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Interview with Chile's President; Show of Strength in the Congo; Is Osama bin Laden in Pakistan?; Viewers Asked to Make Global Connections Between South Korea and Poland. British Newspaper Has Video of Two FIFA Executive Committee Members Allegedly Agreeing to Exchange Votes for Compensation on World Cup Location. A Look at Bidding Process for World Cup Locations. Afghan and Pakistani Agricultural Ministers Tour US Farm for Help in Crop Production. Parting Shots of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's World Tour.

Aired October 18, 2010 - 16:00:00   ET



SEBASTIAN PINERA, CHILEAN PRESIDENT: I can assure you that when they go back to the mine, it will not be the same mine, because we have learned the lessons.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Chile's president tells CNN how the rescue of 33 trapped miners means his country will never be the same again. Well, it could have all gone so wrong. Joining the list of major disasters, including this deadly earthquake. Tonight, Chile's image in the eyes of the world -- how a nation believes it could quite literally put the lid on all its troubles.

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

Well, the rescue of Chile's miners is a rare good news story that has captivated all of us around the world and many of you wanted Chile's president to be your Connector of the Day.

So this morning, I put your questions to him.

I'm Becky Anderson in London.

My interview with Sebastian Pinera coming right up this hour.

Also tonight, a rare look inside the Congo -- women in one village tell us of the unspeakable horrors they faced and how they can no longer trust their own military.

And NATO tells CNN where they think this man is hiding. And if you think Osama bin Laden is in a cave or even in Afghanistan, they say you're wrong.

And do go to connect with this show on Twitter. My personal address is atbeckycnn. Do log on and join in the conversation.

Well, we begin a long way from the dusty plains near the San Jose Mine. Chilean president, Sebastian Pinera, is on his first leg of a scheduled European tour -- a victory lap of sorts, beginning right here in London.

Well, before we hear from the man, just let's reflect for a moment on some of his most testing moments and the president has during the rescue.


ANDERSON (voice-over): August the 22nd, 33 miners in Chile have been trapped almost a half a mile underground for more than two weeks. No one above ground even knew if they had survived, until an exploratory drill finally broke through to the emergency shelter where the men had taken refuge.

Chile's president, Sebastian Pinera, himself held up a note and announced it to the world -- they were alive.

A pivotal moment for Pinera, a self-made billionaire turned politician, who had only been in office for five months.

For the next two months, he made regular visits to the mine site, meeting families, talking with rescuers and keeping the world updated on the status of the men trapped far below.

PINERA: I can assure you that we have done everything possible. We have done our best to rescue them alive and we will succeed in this tremendous effort.

ANDERSON: After a few weeks, some of the families began to accuse him of politicizing the plight of the miners. He rejected that criticism and his popularity surged, as the drills bore down.

When the rescue finally began last week, Pinera stayed at the site for more than 24 hours, to personally greet and embrace every man who emerged from the mine.

PINERA: We're so proud of all of you, of all of the 33 miners, because you have given us such an example of friendship and courage and loyalty.

ANDERSON: The rescue was unprecedented and Pinera says the world has taken note of what his country has accomplished.

PINERA: And I'm sure that Chile today is more respected. And I'm sure that people have known better about this small country, very far away for the rest of the world, but a country that is able to fight against adversity.

ANDERSON: Now, he's on a whirlwind trip abroad, planned before the accident, meeting with the British prime minister and the queen. Tuesday, he continues to Paris and then Berlin later in the week, hoping to use his newfound fame to boost Chile's profile on the global stage.


ANDERSON: Well, I caught up with the president during his quick trip to London and put to him your questions as your Connector of the Day.

And I began by asking him to take us back us to how he felt during those initial 17 days when no contact at all had yet been made with the miners.

This is what he said.


PINERA: Actually, we didn't know where they were. We didn't know whether they were alive or dead. We started drilling blindly. And their families had such a strong faith.

When I went to the mine immediately after the accident, they told me, don't give up, they are alive. Search for them and rescue them. And I told the families, we will search for them as if they were our sons. We will do whatever is necessary to rescue them. That was a personal commitment.

And for 17 days, there was a lot of anguish and uncertainty in the families and also in our government. And then we arrived to that magnificent Sunday, August the 22nd, which, for me, was a very special day, because that day, my father-in-law passed away. And I was where -- with my wife. We spent the whole night with him. And his last words were, "Don't give up. Keep searching. It's your responsibility. It's your duty."

So I decided to go to the mine immediately after. My wife said go there, because something will happen today. And I arrived to the mine and will receive this message -- "We are well in the shelter," the 33. It was an explosion of joy and happiness.

Tears all over the country and I think that all over the world.

ANDERSON: We've got some questions from our viewers from all over the world.

Lucy Ling asks: "Was there ever a moment when you lost hope and thought this wasn't going to work?"

PINERA: Really, no. I -- I had a profound conviction for the very first moment. I think that the -- the families were so convinced that they were alive, that each time I went to visit them at the mine, during those 17 days of anguish, I was reinforced in our conviction that they were alive. I had some kind of inner voice that told me, keep searching, keep searching, don't give up.

ANDERSON: And then, of course, the first miner was being winched to the surface. Take me through that moment.

PINERA: That moment was so magnificent (ph). It was Florencio Avalos, the first man to come out of the mine. I -- I really -- I -- I will never forget that moment. It was so -- so overwhelming. It was so breathtaking when he came out and -- and we shared a hug with him.

ANDERSON: How do you think your position, not just as a president, but as a media mogul, helped to keep this story in the spotlight?

PINERA: It was a dramatic story. It started as a tragedy. For 17 days, it was only anguish. I remember Winston Churchill, what he said, tears, blood and sweat. And it was similar. But we had the same motivation, faith and commitment.

ANDERSON: Dan Adejo has written to us. He says: "Sir, what plans do you have for the miners? I hope they are not going back down to the mine."

PINERA: It will be up to them. They are miners. They come from miners' families. But I can assure you that if they go back to the mine, it will not be the same mine, because we have learned the lessons and we will improve dramatically the security to protect the lives, the integrity, the health.

And it would not be only for that mine, but for all the mining sectors in Chile and also the private sectors.

ANDERSON: Mining makes up 40 percent of Chile's income. You said that things need to get better.

How can you ensure that an accident like this doesn't happen again?

PINERA: We've learned the lessons. And we are revising and changing our regulations, our procedures. We are trying to adopt First World standards in terms of security. And we are part of the OECD. And that will be our standard.

So we will change our regulations and procedures. And more important than that, we will make sure that they are enforced in the field, because that's where it is important.

ANDERSON: This has been a tumultuous seven months for you -- the earthquake and then the mining story, the mining rescue. This story has galvanized people -- people who until now, have been fairly polarized as -- as a nation.

How do you tear down the walls now between the have and the have-nots?

And when you talk about Grand Chile going forward, what does that mean?

PINERA: I think that the lessons we can take from this accident is that when the country's united and committed with faith, with hope, using the best possible technologies and the best possible human teams, we are able to achieve goals that, for some people could seem as impossible. And now we have another challenge. Our new challenges are to defeat poverty before the end of this decade, to defeat under development, to create a society with more freedom, with more equality, with more opportunities and also with more values.

ANDERSON: Some of the miners are looking for between $4,000 and $25,000 for interviews. It's perhaps understandable.

What's your response to that?

PINERA: I would tell them that, as they told me, they have experienced a kind of rebirth. They have reborn. And they have to be very wise on how they will take these new opportunities. Many people don't have a second opportunity in their lives. And I'm sure there was a kind of miracle down in the earth with the miners. They are not the same that the people that were caught 70 days ago.

But also in the -- in the whole -- in the surface, with the Chileans, we are not the same. And I think that we have to learn from this very emotional and strong experience.

Now, what they're willing to do from now on, it's up to them. But I hope that they will take the right positions and they will take good advantage of this opportunity of a new life.


ANDERSON: Some people say he's basking in the glory of this mine rescue. I say, to a certain extent, give him his due. They worked really hard and it was a real success.

Now, during the trip, the Chilean president gave a special gift both to the keen here and to the British prime minister, David Cameron. He presented them with rocks from the bottom of the San Jose Mine.

Well, I didn't get those for you. But not to be outdone, I did get this -- something for CONNECT THE WORLD and something for you. This is what he gave us.

You may remember on day, August the 22nd, when we saw the miners deep underground, the day they discovered -- or the world discovered that they were fine. And this is a copy of what they held up that day, August the 22nd. And it simply says, "We are fine down bottom of the refuge shaft or the mine -- the 33."

And there you see it for real.

Amazing stuff.

And you can check out more of this interview and what happened behind the scenes on our new Facebook site. I know it sounds as if we're really late to the game, doesn't it, but we're there. Cnnconnect is the site. And while you're there, don't forget to become a fan and leave your comments for us. Just head to

Well, this incredible stories of survival have not only forged lifelong friendships and bonds, of course, between the 33 miners, it's also connecting countries that have been historically and politically distanced despite sharing a border. Just one of the 33 miners, Carlos Mamani, is Bolivian. And here, he is just moments after the -- he was rescued, wearing a shirt with the Chilean flag, signaling a special tie that he now has with his adopted country. The 24-year-old has chosen, at least for the time being, to stay in Chile despite receiving an offer from the Bolivian president, Evo Morales, to come home.

And here he is in hospital just hours later, surrounded by both the president and his family.

I did ask the Chilean president whether they'd give him honorary citizenship. And he said if he wants it, he has it. Let's start with happens in the future.

Joining the dots for you on the day's best stories.

I'm Becky Anderson for you in London.

We've all, sadly, heard the terrible statistics from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Up next, we're going to hear how some people are fighting back -- victims of sexual violence take a stand in the country the United Nations calls the rape capital of the world.

And later, is the world getting any closer to finding Osama bin Laden?

Well, we analyze some new information for you from NATO.

Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Welcome back.

you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

I'm Becky Anderson for you in London at just about 16 minutes past 9:00 here.

Now, the fact that it happened even once is unthinkable. But in some villages, the crime repeats again and again.

Turning now the Democratic Republic of Congo for you, where the miseries of war are compounded by mass rape.

As Nima Elbagir reports, Congolese women have now staged an incredible show of strength, unwilling to be victims any longer.

Take a look at this.



(on camera): "My heart is in pain," they sing. "Why are you raping me?"

These women are rape survivors. Many of them left their hospital beds to come today and join this march. They've even chosen to identify themselves. In a country where rape still carries a huge stigma and where, according to human rights groups and the United Nations, it's often used as a weapon of war, this is an act of bravery.

But that's the point of today, to do away with stigma and intimidation, but, more importantly, to demand the world's attention just weeks after reports of mass rapes by Rwandan-led rebels, local militias and the Congolese military in the war-ravaged East Congo.

(on camera): This is as much a celebration as it is a victory for national awareness. Women from all around the world have joined women from all around the Congo to send the statement that violence against women has to stop. But not only that, but we are survivors and we're still here.

(voice-over): The demonstration was organized by the World March of Women, in cooperation with local women's organizations. But here in the Congo, even they have been amazed by the turnout.

CELIA ALLDRIDGE, WORLD MARCH OF WOMEN: Oh, it's just great that there's so many women out on the streets. It's just like that's what we do (INAUDIBLE) a whole bunch of women, because we marched. We believe that women should not be made prisoners in their own homes and that this is a public place.

ELBAGIR: And the Congolese women who have endured violence for so many years now believe that it's time they take their demands into the public arena. Women from all walks of life coming together to voice their pain.

(on camera): What does it mean to you to see all these women marching for the women of the Congo?

NITA VIELLE, CONGOLESE ACTIVIST: That tells me that they are -- they have enough -- enough, enough, enough of the war, of the rape, of the nobody paying attention to what's happening to them.

MARY GEORGES, CONGOLESE MARCHER: I'll tell you, it's a wonderful thing to see the women around the world, all of them together, just for one reason -- for the peace of the women of Congo. This is the -- the freedom of Congo women.

ELBAGIR: The epidemic of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo has reached such proportion that the U.N. calls it the rape capital of the world. In the last year alone, they said 15,000 women were raped in the east of the Congo.

MARGOT WALLSTROM, U.N. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE: A dead rat is worth more than the body of a woman, were the words of one distraught young woman in Belingkana (ph). It was an expression of how human rights violations against women are still the lowest on a fool's hierarchy of war time horrors.

ELBAGIR: But today, at least, the women of the Congo feel a little less helpless and a little less alone.

Nima Elbagir, Bukavu, the Democratic Republic of Congo.


ANDERSON: Well, the head of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Congo says military operations alone cannot guarantee security. He says the eastern region, where armed groups are terrorizing civilians, is about the size of Afghanistan.

Well, let's get more on the UN's response to the crisis now from Richard Roth, who's in New York -- Richard, what -- what can you tell us at this point?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.N. is conducting a review on how to improve security -- at least an attempt to, especially in East Congo, where these mass rapes occurred.

The government, though, according to some U.N. officials, is, in a way, more responsible because its troops have been responsible for some of the latest sexual attacks. There have been more unilateral government military operations which the U.N. peacekeeping force there has chosen not to take part in.

Now, the UN's coordinator for sexual violence against women, who we saw in that report testifying before the Security Council, also says that perhaps there should be more sanctions against those responsible. And she's urging the Congolese government to take action against those responsible for these sexual assaults.


WALLSTROM: It's a matter of justice. It's a matter of -- of the stigma -- if we are serious about ending impunity, this is where it starts, by going after the perpetrators, by making sure that we close all exits or all future career possibilities for -- for these guys and for -- for the real -- the commanders, the perpetrators.


ROTH: The U.N. likes to say it is these armed groups, these men who are committing crimes who are really those responsible. It understands that the U.N. could function better there. There are only about 18,000 or 19,000 military and civilian police that are on patrol in an area, as you mentioned, the size of Afghanistan. The U.N. says it's an enormous problem. They're trying to use more high frequency, solar phones, mobile phones. They're also opening up more forward operating bases.

But they are overstretched, as even the sexual violence coordinator says, and under resources. It's, Becky, another case of how much does the Security Council want to invest in Congo, which has been a country wracked by violence and has had many countries with rebel groups using it as a breeding ground for violence, fighting for valuable mineral resources.

ANDERSON: Yes, and that's the important question, just what does the U.N. want to invest at this point, because if there are very few measures, Richard, that the U.N. can take to prevent further attacks, is there or would there be ever enough forces or boots on the ground, U.N. wise, to prevent this from going on in the future?

ROTH: Well, in fact, recently, there was a drawdown of a couple of thousand soldiers. The government of Joseph Kabila had asked for this. And there will be another update in a few months as to whether there should be less peacekeepers there, or perhaps more. But there's been no request from the U.N. Peacekeeping Department for more soldiers.

I think they know that they're not going to get the troops that are volunteered by member countries who don't particularly have much at stake there. Africa, of course, dominates the Security Council's schedule -- many problem countries -- and there's not much of a political will to keep investing people there.

ANDERSON: Yes, Richard, we thank you for that, our senior U.N. correspondent.

You look at the connect line above Richard there, the world's response, perhaps, we should say, or lack of it this evening.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

I'm Becky Anderson.

As countries across the globe have battled it out for the chance that is the World Cup, we're going to take a look at why football's governing body is investigating some of its selectors.

Plus, the hunt for Osama bin Laden takes a new twist.

So, just where is he hiding?


ANDERSON: All right, for more than 30 years or more, indeed, Afghanistan has been tore -- torn apart by fighting. For generations of Afghans, war is all they have ever known.

Well, even the military might of the West has so far failed to stabilize the country. Some say it never will.

So all this week, we are going to take a look at the challenges facing those trying to bring peace back to this troubled land.

Well, for years, capturing OBL has been a central plank of the war on terror. Now, a top NATO official has given CNN new information about the al Qaeda leader's possible whereabouts.

Barbara Starr is in Kabul for you this evening.

She talked to me earlier.

This is what she said.


BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, here in Kabul, I've spoken to a senior NATO official, who says that they are very convinced that Osama bin Laden is alive and living a fairly comfortable existence across the border in Pakistan. They also believe he's living quite close by his number two, Ayman al-Zawahari.

I asked this source, OK, tell me where you really think he is. He said, look, if you ask me to draw a circle on a map, here's where I would draw that circle. And he -- he said it's a very large swath, perhaps bin Laden has ranged as far north as the Shatal area, the very northern tip of the tribal region near China.

But there's another area he pointed to that was quite interesting, the Kalam Valley of Pakistan -- mountainous, remote area but, oddly enough, Becky, right across the border from Tora Bora, the area bin Laden fled in Afghanistan in 2001 in advance of a U.S. bombing attack.

ANDERSON: And this is fascinating, because Pakistan, of course, has long denied that OBL is there in Pakistan. Your reportage has been picked up by news media around the world.

What ramifications do you think this is going to have?

STARR: Well, the Pakistanis already are very sensitive about all of this. And the thing that they're the most sensitive about, perhaps, is the allegation, claim, belief, whatever you want to call it, that Pakistani intelligence and security services, some elements continue to protect bin Laden.

The sources I have spoken to say there is a belief that some elements do protect him and that's a major reason why nobody can get to him after all of these years.

The Pakistanis very publicly, very adamantly deny that. But there's not much doubt, at least in some quarters in the U.S. government, the belief is very strong that there are some in the Pakistani intelligence services that are helping al Qaeda -- Becky.


ANDERSON: Hmmm, interesting. Well, it's not just the insurgency that's causing concern in Afghanistan.

Barbara traveled to an outpost in the east of the country, where she discovered having divides between Afghans and their governments adds to the problems.


STARR: This is Combat Outpost Durani at this remote location in Eastern Afghanistan. The U.S. troops here, the small number of troops on this hillside, are really on the front lines of General Petraeus' counter- insurgency war.

Their main job here is to work this valley -- work with these villages here to try and help connect the Afghan villagers with their government.

But here, they tell us, the Afghan people are very suspicious of their government and, most of the time, not willing to accept the help.

SGT. WILLIAM MICHAEL BURNS, U.S. ARMY: At least here, in our villages that we're responsible for, a big theme seems to be that they're - - they just want to be left alone.

SPECIALIST GARRETT CLARY, U.S. ARMY: These people are -- are really, I don't know, they're -- they're disenfranchised with the Afghan government.

STARR (on camera): But troops are still facing plenty of insurgent activity in this area. Commanders tell us there are a rising number of foreign fighters here, that attacks using rocket propelled grenades, small arms fire, mortars, all of that is on the rise here.

All of that is presenting a challenge for the U.S. troops, even as top commanders are beginning to identify the areas that they will recommend be turned over to Afghan control.

But the bottom line right now in this part of Eastern Afghanistan, nobody is really talking about a military victory. They're talking about setting the conditions for the Afghans to take over so U.S. troops can go home.

Barbara Starr, CNN, Combat Outpost Durani.


ANDERSON: Helping Afghans help themselves is key to getting the country back on its feet.

But this extends to more than just security, doesn't it?

And later in the program, we're going to find out how farmers in America are sharing their secrets to a bumper crop.

And coming up next, it's global connections time. This week, we are getting you to link two countries that may not appear to have very much in common at all. But if we told you they both have a love for fermented cabbage, perhaps you can guess who they are.

I'll give you a minute or so. We're going to tell you, after this.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: And coming up next, it's Global Connections time. This week, we're getting you to link two countries that may not appear to have very much in common at all. But if we told you they both have a love for fermented cabbage, perhaps you can guess who they are. I'll give you a minute or so. We're going to tell you after this.


ANDERSON: Very warm welcome back. It's just after half past nine in London. I'm Becky Anderson for you, and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, put your thinking caps on for our final Global Connections challenge. We're going to ask you to find two links between two countries that at first glance may not seem to have very much in common at all.

Also, scandal at the highest reaches of football. What does it mean for future World Cups?

And later, seeds of hope for a more profitable crop production. Afghan and Pakistani ministers take notes on a tour of the US Bread Basket.

Those stories are ahead in our next half hour. First, as ever at this point, let me get you a very quick check of the headlines here on CNN.

"We've learned our lesson." Those words from Chile's president during an interview right here on CONNECT THE WORLD about how conditions must improve in the country's mining industry. Sebastian Pinera says they are revising and changing their relations and procedures, but they cannot guarantee that another accident won't happen in the future.

Long lines and panicked buying at petrol stations in France as workers continue a protest strike against government pension reforms and shut down the nation's refineries. The French Senate is set to vote on the measure on Wednesday.

A senior NATO official says Osama bin Laden is not hiding in caves in Pakistan. It's believed bin Laden and his deputy are living there in houses. The official says they're protected by locals and intelligence service members. Pakistan has previously denied that.

Disaster officials in the Philippines are confirming two deaths as Typhoon Megi batters northern Luzon. The strongest winds from the storm's eye have passed, but heavy rain could trigger landslides and flash floods.

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

All right. It's the final week of our Global Connections challenge, and the ties that you are building are stronger than ever. After spanning an ocean last week between Australia and Angola, this week we are continent hopping once again.

It's going to begin in South Korea, where they are serious about staying in touch. In fact, it's home to nearly as many mobile phones as it is to people. Ninety-three percent of people have one. South Korea rolls out the red carpet for visitors upon arrival at Incheon International Airport. It's been named best airport in the world for the fifth year in a row.

As they embrace new technologies, South Koreans haven't abandoned more traditional pursuits. This year, they've made too much rice, apparently. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry predicts they'll end up with 1.4 million extra tons this year. One of the biggest surpluses in the world.

Heading west, across Europe, now, to Poland, where you''ll find the city of Wroclaw. I think I'm pronouncing it right. But it hasn't always been that way. In the past, it's been part of Austria, Germany, Prussia, and Bohemia.

Back to the present, Poland stands apart from the rest of Europe in a pretty notable way. It was the one member of the European Union to avoid recession in the recent financial crisis. And if the government wants to throw a party and celebrate, the presidential palace is the place for it. It's 350 years old and once sheltered 4,000 guests for a dinner party.

So, those are some of the unique things about South Korea and Poland. I want to bring in someone to help us make a few more. Ken Jennings holds the record for the longest winnings streak on the American quiz show "Jeopardy." He won 70 -- 74 times and wrapped up more than $3 million in prize money back in 2004. He's also written a book of trivia called "Brainiac." And he joins us live, now from Seattle in Washington.

Sir, it's an absolute pleasure to have you on board. Go on, then. Tell me a couple of things I don't know about Poland and South Korea.

KEN JENNINGS, "JEOPARDY" CHAMPION: I was quite surprised to learn recently that Poland is home to the world's -- to Europe's last herd of wild bison, which are now nearly extinct, as well as to Zywiec, which is alphabetically the last town in the world.

South Korea -- and I didn't know this, despite having actually grown up there as a kid -- is, apparently, a huge fan of break dancing. For the last eight years, one of the crews in the world break dancing finals in Germany has been a Korean crew, which I think is fascinating. Because if they're just discovering break dancing now, it means they're probably about ten years from inventing grunge, and by the year 2035, they may well have invented Justin Bieber.


ANDERSON: Fantastic. Listen, part of this Global Connections challenge for our viewers has been making personal connections, as much as anything else. Tell me a little about life growing up in South Korea.

JENNINGS: It was a great place to live. When you're there that young, you see that, here's a very different culture from ours, but it's been working perfectly well for thousands of years. I love Korea. I just -- in fact, I went back to visit my parents there just last week. It's a great place there --

ANDERSON: All right, listen. I couldn't believe how many times you'd won "Jeopardy." Over that whole period of time, do you remember whether there were any questions about South Korea and/or Poland?

JENNINGS: I remember some questions about the Korean War, actually. I remember learning -- earning a huge amount of money for knowing which parallel divides North and South Korea, which -- I thought it was an unfair advantage, having grown up 50 miles away.

ANDERSON: Poland? Anything on that?

JENNINGS: That's a good question. Polish trivia. Probably something about the pope, though I couldn't swear to it.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. All right, this show is about making connections. I may be putting you on the spot, here, because I know you came to talk about trivia individually, unique stuff about the countries. But can you make some connections for us? Kick our viewers off with this challenge. It's the last one. It's been eight weeks, it's the last one. Draw me some connections between the two, if you can.

JENNINGS: One thing that is sort of interesting about South Korea and Poland is that, despite a long history of being sort of a tin ball between powerful big neighbors, they've both turned into little robust, powerhouse economies in their region.

Poland, in 2009, Poland was the only EU country whose economy actually showed growth. And likewise, in the third quarter last year, South Korea became the first wealthy nation to rebound from that recession. So, they've both been robust and nearly recession-proof.

But even more interesting to me, and maybe this is related, I don't know. Both countries have cuisines that seem to be based on pickled cabbage to an unusual degree. The Polish national dish is this stew called Bigos, which is based on sauerkraut.

And in Korea, kimchi, the national signature dish is nothing but cabbage that's been left in the ground all winter. And there's this huge - - I learned last week when I was visiting, there's panic in the streets because the price of Chinese cabbage has skyrocketed because of crop failures. And they're worried that kimchi might be endangered.

ANDERSON: Who'd have thought that people would be so concerned about fermented cabbage. You're an absolute joy to have on, sir. I'll be checking out your book, "Brainiac," I believe it's called. I also wanted to, just before you go -- what is somebody who is as bright as you do for a living?

JENNINGS: I was a computer programmer in my past life, but not a terribly good one, so I'm much happier as a full-time writer now.

ANDERSON: Excellent, good stuff. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Your expert -- and let me say, don't say very often the word "expert" and really, really mean it, but he really is an expert this evening. All right. Some interesting links, there, and you are already coming up with some great connections of your own.

On the website, we've heard about popular dishes in both countries that share a common ingredient. For example, fermented cabbage. That's sauerkraut in Poland and kimchi in South Korea, as our guest was reminding us.

You're also reminding us that both countries have been invaded by neighboring countries, but are now strong and independent democracies. As always, we really like to hear your personal stories as well. Do you have links to both countries? Have you worked there, do you have relatives there, have you passed through?

We're challenging you to make the connections. Go on, it's the last week, so let's get some really good ones, Join the discussion and enlighten us, as it were. You're with CONNECT THE WORLD, going beyond borders with the stories that matter. Stay with us, we will be back for you tonight in 60 seconds.


ANDERSON: All right, now. It's a football battle that is heating up. But the question is, is it turning dirty? We're talking about the fight to host the 2018 and successive World Cups, and the corruption scandal that has rocked the global governing body -- football body, FIFA. Let's get more with our "World Sport" man on the spot, Pedro Pinto. Pedro, what has this British newspaper investigation uncovered? Give the details.


PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Erupt on Sunday. It was the Sunday "Times" here in the United Kingdom that first published pictures and also aired some footage online of two FIFA executive committee members agreeing to vote in a certain way in exchange for compensation.

The two men that have been named in this particular article and in this investigation by the UK-based newspaper are Amos Adamu of Nigeria and Reynald Temari, who's a representative of Oceania. Now, basically Amos Adamu said that in exchange for $800,000, that he would allegedly use to build some artificial pitches in Nigeria, he would say that he would be inclined to vote in a particular way. So, in a way, he was suggesting that he would be available to sell his vote.

A similar situation occurred with the Oceania representative, where he said that he would use whatever gift or whatever cash was transferred into an account to also do some work with the sports academy in the Oceania region.

So, as you can imagine, a lot of times there are allegations of corruption, every time there's a vote. And I think in any big organization when there's a lot of power, there's always the danger that someone's going to abuse it, isn't it? But in this particular case, the fact that they have footage of these two men saying they would be willing to show sympathy towards a particular bid in exchange for a gift is quite surprising.

ANDERSON: Yes, it doesn't smell good, does it? What is FIFA doing about it, Pedro?

PINTO: Well, they've said that they're going to investigate not only these two executive committee members that have been involved in this alleged case of possible corruption. They say they're going to have a look at all executive committee members and their relationships with the bids.

Earlier today, the general secretary of FIFA had this to say about FIFA's actions.


JEROME VALCKE, SECRETARY GENERAL, FIFA (through translator): Due to the seriousness of the matter, and what's come to our attention last weekend, we've asked the ethics committee and its president to open an investigation into two of our executive committee members, as well as several officials, in the world of football.

The president of the executive committee will have to establish whether there has, in reality, been a breach of our rules with respect to our ethics code. In that case, the president of the executive committee would be able to immediately take provisional measures ahead of next week's meeting.


PINTO: Now, what is being talked about at the moment, Becky, is that these two executive committee members could be suspended. I remind you that the vote for the 2108 and 2022 World Cups is taking place on the 2nd of December, so less than 50 days out before this huge decision is made, this story is coming out. The last thing that FIFA would like to deal with right about now.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Pedro, we thank you for that. The details from your man in sport. All right. Well, let's take a look, then, at who the bidding nations are, shall we?

For 2018, the World Cup will be somewhere in Europe. There's England, a joint bid from both Belgium/Netherlands, Portugal/Spain and, also in the running, is Russia. Now, because of the rotation rules, the 2022 tournament will be played outside of Europe. That leaves Australia, Japan, Qatar, South Korea, and the US all in contention.

We're going to take a close look, now at the bidding process with Keir Radnedge from "World Soccer Magazine." And Keir, of course, you reported on the World Cups for more than 40 years. What do you make of these allegations, first and foremost?

KEIR RADNEDGE, WORLD SOCCER MAGAZINE: There's always been talk of strange dealings going on in the dark corners of the corridors, going right back 86, perhaps 1980 and so on, when Mexico got it then. Also, when Germany got it the last time.

But what is amazing that this time, the allegations are more than sort of claims. There is actually footage of people talking about this. And really, that is quite sensational, and it's hugely, hugely, not only embarrassing, but damaging for FIFA.

ANDERSON: Yes, you say this smells particularly bad because of the footage that the insight team at the Sunday "Times" seem to have got. How dirty is the world of deciding who hosts the next World Cup? You and I have heard these allegations before. I just wonder how deep they go.

RADNEDGE: I think these sorts of things go on and off. There is a lot of digging, there is a lot of trading. It's natural. What's happened here is that because FIFA took the decision to decide two World Cups at once, it actually opened up the field for much, much more mischief-making than usual, if you like.

ANDERSON: Yes. I'm remembering back to Salt Lake City and the IOC. And let's face it, the bids for the Olympic Games and the World Cup are pretty much the biggest things in the world, aren't they? Winning one of those events is absolutely huge.

There's an almighty spat around the IOC's decision-making process around Salt Lake City. And the IOC really took it by the scruff of the neck and did something about it. Do you expect FIFA to do the same?

RADNEDGE: I think FIFA should, because this is certainly FIFA's Salt Lake moment. Whether FIFA will is another matter. FIFA has been remarkably limp-wristed in the past, really, about dealing with any suspicion, any suggest of infractions, ethic violations by any of their senior people. And this is a very big test of FIFA and Valcke's credibility.

ANDERSON: Whose credibility has been on the line a number of times. Listen, surely those at the top should be accountable for the way those on the board run themselves. How do you get a job as one of these decision makers? And should it not be that Valcke effectively stands down as a result of this?

RADNEDGE: Well, except Valcke's a very, very skilled politician. He wouldn't have been at the top of FIFA for as long as he has otherwise. I think -- but certainly, there is a question about, obviously, whether Adamu or -- and Temari, whatever the verdict of the ethics committee, they look severely compromised either way.

But how do people get to these positions? Well, they politic their way up the ladder. Administrations in the National Associations, regional continental associations, and then they reach the top of the greasy pole, which is the FIFA executive committee.

ANDERSON: Is there a better way, ultimately, of deciding who gets the World Cup?

RADNEDGE: There probably isn't because, obviously, although you need to have the technical factors in place, you also need to have political vision, whether you're talking about Olympic Games, whether you're talking about World Cup. What you do need, and what, plainly, is not there and has been all around FIFA and through FIFA's decision-making for a long time, is actual transparency in the process. You need transparency, and then at least you probably reduce to some extent the mischief that can go on.

ANDERSON: Yes, good luck, though. Keir Radnedge from "World Soccer Magazine." Always a pleasure to speak to you, sir. Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

Coming up next, the troubles facing Afghanistan's farmers and how their counterparts in America are teaching them these secrets of success. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Years of conflict have taken their toll on Afghanistan's farmers. Today, just six percent of the land is cultivated, yet 80 percent of Afghans are forced to rely on agriculture for their income. The picture remains bleak across the border in Pakistan after floods destroyed crops there and devastated livelihoods. But now, farmers in the United States are lending a helping hand as Jill Dougherty now reports.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sunrise in Colo, Iowa. The family farm of Sue and Keith McKinney.

SUE MCKINNEY, IOWA FARMER: Welcome to our farm.


DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Their visitors, agriculture ministers from Afghanistan and Pakistan, brought here by US agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack. It's harvest season, and they take a spin on a combine to see how American farmers produce so much.

Just one combine can harvest the equivalent of more than 17 football fields an hour, leaving just a handful of kernels behind.

TOM VILSACK, US AGRICULTURE SECRETARY: And they can see the possibilities of a maturing agricultural economy, what that looks like, and the success that that can bring to families and to communities.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Keith McKinney shows them how his cell phone gives him an edge, with updates on market prices from the Chicago Board of Trade.

KEITH MCKINNEY, IOWA FARMER: Soybeans are up three.

RAHIMI: 2.5 up.

MCKINNEY: Yes. And I get that information three times a day.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): The Afghan minister wishes farmers in his country could be that advanced.

RAHIMI: The level of education of the farmers here that can use automated machines, for example. They can use internet.

DOUGHERTY (on camera): But agriculture here in Iowa and agriculture in Afghanistan and Pakistan are two different worlds. In those countries, an average farm is 5 to 25 acres. The McKinneys have nearly 2,000 acres, and that's an average-size farm around here.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): And farmers in the US have a range of support, like universities that provide valuable resources, like research on better seeds.

MCKINNEY: There's a stirring system over there.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): They McKinneys use the latest farming techniques, but can that translate to Afghanistan?

RAHIMI: It is very difficult to take a model from here and just apply it in Afghanistan. That's why I'm saying that we can get the idea from here, and then, according to the -- based on the context in Afghanistan, then we can use it.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Pakistan's minister says his country's farmers face huge challenges recovering from devastating floods that destroyed cotton, sugar, rice, and livestock.

NAZAR MUHAMMAD GONDAL, PAKISTANI AGRICULTURAL MINISTER (through translator): More than $45 billion.

DOUGHERTY (on camera): $45 billion?

GONDAL (through translator): Yes.

MCKINNEY: They have to use donkeys and mules for power.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Keith McKinney is astounded at how different the lives of farmers in America and in Afghanistan and Pakistan are. But he has some ideas he wants to share.

MCKINNEY: It wouldn't take an awful lot to improve that. Better seed, better cultural practices, the way you till your land and take care of it, and more fertilizer and those kinds of things that are just second nature here.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): He hopes those farmers can do what he does, raise enough to feed their families and have plenty leftover to sell and make money. A seed of hope he knows could take a long time to ripen. Jill Dougherty, CNN, Colo, Iowa.


ANDERSON: We're taking an in-depth look at Afghanistan this week. Tomorrow, we're going to take a look at one of the deadliest threats to troops in Afghanistan, roadside bombs. Ivan Watson takes us on patrol to show just how technology is helping to keep the soldiers as safe as possible.

I'm Becky Anderson in London, just a couple of minutes to go on this show. Do stay with us, though, for our Parting Shots.


ANDERSON: As promised, just time for our Parting Shots this evening. And next stop, Iran. Tonight, focusing on the Venezuelan president's global tour. Hugo Chavez is due to arrive sometime soon in Tehran to meet with president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

He's been a real connector of late. Earlier Thursday, he was in Ukraine shoring up economic ties and economic cooperation. He inked a deal with President Viktor Yanukovych. The Ukraine took oil and gas from Venezuela.

Before that, President Chavez got a warm welcome in chilly Belarus, where he promised President Alexander Lukashenko that Venezuela would supply his country with oil for the next 200 years.

But no doubt, the most watched visit so far came in Moscow. Russia agreed to build and operate the first ever nuclear power plant in Venezuela. President Dmitry Medvedev acknowledging the move could concern some countries, an apparent reference reference to the US. But he says Russia's intentions are, quote, "clean and honest."

Look at the body language. It seems Mr. Chavez succeeded in strengthening relations as well as economic ties.

A common theme in his world tour is blaming imperialism for many of Venezuela's economic problems. You have may have noticed, some of the countries he's visiting are historical adversaries of the United States and may also resent America's dominance on the world stage.

Some critics back in Venezuela suggest Mr. Chavez is trying to boost his image after opposition candidates made a fairly good showing in recent elections. But at least on the surface, it's all about shoring up alliances, economic cooperation, and trade.

We will follow President Chavez's visit to Iran tomorrow. If you want sound off on the story, head to the website, We love to hear form you. Also on Twitter, of course, @beckycnn. Facebook is Follow us, become a fan. We love to have you on board.

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