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Paying the Price for Treating Wounded in Bahrain; Medics Coming Under Fire in Arab Spring; David Beckham Kicks Off Search for 2012 Olympic Torch Bearers; Did Hosting 2010 World Cup Make a Difference for South Africa?; Financial Successes and Disasters for World Sporting Events; Connector of the Day Miss USA Rima Fakih

Aired June 13, 2011 - 16:00:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: From cities in fear to cities of tents -- more than 10,000 flee across the Syrian border to safety.

But with no end in sight to the uprising, could the Syrian government be getting serious about reform?

Plus the drug which could save millions of young lives -- coming up, Bill Gates tells me why the world needs to do more to stop a preventable tragedy.

And a year on from the cheers of the World Cup, are South Africans celebrating a better life?

These stories and more tonight, as we connect the world.

The Syrian regime has crushed one of the most serious challenges to its rule since the uprising began.

But at what human cost?

Troops backed by tanks and helicopters have now retaken control of Jisr al- Shugur, a town near the Turkish border. Residents who fled the offensive tell chilling stories about soldiers bent on destruction and revenge.

But the government says its soldiers are, in fact, the real victims. State TV aired these pictures of what it called a mass grave containing the bodies of security forces killed by armed gangs. The government says it had to act to stop terrorists from destabilizing the region.

But Syrian refugees crossing into Turkey tell a completely different story, calling it all a ruse to justify crushing popular dissent.

Listen to how Amnesty International describes the situation.


NEIL SAMMONDS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Almost all of them are saying that their villages -- and I've got a long list of them -- are -- have basically been emptied, that the Syrian Army and the (INAUDIBLE) this kind of paramilitary organization has gone in and it's gone in heavily with -- with tanks and machine guns and a couple of helicopters and so on. And they have attacked the houses. They've killed, they've slaughtered the cows, the other livestock. They've burned the corps, the seeds. It's almost some kind of scorched earth -- earth policy, it seems, as they are pushing the -- the people up to the -- the border.


FOSTER: Well, the mass exodus from Syria is creating a refugee crisis. The United Nations says 10,000 Syrians have now fled into neighboring countries to escape the violence and most of them are taking shelter in Turkey, to the north.

Arwa Damon is on the Turkish side of the border.

How are they coping there -- Arwa?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, this most certainly is incredibly difficult for all of these refugees, first and foremost because they have to flee their homeland under the most horrific circumstances, a situation so dire that most people, when you ask them about what their experience was like, they quite simply will tell you that they cannot even begin to put it into words.

When these refugees arrive at this unofficial border crossing between Syria and Turkey, they're picked up by the busload and taken to a number of refugee camps. Turkey, in fact, is currently in the process of setting up a fifth refugee camp to try to deal with this ever growing influx.

Inside these camps, they are fed. They're given water. They're given medical care. But at the same time, they're also being penned up.

They're not allowed to freely move in and out of the refugee camps. We, the media, are not allowed access to them. And, in fact, most of the camps have this tarp set up around the fence that prevents us from looking in but also prevents the refugees from looking out.

And especially as the numbers continue to grow, there is the realization amongst many -- and they do say this quite simply, that they don't know when they're ever going to be able to go back home. You have another scenario at the small camp that is on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Turkish border. It's a makeshift camp. Individuals there, we're told, are choosing not to cross into Turkey because they were separated from their loved ones in the chaos whilst they were fleeing and they're afraid that if they cross into Turkey, they will be completely shut off of any news whatsoever and they don't know if their relatives have been killed or detained -- Max.

FOSTER: They're one of the only sources we have, really, about what's going on within Syria.

What have you managed to learn about the level of fighting, where it's taking place, what's going on inside the country?

DAMON: Well, what they're telling us right now and what a number of these activists have done is set up a network where they have spotters that are actually stationing themselves in the hills around Jisr al-Shugur and the neighboring villages. And they're feeding information back to the border. And then that's how it ends up reaching us.

But they're telling us that right now, the Syrian military, as Syrian state television is reporting, is in full control of Jisr al-Shugur and that they are going through some of the villages in the outlying areas, searching them house to house.

But they are telling us that by and large, most people have fled this area because they are terrified that if the Syrian security forces do end up seeing them, even if they're not doing anything that's necessarily wrong, they could possibly be massacred.

We heard a little bit of what had taken place from Amnesty International. But residents also telling us about how Syrian security forces burnt their farmlands, destroyed their homes -- a level of such fear that sent them running across the border with just the clothes on their back -- Max.

FOSTER: Arwa, thank you very much for that.

Well, some countries are taking a tough stand on Syria, saying President Bashir Assad has clearly lost the right to rule. But a group that calls itself the collective voice of the Muslim world says it's still possible for the Syrian government to embrace reform.

Earlier, I talked with the head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu,

EKMELEDDIN IHSANOGLU, ORGANIZE OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE: We need to convince the authorities that they have to accelerate the process of reforms. The process of reforms means that they should be a process of democratization and good governance, accountability. And these values are not foreign values. These are the values, which are enshrined in our charter, of which Syria is a member, and in the 10 year program of action of OIC which was approved with Syrian acceptance in 2005 in our extraordinary summit.

So we are calling on the Syrian government and authorities to follow these. And we think that the solution should come from within, that the government itself and the president himself, who's been known for his willingness to reform, that they should pursue this cause of reform.

FOSTER: He says that in his language, doesn't he?

But you don't always see it in practice.

So what's different now, do you believe?

What sort of response have you had from the Syrians?

IHSANOGLU: Well, I think it is now high time because you see the events and the people are their problem there and the conflict between masses and security forces and the...

FOSTER: But we don't -- we don't know because we haven't got reporters there.

What can you tell us about what's going on in the country?

IHSANOGLU: Well, my knowledge is not better than yours, because we really lack independent sources. But we assume that there should be engagement with the -- and this is announced, that they are going to talk to the opposition. And we -- we really ask them to talk with the opposition.

FOSTER: And are they listening to you?

What sort of response have they been giving you when you ask them...


FOSTER: -- these things?

IHSANOGLU: The answer we get is that, OK, we are doing this and we will do this.

FOSTER: They agree with what you're saying?


FOSTER: They are looking for reform and they do want to change?

IHSANOGLU: Yes, they say this is our agenda of reform. We are doing this. There are certain laws which we proglamated and there will be new laws. The emergency laws is about -- is -- is set aside and there will be new reforms. And we are looking forward to our basic reforms.

FOSTER: Meanwhile, we hear about these clampdowns on certain -- clampdowns on certain towns and horrific stories coming from Syrians who end up in Turkey being, you know, forced out of their homes.

So what information have you got about what -- what's going on in...

IHSANOGLU: Well, actual, this is very sad. Yesterday I was in Istanbul casting my vote for the -- for the elections in Turkey before heading to London. And it was on all the news that the more than 4,000 for -- 4,000 people -- 4,500 people who are already in the camps, in the refugee camps, all in the camps. They are hosted near the borders. And there are certain stories they are telling which is very sad stories.

FOSTER: Shouldn't the international community be acting in a similar way as they did in Libya?

Why is Syria different?

IHSANOGLU: Well, I think we should be more prudent in Syria. We should really give the president and the government some time. Let's -- we have to -- to help them in the process of reform.

FOSTER: In terms of Libya, you're still in contact with the Libyan government, aren't you?

You still recognize the Libyan government?

IHSANOGLU: We are in contact with the Libyan government, yes, with Tripoli. But we have also established a very good contact from the early days with Benghazi. We were the first people to talk to them. And we have decisions to work with them to facilitate the relations.

I've been talking to Mr. Jibril in -- last Thursday in Libya Contact Group in Abu Dhabi. And I -- we expect Mr. Jibril to visit Mr. Jibril to visit us in our headquarters of OIC next week.


FOSTER: So the Organization of the Islamic Conference may be hedging its bets a bit, perhaps, still in contact with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but also strengthening relations with the rebels trying to overthrow him.

Two more countries, though, have now drawn a line in the sand. The United Arab Emirates and Germany have joined 11 other nations in officially recognizing the Libyan opposition.

Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD...


BILL GATES, MICROSOFT CHAIRMAN: If you ask voters how much is spent on foreign aid, they guess it's like 10 percent. In fact, it's -- it's less than .2 percent is spent on all aid.


FOSTER: Bill Gates tells me why or about his billion dollar push to help end children's suffering. That's in about 10 minutes.

Then we're in Bahrain, where the government says the doctors are the bad guys -- medics on trial in 20 minutes.

But first, trouble in the skies -- delays on the ground. Another ash cloud means another backlog of thousands of travelers and we'll show you where, next.


FOSTER: I'm Max Foster in London.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

And here's a look at some other stories we're following for you this hour.

Pakistani police are investigating the first suicide attack in the capital, Islamabad, in nearly two years. They say a young man blew himself up at the entrance to a bank on Monday, killing a guard and, really, several other people. The bank's regional head said they had received no threats and don't know why they were targeted.

Now, a follow-up to another story out of Pakistan and that's the shooting of an unarmed teenager by paramilitary forces. A police official says six suspects have been turned over to the police and will be tried in an anti- terrorist court. The suspects can be seen opening fire on the 17 -year-old in a video that horrified the nation. Police say the young man was a thief who had threatened people with a gun.

You can bet some terrible memories of February's killer quake came flooding back to the people of Christchurch in New Zealand this Monday. Three tremors, two of them over magnitude give, swept through the city within two hours today. There are no reports of anyone killed or badly injured. But the people -- or the power is out and phone lines are down.

New Zealand's prime minister, John Key, says everyone is on edge.


JOHN KEY, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: For the people of Christchurch, I'm sure they just want this to end. Quite frankly, I'm sure they're over all of this and they want a sense of normality to return. And I think we can all feel the frustration. But, you know, they've got to know that we stand beside them, that we are totally committed to rebuilding the city. And I'm sure these aftershocks will eventually settle down and -- and normality will return. But it's a very frustrating time for the people of Christchurch.


FOSTER: Well, today's tremors come nearly four months after the 6.3 magnitude quake that -- that struck the same area, killing more than 180 people.

Hours after announcing his new cabinet, Lebanon's prime minister, Najib Mikati, is already dealing with a vacancy. Out of his 30 ministers, he announced that 19 represent Hezbollah and its allies. But one Druze state minister has already resigned.

Hezbollah helped to bring down the previous government in January. The new cabinet needs approval from at least half of Lebanon's parliament.

Turkey's ruling AKP Party was swept to a third term in office in parliamentary elections on Sunday. The party led by Prime Minister Erdogan, won 50 percent of the popular vote. That's almost double what their nearest rivals from the Republican Peoples Party got at the polls. But the night was marred by a blast in the country's southeast that wounded 11 people celebrating the victory of Kurdish candidates. So far, no one has claimed responsibility for that.

Another credit downgrade for Greece today. The credit agency, Standard & Poor's, lowered its rating on the country to ccc, the lowest in the world. Greece responded by saying that decision overlooked international efforts to help it solve its crisis.

Earlier today, my colleague, Richard Quest, asked the president of the European Central Bank what's so dreadful about the possibility of Greek default.


JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK: We are crystal clear in our message. We have to replace Greece in a broader context. And in that broader context, we trust that it would be extremely bad to create a default in the advanced economy constituency. Again, what we have to cope with is something which is bigger -- much bigger, than Greece; much bigger than what we are observing in the Euro area, which is something which deals with the advanced economy as a whole.


FOSTER: The president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, speaking to Richard a little earlier today.

Qantas is resuming some flights in Melbourne, Australia. But many other flights remained grounded due to a cloud of volcanic ash that's floated half way around the world from Chile. And thousands of passengers are stranded. Fine particles of ash can clog up engines -- jet engines, potential causing engine failure. The volcano began erupting last week and it's still spewing ash.

A high profile conference with an ambitious goal -- saves the lives of some of the hundreds of millions of children over the next four years. Bill Gates says it will happen. He tells me how in a one-on-one interview coming up in just 60 seconds.

And later in the show, World Cup legacy -- a year after the eyes of the world were glued to South Africa, what the tournament left behind.


FOSTER: To many people in the developed world, disease like whopping cough and measles may seem like afflictions from another era. But at a conference in London today, Bill Gates and several world leaders begged to differ.

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations says millions of children die every year from those kinds of disease, all of which could be easily prevented by vaccines.

The organization know and as GAVI works to increase immunization in the world's poorest countries. By its own estimate, the program has saved five million young lives in the last 10 years. It's also succeeded in getting large pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline to lower the costs of some of their vaccines so the organization could buy more of them.

But before today, GAVI was facing a funding shortfall and the conference intended to change that.

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a hostage donation and spoke about the importance of contributing to good causes, even during tough economic times.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITAIN PRIME MINISTER: I think that argument is wrong. I think there's a strong moral case for keeping our promises to the world's poorest and helping them even when we face challenges at home. When you make a promise to the poorest people in the world, you should keep it.


FOSTER: Well, Mr. Cameron put his money where his mouth was, pledging $1.3 billion to GAVI today. That was the largest single donation from any country or individual.

Norway was another big spender, promising more than $600 million. And notable donations came from Brazil and Japan, not for their size -- $12 million and $9 million respectively, but because this was the first time either of those countries donated to GAVI at all.

The United States pledged $450 million, the third largest donation from a country. But Bill Gates blew that away with $1 billion worth of pledge from the foundation that he runs with his wife.

I sat down with Mr. Gates earlier today here in London.

And in light of those numbers, I asked him which countries need to do more.


GATES: There's a lot of these European countries that have committed to get up to the .7 percent. And they're not on track to do that. France and Germany, you know, we want to see them push up. They have made commitments to GAVI, but they can do a lot more if they -- they moved toward that .7 percent.

FOSTER: Germany is a good example, though, isn't it?

They're stuck in this massive bailout of the European economy, basically. They're piling money into Greece. And Germans are a bit un -- are fed up with that. You're, then, suggesting they put more money outside the country.

GATES: Well, certainly, if people in any country, including the Germans, saw a child dying of diarrhea, saw them dying of pneumonia and realized that the vaccination costs $30 for that child, they would make it a priority. You know, this is, in total, as a part of the world economy, a tiny amount of money.

And the irony that rich kids, who are least susceptible to the disease, get the vaccine and the kids -- the kids most at risk don't, that's -- that's strange.

Now, the U.S. is making a very significant pledge here, but it's a percentage of their economy. They've never been nearly as generous as the Europeans.

FOSTER: Where is the money coming from, then, in the U.S. economy, to pay for the vaccines that you are talking about?

GATES: Well, it's a small part of the taxpayer dollars. If you ask voters how much is spent on foreign aid, they guess it's like 10 percent. In fact, it's -- it's less than .2 percent is spent on all aid that includes a lot of things that are not really health-related. They're more related to the -- the war in Afghanistan.

FOSTER: But you want that coming up, do you, to near 1 percent, the European level, effectively?

GATES: Well, I -- the dream is to get to .7 percent. There's no chance that we're going to get to that any time soon.

FOSTER: If we could focus on the economics for a moment. You're talking about the drug companies. There's been some criticism of the drug companies, that their prices are too high.

How are you managing to get the prices down?

Are they doing it of good will or are you talking economics here, so you say, we're going to buy billions of these tablets, so that's going to make it more affordable for you?

GATES: The volume helps them get the price down. For example, on this diarrheal vaccine that GSK has offered, they're down at a price that is very close to their cost.

FOSTER: So they're not making money on it when it's being sold in those countries?

GATES: Not to the poorest countries. The fortunate thing about this vaccine is that it's needed by kids everywhere. And so they can make all their R&D money on the richer countries, where they charge more than 10 times the price, and give a -- just a marginal cost price quote for the -- the poorest children of the world.

FOSTER: Let's talk about a country where you want children to be vaccinated and who can't afford it, India, for example.

That's a big problem, isn't it?

India, though, gives aid itself and has a space program.

So how do you justify giving that country large amounts of subsidized drugs?

GATES: The donations for vaccines in India, it's actually fairly small. But it is important not to cut India off. India, their economy is growing, but up in the north, there's a lot of poverty, a lot of childhood death. It's the country with the most unvaccinated children. And so helping them with money and expertise and putting them -- some donors have them on a five year plan to phase out aid to India, some it's more like a 10 year plan.

China has been phased out because they're actually wealthier than India. India, an abrupt cutoff would -- would cost lots and lots of lives. And yet doing this in this graduated way, they're not spending a lot of money on those other programs. Their challenge is, they have a lot of poor people and our -- our help makes a huge difference.


FOSTER: Bill Gates there.

Well, the U.S. promised nearly half a billion dollars, but it's not enough to satisfy Bill Gates. The U.S. government says, though, it is money well spelt -- spent.


RAJ SHAH, U.S. AID ADMINISTRATOR: It's not just the vaccines, it's the lives saved. And when you save lives and create opportunities in places that range from Afghanistan to the Middle East and North Africa to parts of Central America, you allow for communities and countries to be more stable and to grow and to be more secure. And as Secretary Gates has said, you prevent the need to send soldiers in the future.


FOSTER: Well, in total, the GAVI organization raised $4.3 billion today, exceeding its goal. But the organization knows it's working against the clock.

By its estimate, one child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. So in the time you've been watching this segment, at least 21 children have died from disease that have been eradicated in the Western world.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD and me, Max Foster.

Up next, Arab Spring doctors paying a price -- dozens are on trial in Bahrain.

After that, we're off to South Africa, where last year's World Cup added billions to FIFA's coffers.

But what happened to the jobs for South Africans?

And it's 20 minutes from pageant glory to court and controversy -- the first Muslim Miss USA is your Connector of the Day.


FOSTER: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD. Let's check the headlines this hour.

Turkey is dealing with an influx of refugees from northern Syria. The UN says more than 6800 Syrians have crossed the border. They're coming from Jisr al-Shughour and nearby areas where the Syrian military moved in over the weekend.

A diplomatic boost for rebels trying to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi. Today, Germany became the 13th country to officially recognize the Libyan opposition, calling its National Transitional Council the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

Lebanon's prime minister designate Najib Mikati is waiting for parliament to approve his cabinet picks. He announced on Monday that, out of his 30 ministers, 19 represent Hezbollah and its allies. Hours after his announcement, one Druze state minister resigned.

No deaths reported in New Zealand after a series of three earthquakes hit the city of Christchurch. Only four months ago, a magnitude 6.3 tremor killed more than 180 people there.

Qantas is resuming flights in and out of Melbourne, but many others in Australia and New Zealand remain disrupted due to volcanic ash that's floated halfway around the world from Chile. Flying past clouds of ash can clog jet engines, potentially causing engine failure.

Those are the headlines this hour.

Tonight, paying the price for treating the wounded. Dozens of Bahraini doctors and nurses went on trial this Monday. They're accused of taking control of the hospital complex in the capital, Manama, during anti- government protests.

Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson was in Bahrain at the height of the uprisings. Today, he was back in the capital to witness the trial.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Around me, doctors and nurses were fighting to save lives. On February 17th, I was in Bahrain's Salmaniya hospital recording the horrific injuries anti- government protesters were receiving at the hands of the police.


ROBERTSON: On the hospital grounds, more protesters were rallying, seeking sanctuary.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Now, 47 of the hospital's doctors and nurses are on trial in a military court. I've come back to follow their case. The government accuses them of turning the hospital into a base for the opposition.

BDUL-AZIZ AL KHALIFA, INFORMATION AFFAIRS AUTHORITY: We've had, actually, deaths related to ambulances not being allowed to leave the hospital grounds. We've got evidence of platforms being used in the complex where they have staged political rallies.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): One of the accused doctors, Qasim Oman, fled to the US. We Skyped.

ROBERTSON (on camera): And the government said that the doctors there were excluding patients on the basis -- on a sectarian basis, excluding Sunni patients, for example, Indian patients.

QASIM OMAN, DOCTOR, FORMERLY OF SALMANIYA HOSPITAL: That is a lie also. Why we should do that? We were peaceful in our demands. Why we would do on one side and do the human thing, and on the other side we'll do the opposite?

ROBERTSON: In February, the mostly Shia protesters were clashing with the mostly Sunni police. On this tiny island, a Sunni minority rules the Shia majority. Almost all the doctors and nurses are Shia and, with few exceptions, their families dare not talk to us. Some say they've been beaten and told not to speak to journalists like us.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): But this brave father overcame his fear out of love for his son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a father, when you see a loyal doctor like that jailed, you see -- then you said, what is this world? If that government tell me my son has committed a crime, let them prove it. What crime? What crime? A crime to be as a doctor? Is this a crime?

ROBERTSON: He tells me his son is locked in a tiny cell with nine others.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Ten people in a six-meter by six-meter room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's not six meters. Six meters squared.

ROBERTSON: Six meters squared.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This means two meters by three meters.

ROBERTSON: That's even smaller.

Government officials deny the accusations, say the doctors and nurses are being held according to international standards. But human rights organizations say there's worse, that some of the doctors have been tortured and beaten, all because, they say, they dared to challenge the government.


FOSTER: Nic Robertson, reporting there from Bahrain. Well, doctors used to be off limits in war zones. The Arab Spring seems to be changing that. Human rights activists say medics are literally coming under fire, not only in Bahrain, but across the Arab world as my colleague Atika Shubert shows us now. A warning, some of the images in this report you may find disturbing.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is perhaps the most clear example that, in the increasingly violent crackdown on the so-called Arab Spring, not even medical workers are safe.

This YouTube video shows what appears to be an ambulance worker gunned down in Syria in April as forces suppressed protest there. CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of this video or who fired the shots.


SHUBERT: In Libya, witnesses say this Misrata hospital became a target in the country's civil war. Doctors blame Moammar Gadhafi's forces for shelling the hospital even as medical staff inside struggled to treat both sides of the conflict.

MOHAMMED, AL AJINAF, DOCTOR: They destroyed everything. No electricity, no water supply, nothing. There is nothing here, now, in this area. No families in this area, but they attack everything.

We have also to ambulance cars today completely destroyed, yes. By mortars, yes.

SHUBERT: Now in Bahrain, human rights workers contend that 47 doctors and nurses have become political targets because they saw firsthand the extent of the violent crackdown and reported it to the outside world.

Medical workers are accused of taking control of this hospital during the protests, storing weapons, and keeping people prisoner in the effort to overthrow the monarchy, something the medical workers deny.

NABEEL RAJAB, BAHRAIN HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER: I think they are -- they're paying the price of their work as doctors, for the humanitarian work as treating the wounded patients.

SHUBERT: They are sworn to help the injured, but many doctors, nurses, and medical staff swept up in the middle east uprising, are now becoming casualties themselves. Atika Shubert, CNN, London.


FOSTER: Still to come on tonight's show, one year since the World Cup came to the shores of South Africa. But long after fans have gone back home is the legacy left behind by the tournament anything to shout about? That's after this short break.



DAVID BECKHAM, MIDFIELDER, LOS ANGELES GALAXY: For it to be in the east end of London, first off, is a proud moment for myself. And to be there with my sons, possibly my daughter, my wife, it's going to be a proud moment for myself, but for many people in this country.


FOSTER: David Beckham, there, on why his first goal is to be a fan at the London 2012 Olympics. The star footballer is here to officially launch the search for torch bearers at the Games.

Now, just to host a major world sporting event takes countless hours of planning and preparation, and the financial burden alone can be crippling. London Olympic officials, for example, will be tapping the private sector to the tune of $3.3 billion.

But it's an economic risk that many countries are willing to take. A gamble, they hope, will be worth it. For South Africa, staging the 2010 World Cup was not just a privilege, but a chance for a fresh start. So, did it pay off for the people of Johannesburg? CNN's Nkepile Mabuse takes a look.



NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The vuvuzelas made it a noisy World Cup but, in the end, South Africans deserved to blow their own horn. They organized a successful football tournament.

MABUSE (on camera): I watched the opening game on June the 11th right here in Alexandra Township with some of the country's poorest citizens. Many of them were dressed in the colors of the national team, and they really got into the spirit of the vent, but the euphoria didn't fool them. They told me then that they didn't expect hosting the World Cup to change their lives.

MABUSE (voice-over): Some of the benefits touted from hosting the event included improved infrastructure, tourism, and jobs, but many in the target sects were never reached.

MABUSE (on camera): Initial estimates were that the event would cost $2.5 billion, attract nearly half a million visitors, and create jobs. In the end, government expenditure nearly doubled, only 300,000 visitors came and, according to statistics, South Africa at 25 percent, the unemployment rate is back where it was before the World Cup.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): "Here, it only benefited those who could provide accommodation for visitors. The rest of us, didn't gain anything," this man tells me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): "All four of my brothers are unemployed," this woman says. "There are no jobs, and the World Cup didn't make a difference."

MABUSE (voice-over): Organizers blame the global financial crisis for robbing the country of the desired economic boost.

DANNY JORDAAN, FORMER CEO, LOCAL ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: When we were awarded the event in 2004, not a single one of these economists predicted that in 2008 there would be a serious economic crisis and a global one at that.

MABUSE: It was a crisis out of which FIFA emerged unscathed. The football governing body raked in nearly $4 billion from the World Cup, making it their most lucrative ever.

For South Africa, the biggest gains may lie in the future. While some economists say it was an expensive marketing campaign, others believe the hosting of the event has altered the country's image in the eyes of investors and travelers.

JORDAAN: Most tourists, when they talk South Africa, they said "Is it safe?" That's the first question, and throughout the bidding and also the state leading up to the deliberation, that was the first question all over the world.

And after the World Cup, that question disappeared.

MABUSE: And as for the country's poor, Jordaan says not a single cent was diverted from programs earmarked to improve their lives. Nkepile Mabuse, CNN, Johannesburg.


FOSTER: Well, let's take a look into some of the financial successes, but some of the horror stories of some other major world sporting events.

The US held the football World Cup in 1994, and the end result -- well, it was a tiny profit, really, $60 million.

If you take a look at Canada, another story there worth telling you about. Canada's try at an Olympic Games was a financial disaster. The cost for the 1976 Montreal Games skyrocketed and taxpayers were still making payments on debt more than 30 years later. They weren't really expecting that.

Barcelona had better luck, though. Back in 1992, the Olympics are credited with transforming Barcelona into a truly global city.

Germany, well, there, the World Cup in 2006 brought local businesses some $2.6 billion, so some financial success, there.

Over to Japan. Well, Japan and South Korea were the first joint hosts of a World Cup, but almost ten years later, they'll still paying the costs. Taxpayers spent up to $6 million a year on maintenance of stadiums, many of which, disastrously, lay empty.

Benefit or burden? Well, before you decide, just wait until you hear what our next two guests have to say. With us now is Dennis Coates, he's professor of economics from the University of Maryland in Baltimore in the US, and Michael Fennell also, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation. He's in Kingston, Jamaica.

First of all, Michael, what's the reason for holding one of these big events. Is it to make money, is it to make a profit?

MICHAEL FENNELL, PRESIDENT, COMMONWEALTH GAMES FEDERATION: I think one has to be -- I've always said, be very, very careful with the reasons for the excess expenditure.

And quite often, if not in most cases, that excess expenditure resulted from local decisions, not because of requirements for hosting the event itself. You'll find that governments and cities and other authorities decided on their own that they wanted to put in excessive expenditures to host the games, but those were not precise requirements for the hosting.

So, I think we need to be quite clear on that, that those are local decisions outside of the scope or the responsibility of the body that owns the games or the event.

FOSTER: Fair enough, but we often hear with these big events, even Commonwealth Games, that the promises are made that it's not going to cost anything, it'll at least break even. But that's rarely the case, right?

FENNELL: Well, not in all cases. If you take the case of Melbourne in 2006. They were quite clear that in their budgeting and planning their operational costs would not be covered by the operational income. But they justified it by the value of the legacy that they saw themselves achieving from those games.

Now, Melbourne was unique in that they did not have a lot of need for new capital expenditure. They had basically all the infrastructure in place already.

By contrast, in Manchester in 2002, they saw as a big part of what they wanted to do was the regeneration of the city, a certain part of the city that was pretty run down, and I think that was done very successfully, and that legacy continues to pay dividends today.

FOSTER: Yes, it's a great city, isn't it? Professor Coates, if I could bring you in. How -- Barcelona is a good example, I guess, in this Manchester another example. They have given a legacy to those cities. How do you value that? How do you work out whether or not it's a positive value?

DENNIS COATES, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BALTIMORE COUNTY: Well, I have a hard time believing that there's any meaningful legacy. If you want to be a world class city, as I believe Barcelona and Manchester are, I don't think that you really need to host the Commonwealth Games to do that.

You can do that in a much more cost-effective way simply by upgrading your community in terms of the infrastructure, the highways, the public transportation, airports, making it a tourist destination. You can do all of that without hosting a world-class sporting event.

FOSTER: But the event does subsidize is, doesn't it, through sponsorship and the like? And it also gives a spotlight to all of that infrastructure that's shown around the world.

COATES: Certainly it does that. I'm -- I'm at a loss to believe that there are very many people who would travel to Barcelona that never heard of Barcelona before it had the Olympics. Likewise, I have a hard time believing there are many people who would travel to Manchester who had never heard of Manchester before the Commonwealth Games.

So, the question is, really, what does all of that expenditure really get you? Is it really that it's turning this place into some sort of tourist mecca? Or is it a lot of hype that you could have gotten for far less expenditure? And I believe that you could get it with far less expenditure.

FOSTER: Michael, if we take an example of Japan, they're paying off debts years and years into the future. Do you really think that a big sporting event in Japan is really worth that immense amount of debt when you can't really predict what situation the economy's going to be in in five, ten years' time?

FENNELL: It's up to their local decision-makers, because some people feel that they've gone way over the top. Others feel that it's justified.

But may I just come back to a point that the professor just made, that some of these developments will take place in any event and, certainly in theory, that could be true.

But what is a fact, and it has shown itself all over the place for many, many years, that some of these developments really do not take place until cities and countries are forced to do it by the imposition or the commitment to host the games.

I can recall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1998, although they had planned a brand-new airport at the time, they brought it forward by years because of the games, and that gave them almost a commitment to do that.

If I could draw another very simple example, you know that whenever dignitaries are visiting countries, there is always a lot of preparation work, cleaning up, and so on. And many of the citizens say that they wish they had more visits of these dignitaries because they would get their cities fixed up and spruced up in time.

It just doesn't happen. The theory is not the same as the practice.

FOSTER: OK. They've become very big corporate events, haven't they, as well, Professor? Do you suspect that this is about big business as much as anything else? And it's not always about the people of the city benefiting.

COATES: Oh, absolutely. I believe that it's all about the big business, it's all about the organizing entity, FIFA or the International Olympic Committee or the Commonwealth Games Federation.

When people talk about the World Cup and how profitable it has been, or the Olympics and how profitable it has been, usually the idea is that somehow that's profitable to the citizens.

But in actuality, it's profitable to FIFA or the International Olympic Committee. The enormous profits from the Los Angeles Olympic Games that you often hear about, they didn't go to Los Angeles. They didn't go to the citizens of Los Angeles. They went to the International Olympic Committee and the Los Angeles Organizing Committee.


COATES: So, you need to be careful when you think about if these are profitable events or not.

FOSTER: OK, Professor Coates, Michael Fennell, as well. Thank you both very much, indeed, for joining us.

Now, a little earlier, you heard some of what David Beckham had to say about London's 2012 Olympics, the next big sort of global event, I guess. For the full interview with "World Sport's" Pedro Pinto, do make sure you stay tuned to find out what his future plans are in football. That'll be coming up in about 45 minutes on "World Sport."

Still to come on this program, the Lebanon-born beauty who made history in the United States. Your Connector of the Day, Miss USA, is preparing to hand over her crown. She talks to us about the controversy surrounding her win, up next.


FOSTER: She's beautiful, she's charitable, even controversial, and she spent the past year wearing one of America's most coveted crowns. Miss USA Rima Fakih is your Connector of the Day.


ANNOUNCER: Miss USA 2010 is Michigan! Rima Fakih!

FOSTER (voice-over): The moment Rima Fakih made history. The Lebanon-born beauty was the first Muslim to be crowned Miss USA. Her win immediately attracted controversy.

Within 24 hours of pageant glory, these photos were published, Rima taking part in a pole-dancing contest three years earlier. It fueled criticism from some in the Muslim community that she did not properly represent the religion. But others said she deserved the crown.

Throughout her year-long reign, the 25-year-old refused to shy away from critics and seemed to enjoy her role, even appearing on American professional series "Tough Enough."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You tough enough?

FOSTER: She's a beauty queen who has made an impact in the past 12 months, but just how big has that impact been? Becky Anderson caught up with Rima Fakih as she prepares to hand over her crown.

RIMA FAKIH, MISS USA: I think over the last 12, 13 months, I've grown as a person. I think I've broken a lot of barriers. I think I've, hopefully, ended a lot of stereotypes, so it's been quite a whirlwind.

BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: All right, you talk about what you've done, breaking down barriers, ended some stereotypes. I know Ivone from Mozambique wants to know how you feel your win was generally received in America.

When you talk about the sort of things you've achieved, describe them for us. What sort of barriers have you broken down, for example?

FAKIH: For example, when I first won Miss USA, I think the whole situation being the first Arab, being the first Muslim, the fact that I was a -- I think, a little bit out of the ordinary, typical image of what a beauty queen would be to represent the USA.

But I think that, over time, and being part of the Miss Universe organization, that was initially the plan, is actions speak louder than words.

Being able to travel internationally, do more things, volunteer, work with my platform with breast and ovarian cancer, show that exactly it doesn't matter what you are, what background you have, or what religion you come from, we're all under the same sky, and that's exactly what the United States is.

ANDERSON: You didn't choose a platform of reconciliation, for example. I know you did a lot of work with breast and ovarian cancer. Why was it that you didn't choose to take on religion?

FAKIH: Well, the initial platform for every Miss USA is breast and ovarian cancer. That's the main one for every girl. We don't choose our own platform. But that doesn't mean that that's the only thing you're allowed to do.

Going to religion, I don't think anyone can really choose a religion. The thing that I could say proudly is the fact that I felt like an unofficial ambassador, you could say, I guess, being able to make and create bridges between Islam and exactly what it really is. And hopefully giving a lot of people out there more opportunity to know that they can do more in life.

ANDERSON: There were many members of the Muslim community who said when you won that you didn't properly represent Islam. You were criticized, for example, for wearing a bikini. Are you still getting that sort of criticism? Has it gotten worse or better over the past year?

FAKIH: Well, I'd have to say it got better. I'd say that a lot of the individuals who just quoted on the bikini realized that that is not exactly what you should be categorized on.

Now, over time, I've heard a lot of great news about girls participating in beauty pageants in Britain, in Ukraine, and all over the world. They were criticized as well for wearing bikinis in a pageant.

But here's what I have to say, and this goes out to the same person that went to a mosque once and preached that everyone should be against you because I wore a bathing suit.

I said one thing. Are you only looking at the bathing suit? Do you not look at what I'm doing as Miss USA, what I've done as Rima Fakih? How I represent the community and people who might look up to me? Or is it just the simple fact that I wore a two-piece bikini, that's all that matters to you?

ANDERSON: Did you get a response?

FAKIH: Well, I don't think it's easy to get back to me. It's easier for me to say something to them than for them to get back to me.

ANDERSON: What's next, Rima?

FAKIH: You know, I have a lot of plans. The good thing about being Miss USA is it's opened a lot of doors. So, I'm hoping to go into acting, something to do with TV. But definitely no matter what I do, whether it's music or TV, I'm going to continue to be an ambassador.

ANDERSON: Amine from Tunisia says, "What do you say to people who only ever marry up terrorism with Islam?"

FAKIH: You know, I have to say, don't judge a book by its cover. And please don't go with stereotypes. It's kind of like when you watch TV. If you're going to believe everything you see on TV, then that means you're an uneducated person if you don't do your own research.

Anyone from any ethnicity can be Muslim, but please don't let the fake Muslims that you see on the news, who pretend to be terrorists fool you into believing that's what Islam is.


FOSTER: Miss USA Rima Fakih talking to Becky, there, as she prepares to hand over her crown on Sunday.

Tomorrow night, we connect you with a man who introduced us to the Dark Side. Hollywood producer George Lucas tells us all about a new Star Wars adventure, and you can take part. That's tomorrow night on Connector of the Day.

I'm Max Foster, thank you so much for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" follow this short break.