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Amanda Knox Heads Home; Condemning Syria; The Landlady Wins; Forced Labor in Cambodia; International Labor Organization Investigating Migrant Workers' Conditions in Southeast Asia; Gateway: Azerbaijan; Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh on 25 Years of "Phantom"; Parting Shots of Albuquerque Balloon Festival

Aired October 4, 2011 - 16:00:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Homeward bound -- a free woman, Amanda Knox is on board a plane heading for Seattle. But an uncertain future awaits.

Live from London, I'm Max Foster.

Also tonight...


DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you detain us like this, then we feel like we're a prisoner.

Can you unlock this door, please?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you unlock the front door?


FOSTER: CNN's Dan Rivers on the trial of -- on the trail of human trafficking in Cambodia, with an exclusive, frightening look at the life of its victims.

And one of the most successful composers of all time talks to CNN about musicals in the modern age and 25 years of "Phantom".

Flying high and flying home, tonight, Amanda Knox is just hours away from ending a four year nightmare by putting the past thousands of kilometers behind her.

Here she is at an airport in Rome the morning after an Italian court overturned the American student's murder conviction. Right now, she's heading to her hometown of Seattle, Washington, where supporters plan to give her a huge welcome.

Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were cleared of the 2007 killing of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher on Monday.

One man remains behind bars for the crime.

The victim's family, who were in court for the ruling, says it now sends them back to square one.


LYLE KERCHER, MEREDITH KERCHER'S BROTHER: As we said, you know, we respected and accepted the decision at the original trial. And, you know, we accept what was decided yesterday. You know, we don't have that much respect, obviously, for the -- the decision and the integrity of the court and what they've decided. And -- and, you know, we will abide by that.


FOSTER: Well, the prosecutors on the case, however, aren't giving up. They say they will file an appeal to the country's highest court.

Paula Newton has more on the day's developments.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Amanda Knox is now on her way back home just exactly as she predicted, as the jury deliberated her fate. Late yesterday evening, she left her prison in a private car and showed up at Rome Airport, where she was escorted on a flight to London and then to Seattle. She was surrounded by her family, we are told, on that flight.

She says one of the first things she wants to do is lie on green grass. And her parents have said over and over and over again that the things that she wants to do are really savor some of the simple things in life.

But an entire media storm will be greeting her in Seattle, along with a lot of supporters who say they've believed in her all along.

The blowback, though, here in Italy continues, not just among Italians, who are debating whether or not this was a good ruling or not and a good ruling or not for Italy and what it says about the Italian justice system.

But this court case continues. This ruling now, the jury and judge will have 90 days to figure out what they're going to put in their written submission. The last one was up to 400 pages long.

And then after it's written, after 90 days, it can be appealed in the high court. The prosecution here already says it would be appealing it.

But as far as Amanda Knox goes, the chances that she will ever have again to face any kind of justice in this case are remote. She is in the United States and extradition would most likely not happen.

That is not true for her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, whose family tells us he is now in Southern Italy and happy but still not really able to take in all the events of the last few days.

But they say they are very happy and again, waiting to see what happens here in the Italian justice system with this case.

Paula Newton, CNN, Perugia, Italy.


FOSTER: Well, throughout her time in prison, Amanda Knox had a huge support base back home tirelessly campaigning for her release.

We're going to turn now with the founder of a group called Friends of Amanda.

Tom Wright is with us from Seattle, of course.

Tom, you must be very excited at this point with Amanda due back any hour now.

THOMAS WRIGHT, FOUNDER, "FRIENDS OF AMANDA": We really are, Max. She's going to be landing at our local airport here in about four-and-a- half hours. And everyone is -- is elated that she's coming home.

FOSTER: Talk to us about the setup.

What have you arranged for her when she gets off the plane?

WRIGHT: Well, we haven't done the arranging. The -- the airport has set aside a place where her family will come off the plane and they'll step into a section that has been roped off. And her mother and father will say a word. Her U.S. attorney may speak. Her aunties, who are traveling with her, and her closest friends will be with her, as well.

And she will only say a word if she feels up to it. She's a bit fatigued, obviously. And it's been a rough four years. But I know she's going to be very glad to -- to be home, as we'll be glad to have her home.

FOSTER: You probably haven't had a chance to speak to her, because she's been in transit of course.

But what do -- what are her friends and family saying to you today?

WRIGHT: Well, they -- they're very excited. And they've -- they've texted us photos of her. And she looks as well as might be expected given the strain of the last few days. Yesterday was very tense for all of us. We sat in vigil, watching her address to the court, and then waited another 10 hours for the decision to come down. And thank god that it was one in her favor.

FOSTER: And can I just ask you what sort of position they're now coming back to?

Obviously, they want to come back and relax. But this has been a hugely expensive exercise for the family, hasn't it?

And you've been helping raise money for the family.

What sort of financial position are they in now?

How are they going to proceed from here?

Because we're talking practicalities now, aren't we?

WRIGHT: Yes. I -- I can't speak for the family as to their precise plans. But they've been devastated by this in every way -- emotionally and financially. We've had fundraisers. We've had half a dozen fundraisers in the time that Amanda has been gone. We've only raised a percentage -- a very small percentage of what they've had to spend on legal fees, on travel, on the -- the sort of advice and help that they've needed all along.


WRIGHT: I'll tell you there -- there's a lot of love in that family. And that's been their real strength. There's been mutual support. Everyone came together. Some dozen relatives really -- they would gather there for the phone calls on Saturday morning in Etta's kitchen, her mother's kitchen, when -- when Amanda would come and call. And sometimes we'd all be in there. Sometimes as many as 20 people would be in the kitchen for the call, sometimes as few as three or four.

But she always had someone there. And the family has always kept someone in -- in Perugia throughout the entire four years, so that when she had visiting hours, a member of the family would be able to see her, hold her hand and talk to her.

So the transition, hopefully, will be made somewhat easier from all of that.

FOSTER: OK, Thomas Wright, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

We will, of course, bring you any statements that she or her family make in Seattle as it comes into CNN when she lands.

Now, newspapers around the world have been divided in their coverage of the ruling. Amanda's hometown newspaper, "The Seattle Times," has this headline, though: "Nightmare is Over, Knox is Coming Home."

Here in the U.K., "The Daily Mail's" headline focuses on Meredith Kercher, saying "Knox Circus Overshadows Our Lovely Girl."

And, finally, the headline in Italian newspaper "Libero" roughly translates as "The Italian Justice System is a Worldwide Embarrassment."

That's the media coverage then.

Now to the Amanda Knox media frenzy.

Publicist Gary Rosen joins us from CNN's New York bureau.

Gary, let's face it, there's a bidding war. It hasn't started now. It would have started months ago, possibly years ago.

What do you know about any sort of deals that may be going on in the background here?

GARY ROSEN, PUBLICIST: Well, I'll tell you, Max, this is going to be a feeding frenzy. Amanda Knox, it could become Fort Knox. I mean when she gets off that plane, as you said, the offers have already come in. But every major news organization, including CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, all the networks, are poised and ready. And every network says they don't pay for interviews, but they do pay for footage and they do pay for stills and so forth. And this is going to be a payday for Amanda Knox.

What she has to decide now -- and her people, if she does have handlers, and hopefully she does, is what's the best deal for Amanda?

And it may not necessarily be money. It might be the terms of the interview, who is going to do the interview and such. And probably, part of it will also be the family. And they will be a major part of this process.

FOSTER: What -- put a price on it for us. Let's be crude about this.

ROSEN: Well, I have to tell you that I think, and my sources are telling me, you're talking about an interview for a million plus dollars, maybe $1.5 million. Plus, add to that possible movie rights, a book deal. I mean this could be a $5 million plus payday for the Knox family. And, also, obviously, some of it is going to go to their legal fees. And if I was handling her, I would tell her to set up some sort of charity fund, either for the family of the deceased girl or a charity of her choice. But they -- to get the public's reaction on her side, I think she needs to do something positive with part of the money.

FOSTER: Well, this is the problem you've got, isn't it, that she's got. She has huge costs that she needs to repay. Her -- her family has remortgaged, even her grandmother has had to raise funds and put herself in a difficult position. So I presume that she wants to pay that money back.

But how does she raise money without looking tasteless, because, let's face it, she -- she's innocent, but someone's died here?

She's cashing in on this case.

ROSEN: No, no question about it. This is a tragic story for the Kerchers. This is a horrible situation that, obviously, they -- their daughter is gone and -- and nobody can bring her back. They have to play this very carefully on how they can't look, even though, yes, they're going to be cashing in, they have to be very careful on how this is played. There's no question.

Unlike the Casey Anthony story, a lot of people do believe that Amanda Knox was innocent, more so than Casey Anthony. She's 24 years old. She's an attractive woman. And the -- there's no question that she is going to benefit in some way from this tragedy.

She said yesterday in court people don't know the real me. They -- they need to hear my story. And that was certainly setting the stage for what's next for Amanda Knox.

FOSTER: And in terms of foreign media, there's a lot of support, as you say, for Amanda Knox. But that's largely in America. Elsewhere, there's a lot of dislike of her, let's face it, in Italy and other parts of the world.

Can she sort of do deals there, as well, or is this just a U.S. story now?

ROSEN: Well, I have to tell you, from my contact overseas and abroad, they do feel, most of them do feel that she is guilty and got away with murder. If I were her, I would stick to this country for now. Let's see how this plays out. That could come later.

And, also, a lot of the news organizations here, and, of course, including CNN, have international bureaus. And it could be an all encompassing deal.

But at this point, I would stick to her home turf, Seattle and the -- and the United States, because the sentiment seems to be more on her side, certainly than internationally.

FOSTER: Gary Rosen, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us on the program.

Now, it's faster, smarter and even comes with a personal assistant of sorts. Still, the newest version of the iPhone isn't what many Apple fans were hoping for. The big unveiling, just ahead.

And later, an inside look at an employment agency accused of selling girls into slavery. A CNN crew has to fight to save its cameras after filming a very troubling report.


FOSTER: OK, live pictures here from New York, where rescue efforts are underway after a helicopter crashed in the East River. A fire department official says at least two people are seriously injured there. We've seen at least three people being towed to shore. We're following that for you. Live pictures coming into us on CNN.

I'm Max Foster in London.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Here's a look at other stories we're following for you this hour.

Witnesses are described unimaginable devastation in the heart of Somalia after the deadliest attack by al Qaeda limned militants since their insurgency began. Somalia's president says more than 70 people in Mogadishu were killed when a suicide truck bomber rammed into a government compound. Other sources put the death toll as high as 100.

Many of the victims were young students registering for an education program.

The U.N. Security Council could vote within hours on a resolution that calls for Syria to stop its violent crackdown. The draft is watered down from an earlier version that threatened sanctions. Western nations eased off the language in an effort to get Russia on board. But it's still unclear how it will vote.

This comes as human rights activists warn that Syria's campaign of harassment and intimidation extends far beyond its borders.

Dan Rivers picks up that part of the story from London.


DAN RIVERS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: These protests outside the Syrian Embassy in Britain have been a weekly occurrence since the crackdown began. But the young dissident here in the green hat, who wants to be known only as Sama (ph), says Embassy officials have spied on her in London and then informed the secret police in Damascus who, in turn, have threatened her mother.

SAMA: They said that they have the pictures to confirm that I was protesting and they threatened her to kick her out.

RIVERS: And now her allegations have been backed up by Amnesty International, which claims the spying is happening in eight countries and is systemic.

NEIL SAMMONDS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: We know of at least eight people who have been detained, a couple who have now fallen into a state of disappearance. So there's great concern for them. Several people have been beaten up and -- and tortured.

RIVERS (on camera): No one at the Syrian Embassy was available for interview, but in an earlier statement, they expressed their deepest dismay at the allegations, saying that they have never spied or targeted any Syrian and that the Embassy has clear instructions from Damascus to help Syrians regardless of their political positions.

(voice-over): But Sama says that's simply not true.

SAMA: The Syrian Embassy here is a very good representative of the Syrian regime. They are killers. They can do anything. I don't trust them. I'm scared. I'm just as vulnerable as anyone in Syria. I don't feel like I'm living under the British rule.

RIVERS: Amnesty says it has yet to receive an official response from any of the governments in whose countries the spying and intimidation is alleged to have occurred. But these activists are now no longer alone in their accusations that the reach of the Syrian secret police extends well beyond the Middle East.

Dan Rivers, CNN, London.


FOSTER: Archbishop Desmond Tutu says South Africa acted, quote, "worse than the apartheid government" in failing to grant the Dalai Lama a visa. Tutu had invited the fellow Nobel laureate to attend his 80th birthday celebration. But after South Africa stalled on the Dalai Lama's visa application, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader canceled the trip. Tutu is furious, accusing the ruling African National Congress of betraying its core principles to appease China.


ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: One day, we will start praying for the defeat of the ANC government. You are disgraceful. I want to warn you, you are behaving in a way that is totally at variance with the things for which we stood.


FOSTER: Now, some of the women in Conrad Murray's life have taken center stage at his trial over the death of Michael Jackson. Three of the doctor's girlfriends have testified today. Evidence of their phone calls to Murray could have establish a time line of what he was doing in the moments before Jackson died.

Cocktail waitress Sade Anding told the court that Murray went quiet shortly after they started talking.


SADE ANDING, DATED CONRAD MURRAY: I said, "Hello, hello," and I didn't hear anything. And that's when I pressed the phone against my ear. And I heard mumbling of voices. It sounded like the phone was maybe in his pocket or something. It was shhhhh. And I heard coughing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said that you heard mumbling?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And you said that you -- what you just said is I didn't recognize the voices at all.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: so it could have been any voice, frankly?

ANDING: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could have been Dr. Murray, for instance?


FOSTER: Finally, it's certainly an improvement and it does have new features, but the bottom line is it's not an iPhone 5. Today, Apple unveiled the 4S, an update to the current version of the iPhone. Legions of fans had been expecting a brand new model instead. Features of the 4S include a faster processor, a personal assistant that responds to voice commands and a better battery life.

Now, up next, some good news for Premier League fans. We'll tell you why following your favorite team could be about to get a whole lot cheaper.

And 25 years on, Andrew Lloyd Webber and "The Phantom's" enduring appeal.


FOSTER: Well, it is the world's most lucrative football competition. But until now, there have been few competitors to choose from when it comes to watching the Premier League on television. Now, thanks to this pub landlady, fans across Europe could get greater choice of broadcasters and pay less to follow their favorite team.

Karen Murphy was fined after showing matches from a Greek TV station in her pub. She took her case to the European Court of Justice, who ruled that restricting access to foreign broadcasters was against EU law.

Pedro Pinto is with us in the studio.

It's not quite complicated...


FOSTER: -- it was a win-win.

THOMAS: -- you want me to make sense of all this?

FOSTER: Yes, I mean, you know, bring it all together for us. I mean it's not -- the problem is it's not straightforward, is it?

THOMAS: It's not. This, first of all, pertains just to Europe. And the European Court of Justice decided on Tuesday that what the Premier League can't do, or any broadcaster, is really sell exclusively to one nation for a price and to another nation for another -- for another. And also that this particular landlady or anyone wanting to watch a Premier League football game can do so using a decoder from any other European country if they pay less for it. That's absolutely fine.

Now, as far as whether it's a win-win situation for fans, I think it is, although I don't particularly think that fans all over Europe are going to shift for a box from another European country and listen to the commentary in another language just to save two or three euros.

However, we have been gathering the opinions of several football fans here in London.

And this is what they had to say about this ruling.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you know it all depends. People government into the pub to (INAUDIBLE), you know? And but I mean it's -- they're not really in the (INAUDIBLE) and it was definitely better (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So many football fans for years have been complaining just about money. I think it's time for a real ban to watch the game but you can't always get it the other way, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, from a business perspective, it's a bad destruction if you're looking (INAUDIBLE) footballers (INAUDIBLE) that's bad. But for consumers, yes, it's good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's our right to be able to watch it after, you know, what it takes to get a season ticket these days for real people. I believe that we need to get this back.


THOMAS: Now what this could mean, Max, as well, is that several independent leagues, when they sell the rights to Europe, for example, because this law pertains to Europe, is they have to have a look at their prices and think, wait a minute, we can't sell it to Greece for, let's say, 10 pounds a month and sell it to another country for 15, because people are just going go and get the Greek box. So maybe they have to make all the prices a little bit more equal across the EU to make sure that no one is doing something they shouldn't be doing.

FOSTER: And the less money will go -- be going to some areas of the sport, presumably.

So what impact will this have on the clubs?

THOMAS: Well, it is a food chain. So basically what happens is, for example, if the -- the league and the broadcasts are going to make a little bit less money because certain viewers are going to go and look for cheaper options. If -- if the broadcaster is making less money, the Premier League is making a little bit less money. And so will the clubs, because at the end of each season, every club gets quite a big chunk of the TV revenue money that the League makes available to them. If there's going to be less money in the pot, obviously, the clubs make less money.

But what I think, personally, is that this is not such a big deal, because we're only talking about Europe, first of all, and that's only 10 percent of the total revenue that the Premier League makes out of TV rights. It's crazy, because you would think that it's a lot more. But, actually, what they sell in Asia, mostly, and in one part of the world, is actually 90 percent...


THOMAS: -- according to -- only 10 percent of the money that they make in Europe.


Pedro, thank you very much, indeed.

THOMAS: Thank you.


Now, when we come back, they were lured by the promise of a well paid job. Instead, they feel victim to modern-day slavery.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chinari (ph) is still working at the factory. She's already sold her small parcel of land to free one daughter and is desperate to free the other girl, who's just 22.


FOSTER: CNN's Freedom Project continues with an investigation into forced labor in Southeast Asia.

Stay with CNN.


MAX FOSTER, HOST: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN, the world's news leader. Let's get a check of the headlines for you this hour.

Amanda Knox is on her way back home to the US just a day after her murder conviction was overturned by an Italian court. Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were cleared of the 2007 killing of British student Meredith Kercher. The prosecution say they'll appeal the ruling in the country's highest court.

Police in Pakistan say government ambushed a bus carrying Shiite Muslims, killing at least 14 people. Footage shows flames and smoke shooting out of the wreckage. Police say this is the second major sectarian attack in the region in just two weeks.

UN Security Council could soon vote on a resolution that calls for Syria to end its violent crackdown. A draft by Western powers dropped the explicit threat of sanctions in an effort to get Russia onboard.

Ending the speculation, Chris Christie says he will not run for the US presidency in 2012. The governor of the US state of New Jersey was considered a top contender for the Republican Party's nomination. In a news conference today, he said, "Now is not my time."

CNN is pouring its global resources into investigating the dark world of modern-day slavery, giving the victims a voice, exposing the perpetrators, and fighting to end the trade in human life.

And this week, we're focusing on forced labor with a series of exclusive reports form Southeast Asia. CNN's Senior International Correspondent Dan Rivers begins the series in Cambodia, where thousands are duped into illicit contracts on the promise of riches that they'll never see.


DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the languid heat of rural Cambodia, we're crossing a tributary of the might Mekong River to come and meet a group of women who say they were modern-day slaves.

We're more than two hours from the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. This is fertile recruiting grounds for unscrupulous recruitment agents who promise the Earth to people who have almost nothing.

It's exactly what happened to these four women. They told me their employment at an electronics factor in Malaysia turned into a nightmare.

They say their passport was confiscated, they worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, receiving only $100 a month after deductions.

The only way they could leave was for their family to pay about $1,000 in fees and airfares to the agency which had arranged the job in the first place.

I meet the mother of a girl who we're calling "Chanary" to protect her identity. Chanary is still working at the factory. She's already sold her small parcel of land to free one daughter and is desperate to free the other girl, who's just 22.

So, we decide to approach the employment agency concerned down a back street of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.

RIVERS (on camera): Can we come in? We're just with CNN. We just wanted to talk to someone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do you come from, sir?


RIVERS (voice-over): At fist, they seemed unwilling to let us film inside. But then, staff abruptly usher us in and told us to wait for their boss.

We saw a number of young women. I tried to talk to one, wondering if these were the workers about to leave for their jobs abroad. But as she started to speak, another made it clear she should stay quiet.

Before we arrived, a local NGO had told us workers are often isolated and detained at this compound during so called "pre-departure training."

MANFRED HORNUNG, AID WORKDER: Sometimes their cell phones are being confiscated by the company. If they fall sick, family members are being asked to pay what we call ransom for them to receive medical treatment outside the company.

So, we've had multiple reports about undernourishment in these companies. So, they are being run like a prison.

RIVERS (on camera): So, they're locked in, basically?

RIVERS (voice-over): After a few minutes, we also felt like inmates.

RIVERS (on camera): Can you unlock the door, please?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take us in, take us in.

RIVERS (voice-over): On the walls, photos of people holding wads of money, suggesting the jobs this agency provided were well-paid. But with staff refusing to let us out, we were becoming increasingly concerned for our safety.

RIVERS (on camera): OK. He's padlocked both doors, basically. I'm just worried that when their boss turns up, they're going to confiscated our tapes or camera, bearing in mind that the person who owns this recruitment agency is the sister of the deputy police commissioner of Cambodia.

If you detain us like this, then we feel like we're prisoner. Can you unlock this door, please? Can you unlock the front door? We will wait for your boss on the street.

Can you unlock, please? We'll just wait outside. No problem.

RIVERS (voice-over): Finally, they unlock the gate and to our relief, we leave and wait on the public street for the boss to arrive.

But when her car pulls up, staff immediately lunge for our camera.

RIVERS: (on camera): All right, we're going -- we're going, we're going, we're going.

RIVERS (voice-over): But staff tried to stop us leaving.


RIVERS (on camera): We haven't done anything wrong! Take your hands off me!


RIVERS (voice-over): We finally pull free. The boss, Ung Rithy, seen here trying to grab our camera, initially agreed to a subsequent interview request, but then changed her mind saying we'd have to speak to the ministry of labor first. They declined to talk to us.

The episode left us with many questions. Chanary is just the first part of a complex chain linked to the Ung Rithy Recruitment Agency, but we wanted to know who was next in that chain.

Where was Chanary now, and who was she working for? We were more determined than ever to find her, the young woman in the photo, who is working debt-bonded far from home.


FOSTER: Dan's with us now. Dan, at least you saw these girls lining up to get into this agency. Why do they do it in the first place?

RIVERS: Well, you've got to remember what kind of a place Cambodia is. It is horrendously poor. It regularly comes near the bottom of the kind of UN indexes. The last one, I think, put it at 124 out of 169 countries in terms of development. So, it is right down there.

People have nothing in these villages. They are really desperate. If someone comes along from an employment agency and says, "Look, you can earn hundreds, thousands of dollars abroad in a job," of course they're going to be interested.

What they don't realize is that this is often a one-way ticket. They can't come back. Their passports are taken off them. And as you've seen from the way we were treated at that agency that at times, these agencies can be very aggressive and very intimidating.

FOSTER: And the series continues, so what are we going to find out next?

RIVERS: So, we followed this particular case of this young girl, Chanary. We spoke to her mother. Next, we go to Malaysia to try and track her down. Have a look.


RIVERS (voice-over): The workers appear to be from all over Asia, including many Cambodians. I suspect one of them is Chanary, the young woman who I'm looking for. And through an intermediary, we finally track her down and make contact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There, standing on the right.


RIVERS: After a little persuasion, she agrees to meet us along with three coworkers, all worried if they're seen talking to us, they'll be punished.


RIVERS: The idea is to follow this particular story all the way through to illustrate the broader issue of debt-bonded labor, but particularly focusing in on this case and follow the supply chain all the way up.

FOSTER: So, this time tomorrow?

RIVERS: Exactly.

FOSTER: Dan, thank you very much, indeed.

Well, the International Labor Organization has been investigating migrant workers' conditions in Southeast Asia. They set up a project to improve the governance of cross-border labor migration.

I spoke with the ILO's Nilim Baruah, who's based in Bangkok, about what CNN has found out in Cambodia and why recruitment agencies are reportedly locking people away.


NILIM BARUAH, INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION: In Cambodia, there have been cases documented in the media as well as by NGOs of trainees -- trainee domestic workers being locked in and then trying to escape, getting injured in the process.

Apparently, this locking in happens because the recruitment agency has paid an advance to the family of the trainee migrant worker and therefore would like them to complete the training and go onto work abroad. In this case, usually Malaysia.

FOSTER: It seems completely unregulated, though, there. The agencies seem to be doing whatever they like. Of course, there are good ones, but we've obviously discovered there are some very bad ones, and they are completely ripping to shreds the human rights of these people. You can't just lock people away even if they have agreed to terms.

So, how big a problem is this aspect of it?

BARUAH: Oh, absolutely, you cannot lock people in. You cannot keep people's identity documents and passports. What has --

FOSTER: So, how are they allowed to get away with it?

BARUAH: Well, they should not be allowed to get away with it. What - - what happens in Cambodia, in Cambodia, the regulatory environment is weak, the regulation of private recruitment agencies. They have -- the government has only recently revised and issued a slave decree, so they have, now, legislation in place.

However, the -- from this legislation, the regulations have to be developed. So one, the legislation is weak. Two, the government really has to step up in terms of monitoring and regulation of private recruitment agencies.


FOSTER: All the details of this story can be found on CNN's Freedom Project website. Dan's exclusive report is on there, along with many more facts on forced labor and trafficking. You can also find out what you can do to help. Just go to

Up next, the oil hot spots providing a valuable link to the Western world. Our Gateway series takes us to the port of Baku in Azerbaijan to the first-ever offshore oil well and the second-biggest oil pipeline in the world.


FOSTER: Every week here on CONNECT THE WORLD, we go behind the scenes at some of the world's major ports, airports, and transport hubs to reveal how goods and people stay in motion across the globe.

Over the next few weeks, the Gateway series will focus on Azerbaijan. The Eurasian country produces around a million barrels of oil a day and provides a crucial transit route for oil from central Asia to the Western world. Becky reports on Azerbaijan's main port, home to the second-largest oil pipeline in the world.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Azerbaijan, the oil has been flowing for centuries, streaming money into a growing economy and protecting it from recession.

Rich oil resources have brought riches of other kinds to Baku, Azerbaijan for the Persians, the Soviets, the Ottomans, and now the Azeris themselves. They call this place "The Land of Fire."

ANDERSON (on camera): Traditionally, way back when, before Islam, Azeris were fire worshipers, and it's when you come to Burning Mountain, you can see why. Look at this. Just below the surface, their precious oil and gas and, oi, is it hot.

Below me is a piece of history, Oil Rocks in the Caspian Sea. It was here back in 1949 that the first offshore oil wells were drilled.

ISRAEL ISMIHANOV, STATE OIL COMPANY OF AZERBAIJAN REPUBLIC (through translator): Oil Rocks is the first offshore oil field ever discovered in history. It's been operating for 60 years.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Oil Rocks was built by the Soviets during their rule. It's still working, still producing oil today.

ANDERSON (on camera): Believe it or not, this is a small city. There are 2,000 people who live and work here every day, driving Azerbaijan's oil industry.

Now, this is set some 120 kilometers out into the Caspian Sea, and yet, amazingly, this is still within Baku's city limits.

Three hundred kilometers of road, 256 individual oil wells as far as the eye can see. Azerbaijan produces about a million barrels of the black stuff every day.

ELSHAD NASIROV, STATE OIL COMPANY OF AZERBAIJAN REPUBLIC: In 1900, Baku was producing half of the world's production of crude oil. Now, we are producing about 1.3 percent.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Azerbaijan's oil flows to world markets through a gigantic pipeline.

ANDERSON (on camera): The pipeline is a huge feat of engineering. It's the second-longest in the world, stretching from the shores of the Caspian Sea through Georgia and into Turkey. It took two years to build at a cost of $4 billion.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Oil and gas to the land-locked Caspian Sea is brought here, to Sangachal Terminal, 45 kilometers south of Baku.

It's here that the pipeline begins.

ELKHAN MAMMADOV, AZERBAIJAN EXPORTS OPERATIONS MANAGER, BP: This pipeline has a capacity of delivery of 1.2 million barrels a day to international market, and it starts from here and goes all the way on the ground and through the three countries, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.

ANDERSON: Filling the pipeline with oil for the first time took one year.

MAMMADOV: I will make joke, but I can feel money, right? So I can feel money. But when you put your ear so you can feel -- first of all, it's warm. It's very warm. You can feel the flow of that oil under the required pressure.

ANDERSON: Keeping the pipeline clean is important. It's the transport vessel for Azerbaijan's oil exports, 1,768 kilometers long.

MAMMADOV: Here we are standing right beside the PIG. This stands for the Pipeline Intelligence Gauge. This PIG will be put inside, door will be closed, and then with the pressure of oil, it will be pumped through the pipeline.

ANDERSON: This country is a transit point, the energy export for the whole Caspian Sea region. While Azeri oil and gas leave via pipelines, Kazak and Turkmen oil arrives in tankers, dispatched onwards by rail.

Azerbaijan is a crucial link in the chain between Asian supply and European demand, bringing Eastern fuel to Western markets.


FOSTER: Well, next up, it is Broadway's longest-ever running show, and it's grossed over $5.6 billion worldwide. We speak to the men behind "Phantom of the Opera" on the show's 25th anniversary.



FOSTER: It is the longest-running show in Broadway history, and this week, "Phantom of the Opera" celebrates its 25th anniversary. Tonight, we're bringing you the masterminds behind this hit musical as they prepare for a special production of "Phantom" at London's Royal Albert Hall.

We sat down with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh and started off by asking them how the musical came about.


CAMERON MACKINTOSH, PRODUCER, "PHANTOM OF THE OPERA": The first serious conversation about this musical took place in Vienna. He said, "What do you think about 'Phantom of the Opera'?"

And I went, "Oh, that's a good idea."

And he said, "Let's produce it.

Gaston Leroux's book of -- it was just one of hundreds he churned out. And the fact is, it was a brilliant plot. Obviously based on "Beauty and the Beast," as so many other stories were and all of that. And therefore, it absolutely has gripped the imagination ever since he first wrote it.

ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, COMPOSER, "PHANTOM OF THE OPERA": The big, big change to the plot of this is that the Phantom writes on opera in which he constructs and orchestrates that Christine is going to perform in, and it constructs that through music, they meet.

MACKINTOSH: And also, there'd never been a proper triangle. It's mentioned in the book and sketched in the films, but it was a real love triangle where the actual music has flown out of him, which is absolutely transformed and it made our version -- or Andrew's version, completely different from any other.

Sarah absolutely, from the first time we recorded her, because her very, very special quality and extraordinary range in voice, which is part of what makes the score so special, was always there.

But when we first announced the show, we hadn't thought of Michael. Brilliant comedian and a marvelous actor, but you never thought of him in terms of any heavyweight singing.

And in those wonderful days before the dreadful web and the net and all of that, even then, people were going, "Oh, Michael Crawford doing the 'Phantom of the Opera,' it's going to be a jokey thing."

So, it was a double surprise.


MACKINTOSH: When the show opened and he was so sensational.


WEBBER: The end of the first preview, Harold Prince came up to me and said, "Kiddo," he said, "this is the best musical I've ever seen."

MACKINTOSH: And it was interesting, it changed overnight. Because the dress rehearsal, it was like you hadn't quite wound up the clock. And literally overnight, it went and suddenly everything went like that and from the first preview onwards it was exactly as Andrew intended.


MACKINTOSH: The fans had their own paper.

WEBBER: Their own paper.

MACKINTOSH: Which reviewed every single performance of every single production everywhere in the world.

WEBBER: And tickets. That's the girl who, in England was one of the 15 who changed their name to Christine Daae.

MACKINTOSH: It was a very, actually, easy decision for us to say how do our show here at the Royal Albert Hall. It just seemed so right. Andrew absolutely loves this period of architecture, and he said, it is -- it will become part of the show.

And then, there was a great cast, and then there was the orchestra. But of course, we had to turn the Albert Hall, which is a concert hall, into a great theater, because we're bringing the entire show.

WEBBER: And the Albert Hall has absolutely no theater equipment whatsoever.

MACHINTOSH: So, we've used modern visual projection, but trying at the same time to be faithful to its Victorian origins, but to deliver it in a 21st century way.


FOSTER: Well, tomorrow, paying tribute to Michael Jackson. I speak to the singer's brothers about performing without him and the impact of the Conrad Murray trial on their whole family.

Time now, though, for Parting Shots, and we leave you with these spectacular pictures from the biggest hot air balloon festival in the world. Over 600 hot air balloons take to the skies this week for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico.

Look at that. A celebration of the world's oldest aviation sport. The festival was first hosted by a radio station with just 13 balloons in 1972. Since the, it's grown to become the most photographed event in the world, and it's not hard to see why.

This year, the fiesta celebrates its 40th anniversary with hundreds of thousands of people expected to turn out for the nine-day extravaganza.

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