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Gadhafi's Sons Speak; E.U.'s Humanitarian Aid; Transfer Window Roundup; Mentally Ill Sisters Freed from Chains in West Bank; Global Mental Health Spending; Asylum Seekers in Australia; Reboot of Comic Superheroes

Aired August 31, 2011 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Crammed into a cell in fear of their lives -- the African migrants accused of fighting for Gadhafi. Tonight, with fears that Libya could be spiraling into chaos, I'll ask the U.N. whether it's time to put foreign boots on the ground.

Plus, find out why this player is getting football fans across the globe in a frenzy.

And battling their way into the 21st century, we'll reveal how some of the world's biggest comic book heroes are getting a makeover.

These stories and more tonight as we connect the world.

Well, we begin tonight with breaking news out of Libya. Two of Moammar Gadhafi's sons are speaking out this hour, both of them still in hiding. And they are giving very conflicting signals.

Saif al-Islam was extremely defiant, promising that the regime forces are coming soon to liberate Tripoli from the rebels. He also warned them not to attack his father's hometown of Sirte.

A Syrian-based TV channel aired his audio message just minutes ago.


SAIF AL-ISLAM GADHAFI (through translator): There's concern.

We told them -- we can tell them take Sirte if you just go in, there are more than 20,000 armed young people and they are ready, well trained, ready, willing and able. Our -- we are going through stages in Aziza, Eastern Aziza yes. We are struggling and we're fighting. This is no more than propaganda, media propaganda in order to distort the public opinion. And the leadership is fine. The leader is fine. And we are fighting. And we are drinking tea and coffee. And we are sitting with our families. And we are fighting.

However, there is also another message to all our (INAUDIBLE) in Tripoli and all the other places. We're saying to everyone to move now, now, everyone has to move from now, to attack all these gangsters of the rats.


ANDERSON: He sounds like his father, doesn't he?

Well, Saif al-Islam, his brother Saadi Gadhafi, meantime, delivered a quite different message when he spoke to Al-Arabiya.

He says he has been negotiating with a rebel commander on ways to stop the bloodshed.

Let's get right to Nic Robertson, our correspondent there in Tripoli for the very latest.

And remarkably different narratives from two brothers, neither of which we know where they are, of course, nor do we know where his father is at the moment.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Saif al- Islam and his message said that he was in the suburbs of Tripoli. But I think one of the important issues here is, is Saif al-Islam really speaking for the tribes of Bani Walid, as he said?

Is he really speaking for the tribes of Sirte, as he said?

We haven't heard from the National Transitional Council yet, who say they've been negotiating elder to elder, elder to elder in both those places.

The -- the town, the important town 400 kilometers along the coast, Sirte; and -- and Bani Walid, about 200 kilometers southeast of the city here.

So is Saif really, really speaking for those tribes or not?

And why has he chosen to speak out right now, which is several days before the deadline the government has set for an answer, or the National Transitional Council has set for an answer?

So it then goes on to pose another question.

OK, so that really is the real answer, then does the NTC start its attack now on Sirte and Bani Walid.

So it -- it certainly raises the stakes.

Why is -- why are these messages so different?

Interesting. Saadi has been saying this for a number of days. Has been talking to the NTC. The military command said he has been trying to negotiate a cease-fire, that he speaks for the former government here and that his father and Saif don't. And they've both been coming out with completely different messages.

It does seem that they are beginning to realize that their time is running out. I think that's the overall impression here right now -- Becky.

ANDERSON: And Libyans certainly celebrating the fall of a brutal regime.

There are, though, growing concerns, Nic, about retribution at the hands of the rebels. And I know that you filed a report on exactly that tonight.

ROBERTSON: You know, what's happening in and around Tripoli is that a lot of people are being arrested on suspicion of being Gadhafi forces.

And what we found on a visit to a jail here is that the vast majority of those being arrested are African migrant workers.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): They are frightened. Up to 15 crammed to a cell. The stifling heat amplifying their fear. They are Libya's new despised African migrants, rounded up in their droves, accused of being Gadhafi loyalists.

In this rebel jail, they are disproportionately represented, the vast majority of 300 inmates.

This Ghanaian prisoner says he was on his way to his day laboring job when he was picked up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm afraid because what are they saying?

They're saying we have worked with Gadhafi. We do -- we are not working with Gadhafi. We are here struggling to get money and go back to our country.

ROBERTSON: They all have similar stories.

BLASMINA DAWALI, AFRICAN PRISONER: I feel sad. I feel sad every day. Because I look at my voice, I cried. And I don't want too much sympathy, that's all. (INAUDIBLE) it is not fair. It is not fair. (INAUDIBLE) in our country (INAUDIBLE) as if we are animals.

ROBERTSON: Dawali, a Nigerian, says her husband was arrested a week ago and she was picked up when she went out to buy food.

DAWALI: They took everything from us. They collected everything from us. I had my money inside my palm. They took the money (INAUDIBLE) and removed the money. They take everything from us.

ROBERTSON: The man in charge of the jail, a computer sciences graduate with no experience at managing inmates, admits half the prisoners are probably innocent.

ALAA AL-AMEEN ABOUT RASS, PRISONER MANAGER: I'm not allowed to -- to leave them, because I didn't bring them here. Someone else bring them here and he signed for this. So he's -- that -- that's the one is responsible about to release them or not.

ROBERTSON: A few hours later, he's replaced by professional jailers. But prisoners say nothing else changes.

(on camera): The shambolic situation here is symptomatic of the chaotic transfer of power across the country. But amidst it, there is an undercurrent of retribution that runs rife. Many believe the Africans here are Gadhafi's mercenaries, where, in reality, hundreds of thousands were in the country before the war, working as simple day laborers.

You only have to look at how the Libyans are being treated to see the difference.

(voice-over): Their conditions almost luxurious by comparison. Fewer to a cell. More space to move around. Better access to the scant water supplies.

This Libyan prisoner picked up when he went to see his family.

FIRAS SALAHEDDIN MUSTAFA, LIBYAN PRISONER: Right now, this evening, it's good. But some people come here and they call us zogs (ph) and they call us, you -- you worked for Gadhafi or something. But most of us don't.

ROBERTSON: Regardless of nationality, what unites the prisoners here, however, is fear.

MUSTAFA: I don't know if they'll kill me or I don't know what will happen. They might shoot me. I don't know what's going on.

ROBERTSON: Their jailers promise justice. But amidst the appearance of prejudice, it may be hard to find.


ROBERTSON: And it could be a long time before any of the people inside those jails actually get some real attention by judges and the legal system here -- Becky.

ANDERSON: And so it goes on.

Nic, we thank you for that.

Nic Robertson is in Tripoli for you this evening.

Now, I want to bring you an update on a story that I know has touched many of you around the world.

We told you about Shweyga Mullah, a nanny who was working in the home of one of Gadhafi's other sons, Hannibal. She was found severely scalded and burned. And she says it was done to her by Hannibal Gadhafi's wife.

Now, her story has struck a chord with many of you, I know. We've been receiving many requests for how you might be able to help out.

Now, CNN is helping to arrange some treatment for Shweyga. She will need months to recover, I've got to say. And you can now help yourselves, There you'll find a link to a page that's being set up by Anti-Slavery International specifically to help Shweyga. That is our Impact Your World page. That's

Well, Eid, the end of Ramadan, is traditionally a time to feast and exchange gifts with loved ones, of course. This year it comes as people in Tripoli are struggling with a shortage of food and water.

Well, the EU giving about $40 million for emergency humanitarian operations in Tripoli.

Now, earlier, I talked with Mark Choonoo, who's a UNICEF emergency specialist who's in the Libyan capital.

And I asked him whether the influx of -- those sort of numbers like that from the EU that's been allocated, will be enough.

And this is what he said.


MARK CHOONOO, UNICEF EMERGENCY SPECIALIST: Currently, with the water system, for instance, for us to be able to adequately respond, we need 1.5 million liters of water per day for each day of the crisis. There's been no water in the water pipes since Saturday.

So, if we are going to respond at these levels, there's a much larger budget that's required. And we need to be able to respond to crises that we are not really used to at these camps.


ANDERSON: A representative of UNICEF on the ground there in Tripoli for you this evening.

Well, world diplomats are gathering in Paris for a major conference on these and other challenges facing Libya. Representatives from 60 countries will discuss the funding and rebuilding of a new, democratic state. That is on Thursday.

Ian Martin is among those who will be attending that meeting.

He's a U.N. special adviser on Libya.

And I spoke with him before he caught his flight out to Paris, asking him, first, what he thought of the rebels' deadline for surrender. That, of course, being Saturday, they say. Saturday or else.


IAN MARTIN, U.N. SPECIAL ADVISER: Clearly, that is a military threat. But the strong hope of the international community is that that can be avoided by the Gadhafi loyalists ceasing to -- to -- to consider a further military stand rather than a peaceful transition.

ANDERSON: There's a big meeting in Paris Thursday.

What is your number one priority on the list for that meeting, which I know you will be attending yourself?

MARTIN: It's a key moment for the international community to overcome some of the decisions there have been and be united in support of Libya for the future. That was certainly the mood in the Security Council yesterday. And I'm certain it will be the mood in Paris. And there seems to be a strong wish from the Libyans and from the international community as a whole that the United Nations would play a leading role in the post- conflict period.

ANDERSON: Libya needs money. It needs assets and it needs them fast. They have frozen around the world some $200 billion worth. Some $3 billion or so have been unfrozen by the U.N. Security Council.

Who's standing in the way of more money being unlocked at this point?

MARTIN: Some members of the Council have put a hold on the immediate requests that they were after unfreezing and are concerned about what the arrangements are going to be for the -- the spending of those assets when unfrozing -- unfrozen, from the point of view of the -- the secretary- general, and particularly the humanitarian needs, it's really important that the period of -- of humanitarian dependency is as short as possible and that funds are available.

And, of course, in the longer-term, it's important that Libya turns the page toward transparent, accountable handling of its very considerable assets and -- and resources and avoids the corruption that has marked that in the past.

ANDERSON: Come on, Ian, who are the members standing in the way?

MARTIN: I'm not sure at the moment which of the members of the Security Council have -- are retaining what is called a hold on the particular request.

ANDERSON: Can I suggest Russia and China?

MARTIN: China certainly has been -- has put a hold on it at some points. But I'm -- I'm not -- simply not sure which countries, at the moment, are sustaining holds on which requests.

ANDERSON: What are you going to do short-term?

MARTIN: It's very clear now that the Libyans don't intend to ask for any military deployment from the United Nations and that the possibility, in the context of a cease-fire of some unarmed military observers is no longer relevant in the present scenario.

But what we have to do first is precisely engage with the Libyans at the leadership level, but also on the ground in Tripoli, as we will be doing very soon, to understand their situation, to understand what they want to ask for and to see who in the international community, the U.N. and others, can be helpful as they restore security and build a -- a democratically accountable public security force for the future.


ANDERSON: And you've been listening to the voice of the UN's special representative on post-conflict resolution ahead of that big meeting in Paris on Libya Thursday.

More on that, of course, here on this show tomorrow evening.

Well, coming up, the storm has moved on, but restoring power, well, that is a struggle. Why Hurricane Irene is still wreaking havoc on East Coast Americans.

And then football frenzy -- the latest deals and steals in the last 90 minutes of the transfer window.

And dramatic makeovers for iconic comic book characters -- we're going to show you all the new looks a little later on in this show.

You're watching CNN.

It's 15 minutes past 9:00 in London.

I'm Becky Anderson.

Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Well, as you're back with us here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

These satellite pictures coming to us from Martyr's Square in Libya, as people there celebrate the -- the end of the Ramadan festival. Some very peaceful scenes, you can see there in Tripoli.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

This is CNN.

We're going to get you a look at the other stories that we are following for you this hour.

And horrific reports of detainee abuse are emerging from Syria. Amnesty International says since the protests began five months ago, 88 detainees have been killed and dozens of them showed signs of torture. The government hasn't formally responded to the report.

But earlier, we spoke to the Amnesty International research on it.

And this is what they said.


NEIL SAMMONDS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH: It's partly showing the kind of desperation of the regime, that they will go to horrendous levels to beat people back. They are trying to scare the opposition.

And, at the same time, it shows the absence of political will at the international level, because they know they can get away with murder. They -- they know they have, effectively, impunity, unless other people step in and try to stop them.


ANDERSON: Well, people in Southwest Pakistan say 11 people were killed when a car bomb exploded near a crowd of worshippers celebrating the end of Ramadan there. Twenty-one people were wounded in the attack in the city of Quetta. A police official says the suicide bomber was trying to move farther into the crowd, but security measures held the car back and it exploded prematurely.

Well, nearly two million people in the United States are still living without power four days after Hurricane Irene slammed into the East Coast.

Now, U.S. President Barack Obama today signed disaster declarations for the states of North Carolina and New York. And the U.S. Homeland Security secretary promised a long-term recovery effort was on the way.


JANET NAPOLITANO, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We will be helping you with this recovery and bringing this community back to where it was before. It will be a process. It will take some time. There's a lot of damage here. Everybody can see it just walking around. And you certainly can see it from the air.

But we will be partners with you through this recovery period.


ANDERSON: Janet Napolitano there.

Well, after paying tribute to hundreds of fallen soldiers over the past four years, the British town of Wootton Bassett is marking the end of an era tonight. A nearby airbase that traditionally receives soldiers killed in action is closed. So the small town is no longer the route between the base and the coroner's office. People there became famous for lining the streets whenever a soldier's body was brought back to Britain.

Nineteen minutes past 9:00 in London.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up this hour, crunch time on transfer deadline. Today, we're going to look at today's big movers and shakers in the world of football when we talk sport with Pedro Pinto. That is just ahead after this short break.

And after that, why some of the world's most famous crime fighters are going back to the dressing room. That's about 30 minutes away.

Do stay with us.

We'll take a short break.

We're coming back, after this.


ANDERSON: Now, it came with a $57 million price tag. That is the staggering amount of money Barcelona agreed to fork out for Cesc Fabregas in the summer. And when Manchester City set their sights on Samir Nasri, well, they spent a whopping $37.5 million.

Those are just two of the big names in football who made multi-million dollar moves over the summer, over the autumn, actually, as we move toward the autumn, at least.

And what your team does in the next 90 minutes or 98 minutes off the field could make or break their season.

Tonight, Europe's top football clubs are scrambling to snap up a star signing before 11:00 p.m. London time. That is when Europe's transfer window slams shut. And it doesn't open again until January. So this is hugely important.

It's not just the millions of football fans around the world watching every twist and turn, of course. Earlier today, Manchester United star, Michael Owen, Tweeted -- and I quote -- "Have any big deals been concluded? Rushing home now to watch the final few hours unfold. Hoping they haven't decided to strike on ISU (ph)."

The money involved, well, it's pretty extraordinary, isn't it?

It could right now into the hundreds of millions of dollars. There might be little time left, but there are still plenty of rumors and a whole load of hysteria.

Let's get the latest from Pedro Pinto, who's joining me in the studio with pointy shoes this evening -- Pedro, most of my mates who are blokes are sitting watching the trade tonight and also watching the Internet. They want to know what's going on with 97 minutes to go.

What are the (INAUDIBLE)?

PEDRO PINTO, CNN "WORLD SPORT" ANCHOR: There is -- hysteria is a good word. I've remained calm.


PINTO: Because I like to concentrate on the facts and on the figures, Becky, because there's so much speculation.


PINTO: The problem on a day like this is what's fact, what's fiction?

There are so many rumors going along that the agents are on the phone, the chairman are on the phone, the managers are on the phone, the players are on the phone. Everyone -- everybody is trying to make a deal work. And as you mentioned, there's about an hour-and-a-half left until the window closes.

And let me talk about some of the clubs that have been quite active on the final day.

And Arsenal fans will be very pleased to hear that Arsene Wenger actually did spend some money. They went out and got Mertesacker -- Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen, who's a German central defender. They really need some shoring up at the back, don't you think, after conceding eight goals to Manchester United over the weekend.

They also got Park Chu-Young, the South Korean captain. He came in from Monaco. And Andre Santos from Fenerbahce, another defender, a Brazilian left back.

Roma in Italy, they've got new owners, Americans, actually, the only Serie A club with -- with foreign ownership. And they -- they got some players, as well. Fernando Gago from Real Madrid and Miralem Pjanic.

And let me tell you about your team. I know you support Tottenham. I don't know if that's on the record, but it is now. They have (INAUDIBLE)...

ANDERSON: I did anyway, last season.

PINTO: They got Scott Parker, who came in from West Ham, of course, relegated last season. They really needed a -- a defensive midfielder. They got him. A good -- a good signing...


PINTO: But they managed to hold onto Luka Modric, at least so far. He's been chased by Chelsea all summer long.

ANDERSON: All right. Stay with me.


ANDERSON: Because I want to get to our mate out in the newsroom.

Ben is out there this evening.

He's our digital producer -- Ben, I know you've got a couple of fans out there.

We've been talking about just who's been signed. It -- you know, it's so close, isn't it, given there's 90 or so minutes left.

I just want to get a taste, from what you've got out there, of just what the atmosphere is like around Europe as these clubs leave it what is the last minute in the transfer window.

BEN WYATT, CNN DIGITAL SPORT PRODUCER: Well, that's right, Becky. It's very dramatic. And it's not just around Europe. There's football fans all around the world feeling the excitement as the transfer deadline ticks down.

You can see here, this is the hash tag for Arsenal, which has been trending very high on Twitter all day. And you can see right from America, Europe, all through Africa and Indonesia, people are very interested in the deals that are being made by the London club.

Now, I've got two fans from two of the clubs in London who have been doing deals today, as Pedro has been saying, both Arsenal and Tottenham.

I've got Sukesh, who is an Arsenal fan.

He's joining me from Malaysia.

And Gregor, who is a Tottenham fan from Edinboro.

Sukesh, I'll start with you.

Why is the transfer deadline day such an exciting time for you, as a football fan?

Sukesh, I don't know if you can hear me.

I'll try asking you again.

Why today is such an exciting day for you, as the deadline ticks down?

ANDERSON: Got that free, Gregor?

Let's go back to Sukesh.

WYATT: Sukesh, I don't know if you can hear me.


WYATT: Let's just try that again.

SUKESH PANDAN, ARSENAL FAN IN MALAYSIA: This is the first time it's in years that Arsenal (INAUDIBLE) signed a couple of the (INAUDIBLE) so (INAUDIBLE) with most I've been in this position for three years. So it (INAUDIBLE). So this is really very, very exciting for us. And hopefully, we can get (INAUDIBLE).

WYATT: Gregor, you're watching this from Scotland.

How have you been keeping up with today's news?

Arsenal (INAUDIBLE) signed a couple of the (INAUDIBLE) so (INAUDIBLE) with most I've been in this position for three years. So it (INAUDIBLE). So this is really very, very exciting for us. And hopefully, we can get (INAUDIBLE).

WYATT: Gregor, you're watching this from Scotland.

How have you been keeping up with today's news?

GREGOR SMITH, TOTTENHAM FAN LIVING IN SCOTLAND: Well, I've been keeping up on, you know, those Web sites, trying to avoid the Google Mail and Twitter. And I think that's really helped. It's given me a better perspective of the actual real stories, as opposed to the horrible rumors that have been circulating.

WYATT: Well, the manager of Tottenham, the club that you support, Harry Redknapp, he's got a bit of a reputation for being a wheeler dealer and he's made some very spectacular last minute deals previously. how do you think he's fared in this last day of the transfer window?

That's to you, Gregor.

SMITH: I think he's done reasonably well. (INAUDIBLE) to keep looking (INAUDIBLE) and he's brought in Scott Parker and Manuel Neuer. That's definitely strengthened the team, a little bit like Gary (INAUDIBLE), you can't have everything.

WYATT: So too fans from across the world there, Becky, still eagerly anticipating some more deals going through with their clubs -- back to you.

ANDERSON: Ben, the technology never gives (INAUDIBLE) to that. A couple of fans who are a North London club supporters. And aside from the excitement that this generates and there are, like I said, the most -- most (INAUDIBLE) I think that are watching what's going on in the last 90 minutes, the money that's involved in some of these deals is quite extraordinary -- Pedro.

PINTO: It -- it's astounding. Let me give you an idea of how much money has been spent in Europe's top four leagues, starting with the Premier League. You want to be surprised to hear that this was the competition that spent more money between the 20 clubs -- $633 million and counting, of course, with an hour-and-a-half left, still time to dish out plenty more cash. Second on the list right now, Serie A, $596 million. A surprising figure considering the financial crisis in Italy at the moment.

In third, La Liga, with $478 million. A little under that.

The big spenders there were El Clasico Madrid, neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid. That's a surprise.

And, finally, in Germany, you're getting a sense that these clubs are a lot more financially responsible. And they're $200 million, under a third of what the Premier League club spent. They're really tight on the finances there in Germany and they can't overspend. It's as simple as that -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, it doesn't mean the football isn't anything like -- well, as exciting as everywhere else.

PINTO: Yes, that's right.


PINTO: They just run a tighter ship.

ANDERSON: Absolutely.

Listen, 91 minutes left and counting.


ANDERSON: You will be back with "WORLD SPORT," of course, as the window closes this evening. "WORLD SPORT" with Pedro Pinto for the latest right here on CNN in about an hour from now.

Do stay with us for that, unless you're (INAUDIBLE), you really won't be interested in talking.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

Freed from chains -- we're going to bring you a heartbreaking story out of the West Bank this evening, showing the plight of the mentally disabled in some parts of the world. That is on in a very few minutes.

That and your headlines, coming up.


ANDERSON: All right, just after half past nine in London.

You are back with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

I'm Becky Anderson.

This is the world's news leader.

Let's get you a check of the headlines this hour, shall we? and two statements, two very different messages. Moammar Gadhafi's sons, Saif and Saadi, both spoke to Arabic language TV channels just a short time ago.

Now, Saif vowed the regime will soon defeat rebels in control of most of Libya. Al-Saadi said he's working toward a negotiated resolution.

Well, the United Nations calls the humanitarian situation in Tripoli "alarming." It estimates 60 percent of people are without water and sanitation. U.N. ships carrying millions of liters of water are due to arrive on Thursday.

Human rights group, Amnesty International, says at least 88 people have died behind bars since Syria's protests began. The group's report says more than 50 of those victims showed signs of torture.

And U.S. President Barack Obama has signed disaster declarations for the states of New York and North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Irene. Flood warnings are still in effect for several areas hit by the storm. Irene blamed for the deaths of 43 people.

And the small town, Wootton Bassett has marked the end of an era. The coffins of British service personnel will no longer pass through on their way home. People there became famous for lining the streets whenever a soldier's body was brought back to Britain.

And those are your headlines this hour.

Well, we have a story now about two Palestinian women who spent years chained up by their own family members. They say it was for the women's safety.

But now the sisters, who have mental disabilities, face a new challenge.

Our Kevin Flower has their story from the West Bank.

And a warning, I've got to tell you viewers, some of you may find this distressing.


KEVIN FLOWER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We first met Nedaa and Mohedeye Dawabsha in early August. The two sisters, 21 and 25, sat on the floor of a small room in their family's modest West Bank home. Neither of the young women was able to leave the room. They were being held in chains.

Connected to harnesses around their waists, a meter-and-a-half of chain links binding them to a heavy metal locker. According to her family, Nedaa had been locked up like this for the past 10 years and her older sister for the past two.

It was, they said, a necessary measure to keep the girls, who suffered from a serious mental disability, safe and maintain the reputation of the family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I prefer that they will stay on the chains, their cousin told us, because the other option is someone could rape them. And, you know that the question of honor in this society is very important. To be bound is better than to be killed.

FLOWER: Before the sisters were chained, the family said, they used to leave the home in the middle of the night, sometimes without clothes and sometimes entering neighbors' homes. Nedaa and Mohedeye Dawabsha's older sister, Intesar, told us that mental illness ran in the family and that her mother and father were incapable of giving her sisters the care they need.

"They need someone to take care of them 24 hours," she told us, "to give them food, because they cannot eat properly. They cannot do their basic needs. They cannot change their clothing. They cannot clean themselves. They need someone 24 hours."

She said the family could not afford private care and pleas for help to the Palestinian Authority government went unanswered.

Daoud Al-Deek is an official in the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Social Affairs. The years long confinement of the Dawabsha sisters, he says, might have been avoided had the Ministry done a better job of making Palestinians aware of some of the services available to them.

DAOUD AL-DEEK, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY MINISTRY OF SOCIAL AFFAIRS: Frankly, when you have this cultural problem and we still feel that it is (INAUDIBLE). We need to work on it in the social marketing to (INAUDIBLE) such persons have shown in the people. And those people are inside, they are human beings, that they are entitled to all the rights according to international standards.

FLOWER: Just two days after we visited Nedaa and Mohedeye Dawabsha at their home and inquired about their case, the Palestinian Authority managed to find a space for the sisters at the Four Homes of Mercy, one of only two West Bank facilities for the mentally ill over the age of 18.

Dr. Arafat Eidi is the Center's medical director and has little sympathy for the family's treatment of the young women.

DR. ARAFAT EIDI, THE HOMES OF MERCY: This is not (INAUDIBLE) some of their behavior, from family or from anybody who deals with such people in such a way. They are their patients. They are suffering from severe mental illnesses, but in fact the chains, it is unacceptable to do this, immoral behavior.

FLOWER: For now, the sisters are unchained and protected, receiving the 24 hour care that they needed for so many years. But it is not clear how long this arrangement will last.

The Palestinian Authority depends on donors for funds and it, like the Four Homes of Mercy, is deeply in the red.

OSAMA KHALAYE, GENERAL DIRECTOR, THE FOUR HOMES OF MERCY: The only amount that we received up until August 4th, I think, was one payment, $15,000. And to be honest with you, that -- that doesn't even cover 25 percent of all of our monthly budget.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So how do you survive?

KHALAYE: I don't know.

FLOWER: So while Nedaa and Mohedeye Dawabsha and the other patients at the Four Homes of Mercy have found care, their future is uncertain and so is that of the other Palestinians requiring treatment for mental disabilities.

Kevin Flower, CNN, Ramallah, in the West Bank.


ANDERSON: All right, well, hundreds of millions of people worldwide are affected by mental illness, but it often goes ignored or, in cases like we've just seen, hidden away.

Well, let's break it down for you, shall we?

According to the medical journal, "The Lancet," stigma plays a role in the United States. It's a wealthy country, but only a third of sufferers actually receive any treatment. That seems absolutely remarkable, doesn't it?

Well, Sweden has a good reputation when it comes to health care in general. Compare that, though, to somewhere like Kenya, where .01 percent of the health care budget is actually spent on mental health illnesses.

And "The Lancet" quote serving in South Africa, it found that most people there thought mental illness was related to stress or a lack of willpower. They don't appear to spend anything on it.

Well, as we've just seen, money and a lack of awareness is often to blame for non-existent mental health sector in some developing countries.

But does culture also play a part?

Well, for more on this, we're joined by Shekar Saxena from the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the World Health Organization.

Now you -- you see a report like we've just seen out of Palestine and it's shocking, sir, isn't it?

SHEKAR SAXENA, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Well, thank you for getting me in. It is shocking, but, unfortunately, not very exceptional. We see this problem very often in many countries.

So it's unfortunate, but unfortunately very common, also.

ANDERSON: All right, well, what are the main roadblocks to treatment for mental disorders in the developing world?

Perhaps we should start with the budget.

SAXENA: Yes. Budget is a big problem. Many lower and middle income countries spend less than 1 percent of their budget on mental health. And this is the overall health budget. When mental disorders are responsible for more than 13 percent of the burden. So, obviously, countries need to spend much more money on the mental health if they think mental health is a part of health.


SAXENA: Which it should be, according to the World Health Organization.

ANDERSON: Right. But many countries, of course, don't.

Why do you think it is that spend so little time and so little energy on psychiatric illness?

SAXENA: Well, the big reason is the stigma and the stigma for which all throughout the society, it's in the (INAUDIBLE) and it's also in the policymakers. They talk about mental health, but when it comes down to giving real priority and real money, they hold it back. And that's one of the biggest problems.

The second problem is lack of understanding. Many people do not think mental disorders can be diagnosed reliably, something can be done about it and people can actually become better and all right. And that's a myth that we need to break and provide good information to policymakers so that they can make it a priority.

ANDERSON: All right, so I understand the stigma part of this now.

But are there, though, areas in the world where we see success stories with regards to addressing mental health issues?

SAXENA: Yes. A lot needs to be done in many countries. But some countries are already making good progress. There are many examples developed countries. But some developing countries also are doing right.

I would like to give an example of Sri Lanka, where, in spite of a serious lack of specialist psychiatrists, they're doing a very good job by training medical officers in identifying and providing care within the community. So people don't need to travel to a mental hospital. They can get care from their general practitioners via their homes. And that's a very good example to follow.

ANDERSON: Your expert on the subject about one real part of the community who are so often overlooked.

Sir, we thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

It's a Wednesday night in London at 41 minutes past 9:00.

Still to come, the correspondent or reporter who lived a lie. In tonight's big interview, Jose Antonio Vargas -- he risked deportation to put the spotlight on what he calls America's broken immigration system. His story is fascinating. It is up in just two minutes.


ANDERSON: Men, women and children risk a perilous journey for a better life in Australia. They're asylum seekers but to many Australians, they are regarded as cue jumpers. Illegal immigration is one of the country's most divisive political issues. And it just seems further fueled by a high court ruling that has axed a government plan to send 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia in exchange for 4,000 registered refugees waiting for resettlement.

Well, the court decision is seen as a blow to Prime Minister Julia Gillard's government.

But the Australian leader is not alone in trying to strike a balance on immigration policy.

Consider these figures just for a moment. According to the International Organization for Migration, there are 30 million -- 30 million undocumented migrants around the world. This is a global controversy that has seen a rising support for right-wing politicians and is also shaping up as an election issue, of course, in the United States. The election there, of course, in 2012.

Well, tonight in our big interview, I speak to one young man who's among those stateless millions.

Listen to what he has to say.


ANDERSON (voice-over): A reporter who himself feared being reported. Jose Antonio Vargas has written to acclaim for someone America's biggest newspapers. The Philippines born journalist was part of the "The Washington Post" team that won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings. He won further accolades last year after profiling Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg for "The New Yorker" magazine.

And then, in June, he wrote this, revealing that he'd been living in the United States as an undocumented immigrant for 18 years.

JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS, JOURNALIST: My mother sent me from the Philippines to the United States, in California, when I was 12. So, you know, this was in 1993. And I went to a middle school. I grew up in Silicon Valley, basically, where Google is. And it wasn't until I was 16 years old, after I went to the DMV to get the drivers permit that I actually found out that I was undocumented. The woman at the DMV basically looked at the green card that I showed her and she flipped it around twice and said, you know, this is fake.


VARGAS: Don't come back here again. To this day, I can only imagine what would have happened if she actually reported me instead of just saying, you know, this is fake, don't come back here again.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Vargas eventually told his story in an effort to put the spotlight on what he describes as America's broken immigration system, a move he was warned could lead to deportation.

(on camera): You could have gone back to the Philippines, of course, and started the process legally.

Why didn't you do that?

VARGAS: Yes. Every undocumented person has a network of American citizens, you know, I've been referring to it as kind of the 21st century Underground Railroad of supporters, right?

And each step of the way, from the woman at the DMV who told me that, hey, you know, this is a fake license, don't come back here again, to my high school superintendent, who's been like my dad, you know, when the lawyer told me, go back to the Philippines, accept the 10 year bar and then come back, you know, Rich Fisher, that's the name of my superintendent, basically looked at me and said you're not doing that. You're not doing that. You're not going to stop at the rate that you're going just because these laws are so broken. You're going to keep going. You're going to compartmentalize this problem and you're going to keep going.

And that's precisely what I've done, ever since that was in 2002. So, what, almost nine years ago.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The 30 -year-old journalist has started the advocacy group, Define American, collecting more than 96,000 signatures on a petition calling for new conversations on the laws. While his story has moved many, it's also outraged others.

(on camera): What do you say to those who criticize you as undermining your entire journalistic career by the lies that you have told about yourself?

VARGAS: You know, I -- I expected, you know, kind of the journalism community to react in the way that they've reacted. You know, at the end of the day, you know, I did have to lie. But I think the question that has to be asked -- and for some reason, it hasn't really been being asked, is why did I have to lie about that? I mean, again, it's not as if I was lying about who I reported on or the quotes that I used or the sources that I had. No one is questioning the journalism.

They're questioning me as a journalist, right?

They're questioning why I had to lie about what I had to lie about.

Well, if I didn't lie about it, I would not have, you know, been working. I could not have even been in "The Washington Post" or the Huffington Post or writing for "The New Yorker" or the "San Francisco Chronicle," right?

And, again, I can only imagine -- you know, I'm just a journalist. You know, I'm not a doctor. I'm not an engineer. I'm not some, you know, I've met so many undocumented kids right now who are pre-med, who want to be lawyers, who want to be engineers, who want to be part of society, and yet they can't, because of these laws.

They could be top paying American citizens who could be contributing to the economy. Instead, we have them working under the table jobs, if that, and being treated like not even second class citizens, like third class citizens.

ANDERSON: What are you doing to elevate the debate, then, around immigration now?

VARGAS: Whenever what about legal immigration in America, you know, the first word that comes up is amnesty, right?

There's all these buzz words, all these kind of overheated, angry, rhetoric, many of which are not based in fact, not based in common sense. You know, I've been a taxpaying American, you know, American since I've been working, since I was 18. I have had to work hard to earn what I have. And granted, you know, it wasn't my choice to be in this situation. You know, my mother made that choice for me. That I -- I spent many years blaming her and then blaming myself for blaming her.

I think, in many ways, I almost feel as if I'm just getting started. I feel like my job now -- you know, I mean I covered the presidential campaign four years ago. I want to be covering it again now with this specific issue in mind.

ANDERSON: And -- and immigration, you and I know, is increasingly used to prop up some pretty fiery rhetoric on the far right.

Does that worry you?

VARGAS: The odd thing is that most people in America come from immigrant families, right?

The Irish, the Polish, the Eastern Europeans. I mean, we are a country of immigrants. Unless your Native-American, you came from somewhere before you got to America. So I think this kind of the irony of this.

But I think when you think about immigration not just in the United States, but also in the U.K. and Europe, you're talking about primarily an evolving identity, right, what it means to be an American.

How do you define what an American is?

What do Americans look like?

And I think that's really what we're talking about when we talk about immigration.


ANDERSON: Well, in the real world, some of them will be more than 70 years old, but DC Comics is now hoping to breathe new life into some of its most veteran superheroes. We'll unveil the new fate of Superman in 60 seconds.


ANDERSON: Well, superheroes have been part of popular culture, haven't they, for longer than most of us have been alive?

But the industry's glory days have been fading since sales have been falling and it seems at least that one organization, DC Comics, is now taking drastic action.

Today, the company, which is owned by Time Warner, which, of course, is the parent company of CNN, is launching a massive reboot of its most famous characters and its costumes and its story line.

Felicia Taylor went to meet some of the people who camped out to get, well, a first look.


FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm in Midtown Manhattan, where there are many fans that have been lining up since about 11:00 on Tuesday morning for the release at midnight, August 31st, of this comic book. I happened to get my hands on one.

But what's important is that it's also going on the Web. And that's going to attract a whole new line of readers for the Justice League and other comic books like DC Comics.

It's a multi-hundred million dollar business that's just about to expand.

I'm with a real comic book fan. He's gone to such lengths that he's actually tattooed himself all over with different characters.

How many do you have?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About nine tattoos.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Here's Batman. Then you have the Cat Woman down here.

TAYLOR: Ooh, that's my favorite. I like the Cat Woman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I've got the Ninja Turtles on my legs.

TAYLOR: Oh my God.

Tell me how long you've been out here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband and I were out here since noon today.

TAYLOR: And you're going to stay here until midnight tonight?


TAYLOR: Why are you such avid fans of comic books?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't say that I'm a fan, but my husband is a huge DC Comics fan, and especially Jim Lee. And he needed a companion to run and get the food and like relieve him, so...

TAYLOR: Oh, well, you're the gofer.


CHRISTOPHER MURPHY, COMICSALLIANCE: This is huge. Comics, our readership has been going down. People aren't buying comics as much. And they've been jumping off because they're not happy with the story or because they've been digitally pirating comics. So this is -- this is do or die. This is either change or the industry could collapse.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Its large comic book stores just like this one that have been on the decline over the last few years, with only about 2,000 left across the entire United States.

And it's that lost audience, in addition to a new audience, that DC Comics is hoping to capture on the Web.

JIM LEE, COO-PUBLISHER, DC COMICS: Well, it's the first book of a huge initiative that we're doing in September, right?

So it's 52 books that we're relaunching, renumbering, with new costumes, new story lines.

TAYLOR (on camera): Do you think this is going to revolutionize the comic book industry?

LEE: It would.

TAYLOR: Well, but this is really what it is.

LEE: Yes, well, I think it -- it definitely it's going to change things. It's a game-changer because not only are we changing the content, but we're also changing some of the delivery. We're doing digital day and date, so that means you can download this comic book digitally the same day you can go into a shop and buy it in print.

So that's -- that's a big change for us, because it allows us to tap into new markets, hopefully find new readers. We want the comic books to really reflect the society that we live in. So we have lesbian characters. We have other gay characters that are members of a team called Storm Watch. We have a lot of different ethnicities. So we're really trying to mix things up and keep things as fresh and modern as possible.

TAYLOR: So if you were to draw me as a superhero, what would it look like?

LEE: Oh, yes, well, it would be...


LEE: -- on the spot woman, right?

So, right?

That would be her power.

TAYLOR: Yes, that would be my power, yes.

LEE: I guess.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Felicia Taylor, CNN, New York.


ANDERSON: Wow, how about that?

So new story lines, more modern characters and twists in the old classics all coming your way.

But what are the characters going to look like?

Well, I want to give you a little peak at what's going on.

First up, the granddaddy of all superheroes, of course, Superman. First introduced on the left of your screens in 1938, Superman has gone through quite a few updates since then. Among your older looks on the left. And on the right, the new Superman saving lives as of September the 11th.

Well, Superman's cousin, Supergirl, has also got an update. She started the pages in '59 and she's lost her skirt, apparently, and they've updated her hairstyle for 2011.

And Wonder Woman started out fighting Axis forces during World War II. Now, she is leading the pack with a whole new look, as you can see there on the right.

And the Robin Hood style character Green Arrow also getting a makeover.

And Aqua Man -- do you know that one?

Well, he's going to keep order underwater with a new updated look.

So what do you think?

Well, we asked that question on our Facebook page. It seems there are quite a few nostalgic fans out there.

(INAUDIBLE) Jackrat Booty (ph) says that: "The old view (INAUDIBLE) are engraved on our minds, that the American flag or other recognizable icons. But I love change," so he says it's all good.

Shopkeeper Ramiki (ph) from Kenya thinks the new tactic will make a new audience, writing -- and I'm quote -- I think modernizing the superheroes will definitely suit the kids of today."

Roberts looked -- I want to say Roberts has got his (INAUDIBLE).

Rebecca Sue Rob from California wants to know: "Why fix it when it's not broken?"

But Ever Ogala (ph) from Finland is embracing the change, telling us: "They look even better than the old ones. Very nice."

Well, as the new version of Superman dons the red cape, one Spanish town has painted itself red -- at least for the day. In tonight's Parting Shots, we're going to take you to the town of Bunol in Eastern Spain. You'll probably know, if you watch CNN regularly over the years, that this is the site of an annual festival known as the Tomatina. It's a giant food fight where about 120 tons of tomatoes, where for some reason that nobody can work out, are used as ammunition. Well, more than 40,000 residents took to the streets to pelt on another in this local tradition that dates back, I'm told, to 1945.

The rules of battle, well, wear closed toed shows, wear goggles and only throw squashed tomatoes to avoid bruising of people, that is.

I've never really understood why they did it. But anyway, you know, it takes all sorts.

And I'm Becky Anderson. That is your world connected. Thank you for watching. The world news headlines and "BACK STORY" on CNN will follow this short break, of course.