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Securing Sochi; Video Released of Al Jazeera Journalists Being Arrested; Workout Apps Proliferating On Mobile Phones; Violence in Iraq; Behind the Statistics

Aired February 3, 2014 - 15:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: And with just four days to go until the Sochi Olympics, security is still a prime concern.


BURLIYAT BAGAVUTDINOVA (through translator): It'll be like house arrest. Three times a week they will check us and ask where we are.


ANDERSON: Tonight, we bring you an exclusive report on the extreme measures Russian authorities are taking in the turbulent region of Dagestan.

Also this hour, marked exercise the weight loss app giving gyms a run for their money.

Plus, remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman. I'll speak to one of his colleagues on the legacy the Oscar winning actor leaves behind.

Live from Abu Dhabi, I'm Becky Anderson, this is Connect the World.

We begin tonight in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi where in just four days the 2014 Olympic games are set to begin. And these games are much more than Alpine skiing, or figure skating, they are also about Russia and its place in the world, especially under President Vladimir Putin. He has staked his reputation and a staggering $50 billion on this project. But that impressive price tag hasn't guaranteed a smooth runup to the games.

Crews are working around the clock to get the venues and hotels ready before the opening ceremony on Friday. And then there is of course the security challenge. The Russian government says the games will be safe. And to make sure that happens, it not only sets up security measures around Sochi it's also taken preemptive action it considers terror hot spots far from the Olympic venues, places like the remote villages of nearby Dagestan where residents have been put under restrictions until the games are over.

We kick off tonight with our senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh who has their story.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Far from the grandeur of Sochi's games, deep in the hills of Dagestan, Russia is desperately trying to keep a lid on something. This is the town of Burnatsk (ph), home to the suicide bombers who hit Volgograd twice last year. Many militants hailed from here and also left widows. One is Burliyat Bagavutdinova, both whose husband and son-in-law police shot dead. These widows say police, in a bid to control those they fear of future suicide bombers, have ordered them not to leave town until the Olympics are over.

BURLIYAT BAGAVUTDINOVA (through translator): It will be like house arrest. Three times a week, they will check us and ask where we are. And then, after the Olympics, it will end. They think that we will make an explosion like our sisters who have blown themselves up for one reason or another. I don't know. I am not ready to do that. There is no point. It's just their fantasy.

WALSH: She shows us her son-in-law and says nearly 100 women had similar orders. We spoke to five of them off camera. Burliyat has this to say to Olympic tourists.

BAGAVUTDINOVA: If they need to be entertained, they should come here and be entertained. But for that, we are suffering.

WALSH: The threats to Sochi emanate from Dagestan, the hot bed of Russian's Islamist insurgency, where even local mosques take heavy security measures. Here, moderate Muslims worship with state approval. But just across town, strict Salafi Muslims, a different sect of more austere values, who police sometimes accuse of radicalism, worship too.

Yet Salafi Muslims often claim of police abuse, particularly in another town we visited.

(on camera): This is Gufdan (ph), where locals have given us a list of 64 people who they say have been forced by police to sign a declaration promising not to leave the region for the duration of the Sochi games.

(voice-over): Police decline to comment. There is great anger at them here.

This man tells me how he was tortured. Wires tied to his thumb and toe. And electricity passed through him.

Many say these abuses, which rose in the crackdown ahead of the Olympics, have fueled the insurgency. But in limiting ahead of Sochi's games, the movements of potentially hundreds of women and men it sees as a threat, Russia is perhaps admitting the scale of their problem.


ANDERSON: And Nick joining me now from Sochi.

Nick, what do you think the drawbacks to whatever dragnet is laid down will be?

WALSH: Well, behind me there's a lot of high tech security, there's cameras in the sky, cameras on the fences and there's an awful lot of Internet monitoring going on. So there's some sophistication, but the real tool the Russians are employing is the bulk of police officers sending here, 37,000.

Now, for an average Russian, often the police are one of the worst parts of daily life they go through. They've got their best manners on here, often very charming, but they're known for ineptitude and corruption.

So the concern, of course, will be when you get that many of them together here, the potential for things going wrong is quite pronounced, plus also if they are necessarily that polite the whole time that's going to strip away from the joyous atmosphere people have been working towards here.

I mean, it's been hard simply moving around initially here. A lot of restrictions on the road, a lot of restriction will we can and can't actually go.

So, that's going to be a delicate balance in the weeks ahead, Becky.

ANDERSON: And Nick, very briefly, the idea that there are people in Dagestan being forced to stay in their homes, how is that going to go down?

WALSH: Well, I'm sure amongst sort of -- so the Russians would see as a softer part of western society, there are civil liberties concerns. They don't want to pay a huge amount of attention to. And to a some degree, too, the people we spoke to have had very strong links to militants in the past, do see themselves in a state of conflict with the police of whom now deeply unhappy. So you could understand Russian authorities wanting to keep observance upon them during the next few weeks or so.

Of course, these people see quite clearly they have no ill-will towards the games at all and have no desire to cause anybody any harm. But if that's the delicate balance, of course, the Russian authorities across this region here, their favorite tool is a heavy hand and sense of repression when of course many critics say they should be looking to negotiate and bring economic improvements to make life better for people here.

But that really that's the crux of what happens in the weeks ahead, does their strong arm actually keep people safe, Becky.


Nick, security of course isn't the only priority for the organizers there in Sochi. They are also racing against the clock to get accommodation ready for what are thousands of spectators and hundreds of journalists, of course, who are going to arrive shortly.

Stay with me, Nick.

More on what is a construction crunch.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Russians built all of this, the ski lift, the high-speed train, this entire alpine city within just the last seven years. But now, four days before the opening of the winter games, it's clear that some of this massive development up in the mountains will not be ready in time for the Olympics.

(voice-over): The Associated Press reports three out of nine hotels reserved for journalists near the alpine sports venues are not yet ready, while even an international hotel operator admits construction is behind schedule.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it was slightly delayed. We actually planned to open already last month. Due to some challenges, (inaudible) it's actually now on a short period. It's a short testing for us, but our team is quite strong, quite trained, so we can handle it from our side.

WATSON: The International Olympic Committee insists everything is OK.

THOMAS BACH, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: And there are still some issues to be solved, as it is always just before the games. But there - also in this respect, we are in contact with the organizing committee and we hope that the situation will be solved in the next couple of days.

WATSON: Russia and the Olympic Committee are gambling that even if you don't build it in time, the people will come.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Sochi, Russia.


ANDERSON: Nick, Thomas Bach sounding optimistic there. Things will be OK. You are there. Will they?

WALSH: Obviously, there's a huge amount of optimism for that. Where Ivan was just there, and we were there a week ago, and we were very aggressively removed from where those hotels were supposed to being got ready by private security guards. And one of the things I mentioned earlier about that balance between a bit of a joyous atmosphere and the security, I mean, they clearly had something to hide.

So there's definitely been a sense of panic and same place he was before we walked into a hotel, there was a building site fully underway and the same assurances don't worry, by tomorrow lunchtime it's all going to be absolutely fine.

So we've been hearing that on a repeat for the past week or so.

Things are certainly better. You do walk around and you don't get the feeling we did a week ago of the place in panic mode trying to kind of staple the last bits of paper over the cracks. So I think most people will have a good experience when they come here, but there are some gaping holes. And certainly many people are expressing disappointment at the quality of what they're receiving. It's not cheap here, by any stretch of the imagination, about 30 percent more expensive than probably the most expensive places you can already find in Russia, which is already very expensive.

So people are expecting I think a lot more for what they're getting. But I think for many power in Russia the mere fact they managed to pull this off and get people here to make it as impressive as it does, and (inaudible) massive sum of $51 billion is exactly the goal they hope to attain -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Four days and counting. For the time being, Nick thank you very much indeed.

If you're there, if you're going, get in touch, share your stories. You can message us on

Of course, you can tweet me @BeckyCNN. That is @BeckyCNN. And we will have full coverage of the games online where you can find this interactive map of the 10 competition venues from Alpine skiing high up in the mountains to the seaside arena hosting the opening and closing ceremonies.

Still to come this evening, this man and his wife were just a week away from marrying off their son, they ended up burying him instead. We're going to meet one family whose tragic story is far too common in a country suffering from years of war. And this is not Syria.

Also ahead, weeks after the former South African leader was laid to rest Nelson Mandela's will is read. We'll have the details on that for you.

And caught on tape, inside the arrests of two al Jazeera journalists in Egypt.

That and much more after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back, this is Abu Dhabi. You're watching CNN. I'm Becky Anderson with Connect the World for you, now it's been a tough start for February and the markets this Monday with the Dow tumbling 300 points with less than an hour left to the closing bell. The NASDAQ, well you can see its performance there, down more than 2.5 percent. The S&P off well about two-and-a-fifth and the Dow Jones rocking towards a 2 percent close at the moment.

Reports showing manufacturing activity last month expanded at its weakest pace since May not helping these markets out.

The bad news comes as investors still reeling from what was a rough January.

A suicide bombing on a public minibus in the Lebanese capital Beirut has left two passengers, at least, wounded and the bomber dead. The attack happened in Shua-e-Fat (ph) a predominately Christian and Druze neighborhood.

Well, in Russia, police are trying to understand why a young man described as a good student burst into his high school and fatally shot two people Monday. Officials say there might have been more deaths if it weren't for the boy's father.

CNN's Phil Black in Moscow and walks us through exactly what happened.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Police say the student walked into school 263 in northeastern Moscow, threatened a security guard with a gun and as he made his way through the school building, discovered and shot a teacher who later died. He had made his way into a biology classroom with around 20 other students and while he was there he was engaged in some sort of shootout with police officers who had responded to a panic alarm. One of the officers was killed, another was injured.

Authorities say the student fired at least 11 rounds during the exchange using a hunting rifle registered in his father's name.

They say it was his father who managed to talk the shooter down, first on the phone then at the scene he persuaded his son to release all the hostages and give himself up without any further violence.

Police say that initially they are a little baffled as to what the motive could have been, what inspired this boy to behave this way. They say everything they've been told initially is positive. They say that academically he was very good. They describe him as a straight A student and the initially report would seem to indicate that his grievance was with a teacher, not with fellow classmates.

But authorities here say that he will now undergo a mental health examination in order to try and determine just what triggered this attack.

Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.


ANDERSON: Well, Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovych's return to work after falling ill in the middle of his country's political crisis. Demonstrators held huge rallies in Kiev over the weekend, calling on the embattled president to step down, but Russia's foreign ministry says opposition groups should stop issuing ultimatums and should step up efforts to negotiate a solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

Well, the UK home office has banned French comedian Dieudonne from entering the country for public security reasons. Now the controversial comedian was planning on traveling to the UK to support footballer Nicolas Anelka in his disciplinary hearing, that is after Anelka made an alleged anti-Semitic gesture during a game in December 2013.

A private television channel in Egypt has aired a video showing the arrest of two al Jazeera journalists in Cairo in December. They've now been held for more than five weeks. Accused of collaborating with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Leone Lakhani with the details.


LEONE LAKHANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These are reportedly the dramatic moments before al Jazeera journalist Mohammed Fahmy and Peter Greste are taken into custody from their room at the Marriott Hotel in Cairo. A 21 minute video edited to music much like that of a Hollywood thriller broadcast on Tahrir TV, a private pro-military Egyptian channel.

It's not clear how many people entered the room, but Australian al Jazeera correspondent Peter Greste is only heard talking once.

PETER GRESTE, AL JAZEERA JOURNALIST: Then why is someone (inaudible)...

LAKHANI: Arabic speaking producer Mohammed Fahmy for a time in recent years was a freelance producer for CNN is repeatedly questioned.

"Why are you rushing around? Are you afraid of something?" He asked.

"No, I'm not afraid of anything," responds Fahmy.

More than 10 minutes of the video show Fahmy and Greste sitting together on a sofa as Fahmy is asked for names of colleagues, interviewees and details of their programs. Greste remains quiet throughout.

The video pans around the room filming what appeared to be camera equipment and computer hard drives.

Here in the Abu Dhabi office we use similar drives to store footage. We've got laptops to edit material and microphones like the ones you see in the video. This is the type of equipment TV journalists use daily.

But the al Jazeera journalists are accused of broadcasting false information and holding illegal meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt has declared a terrorist group.

A banner, plastered on the screen, reads, video of the Marriott cell accused of broadcasting fabricated news of al Jazeera.

al Jazeera flatly denies the allegations. It issued a statement condemning the release of the video saying, quote, "people who look beyond the propaganda will see the video shows what we have been saying all along, that our crew were journalists doing their job."

The video is aired during a prime time current affairs show on February 2. Fahmy, Greste and their colleague Bahir Mohammed, who isn't shown in this video, had been in custody since late-December. They're charged with aiding a terrorist group and expected to stand trial, though no date has been set.

The final moments recorded on the video show Greste and Fahmy standing uneasily outside a white van before entering it. No knowledge then that more than a month from that day they would still be in custody, their futures in question.

Leone Lakhani, CNN, Abu Dhabi.


ANDERSON: Well, Nelson Mandela's estate will be divided among his family, his personal staff and the schools that he attended. Mandela's will was read in front of family members earlier today. His $4.1 million estate includes a house in Johannesburg, a dwelling in his home province and royalties from book sales.

Now, the anti-apartheid icon died, as you'll remember, in December, aged 95.

Live from Abu Dhabi this is Connect the World. Coming up after over indulging on Super Bowl snacks, millions of Americans will be taking to the gym, but we're going to tell you how technology is helping some stay fit from the comfort of their own home.


ANDERSON: A good shot of Abu Dhabi here at 23 odd minutes past midnight. Welcome back. You're watching Connect the World live from the UAE. I'm Becky Anderson. We're keeping one eye on the Dow for you tonight.

The markets, although they're on a slide in the U.S., I'm afraid to say, down nearly 2 percent. And we are, what, about 40, 30-odd five odd minutes away from the closing. And you can see they're rocking towards the 2 percent or plus close on the Dow.

The NASDAQ off about 2.5 percent when last I looked. And the S&P off a similar amount.

A rough January followed, it seems, at least by the beginning of what could turn out to be a rough February. We'll keep an eye on that for you. Quest Means Business, of course, after this show.

We'll get you more on that.

Well, football fans still celebrating after the Seattle Seahawks won their first Super Bowl title in team history. Crowds in Seattle partied late into the night after their team dominated in the big game. The final score, well it was 43-8.

A walk in the park, it seems, for Seattle.

The Denver Broncos fell flat early as their star quarterback Peyton Manning threw two interceptions.

Well, of course the Super Bowl is about much more than the game for many of the tens of millions of fans watching at home, it is about the food. Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day for the consumption of food and drink in America coming in just behind Thanksgiving.

Well, America's Calorie Control Council, yes, they have one -- says the average viewer takes in 1,200 calories during the game -- 1,200 calories during the game. Across the country it is estimated more than 1 billion chicken wings are eaten on Super Bowl Sunday. According to Reuters, Americans wash it all down with an estimated 50 million cases of beer. Good business for the food and beverage organizations.

That is why today, Monday is one of the busiest days of the year at American gyms as football fans try to burn off those calories consumed during the big game.

But now, technology making it even easier to get a workout from the comfort of your own home. CNN's Samuel Burke shows you how.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This doesn't look like somewhere you'd usually work out, but now an Internet connection can bring a personal trainer right into your home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you show me the jump shot again?

BURKE: is one of the new services that use your webcam and a web browser to allow you to workout with a trainer anytime anywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got it. Here's eight. Two more.

BURKE: Yoga, pilates, aerobics, strength training; group classes cost $14 dollars, one-on-one with a trainer: $29 bucks.

MARIA KINGSLEY, WELLO CUSTOMER: I feel like it works even better than gyms. And it's just really functional, useful and convenient.

BURKE: Or you can connect to apps to lose weight or bulk up.

Passion4Profession is a free app to guide you through sit ups.

It takes you through a series of eight exercises and counts you through each one.

ALEX ZIMMERMAN, NATIONAL MANAGER, EQUINOX GYMS: Definitely technology and fitness are very, very much colliding. On the technology side you have engineers and venture capitalists and on the fitness side you have scientists who are looking at evidence based methods to change behavior.

BURKE: Runtastic has a free app to track your push ups.

It counts it by when you nose touches the screen of the phone so it makes sure you're going all the way down.

DR. TARA NARULA, CARDIOLOGY, LENOX HILL HOSPITAL: I think these apps are great because they really make it easier for people to work out and that's ultimately what we want is people to find ways to incorporate working out and exercise into their daily lifestyle and routine.

BURKE: Dr. Narula says consult a doctor first if you have heart problems or any other health issues, but with more than one-third of the entire world overweight, she says any attempt to focus on exercise is important whether its push ups, sit ups, or working out in the kitchen, and then lets do jump rope.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There you go. And then let's do jump rope.

BURKE: Samuel Burke, CNN...


BURKE: New York.


ANDERSON: Good luck if you're using those apps.

The latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus, Hollywood stars and film fans speaking out after the sudden death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. I'm going to get you their reaction and a look back at what was his varied career.

Plus, one family's grief symbolizes the pain of countless others who lost loved ones to senseless violence. A special report from Iraq is just ahead.


ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi, the top stories this hour.

One person killed and two wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a public mini bus in southern Beirut earlier on Monday. The attack happened in a predominately Christian and Druze neighborhood south of the Lebanese capital.

A Russian student is in police custody following an attack on a Moscow high school. The student, armed with a rifle, shot and killed a teacher before taking 20 people hostage inside a classroom. He opened fire on police when they entered the school, killing one officer before being disarmed.

The European Commission says the level of corruption across the EU is, and I quote, "breathtaking." It says the problem is costing the European economy more than $160 billion each year. The report doesn't rank the worst offenders among member nations, but says there is no corruption-free zone in Europe.

And a grim start to the week for US stocks. All major indices are in the red, knocking on towards barely (inaudible) on the NASDAQ, looking at a possible 2 percent close on the Dow, that's in half an hour or so time. This after a much worse-than-expected report on manufacturing activity.

Well, the market slide comes on the first day of a new era at the Fed. Janet Yellen was sworn in as head of the Federal Reserve. She takes over the job of winding down the Fed's economic stimulus program from chairman Ben Bernanke.

To another horrific day of violence in Iraq, I'm afraid. Officials say four car bombs in and around Baghdad killed at least eight people today. Some of the vehicles rigged with explosives, at least one was blown up by a suicide bomber. Police also discovered the bodies of four people in Baghdad today, all bearing signs of torture.

Now, sectarian violence has been surging across the country. At least 1,000 people were killed in January, the highest one-month casualty count in years. We're used to hearing troubling statistics like these, aren't we? But we don't often know anything about the victims or the grieving families they leave behind. Behind every statistic is a family, lest we forget that. Michael Holmes met one such family in Baghdad.



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A father's unimaginable grief. A mothers endless tears. And three children who barely comprehend what has happened to their family.

Abu Ali is no insurgent, Umm Ali not a politician. They are a visceral human portrait of Iraq's grinding violence.

UMM ALI, MOTHER (through translator): We don't work with the government. We're simple people. We have nothing. We sell watermelons.

HOLMES: Their descent into agony began on July 23, 2007, when a bomb exploded at the family's humble watermelon stall barely 50 meters from their home. Son Ali, 19 years old and about to get married, was killed instantly.

"I was a week away from marrying him off," says Abu Ali. "Instead, I buried him."

Life went on, such as it was, until July 20 last year. Two other sons of Abu Ali, Alla and Abbas, on duty at the watermelon stand, when another bomb went off. Alla, 23 and by now a father of three, and brother Abbas, just 17, were killed in the hail of shrapnel, evidence of its power still etched in nearby walls today.

The funeral turnout was huge. No one could believe what had happened to this family, Alla and Abbas taken to be with their brother.

"They're all gone," Abu Ali tells me. Three sons, two bombings, a family destroyed. "No one will call me Dad anymore," he sobs. "They were also our breadwinners. They supported us. Now, I have no income. I haven't paid the rent for seven months."

HOLMES (on camera): This is all this family has. It is three rooms, one large bedroom, a living room, and a kitchen. Given the tragedy that this story is, the real sad part is it's not unusual. This is happening every day around Iraq, and families are left in this sort of position. It really is heartbreaking.


HOLMES (voice-over): "It's hard," says Abu Ali. "I've thought of suicide, but what would happen to my grandchildren?" The market where the family's watermelon stall stood is still there today, a portrait of the three dead sons, a reminder for all of what happened here in 2007, last year, and could happen again at any time.

Michael Holmes, CNN, Baghdad.


ANDERSON: Well, the war isn't taking only a terrible human toll, it also takes a toll on an economy that needs all the help it can get. Our next guest, though, says Iraq is a great place to do business. Baroness Emma Nicholson is Britain's trade envoy to the country. She recently returned from a visit there and will be back in a month or so.

Baroness, thank you for joining us tonight. With the sort of escalation of violence that we are seeing, particularly in the oil- producing regions, how can this be a good investment at this point?

EMMA NICHOLSON, BRITISH TRADE ENVOY TO IRAQ: Iraq is indeed growing dramatically in terms of private investment and in terms of output in oil and gas and construction infrastructure.

I had a meeting this afternoon with some of the financial professional services sectors, BWC, Standard Charter, Deloitte, and so on. And Iraq is most definitely growing at the rate of 10 percent a year and has the highest potential growth rate in the region. But on the other hand, as you have showed us with this devastating family, there are tragedies every day and every evening.

ANDERSON: Yes. OK, and we can chuck gross numbers around. Ten percent would be incredible, given that this -- and I understand why you're saying that -- but given that we are seeing this spiral in violence and the fact that the United Nations has warned that Iraq must address the roots of this conflict to stop what it calls "an infernal cycle of violence."

Now, you know the prime minister well. If he wants those sort of growth figures going forward, quite frankly, this is man whose polices many people say have prompted this violence. What do you say to him, and how does he suggest a solution at this point?

NICHOLSON: Well, the United Nations, as you know, Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, who represents the United Nations in Iraq, is adamant that the violence must stop. One of the great difficulties, of course, is the Sunni-Shia violence coming out of Syria, which has been spilling over into Iraq for much more than a year.

Only a year ago, I visited one of the biggest refugee camps I've ever been in, which was in the north of Iraq in Iraqi Kurdistan, and they've come in all the way, all this year, right into Anbar. I think there's nearly under half a million Syrian refugees, and much of the violence is stemming from that.

But nonetheless, Iraq is growing. The big companies coming in, particularly from the West -- Britain, America, France and Germany and Italy -- they have great standards. They're doing big things. Eighty percent of Iraq's oil and gas is coming from the two big BP Shell consortia, for example.

ANDERSON: Does it bother businessmen who want to do business in a place that undoubtedly has great growth prospects, because it's coming from such a sort of basic position at this point, does it bother these sort of famously hardened businessmen that, effectively, as a civil war burns around them, they can sort of pick off, as it were, great growth opportunities?

And I don't mean to sound pessimistic about things, but I think our viewers will be interested to see the sort of mentality of those who are prepared to go in.

NICHOLSON: The human suffering is massive. I absolutely take every point that you're making. I chair a small charity called the AMAR Foundation, and we have doctors and nurses, all Iraqi, working all around the clock in these horrific situations.

But at the same time, the Iraq-Britain Business Council and being trade envoy for Iraq from the United Kingdom, that's a highly positive signal. All the big companies that are there, they are doing wonderfully well. It's tough, it's hard, but the point is, that if we don't go, if there isn't a private sector, my goodness me, Iraq is going to not do very well, indeed.

Iraq has massive potential. And yes, there are huge challenges, and the worst of all is the suffering of that family and thousands like them.

ANDERSON: Sure. And I guess my final question, then, is this: with the huge potential that it has, are the Iraqis going to benefit as those that you represent and support will benefit going forward? I guess that's the ultimate question, and very briefly, if you will.


NICHOLSON: The Iraqis themselves are already benefiting dramatically. Most of the contracts, for instance, that Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Shahristani gets signed on oil and gas, and those that Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Shaways works out with other businesses, they all say a very high proportion of the workers and the skilled workers and the managers must be Iraqi.

There is, of course, a big deficit in education and training, and that's why universities and tertiary education and the learning of English as a business language is absolutely critical. The future is very good, indeed, that my goodness me, it's a tough struggle to get there, but that's no reason not to be in there to help.

ANDERSON: Thank you for joining us this evening, Baroness Nicholson there with her thoughts on the situation in Iraq and the opportunities there going forward. Thank you.

We want to return to the civil war in Syria for you for just a moment before we take a short break, and a perhaps unusual split within the ranks of militants, al Qaeda distancing itself from one of its affiliates fighting there, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant was something that the baroness was just alluding to.

A statement on jihadist forums blames it's, quote, "for the enormity of the disaster that afflicted the jihad in Syria," one of the top stories on the website throughout the day, looking at the degree of conflict between these groups within al Qaeda as a whole. Read more, leave your comments,, of course, /international.

Live from Abu Dhabi with us here on CONNECT THE WORLD, still to come tonight, a classic ballet production gets a makeover. We speak to the man who's causing quite a stir in the dance world. Find out why after this.


ANDERSON: Delving next into the world of ballet for you. Nick Glass met acclaimed choreographer Matthew Bourne, whose male version of Swan Lake has become one of the most successful dance productions ever. Take a look at this.



NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ask anyone in the dance world about Matthew Bourne, and they'll quickly tell you in a sentence: he's the English guy who put male swans into Swan Lake.


MATTHEW BOURNE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, NEW ADVENTURES: I used to be a big ballet fan in the late 80s, early 80s, and I used to watch it a lot to see different casts doing it at the Royal Opera House, and --

GLASS (on camera): Was this you up the guilds, or --

BOURNE: Yes, right at the top, yes.

GLASS: So one could afford.

BOURNE: All you -- still sometimes.


BOURNE: And I'd seen it so many times, you start to ask yourself questions. For me it was like, what if the swans were male? What would that do to the story?

GLASS (voice-over): The short answer is: quite a lot. Bourne's reimagined Swan Lake was premiered at Sadler's Wells in London in 1995. The same Tchaikovsky score, but with entirely different choreography. Bourne went and studied how real swans move in St. James's Park just by Buckingham Palace.

BOURNE: I felt there were other sides to a swan that weren't represented in the ballet, and I felt the ballet represents maybe the swan on the water, the beautiful line and the gliding. To me, when I looked at a swan outside of the water, its legs were a bit turned in, waddle-y.

It has some -- it did a very ungainly thing coming into land, it sort of flapped its wings backwards and sort of pedaled at the front a bit like this. We do that in the choreography.

I felt they were -- it's a mixture of sort of the beautiful and the ugly in some ways, and the sublime and the -- sublime is sort of beautiful, and this sort of innate power and a bit of menace as well. They sort of his at you if you get too close. They're quite scary.


JONATHAN OLLIVIER, "THE SWAN": It's not sweet and pretty, that's for sure. We try and make it as real as possible and as masculine as possible. We're all bare-chested and we have swan legs on -- pants that look like feathered legs, and we have this quite striking beak on their face. And it's masculine, and we're all pumped up, all the guys, and it's very serious.

GLASS: That radical decision 19 years ago, putting the male dancers center stage, didn't just change the story.

BOURNE: There's a whole audience of people who only know this version now, who've been brought up on male swans and find it very difficult to imagine women playing swans, which is extraordinary, really. I would never have guessed that could happen.

GLASS: What would the great French ballet master, the fastidious and prolific Marius Petipa, have made of it?

BOURNE: He's probably be pretty shocked by everything about it, I should imagine, not just the dance -- the choreography, but the lights and the costumes and everything. But I think if you were to speak of Tchaikovsky, for example, I think he would love it. I think he was an adventurous composer, and I think he was someone who would have applauded someone doing something different.

GLASS: Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake propelled the boys to the front, not just to entertain, but to surprise and move audiences. They've done so triumphantly. Theatrical dance has never been quite the same again.


ANDERSON: I've seen it, it is absolutely brilliant, let me tell you. You can see on your screen, I think, that they -- the Dow with just ten minutes to go, the Dow Jones Industrial average down about 2 percent, the NASDAQ off more than 2.5, and the S&P rocking towards a 2.5 percent close as well. T

This isn't good news. Rough January for those who, at least, are investing in stocks and hoping they go higher, and not a good start to the month of February, either. "Quest Means Business" up after this show. More on that, of course.

Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, saying farewell to actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Next, we speak to a man who knew the Oscar-winner about his -- Hoffman's legacy on both screen and stage.


ANDERSON: Theaters on Broadway will dim their lights tonight in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman. The Oscar-winning actor was found dead Sunday, age just 46. Law enforcement officials say Hoffman died of a suspected drug overdose. An autopsy is being conducted today.

He was known for his ability to transform himself into the characters that he played, from his big break in "Scent of a Woman" to his Academy Award-winning turn in "Capote." Fans and fellow actors praised him as a chameleon on the big stage. CNN's Stephanie Elam has more.



STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Philip Seymour Hoffman was an actor's actor, a chameleon who transformed into every character he played.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN AS TRUMAN CAPOTE, "CAPOTE": Ever since I was a child, folks have thought they had me pegged because of the way I talk.

ELAM: It was Hoffman's lead role in this 2005 film "Capote" that won the actor an Oscar. A sizable man, Hoffman convincingly transformed on screen into the slim, high-voiced author Truman Capote.

In 1992, a small role in "Scent of a Woman" gave Hoffman his big break, a seminal experience for the actor.

HOFFMAN: When I got "Scent of a Woman," I was 24 years old, and the casting director ran out of the office and grabbed me in the hallway and said, "You got the part." I don't think I've been more joyful since that moment.

ELAM: Hoffman continued to make a name for himself in the highly- regarded "Boogie Nights," a period piece that intertwined with the beginnings of the adult film industry.

A student of theater, Hoffman landed his first professional stage role before he graduated from high school. He then went on to study acting at New York University and enjoy a career on stage and on screen.

HOFFMAN: I like mixing them up as I'm doing this. I've been doing -- and I'll keep doing, as much as it makes people crazy.


HOFFMAN: Depends on the day.


HOFFMAN: Depends on the day. Yes, it does, you know? It's like -- but yes, I'll keep doing that. It's just -- I don't know how to do it any other way than that.

ELAM: The versatile, intense Hoffman garnered three Tony nominations as well as three other Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor for "Charlie Wilson's War" as a non-conforming CIA agent.

HOFFMAN AS GUST AVRAKOTOS, "CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR": Since there's no other reason I should be here, let's see how much -- because I'm very good at this.

ELAM: For "Doubt" as a priest suspected of inappropriate behavior with an altar boy.

HOFFMAN AS FATHER BRENDAN FLYNN, "DOUBT": What did you hear? What did you see that convinced you so thoroughly?

ELAM: And for "The Master" as a charismatic sect leader.

HOFFMAN AS LANCASTER DODD, "THE MASTER": I am a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist, a theoretical philosopher. But above all, I am a man.

ELAM: In real life, Hoffman was a man who struggled with addiction. In 2006, the actor told CBS "60 Minutes" he nearly died of substance abuse after he graduated from NYU.


HOFFMAN: It was anything I could get my hands on. Yes. Yes. I liked it all.

ELAM: And just last year, Hoffman revealed to several news outlets that he checked into a rehab facility last May for prescription drug and heroine use. A private, unassuming man, Hoffman will be remembered for his roles in more than 50 movies, including "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "The Hunger Games," roles that cemented Hoffman as one of the best actors of his generation.

HOFFMAN: It doesn't get any better than when you do -- you go to work, you get a job as an actor, first off, and when that happens, you think that that's it. When you're an actor, and all of a sudden somebody gives you a good job, you literally think -- you're more high than you'll ever be for the rest of your life.

ELAM: Hoffman is survived by his longtime girlfriend Mimi O'Donnell and their three young children. Philip Seymour Hoffman was 46 years old.


ANDERSON: Well, Stephanie Elam reporting for you there. For more on Hoffman's life and legacy, let's cross to New York now. I'm joined by Larry Maslon, a man who knew Hoffman personally.

Maslon is an arts professor at New York University, and Hoffman studied at the school and later returned, I know, sir, to give master classes to drama students. In fact, you both did together. How did he get on with aspiring actors?

LARRY MASLON, ARTS PROFESSOR, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Well, Phil loved actors. He loved the whole idea of acting. He was remarkable. You just saw a clip that he got his break working with Al Pacino. He worked on stage with Vanessa Redgrave, he worked with Robert De Niro.

He just loved sucking up that kind of energy from great actors, and he was thrilled, always, to come back to NYU, where he got his undergraduate degree at the Tisch School of the Arts, and impart that with younger actors. He was utterly unpretentious and utterly thrilled to be able to pass on some of this information and enthusiasm, and the kids went bonkers for him because he was the actor of their generation.

ANDERSON: And you've name-checked some of the greatest actors around, and indeed, we're looking at pictures of him in "Charlie Wilson's War" with Tom Hanks.

He won the Best Actor for "Capote." Ofttimes, he was the -- to many people's minds, Best Supporting Actor, but he won the actor for Best Actor for "Capote," described by one writer as "brilliantly mimicking the eccentric author of 'In Cold Blood.' Let's just have a listen to that, sir.


HOFFMAN AS TRUMAN CAPOTE, "CAPOTE": Well, I went out the front.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the sentence?


HOFFMAN AS CAPOTE: Think how good my book can be. I can hardly breathe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He'll be dead by September.

HOFFMAN AS CAPOTE: I'm going to help find you, prattling little --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says it's the non-fiction book of the decade.

HOFFMAN AS CAPOTE: We still haven't talked about that.



ANDERSON: What he managed to do flawlessly is convey the complexities of Capote's temperament, and this from a many who was physically so much bigger. What made him so good?

MASLON: Well, you used the word "mimic" Truman Capote. I'm not exactly sure that's accurate. Some months after this movie came out, there was another movie about Truman Capote with a wonderful actor who really looked just like him but didn't have that, and that's what Phil had.

Phil had this incredible ability to find the vulnerability in any person. He played a wide range of people, prize-winning authors, psychopaths, murderers. And no matter how bad his character was, there was something that drew you in that said, yes, I could be that way, too. And people just identified with him. And that was a remarkable gift far beyond basic mimicry.

ANDERSON: Where -- were you aware of just how haunted -- perhaps that's a word, the right one to use, and perhaps you'll disagree with me -- but I'll say how haunted he was as a character?

MASLON: Well, it certainly didn't show in my personal and public experiences with him. He was self-effacing, he took acting very seriously, he did not take himself seriously.

You would see him in the Village, Greenwich Village, NYU, or in the theater district. He sort of looked like an unmade bed most of the time, so he had none of that pretension that we might associate with other acting. He was just an average guy, I think, who couldn't believe how lucky he was.


MASLON: You showed a clip earlier that he was doing what he loved with the greatest people in the world.

ANDERSON: Briefly, his legacy, to your mind.

MASLON: Well, the generation before, De Niro and Hoffman and Pacino, they opened the door for the unconventional actor in film and on stage. And I think Phil just walked through that door that they opened up.

He was an everyman for the 21st century, which didn't mean he was average. He found the deep core of humanity in every conceivable kind of character, and that was a gift. He was not a magnetic Gary Cooper, Clark Gable movie star by any stretch of the imagination.

But people found themselves in him. People identified with what he put out there. And I must tell you the grieving in Greenwich Village down where he worked and lived is palpable today. Everyone has -- it's a huge loss.

ANDERSON: Larry Maslon, who knew Hoffman well. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

MASLON: Thank you.

ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD, live from Abu Dhabi. We leave you with these images of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Thank you for watching.