Return to Transcripts main page


BP Releases Results of Internal Investigation; Cuba's Offshore Drilling; Breakthrough in Mideast Peace Process?

Aired September 8, 2010 - 16:00:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: BP formally shares the blame for the worst oil spill in U.S. history with two other companies. But Halliburton and Transocean are already picking holes in the oil giant's internal investigation. As the high stakes game of whodunit plays out stateside, 90 odd miles away, Cuba's offshore drilling is quietly taking shape.

Joining the dots on the day's best stories for you on CNN, this is the hour we connect the world.

Well, it's been 134 days since the accident aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig.

What has the world really learned about drilling for oil safely?

I'm Becky Anderson in London with the story and its connections for you this hour.

Also tonight, the links between ETA's cease-fire in Spain, Northern Ireland's Gerry Adams and the potential for a breakthrough in diplomacy in the Middle East.

If you need capital, turn to China. That's the message to heads of state around the world.

Who's the messenger, though, and why?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can hear the difference in Tiger two weeks ago in Akron, Ohio when he played and he played terrible golf. He said oh, I don't deserve to be on the team and, you know, I'm playing terrible. Yesterday, he gives an interview and he says I want to be on the team.


ANDERSON: Well, the great white shark on Tiger Woods, the Ryder Cup and all things golf, of course. Greg Norman answers your questions as your Connector of the Day.

That all coming up in the next 60 minutes.

Well, it began with a massive explosion and fire and ended with the worst oil spill in U.S. history. When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up on April the 20th, 11 men were killed and the lives of thousands who live along the U.S. Gulf Coast were dramatically changed.

Well, now, BP has released the findings of its internal investigation.

Ed Lavandera has been looking at the report and he joins us now from CNN in Dallas, Texas.

What does it say -- Ed?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting, many people have been looking forward to seeing this report. And essentially, it's not much different from what BP officials had been doing from the get-go when this disaster first happened, and that was saying that it shouldered responsibility for this with Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and also Halliburton, which is a company that had done some of the key cementing procedures that were done in the days before the rig exploded back in -- in April.

But company officials have been saying publicly, as well, that the buck would stop with them, that they would ultimately be responsible for everything that happened.

And now we're getting this report, where, essentially, it goes on in eight key findings throughout this 193-page report. It's very difficult to find any kind of harsh criticism BP levels against itself. Instead, talking a lot about the failures of -- mechanical failures and engineering failures along the way that led to this. They say it wasn't just one problem that caused this explosion and the deaths of 11 workers on that oil rig, that it was a series of problems that -- that led to all of this.

So, as you might imagine, this report has really kind of triggered off -- set off another wave of anger at BP. Many people criticizing the company for, once again, playing the blame game.

FRANK LAUTENBERG, U.S. SENATE DEMOCRAT: What stands out is what we know about BP. And that is that they're terrific at finger-pointing and trying to shift blame, at making certain that they're not taking the responsibility for the situation that they created.


LAVANDERA: Transocean officials released a statement today calling BP's report "self-serving" and an attempt to conceal critical and fatal flaws that BP had with this well design. Halliburton also releasing a statement saying that they had followed BP's plan for the well design. So scathing indictments there. And the criticism, ultimately, here, there are also other investigative teams that are working independently. There's a federal government report that is expected due out some time in December. And the top man of the U.S. government, the admiral -- the retired Coast Guard admiral, Thad Allen, who's the top government man overseeing the spill response, was asked about the report today and he simply said this isn't the end all, be all.

So just how much influence this report is ultimately going to have is still very much up in the air -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. Fascinating stuff.

Ed Lavandera there in Texas.

And what's been learned from the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico?

For some answers to that question, we'll turn to Donald Van Nieuwenhuise.

He's not only a professor of petroleum geosciences at the University of Houston. There aren't many places in the world with oil reserves that he hasn't been to.

The process, sir, of assigning the blame is an important one and it will ultimately determine who pays for the cleanup and the compensation, of course.

How far do you think this report goes in accelerating that process?

DONALD VAN NIEUWENHUISE, PETROLEUM GEOSCIENCES PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON: Well, even though some people don't agree with it, it's obvious that when you throw out an interpretation, people can start to question certain critical points. And we've already heard that a lot of people are questioning it. And, of course, when that happens, we get closer and closer to the truth.

I do think that BP put a lot of good facts in this report. They put a lot of information that explains an awful lot of the processes. I think it's interesting, when they get to the point of the problem with the cement in the very beginning of the report, they do take full credit for and blame, so to speak, for -- for anything that goes on with this well, because they are in charge of designing the well and even approving the cement and -- and all the different aspects of this well operation, because they are the operator.

ANDERSON: They're walking a fine line here, aren't they?

On the other hand, it is important that they show good faith in the efforts that they're making to really find out what happened. On the other, they certainly don't want to take full blame for gross negligence in any way, shape or form.

Is there anything that surprises you in this report?

We've certainly heard from Transocean and Halliburton. They say it's self-serving and full of inaccuracies.

NIEUWENHUISE: Well, before I heard their comments, I, too, was concerned about the fact that the well design does have some issues and not just the well design, but how they implemented the well design. One of the critical issues was -- was how they placed the final casing in, which may have allowed it to rattle around in the well, so to speak.

And because of that, the -- the actual volume that was down in the well bore when they had to cement it was -- was perhaps up in the air and not well known. And -- and that was one of critical issues that they completely left out of the report. They -- they do mention the well design as being important, but in every case, they discount the possibility of it being a significant contri -- contribution to the problem.

ANDERSON: Right. As we talk to you, we're seeing video released by BP alongside their internal report today.

What of the enviral -- let me start that question again.

What has the environmental impact really been when all is said and done?

NIEUWENHUISE: When all is said and done, the environmental impact, up to this point -- there are still studies that need to be done and -- and we do need to do long-term checking to make sure that this bears out. But right now, it looks like the environmental impact was a lot less significant than we had originally thought it would be. And...

ANDERSON: And let me stop you there for one moment.

Why is that, because it's important?

NIEUWENHUISE: The -- a couple of the reasons. Early on, many of us, including myself, were pointing out that if a tropical storm or hurricane came along, it would help disperse the oil. And the other thing is, is that sort of a surprise. We knew there was bacteria that ate oil, but we didn't know there was a special form of the bacteria that was hovering sort of quietly around a lot of the natural seeps. And when the bacteria noticed that there was a lot of oil droplets that had been dispersed in the water column, they essentially had what we feel is a -- a bloom, a plankton bloom. And they devoured an awful lot of that oil very quickly.

And that was something that surprised everybody.

ANDERSON: Yes, 100 days in, we were still talking to consultants and experts and analysts and industry observers who were telling us that the -- this was a catastrophic environmental disaster.

How did people get it so wrong?

NIEUWENHUISE: I think, you know, a lot of people were, you know, worried about the worst case scenario, which is something you do need to have to think about. But everyone was overlooking and -- and trying to downplay some of the positive things that -- that were potentially going to happen. One of them, of course, the hurricane really did disperse the oil. The dispersants that were used really did an effective job. And one of the reasons was, was because BP did apply those dispersants early on in the evolution of this episode. And that -- that makes the dispersants more effective.

And what's critical about that is that the smaller -- the oil particles are, the quicker the bacteria can act on it. And also, it reduces the overall concentration in any one place. And if you have high concentrations and you have bacteria, then you can end up with dead zones that are anoxic or have no oxygen in the water...

ANDERSON: All right...

NIEUWENHUISE: -- but because it's dispersed, spread out, low concentration and small particles, the bacteria were able to act very quickly and the damage that they could do was, again, at a low concentration...


NIEUWENHUISE: -- because it was spread out all over the Gulf instead of just...

ANDERSON: All right...

NIEUWENHUISE: -- concentrated areas.

ANDERSON: Briefly, how, if at all, has the industry's attitude to deep sea drilling, then, changed?

NIEUWENHUISE: I think a lot of companies were already worried about things of this nature and wanting to make sure that their lines of communication were good. And I think they are.

I think what this report shows between the two bookends, which were the cement job and the blowout preventer, in there, there's a lot of issues that relate to communication and how people communicated. And this is something that really doesn't happen on every rig and it shouldn't happen on a rig. You know, people that have concerns need to make sure that those concerns are worked out completely and that everybody is happy, that no one walks away concerned.

The bookends are critical. If you do a poor cement job and you don't have a seal and then you don't test it properly, that's a serious problem. And I think they need to focus on that.

On the other hand, at the very other side of the bookends, the blowout preventers -- if you have a blowout preventer, it needs to be functioning 99.9 percent or better if you're going to operate in the Gulf of Mexico. And I think everyone understands that now.

ANDERSON: Donald, we thank you very much for your expert opinion this evening, professor of petroleum geosciences at the University of Houston.

Well, as we've heard, one of the main issues raised in the wake of the BP disaster is the merits and the risks of deepwater drilling, as we've just now been discussing it, it's an issue that the people of Cuba must now confront.

As Shasta Darlington tells us, planning for offshore drilling there is well underway.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Undaunted by the massive BP disaster, on the other side of the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba plows ahead with an ambitious oil drilling plan.

(on camera): The island currently produces 60,000 barrels of oil a day -- about half its needs in onshore wells like this one. But now full scale offshore exploration is gaining momentum.

(voice-over): Spain's Repsol will drill an exploration well next year with a Chinese built rig. That's just the beginning. Other companies have set their sights on the rig, as well.

LEE HUNT, IADC PRESIDENT: They're planning, according to the information they provided us, with seven wells over the next two to four year period.

DARLINGTON: The International Association of Drilling Contractors, or IADC, recently met with Cuban oil company, CUPEC, which rarely makes its drilling plans public. The country has dividend its share of the Gulf into 59 blocks. Foreign oil companies -- none from the United States -- have leased 21 of them. In the wake of the Gulf spill, some in Florida are worried about Cuba drilling so close to home.


CHARLIE CRIST, FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I mean if ever there was a wake up call to say that we should not drill off the beautiful coast of Florida, this is it.


DARLINGTON: But for the IADC, it's time to work together to prevent spills and quickly tackle disasters.

HUNT: With Cuba drilling 40 miles from Key West, we can't change that distance, so we'd better take a look at our attitudes.

DARLINGTON: The U.S. trade embargo prevents American oil companies from operating in Cuba, both in terms of exploration and eventually providing equipment in the case of a spill. The results could be disastrous for marine life and the beaches on both sides of the Florida Straits. Tourism is a major money maker for both economies. As one expert put it, it would be a long, long trip from Asia for emergency rigs.

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Havana.


ANDERSON: The effects of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and what we've learned going forward.

Well, from Northern Ireland to the Basque Region in Northern Spain, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams says that he was personally involved in ETA's cease-fire. We're going to ask him next whether his experience is a model for peace around the world.


ANDERSON: Lay down your weapons forever -- that message from Spain's prime minister to Basque separatist group, ETA, which announced a cease- fire on Sunday. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government has described the statement as insufficient and has urged the group to give up its arms permanently.

Well, one man who was involved in pushing ETA toward that cease-fire was Gerry Adams, the leader of the Sinn Fein political party. For some, he was a defender of violence by the Irish Republican Army. For others, he's a man who should be praised for shifting his movement from armed conflict to peaceful politics. Northern Ireland was the scene of frequent violence over a period of three decades. From the late 1980s onwards, Adams was an important figure in the Northern Ireland peace process. About 3,000 people were killed in "the Troubles" before a power sharing deal known as the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998.

Well, writing in the U.K. newspaper, "The Guardian," Adams said that he was personally involved in some of the discussions held in recent years with ETA.

When I spoke to him earlier, he didn't want to elaborate much more on that.

But I asked him to explain why he says the key to ETA's cease-fire is what he calls a political shift.


GERRY ADAMS, PRESIDENT, SINN FEIN: ETA pursued an armed campaign. And whatever one thinks about that -- and I certainly am no supporter of that campaign -- ETA has now ended its armed campaign. So this is -- this is a huge political change. It's -- it brings everybody involved into a new political dispensation. And I think that people -- the Spanish people, people in the Basque country, will -- will want their political leaders to build upon that.

There's a -- that if -- if you have elements who want to lie up and engage in armed actions now who are committing themselves to peaceful and democratic ways forward, that's -- that's a big achievement. And fair play to the people who brought that about.

ANDERSON: Is this a model that could be used, for example, by the Pakistani government with the designated terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, in Kashmir or, for example, with the militant wing of Hamas?

ADAMS: I would strongly advocate dialogue. I mean I -- I'm -- what - - what made the complete difference to the political landscape in my country. And I mean I'm an Islander and we still haven't gotten a native Ireland. But we have the complete difference was the primacy of dialogue. It was -- it was respect for other people's opinions.

So I'm not conversant enough with the situation in Pakistan, but, you know, once you surrender to -- to war, you give up politics. And for politicians to give up politics, I think, is just a repudiation of the vocation of politics.

So I strongly recommend dialogue. I strongly recommend the, you know, the -- the ability for people to bring forward points for discussion to agendas which are open-ended. And I strongly would appeal to the international community, because -- because sometimes elements who are locked into war can't -- can't break the cycle themselves and they need outsiders to do it. And the international community certainly has a huge responsibility to help to broker peace wherever they -- they -- they can.

ANDERSON: Israel and the U.S., of course, describe Hamas as a terror group, the same as Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba, and, to a certain extent, the Spanish government and ETA. At the end of the day, this is about talking to terrorists, isn't it?

ADAMS: I know when I was described as a terrorist, you know, it isn't that long ago and I'm not trying to draw comparisons for one second -- that Nelson Mandela was described as a terrorist. In fact, he was a convict. He was a criminal. And now -- and I'm a big fan of his -- he's recognized as a -- a huge role model for -- for -- for citizenship and for self- sacrifice and for compassion and as a justice fighter.

So, you know, one person's freedom fighter -- this is an old cliche -- is another person's terrorist. And I -- I come back to the point I made earlier on, if people have an electoral mandate, that electoral mandate needs to be respected.


ANDERSON: Gerry Adams talking about models for peace going forward.

Well, the clothes we'll be wearing next spring could -- just could be influenced by one big event in New York happening at present. Fashion Week kicking off there. And the models are getting ready to strut their stuff on the catwalk.


ANDERSON: Well, Fashion Weeks have a power to catapult a particular style of dress to the shop floor or send it to the bargain basement if it all goes horribly wrong. All this week, we are taking a look at fashion and its global influence, as we kicked off on Monday in Istanbul, where being a conservative Muslim woman doesn't necessarily mean being unfashionable.

In Kabul, fashion is influenced by local traditions and culture. For many Afghans, what hat they wear sends a very powerful message.

Well, right now, global fashionistas are looking to the runways of New York. The first Mercedes Benz Fashion Week has kicked off.

For more on that, Richard Roth joins us live from New York, suitable attired?

I don't know. I think not. Perhaps possibly -- Richard.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: It's the calm before the fashion storm here at New York's cultural institution, Lincoln Center on the West Side of Manhattan. We're on the eve of Fashion Week. At least 230,000 people are going to pour through here. We've had some shows in -- since 1993 that have occurred at Bryant Park, in the heart of Manhattan, various designers using models to promote their ideas. How innovative.

Now, all of these shows and runways and lights are going to be in various compounds here on the Lincoln Center campus, which has recently been renovated.

The mayor of New York and other leading lights kicked off this Fashion Week with a symbolic naming for the short-term of a tube stop here as Fashion Lane. But the mayor and leading fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg, say that despite the recent recession and tough economic times, fashion, well, it's on the up tick.


DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL OF FASHION DESIGNERS OF AMERICA: We just want to be -- want people to shop. So we are making progress, yes.

BLOOMBERG: I mean I think if you talk to some of the great designers, Dion, Hilfiger and Karan and our friend, Oscar de la Renta and Caroline Herrera and, you know, all of these people, they'll tell you that the market is functions. And in tough times, they -- it's -- it's a little bit harder to do business. But remember, people still need clothes. And they've made change...

FURSTENBERG: And we have a lot of tourists.

BLOOMBERG: Right. We have a lot of tourists coming in. We're going to set a record this year for the number of tourists in New York City in the middle of a national and international recession.


ROTH: But there's one sour note, according to the mayor, about the fashion industry and New York. Yes, the models come down the runway and it's the second biggest industry, next to Wall Street, in New York. And, yes, they'll -- it will provide $700 -- $70 million in economic activity here. But the mayor is concerned about immigration and the fashion industry.


BLOOMBERG: If we don't fix the system that keeps immigrants out of this country, we're going to be in big trouble. It makes it far too difficult, the current laws, to fashion designers from around the world who want to come here and stay here and create jobs. And if we're not careful, we're going to lose the -- being the center of fashion that I bragged about, the places like Milan and Paris and Mumbai.


ROTH: The latest from New York's mayor. And immigration and rights around the world about a building downtown we've certainly heard about, near the World Trade Center. But here in New York, the focus by the mayor was on fashion -- so, Becky, I don't know if you'll be able to make it over here, but it will be quite a spectacle every year.

This will be the spring collection if you're concerned about your closet.

ANDERSON: Yes. Thank you, Richard.

I know you are.

Listen, it's a brave woman who interrupts the -- the mayor, Bloomberger, I know. Diane von Furstenberg, who was one of our Connectors of the Day recently. She's a -- she's a feisty lass.

Have you got a front row seat for any of these catwalk shows?

ROTH: I really am not interested in this type of spectacle with models parading. I was at one show last year that I believe your show ordered me to attend. But if the -- if there is a story, we'll find it.

But there's another big show coming, the U.N. General Assembly -- very nattily addressed -- dressed men and ministers from 192 countries. Well, I would think that would interest some members of the audience more.

ANDERSON: Possibly you, Richard.

Thank you for your honesty.

Richard Roth doing his duty for us then in New York for New York's Fashion Week. And more on CONNECT THE WORLD this week. Four major cities each host a Fashion Week twice a year, dubbed the big four. Each is known for championing different styles. New York kicks off each season and is best known for sportswear, apparently. This year in New York drew more than 100,000 people. And that generates nearly a half a billion dollars, possibly more, on visitor spending.

Well, London follows, with its edgy and avant-garde design, joins visitors from 25 different countries. Then it's on to Milan, with its over the top but still stylish looks and more than 100 different events and runway shows there. It's an exhausting one, Milan.

And finally, Paris, the home of au couture and perhaps the most diverse lineup of designers in the world.

Still to come on the show here on CNN's CONNECT THE WORLD, of course, we'll talk about the global reach of China. Countries around the world are wooing Chinese investors, who are in the hunt for a bargain well beyond their borders. We're going to investigate that trend, up next.


ANDERSON: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson in London for you. Coming up, the global reach of China from Africa to Greece to Venezuela and Afghanistan. Chinese investors are buying up in all corners of the Earth.

On the Trail of Human Trafficking. We're going to be looking at what the FBI calls the largest case of modern-day slavery that they've ever seen.

Tonight this half hour, we'll be putting your questions to our Connector of the Day who, today, is the Great White Shark.

Those stories are ahead in the next 30 minutes. First, let's get you a very quick check of the headlines.

BP says there was no single cause in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in April. The company released the findings from an internal investigation on Wednesday. The report cites a series of human errors, faulty construction, and equipment failures, putting much of the blame on contractors, Transocean, and Halliburton.

The imam behind plans to build an Islamic center near ground zero in New York is making his own plea for religious tolerance. In an opinion piece, Feisal Abdul Rauf writes that he hopes Americans will tone done rhetoric that, quote, "serves only to strengthen the radicals and weaken our friends' beliefs in our values."

US president Barack Obama is putting forward new proposals to boost the lagging American economy. The latest would include $350 billion worth of tax cuts and incentives for businesses. Mr. Obama accused his Republican opponents of promoting bankrupt economic policies and putting politics ahead of the national welfare.

Ties with China. They've become a vital cog in the global economy, and there are few countries in the world that aren't working on forging a tighter relationship with Beijing. Amongst them is the United States, and there is apparent progress in that relationship.

After months of tensions over North Korea, Tibet, Iran, trade, and other issues, Chinese and US leaders emerged from three days of high level talks in Beijing voicing optimism that their relations will be smoother in the future.

The United States isn't the only country looking to improve its relationship with China, of course. Beijing is increasingly hosting and visiting world leaders as it acquires all over the world. It has many interests in Central and South America, including a lucrative oil agreement in Venezuela. China also building a multibillion-dollar railway in that country.

African nations are also open for business. South Africa and China recently signing a dozen deals and agreements on investments in energy and in transport. Also, recent celebrations, too, in the Ukraine. Thirteen agreements signed on technology and infrastructure there. China also helping fund a railway and airport project in the country.

In Afghanistan, China has mining interests, not least the Aynak Copper Mine, home to one of the largest deposits of the metal in the world.

Only this week, it opened its checkbook to make 14 commercial investments in Greece, which is struggling to avoid defaulting on its mounting debt. Telecommunications, real estate, shipping among the acquisitions there.

And Chinese investment in Pakistan also on the rise, hovering around $4 billion a year in 2007. That figure expected to more than triple by the end of this year. Key projects include mining, power generation, heavy engineering, and telecom.

That just gives you a feel of its reach around the world. China's investment in Pakistan is a particularly sensitive subject for India, which has had a long history of disputes with both countries. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh voiced concerns about Beijing just this week.

According to "The Times" of India, he told a group of editors that, quote, "China would like to have a foothold in south Asia, and we have to reflect on this reality." He went on to say, "There was a new assertiveness among the Chinese, so it's important to be prepared."

Comments there weighted with concern about China's expansions. But is the country's investment in some of the most remote, if not dangerous, corners of the Earth an encouraging or a worrying trend? Well, I'm joined now by one of Connect the World's big thinkers, author of "The Coming Collapse of China," Gordon Chang joining us this evening. Always a pleasure to have you.

Everyone, it seems, wants a bit of China's checkbook these days. Where is it working and, perhaps, more importantly, where should the world be a little concerned?

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "THE COMING COLLAPSE OF CHINA": I think the world should be a little bit concerned because these are not investments made, really, for economic considerations. You have these Chinese enterprises that are run by Communist Party cadres, who are appointed by technocrats in Beijing, who report to the Politburo standing committee.

And basically, what we have are these enterprises are trying to accomplish and implement Chinese foreign policy. So this is a very different type of investment from what we've seen, for instance, from investments from other countries, such as the United States, such as from Britain.

ANDERSON: Give me some examples of this. Let's start in Africa, for example. Is Africa a good example of where the concerns might be qualified, as it were?

CHANG: China has done some very good things in Africa in terms of funding developments projects that otherwise would not have received money, but part of the problem is that China has been driving out good governance efforts on the part of the multilateral institutions.

So, for instance, the IMF, the International Monetary Fund, may try to require less corruption in an African government. But an African government can say, "I don't take your money, because I can get it from China, and I can continue to do what I want."

Also, what we have seen is China fund some very dubious projects, like this upcoming road through the Serengeti National Park. This is just horrific, what China will plan to do with the Tanzanian government.

ANDERSON: Let's face it. They've got the money, and they have a checkbook, which they are willing to get out. Manmohan Singh voicing his concerns. To a certain extent, one can understand those concerns. But they're not all about China in. They're about where China's going, to a certain extent, aren't they?

CHANG: They certainly are. And part of this is just natural. Because China has built up these trade surpluses by being a competitive manufacturer, and they've got to recycle the money. And they do that by making investments around the world, and that does help the global economy.

But nonetheless, we've got to be concerned about Beijing's security goals and what it's really trying to do. Because some of these investments are really meant to sort of undermine in some very important things that the west is trying to accomplish.

ANDERSON: But Gordon, isn't the export of our foreign policy generally thorough our business interests wherever we are in the world? And generally, our business interests sort of ape our foreign policy to a certain extent. So there will be people listening to this who say, "Come on. It's not only China who's doing this. It just happens to be that China who's got the money and the cash at the moment."

CHANG: It is a question of degree. But if you're going to go talk to, for instance, Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE, he may or may not care what President Obama wants to do, because he has to answer to his shareholders, who are looking for their maximum returns. And that is what happens in a free market system.

But unfortunately, that doesn't happen in China, where you have companies like Hua Hui, the electronics manufacturer, is generally an arm of the People's Liberation Army. And we've got to be concerned, for instance, about what Hua Hui routers will do. Are they stealing information? This is really an important issue for the west, not just for companies.

ANDERSON: On balance, whether one agrees that this is a good or bad thing, that China get more involved in the west and elsewhere, is it going to continue?

CHANG: It will continue as long as China is able to accumulate trade surpluses. And they've been able to do that very well, now, in the post- Cold War period. As we go into a new environment, where you see trade either stagnating or declining, they will not be able to earn as much.

And therefore, I think that we're going to probably see less investment from Beijing. Because it's just -- we're just going to be living in a new era.

ANDERSON: And with that, we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Your big thinker this evening --

CHANG: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Great pleasure to have, Gordon Chang out of New York for you on what is an incredibly important story that connects the world.

After the break, we are teeing off with the legendary "Great White Shark," who's going to talk to you about the controversial Tiger. Your Connector of the Day answers your questions in just a moment.



ANDERSON (voice-over): In the world of golf, few are as recognizable as the Australian legend Greg Norman. He was twice the British Open champion and world number one for 331 consecutive weeks.

But Norman didn't start playing until the relatively late age of 15. It didn't take him long, though, to enter the professional ring. And after six years on the circuit, he won his first Open in Australia.

Dubbed "The Great White Shark" by many in the industry, Normal was known for his aggressive style. And after stepping off the green, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur, pairing with brands such as Amiga and Johnnie Walker.

Just last week, he played at the European Open, ending a year-long break from the game. Powering through one decade at a time, Greg Norman is your Connector of the Day.


ANDERSON: I'm not sure that he's going to thank me for saying that, but anyway, I spoke to the golfer about this year's Ryder Cup to begin with. And we started off by asking Greg whether he thinks Tiger Woods is going to regain his stride.


GREG NORMAN, FORMER WORLD NUMBER ONE GOLFER: I think right now Tiger is -- he doesn't have that intimidation factor that he used to have. That was a weapon that was by far superior than anything else that any other player could ever have in this modern era. So that's kind of gone.

The older Tiger gets and the more he goes without winning a golf tournament, the more confidence everybody else gets around him. And the younger the players get, the older he gets. So these kids aren't intimidated him as much anymore, so --

And it's good for Tiger, too. It's good for him to say, "It's OK. There's another part of this world. I've got to work a little bit harder." The victories aren't going to come as easy. But at the end of the day, he's a great player, he's a great competitor, and he wants to improve, and he's gonna fix his golf swing, and he'll be back. He'll be back winning, no question.

ANDERSON: Lucas, one of our viewers, has got a question for you. He says, it's about Tiger Woods. He says, "You've had your experience of your own problems being aired very publicly." And he says, "How do you think Tiger and his brand has really been tarnished?"

NORMAN: I think there is some hurdle that he has to get over with that. Some image factor. I know in my business, in the consumer awareness stuff, you look more at how the women feel about things. And quite honestly, when women go out and buy a shirt for their husband or on Father's Day for their kids, the woman's doing it. So there is that factor that comes into play. Whether it stays there forever, Becky, I doubt it very much.

ANDERSON: Brian asks, "How do you manage your private and public life?" Is it a tough one?

NORMAN: It is a tough one. I think when you get out there in the public arena, you have to accept some of the responsibility of every action you do. There's no question. Tiger feathered his own nest, he knows that, everybody else knows that. So he has to go and work on it.

And the same. When you're out there and people see you on television all the time, like you Becky, same thing. They can feel like they can reach out and touch you, have part of ownership of you, because they see you every day. So when something happens, they feel like, "Oh, OK, let's talk about it."

But it's the responsibility of the individual. There's no question about it. We do have to do that. You don't like to see your private life aired out in the public eye. It's not necessary.

I just wish some reporters would look at and put the shoe on the other foot many times. Because it's not the individual you hurt, because sometimes we're used to getting stones thrown at us in many ways. It's the people around you who get hurt. Your family members who get hurt, your children get hurt. And those are the byproducts that really have a lot of residue for many, many years to come.

So, hey, it happens. You can't stop it for unfortunate reasons. I just wish they would put the shoe on the other foot.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about your golf, mate. How did it feel to be back playing last weekend?

NORMAN: It actually felt very good. I had a lot of rust on the hinges, I've got to get some WD-40, or whatever it is, to get that old chipped off. But it felt good. I do enjoy being out there, walking within the ropes. Where we were in Corral, Montana, is a beautiful spot.

But I am a realist. I didn't expect to be out of the game of golf for 12 months like I was, basically. And to just step right back out there and play, I was nervous, I must admit. When I walked down the first tee, first time I felt nerves in a long period of time, which is good. That's what we thrive on a lot of times. But at the end of the day, you walk off eight over par, you don't feel that great.

ANDERSON: Adam says, "It's great to see you back," and asks, "Will you be playing more tournaments this year? What can we expect?"

NORMAN: Yes, I am. I'm going to play a tournament in China called the Star Trophy in Hainan Island at the end of October. And then I'm going to play the Australian Open back at the Lakes Golf Club in Sydney. And then from there, I'm going to play a tournament in Naples, Florida, which is my Shark Shootout.

ANDERSON: I've got to mention it to the viewers, because it's all around you there, it's on your t-shirt, the booze cabinet behind you. You're teaming up with Johnnie Walker, why?

NORMAN: Just for that reason, for the development of the game of golf. Johnnie Walker's been a great partner to the game for decades and decades. Over a hundred years they've been involved in sponsoring golf.

Actually, I was one of the first guys with Mr. Lu back 18 years ago to take golf to mainland China in an exhibition match sponsored by Johnnie Walker. So we're in some way part of the evolution and the growth of the game of golf in China over the last 20 years.

So Johnnie Walker and I -- I've won the Johnnie Walker Classic before, I've played in many events. So right now, we're partnered up. We want to go to the grassroots. We have the largest amateur golf tournament in the world happening. It just completed yesterday, actually. We had 7,000 participants in China alone get involved with it.

So we're starting the stimulation of the game of golf through the grassroots level, through the Asian-Pacific rim. And then, obviously, we're going to look at the South America, with the explosion of the game of golf down there, with golf being in the Olympics.


ANDERSON: Be still, my beating heart. Greg Norman, one of my great heroes. Our Connector of the Day special continues next week, and we are putting plenty of big names in the hot seat for you. Our all-star lineup includes Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant, singer and actress Dionne Warwick, and comedic genius Tom Green, who also, by the way, can sing.

They'll be answering your questions, so ask away at the website. Remember to tell us where you're writing in from. Head to There, you can also tell us who you want to see as your Connector of the Day. Don't forget, it's your part of the show. Tonight, we'll be right back.


ANDERSON: Lured with false promises, coerced into cheap labor, and threatened with deportation. We are back here at CONNECT THE WORLD On the Trail of Human Trafficking. Tonight, looking at what the FBI calls the largest case of modern-day slavery that they have ever seen. CNN's Thelma Gutierrez talks with one of the alleged victims.


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): We're in Los Angeles, and we're driving to an undisclosed location to meet a Thai worker who says that he was enslaved by an international corporation.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): It's called Global Horizons. The company president, Mordechai Orian, an Israeli citizen, was recently indicted on federal charges of forcing hundreds of Thai men to work on US farms.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): Hundreds of workers escaped their captors, and one of those men agreed to meet with us here to talk to us about what it means to be a modern-day slave.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): We'll call him Lee. He's a 42-year-old farmer who fears retaliation against his family back home when he told us the story, through Chancee Martorell, a human rights activist in Los Angeles.

GUITIERREZ (on camera): How did this job come about for you?

GUITIERREZ (voice-over): Back in 2004, Thai recruiters, working for Global Horizons, came to northern Thailand with promises of well-paid American jobs.


GUITIERREZ (voice-over): Lee supported a family of six on less than $7 a day. He says the recruiters told him he would be paid nearly $9 an hour as a farm laborer. About $56,000 over three years as part of the US guest worker program. In exchange, Lee would have to pay the recruiter $15,000 plus interest. Still, he figured he'd finish better off.

So Lee said good-bye to his family, and he and about 50 other workers were flown to Washington State by Global Horizons. According to the federal indictment, the company confiscated some of the workers' passports and confined them to their compound.

Lee says his passport was taken when they were sent to Hawaii, to the island of Maui.

MARTORELL: He was taken, along with his fellow workers, to an abandoned barrack. He was in a state of shock when he walked in. The first thing he saw was just full of cobwebs everywhere. And it was just filthy and dirty and deplorable.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Far away from the grand hotels and sandy beaches tourists know, Lee and others were confined to an isolated pineapple farm. Martorell, who some of the conditions firsthand, says some men were living in freight containers with no electricity, running water, or toilets.

MARTORELL: There's no door to close themselves off, and there'll be rats running through their living quarters. Workers had told us that they'd be starving, and they went with very little food, and they had to go and scrounge around picking leaves off of plants to eat.

GUTIERREZ: Lee told me that the workers were under 24-hour surveillance. According to the indictment, one guard even threatened to shoot anyone who tried to escape.

Then, there was the issue of payment.

MARTORELL: We look at several months worth of check stubs. Each and every time it says zero, zero.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Lee says he was paid $14,000 in total, about $1000 a month. Despite working overtime, it was far less than what he was promised.

Unable to pay the recruiter's fee, he lost his house and ancestral land in Thailand. A spokeswoman for Global Horizons told CNN those fees were charged by rogue recruiters, not by Mordechai Orian, who's plead not guilty in federal court.

She said the allegations about the dismal living conditions were complete fabrications made by the workers to federal investigators in exchange for special visas to remain in the United States beyond their three-year stay. She says Orian was only trying to help Thai workers.

MARTORELL: Modern-day slavery is alive and well here in America.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): And you're saying that our laws actually make it possible?

MARTORELL: Yes. This is the changing face of trafficking and slavery in America. Unfortunately, we are beginning to see more and more slavery through contract labor, like the guest workers program.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Lee says he was never treated like a guest in this country. Not until he finally escaped his employer's grip. Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.


ANDERSON: I want to take a moment to bring you the latest from our own investigation into human trafficking. We're following one of the world's leading experts on the subject, Harvard University's Siddharth Kara. Now, he's currently crisscrossing southern Asia. He's taken us inside India's carpet mills and to Bangladesh's shrimping industry.

And now, in Nepal, he continues his look at an entire social class of women practically destined from birth to be trafficked into the sex industry. In an exclusive blog for us, he writes, "For as long as anyone can remember, when a Badi girl reached puberty, she was sent into sex work. In the old days, this was just in her village, for the locals. But as the decades passed, they would work in transit towns, border towns, Katmandu, and even India."

You can read more about Siddharth on his blog, find out what he's been up to at Find out what he's really seeing out there. We want to know what you think. What form does human trafficking take where you live wherever you are watching in the world. And what do you think needs to be done to stop what is a crime?

On the Trail of Human Trafficking begins at Get involved. Tonight, we'll be right back.


ANDERSON: We never said it would be easy, and this week's Global Connections are proving more of a challenge than last week's. This is the part of the show, of course, remember, where we need you to make some connections for us.

We've picked two countries that at first glance seem to have very little in common. This week, we are traveling from the lush rain forests of Malaysia to the Nordic cool of Sweden. We want you to tell us what they have in common. Shared history, for example, cultural ties, perhaps more importantly, your own personal experiences.

Cindy is a Malaysian lady who says she's happily married to a Swedish man. She writes, "He loves everything about Malaysia, and I love everything about Sweden. Our kids love both the countries and have absolutely no problem adjusting to the cultures, food, and traditions."

Vinz points out, "Both countries enjoy a good game of badminton, and play on the world stage."

And Daniel Lissborg, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, found a common link. Take a listen to what he thought.


DANIEL LISSBORG, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Ikea, being from Sweden, I know it very well through that. But also here in Malaysia, we have many, many huge Ikea factories throughout the country, and they're all actually very similar to the ones in Sweden. Even the way they're built, the food they sell, everything like that.

Back in the late 80s to early 90s, my mom worked as a product designer as well as -- in Ikea. And she from then on she was the first non- Scandinavian person to work in Ikea in that position at the time. And from then, she started -- she helped start the first retail outlet of Ikea here in Malaysia.


ANDERSON: And Daniel's words, thoughts, and comments are exactly the sort of thing we're looking for. So the connections are there. We just need you to make them. This is your part of the show. Head to to find out how you can take part. We're going to highlight the best submissions on air.

And check this out. We've got an exclusive interview with Robyn, one of Sweden's most popular singers. Today, find out the influence her home country has on music heard around the world.

We're going to end this evening with our World in Pictures segment. It's about keeping a hold on power, tonight. And Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has paved the way to run for third term. The country's parliament approved a controversial amendment to the constitution on Wednesday to lift the two-term limit on the post of the president.

Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, may want his old job back. He's hinted he may run for the presidency again in 2012.

Rwandans don't seem to mind a continuation power, as president Paul Kagame has just been reelected for a second term after already serving seven years in office. He'll now be in the driving seat for another seven.

Finally, in Myanmar, reclusive leader Than Shwe is on a state visit to China. Analysts suggest that the general may want to shore up China's support ahead of November's elections. He's been in command for the last 18 years.

Power and politics in our World in Pictures this evening. I'm Becky Anderson, that is your world connected. "BackStory" is next, right after this quick check of the headlines for you.