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New Boko Haram Video Released Showing Kidnapped Schoolgirls; Ukraine Referendum; India Election; Inside Chibok; Boko Haram Demands; Syrians Return to Homs; Nigeria's Abducted Girls; Women Call for "Half-Naked" Protest Against Nigerian Kidnapping; Migrant Ships Sink Near Italy, Libya; Deadly Migration; Indian Economy Frustrations; World Cup Preparations; Parting Shots: Manchester City Celebrates Premiership Title

Aired May 12, 2014 - 11:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: New video of the schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria, and new demands from their captors. We take you into the heart of Boko Haram-controlled territory.

Also ahead, pro-Russia separatists claim victory after a controversial referendum in east Ukraine. But Kiev calls it a farce. And --


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And if we look around, we can see that all the buildings around this main square and in this entire neighborhood are absolutely destroyed.


ANDERSON: The end of the siege. We bring you an exclusive report from inside Homs as thousands of Syrians return to a city shattered by war.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: A very good evening from the UAE. It is 7:00 in the evening here. In the past couple of hours, we have had our first glimpse of the missing Nigerian schoolgirls since they were abducted by Boko Haram nearly a month ago.

Take a look at this video. It appears to show about 100 of the girls wearing Islamic dress. Now, they can be heard reciting parts of the Koran and making Islamic statements of faith. But the girls do not seem to be doing this willingly.

The group's notorious leader Abubakar Shekau appears in a separate part of the video saying he is willing to exchange the girls for Boko Haram prisoners. Well, CNN cannot verify the authenticity of that video. Our Isha Sesay has more on that from Abuja in Nigeria.

That demand, Isha, is a sudden about-face from Boko Haram's previous threat to sell the girls. Before we talk about that 180 and whether this group can be trusted, is there any indication where these girls might be at this point?

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Becky. No, none whatsoever. As you see when you look at those pictures of those girls, it is a nondescript location, open air. All we really can focus on is the large number of girls that are gathered there in the shot. But we do not get any identifiers, so to speak, as to where they are.

But I still think it is indicative of the brazenness of this group that they are willing to display this large group of girls proudly, one would say, and have them chanting in unison part of the Koran, making declarations of faith.

And as you pointed out, Becky, these girls clearly under duress. It is worth highlighting for our viewers that that school that they were taken from on April 14th was 90 percent Christian, so what we're looking at, at least in the case of some of these girls, is we are looking at Christian girls being made to wear Islamic dress, being made to recite parts of the Koran and make these declarations of faith.

Once again, Boko Haram just displaying their repugnant, sickening nature. And really, for the parents, this is heart-wrenching, but at the same time, it gives them, I would imagine, some element of hope in that they will be now scrambling to look closely at this video, Becky, to see if they can see their children on this tape, whether they one of these 100- plus girls we see here on this video. Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. As you suggest, some relief to some of the parents, but clearly that isn't all the girls, either, that we see in this video if, indeed, this is an authentic video.


ANDERSON: Listen, this group's notorious leader, as I suggested, appearing in this video saying that he is willing to exchange the girls rather than sell them into slavery, which was the message that we had in the past couple of weeks, for Boko Haram prisoners. Why this about-face? And can they be trusted in any way?

SESAY: I don't think there's a single person here in Nigeria or member of the government who would say that Boko Haram is a group that can be trusted. They have clearly displayed that they are bloodthirsty, that they are violent, and they are extreme, and I don't think anyone would use the term "trustworthy" to describe them.

Why the about-face? That is something that we are trying to investigate. We have spoken to an individual who in the past has acted as a mediator between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram, and he has suggested that this is what they would do, that they would end up trying to use these girls as some kind of a leverage to get at their brethren, as they refer to them.

Four other Boko Haram fighters that are now in the custody of the government. Why this changed now? What it means and how they will proceed. We really, at this point in time, just do not know.

But it is also important to note, Becky, that we don't see the man we believe to be Abubakar Shekau in the same place as these girls. Again, his whereabouts unknown for the last couple of years. But what is clear, what we can say with confidence, is that they have these girls and they're clearly holding them as a bargaining chip. Becky?

ANDERSON: Isha, thank you for that. And we're going to have more from Nigeria in this hour. It is a long and treacherous journey to Chibok, the town devastated Boko Haram's kidnap and attack last month. We'll show you how CNN's Nima Elbagir and her team managed to reach there and what they found.

And we'll also take a look at the group's latest demands, Isha alluding to one of the mediators or certainly a mediator with the group in the past. We'll speak to him and find out whether that group can be trusted to follow through on any sort of deal. That is ahead here on CONNECT THE WORLD, do stay with us for that.

Well, two regions in eastern Ukraine stand defiant against Kiev. Early indications that they voted overwhelmingly for independence, and that is fueling more fear that the region could be headed for civil war.

The very latest for you on the ground, a local official says nearly 90 percent of the voters in the Donetsk region said yes to autonomy in Sunday's vote. In some cases, people were seen voting twice at one polling station.

Well, for its part, Russia says it respects the will of the people there and in Luhansk and hopes for the practical implementation of the vote without violence, they say. Atika Shubert live for you in the eastern city of Donetsk where, as we said, some voting irregularities were observed.

What do we know at this point, aside form the fact that this looks like a wholehearted vote in favor of independence or referendum? What happens next?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's certainly how the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic is taking it, and they've just had a press conference in their de facto headquarters behind me.

And in fact, Denis Pushilin, who is one of the senior leaders of the Donetsk People's Republic, has just declared independence as a result of this referendum and also put out an appeal on behalf of the people in Donetsk for the Donetsk People's Republic to become a part of the Russian Federation. So, that clearly is, at least form Denis Pushilin's view there, the next step in this process.

Now, what happened then? How is Moscow going to respond? That's the next question. W hat we saw in Crimea, which is the precedent for this, of course, is that a week after their referendum, they had another vote to decide whether or not to join Russia.

It's not clear whether that's going to happen here, so it really sort of depends on Moscow at this point. What is Moscow going to say? What is their response going to be? So far, we haven't had an official response. We're going to have to wait and see what we get there, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. So, we're getting this sense, then, from Russia, that it, as I said, certainly respects the will of the people and hope that its practical implementation of the vote without violence. As you rightly point out, we don't know how this vote will be implemented. And clearly we hope there won't be any violence going forward.

We certainly have the EU speaking today, debating further sanctions at this point. I'm just wondering whether it's clear on the ground as to whether anybody around you, where you are, cares about what the will of the international community is at this stage, or whether they are simply looking east to Moscow and charging that that's their remit going forward?

SHUBERT: I think as far as the Donetsk People's Republic, the pro- Russian groups here, they are all completely looking to the east. They are hoping that Moscow is going to come in somehow.

Now, whether that's accepting the region of eastern Ukraine as part of the Russian Federation or whether that means peacekeepers are brought in, I think ordinary people here are very concerned about what happens, what Kiev will do, what the EU and the US will do. In particular, because they are fearful there will be more violence.

Remember, you've got that general election coming up on May 25th, and this is the best solution as endorsed by the EU, the US, and Kiev. But that's not what many people here think. They fear that with this election coming up and with many people here threatening to Boycott it, that tensions will rise, that you will see more violence.

And certainly, with a lawlessness that we've seen in this region over the last few weeks, it doesn't seem likely that a general election will be able to take place in this part of the country.

ANDERSON: Atika Shubert on the ground in Donetsk in the east of Ukraine for you. Atika, thank you.

Well, it is the largest election in history, and it wrapped up just a few hours ago. Over the past five weeks, more than 800 million Indians were eligible to vote in what is the country's general election.

They have sent 543 candidates to the lower house of parliament. Opposition leader Narendra Modi is considered a front-runner for prime minister if his part, the BJP, gains a majority.

Well, these results from the exit polls have just begun trickling in. Let's get the very latest from Sumnima Udas, who is in New Delhi. An extremely long process, which gets us to the very last day. Results, of course, expected on Friday. We'll be joining you in New Delhi for those. At this point, what are the exit polls telling us?

SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Becky, this has been a mammoth election. In fact, the longest election in Indian history. We're talking about five to six weeks and nine phases of voting. The results of course, only out on Friday.

But the exit polls so far indicate, all of them, actually, indicate a victory for the opposition party, which is, of course, the BJP, led by Narendra Modi, who is the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP. Now, these exit polls came out after the markets had already closed, but over the past two days, we've seen the SENSEX really surge on the back of that projected BJP victory.

And that is really because the BJP is widely regarded as a pro- business political party, and Narendra Modi in particular is seen as a pro- development leader, he's seen to be a very effective and efficient leader. We've all seen his track record in the state of Gujarat. So, this market rally doesn't really come as much of a surprise.

And if the BJP actually does come up with a majority in that lower house of parliament, that means they can actually push through a lot of the reforms which, of course, is great news for investors, but also great news for India, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, on the whole, I would say. Let's just interrogate that slightly, because 272 is the magic number, of course. If he gets more than that, it's a clean sweep. What that will also mean, of course, is that there are no checks and balances on a man who does come with a little baggage. This would be a divisive victory, as well as a decisive one, wouldn't it, to some, at least?

UDAS: That's right. This is really about -- a lot of the people have been saying this is really about the kind of India that Indians want. Yes, this will be -- this will fare very well for the economy. Perhaps that's what at least a lot of people here have been saying.

But Narendra Modi, of course, comes with a lot of baggage as well because he presided over those riots in Gujarat in 2002. A lot of people accuse him of not doing enough to stop those riots. He, of course, has been cleared by the supreme court and continues to deny those charges.

But many fear that they will -- that India will, perhaps, be divided as well under Narendra Modi. And I have to point out as well as about those opinion polls and those exit polls, Becky, is that these are not entirely reliable in India.

In fact, in the past two elections, in 2004 and 2009, the election polls -- the opinion polls and the exit polls were completely wrong. They had all projected that the BJP would win, and in fact, the Congress Party ended up winning.

So, we really don't know. We can't really depend on these exit polls yet. And of course, the results only will be out on Friday, and that's when we'll know for sure what will happen in India, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. Lovely. All right, thank you for that. And you can join me, as I said, this Thursday, in fact. We'll be in a day early as CONNECT THE WORLD travels to India's capital, New Delhi.

We'll bring you all the latest news and developments as the country prepares for what will be a new government. Our special coverage starts 4:00 PM London, 7:00 PM here in Abu Dhabi, 8:30 in New Delhi, only on CNN.

And we continue to keep our eye on India this hour. Coming up in 30 minutes' time, high prices, slow growth. How Indians are feeling the pinch with a rise in the cost of living.

CNN is the first Western news organization in Homs after the truce. We are going to bring you exclusive pictures out of Syria next, following the 700-day siege in that Syrian city. That after this short break. You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: This is CNN and CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back. Now, let's get you back to our top story tonight. Just a few hours ago, the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram released a video showing some of the schoolgirls it kidnapped nearly a month ago.

Now, if this video does prove to be authentic, it'll be the first time that we've seen these girls since they were taking. But the recording also came with a new offer from the group's leader: release Boko Haram prisoners and we will let these girls go free.

Well, the group's attack and kidnapping absolutely terrorized the town of Chibok, and residents there still fear that the militants will return. CNN's Nima Elbagir is the first international journalist to make what is a very long and very dangerous journey to get a firsthand account of what is going on here. Let's take a look at the route that her team took.

They left Abuja and made their way to Bauchi on the first day of the trek. They then passed through six other towns before arriving, day three, in Maiduguri, and they made their way into Chibok on the fourth day.

But points on a map do not tell even the beginning of the story of what Nima and her team pretty much went through and what they found when they arrived. So, here's that part of the story for you.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a road few are now willing to travel.

ELBAGIR (on camera): It's been one checkpoint after another as we have traveled north from the Nigerian capital Abuja. We've definitely seen evidence of the security reinforcements that the government's been talking about.

But as we got further north, as we got deeper into the Boko Haram countryside where they've been striking terror into the hearts of villages, much of that presence seems to have evaporated.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): Attacks by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram are constant in this part of Nigeria. But what happened in Chibok put the world on notice.

ELBAGIR (on camera): In here, in these rooms, is where the girls were sleeping when armed men in what they describe as military uniforms came to their dormitory gate and told them that they'd come to protect them.

The girls started to assemble in the yard as ordered to. They didn't realize who the men really were until it was too late.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, OK, we enter this lorry.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): This girl managed to escape. She's now too fearful to show her face. Too fearful to go back.


ELBAGIR (on camera): Big lorry?


ELBAGIR: They came with a big lorry?


ELBAGIR: Was it one or more?


ELBAGIR: Seven lorries?


ELBAGIR (voice-over): Trucks, motorbikes, residents here tell us this raid was effectively a shopping trip for Boko Haram. Over 200 girls dragged from their beds to be sold off as bounty. A message that the militant group's edicts on female education must be heeded. But avails over big men with guns to make money off terrified girls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we leave Chibok, I will never go again.

ELBAGIR (on camera): You'll never go back to school?


ELBAGIR: Because they made you afraid?


ELBAGIR (voice-over): Before the militants left, they destroyed everything they could: textbooks, the library, the laboratory. Their attempt to forever shutter this school.

Elizabeth and Mary are friends. Members of the same church, their daughters were also friends, hoping one day to study medicine. They and many of their classmates never made it home from school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are pleading them to leave our daughters. We don't have power to do anything that requires power.

ELBAGIR: They say they still feel powerless, no closer to finding their daughters nearly a month after they were taken.

Nima Elbagir, Chibok, Nigeria.


ANDERSON: It is not known if Nigeria would even consider the offer to exchange the kidnapped girls for imprisoned members of Boko Haram, but the offer a dramatic departure from its previous threat to sell the girls. Let's get some insight on this.

Joining me now from Kaduna, Nigeria, is Shehu Sani. He's been a mediator and has dealt with the group Boko Haram in the past. Sir, we do thank you for joining us. Nima's report suggests that this group's raid on the girls describe as a going on a shopping trip will horrify many of our viewers.

How surprised were you to hear the threat that they'd be sold as slaves by this group? Is that unique from this group in the past?

SHEHU SANI, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Well, I was not among those who were surprised by the abduction. And I was even amazed that the leader of the group said he's going to sell them, because they have not been used to selling people. They have been used to killing people.

And as far as I know, the Chibok abduction is one of so many abductions that have taken place in the last two to three years. Chibok was unique because of the sheer number of the girls that were abducted.

And I believe that we can still get these girls back home if we can negotiate with the group and take their offer of swapping their members who have been in detention in the last two or three years, with the girls who have been held hostage now.

ANDERSON: All right. Why would the government or anybody negotiating with this group, why would they take the offer seriously? Why would they trust them at this point? And why would you?

SANI: First of all, there are two ways to which you can get these girls free. The first is to use force and the second is through dialogue. The use of force is not an option for now in the sense that nobody knows where these girls were kept.

And even if you know, these girls have been embedded in with the insurgents who are heavily armed. And any attempt to rescue them will be putting their lives in further danger.

But I believe that the lives of these girls is more important to us than the insurgents that have been in detention. And we have nothing to lose if we send the -- insurgents and we can swap them with these girls back.

Because I knew very well that the girls now in a very serious problem with the way in which they have been abducted and without information of their whereabouts. So, I think this state, the Nigerian government, will do itself a better service --

ANDERSON: All right.

SANI: -- by agreeing to swap these girls, yes.

ANDERSON: Yes, and you make a very good point. The safety of these girls is absolutely paramount to everybody involved in this, clearly, aside from the group who've abducted them, sadly.

A short time ago, sir, we spoke with Ahmed Zanna, who is a senator of the Borno Central District, and he said all this happened because of government neglect. Let's just have a listen to that, and I want you to comment on this.


AHMED ZANNA, SENATOR, BORNO CENTRAL DISTRICT (via telephone): And this insurgency issue has been going on for the past three years in Borno state, and it seems the government showed a don't-care attitude on the whole affair.

So, therefore, they don't care what is happening here, so they neglected everything at the beginning until these girls were abducted. And it now calls for an international -- it's calling for the international community.


ANDERSON: Right. So, what sort of faith should anybody have in the government at this point? A government that at least our last guest there, you heard, saying has completely neglected this part of the northern Nigeria. You rightly pointed out there are attacks all the time, constant attacks, in that region.

SANI: Well, it is true that the last three to four years, that part of Nigeria did not -- has suffered the most devastating attack by the insurgents. And it was also true that people residing within that part of Nigeria are getting fed up with the claims by government of doing something.

And it's also true that the insurgents have been waxing stronger, launching daring and audacious attacks on government targets and even places far beyond Borno.

So, to me, what he has said is the right thing, and I believe that the use of force in the last three years has been unable to correct or contain the insurgency. And the best way to get over this problem is first of all to treat this issue of the Chibok girls as a priority.

And to do that, we need to get them out of the insurgents before we think of what to do in terms of confronting the insurgency. And this is the area which the government is failing for now.

ANDERSON: Yes. All right, sir, we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Understandably, this story has touched a nerve with our audience all over the world.

You can join the global conversation about this. Read the latest developments and catch up with Nima's exclusive reporting from Chibok by heading to

And you can always tweet me your thoughts, of course, about the international community, what it might do, how it has reacted, how it might act next. What's the best way to get these girls released and to get them released live, @BeckyCNN. That's @BeckyCNN.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, we're returning to ruins. Residents head back to the bombed-out cradle of Syria's revolution. We're going to bring you pictures from Homs as it emerges from a two-year siege. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: You're with CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson for you out of Abu Dhabi. Let's crack on. A 700-day siege in the Syrian city of Homs is now over. Rebel groups have left, and thousands of the city's residents are now returning. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is the first Western journalist there. Here's his exclusive report.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): In the ruins of the old town of Homs, a mass migration as thousands enter this battle-scarred neighborhood, either to come back in or to get their belongings out. Very little seems salvageable, but that doesn't stop many returning residents from trying.

Hassan Deshash (ph) and his workers are clearing out what's left of his shoe store. He had to flee the area more than two years ago.

"Of course it was awful," he says. "When the fighting started, I had to get out of here. I've not been back in two and a half years."

Only a few days after rebel fighters left the old town of Homs, the cleanup effort is already underway even as the Syrian army says it's still clearing streets and buildings of improvised bombs and booby traps.

PLEITGEN (on camera): This is the main square in Homs, and the authorities are moving very quickly to open this place up again. Behind me, you can see that they're already staring to clean up. But if we look around, we can see that all the buildings around this main square and in this entire neighborhood are absolutely destroyed, they're flattened.

It shows the tragedy of what happened here in the past two years, and it also shows just how long it's going to take to rebuild the old town.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Homs was one of the first towns with large demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad in 2011. They were crushed by Syrian security forces. But soon, defectors from Syria's military started fighting to protect the protesters. Homs became the epicenter of the uprising against the Assad regime.

Then, government forces launched a brutal campaign to win back the territory, including heavy shelling and a siege that cut off residents from food and water. Finally, both sides agreed to a truce, and the rebels withdrew from Homs last week.

A deal these government soldiers say they endorse. "I think it was the best thing to do," he says. "It gives the people the chance to come back and start rebuilding their lives."

With so many killed and wounded and so much of this historic town destroyed, there are no winners in Homs. But many people now returning back here are still optimistic that maybe there is a chance for a new beginning.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Homs, Syria.


ANDERSON: Let's get you the latest world news headlines after this short break, and a deadly voyage. Migrants killed when their boat sinks off Italy. Critics say the European Union is just not doing enough to save lives. We're going to have a special report from Libya for you. That coming up after this.


ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back from the terrace here in Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. It's just after half past 7:00 here. The latest headlines for you.

The European Union has expanded its list of those who they are targeting with economic sanctions over Russia's actions in Ukraine, 13 -- 1-3 -- names added to the list today as well as two entities in Crimea.

Meanwhile, an official says voters in eastern Ukraine overwhelmingly voted in favor of Independence from Kiev in Sunday's referendum. Votes were held in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Voting in India's historic election has now wrapped up. Opposition leader Narendra Modi considered a front-runner for prime minister. More than 800 million Indians were eligible to vote.

And the prosecutor in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial will ask the court for an independent psychiatric evaluation. The request came after a psychiatrist testified that Pistorius has an anxiety disorder from his double amputation as an infant and unstable parents. The trial resumes tomorrow.

Well, the leader of Boko Haram says he is willing to exchange a group of girls taken from their school in Chibok a month ago for militants being held by the Nigerian government.

Now, this video, obtained by Agence France press shows about 100 of the girls all dressed in Islamic hijabs or Islamic dress. Well, if the video is authentic, it at least gives the girls' families hope that their daughters, at least some of them, are still alive. Isha Sesay has the very latest from Abuja, Nigeria for us.

And Isha, I know that you've spoken to one of the fathers of one of these missing girls. What did he tell you?

SESAY: Hi there, Becky. Well, I spoke to the father of one of the missing girls. Actually, he's a father to two missing girls. Both of his daughters were taken off by Boko Haram on that April 14th attack. And that conversation I had with him was some days ago, before the release of this tape.

But what he really conveyed to me and the picture he painted was one of people there in Chibok, where this attack happened, living in complete utter terror. The terror of the fact that they may never see their loved ones again and that all they're left, now, are with their memories.

But also the fact that they don't really know who Boko Haram is and they believe that they are part of their community, that they have managed to intermingle with their daily life and that they are there living amongst them and could strike at any time. Take a listen to some of what he had to say to me about the situation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The neighboring village,s like Damboa, Gwoza, Bama, they are involved in this Boko Haram. They're involved in it. They were speaking the language we understand, that these people are from this area.

During the time of operation, they arrested many of them. Our friends, those we know them definitely, we went to school together, we learned that they were Boko Haram.


SESAY: So you hear that, Becky, that they are from the local area, they are from the region. And it is because they know this fact that people are so afraid. They're not sleeping in their homes now.

Many residents there in Chibok, Becky, as you well know, would rather take their chances, sleep out in the bush with their young ones, then risk the chances of the Boko Haram striking again there in Chibok. Becky?

ANDERSON: Isha, thank you for that. What a story. It's unbelievable, isn't it? Quite remarkable these girls are still missing.

And some video that came into CNN a short time ago, hundreds of men, women, and schoolgirls marching in Lagos demanding the release of these more than 200 school kids. They were chanting what's become an international hash tag campaign, "Bring back our girls."

But here's something different. A group of female activists say they will stage a 14-day multi-city protest. If the girls aren't released by then, it will end in a half naked march where the girls were taken.

The Italian navy says a migrant ship has sunk in the Mediterranean with hundreds of people onboard. It happened about 160 kilometers off southern Italy. At least 14 people were killed and about 200 were rescued.

Well, let me tell you, this comes just a day after another migrant ship sank off the coast of Libya, claiming dozens of lives there. Libya reeling from a flood of illegal immigrants who stop there on their way to European shores. Jomana Karadsheh reports from Tripoli, and we warn you that these images in her report are difficult to watch.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Body after body pulled from the Mediterranean. The dangerous journey for these migrants ended not long after it had started here off the coast of the Libyan capital. Dozens are dead, some 50 were rescued, and others are still missing.

It was another ill-fated journey, another boat crammed with migrants in search of a better life, sinking before it reached safety: the shores of Europe.

Almost every day, migrants -- mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, and recently, large numbers from Syria -- set sail from Libya's coast. Many make it. Hundreds do not.

Libya has always been a favorite transit point for migrants, with its porous southern borders and its proximity to Malta and Italy. But since its 2011 revolution, with the country struggling for stability, numbers have spiked. Many migrants are captured in Libya. They face difficult and sometimes inhumane detention in militia camps.

Libyan officials have no exact figures, but they say the migrant influx crossing through the country is, quote, "huge." A human flood officials are now threatening to unleash on Europe unless Libya gets more help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I warned the world, especially the European Union, if they do not assume their responsibilities, Libya could facilitate the passage of this flood so it could reach Europe fast.

KARADSHEH: An angry statement reflecting the widespread frustration with a situation Libya says it simply can no longer handle. The government later attempted damage control, saying Libya was still committed to international treaties and agreements to combat illegal migration.

But it wants Europe to provide more support, like faster navy boats and other assets to help its ill-equipped navy and coast guard.

As the migration season begins, with thousands bound for Europe in rickety, crowded boats, it's a difficult and desperate effort to prevent more tragedies at sea.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Tripoli.


ANDERSON: We're going to do more on this disturbing migratory trend. Now, Simona Moscarelli joins us live via Skype from Rome. She's a legal expert with the International Organization on Migration and an EU migration commissioner. Thank you for joining us.

I want you to address what the Libyans are saying at this point, which is that they cannot cope, that they will be sending people back the way they came. I know that they're tried to temper that statement slightly, but this is a country that had its own problems, it cannot cope, and it is looking to the EU for help, and it's not getting it. What does the EU do next?

SIMONA MOSCARELLI, LEGAL EXPERT, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION ON MIGRATION: Well, at the moment, at least, there is an operation called Mare Nostrum, which is currently carried out by the Italian navy, which is aimed at rescuing migrants that are desperate at sea.

Although this operation was able to rescue some 32,000 migrants in a few months, still shipwrecks occur, like one just five ours ago, when something like at least -- 50 people are missing.

ANDERSON: Yes. Let me just get our viewers a sense of these, what we'll call major migration patterns, if you will. And then I want to address exactly what's going on, because this is a dreadfully sad story and a deadly one.

The western Mediterranean route leads to Spain, where there were more than 6,000 illegal crossings in 2012. And in the central Mediterranean, more than 10,000 migrants from Somalia and Tunisia crossed illegally in 2012. So, you can see there the routs that ofttimes desperately poor people are taking in order to, well, just to get a better life, basically.

Now, the EU may be trying. It may be trying its best at this point, but quite frankly, its best isn't good enough. It is well aware of not just what happened five hours ago, but these boats are going down all the time. We hear about them when there are deaths. We don't hear about them when people are rescued at sea so often.

And I know the Italians doing their best in Lampedusa. But I put it to you again: what does the EU need to do next as a group in order to help satisfy this situation? Make it better, prevent these deaths going forward?

MOSCARELLI: Yes, first of all, we're talking about mixed migratory flows. So, most of the migrants -- in that most of the migrants that tried to seek Europe are genuine asylum seekers. We are talking about Syrians, we are talking about Eritreans, people that are struggling to come through legal basis to EU, for example, enhancing a recycling program.

That could be one of the first answers to these people, to try to avoid this unsafe journey and establishing migratory stations during their trips, during their -- in their countries of transit, would help them, too.

At the EU, we can advise them. It has to come legally. I'm not talking about asylum seekers, but maybe about other migrants that are seeking just better life conditions, enhancing family reunifications and legal channels to come to Europe.

ANDERSON: All right.

MOSCARELLI: That's just one piece.


MOSCARELLI: But that's part of it, yes.

ANDERSON: All right, let me ask you one question. I have to be brief. Is the EU doing enough at present or not, yes or no?

MOSCARELLI: They should do more.

ANDERSON: All right. We're going to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us --


MOSCARELLI: You're very welcome.

ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up next, voting for the economy. We speak to some who just can't keep up with India's rising costs. That up next.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. India wrapped up five weeks of voting in the general election earlier this Monday. Opposition leader Narendra Modi is widely expected to be the country's next prime minister. Official results are expected on Friday.

Well, it seems that the election has brought a sense of optimism, at least among investors in India. The SENSEX hit a record high earlier after gaining almost 2.5 percent in Monday's trade.

Well, the economy remains a priority for many of the voters with what is a growing frustration over the rise in the cost of living. Mallika Kapur reports.


MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Green vegetables, egg whites, protein shakes. Healthy and homemade, what they're not is cheap.

SANDEEP SACHDEV, FITNESS FIRST: The average money which I'm spending all day on my food is not less than 400 rupees.

KAPUR (on camera): And two years ago?

SACHDEV: I don't think it's more than 250.

KAPUR (voice-over): It really pinches the pocket, says Sandeep Sachdev, a celebrity fitness consultant who's paying more for food, fuel, and just about everything else.

SACHDEV: (inaudible) Many are jacked, you know?


SACHDEV: It's a very expensive proposition.

KAPUR: Whether it's the common man or the head of a business, everyone's got the same complaint.

ARUP CHAUHAN, PERLE PRODUCTS: The wheat prices have gone up double. Sugar prices look at almost double. Oil prices are almost two and a half times --

KAPUR: India's leading biscuit maker Perle says it's been forced to make adjustments to its products' retail price or wait.

CHAUHAN: We will try to undertake several price hikes, either by way of jacking up the MRP or reducing grammages on our products.

KAPUR (on camera): In this basket of goods, I have footwear, lights, food, and clothing. And these are just some of the everyday household items that make up India's consumer price index, a key measure of inflation.

KAPUR (voice-over): It's risen over the last ten years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been in power. This economist says it's partly because his government spent too much money on subsidies for the poor.

SHUBHADA RAO, YES BANK: Subsidies are an inefficient way of bringing better standard of living for poor. True, you need some segment of subsidies, like food. But what about fertilizers or even fuel subsidies? The problem is, these subsidies are not appropriately distributed.

KAPUR: "Subsidies? They haven't helped us at all," Danesh tells me as he shows me his neighborhood, a slum in the heart of Mumbai. This area is as poor as it was ten years ago. "You can see how we live," he says. "There are no bathrooms. Power is so expensive, when the bill comes, I have to decide whether to pay the electricity bill or feed my family."

Disillusioned with high prices and slow growth, the Indian public voted out incumbents in four state elections last year. Opinion polls predict they're likely to do the same in this national election.

Mallika Kapur, CNN, Mumbai.


ANDERSON: And a quick reminder for you: CONNECT THE WORLD traveling to India's capital, New Delhi, on Thursday ahead of the results Friday. Our special coverage starts at 4:00 PM London, 7:00 PM here in Abu Dhabi, 8:30 in New Delhi, only on CNN, of course.

Coming up after this short break for you, Brazil scrambles to get ready to host the World Cup in four weeks' time. We'll have a live report from Manaus in Brazil on the preparations. That is just ahead, stay with us.


ANDERSON: All right. There's just a month to go until the FIFA World Cup gets underway in Brazil. Thousands of fans, of course, will be pouring into Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo as well as a city you may not be very familiar with, this place called Manaus. And it's located deep in the heart of the Amazon. It will, though, host two high-profile matches. Some fans, though, have criticized its selection as a host city, and here's why.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One month to go and 2 out of 12 stadiums still under construction, a long list of public works that look like they won't be done in time.

But we're here in Manaus. Four games will be played this year, including Italy versus England, United States versus Portugal, in some tough conditions. They could see temperatures over 30 degrees, humidity over 90 percent, and the fans who want to follow them will pay the price.

Flights are going to cost around $600 from main hubs like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. And once they get here, they might be in for another surprise. The airport expansion is still going on. They haven't finished that yet. The urban transport projects here in the city, they never got off the ground. Which could help explain why Arena da Amazonia is one of the stadiums that still hasn't sold out.


ANDERSON: Shasta's joining us now from the city with an update on Brazil's World Cup preparation. If you were a traveling fan and you were - - had seen what you've seen today, would you be concerned at this point?

DARLINGTON: I think there are a lot of things to be concerned about, Becky. To be honest, the stadiums is probably the least of the concerns right now. Airports -- this is a huge country. How are people going to get around?

And also another interesting thing that I'm frankly surprised by is the lack of enthusiasm. This is Brazil. This is such a -- so famous for its football and for its fanaticism. People are feeling really ambivalent about the World Cup because they feel that Brazil has done a bad job with it, because they feel that they've spent too much money on it for a number of reasons.

But you just aren't getting that enthusiasm. So, if you think, oh, I'll just go there and drink a Caipirinha and dance Samba with the Brazilians and I won't mind waiting in line, I'm not sure that's going to happen. Listen to what a few people here in Manaus told us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There's a feeling that more was invested in the World Cup but not in the city's infrastructure. But all of the audience inside the arena are packed, so people are obviously enjoying it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They could invest in education, health care. It would be much better.


DARLINGTON: Which all brings us to that issue of protests. If there are so many people who aren't supporting the World Cup, will we actually see more big protests this year instead of cheering fans, Becky?

ANDERSON: Shasta, thank you for that. I guess cross fingers that everything is ready, because we are only a month away, and it's a big, big, big tournament. Is Brazil ready? Do you think it is? Are you heading there, if you are, connect with us. CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you,, have your say.

You can always tweet me, you know I'm a football fan, @BeckyCNN, @BeckyCNN. Tell me who you're supporting and whether you think that your national team will get through even the first round. Just look at some of those groups, remarkable. Ooh, scary stuff.

We're going to continue the football theme in tonight's Parting Shots. Well, these images will certainly warm up any Manchester City fan out there. They are the blues enjoying their second English Premier League championship in three years.

And it was also a sweet victory for this group of happy people, and that's not just because of that large cake. That is Man City's owner, Sheikh Mansour, flanked by his brothers from the ruling royal family here in Abu Dhabi, and Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed.

And for all your Spurs fans out there, don't fret too much. We managed to sign off in style and at least seal a spot in next year's Europa League. It was just done for my sake, really. Apologies for that.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching. We are here in Abu Dhabi for you. Back tomorrow.