrative forms of crime worldwide after arms and drug trafficking according to Southern Polls, an online information network focused on Latin America.

Human traffickers in Mexico alone generate anywhere from $15 billion to $20 billion a year. Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.


ANDERSON: We just had Rafael's report by Mexican officials are investigating whether one of the country's dominant drug cartels may have been involved in that massacre. So just how big a business is human trafficking to these powerful and dangerous organizations?

Let's ask that question to the former foreign minister of Mexico Jorge Castaneda. This is what he told me. Have a listen to this.

JORGE CASTANEDA, FORMER MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, what we know is that the human trafficking business is huge business because if you have even now 300,000 or 400,000 people from Mexico and Central America entering the United States without papers.

And each one paying between $2,000 and $5,000 per head that's big business. What we don't know for certain at all is whether the drug cartels are really that involved.

It's probably that some of them are, but there are a lot of people who just do that as a business themselves without necessarily being associated with or involved with the drug cartel.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about the drug industry and it is where some $19 billion, employs about half a million people in Mexico, 28,000 people have lost their lives since the war on drugs began on the Calderon in 2006. It's not working, is it?

CASTANEDA: No, it's not working. I think it's a failed war. I've been saying now for well over a couple of years that it's a failed war and as more time goes by, an increasing number of Mexicans are considering it to be a failed war.

A war where the costs are incredibly high, as you said 28,000 people have died, over $10 billion have been spent on this. Mexico's international image is terribly deteriorated and there is no decrease in either of the violence in Mexico, which is rising.

There is no decrease in the volume all together of all drugs being shipped into the United States and there is no real improvement in security for people. It's a failed war and Mexico should get out of it.

ANDERSON: Right, OK, then what is the answer? Because many people say, it certainly isn't legalization or decriminalization. I know (inaudible) has certainly suggested that might be the answer.

Another former South American leaders have said the same thing. I think you buy into that argument as well. Why is that the answer?

CASTANEDA: Well, I certainly think it's part of the answer. It's not a fantasy. It's not a silver bullet, but it certainly is part of the answer particularly as the American say 60 or 70 percent American administration says, 60 or 70 percent of the Mexican cartel profits come from marijuana.

Then legalizing marijuana would immediately remove a large part of their profits to begin with making less resource available to them to buy arms, to recruit people, et cetera.

Secondly, if California is going to legalize marijuana in November with Proposition 19, Mexico will be placed in the absurd situation where we will be shooting and killing people on our side of the border.

When you cross the border to the 7/11 a hundred yards away and you can get your joint and smoke it quite peacefully. That's not going to work. It's absurd and there's no reason to continue with that.

ANDERSON: The drug cartels aren't going to want any legalization, are they if you follow your argument. They're going to lose money. What else do you believe that it is the answer?

CASTANEDA: Well, as I said, it's only part of the answer, but that' part of it. The other part is that Mexico should concentrate its resources, military, police, human resources and legalization would help on fighting the collateral damage involved in all of these.

What really affects people, kidnappings, extortion, protection rackets, highway robbery, et cetera. Those are the - those are the parts of lawlessness in Mexico that affects people directly.

Drugs do not. Consumption in Mexico is very low. The cartels prefer to sell in the United States. What is really bothering and irritating and exasperating people in Mexico is the levels of kidnapping and extortion.

Those could be combated much more effectively if we didn't have to fight the cartels on drugs.

ANDERSON: How concerned are you that Mexico is on its way to becoming a failed state?

CASTANEDA: Certainly it is closer to being one today than it was a year or two or three years ago. The - this is a slippery slope and things are not going well. They're not going well in the sense that the massacre such as the 72 Central and South American migrants last week.

Such as those we have seen in Torion and in Ciudad Juarez very recently showed that the Mexican state is increasingly losing control over the violence on its territory. At the same time, successful blows or strikes like the capture of La Barbie just a couple of days ago, an important track.

If you're not - not a (inaudible) not a real kingpin, but an important man in the - formerly in (inaudible) cartel are showed that the Mexican state is still quite capable of carrying out of security operations.

They are just not able to do it across the country all over the territory all the time and that's what's becoming worrisome.

ANDERSON: The story of Mexico and its drug cartels with the former foreign minister. That's on a quick update. Now, on our ongoing investigation into human trafficking, we are following an expert in the field.

Harvard University's Siddharth Kara as he crisscrosses South Asia documenting what he finds - now what he's uncovered in his latest stop report is the most disturbing report we've had so far.

In an exclusive blog for us from the west of the country, he writes, in shelters, I had numerous stories from young girls trafficked from rural areas into the clubs in (inaudible) where they were coerced to perform sex act with tourists and locals alike.

Along with physical coercion, threats against family members to ensure the trafficked girls do as they're told. Well, Siddharth goes on to say that the small amounts of money are sent to parents and so pressuring some to remain in sex work as long as possible.

Well, you can read more of what Siddharth had to say at Leave your own questions and comments. I'll put those to him when I speak with Siddharth a little later in the week.

Trail of human trafficking begins at Tonight, we'll be right back.


ANDERSON: This is "Connect the World." I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back. We'll talk about overwhelming, we have launched a new initiative just a few days ago and already your response has been absolutely remarkable.

It's part of the show that we call "Global Connections." Now, we picked two countries that on the surface don't appear to have much in common. You tell us how they are connected. We're taking things off this week with two giants in their respective continents, Nigeria and Brazil.

And a lot of you are focusing on a shared passion.


SAMPSON AJAGBE, LAGOS RESIDENT: When it comes to connecting Nigeria and Brazil, you have to talk about football. Football is one of the most important sports. Everybody plays football in Nigeria likewise in Brazil with a passion. We all love football. We play it on the street and beaches everywhere.

PASCAL BACHMANN, BRAZILIAN LIVING IN LONDON: Between Brazil and Nigeria, whenever their national team is playing or even the younger national teams, the support of - and they've got - they show their flags and they just celebrate it.

It's - even if they lose, they still celebrate them because it's such a big - big part of them.


ANDERSON: All right, now you get the idea. It's your part of the show very much so. It's not just about history or culture, we want to hear your personal stories too. Maybe you live in one and have family in another or you do business in both. Whatever it is, we want to know.

So log on to, find out how you can take part and we also have two pretty impressive interviews coming up.

Nigerian footballer tells us why the rest of us shouldn't be afraid of his country and a Brazilian author, (inaudible) explains why his compatriots have more reason than even to be proud.

That is "Global Connections." Do get involved.

Well, up next, to Iraq where the U.S. has ended its military combat mission. We're going to take a look tonight on what the future - this fragile state and why a political deadlock continues to play the power brokers in Baghdad. That is up.


ANDERSON: A warm welcome back. Your with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson in London. Coming up, it's been six months since elections in Iraq, and the US combat mission is officially over. But there is still no working government in place. We're going to take a look at the leadership crisis that threatens to split apart the country.

The pursuit of happiness. How cutting-edge technology and old- fashioned globetrotting can reveal the happiest places on earth.

And finally, your Connector of the Day today is the man who runs the only Anglican church in Iraq. The Vicar of Baghdad will tell us why he loves to work in one of the most dangerous places in the world.

All those stories ahead, of course, in the next 30 minutes. First of all, let's get you a quick check of the headlines.

Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to meet every two weeks in the hope of reaching a final peace settlement within one year. The US hosted directed talks today between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas did not take part.

The International Cricket Council has charged three Pakistan players at the center of sport-fixing allegations that relates to alleged irregular behavior during the fourth test between England and Pakistan last month. They've been provisionally suspended pending a decision on the charges. The players maintain their innocence.

People on North America's eastern seaboard are watching anxiously as Hurricane Earl approaches. Currently a Category 3 hurricane, but forecasters expect the worst of it to remain offshore. It could still cause some danger, and evacuation orders are in place for some of the coastal areas.

After seven years and more than 4,000 troop deaths on the part of the Americans, the American military mission in Iraq has officially changed from combat to support. All week, we've been focusing here on CONNECT THE WORLD on Iraq as it takes on full responsibility for its own security.

Tonight, we're going to delve into its leadership crisis almost six months after an inconclusive election. Nic Robertson takes us through the complex web of power struggles at the heart of this impasse and looks at the lessons all sides seem to be learning from history.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sunnis, Shia, and the Kurd share Iraq. But they also share a history of suspicion and vendetta. Can they live together, or will their rivalry pull the country apart?

Ethnic Kurds in the north, Sunni Arabs in the west and center, Shia Arabs in the oil-rich south. Where those boundaries meet or overlap, the greatest violence. Each attack, like those as US combat forces pulled out last week, strains relationships.

Shias blame Sunnis, former loyalists of Saddam Hussein. Zuhair al- Naher is spokesman for the prime minister's party.

ZUHAIR AL-NAHER, DAWA PARTY: When we capture leaders of so-called al Qaeda, they turn out to be former Baathist security and intelligence officers.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Sunnis blame Shias and fear their close ties with Iran.

BASIM HAMEED, FORMER IRAQI POLICE OFFICER: The Iranians sent a message. "Look, this is our power in Iraq. This is what will happen."

ROBERTSON (voice-over): I've known Basim Hameed for six years. Sectarian politics and fear forced him to leave Iraq several years ago. Now, he's in England, studying for a doctorate.

When we first met in Baghdad in 2004, he was a senior police officer, working closely with US troops. A Sunni torn between helping the occupation bring peace and wanting the foreign troops out.

Now, they are leaving, he's not sure Iraq's more than half million security forces, as much divided as Iraq itself, can hold the country together.

HAMEED: It's still unstable. And it will continue in this instability unless our politicians come to power with good will and good intentions to build this country.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Good will seems in short supply. Six months after elections, still no government. Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki Shia block was edged out by the non-sectarian coalition led by Ayad Alawi. Supporters of al-Maliki reject accusations he's Iran's man.

AL-NAHER: Prime Minister Maliki has shown he's his own man, that his independent. He was able to crush militants in the south who were supported by Iran. And he was able to sign the agreement with American despite discontent from Iran. So he has shown that he is able to resist any Iranian influence.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The message for disillusioned Iraqis and westerners alike, al-Maliki is a safe pair of hands. But in a country that's never known real democracy, is he a democrat?

AL-NAHER: But we need stable and real power sharing. And he wants to do that, but he wants to do that in a way that it -- that doesn't cripple a government or doesn't cripple a prime ministership post.

ROBERTSON: It sounds tending toward a very autocratic type of leadership, though.

AL-NAHER: Not really.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Almost on the periphery of this Sunni-Shia fault line, the Kurds in the north wait, bide their time.

AL-NAHER: When that alliance is formed, they will then come on board. The Kurds are an essential part of Iraq.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): It is a distance that suits the Kurds well. While Iraq has burned, Kurdistan has prospered.

Six years ago, I met Kurdish entrepreneur and exile, Kasim al-Aldin (ph). He'd just arrived from London, intent on rebuilding his downtrodden people's corner of the country. Now, I reach him by Skype at work in the Kurdish north, where he lives.

KASIM AL-ALDIN (ph), KURDISH ENTREPRENEUR: The economy of Kurdistan is now booming.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): If anything, al-Aldin (ph) is more optimistic than when we first met, when Turkey and Iran were wary the Kurds would go for independence.

AL-ALDIN: If you remember in 2004, there was a lot of uncertainty. But the growth of cross-border trade and business in particular with Turkey and Iran, has helped to stabilize the political atmosphere.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): But he is losing faith in the power brokers of Baghdad.

AL-ALDIN: The failure of the Iraqi leadership has betrayed the trust and the hope of all the Iraqis.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Despite widespread frustration with Iraq's politicians, our unscientific sample agrees that Iraq is not in imminent danger of breaking apart.

AL-ALDIN: If you compare Iraq now with 2003, Iraq is in a very better shape now. I don't think Iraq will break apart easily that easily, because we have now a constitution.

AL-NAHER: Iraqis by themselves do not want any interference, whether it be from Iran or Syria or Saudi Arabia. We want to have independence.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Even former cop Basim Hameed, a Sunni, says there is a way out of the current deadlock. Shun sectarianism.

HAMEED: It will be of the interest of Iraq and Iraqis, and the two winning blocks, to give the power to Nouri al-Maliki to run the country again with the supervision of Ayad Alawi and his block.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Despite their differences, Iraqis have an instinct for survival. But can their politicians, too, turn their backs on sectarianism? Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: And a programming note for you. CNN's Arwa Damon examines how Iraq has changed in a CNN special. She sits down with Iraqis and others who have lived through the conflict, and here's their thoughts on the country's future. That's "Changing Places: The New Iraq," Saturday at 20:00 hours in London, 21:00 in central Europe. You'll know the times in your region.

Now, coming up next, what makes us happy? It's a complicated question that researches all over the world are determined to answer. We're going to look at how iPhone apps, Twitter maps, and old-fashioned world traveling could reveal the happiest places on Earth.


ANDERSON: You are looking at a representation of happiness at different times of the day in the United States put together by university researchers there. They are using Twitter to determine happiness levels. The greener areas represent happy tweets, and the red levels, the more unhappy moods. They found that early morning and late evening are the highest number of happy tweets, with a happiness peak on Sunday mornings. Surprise, surprise. And a weekly low on Thursday nights.

So, that's the happiness pattern in the US. But now, researchers in the UK want to up the ante slightly. A team from the London School of Economics has developed a way to find out not only when people are happy, but also why.


ANDERSON (on camera): Liz Brucks is an internal communications manager of this large, global firm in London. She's tapping away at her computer. She looks pretty busy, doesn't she? But is she happy? Let's find out.



ANDERSON: Nice to see you. Hi. Good to see you, Liz. Well, this is fab. My goodness. Does it, though, make you happy? I guess the question is.

BRUCKS: The view certainly helps. But it is work, so, at the end of the day, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I love taking photographs and enjoy running.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. All right. Well, I hope we're going to do just a couple of those a little later. But you've got an iPhone app here. Show us how it works.

BRUCKS: So, I'm prompted by Mappiness, and it asks me to rate how I feel. I am marginally happy right now.


BRUCKS: Fairly relaxed. It's a Friday. And very awake. Ready for the weekend.

ANDERSON: OK, let's see how that data pans out.

BRUCKS: According to the results, I'm happiest with my friends, which is, nothing against my partner, it's just that the Mappiness application seems to prompt me when I'm away from him. So, it's not that I'm not happy with him. I should just clarify.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The project has been developed by researchers at the London School of Economics.

GEORGE MACKERRON, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: When people download the app, we can link the location with other data about the environment. So, for example, are they somewhere with mountains, or trees, or green spaces? Or maybe they're in the city. And then, we can use all that information to feed into a model of how happy they are, to try and discover the different effects on people's happiness.

ANDERSON (voice-over): So, will a change of scene improve Liz's mood.

ANDERSON (on camera): OK. Well, we're outside. You're with your mates, Lauren and Cass. You're not just with me. I was a stranger upstairs. You must be happier, aren't you?

BRUCKS: I am. I am very happy. I will rate that.

ANDERSON: Go on, then. What are you going to do?

BRUCKS: I feel extremely happy right now. Pretty relaxed, and very awake.

ANDERSON: Excellent.

BRUCKS: And I am with my friends.


BRUCKS: And I am outdoors. I am elsewhere talking, chatting, socializing. It's acting me to take a picture straight ahead.

ANDERSON: Should we do that?


BRUCKS: Here we go. There he is.

ANDERSON: Gorgeous.

MACKERRON: What's great about this is that we get information about the same people in different places and about the same place from different people. And that means it gives us data that makes it possible to tease out what the effect is of place from all the other effects. Because, obviously, there are very many effects on people's happiness from day to day.

BRUCKS: This is my happiest thing to do.

ANDERSON: Why? What are we doing?

BRUCKS: We're going to take some pictures. Smile!

ANDERSON: It seems Liz is happy as Larry down there with her mates. She's probably better off without me. I know what's going to make me happy, though.



ANDERSON: Perfect. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: You're welcome. Thank you.


ANDERSON: You don't need an iPhone app for that, do you? What the designers of the Mappiness app are ultimately doing is trying to determine how our mood is affected by our surroundings. They hope that that might help us design policy that better suits us in the future.

My next guest is the author of "The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World." He joins me now, live from Washington.

Oh, go on. Where have you been, and who's the happiest?

ERIC WEINER, AUTHOR, "THE GEOGRAPHY OF BLISS": Ah. Good question. I've been literally around the world, Becky. From Iceland to Switzerland to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. And I'll tell you what. I discovered something maybe a little obvious, and maybe a little surprising about the happiest places in the world.

First of all, they tend, not necessarily to be the large superpowers. America, for instance, the United States, is not the happiest country in the world. We're somewhere around number 13. In fact, I find the happiest places are small. Places like Iceland, despite the problems they've had there. And places like Bhutan in the Himalayas. There's something about the smallness of a country that tends to foster happiness.

ANDERSON: Your book's subtitle is "One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World." Eric Weiner, why are you so grumpy? Or perhaps you're not really, are you?

WEINER: No, I'm probably closer to being a malcontent. But we went with the word "grump." You get the idea. I think I suffer from what a lot of people in the industrialized west suffer from. And it's been called the unhappiness of not being happy. And it's a very real problem. Because there's a lot of pressure on us these days to be happy. And if we're not happy, we think, what the heck is wrong with me?

And that's just -- sort of in the course of human history, that's a fairly recent development, right? We're told we should be happy. So that puts a lot of pressure on us. I found that, actually, places around the world where they don't think about happiness too much, they're not striving to be happy, tend to be, actually, the happiest.

ANDERSON: When researching this book, just out of interest, how did you travel? Did you travel first class?

WEINER: I did not. I only traveled first class if I was trying to make a point. Let me explain. I went to Qatar in the Persian Gulf, one of the wealthiest nations on a per capita basis, and there I was exploring the relationship between money and happiness. And I thought it really behooved me to sample the luxury and the wealth that a lot of Qataris take for granted these days. So I did fly first class to Qatar, but otherwise, definitely in coach.

ANDERSON: Do you think in writing the book that you are less of a malcontent, or less grumpy? Let's put it that way.

WEINER: I think I am. I think I'm less of a grump, and I'll tell you why. A couple of quick things that I picked up in my travels. One is the simple notion that happiness is not personal. Forget about this term "personal happiness." Happiness is, simply put, other people. And in countries around the world, such as Switzerland, where there's a high degree of trust, and people really tend to get along, for the most part, they tend to be happy.

In countries where there's a lot of mistrust, and especially a lot of envy, they tend to be quite unhappy. In particular, the former Soviet republics, for some reason, are near the very bottom of the happiness scale. Countries like Ukraine, Moldova, tend to be very low, even though they're on a -- economic level, they're not that bad off. But there's a lot of mistrust, there are problems of corruption. And there's a lot of friction in those societies, and that does not lead to happiness.

ANDERSON: Eric, you're an absolute pleasure to have on the show. This is CONNECT THE WORLD, you're joining the dots for us on why and where we're happy, and how we make ourselves a little less malcontent in our lives. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. I think you're quite cheery, Eric Weener -- or Weiner, joining us this evening. Eric, thank you.

So, how are people in the UK feeling right now? Think about what we - - the report that I did for you just earlier on. Check out the website, the London School of Economic study that we told you about just a few minutes ago.

The blue line shows users in London, and the green line shows the whole country. As you can see, at about four this morning, something caused London's level to drop, and then bounce back. It's holding steady now. So, how does your mood compare to the rest of the nation? You can check for yourself in real time at The researchers at the LSE will be delighted.

Casey (ph) tweets, "What makes me happy? Good friends, warm arms, and bad jokes," he or she says. "And fall always makes me happy." Do tweet me and let me know what makes you happy.

After the break, he's been hijacked, kidnapped, and held at gunpoint. There's nowhere else that he would rather be. Our Connector of the Day is the Vicar of Baghdad. Up next, Canon Andrew White talks to us about why he wants to stay in Iraq and why he really means it when he says religion is terrible.



ANDERSON (voice-over): There aren't many Anglican vicars who wear bulletproof vests, but Canon Andrew White does. Known as the "Vicar of Baghdad," he works at St. George's, the only Anglican church in Iraq.

In the past, the building and the clinic next-door have come under attack. But despite the tough working conditions, Canon White says there's nowhere he'd rather be.

White, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, is also the chief executive of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation for the Middle East, an organization which aims to bring together political and religious leaders in the region.

Recently, he brought a couple of Iraqi children back to the UK with him for a holiday. A man who many admire, Canon Andrew White is dedicated to uniting people of different faiths, making him your Connector of the Day.


ANDERSON: And on your behalf, I had the absolute pleasure of hooking up with Andrew while he was here in the UK on a recent trip, and I asked him what life was like in Baghdad.


ANDREW WHITE, ANGLICAN CHURCH VICAR, IRAQ: Life can't really be compared to anywhere else in the world. I was living in the Greens in a little trailer for ages. Now, I live in the church with one little room. I have 35 Iraqi soldiers and police around protecting me all the time. And I can't walk down any street, even if I walk to the gate, they get cross with me. So it's a very intense, protected life.

ANDERSON: Your congregation is something like 4,000. That must be one of the bigger Anglican congregations in the world, isn't it?

WHITE: Well --

ANDERSON: That surprises me.

WHITE: The congregation was nil in 2003, when the war came. So they've all come the last few years. So it was massive. And just trying to fit people in is a real challenge. And we have a huge number of children.

We also have a clinic, four doctors, a dentist, a laboratory, a pharmacy. Ever been to church to have your teeth dealt with? It's wonderful.

And we provide food for everybody. After the services at the weekend, we give everybody a bag of groceries.

ANDERSON: What are your thoughts and reflections on the stability of Iraq?

WHITE: Iraq is very unstable. The Christians, certainly, are very worried about the American troops going. We haven't seen American troops for a long time. They're not on our streets anymore. But they have done an incredible job at training the police and the armed forces, and doing so many other support roles. So we're not anti-American in any way. We want to add that.

In fact, I also look after the American Embassy chapel. And we see ourselves as one church, and every week we take a handful of people from the Iraqi congregation to the American Embassy, and their relationship is incredible.

ANDERSON: So, is Iraq is ready for US troops, at least, to leave?

WHITE: No, I don't think it is. In reality, the British know quite a lot about taking over other countries. And you can't leave too quickly. And the fact that we have had no government in Iraq since the election of March the 7th really demonstrates a true nature, that Iraq is not ready yet to stand on its own.

ANDERSON: Faith, we report, and we are told, is so divisive in Iraq. Particularly the Sunni-Shia divide.


ANDERSON: And yet, describe if you can just how important faith is to the entire society in Iraq.

WHITE: People always come to me and say, "You're a priest. You don't seem to realize that religion is the cause of so many wars." I say to them, "I do realize it. I absolutely realize it. Religion is terrible, but we can't live without it. It's there."

ANDERSON: And what do they say?

WHITE: They're rather surprised by my response, usually. And I say to them, "Look. If religion is a problem, it's also got to be part of the cure." And we did manage to produce the first-ever joint fatwa against violence by the Sunni and Shia leaders. But unfortunately, the funding for this work, which had originally come from the Pentagon and the White House, all ended when the president changed.

ANDERSON: Does living in Iraq frighten you?

WHITE: No. It says in the Bible that perfect love casts out all fear. And I have never been loved as much by anybody as I am by my people in Iraq.

ANDERSON: Do you fear for your life, though, at times?

WHITE: No, never. It's a bit dangerous sometimes. You know, when somebody's holding a gun at your head, or I've been thrown in rooms with chopped off fingers and toes, and I've got worried about my own fingers and toes. And so you have a few hairy moments. But if you went around worrying all day and every day, you would never get anything done.


ANDERSON: Canon Andrew White, what a delight. One of our Connectors of the Day next week is just as tough, and he should be. He's a world- famous American boxer. Evander Holyfield is famous for his battles with the likes of Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. Head to to get involved with our Connectors and to post your questions. Tonight, we'll be right back.


ANDERSON: It seems things cannot get any worse for Pakistan. First through the lens tonight, mourners carry victims coffins at a funeral in Lahore a day after suicide attacks killed 31 people there.

Meanwhile, the UN says aid is being stretched by the unprecedented scale of the flooding disaster. The international monetary fund and the world bank have raised their assistance, but these protesters say the money should be donated, not loaned.

Survivors face the threat of disease and starvation. This Pakistani woman cradles her malnourished baby at a temporary camp in Sukkur.

And finally, no solace even in their passion for cricket. Pakistani fans protest against players embroiled in the match-fixing allegations. It's a trying time for Pakistan in our World in Pictures this evening.

And literally, this is just coming to us moments ago. Earlier, I told you about our new part of the show, Global Connections, that you are helping us make. This week we are highlighting Brazil and Nigeria. We want you to tell us just what the connections are between the two countries.

Now, many of you have been telling us how popular Brazilian soap operas are. The famed telenovelas. They are also popular in Nigeria. Get this. Our planning producers have just lined up Virginia Cavendish, one of the big stars of those programs, for your Friday show. You don't want to miss that.

And, of course, log on to to find out more. It really is your part of the show. It's your show in its entirety, effectively. I'm Becky Anderson. That is your world, connected. "BackStory" is next, right after this very quick check of the headlines.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is praising the courage and commitment of Israeli and Palestinian leaders.