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7/7 Bombing Victim's Father's Phone Possibly Hacked by `News of the World'; Al Qaeda Comeback in Yemen?

Aired July 6, 2011 - 16:00:00   ET


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Britain's phone-hacking scandal takes another ugly twist as the father of a terror victim claims he too may have been targeted.

Rupert Murdoch says the allegations are "deplorable," but has the reputation of his media empire been tarnished beyond repair?

Plus, the innocent victims as al Qaeda tightens its grip on Yemen.

And celebrations as the 2018 Winter Olympics head to Asia. But what swung it for South Korea?

Those stories and more as we CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Michael Holmes, in for Becky Anderson.

"Deplorable and unacceptable," the words of Rupert Murdoch as the scandal surrounding one of his British tabloids sparked even more of an outcry today. The public wants answers, so too the British government, which has pledged a full investigation eventually into a scandal that embroils not just media, but police and politicians.

Here's Dan Rivers now with a report on today's developments.


DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was Britain's worst peace-time act of terrorism, but now there are concerns that families of those killed on 7/7 in 2005 were also eavesdropped upon by journalists from the British tabloid News of the World.

Graham Foulkes lost his son David in the attack, and has been informed by the police his phone may have been hacked by reporters.

GRAHAM FOULKES, LOST SON IN 7/7 ATTACK: The thought that somebody may well have been listening to me begging for David to phone home was very difficult. I thought we were in a dark place and I didn't think anybody could make it darker. But I'm sadly proven wrong.

RIVERS: The phone-hacking scandal is so shocking it has prompted an emergency debate in Britain's Parliament, with the prime minister announcing a public inquiry.

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: What this government is doing is making sure that the fact -- the public, and I feel so appalled by what has happened, murder victims, terrorist victims who have had their phones hacked is quite disgraceful. That is why it's important there is a full police investigation with all the powers that they need. That's why it's important we have those inquiries to get to the bottom of what went wrong and the lessons that need to be learned.

RIVERS: It has put former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks under incredible pressure. She is now chief executive of the parent company, News International, and maintains she knew nothing about phone hacking.

Rupert Murdoch is her ultimate boss, and this must all be infuriating him. His News Corporation is trying to take over broadcaster BSkyB. There are now calls for that deal to be stopped, amid claims the company has been abusing the considerable power it already has.

And in Parliament, allegations there was a cover-up of the hacking, and that goes right to the top of the company, including Rupert Murdoch's son.

TOM WATSON, BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: My James Murdoch is the chairman. It is clear now that he personally and without board approval authorized money to be paid by his company to silence people who have been hacked, and to cover up criminal behavior within his organization. This is nothing short of an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

RIVERS: Murdoch's News International denies any cover-up. And in a statement it says it welcomes the call for a public inquiry.

(on camera): The atmosphere down here at Westminster can only be described as febrile as politicians from all parties rush to condemn News International which, until now, has wielded considerable power here.

Rebekah Brooks remains in her post, but her friendship with the likes of Tony Blair and David Cameron is under real strain as the true scale of phone-hacking becomes apparent.

Dan Rivers, CNN, London.


HOLMES: Well, the calls for scalps are loud and getting louder. And in the past six years since the phone-hacking scandal first broke, some have been claimed. Rupert Murdoch, though, says he is standing by his News International executive you saw in Dan's piece there, Rebekah Brooks.

Richard Quest now explains how this long-running saga has unfolded.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The phone-hacking scandal began in 2005 with the royal family when Buckingham Palace suspect people were listening in on the voicemails of Prince William and royal staff for one simple reason, the papers were reporting facts they could only have known by listening to his voicemail.

Then in 2006, the Metropolitan Police arrested the News of the Worlds's royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, and this man, the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. Five months later both are sent to prison.

And interestingly, the News of the World's editor, Andy Coulson, resigned. Later he is appointed as a media adviser to the leader of the opposition, David Cameron, and ultimately ends up in government offices when Cameron gets elected.

In 2009, when everything was thought to have just started to settle, the whole thing blows up again. The Guardian paper revealed senior staff from the News of the World knew reporters were illegally accessing voicemails.

Hacking victims included the actress Sienna Miller and the actor Hugh Grant. Now Hugh Grant has been exceptionally outspoken about all of this. He told me it's time to take a stand.


HUGH GRANT, ACTOR: It's one thing for there to be a very bad newspaper in the country, but when you start to realize it's not one, it's all our tabloids who have been shockingly out of control for a long time, and when you realize how much collusion there has been from the police and how much collusion from our lawmakers, from our government who need these tabloids, especially the Murdoch press, to get elected, you start to think, I'm not proud of my country anymore. This is not the democracy I thought it was proud of.


QUEST: What really brought this home to the public is the hacking into the phone of the murder victim Milly Dowler. The 13-year-old schoolgirl went missing in 2002. Investigators hacked into her voicemail, they even deleted messages to make room for more. It gave her family false hope she was still alive.


HOLMES: Richard Quest there. Well, the latest claims that families of the London terror attacks may also have been targeted has only fueled the backlash against the British tabloid, News of the World, advertisers pulling out in droves as Ford, Virgin, and Lloyds all among the companies who have canceled their ads in protest.

So has the reputation of the Murdoch media empire, and for that matter, British journalism been tarnished beyond repair? Well, I'm joined now in London by former News of the World investigative reporter Paul McMullan. And from The Independent newspaper, media and assistant editor Ian Burrell.

Paul, let's start with you. This tactic in and of itself, did you think it was a justified tactic as a reporter?



MCMULLAN: Oh, yes, well, initially, yes, I did. I mean, it all started for me back in 1994 when, funnily enough, Piers Morgan gave me a job, my first job at News of the World. And then it wasn't actually illegal. In those days you could buy a scanner and sit outside Buckingham Palace and listen to what Prince Charles was saying to Diana and his then- mistress Camilla.

In fact, as I.


HOLMES: But do you think -- it might not have been illegal, but was it ethical?

MCMULLAN: Well, I don't see why not. I mean, he owns an awful lot of money from the royal list, and he's going to be our king. I think the public have a right to know that he was cheating on his wife.

And the main thing about hacking into people's messages is it's quite a sure way to get the truth about a particular issue, because, well, you get to hear it from the horse's mouth themselves, and the only thing that we as journalists have ever been guilty of is trying to write well- researched and true stories.

I mean, Hugh Grant described what I had done as evil a couple of days ago. Well, it's not really. We haven't really done anything evil. There have been evils perpetrated, and clearly the Milly Dowler affair, you know, was an evil occurrence.

But the fact that a private eye who was hired by a News of the World journalist, and obviously the private eye himself is not News of the World staff, hacked into her phone messages in pursuit of presumably getting a large bonus in order to be able to sell his particular angle on that investigation, you know, actually makes me quite ashamed.

I used to be proud to say I was a News of the World reporter. But, you know, today it's not something I'd walk around the streets of London waving my arms about.

HOLMES: Ian Burrell, what damage is being done to your craft and my craft in your country?

IAN BURRELL, MEDIA AND ASSISTANT EDITOR, THE INDEPENDENT: Well, I think all British journalism has been tarnished in some way. Obviously most damaged of all is Rupert Murdoch's News International stable, and particularly the News of the World itself.

"Deplorable, unacceptable," these are words you don't hear from Rupert Murdoch talking about one of the most significant arms of his own media empire. That's how serious this is.

But I think all journalists have been tarnished to some degree in what is already a very difficult newspaper market for the media companies.

HOLMES: Paul McMullan, you know, it may not have been illegal, as you were saying, at that time, the thing that's concerning though is where is the line? The British tabloids have been using nefarious tactics for many years, for decades, where is the line? How far can you go to get what you consider to be a story?

MCMULLAN: Well, I mean, I think the story is in the public interest, for example, a corrupt politician lying to the electorate or stealing expenses, fiddling his expenses or fiddling with his secretary and pretending to be a wholesome family, if you catch him out, you can pretty well get away with anything.

You can hack into his messages, you know, access his bank accounts, even maybe look into his medical records. And that's fine. I think the public will buy that. And I think they will also buy the fact that, you know, you all hack into Hugh Grant's messages to see if he's having an affair or what he's up to.

HOLMES: Really?

MCMULLAN: . with -- you know.

HOLMES: That's news-worthy?

MCMULLAN: Well, yes. It is, because, you know, I had a bit of a straw poll in Dover, where I live, and most people only earn about 200 pounds a week for a full week's work, and here's one guy earning 5 million pounds a movie, bleating on about, oh, someone listened to my messages.

Well, big deal. Half the population would happily swap their roles around for you to be upset about it.

HOLMES: Ian Burrell, I think one of the things we've got to talk about then is how much of what you see in particularly the tabloids is journalism and how much of it is voyeurism?

BURRELL: Well, I think very little of the stories that have been broken in this fashion, very few of them have been in the public interest. And what we've seen in the last day or two is that this isn't just a matter of accruing bits of celebrity gossip, we've had bereaved families having their voicemails listened to.

It's a gross intrusion of privacy. And I think the public at large has been appalled, you know, from the prime minister right the way downwards, we're seeing advertisers walking away from this.

And I think it would be very interesting to see how many people buy this newspaper, the News of the World this Sunday as the readership -- or sale of something like 2.7 million. It will be interesting to see if that falls at the weekend.

HOLMES: Gentlemen, I have to leave it there. Ian Burrell of The Independent, and Paul McMullan, former News of the World journalist, thanks so much, gentlemen.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come, fresh fears another European country could need a second bail-out. That story two minutes from now.

And then in six minutes we'll bring you the evidence that al Qaeda has not died with Osama bin Laden.

Also, celebrations in South Korea, set to become a winter wonderland for one of the biggest events on earth. That's in 34 minutes, we promise you.

Stay with us.


HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes at the CNN Center, in for Becky Anderson. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

Let's take a look now at some of the stories we are following for you this hour. Tsunami warning for New Zealand and Tonga has been cancelled. A 7.6 magnitude earthquake was recorded near the Kermadec Islands. The U.S. Geological Survey says sea level readings confirm that a tsunami was generated.

The credit rating agency Moody's has downgraded Portugal's sovereign debt status to junk status. Moody's, worried that Portugal, like Greece, might also need a second bail-out. The U.S. rating agency says the country faces formidable challenges as it tries to cut spending and sustain economic growth.

But the European Commission's president criticized the decision.


JOSE MANUAL BARROSO, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: Yesterday's decision by one ratings agency do not provide for more clarity. They rather add another speculative element to the situation. I can only encourage Portugal to continue on the course (INAUDIBLE) defined with the Commission, the ECB, and IMF. And with all due respect to that specific ratings agency, our institutions know Portugal a little bit better.


HOLMES: Attorneys for Dominique Strauss-Kahn say they have had what they call a constructive meeting with prosecutors in New York. They discussed the sexual assault charges facing the former head of the International Monetary Fund.

Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest last week after prosecutors revealed their star witness had credibility problems. The news appears to have left the case on shaky ground. But prosecutors said earlier they were not yet ready to drop any charges.

As expected, Facebook is working with Skype to put a new video chat service on its users' pages. The move comes shortly after Google launched a competing social network which also has a video chat program.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had promised the announcement would be "awesome."

Coming up, taking stock of al Qaeda. Two months after Osama bin Laden was killed, we'll see how the militant group is making in-roads in Yemen. No longer satisfied with hit-and-run attacks, they're now seizing entire towns.

And later, third time is the charm, South Korea explodes in happiness after finally winning an Olympic bid.


HOLMES: Of course, many people around the world welcome the killing of Osama bin Laden two months ago, but few believed al Qaeda would actually die along with him. Now we have evidence that in some areas the terror group is actually advancing, and at an alarming rate.

Let's start with Yemen. Al Qaeda is finding fertile ground there, exploiting a power vacuum to close in on the country's biggest port. Our Nic Robertson is the only Western broadcast journalist to be granted access to Aden. He filed this exclusive report.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ten-year-old Mohammed Ali Zacha (ph) is one of the casualties of Yemen's new war with al Qaeda, he lies in a hospital in Aden, barely alive. His head is gashed open, his left arm and leg broken.

"He was playing outside our house," his father tells me, "then a government jet dropped a bomb."

The hospital corridors outside Mohammed's room are crowded with casualties. This father tells me his 18-year-old son was caught in a blast a few days ago, as government forces battled al Qaeda.

In Zinjibar, capital of neighboring Abyan province, more than 200 such casualties in the past months, doctors are stretched.

DR. ABDUL FATAH, ORTHOPEDIC TRAUMA SURGEON: It's very difficult for us because it's the first time talking with war engine, war wound.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Western diplomats say al Qaeda is fighting like it has never fought before. No longer hit-and-run tactics, but fighting and taking control of towns and villages in its own name, and then staying there to set up their own administrations.

(voice-over): In a nearby nearly derelict school, families fleeing Abyan have similar accounts. Amina Ali (ph) shows me how they escaped from their house, crawling on their hands and knees. She says al Qaeda came to them, told them to leave, not to come back.

According to U.N. officials, more than 50,000 have fled so far, and they are still arriving.

GUILLAUME FARDEL, UNHCR ADEN: It's around 700 people, in this specific school. In Aden, in the city, we have today 46 schools. And more schools are opening day after day.

ROBERTSON: Not all the displaced agree the Islamist rebels less than an hours' drive away are al Qaeda, but all accuse government officials and security forces of fleeing before al Qaeda arrived, allowing them to close in on Yemen's main port.

Yemen's vice president says the government has lost control of several nearby provinces to al Qaeda. And it's a very real fear that the group might try to encircle this city, even try to take control of it. If it did that, it wouldn't just interfere with important international shipping lanes, but potentially give the group a base that it has never had before.

(on camera): But now both government and opposition are playing the blame game.

GENERAL ALI MUHSEN AL AHMER, OPPOSITION LEADER (through translator): Al Qaeda came and took over because no one was there to stop them, no military, no security. The government called them to come in order to scare the West and neighbors and friendly nations.

ABDU GANADI, DEPUTY INFORMATION MINISTER (through translator): Ali Muhsen should not play around with this point. He has old ties with al Qaeda. They're joined against the president, not in getting rid of al Qaeda.

ROBERTSON: As the politicians score points, the casualties of Yemen's crisis continue to roll in to this and many other hospitals, and al Qaeda exploits the country's descent into chaos.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Aden, Yemen.


HOLMES: Now al Qaeda is also on the rise in eastern Afghanistan, just as U.S. troops, of course, are gearing up to leave the area. You may remember last year the CIA estimated there were only 50 to 100 al Qaeda militants still operating in all of Afghanistan.

But they appear to be making a comeback. Nick Paton Walsh takes us into the remote mountains of Kunar province, where al Qaeda is reportedly setting up training camps for the first time in years.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Almost a decade in, the hunt for al Qaeda in one part of eastern Afghanistan looks like this: Americans pushing the Afghans to the front, taking the high ground in hills impossible to police.

The pressure for less Americans here is extreme, but the Afghans only mustered five men for this patrol.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you shoot, all right, it has got to be five- to second-round bursts. Then go.

WALSH: And despite this training, are barely up to policing the local villagers, let alone taking on the very terrorist network America came here to eradicate.

(on camera): Well, it's here that Afghanistan's future looks a lot like its past. American control does not extend up into this valley. And high on those ridgelines they found safe havens for al Qaeda.

(voice-over): U.S. and Afghan officials have revealed to CNN they located here al Qaeda fighters using the secluded alpine villages for training and planning.

In June, hundreds of Americans were airlifted in, 9,000 feet up. But they faced fierce resistance and a longer, nastier fight than planned.

U.S. officials say they killed 120 insurgents and top leaders, many Taliban, but several of them Arabs linked to al Qaeda, damaging their network.

Yet the clashes reveal that al Qaeda for years, said to be mostly across the border in Pakistan, is again a concern back where they started in Afghanistan's hills.

We push down into the Watapur Valley, still an insurgent stronghold, high-tech American attack helicopters buzzed overhead until militants shot at them from up the valley.

2ND LT. TREY VAN WYNE, U.S. ARMY: It's uncharacteristic for the Taliban I know from around here, they're getting pretty gutsy.

Right past there, usually our patrols don't push it too far past that, because if you push up any far past that, you're going to take enemy contact, it's pretty certain.

WALSH: The Afghans clear about who lay in wait for them ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's very dangerous. There are Taliban, Arabs, Pakistanis there.

WALSH: At the foot of the valley, the American base is often hit by potshots, sometimes from lone gunmen up high who they then mortar.

Al Qaeda's return to these remote hills could tie America's hands, making it harder to justify pulling back from here. The terrorist network that made America's case for invading, slipping back in just when America makes its case to leave.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kunar, Afghanistan.


HOLMES: Let me get some perspective now on just how much of a threat al Qaeda really poses to the world at large, let's go to Scott Stewart, he's vice president of tactical intelligence for Stratfor, a global intelligence company, just outside of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Scott, nobody thought that when Osama bin Laden was killed that that would really do much damage to the operational capability of the network. But what is that capability now and do you see it growing?

SCOTT STEWART, VP OF TACTICAL INTELLIGENCE, STRATFOR: Well, one of the things that we've talked about at Stratfor for a long time is, you need to be careful about how you define al Qaeda. It's really broader than just a core group of individuals. So we really have three strata.

Quickly, we have the core group: bin Laden and his top lieutenants; we have what we call the franchises, groups like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, in Yemen; and of course then we have the grassroots al Qaeda fighters.

So it's really broader than just one core organization. And that's what we're seeing -- happening in places like Yemen and Afghanistan right now where we have these region nodes of al Qaeda who are making headway.

And it's really not the central group that was responsible for 9/11

HOLMES: Well, this has always been the thing that people don't always realize about al Qaeda is that what you're fighting is an ideology and not necessarily a tangible organization. And that's what makes it hard to defeat.

But in Yemen, you are obviously seeing the power vacuum there allowing for the growth of AQAP, the Arabian Peninsula branch. Are you concerned about that?

STEWART: Well, yes, we've been concerned about it and we've talked about it for several months now. However, what we're seeing in the south, we need to be very careful. We're getting conflicting reports, and it's not at all clear that everyone who is fighting right now against the government in the south is actually al Qaeda.

Of course, we see this Ansar al-Sharia, or really, you know, the Army of Sharia, or Defending Sharia, claiming credit for this. And certainly some al Qaeda elements, you know, claimed that they were involved with that.

But it seems to be much broader. And it's involving a lot of other conservative tribesmen, a lot of people who have had beefs with the government for a long time. Indeed, we've had, you know, two civil wars between the south and the north historically in Yemen.

So there is a lot of tension there to begin with.

HOLMES: And going back to Afghanistan then, as the U.S. pulls out of areas like we were just seeing, where Nick Paton Walsh and the team were in the east, in particular, do you see that there is potential for al Qaeda to move back in there, and if not impact on the local politics, at least have a training ground again?

STEWART: Well, absolutely. Right now especially with the pressure that has been mounted against them in places like South Waziristan, of course the very heavy U.S. airstrikes in North Waziristan, they're wanting to leave that pressure. And, of course, they're finding places of refuge in Afghanistan.

And eastern Afghanistan is extremely rugged territory. It has an extremely conservative population. They're not necessarily all jihadists, but they are more sympathetic to that ideology.

And so it's very difficult terrain culturally and physically.

HOLMES: Ayman al-Zawahiri, the longtime number two, now number one, he always did have a measure of control at the core of al Qaeda. Do you see him as being an effective and proactive, for want of a better term, leader?

STEWART: It will be interesting to see how it plays out. You know, we keep seeing a lot of reports that he doesn't have the charisma of bin Laden and he is a little bit more contentious.

But certainly one of the groups that we want to watch to see how that transpires is al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, because the leadership of that organization, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, is a former confidante of bin Laden. He found with bin Laden and al-Zawahiri at Tora Bora.

He was actually captured in Iran, then released back to Yemen where he was imprisoned and then released. But he has strong connections with that Al Qaeda core as does the Mufti of the group, Suleiman al Rubaish. He was also fought at Tora Bora and he actually is a former Gitmo detainee. So it would be interesting to see how the relationship goes between specifically AQAP and al-Zawahiri and the core leadership.

HOLMES: Good to get your thoughts. Scott Stewart of STRATFOR. Appreciate it.

All right. Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD - a first for South Korea hosting the Winter Olympics. We'll have more on that in a few minutes and the rest of the day's sports with the one and only Mark McKay.


HOLMES: And welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. Let's get a check of the headlines for you this hour.

Rupert Murdoch has broken his silence over the U.K. phone hacking scandal. The media baron describing allegations that his British tabloid "News of the World" illegally accessed voicemails as "deplorable and unacceptable."

A human rights group says Hama is the latest Syrian city to fall victim to security forces. It says at least 16 people have been killed there in the past two days as the military goes after civilians who took part in last Friday's demonstration.

Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn say they have what they call "a constructive meeting" with prosecutors in New York on Wednesday. But the former head of the International Monetary Fund still faces those charges of sexually assaulting a maid at a hotel.

Strauss-Kahn's replacement at the IMF says her key focus will be creating jobs. Christine Lagarde called "unemployment a critical issue" and said the IMF cannot be driven only by hopes of reducing fiscal deficits.

And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced he is working with Skype to put a new video chat service on his web site. That move coming shortly after Google launched a competing social network which also has a chatting program.

All right. The host city of the 2018 Winter Olympics has been announced in South Africa and the winner is. -


MALE: Pyeongchang.


HOLMES: The South Korean city chosen over Munich in Germany and Annecy in France. Pyeongchang narrowly failed to win the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic games. Munich was trying to become the first city to host both a summer and winter Olympics.

Well, CNN's Paula Hancocks was in Pyeongchang when the announcement was made.


PAULA HANCOCKS, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Pure unadulterated joy here in Pyeongchang in South Korea. It has been a long time coming for the residents of this alpine city but finally - third time around - they have won the Winter Olympics for 2018.

When Pyeongchang was announced in Durban, South Africa, there was a huge roar from the crowd. Everybody jumped up out of their seats. Everybody started cheering. Everybody started screaming. It was an electrical moment and also fireworks started. A couple of minutes of fireworks, very impressive, just to add to the sense of victory of the people here.


HOLMES: And for more, I'm joined by CNN's Mark McKay. Was it a surprise that they got it in the first round?

MARK MCKAY, ANCHOR, WORLD SPORT: Well, when the International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge says "Yes, this was a surprise," you have to believe him. He actually thought, Michael, there would be a second round of voting but the South Korean resort city took all the honors right from the beginning.

So a couple of thoughts, Michael, as to why that (INAUDIBLE). This was the third time lucky for this country which - as you mentioned - lost out to Vancouver and to Russia in the past. Everything going their way, it seems. You know, they built this bid on new horizons, an offering of the Olympic Committee to bring the winter games back to Asia for only the third time. South Korea, of course, hosting the Olympics behind the two bids - the two winning bids that Japan had for (INAUDIBLE) and Seoul so it's only the third time that the Olympic games are coming back to the Asian continent. And this was a winning bid, really, from the start as many thought - very compact city, all the venues, Michael, are within 30 minutes of each other. That really helps when you move athletes and spectators around.

HOLMES: And they've got the infrastructure and everything?

MCKAY: They have the infrastructure. Seven of the venues are already built so there's really a sense that the infrastructures already in place. There will not be a building boom to get ready for the Olympics down the road.

HOLMES: And is there a sense of this in the case of the IOC following FIFA's lead in a way?

MCKAY: In so many ways. You know, FIFA's opened up the World Cup to new places. They went to South Africa last year. They're heading to Brazil. They're heading to South America. So in a lot of ways, yes, perhaps the International Olympic Committee opening up the horizons, kind of going with what South Korea did in that bid - new horizons, bring this to a new place where it's never been before.

HOLMES: So all right. Let's - and the other thing too, of course, they have the summer games which was interesting. What about the rest of the world sport? Tell us what else is going on out there.

MCKAY: There are some other headlines beyond the Olympic Games. And let's talk about the Tour de France, Michael.

British sprinter Mark Cavendish who controversially missed out on the 16th stage - his 16th stage victory earlier this week, expected to contend for Wednesday's 102-mile route.

Lovely view of the countryside on Wednesday but Michael, it wasn't pretty for all of the riders today. That's arts. This is a disaster - marred by a series of crashes here, a massive tangle up including a couple of riders from team Rabobank and there was more carnage to come.

Another crash affecting - would you believe - Alberto Contador. Watch him toss his bike. Yup, tossed it to the ground. He immediately got a new one and joined the peloton as they continued to press on.

A victim of a crash just moments before: RadioShack's Jani Brajkovic, a top-10 contender, he was fourth to withdraw because of injuries.

But in the end, it's about who manages to stay on the bike. Mark Cavendish is the man, winning a 16th career stage win at the Tour de France. Norwegian Thor Hushovd keeping hold of that yellow leader's jersey as the front runner.

Hey, Australia's through in the quarterfinal round of the Women's World Cup at the expense of Norway. The (INAUDIBLE) down 1-nil before Kyah Simon sends it in the bottom right corner. That was one-all, stayed that way until three minutes from time, Caroll - Kim Caroll crossing the ball to Simon who nets her second goal with a header. Australia through, Norway crashes out of the Women's World Cup.

Much, much more ahead on the next World Sport. I'm back at the bottom of the next hour, right after BACK STORY with my friend Michael Holmes.

Australia through to the quarters.

HOLMES: I still say you sounded surprised.

MCKAY: Well, you know-

HOLMES: The Matildas - I think is what they called the Matildas? I think it is.

MCKAY: I think so.

HOLMES: I think it is. Good on the girls.

MCKAY: Good on them.

HOLMES: I love it with Contador. He just gets up and he's got another bike there.

MCKAY: Yup. Tossed the bike. Yes, magically appears, doesn't it?

HOLMES: They had to get him (INAUDIBLE).


HOLMES: He does, he does. Good to see you.

MCKAY: You too, Michael.

HOLMES: We will talk later.


HOLMES: All right. Now, coming up, free to come in and help Somalia's rebels, they've taken a bit of a humanitarian step now as East Africa suffers a continuating and just devastating drought. Up next, how bad is the situation? How bad could it become? We're going to speak to a spokesman for OxFam, working on the ground in the region.

Do stay back with us. We're back in 90 seconds.


HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone.

Islamist rebels in Somalia have lifted a ban on food aid as the region suffers its worst drought in decades. The United Nations is warning as many as 10 million people in East Africa that are facing severe food shortages.

Here's Jonathan Mann.


JONATHAN MANN, ANCHOR, WORLD REPORT (voice-over): Snapshots of a crisis deepening by the day. East Africa is suffering from its worst drought in 60 years. The drought is too widespread to escape so the best hope for survival is to get to a place - any place - with some supplies, like this parched and overcrowded United Nations refugee camp.

VALERIE AMOS, U.N. UNDER-SECY. FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS: We're not just dealing with a drought or a food crisis. Food prices have gone up. Conflict takes a long, long time to resolve as we're seeing in Somalia.

MANN: Somalia has faced years of civil war between the country's makeshift government and Islamist fighters. Many Somalis have fled their dried-out farms, walking barefoot for days to the capital Mogadishu. They'd rather be here than face starvation in the countryside.

The Al Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab insurgents who once expelled foreign aid workers from areas under their control are now appealing for them to come back. In the region, as many as ten million people are at risk. The UN says areas shaded orange are in a state of emergency.

AMOS: This is a situation that requires long-term kind of dogged purpose to it and we have to make sure that continues.

MANN: The UN says thousands of Somalis are also crossing borders. Many end up here - the world's largest refugee camp Dadaab in Kenya. It's already stretched to the limit. It was intended for 90,000 people. The UN says there are now more than 380,000 - that's 4x more.

Jonathan Mann, CNN, Atlanta.


HOLMES: Well, the global agency that fights poverty OxFam has launched its biggest ever emergency appeal for Africa. Joining me now from Nairobi in Kenya is OxFam spokesman Alun McDonald.

Alun, one thing that I'm curious about with this, despite sort of predictions, warnings that this was coming in a climactic sense that the weather was turning and that this might happen, not a whole lot of preventions were put into place. Is that a fair criticism?

ALUN MCDONALD, SPOKESMAN, OXFAM: Yes, definitely bad. I mean, we had a feeling that this was going to be a big crisis - perhaps not as big as it turned out to be but a big crisis late last year or earlier this year. But unfortunately, some of the measures that would have prevented it becoming such a big disaster weren't put in place quick enough.

HOLMES: Well, of course, when nobody's - I haven't yet heard the term "famine" used. Could it become that?

MCDONALD: Well, I mean, at the moment, it's a huge disaster. And, I mean, we're a bit of a step away from a famine (INAUDIBLE) but it's certainly - it's certainly the worst food crisis that we've seen in this region since the turn of the century and quite possibly since the early 1990's, I think.

HOLMES: Let's talk a little bit about why these crises keep happening and there is a weather relevant to this, isn't it?

MCDONALD: There is. I mean, in this region, we're seeing droughts becoming much more frequent so I think that at the last seven years, five of the years have had very bad rainfall. We know that these kinds of crises are going to happen and yet, each year, it's still back - we're still sort of taken a little bit by surprise about the scale of the crisis and the scale (INAUDIBLE). We know that they're going to happen. There are things that can be done in advance by governments in the region and by the international community to make sure that people don't get to the stage where they're starving and the animals are dying in the tens of thousands. But unfortunately, that's still not happening.

HOLMES: It's probably not the right analogy. It's a bit of a perfect storm because there's also a bit of a crisis that's going on with fuel and food prices as well just adding to the misery, isn't it?

MCDONALD: It is. I mean, it's a combination of things. So it would be the lack of the rainfall in Northern Kenya, for example, we've had the driest year in 60 years. But there's also a whole bunch of other issues - the rising food prices, so some of the staple food have now doubled or trebled the price that it was this time last year. And then there's also a lot of manmade contributing factors to the crisis. So you have the conflict in Somalia which has made the drought much much worse than it's - than it needed to be. And you also have the fact that a lot of the worst affected areas are the poorest and the least-developed parts of the region. So they don't have the infrastructure - you know, the roads, the health care, the water system - to help communities cope with the kind of drought.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes. Alun, thanks for that. Alun McDonald of OxFam in Nairobi. Thanks so much.

Well, Britain has announced its going to increase its aid budget for Ethiopia. The government is giving an extra $61 million. Many agencies appealing for money before it is too late. The UN High Commission of the Refugees has already issued a stark warning saying "this crisis is turning into a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions."

Coming up, the politician killed for his views on Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. We're going to speak to Salmaan Taseer's daughter about why she's not afraid to take on her father's battle.



Pakistani politician Salmaan Taseer was shot dead in January because of his campaign against the country's tough blasphemy laws. A couple of months later, his colleague, Shahbaz Bhatti, was also killed.

Now, these assassinations divided Pakistan and shocked the world.

In a moment, we're going to speak to Taseer's daughter. But first, let's hear from CNN's Reza Sayah.


REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pakistan's blasphemy laws came into sharp focus last year with the conviction of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the prophet Mohammed. Bibi's conviction sparked outrage around the world.

No Pakistani politician spoke out louder against the laws than Taseer. Too often, the laws were used to persecute minorities, he said.

The campaign seemed to gain momentum. Pakistan's president said he would consider pardoning Asia Bibi. Minority minister Bhatti was appointed to a committee to amend the blasphemy laws.

But then came the backlash from both hardline Islamist groups and even mainstream religious parties who deemed any change to the blasphemy laws as an attack on Islam. And no longer is there any talk about changing Pakistan's blasphemy laws. In fact, Pakistani prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has come out and said the laws will remain as they are and that's perhaps the clearest sign that in this very heated and impassioned debate, it's the supporters of Pakistan's blasphemy laws who at least for now have the upper hand.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.


HOLMES: Well, Salmaan Taseer, of course, was killed because he was campaigning for a change to Pakistan's blasphemy laws. His death exposed the danger faced by those speaking out. Many others though continue to fight on.

Taseer's daughter, Shehrbano, told Becky Anderson why she is campaigning to get these laws abolished.


SALMAAN TASEER, LIBERAL PAKISTANI OFFICIAL (voice-over): The blasphemy law is not a - is not a god-made law. In fact, it's a - it's a man-made law. It was made by General Zia ul-Haq. It's a law which gives an excuse to extremists and reactionaries to target weak people and minorities.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Views that cost Salmaan Taseer his life.

Less than two months after speaking those words on CNN, the liberal Pakistani politician was shot by one of the men assigned to protect him.

Mumtaz Qadri was hailed a hero by some, even showered in roses by lawyers.

This outpouring of praise for a man who is now a convicted killer has come as a shock to the world, to moderate Moslems, and to the family of Salmaan Taseer.

But his daughter, "Newsweek" journalist Shehrbano Taseer, refuses to be silenced. She tells me why, at great risk to herself, she continues to speak out - not just against the blasphemy laws but against the apparent rise in Islamic fundamentalism in her country.

SHEHRBANO TASEER, PAKISTANI ACTIVIST, DAUGHTER OF MURDERED POLITICIAN: My father spoke about - he spoke about the misuse of these laws and prior to his death, there was - there was no awareness. There was no knowledge about these laws. There was - nobody knew about the conviction rates, the lives that have been affected. And so his death, I feel, really brought that out into the open. And now it's something that you just can't get away from. Everybody's interested. Everybody is finding out more and more. And I feel like there has been a certain degree of introspection. So, I mean, if you look at the conviction rates, they've only increased since my father's murder. So that's (INAUDIBLE) but you can't underestimate the importance of debate and society and awareness. So in many ways, it's - I mean, it's brought a lot of good.

ANDERSON: And that is important. How do you though fight these laws when you have hundreds of lawyers showing support for your father's killer, showering him with rose petals?

TASEER: Yes, that was - I mean, that was disgusting to see because these men don't realize that by supporting a murder, they're going against their very profession and judiciaries are traditionally more rightwing and (INAUDIBLE) but this is just taking it to a whole different level and so you - like - I think it was a huge warning sign and it showed just how far the tentacles of extremism has spread in Pakistan.

ANDERSON: Let me ask you a question from the viewers, from Rida Meher who says do you think if your father had been slightly more careful with how he phrased his criticism, that it would have prevented his murder?

TASEER: I mean, that's just - that's such an apologist route to take. We live in a democracy. There should be freedom of expression. I don't care what my father said and how he said it. He didn't deserve to be shot 27 times. And the second that people said, making excuses and justifying what happened, happens, that's when we know that we fail as a society.

ANDERSON: Rida asks a very simple question. She says how are you not scared - or perhaps I should rephrase that - are you scared?

TASEER: I do feel scared sometimes. But my father, I think that he was a meteor of a man. And he consumed himself to blaze the path for other people. And it would be a terrible disservice to his work and to his life and to his death if everybody just cowered down and let these extremists win and didn't speak up against injustice. So, you know, of course you face - you face fearful lives but you have to keep fighting.

ANDERSON: Are you going to go into politics yourself?


ANDERSON: Why not?

TASEER: I've seen that it's a very dirty profession. There's a lot of red tape and it's not - it's not always the best way to bring about change or to get things done.

ANDERSON: How would you characterize Pakistan?

TASEER: I think it's a work-in-progress. You know, people - it's so unfair that people associate Pakistan with terrorism because we are very much a victim of this extremist ideology as well when we've lost 30,000 soldiers. I mean, it's depressing but I feel - but I don't feel like this is our fate and this is what we are. I feel like this is an unfortunate reality and it's a fight about - it's a fight of our history but I do think though we can overcome it.

ANDERSON: A question from Rizwan Raees Khan. Another one here - how can we change the mindset of the people of Pakistan? How do we stop, he says, these injustices happening and learn to be more tolerant people? And I talked to Imran Khan about this recently. He's absolutely convinced that the Americans, for example, need to step away at this point and that Pakistan needs to sort itself out, its own politics, its own people, its own extremists.

TASEER: Like I said before, Pakistan is very much a victim of this ideology and it's broad and it's been exported into Pakistan by Saudi Arabia and they find and they armed a lot of these militants and they set- up a lot of madrassas. And this, I feel, is the biggest problem that Pakistan is facing today is this mushrooming of these - of all these madrassas which are religious schools. And what's being taught there is that they hardline a militant Islam and if you go in, you have seven and eight-year-olds who don't know much about the world and they don't have very many tools and they don't know about history and math, but they know how to fire a gun and they know how to blow themselves up and they're becoming these merchants of hatred. And I feel like that needs to be countered at the very grassroots-level and it needs to be down to a curriculum reform and the government needs to step in on that.

ANDERSON: Is America's presence in Pakistan encouraging extremists? Let's be honest if you believe it is.

TASEER: Well, it's giving - it's giving these Islamists, these clerics and these religious (INAUDIBLE), it's giving them a wave to ride on and it's very easy to rile up the public and spew anti-America venom and get people onto your bandwagon. So it's certainly fuelling that cause.

ANDERSON: What do you want your dad's legacy to be?

TASEER: Well, my father's legacy was one - I feel like he was murdered for humanity and it's been made into a religion but it's a matter of humanity. And so he was a brave and courageous man and he wanted a progressive and a pluralistic Pakistan.


HOLMES: Tomorrow on CONNECT THE WORLD, it's Pottermania. We're going to be at the premiere of the final Harry Potter movie. Bet you can't wait. We're going to be speaking to the stars on the red carpet.

And remember, you can always see more of our big interviews online. Just head over to

Our parting shots today, incredible - you see it behind me - a massive dust storm over Arizona. Look at this thing develop. It whipped across the land. This is time-lapsed, of course. It brought parts of the U.S. state to a complete halt. Flights in and out of Arizona's largest airport delayed because of - guess what - low visibility. Trees were knocked down. More than 10,000 people lost power. Spooky.

Forecasters say the cloud was almost 50 kilometres long and packed winds of more than 100 kilometres an hour. The U.S. weather service says a violent dust or sand storm is called a Habuub. It's Arabic for "wind". I've seen a couple of those in Iraq.

All right. I'm Michael Holmes in for Becky Anderson. I hope she feels better tomorrow. Thanks for watching. I'll be back with BACK STORY right after this short break, if I can get to the studio in time.