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U.S., Britain, Japan, Sweden Issue Terror Travel Warning

Aired October 4, 2010 - 16:00:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Japan and Sweden join the U.S. and Britain in warning their citizens about traveling in Europe. Intelligence officials are worried about a Mumbai-style attack targeting high profile landmarks. Well, tonight, we'll focus on how this mosque in Hamburg in Germany is being cited as the specific source, but we still don't know the specifics on targets.

Going beyond borders on the day's biggest stories for you on CNN, this is the hour we connect the world.

Well, as far as alerts go, it's quite vague.

So why the terror warning now?

I'm going to put that to the UN's top official on terror.

Joining the dots for you, I'm Becky Anderson in London, asking this hour, is there a connection between these warnings and U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal belt?

The latest Monday killing eight militants.

The Pakistani Taliban continue to torch NATO tankers destined for Afghanistan, they say, to avenge continued drone attacks. We'll ask a NATO spokesman what they are going to do next.

And India's many faces -- for every positive image of the Commonwealth Games, there's something unsavory, too. You're going to find out if Indians are proud of their image around the world.

And it's Monday, so we're kicking off a new week of global connections. Help us link China and Turkey. Get involved at CNN/com/globalconnections.

That's CNN in the next 60 minutes.

First up tonight, the United States and Britain, now Sweden and Japan -- more countries are advising their citizens to be extra cautious when traveling in Europe.

But with no specific threat cited, how worried should we be about a warning covering an entire continent?

Well, we begin tonight with Phil Black, who is at London's O2 Arena for you -- Phil.


This is the sort of big public event that the American government and others are now warning people to show greater vigilance at. Beneath the dome of the 02 Arena, around 18,000 people are cheering for two NBA teams - - the Minnesota Timberwolves and the L.A. Lakers. That big crowd has traveled here from across Britain, across Europe. And there are many Americans among them.

And speaking to many of them as they arrived for the game, they were all pretty much aware of the terror warnings and all concerned about them, but not concerned enough to change their plans. So taking it in their stride.

So, too, NBA officials, who say that obviously security is always a really big event -- or a big issue at this sort of event. But they say in this case, they were actually pre-warned about America's intentions to issue that terror warning, so they were able to work with local authorities, in this case, Scotland Yard, to make sure that all appropriate security was in place -- Becky.

ANDERSON: as far as I can understand, the U.K. hasn't actually raised its terror threat level itself.

Am I right in saying that?

BLACK: Yes, you are, indeed, which has got some people scratching their heads, because the British government says that the U.S. warning is essentially in line with the British assessment of the threat as they see it. But having said that, they are not increasing their own terror threat level here in this country. It remains severe, which means that it is considered that an attack is likely. They have revised some travel advice, that is, to France and Germany, to say there is a continuing high risk of terrorism in those countries.

So a risk that already existed and was high is still high. So no real increase there, either. The British government says this is really all about reminding people to be vigilant and the importance of that vigilance, because this is a country has that lived under an official severe terror threat for some time now -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Phil Black in London for you.

Phil, thank you very much, indeed, for that.

Well, it's interesting to know that France and Germany, the two countries cited by Britain as having the highest risk of attack, haven't themselves issued any new warnings.

Well, we sent reporters out on the streets of three major European cities to gauge the mood.

BITTERMANN: I'm Jim Bittermann in Paris, where the terrorism alert level remains at red, the second highest from the top, the place where it's been since the 2005 London bus bombing. What's more, intelligence officials say it will not go up to the top level unless or until there is operational information, that is to say, information about specific terrorists or targets.

And American security officials said today that the warnings issued by Washington are not much different than the kind of thing that's been talked about in France for more than a month now and the kind of thing that led to the emergency evacuation of the Eiffel Tower twice during the month of September.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Nic Robertson in Hamburg. And what we're hearing from German authorities, from the interior minister, that despite this travel advisory for U.S. citizens coming to Germany, they are saying there's no need to be alarmist about this situation, that Germany itself sees no increase in the terror threat level. They do say they're taking it very seriously. One of the reasons for that is the man behind the reports of Mumbai-style attacks attended this mosque behind me. He left here with a group of fellow radicals about a year-and-a-half ago for Pakistan and terror training camps there.

German authorities that some of the people that went with him are still on the loose. They are concerned about those people. Not seeing an increased threat level here right now. But one of the other interesting details about this mosque, it was attitude by 9/11 hijacker, Mohammed Atta.

AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, despite the U.S. travel alert for Americans in Europe, Spain has not changed its threat level. It remains at level two, which is where it's been since last January. Level two indicates a high probable risk of a terror attack. But that's two notches below Spain's maximum level, level four, which indicates a risk of an imminent attack, which Spain apparently does on the see right now.

ANDERSON: OK, well, at the heart of these terror alerts, intelligence reports suggesting militants are plotting a repeat of the Mumbai attacks, this time against European targets.

Now, you may remember, India's commercial capital was under siege for three days in November of 2008. More than 160 people were killed in coordinated attacks on so-called soft targets like hotels and train stations.

Well, Mumbai shocked the world, but also served as a wake-up call that cities all over the world may be vulnerable to similar attacks.

So what's really new, then, about these recent terror warnings?

Let's find out.

Let's bring in Richard Barrett.

He's an expert on al Qaeda-related terrorism who works with the United Nations.

What's the message here, sir?

RICHARD BARRETT, TERRORISM EXPERT: Well, as -- you know, correspondents have said already, you know, the level of attacks is always sort of pretty high. And what makes this one different from others, I think, is that there's a strange coincidence of lots of reports coming in from various different sources affecting various different countries and linking the rumors of attack with specific known individuals in the Afghan- Pakistan border area who are known to be doing this sort of planning.

So I think that that's why authorities are particularly worried at the moment.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about this heightened alert, based, as you say, on -- on numerous reports coming in from, it seems to me, numerous places.

Can you -- can you nail down what we're hearing at this point?

BARRETT: Well, what we're hearing is that particular known operational planners associated with the al Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan, who are in touch with people who -- maybe they've come from that Hamburg mosque, maybe they've come from other places, and they're trying to sort of build up an operational plan, which might have some chance of success.

I think that everybody agrees that these are very early stages. And, of course, you have to balance the advantages of alerting the public that there might be something afoot to the disadvantage of alerting the terrorist groups themselves that you may be onto them.

This is one of the problems I think officials have had to face. But they've decided, for good or for -- for ill, to make a warning -- general warning to the public in Europe. It's very different for people to know how to react to that, I agree. But, you know, I -- I guess they reckoned that better to be alert than not be.

ANDERSON: Yes, I mean I guess what the European authorities are effectively doing is hoping to raise public awareness about a threat, one assumes, but without sowing panic -- panic that might be, in some quarters.

How concerned should we be?

BARRETT: Well, I think that there's a general level of concern that everybody should have. You know, we're all used to now the possibilities of a terrorist attack. I don't think that suddenly we're going to see a Mumbai attack and fortress cities across Europe. That's extremely unlikely.

But nonetheless, we know that people are planning attacks. We know that they would love to make an attack on the West, particularly against sort of, you know, major Western targets which would attract a lot of -- of media coverage.

But to a certain extent, of course, they achieve their aim just by this raised alert, because the terrorist objective is clearly to terrorize, not necessarily to kill. They would only want to kill sufficient numbers to be able to terrorize the rest. So whether it's a failed attack, a successful attack or even just a general threat warning, to a certain extent, they're achieving their aim.

But I -- in answer to your question, I don't think that, necessarily, people should be more afraid than they perhaps were already, but just everybody should remain alert, as you say.

ANDERSON: Richard Barrett is your expert on the subject this evening.

Richard is out of New York.

We thank you very much, indeed for joining us.

Well, we've been looking at the elevated terror threat in Europe.

Up next, is there a connection to Pakistan and the battle against militants there?

That next.

Stay with us.


ANDERSON: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

I'm Becky Anderson in London for you now.

In the past couple of hours, a drone strike is believed to have killed eight German nationals in Northwestern Pakistan.

Frederik Pleitgen is in the capital, Islamabad, for you this evening - - Fred, is this attack in any way linked to the terror threat in Europe?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's certainly a question, Becky, that many people here in Pakistan and other places will be asking. Now, we have consulted two different Pakistani sources, one of them from the government, one of them from the intelligence services. And both of them have separately told us that it was eight Germans that, in fact, were killed in this strike in the Mir Ali District of North Waziristan, which is, of course, a hotbed of both al Qaeda and the Taliban and also smaller insurgent groups, if you will.

Now, it's not clear whether this is really true, though. The one thing that we have to be mindful of is that if there is, indeed, a drone strike, that in many cases, it's very, very difficult to tell who was inside a house after it was struck by a missile. In many cases, you could only tell that with DNA evidence. Whether or not the Pakistanis had some sort of intelligence on this building, that's the question right now.

But right now, they are telling us they believe that eight Germans were in there. And then the question is, of course, were -- was this in any way possibly linked to that plot in Europe?

And that really still remains very much open. However, the one thing that we do know, Becky, is that the U.S. has been stepping up its drone strikes, in part, in connection with this possible terror plot. So there are some links that appear to be there. It's not really clear, however, whether these eight individuals were, in fact, possibly linked to that terror plot -- Becky.

ANDERSON: All right, Fred, how is the Pakistani Taliban, then, retaliating?

PLEITGEN: Well, the Pakistani Taliban, it's interesting, because we were actually on the phone with a spokesperson for the Pakistani Taliban today. And they were saying that they are going to step up attacks on NATO convoys in direct retaliation for the step-up in American drone strikes. They told us that they've even created a hit squad, if you will, for NATO convoys. And we know that in the past four days, four NATO convoys have been hit by the Taliban, killing -- destroying some 50 tanker vehicles that were supposed to supply NATO with fuel.

Now, we were able to speak to some of the drivers who are supposed to drive these convoys. And they're in absolute fear.

Have a listen.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): A vital supply line for U.S. and other NATO troops in Afghanistan stopped in its tracks. This is Torkham, on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hundreds of trucks pass through here on their way to the Khyber Pass. But now, truckers spend their days drinking tea, worried about possible militant attacks, says driver Fayaz Muhammad: "We are very poor people and these trucks are everything we possess," he says, "and we fear the Taliban might come here and burn our containers. Last night, security guards came and warned us of possible militant attacks, so we did not sleep all night."

The route through Torkham is the most frequented for NATO supply convoys. Pakistan shut it down after a border incident involving a U.S. helicopter that Pakistani officials blamed for the death of three Pakistani soldiers.

Now, American military vehicles barely disguised with tarpaulins, sit out in the open on trailers.

(on camera): When Pakistan first stopped the convoys, most of the trucks were parked by the side of the road. But by now, most of them have been moved to safer yards and lots, out of fear they could get attacked by militants.

(voice-over): Local police in the town of Peshawar recently displayed stolen goods they seized in a raid, increasingly military gear and even personal items of American soldiers. All of it was allegedly on sale on the black market.

"It's a security problem and we are facing this problem," this truck driver says. "Earlier, militants targeted other containers. They may do so again and target my container, as well."

Pakistan's government says it will reopen the transit route relatively soon, but would not be more specific. For these truckers, every day spent here in Torkham means money lost and prolonged exposure to militant attacks. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Khyber Pass, U.S. and other troops are waiting for supplies so important for their efforts in Afghanistan.


PLEITGEN: Now, Becky, of course, there is still a second transit route that is, in fact, open through Pakistan into Afghanistan for NATO supplies. And, of course this is not something that's probably going to derail the war effort or anything.

However, as you see, 50 tanker trucks destroyed in just a couple of days. That is something that does hurt the effort in Afghanistan somewhat -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Frederik Pleitgen is in Islamabad for you.

Fred, thank you for that.

As Fred mentioned, the main supply route through Peshawar was shut down after Pakistan said that three of its soldiers had been killed by a NATO helicopter strike.

Well, earlier, I spoke to NATO spokesman James Appathurai in Brussels.

I put it to him that Pakistan's anger should come as no surprise, considering the repeated foreign attacks on its own soil.

This is what he told me.


JAMES APPATHURAI, NATO SPOKESMAN: To be clear, there haven't been repeated attacks inside Pakistan's borders. A few times, Afghan or NATO personnel have come under attack from militants firing from inside Pakistani territory who came across. And they fired back in self-defense.

Unfortunately, in one incident, they fired back and Pakistani soldiers were in the line of fire.

This morning, the secretary-general met with the Pakistani foreign minister, Qureshi. He expressed his regret for that incident. He expressed his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and he committed to what is already underway, which is a joint Pakistani-NATO investigation: "We will draw the lessons learned from that to improve coordination between our forces and Pakistani forces."

ANDERSON: On the Pakistan border, you have said that NATO reserves the right to defend itself if attacked by those who are retreating back over the border.

Is that happening more frequently than it has in the past?

APPATHURAI: There's a very interesting question. There are certainly large numbers of militants who are crossing the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan, not just in the east, also in the south. I don't know if the numbers are going up. They might well be. And it is a situation in which neither Pakistan nor Afghanistan nor, for that, NATO, can turn -- can turn a blind eye to. We need to, in cooperation with our Pakistani partners, step up our cooperation on the border to stem the flow of militants coming across the border, because they are killing Afghans, they're killing our soldiers, they're destabilizing the country.

And, by the way, Pakistan knows -- and the foreign minister made that point this morning -- Pakistan knows that instability in Afghanistan will, sooner or late -- and probably sooner -- further destabilize Pakistan. So this is a shared interest, to stem the flow of militants across the border, by the way, in both directions.

ANDERSON: Have you received any assurances that the border that is currently closed at present and it vital for the supply route into Paki -- into Afghanistan, have you received any assurances from the Pakistani government that that will reopen any time soon?

APPATHURAI: Let me say three things.

First, the border isn't closed. There's another transit point through which supplies are moving just fine.

Second, we have plenty of supplies inside of Afghanistan, lots of stores and multiple routes, including from the north, to bring supplies in. So for the moment, this is not having any kind of strategic effect on our operations.

That being said, the secretary-general did express to the foreign minister this morning his disaster to see this one gate, Torkham Gate, opened as quickly as possible. Foreign Minister Qureshi promised to work on that.

ANDERSON: Well, you say this border point isn't important, but it is surely vital for supplies going in through Pakistan. It's one of a number of borders. I mean the supply route is -- is such that Afghanistan needs supplies. They come in through Pakistan.

Is it really right to say that this makes no difference at all?

APPATHURAI: Well, I didn't say it makes no difference at all. What I've said is that until now, the closure of this one point, this one transit point to NATO supplies -- because it's actually open for other supplies -- for the last five days hasn't had a strategic impact on our operations. As I mentioned, we have other entry routes and lots of supplies inside the country.

After a while, it would start to have an effect. But we hope that it will be open soon. And as I said, the foreign minister committed to work on that in his discussions this morning with the secretary-general.


ANDERSON: A NATO spokesman speaking to me earlier.

So how does NATO transport its troops and supplies into Afghanistan?

Well, the bloc's supply route runs through Peshawar, across the border and into Afghanistan. However, most troops and weapons are flown in from a U.S. air base in Kyrgyzstan, while other supplies can be brought in by truck and rail through Southern Pakistan and also Uzbekistan.

Connecting the world for you here on CNN.

Coming up, one father's mission to stamp out bullying and stop other parents from suffering a tragedy -- a new CONNECT THE WORLD series this week, in 60 seconds.

Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Well, candles are lit to remember a Rutgers University student who committed suicide in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Eighteen- year-old Tyler Clementi jumped off a bridge after a video showing him in a sexual encounter with another man was posted on the Internet. Two fellow students, who are accused of policing the cameras in Tyler's room, have been since charged with invasion of privacy.

All this week on CONNECT THE WORLD, we're going to take an in-depth look at bullying -- the sometimes tragic consequences and what's being done to stamp it out.

We're going to begin with the story of Kirk Smalley, whose son took his own life after being bullied at school, as Carol Costello now reports, he is determined to make sure that no other father has to suffer the same loss.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kirk Smalley is on a mission. There he is, an honored guest at Oklahoma City's Western Heights High School, trying to put a stop to bullying.

KIRK SMALLEY, TY SMALLEY'S FATHER: I have to make a difference. I promised my son on Father's Day this year I'd stop this from happening to another child.

COSTELLO: For years, Smalley's son, Ty, struggled with a bully at school.

(on camera): And when you say he was being picked on, how was he being picked on?

SMALLEY: Oh, name calling. Ty was always kind of small -- a shove here, a push there, you know.

COSTELLO (voice-over): His father says Ty was a typical kid with typical grades who took the abuse for two years. On the day Ty finally decided to push back physically, he got into trouble. He was suspended from school. For Ty, that was too much to bear. On that day last May, he killed himself. He was 11 years old.

SMALLEY: Ultimately, my son's safety rested in my hands. I was responsible for my son's safety. I -- I don't hold...

COSTELLO: That's a harsh thing to say about yourself. I mean...

SMALLEY: I'm his dad.

COSTELLO: I know but he's out in the world...

SMALLEY: It's my job to protect him. No matter what, no matter where he was, it was my job to protect him.

COSTELLO (voice-over): But how do you protect your child from a bully?

Assistant Deputy Education Secretary Kevin Jennings was appointed by President Obama to keep kids safe at school. Ty's story could have easily been his own.

(on camera): Were you bullied in school?

KEVIN JENNINGS, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, OFFICE OF SAFE & DRUG FREE SCHOOLS: Like many, kids I was bullied very severely when I was in junior high and high school. And the first day of 10th grade, I actually refused to go back to school because I simply wasn't going to go back to a place where I got bullied every day.

COSTELLO (voice-over): Jennings organized the nation's first ever bullying summit. But he admits it's a baby step.

Experts can't even agree on how to define bullying -- is it physical, electronic, psychological, nonverbal or all of the above?

(on camera): When might something happen?

When might the federal government act and say these are the guidelines we want to put in place, do it?

JENNINGS: I think that it's taken us a long time to develop a bullying problem and it's going to take us some time to solve it.

COSTELLO (voice-over): It's why there are no federal guidelines schools must follow to deal with bullying. They're on their own. In Smalley's home state of Oklahoma, each school district deals with bullying in different ways. It's something else that infuriates Smalley.

SMALLEY: A lot of schools around the country, their answer to bullying is they -- they let the victim leave a little bit early. They let them go home early to get a head start on the bully. And you're singling this child out. This child that's being picked on, you're singling him out now.

COSTELLO: Real solutions will come too late for Ty, but Kirk Smalley is on that mission.

SMALLEY: We've kept this alive through the summer.

COSTELLO: It's why he organizes vigils at the Oklahoma statehouse. He thinks bullying ought to be a crime. And it's why he tries to convince other kids to stand up for the bully.

SMALLEY: Save the fragile self-esteem, save their lives.

COSTELLO: It's his promise to a boy who loved his family, hunting and the St. Louis Cardinals.

SMALLEY: We haven't done Ty's last load of laundry because it still smells like him. We haven't washed his sheets because I can go in there and lay on his bed and still smell my boy. You want to learn what bullying and suicide's all about, you talk to the people directly who it affects the most.


ANDERSON: Carol Costello reporting for you.

We want to take a very quick look at the main reasons why kids are bullied in Europe.

Disability came in next, at 34 percent.

And the clothes children wear can also lead to bullying.

Well, bullying these days doesn't just happen in the classroom, it also happens online, of course, where there's virtually no escape.


ANDERSON: We want to take a very quick look at the main reasons why kids are bullied in Europe. A new survey out by the British Council, differences in physical appearance were the main trigger, they say. Thirty-nine percent of schools across the continent said things like kids' height and weight lead to bullying. Disability came in next, at 34 percent. Thirty percent of schools surveyed said skin color was also a factor. And the clothes children wear can also lead to bullying at school.

Well, bullying, these days, doesn't just happen in the classroom, it also happens online, of course, where there's virtually no escape.

A look at cyber bullying tomorrow, as we continue our special look this week at an issue that affects kids all over the world.


ANDERSON: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN at half past nine in London. I'm Becky Anderson.

Coming up, linking two countries that at first glance seem worlds apart. We need your input for our latest Global Connections challenge.

And then, let the games begin. India puts on a spectacular opening ceremony, hoping weeks of controversy won't overshadow the actual competition at the Commonwealth Games.

And still ahead, one of the world's most famous designers celebrating four decades in fashion. Roberto Cavalli will be answering your questions tonight as your Connector of the Day.

Those stories ahead in the next 30 minutes here on CNN. First, a very quick check of the headlines for you this hour.

Japan is the latest country to urge its citizens to be cautious in Europe over fear of possible terror attacks. The warning comes one day after the US issued a general travel alert for Americans in Europe. Similar advisories are coming from Canada and Britain.

This year's Nobel Prize for Medicine is going to British biologist Robert G. Edwards. He helped develop the in-vitro fertilization treatment, which lead to the first test tube infant in 1978. Since then, at least four million couples with infertility have had kids.

Europe's top golfers defeated the Americans at the Ryder Cup after the weather cleared up today. Europe won fourteen and a half points to thirteen and a half. Rain had forced play into Monday for the first time in Ryder Cup history.

Those are your world headlines. It's time now for Global Connections.

All right. It's time to join the dots between two countries that at first appear to be worlds apart. This is where we ask you to get on board and help us make the Global Connections. We're going to tell you how to get involved in just a moment.

First, though, we've chosen this week two countries at opposite ends of the silk road. But you're already coming up with more modern connections. Let's look at the countries a little more closely for you.

We're going to begin in China, home to one of the most famous manmade structures on Earth. Construction on the Great Wall began more than 2,000 years ago. But most of what we see now was done by the Ming Dynasty in the 14th century. By the way, to debunk an urban myth, no one who has actually visited the moon has seen the Great Wall from there.

Even older than the Great Wall, among the countless inventions and innovations that China has given the world, from calendars to gunpowder, it also invented ice cream some 4,000 years ago. China also claims to have the world's largest online population, with more than 420 million internet users.

Far to China's west, but still part of Asia, is Turkey. Istanbul is the only city in the world with a foot in two continents. As far back as 1889, people traveled on the famous Orient Express from western Europe to Istanbul, the final stop. Agatha Christie wrote her famous "Murder on the Orient Express" after making the journey.

And speaking of history, Turkey is home to two of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Ephesus, shown here, is home to the Temple of Artemis. The other is the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.

Those are just some of the unique things about China and Turkey. I'm joined now by someone who's going to help us out just a little bit more. Our friend Craig Glenday is editor in chief of Guinness World Records, a regular on this show recently. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Renowned as the ultimate authority on speculative facts and feats, what can you tell us about China and Turkey?

CRAIG GLENDAY, EDITOR IN CHIEF, GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS: I'm -- Turkey -- I must -- two great countries, I must state, to begin with. I've spent quite a bit of time in both and love them both. Turkey, though, my very first experience was a disaster.

I was meant to be doing a TV show with the guy with the longest nose, who's Turkish. He has this almost nine-centimeter-long nose. And it really could pop on eye out of an eyeball socket. Otherwise, she missed her flight, and I got bitten something in Istanbul, which meant I couldn't do anything. We canceled the show, and I was hospitalized.

But what I discovered was a fantastic experience in the hospital, so Turkey's got fantastic medical care service. And since learning this after the show, I've realized, of course, that Turkey has the most hospital beds per capita. Fascinating.

Of course, China has more beds because it's China and has most of everything. It's got the most people, the most blind people, I've discovered. The most soldiers, the most smokers. Two out of every three cigarettes smoked is smoked in China.


GLENDAY: It just has everything. It's got the history, as well. So, there's at least two very rich countries from which to pick connections. Although, it wasn't easy.

ANDERSON: All right. We asked the viewers to do that, of course, but when you were on, Craig, we also asked you to come up with some of your own. So go on, what have you found this week. Connect the two.

GLENDAY: The easiest thing -- and why I was in China was to measure the world's -- first of all, tallest man. Which is a surprise for China to have someone who's seven foot nine as he was. And they also -- they have the shortest man in China.

And now, recently, Turkey has the tallest and shortest. And now, the tallest man is Turkish, the shortest woman in the world is Turkish, the smallest many was Chinese. It's just --

ANDERSON: How wonderful.

GLENDAY: For some reason -- Yes. But too many wonderful records in terms of the human body. As I said, the biggest nose.

Other things I found interesting was the -- also, you mentioned the Silk Road in the history of the two countries.

More importantly was hemp, surprisingly, originated in both countries, seemingly at the same time. And both times grown for the first time ever in history for its products or its byproducts. For clothing, for fishing nets, all sorts of different products came out of hemp. It's fantastic.

And also a fantastic and odd connection, I think, is in wrestling. The Mongolian -- Inner Mongolia is crazy. I've been there and seen this, Mongolian wrestling. It's also very big in Turkey. And the Turks more or less invented wresting. And it's the very first sport that's organized. It's the first competitive sport that's been organized since 1460, I think, there's been regular -- Every year, there's been these sports enthusiasts.

ANDERSON: How did you find this connection this week, though? Because we've -- this is, I think, the fifth or sixth week that we've been doing this, now. And we've connected Canada with the Ivory Coast, we've connected India with Germany. How did you find China and Turkey?

GLENDAY: Well, you think -- initially, you think that there's bound to be a lot of things. There's bound to be plenty. Because of the size and the history, there's bound to be something. But it proved to be very, very difficult. It's going to be interesting to see what the viewers come up with. I'm going to be watching the site, fascinated to see something.

Well, on the other hand, I'll give you another one, actually. Weight lifting. There's a bit of numbers come up this year on the site. The Turkish men are very good at weightlifting, but so are the Chinese women.


GLENDAY: And because of it, both countries in terms of the sexes have won the most gold medals in terms of weightlifting. So then, that's another one.

ANDERSON: All right. Well, that's your challenge. He really is an expert, isn't he? But we're already getting some terrific submissions. Thank you, Craig, very much indeed for that, on how Turkey and China are connected apart from their shared Asian history.

We've heard about the similar appearance of both countries flags and also the significance of the month of October, during which both countries celebrate their national day. As always, we really like to hear your personal stories as well. Do you have links to both countries or just one of the countries. Make your connections,, and join the discussion.

Just before we go, you didn't get bitten by the man with the biggest nose, which is why you were hospitalized while in Turkey?

GLENDAY: Well, I don't think so. It was something in the middle of the night.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. Craig for you with CONNECT THE WORLD. Going beyond borders on the stories that matter. Stay with us. We'll be back in 60 seconds.


ANDERSON: One thousand drummers welcoming 72 teams from around the globe. After weeks of criticism, the Commonwealth Games started with a bang on Sunday. Hundreds of dancers from across India performed a dance of the seasons at the opening ceremony. Their display of hot pink, lavender, silver, and gold.

Allegations of corruption, security lapses, construction failures, and hygiene concerns, the build-up for the Commonwealth Games has been plagued by problems. But as our reporter Sara Sidner found, the focus can now turn to sport and bringing together athletes from around the world.


SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Day one of the actual competition between the athletes for the Commonwealth Games finally got underway today, and things seemed to go very smoothly. There have been medals already handed out as well. There was a gold for Australia, a gold for Canada, a gold for Nigeria, and India very happy to have a silver and bronze in women's weightlifting.

As for the city itself, Delhi a little quieter than it normally is. Travel agents tell us that a lot of the citizens here, because of all that was going on with the security forces blocking off roads, they've gone out of town. And so you are seeing a little bit of an emptiness in some of these venues where these athletes are playing.

Some of the sports today -- swimming, gymnastics, table tennis, and weightlifting, as you heard earlier. But as for the Games in and of themselves, and as for security, everything has gone quite well today. There are a hundred thousand security forces in the city, all in and around those venues. And really, in some places, there are more security forces than there are actual people going in and out of the venues.

But Delhi, I think, at this point in time is really breathing a sigh of relief. The organizers saying, "Look. We pulled this off. We had a wonderful opening ceremony that everyone seemed to appreciate. It was dazzling, and we were able to have a nice smooth beginning to what is, basically, a two-week event. Sara Sidner, CNN, Delhi, India.


ANDERSON: All right. Well, on the pitch, then, in the pool and in the stadiums, there was plenty of action on day one of the Games. Where are the fans? Here are some images showing just how few spectators there were at some of the events. Australia's netballers actually scored more goals than there were fans watching them. Only 58 spectators showed up to see the team beat Samoa 76-39. The hockey stadium can seat over 19,000, but only about 100 spectators came to watch New Zealand beat Wales.

In contrast, India's test cricket match against Australia in the city of Mohali was packed. Many believe India should be proud of getting the Games off the ground and putting on a lavish opening ceremony. But at the same time, you can't ignore that long list of infrastructural problems. For his take on this, I spoke to Rajdeep Sardesai, one of India's top journalists earlier on. This is what he told me.


RAJDEEP SARDESAI, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, CNN-IBN: There is a new self- confidence to India, which was on display yesterday. There's an enormous creative artistry to Indian professionals, which was on display yesterday. And Indians have this unique ability to get everything right at the last minute.

Yes, there has been -- there have been serious allegations of corruption as, indeed, there are before most major events, not just of India, but in different parts of the world. I think some of the allegations were genuine. A few of them were overstated. I think there is much that the government has to answer for for the last-minute preparations. And it didn't show India in good light to have the village organized at the last minute.

But at the end of the day, I think there's a huge reservoir of talent, which came to the fore yesterday. Many of the people who you saw during the opening ceremony were from the private sector. Private professionals. And I think that's what really scored. It wasn't the government of India on display last night, it was as much of our Indian talent, which really was wanting to be showcased to a wider world. And I think that's really what enabled India to save the day in the end.

ANDERSON: Allegations overstated or not, it's not great marketing for the country, is it? When you see the sort of reports that we've seen over the past seven, eight, or nine days. And yet, the stadiums will be full for the India-Australia cricket test. Why is that?

SARDESAI: I think -- look. Cricket is a national passion and, again, India tends to be a one-sport country, and our obsession with cricket, that's where the crowds gravitate towards cricket.

But on the other hand, in the Commonwealth Games itself, I think the various controversies that have spiraled around the Games have created a huge interest, even among the average Indian in the Games itself.

The sad part is that the tickets are often overpriced and, therefore, the average Indian citizen doesn't get access to it. The security is very tight, many people don't want to go through that security fortress. And I think that, perhaps, lets down the Games in a way.

I think where we've failed is to make these Games a public festival. I think Delhi was the wrong city, in a sense before the Games because it's caught in what we call "the VIP culture." Everyone here is a VIP, everyone knows someone else. And I think only the VIPs really get access to the Games.

This should have been a public celebration, and that has been missing, I think. That's something which I think is disappointing.


SARDESAI: That we haven't been able to involve more people. The average Indian citizen hasn't got involved in the Games, isn't really as interested in the Games because A, this obsession with cricket and B, because the Games have been managed and marketed rather badly.

ANDERSON: Let's admit, it's early doors at this point. The Games -- we've got a couple of weeks to go, and people may get more enthusiastic about things. But at this point, what do you think the legacy of these Games will be?

SARDESAI: I think the legacy is that India will remain a 50-50 country unless the government of India really gets its act together.


ANDERSON: That as we kick off the Commonwealth Games.

His creations are never far away from the red carpet. Up next, we're going to talk to your Connector of the Day today. Roberto Cavalli, the designer who has influenced the fashion world for 40 years. Stay with us.



ANDERSON (voice-over): Known for his bold colors and wild prints, designer Roberto Cavalli is never afraid to turn heads. The Italian-born artist has been at the top of the fashion world for nearly four decades with boutiques, cafes, and even a dog clothing collection.

Born in Florence to family of artists, Cavalli originally enrolled at the local art institute. But it took only a few sketches for him to get noticed by the fashion industry.

Today, he's a favorite of celebrities, known for what is described as his party glamour. This year, he's celebrating the label's 40th anniversary and has come out with a new book documenting the brand evolution.

Dazzling one dress at a time, Roberto Cavalli is your Connector of the Day.


ANDERSON: Yes, he is. In Paris on Sunday, Roberto Cavalli threw a massive garter to mark a milestone, 40 years in the fashion industry. So I asked him what that feels like, and here's what he had to say.


ROBERTO CAVALLI, DESIGNER: I'm happy to see so much love around me. I can see everybody, especially last night. It was an unbelievable party to celebrate my 40 years. And I see -- I see it tears flowing from the eyes to everybody that's admiring me and it's the biggest thing.

ANDERSON: Gayle has written to us, Roberto. She says, simply, "Why is it that Italians do fashion so much better than everybody else?"


CAVALLI: OK, thank you very much, anyway. I want -- especially me, I want to better because I was born in Florence. I grow in Florence. I breathe the Florence air, atmosphere. I breathe the art of Florence. And I studied art. I didn't study anything about fashion. Fashion came suddenly.

ANDERSON: Lara has written to us. She says, "What does it feel like to see your creations come to life?"

CAVALLI: Most of the time, I like it very much. I feel so proud when I see a beautiful woman in one, in one beautiful party, like last night, when they celebrated my 40 years. And the most beautiful women and my best friends were around me. I feel very good.

Unfortunately, sometimes -- my collection, my line is very sexy. Very sexy. The line between sexy and vulgar is very, very thin.


CAVALLI: And sometimes I think my dresses, they are not -- the women, they don't wear in the right way. And most of the time, I say, "OK, buy my clothes, but you have to pay attention to how I show my dress in the runway, because that is very vulgar."

For I set each one very special sexy dress. Sometimes in the runway with the model, I show with the flat shows. If suddenly you start to wear the same dress with the high boots, gold, or with one disgusting hair or makeup, everything changes.

ANDERSON: Faria has written to us, and she asks, "Who were the two people through history who you would love to dress today with your designs, and what would you dress them in?"

CAVALLI: I -- because I don't like to make names. Maybe there are so many people that I would like to dress. Michelle Obama, for example. That -- for me, she's a very charming woman. You know, sometimes I feel that she could be more special. You understand, in the classic way, of course, because I know she's -- I know how important she is. But I'm sure that I can do something more -- I don't know. Classy for her. Maybe in the way that she could dress, I would like to give a special personality for her, like she has.

Another one -- one of the stars that I never met and I admire because she has such beautiful eyes is Angelina Jolie.

ANDERSON: We've got a great question here from Neo, one that everybody wants answered. What is your opinion about Lady Gaga's meat dress at the recent VMAs?

CAVALLI: I think Lady Gaga, she -- I designed something for her, because I know that through my office in my New York. I never met Lady Gaga. I think that is one woman fantastic, full of personality. I'm sure she doesn't need me. She doesn't need me as a personality. She doesn't need me to create power her to. She has enough.

ANDERSON: If you could describe the label in a sentence, what would it be?

CAVALLI: To describe with one word Roberto Cavalli? I don't know. Charismatic, for one. Charismatic and warm, maybe. Or maybe -- oh, dear, no. For sure it is not enough, one word to describe, first, my character. Because -- fashion's like me, I am like my fashion. I don't know who is the first or who is the second one.



ANDERSON: Great. Roberto Cavalli, there, your Connector of the Day. And tomorrow, we've got a sports start who put his fame and life on the line. Hear why Zimbabwean cricketer Henry Olonga doesn't regret taking a stand against Robert Mugabe.

Remember, you can send in your questions for all of our Connectors at, and tell us who you'd like to see in the hot seat. It's your part of the show. Do remember that. Your Connector of the Day, Tonight, we'll be right back.


ANDERSON: Just dance. That's what flight attendants are doing in Cebu Pacific Airlines.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should there be a rapid change in cabin pressure, oxygen masks will automatically drop from the compartments above you. When this happens, immediately grab the mask, pull it towards you, put it over your nose and mouth, and breathe normally.

If you are traveling with a child, first put on your own mask --


ANDERSON: The crew danced the safety dance to the beat of Lady Gaga. Surprisingly, the video went viral, the airline says the dance comes after the regular safety demonstration. It says the company does not compromise safety, but it says it wants to have a little bit of fun, too.

A torrential downpour gives way to a champagne bath. Tonight's Parting Shots focuses on the Ryder Cup for you. The first in its 83-year history that finished on a Monday because of repeated rain delays. But who cares about the timing. All that matters is the win.

Here we see part of Team Europe celebrating their victory over the Americans. The man you see here getting doused helped them retake the cup in a nail-biting finish. Graham McDowell beat Hunter Mahan in their singles match, allowing Europe to clinch victory by one point. Team USA and their fans and their hopes crushed. But captain Corey Pavin says he's still proud of the tough fight.

Our final Parting Shot shows a fan that, perhaps -- well, who perhaps looks a little bit confused. But we still love his love of the game. He's not sure who he's supporting there.

Many of you are fans of the game as well, and you're sharing your thoughts on the blog, and Smashed can barely contain his excitement, writing, "Six out of the last eight Ryder Cups go to Europe. USA haven't won away in 17 years, while Europe have won away twice in that time. Boom, baby!" he says.

Somebody who goes by the name of OurLord is also thrilled. "Tense stuff, great game. The last match at the 17th hole doesn't get much closer than that. Delighted that we Europe regained the title."

Rrod182, however, doesn't seem as impressed, asking "When did Europe become a country?"

AceRyder took issue with the headline on our story, writing, "Couldn't the title of this article have been something like, 'Ryder Cup Decided' so that I could still go home and watch the recorded match and not know the outcome?"

And finally from herrick9, "The Ryder Cup is one of the last great sporting contests left on the planet. Perhaps next time around it won't have been played in water."

Of course, you can always get your voice heard, is the website, and do keep in touch.

I'm Becky Anderson. That is your world connected this Monday out of London. "BackStory" is next, right after a very quick check of the headlines for you.