Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

World's Oldest Holocaust Survivor Dies At 110; Ukraine Rebuilds Government; Have Cocoa Companies Done Enough To Stop Child Labor?; Egypt's Cabinet Resigns

Aired February 24, 2014 - 15:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: And tonight, a revolution in motion -- Ukraine's new leaders hurriedly make plans for the future as deposed President Yanukovych goes on the run. So, what is next for a country on the brink of economic collapse and haunted by political uncertainty?

Also ahead...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you personally dislike homosexuals?

YOWERI MUSEVENI, PRESIDENT OF UGANDA: Of course. They're disgusting. What sort of people are they?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, an exclusive interview with Uganda's president on why he signed a law outlawing homosexuality in his country.

And a Russian sense of humor as the Sochi Winter Games close with a self deprecating dig at itself. We'll look back at the ups and downs of the 2014 Winter Games.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: A very good evening from London.

We begin tonight with the political uncertainty in Ukraine -- caught between the EU and Russia. The country facing its most serious crisis since independence in 1991.

Now, a new interim government has declared its desire to integrate into the European Union, but Russia is loathe to let that happen.

Earlier today the prime minister Dmitry Medvedev raised questions over the legitimacy of Kiev's government and all those who support it. Have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DMITRY MEDVEDEV, RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Some of our foreign partners, our western partners, think differently that those are legitimate bodies. I don't know what constitution and what laws they have been reading. It seems to me it is an aberration to call legitimate what is essentially the result of an armed mutiny.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, a man Moscow does recognize as legitimate, Viktor Yanukovych, is on the run, wanted for the mass murder of civilians. Nobody seems to know where he is. And in his absence a new political order is getting firmly underway.

Let's bring in CNN's Phi Black who is on the ground in Kiev. I was with you there on Friday and Saturday morning. Quite a turn of events.

Things moving still at what seems to be a dizzying speed, Phil.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Yeah, indeed, Becky. You're right, the man who was president, Viktor Yanukovych, is on the run, believed to be somewhere in the south of the country. Here in Kiev, the parliament and the new speaker of the house is busy putting together an interim government.

The crowd on Independence Square, it would appear, has won. But that's not how they see it down on the square. They're still there in huge numbers for two reasons.

One, is history. Back in 2004 after the Orange Revolution, everyone went home assuming their democratic dream had been realized. This time, they're staying and they say they will stay there until they are sure that this country is heading in the direction they want, that they're satisfied with the interim government, that the coming presidential elections are carried out smoothly and democratically.

But there's another reason, too, they are all still very much focused, consumed really, on coming to terms with what has been the human cost of this revolution. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLACK: The life lost -- Igor Takachuk (ph) was a father of three. He left his wife and children in a small village in the west of the country to join opposition protests in Kiev. Igor's (ph) sister Arisia (ph) traveled to Kiev to bring him home.

"I asked him not to join the protests," she says. "He said he had to go to make sure his children have a better life."

Igor (ph) was shot and killed along with dozens of other protesters at the height of the violence on streets near this square.

After that terrible morning, this has become a regular event. The fallen, laid out before the crowd, to be mourned and prayed for.

The crowd, they are heroes. For their families, the loss is overwhelming.

This woman collapses.

Grief now hangs over this revolutionary square. Memorials, candles and flowers now line the barricades.

There is no sense of celebration or victory here. The mood is somber, because people are focused on the human cost of this revolution, the blood spilled and the lives lost on the streets of this city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a lesson for our country and a lesson that will help us to prevent this happening ever in this country again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They had been so courageous, they sacrificed the highest price for our rights and freedom. I am sure they are the best.

BLACK: As Igor Takachuk (ph) is carried from the square, the crowd chants one word, "glory."

There is great pride in his sacrifice, but also great sorrow and anger that it was necessary.

(END VIDOETAPE)

BLACK: Becky, it's a day we learned a little bit more about the nature of the economic crisis, which is so closely connected to the political crisis. Here, a key opposition leader told us the country is broke. The finance minister, the acting finance minister says Ukraine could need as much as $35 billion over the coming two years from foreign donors in order to build reform and modernize this economy, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, that is a lot more than we had even last week been talking about. Phil, thank you for that.

Phil Black, staying with us for a period of time. Phil, don't go away.

Money seems to be the critical factor -- that's not new is it -- in determining what direction this country will take.

Kiev has said, as Phil rightly suggested, needs a whopping $35 billion in financial aid.

Moscow put the breaks on its bailout package until there is, and I quote, a normal government to negotiate with.

In the meantime, the EU, IMF and Washington scrambling to raise the cash, but they may not be able to do so soon.

Let me bring in our guest in the study tonight, Anne Applebaum, a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate and has been all over this story like a rash. Forgive me for using what is a crazy metaphor there.

But listen, you know, follow the money and it leads to a country on the brink of economic collapse at this point. We were looking at $15 billion in aid from the Russians over the past couple of months, has always been the sort of problem between the west and the east, who is going to pony up effectively?

I guess before we talked about the money, though, just how surprised are you by the speed at which things happened over the last, what, 72 hours?

ANNE APPLEBAUM, WASHINGTON POST: I think what really surprised people was not so much Yanukovych's rapid departure after signing what seemed to be an agreement to keep him -- that would have kept him in power until the end of year. But the fact that when he left Kiev, he seems to have ordered all security and all police to withdraw from government buildings.

So this was a bizarre case of a government just abandoning the government. I mean, they all -- they left.

It may have been -- the intention may have been they wanted the protesters to come in and wreck it so they can say there's been a coup d'etat. But that was the very interesting -- that was the real surprise.

I think what probably happened was that Yanukovych became aware at some point on Tuesday and Wednesday when he was beginning to do the crackdown that he wasn't going to win. He couldn't win with violence. He didn't have enough people. The army wasn't cooperating. There weren't enough policemen. and he had this realization he'd lost and so there was a decision, all right, let's do plan B.

ANDERSON: And at that time, over that sort of 48 hour period, we saw what was as far as I could see, a ratcheting up of the intense diplomatic pressure. And I wonder whether that didn't, in the end, make a lot of difference as well.

Let me just get a sense for our viewers of what Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, had to say today about the USA. Because it was fascinating to see the EU facilitating this deal on Thursday night, the Russians witnessing it. One assumes the EU were working with the complicit understanding and support of the United States. But at this point, we are asking ourselves who helps Ukraine out next and how?

Let's listen to what the U.S. had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The United States working with partners around the world stands ready to provide support for Ukraine as it takes the reforms it needs to to get back to economic stability. This support can complement an IMF program by helping to make reforms easier and by putting Ukraine in a position to invest more in health and education to help develop Ukraine's human capital and strengthen its social safety net.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: And before you and I talk, let me just get back to Phil. Phil, are there any more details at this point on the ground as to who is ponying up what when it comes to financial help for Ukraine?

BLACK: Nothing specific yet, Becky.

What we heard from the finance minister today was they believe they're going to need a short -- a quick short-term loan, something in the immediate few weeks. He talked about getting perhaps money from the United States and Poland. But in the longer term what they're looking for is a big international donor plan. They want a big conference consisting of European Union countries, the United States and the IMF.

Because they know what they're going to have to do if they get this money is put in a series of tough structural economic reform. These are the reforms that the IMF was demanding of Yanukovych and his government for a long time in return for a cash injection. He resisted that because that would have involved some pain here on the ground, notably domestic energy which was heavily subsidized by the government.

The new government of Ukraine is going to have to put these into place and it's going to hope that the terms of any sort of cash injection are going to be kind and it's going to be there to soften the blow so that the people of Ukraine don't feel the pain of these structural reforms too intensely.

ANDERSON: I'm fascinated, Anne, to hear from you who an where you think -- from whom and from where you think the next stage of this economic help might come? I mean, we -- like I say, we've seen sort of complicit support for western focused change for the Ukraine by the U.S.

What happens next?

APPLEBAUM: Well, let's be clear, it's not just about money. You know, the money was on offer before. The problem has been that Ukrainians have been willing to do the very profound economic reforms, in some cases of a kind that ought to have been 20 years ago, as your correspondent said marketizing the gas industry.

There are still all kinds of laws about land ownership that are -- you know, that aren't conductive to investment. There are all kinds of issues about how the courts work and rule of law and how contracts work.

Ukraine needs some very, very fundamental changes. And the previous governments, I should say, haven't been willing to make them.

So, you know, just throwing money at Ukraine is not going to solve anything.

ANDERSON: But who should be taking the lead? Who should run this country going forward? Because it's not clear at this point even who might stand for PM and president.

APPLEBAUM: Well, I mean, who in the world should run it? The Ukrainians should run it. And the IMF and others should be...

ANDERSON: We realize there's a proxy war going on. I'm talking about who should internally, who should be the president or prime minister going forward?

APPLEBAUM: I wouldn't name who the president should be. I think it's pretty clear that one thing has changed in Ukraine, which is that the Ukrainians no longer have any appetite for these big personalities, these charismatic people who have a lot to say, but then aren't able to do anything.

The impression I've had of the last few months is that, you know, people spoke about this as a leaderless revolution. But in fact it's a revolution of people who want a kind of technocratic government of competent people who know how to run the country, who aren't corrupt, who don't have a record of corruption, who don't have a past in the gas and oil industry, who really want to make changes.

And there seem to be people in the complex of people who emerged from Maidan and even people in the parliament who would fit that bill. I mean, it's not -- it's a very talented country. There are many people there who have had a lot of involvement in the west and normal business in the last 20 years and there are people who are there.

ANDERSON: Watch this space. Some people might have said good luck looking for somebody that you've described. You've suggested they exist. So, I guess (inaudible) possible somebody sort of raising their hand at this point. Thank you.

Anne, what a pleasure.

Still to come tonight, a surprise announcement on Egyptian state television. The interim prime minister there says his entire government is resigning. Let's take a look at what that could mean for the country's political future.

Also tonight, government protesters in Venezuela use barricades to bring traffic in the capital there to a standstill.

And she survived one of the most horrific events in history. Instead, it was music that kept her alive. A look back at the remarkable life of the world's oldest holocaust survivor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: And you're back with CNN. It is 17 minutes past 8:00 in London. I'm Becky Anderson, welcome back.

Well, a major power shift underway in Egypt after the military backed government resigned. Interim prime minister Hazel Beblawi made the surprise announcement on state TV, gave no clear explanation, but many see it as paving the way for the army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to officially announce his candidacy for president.

Journalist Ashraf Khalil joins us now from Cairo to explain.

Does this decision by the government today to resign actually mean? What's the message here?

ASHRAF KHALIL, JOURNALIST: Well, Becky, it's a very confusing message. As you said, this announced resignation by Hazem Beblawi and his cabinet came completely out of the blue. There were very few signs that this was coming. And it really has created far more questions than answers, particularly in light of the fact that we are about two-and-a-half months away from fresh presidential elections. The date of those elections has not been announced. We're expecting it to be in the second half of April, in which case we're going to have a new president and a new cabinet.

So, it's hard right now to see the logic of a resignation this late in the game and a whole new government coming in that's going to be an absolute lame duck government and it's going to add to the political paralysis and the sense of drift that is plaguing Egypt right now.

ANDERSON: Very briefly, let me ask you security an enormous issue in Egypt today. It might surprise our viewers to also learn that, for example, schools haven't been, you know, working since what was it January 8.

Is this a government that actually had pretty much no control of what was going on?

KHALIL: Well, it depends who you ask. The government itself would claim that they are winning the war -- what they call a war on terrorism. And that they have established stability and security. But the fact on the ground speak to another story. We've had a number of insurgent attack, terrorist attack, primarily attacking security personnel, police and army officials. But just last week, targeting a bus load of tourists in the Sinai Peninsula.

The schools, the universities, as you said have been on an extended break partially because they have become hotbeds for political protests, for Muslim brotherhood protests. And that one of the easiest ways to nip that in the bud is just to keep them closed. So, yes, it is not really a country that feels like it's in control and the sudden resignation of the entire government two months before we're about to get another government is only going to add to that sense of instability and societal anxiety.

ANDERSON: The picture in Egypt this evening. Thank you, sir.

Well, we are learning more about the capture of the notorious Mexican drug lord. After more than 10 years on the run, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was arrested at a seaside beach resort in western Mexico on Saturday, during what was a joint Mexican-U.S. operation.

Now, U.S. fed officials say they planned to seek extradition. But some analysts say that is unlikely any time soon, since Mexico wants to prosecute him first.

Now a follow-up to a story we brought you from the cocoa fields of Ivory Coast. Two years ago, CNN's Freedom Project exposed the plight of youngsters forced to harvest chocolate beans. My colleague Richard Quest recently visited Ivory Coast along with executives from a major chocolate company to see if anything has changed. Here is a preview of his report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jose Lopez is responsible for Nestle's global operations, that's 468 factories in 86 countries.

Why do you think it took the industry so long to admit the issue of child labor?

JOSE LOPEZ, NESTLE: Probably finding solutions was not as easy. But it is not such process where nothing gets done and all of a sudden things get done.

QUEST: But you seem to be having a difficulty accepting that the industry was late to dealing with this.

LOPEZ: I have to say that we were late because a problem like this has to be dealt with, so any time that has been lost was lost. And that should not have happened.

QUEST: We arrived in Zebuyaklow (ph). It's a small village with a big welcome for choclate's royalty.

Lopez is here to see how Nestle's work to prevent child labor is working with the local community.

LOPEZ: The solutions that we see today, and I'm really very, very encouraged by what I see, have taken many institutions, NGOs, companies, traders, many people in the value chain have decided to step further and move. And we are moving.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, chocolate is a food enjoyed around the world, isn't it? But there is a sharp divide between where most of it originates and where we consume it.

While Europe is a huge market, the United States is the single largest consumer. And some 764,000 -- nearly three-quarters of a million tons per year are eaten there.

Most of the world cocoa comes from west Africa with more than a third coming from the Ivory Coast alone. And that is why this story is important. It is an industry worth $110 billion.

This graphic, though, shows you where the cost of chocolate -- the chocolate bar that you eat goes. Only three percent goes to farmers. I hope you can see that.

Nearly a half the cost is the retail and supermarket game. You can see that across the board there on the bottom of this graph.

And like any processed food, it's a long road from what is most likely a small family owned plantation to what is yours or my local store.

So is it still business as usual, or is the industry really changing its ways? It's a lesson in cocoa-nomincs. Thursday 9:00 p London, 10:00 p in Berlin. Only on CNN.

You're watching this network live from London. I'm Becky Anderson with Connect the World. Coming up, despite opposition from around the world Uganda's president signs new anti-gay bill into law. We're going to have the details on that for you.

First, though, we take a look back at what was the remarkable life of Alice (inaudible), the world's oldest known holocaust survivor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Right.

Well, tributes have been pouring in for Alice Hertzama (ph), the world's oldest known Holocuast survivor who died in a London hospital on Sunday morning. He was 110-years-old. Atika Shubert has more on what was her remarkable life story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Aliza Herz Sommer lived alone in her London flat. She played piano three hours a day and her story is so extraordinary that a documentary film was made of her life. The lady in number six now up for an academy award.

ALIZA HERZ SOMMER, HOLOCUAST SURVIVOR: Without work, you can't achieve anything. Millions and millions of hours working on what you love. When you love some thing, work it, work it, work and work.

SHUBERT: Herz Sommer was the oldest known survivor of the holocaust. She grew up in Prague. Composer Gustav Mahler was a family friend. The novelist Franz Kafka she knew in childhood. Art was everything to her.

HERZ SOMMER: Music is dream. Music is a dream.

SHUBERT: In 1943, she was imprisoned at the Teresienstadt concentration camp with her young son. Her mother and her husband were sent to Auschwitz, neither survived the end of the war.

She said music kept her alive, one of dozens of musicians that performed concerts in the camp to entertain the Nazis.

HERZ SOMMER: I knew that we will play and I (inaudible) when we can play it can't be so terrible. The music, the music.

Music is in the first place of art. It brings us on an island with peace, beauty and love.

SHUBERT: But what Aliza Herz Sommer so remarkable was not only how she survived the horrors of the holocaust, but also how she transformed her life and so many others with the power of music and laughter.

HERZ SOMMER: I'm full of joy in my house. I am the only one who is laughing.

SHUBERT: Aliza Herz Sommer died on Sunday with her family at her bedside when she was 110.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Yeah. Latest world news headlines are just ahead.

Plus, life in prison for aggravated homosexuality. Uganda introduces what is a tough new anti-gay law. We're going to hear from the country's president and from a man who doesn't live there anymore for all of the obvious reasons.

And saying farewell to Sochi, we take a look back at the highs and lows of Russia's Olympic games.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Ukraine's acting president says he will have an interim government ready in time to kick off the presidential election campaign. These are our headlines. Olexandr Turchynov promises elections in May. Meanwhile, ousted president Viktor Yanukovych is in hiding with a warrant out for his arrest. Russia calls the new leadership there "illegitimate."

A surprise announcement on Egyptian state TV today. Interim president -- sorry, prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi says his government is resigning. He didn't offer a clear explanation as to why, but many see it as a way of paving the way for army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to run for president.

Italy's new prime minister is promising to roll up his sleeves and move quickly on reform. Matteo Renzi went before parliament today ahead of the first of two key confidence votes from -- in a few hours from now. At 39, he is the youngest person to leave the eurozone's third-largest economy. Amongst other things, he promised to cut payroll taxes, free up money for schools, and work on electoral reform.

A major blow to al Qaeda in Syria. According to opposition groups, the top al Qaeda representative was sent to Aleppo to try to stop rebel infighting, but he wound up a victim himself.

Well, Uganda's president has signed a strict anti-gay bill into law. He went ahead despite an outcry from the international community. He said he would not allow the West to impose its values on Uganda.

Well, let's take a look at the penalties outlined in the new law. It calls for life imprisonment for aggravated homosexuality. That definition includes so-called serial offenders as well as those who have gay sex with HIV-positive people and minors. The bill also imposes prison terms on those who counsel gays and lesbians, stirring concerns that rights groups will be targeted.

Well, CNN's Zain Verjee spoke with President Museveni about the new law and how he feels about the criticism from the West.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Many people, even if they may not be the majority, regard it as their right to have free choice in choosing who they love, who they want to have sex with, and don't believe that the state should get involved.

YOWERI MUSEVENI, PRESIDENT OF UGANDA: It's not the state to decide.

VERJEE: But you signed it into law.

MUSEVENI: Yes, but I'm acting on behalf of the society. I'm not -- it's not just the state, it's the society. And that's why I would like to advise the Europeans and the Western groups that this one area, which should be a no-go area, because if they want real confrontation with us, this is one area they are not going to make our people budge. OK, they have told us, we have told them. And they've also provoked us in the first place.

VERJEE: But what about the equality of an individual, as the Western countries would argue, to have the right to choose what they want for themselves. That just by virtue of being a human being, they have certain human rights, and one of which is to express themselves freely in the way that they chose.

(CROSSTALK)

MUSEVENI: We can --

VERJEE: So --

MUSEVENI: We cannot accept that behaving unnaturally is a human right. I was --

VERJEE: Why not?

MUSEVENI: I was regarding it as an inborn -- an inborn problem.

VERJEE: A genetic link --

MUSEVENI: Genetic --

VERJEE: -- to homosexuality.

MUSEVENI: -- distortion. That was my argument. But our scientists have knocked this one out, and once you argue that it is a question of choice, then really, you have lost the argument as far as these matters are concerned.

VERJEE: Do you think that by signing the bill, you're taking Uganda backwards?

MUSEVENI: Not at all. Not at all. Uganda's weight has always been that Uganda has never supported our society system immoral. I've never supported homosexuals.

VERJEE: What is your message to Western human rights groups, to President Obama --

(CROSSTALK)

MUSEVENI: Respect --

VERJEE: -- to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people?

MUSEVENI: Respect African societies and their values. If you don't agree, you just keep quiet, let us manage our society the way we see. If we are wrong, we shall find out by ourselves, just as the way we don't interfere with yours.

VERJEE: Do you personally dislike homosexuals?

MUSEVENI: Of course! They are disgusting. What sort of people are they? How can you go -- I don't -- I never knew what they were doing. I've been told recently that what they are doing is terrible. Disgusting. But I was ready to ignore that if there was proof that that's how he's born, abnormal. But now, the proof is not there.

VERJEE: Is this about politics more than morality and religion or culture?

MUSEVENI: Not at all.

VERJEE: Because there are many critics that have said this is about 2016. This is about the elections and the majority of people in this country support what you're doing. They support anti-gay legislation.

MUSEVENI: But why have they refused to sign it? Why have they refused to sign the bill? Because that's what they did. I had refused to sign it because I wanted -- and I was also going to sign it, maybe they would have changed it for me to sign it until I was confronted by the silence, which I demanded from them. You show me whether --

VERJEE: This made you very popular, signing this bill. Even more so than you are.

MUSEVENI: That's --

VERJEE: There are people in this country that would vote for you because of what you did today.

MUSEVENI: That's --

VERJEE: The MPs will win their seats because of what you did today.

MUSEVENI: That's not my intention. My intention was the truth. The facts. The -- and what is good for our country, our society.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Let's take a look at how gay rights laws vary around the world. Same-sex marriages are recognized within 14 countries, shown here on this map in yellow, and same-sex couples have some or all of the same rights at heterosexual couples in 17 other nations show in gray, 59 countries shown here in green have laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

But 76 countries still consider homosexual acts illegal, seen here in blue. They account for about 40 percent of UN member nations. And shown here in red, homosexual acts are punishable by death in five countries and in some parts of Nigeria and Somalia.

Well, for more on Uganda's new law and the issue of gay rights around the world, I'm joined now by John Bosco Nyombi. He is the co-director of Justice for Gay Africans. We thank you for joining us here in the UK. Why are you here, out of interest?

JOHN BOSCO NYOMBI, CO-DIRECTOR, JUSTICE FOR GAY AFRICANS: The reason I'm here is just to fight for the rights of LGBT people.

ANDERSON: Right. So, how do you react to what's happened in Uganda today?

NYOMBI: To be honest, I feel really awful. I feel the butterflies in my stomach. I feel sick that in the 21st century, people, they are still using the world "kill" people because of their sexuality. This makes me feel mad and crazy, and I just can't believe that today in a country where they consider themselves to be Christian they can treat people like that.

ANDERSON: Let me put this to you: the president today says in his defense of the support of this legislation, says there is no signs to support the idea that being gay, homosexual, having a different sexual persuasion, is something you are born with.

So there is sort of nature-nurture discussion, which I certainly believe, and I'm sure everybody else listening tonight, needs to be had. But it's difficult to refute, isn't it?

NYOMBI: I think the problem the president has and the people in Uganda, they have never sat down and talked to gay people. If you ask, maybe, the president of Uganda has never met a gay Ugandan or a gay person.

But if you sit down and ask people, the gay people or the people who are the citizens of Uganda -- because gay people are citizens of Uganda -- if the president says that he wants to protect the citizens of Uganda, gay people are citizens of Uganda.

I myself am a gay person. I didn't choose to be gay. This is the way I've been. My parents wanted me to get a girlfriend, the neighbors wanted me to have a girlfriend. It's because I'm not a heterosexual. I can't get married to a woman, I'm attracted to men.

So, the president is saying he doesn't know whether there are gay people. Has he ever taken a chance, as the president of Uganda, to listen to gay Ugandans and to ask them these questions, "Why are you gay? How did you become gay?" He is making all this.

For example I can give you: why is he signing a bill when he knows there are no gay people in Uganda?

ANDERSON: Well, that -- no.

NYOMBI: You can't --

ANDERSON: No, there are lots of gay people in Uganda.

NYOMBI: Exactly.

ANDERSON: The fact is, they are hiding at the moment. Stay with me, hold on for one sec. It's worth remembering that there is strong opposition to gay rights in some parts of the West as well. You and I have to remember that.

Now, recent examples: demonstrators took to the streets after the Arizona state legislature passed a controversial law -- and this is in the past couple of days -- that allows business owners there to deny service to gay and lesbian customers based on their religious beliefs.

Critics say it sanctions discrimination, but those who support it say it protects religious liberty. And whatever you and I believe, sir, and -- I can be partisan today and say, believe me, I'm on your side, which I shouldn't do -- but we have to be cognizant that there are many, many other parts of the world where people don't agree with what you are saying this evening.

What do you think -- and I certainly feel like there's this sort of move across the world for more homophobic legislation than there is for more supportive legislation these days. How do you think things might change going forward?

NYOMBI: I think for the countries where, especially in Africa, where the gay people are persecuted, if the presidents or the people in power can sit down and talk with the LGBT people and hear their views.

And then they come to compromise and say, OK, this is what the gay people we have, the gay people in Uganda, we have gay people in Nigeria, we have gay people in Zimbabwe, all those gay people, all those gay organizations, come all together.

This is human rights. It has nothing to do with what you want, what I want. I don't want to be gay, but I was born gay. I can't change who I am. For example, I'm black. I don't want to be black, but I can't change it to be white.

ANDERSON: Please don't tell me you don't want to be black.

(CROSSTALK)

NYOMBI: No, what I --

ANDERSON: You're making a point, OK.

NYOMBI: I'm trying to make a point.

ANDERSON: Yes.

NYOMBI: Because you can see the black people preaching themselves.

ANDERSON: You don't have a choice, that's the point, yes.

NYOMBI: It does mean that they don't want to -- they have that choice. We gay people, we're there. We sometimes find it hard -- for example, now this bill. You -- may people are going to kill themselves because they don't have anywhere to -- nobody to run to.

ANDERSON: You and I can talk for hours tonight. We will talk again. At this point, I'm going to have to take a very short break. Thank you.

NYOMBI: Thank you.

ANDERSON: You're watching CNN live from London tonight. As the athletes head for home, we take stock of the Sochi Games and how host country Russia fared. That coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: After two weeks of competition, the Olympic Flame has been extinguished in Sochi. The Games wrapped up in style under the watchful eyes of the Russian president. Despite initial concerns over safety and whether the country was prepared, once the Games began, it was almost all about sport. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Winter Olympics in Sochi started with a bang: a jubilant fireworks display accompanied by a burst of Russian pride. And for the next 16 days, athletes skied, skated, and snowboarded to victory.

One gold medalist proved he was "spoice," a new snowboarding catchphrase that Sage Kotsenburg says can mean just about anything.

SAGE KOSTENBURG, US GOLD MEDALIST, SLOPESTYLE: There was a ton of people with US everything, they're like, "Go, America!" And I just looked there, what? I felt like we were family. I was just like, you guys are here! I don't even know you, but thanks!

WATSON: Amid fears of terrorist threats from nearby Chechnya and Dagestan, Russia's ring of steel proved impenetrable, with Russian security forces protecting the Games by land, sea, and air.

Visitors got to enjoy bursts of warm weather, learning why the slogan of the Games was "Hot. Cool. Yours." On the preparation front, Russia did not do as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In terms of their readiness and preparation, they get an F.

WATSON: Many hotels weren't ready in time. A senior International Olympic Committee official admitted to having to sound a red alert to speed up construction months before the opening.

Towards the end, bloodshed in neighboring Ukraine threatened to overshadow the Games. Ukrainian athletes came to the rescue, winning the gold in the biathlon relay, offering a symbol of unity for their divided country.

OLENA PIDHRUSHNA, UKRAINIAN GOLD MEDALIST, BIATHLON RELAY (through translator): It's not just a victory for us, it's a big victory for Ukraine. It's a big positive. This medal brought the country together.

WATSON: Sochi was a platform for President Vladimir Putin to show off his vision of modern Russia, a vision many Russians here celebrated.

WATSON (on camera): And Russia got the last word in the event that matters most at the Olympics, the medal count. Russia won the most gold in this Winter Olympiad, a resounding victory for the host country.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Sochi, Russia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, let's take a look at the final medal haul. And as Ivan said in his report, host Russia finished in first place, 33 medals, 13 of them gold. Norway taking what looks like third place here, although my script says second. Anyway, Canada coming in fourth on our chart at least, with a late gold rush in events like ice hockey and curling.

And here's a look at how the medals break down per capita, Norway topping the list, 5.2 medals per one million citizens. Well done.

So, what were your memorable moments from Sochi? Was it the debut of the slopestyle as an Olympic sport, or seeing Canada take home ice hockey gold, or seeing me in Lycra on the skeleton? Whatever.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: For a look back at the best of the Games, the website is there for you, the top ten moments, the links on our homepage, cnn.com/international.

Coming up after this break, the future of Fashion Week. As the world's designers gather in Paris this time, we'll take you inside a school where tomorrow's trend-setters learn their trade.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: The biggest stars from the world of style and fashion descending on the French capital as Paris kicks off its Fashion Week. But away from the catwalks, one school is turning today's fashion students into tomorrow's style-makers. Myleene Klass has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MYLEENE KLASS, CNN SPEICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Paris Fashion Week. It's the last stop on the calendar for the fashion industry elite, who come together twice a year to view the latest collections.

KLASS (on camera): This Siberian March, there are 93 catwalks, 24 nationalities, and millions of dollars worth of business to be done here in the French capital

IMRAN AMED, BUSINESS OF FASHION: Paris, I think, is unquestionably the granddaddy of all the Fashion Weeks. While people might be willing to skip New York or skip London or skip Milan, nobody skips Paris Fashion Week, because the real heavyweights of the global fashion industry, both commercially and creatively, they come together in Paris, and that's where it's really at.

KLASS (voice-over): Fashion and France go together like coffee and croissants. As early as 1868, a trade union was formed to protect French couture and ready-to-wear collections, the first in the world, which cemented France's reputation as a fashion leader.

DIDIER GRUMBACH, PRESIDENT, FRENCH FASHION FEDERATION: Tentative assembly of the 14th of December, 1910.

KLASS: In 1973, the French Fashion Federation followed.

GRUMBACH: What we are here for is to build and support new brands, because you don't dress how your mother did.

KLASS: There are 30 members of the Federation, with total revenues of over $20 billion.

GRUMBACH: Couturiers today must be brilliant. And they do get it, and they hold it, which was not the case a few decades ago, when we expected just excellent fingers. Genius in the figures today, it's here. It has to come from -- and here, too.

KLASS: This is where they learn: the Ecole de la Couture Parisienne, one of the world's top fashion schools. It opened in 1927 by the trade union, who wanted to preserve the skills they'd honed working with fabric.

FRANCOIS BROCA, DIRECTOR, ECOLE DE LA CHAMBRE SYNDICALE DE LA COUTURE PARISIENNE: I think it's very important, because the garment is a structure. It's a technical structure.

DANIEL ANSELME, FOURTH YEAR FASHION STUDENT: Take the coat and roll it over like this, and --

The French have this way of expressing this elegance, that I think -- this is why I came here.

KLASS: Classes are given in pattern-cutting, draping, and design. Many famous faces learned to cut their cloth here.

GRUMBACH: Even if we try do Saint Laurent and SMK and Valentino and many others, really what we want is to keep the savoir faire in France, and this school, it's its specialty.

BROCA: A school doesn't give talent. A good school has to try to make flowers with those talents.

FANNY OUTREVICH, FOURTH YEAR FASHION STUDENT: I decided to do a very androgynous collection that can be worn by women and men. The plastic on the sleeves, it was very difficult to do it.

BROCA: So, a fashion designer, you are all over the world, very talented fashion designers. But what you find in Paris is a technique that we try to pass that knowledge through this school.

KLASS: Here in Paris, there's no danger of French savoir faire going out of style. Globally, fashion is a $1.5 trillion industry, and France continues to lead the way, safeguarding the valuable skills needed by the next generation of designers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And there is much more about all that is fashionable this season. Head to our special season page on cnn.com/international, see what our contributors think about the pressing question, who is more fashionable? Paris? New York? Or has the mecca of fashion moved east? Maybe Abu Dhabi, for example?

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching. From London, it is a very good evening.

END