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Mediterranean Migrants Could Reach 170,000 This Year; FIFA to Postpone Start of 2026 Bidding Process; U.S. Weighs Sending More Troops To Iraq; Pope Francis To Meet With President Putin. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET

Aired June 10, 2015 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:11] JONATHAN MANN, HOST: Putin and the Pope: Russia's president visits the Vatican this hour amid increasing isolation on the

world stage. Tonight, will the pope respond to growing calls to pressure Moscow on Ukraine?

Also ahead, the U.S. weighs sending hundreds of additional troops to Iraq. We'll have a closer look at their potential mission.

And another yellow card for FIFA. We'll tell you why world football's governing body has now put the 2026 World Cup bidding on hold.

ANNOUNCER: This is the hour we Connect the World.

MANN: Thanks for joining us.

Italy and the Vatican right now are playing host to one of the world's most powerful and polarizing figures: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He's meeting with Pope Francis this hour, the second time the two have met. And some are pressing the pope to raise Russia's involvement in Ukraine.

That issue got Russia kicked out of the G8, a group that includes Italy, and whose leaders are mulling more sanctions against Moscow.

A short time ago, Mr. Putin toured Russia's exhibit at the Milan expo. And during a news conference afterward, he was asked about Moscow's rift

with the G7.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): As far as our relations with the G7 are concerned, we do not have any relations with

the G7. What can we have? When we worked in that format we took part in discussions for the preparation of the outcomes of documents, but it seemed

to me that there was some sense, because we wanted to have an alternative point of view, but our partners decided that in that alternative opinion we

did was not needed.


MANN: Joining us now from Vatican City, CNN's Nic Robertson.

Nic, it's no secret the pope has impressed people all over the world, but he's disappointed a lot of Ukrainians. That's got to be weighing on

the meeting today.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it does. And it's part of the sort of tight-rope, if you will, that the pope has to walk

here. Ukraine's Catholics are known as Greek Catholics, if you will, 4 to 5 million of them out of a population of Ukraine of 44 million. Not an

insignificant number. Feel that the pope has sort of cut them adrift, if you will.

He described a few months ago, the pope described the fighting in Ukraine as fratricide. What Ukraine's Catholics want to hear the pope say,

as they tell us, they want to hear him say the truth, that is, that Russia is involved in Ukraine. But of course the Pope wants to be seen as a

peacemaker, doesn't want to alienate either side -- President Putin or the Ukrainians, you know, who are fighting the separatists in the southeast of

the country.

So, that is part of the tight-rope that the pope has to walk here, John.

MANN: Quite apart from the tight-rope there's the matter of the meeting itself. We're expecting to see perhaps even live pictures of the

two men when they are together. But the fact that they are together sends a message. The pope is one of the world's leading moral figures. And he's

receiving a man who is really considered increasingly a pariah. Why does he want to be seen with him?

ROBERTSON: There are many reasons. I mean, you could go back 1,000 years to the schism between the east and the west of Christianity. The

pope wants to unite Christians. President Putin at the moment has a lot of influence with the Russian Orthodox church. Orthodox Christians about 225

million, two-thirds of those Russian Orthodox Christians.

The pope would like to -- like to strengthen the church overall, protect Christians in the Middle East would be part of that. He thinks

President Putin can be involved in that as well.

So, there are sort of deep historic reasons as well as real pressing current issues that sort of draws the pope to President Putin and perhaps

makes him compromise where others would say, no, stay away -- Jon.

MANN: Nic Robertson in the Vatican. Thanks very much.

The U.S. military could be ready to add more boots to the ground in Iraq to assist in the fight against ISIS. A U.S. official says the Obama

administration is considering sending hundreds more to train Iraqi forces in Anbar province.

Iraqi government troops backed by Sunni and Shia fighters are planning a major offensive to retake Ramadi, the capital of Anbar. The additional

U.S. forces are not expected to have any combat role in that.

We're covering the story from all angles. Chief U.S. security correspondent Jim Sciutto is live in Washington. Jomana Karadsheh is

following developments from Amman.

Jim, let's start with you. What exactly is the plan?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The plan here is to send more trainers with the specific goal of trying to take back Ramadi from ISIS and

adding to Iraqi forces being trained, training the Sunni tribes out in Anbar province. To this point, that's been the responsibility of the Iraqi

military. Now you're going to get the U.S. involved directly.

They're not going to arm the Sunni tribes, but they are going to train them. And this is in effect an acknowledgment that the Iraqi government

and the Iraqi military failed in that role. They know U.S. visuals know they need to get the Sunni tribes involved so that this is a national fight

not a Shiite fight, against ISIS. And that's been a real problem so far.

[11:05:28] MANN: How much has this focused on Ramadi? And how much of an about face would it be? Not so long ago, senior U.S. officials were

downplaying the importance of Ramadi?

SCIUTTO: I know. And I was in that press briefing room when General Dempsey, the joint chiefs chairman talked about it not being really a

strategic target. Clearly, it is. It -- clearly it's important. It's the largest city in western Iraq. And I think that the loss of it and the

repercussions of the loss of it were very clearly as it happened. I mean, just the attention that was paid to it and the base that it is for ISIS now

so close to Baghdad.

But, really this is -- it's not just about Ramadi, though, it's an acknowledgment that this U.S.-led coalition is in the air. It depends on

Iraqi forces on the ground. And Iraqi forces on the ground have not been able to take ground back from ISIS forces. And in many places they've been

losing it. So you know you need to inject more help and this is a first step.

But, I'll tell you there are some that are skeptical that those few hundred advisers will make a big difference.

MANN: Well, I want to talk about that more. Jim Sciutto in Washington, thanks very much.

Jomana Karadsheh in Amman, will this be much help in winning the battle of Ramadi or winning the war for control of Iraq for that matter?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jonathan, as Jim was saying there it's not expected to really make a huge difference.

If we look at what's been going on on the ground in Iraq over the past ten months since the military campaign there began, whether it's the training

or the airstrikes, ISIS is still a powerful group.

It's highly adaptable. It has been able to still go on the offensive and gain territory.

Now if we look at Ramadi itself and the plans here with these trainers who could possibly be headed to Iraq, they're looking at training Sunni

tribes. Now, the question is how much appetite is there amongst the Sunnis to join the fight against ISIS?

It has been really difficult to try and bring them back on board. And winning Anbar, we have heard this from U.S. officials, we've heard it from

some Iraqi officials, saying they need the people of Anbar. They need these Sunni tribes to try and join the fight to replicate what we saw back

in 2006 and '07 when the U.S. strategy was to recruit these tribes in the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of ISIS. And that really

changed the tide in that war.

But it's going to be much more complicated, much more difficult right now. And Jonathan, over the past few months we have been talking to the

members of different Sunni tribes in Anbar who feel, one, that they have been abandoned by the United States in 2011 when the U.S. left and really

not -- they feel they were neglected by the Iraqi government, the Shia-led government, that they were also persecuted at times.

So, regaining the trust of the Sunni tribes is going to be a very big challenge, but perhaps having the U.S. doing this directly may change

things when it comes to recruiting the Sunnis in this fight.

Jomana, you know I wish I didn't even have to utter this phrase, but once again there is troubling new video from ISIS, this time child

soldiers. What can you tell us about it?

KARADSHEH: Well, Jonathan, really disturbing video that we're seeing, another slick production of propaganda video released by ISIS on the one

year anniversary of their takeover of the city of Mosul. And the video is said to show the training, a training camp where we see young boys being

trained by ISIS militants, describing them as the cubs of the caliphate.

Now this is not the first time that ISIS is promoting children -- child soldiers in such a manner, seeing such really strict military

training where you see them going through military drills, whether it's the martial arts sort of fighting or shooting guns. Really disturbing to

watch, but again not surprising. We have seen many disturbing videos, whether it is of children or other videos released by the group that has

really helped in its recruitment efforts.

And it's not the first terror organization to be using children as fighters. We have seen that in the past even in Iraq, al Qaeda in Iraq has

used it and we've seen it in other parts of the world of course, Jonathan.

MANN: Jomana Karadsheh in Amman. Thanks very much.

Now to Egypt where police are tightening security at ancient sites across the country after attackers targeted a famous temple complex in

Luxor. Authorities say three terrorists were stopped by security officials outside Karnak triggering a firefight. One attacker blew himself up,

another was shot and killed, the third wounded. Authorities say several other people were wounded as well, but no tourists were harmed.

Let's bring in Ian Lee live in Cairo.

And Ian, this could have turned out very differently and a whole lot worse. What exactly happened?

[11:10:17] IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONENT: Well, that's right, Jon. It could have been devastating.

This is a site, Karnak temple, where hundreds and at times thousands of tourists visit on a daily basis. These three militants tried to enter

the complex. There really was one vigilant police officer who stopped them, thought they looked suspicious, that's when the incident took place.

And they had guns and explosives. They were ready for a major attack against this site. But police forces were able to stop them, killing two

of them, one was injured. There were some other people injured, including Egyptian civilians. As you said, no tourists were injured in the attack.

The minister of tourism released a statement saying that the government places the highest priority on the safety of tourists and our

country. We have enhanced security measures in place at all our sites. And we continue to take every possible measure to ensure that no harm comes

to anyone visiting Egypt.

But this -- a lot of it -- this attack has a lot of Egyptians remembering back in 1997 when militants attacked another famous temple in

Luxor. And in that attack, 62 tourists, or 62 people, many of them international tourists, were killed.

MANN: There's been no claim of responsibility. Does the target, though, the fact that they chose tourists, or a tourist site, tell us

anything about the attackers? Because it would seem that some groups in the past have gone out of their way to focus on the security forces and

left foreigners alone.

LEE: Well, this really, Jon, is an escalation that we haven't seen yet since the 2011 uprising. And since then, we've seen militants target

security forces, targeting the government, but by and large staying away from civilians and tourist sites. Remember, Egypt is a country that gets a

lot of revenue from tourists.

And so attacking any of these sites would be deeply unpopular. Any sort of support that these militants would have would erode away by

attacking tourist sites. So that's what makes this -- today's attack an escalation. We really haven't seen an attack like this yet.

And so this has Egyptian security officials very worried that this could be the new standard, the new operation by these militants here in


MANN: Has anything changed since before the Muslim Brotherhood came into power, before when Egypt was a dictatorship that the Islamist

extremists were fighting tooth and nail? Because it seemed that for a time under Hosni Mubarak Egypt had won that fight.

LEE: Well, they have. Well, the Egyptian government had won that fight under Hosni Mubarak. All those militants were either rounded up,

killed or vowed that they would be non-violent.

After the 2011 revolution, in Sinai in particular, is where we started to see this militancy fester. We saw a massive attack against security

officials there under the reign of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsy. In that shakeup after that attack, that's when we saw what was then defense

minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi appointed, who is now the president.

But it wasn't really until 2013 when the army deposed Mohamed Morsy, after that is when we have been seeing this sharp rise in violence and

attacks against security personnel. Hundreds have been killed since then.

And there has been a wide net cast for anyone who supports or is part of the Muslim Brotherhood. They were arrested, a lot of them, hundreds of

them, have been killed. And we have seen this real battle between Islamists and the security forces. It's what makes this attack today just

different and also alarming, because for once they are not going after the security personnel they're going after tourists, Jon.

MANN: Ian Lee, live in Cairo. Thanks very much.

Still to come tonight, more than 100,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean into Europe already this year. We'll have a live report on

the crisis from the International Organization for Migration.

First, though, as the head of the Catholic church meets Russian President Vladimir Putin, we ask if Pope Francis is crafting a political

papacy, next.

Before we go, though, we want to take you to Germany for a moment where within the past hour there was a somber procession in a small town

touched by tragedy. Have a look at the scene in Haltern am See, the remains of some of the victims of the Germanwings crash being taken past

the high school, the school they attended.

In all, 16 students from the school were among the 150 passengers and crew killed when the plane crashed in the French Alps, you may recall, back

in March.

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is blamed for intentionally downing the aircraft, which was traveling from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf in

Germany. Again, these pictures coming to us from the town of Haltern am See in Germany as the coffins of some of the youngest victims of the

Germanwings crash go home for the last time.

We'll be right back.


[11:17:34] MANN: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. Welcome back.

Let's go back to our top story now, that meeting between Russia's Vladimir Putin and Pope Francis, the latest of the pope's many high profile

meetings over the last two years.

And while the Vatican insists on a spiritual dimension of papal activities, many of them are clearly politically very symbolic. His first

outing as pope, for example, highlighting the plight of migrants with a trip to the island of Lampedusa.

In September of 2013, as the U.S. mulled military action against Syria, he urged the world's 1.2 billion Catholics to pray for the war-torn

state and for peace.

In the Holy Land in May last year, he stunned onlookers with a spontaneous prayer at the separation barrier, the wall at the West Bank.

An historic visit by the Palestinian and Israeli presidents to the Vatican weeks later was a diplomatic victory as well, beamed worldwide.

And just last month, Francis had a warm meeting with long-time Communist Raul Castro, the leader of Cuba. Francis will visit the island

in September.

Let's bring in John Allen, the CNN senior Vatican analyst and associate editor for the Catholic magazine Crux and for the Boston Globe.

Thanks so much for being with us.


MANN: Oh, OK, I'm not seeing you, but I am hearing you. That's a good thing.

These are two very different men, very different styles of leadership, but they have some interests in common. So their meeting today

is odd, but maybe appropriate given the job they both want to do.

ALLEN: Well, that's absolutely right, Jon. I mean, in some ways this is the ultimate Odd Couple. I mean, Pope Francis legendarily a man of

compassion and peace, Vladimir Putin quite possibly the single world leader you most would not want to run into in a dark alley. And yet on a very

wide range of issues they found common cause.

You mentioned Syria. Obviously, Putin was strongly opposed to any western military strikes in Syria, because he's a patron of Bashar al-Assad

back in September 2013. And he and Pope Francis saw eye-to-eye.

They agree on protection of Christians in the Middle East. They agree on ending the embargo and the isolation of Cuba. And they both have a

vested interest in seeing the Catholic church and the Russian Orthodox church come closer together.

So, there is a kind of meeting of minds there, Jon. The question about today's meeting is whether the potential fly in the ointment is going

to upset all of that, and that of course is the situation in Ukraine.

MANN: I'm glad you mentioned it. And just to let people know, this is not the meeting we are looking at now. These are pictures from their

last meeting in November.

We're expecting that they'll be very shortly. And we will see video of that some time a little later.

But, in Urkaine, it seems that at least to some followers of the pope, he agrees too much with the Russian president. And no less a figure than

the head of Ukraine's Greek Catholic church said Pope Francis's remarks about Russians intervention in Ukraine -- and this is the prelates own

words -- reminds us of Soviet propaganda.

This is a church leader accusing the pope of speaking like a Soviet. Why did he say that? And what do you make of it?

[11:20:38] ALLEN: Well, just adding to the irony, Jon, that church leader, the patriarch of the Greek Catholic Church, a major archbishop by

the name of Shevchuk, before he got that job was actually the head of the Greek Catholic community in Argentina and is a personal friend to the pope.

So, you know, obviously it is unusual to say the least to see a senior prelate in the Catholic system publicly taking the pope to the woodshed

like that.

But, the reality is the large Greek Catholic minority in Ukraine is the most pro-democracy, pro-western force in civil society there. They

were in some ways the architects of the Orange Revolution a few years ago. They are bitterly critical of Russian policy in the Crimea in eastern

Ukraine. And they are hoping that today they will see a more hawkish Francis emerge, because their argument would be that what's been happening

so far is the pope has been sacrificing the well-being of Ukraine on the altar of his larger geopolitical agenda. They're hoping today is when that

comes to a halt.

MANN: Now, when you say today, we're not expecting a news conference. We are expecting to see the two leaders together.

If the pope does want to get on the record, or set the record straight, or address those criticism when would he do it, do you think?

ALLEN: Well, we are expecting that the Vatican -- and both sides, that is the Russians and the Vatican will issue some kind of communique

after the tet-a-tet between the pope and Putin today. That's one opportunity for the Vatican to put Ukraine on the table.

But presumably, also, you know, Pope Francis is not a leader who has been shy about making his thoughts heard. The next time we expect to see

him in public would be during his Sunday -- what's known as the Angeles address, the prayer he does at noon Rome time. And that often is an

opportunity for him to comment on world issues, and also his experiences of the past week.

It may well be that he would use that opportunity to say something about his get together with Putin. And also to issue a plea for the

Ukraine and perhaps specifically for the protection of the Greek Catholic Church there, which is such an important part of his base in that part of

the world.

MANN: Millions of Ukrainian Greek Catholics will be watching to see, I'm sure, if he does. John Allen, thanks so much for this.

ALLEN: You bet.

MANN: This is Connect the World. Still to come, corruption allegations continue to plague FIFA, but are they affecting how much money

is being made in world football by others? We'll have a look.

After the break, we're headed to Kenya for African Start-up when business is writing its own success story turning old newspapers into




[11:25:06] ANTHONY KIRORI, GREEN PENCILS CO-FOUNDER: There's a quote by George Bernard Shaw that goes like, "the future belongs to those who see

opportunities before they become obvious." Now you want to get into business, look at the problems around you. Look at the challenges that

exist around you. Try to solve those challenges in an innovative manner.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Long-time friends Anthony Kirori and Ivan Ochieng decided to go into business 15 years ago. Both from Nairobi,

Kenya, they tried a number of ideas before finding one that worked.

KIRORI: Green Pencils is a company that manufactures pencils by recycling paper. In Kenya, you're not allowed to cut a tree to make

pencils. To date, we import all the pencils. There was a gap there. So, that's the part of the gap we wanted to fill.

IVAN OCHIENG, GREEN PENCILS CO-FOUNDER: Mainly what we're interested was in a product that would create employment, save the environment, and be

something very basic that almost everybody would use. And the pencil was the best candidate out of everything else we could think of.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Using their own savings to start the company, the duo took their pencils to businesses across the city until they made a


KIRORI: Our first client, Nairobi International School. We approached them. They loved the idea immediately, because they got a lot

of social programs.

Then from there through their contacts and referrals, we go to branch off to other schools and also business organizations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kirori and Ochieng make their pencils from newspapers. These newspapers are donated by schools that buy their


OCHIENG: We produce on a need as basis. At any given time, we (inaudible) 250,000 pencils ready. They are for just for the orders.

When we get big orders, now that around 30,000 to 40,000 pieces, we'll have a good 28 to 30 people working here on a full-time basis. If we don't

have any orders, we only have a skeleton staff of about five or six.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kirori and Ochieng now supply Green Pencils to 51 schools in Nairobi as well as businesses and some retail outlets.

OCHIENG: We doubled that in 2014. And this year, we're looking at a minimum of 100,000 U.S. dollars in turnover. That is a great leap. And

given our (inaudible) we've survived the first year, we've survived the second year. Now, we've grown wings and we feel we are strong enough.

We're moving towards the right direction.



[11:30:22] MANN: Welcome back. This is Connect the World. The top stories this hour.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican this hour, in fact, the second time the two have sat down for

talks. Russia's involvement in Ukraine and the plight of Christians in the Middle East among the issues expected to be discussed.

Iraqi police say at least five people have been killed in a suicide car bombing in Baghdad. They say the attacker targeted a security

checkpoint in a predominately Shia neighborhood.

Egyptian authorities say they've stopped an attack on tourists at a temple complex in Luxor. They say security officials stopped three

terrorists outside Karnak triggering a firefight. One attacker blew himself up, another was shot and killed, the third was wounded. Several

other people were wounded as well.

According to the Reuters news agency, one of seven FIFA officials arrested over corruption charges has appealed his extradition to the U.S.

The officials have been held by Swiss authorities for the past two weeks following the U.S. charges.

FIFA has delayed now the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup saying it would be nonsense to start now.

Football's governing body has been under a cloud, of course, over allegations of corruption -- corruption, money, kickbacks played a role in

some previous bids.

Don Riddell has been following the story for us from the very start. And Don, every day there's a new chapter, a new development. How big a

surprise is the fact that now bidding for 2026 has been put on hold. Frankly, I don't even know much about who was involved in the bidding.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we hadn't really got to the start line to be quite honest with you. I mean, 2026 is still a long

way away, 11 years away.

The vote was due to have taken place in May in Malaysia in 2017. Of course, you need a runup period for that so that all the countries who are

interested in bidding can get their proposals together. But FIFA have now today announced that they're going to postpone that. And that doesn't come

as a great surprise given everything that's been going on in the last few weeks.

It would be very hard for outsiders to take this process seriously when there are investigations going on to the bids for the previous World

Cups. But we do understand that the U.S., Mexico and Canada would have been interested in hosting that tournament. But as I said, there's such a

long way to go that even if they would have postponed this by two, three, four years, I don't think it would be a problem.

But it is an indication that FIFA continues to be embroiled in an unholy mess.

MANN: It is an unholy mess. It's a global scandal, incredibly complicated at the best of times.

But some key elements seem to have come out. And one of them is a payment, $10 million, that went from South Africa to an association of FIFA

countries that have nothing to do with Africa. It was a $10 million payment. And one official in particular whose name was mentioned in some

of the documentation has been trying to answer for where that money went and why. He spoke today. Tell us about it.

RIDDELL: Yeah, this is Jerome Valcke, the secretary-general of FIFA. He's one of the most senior officials, very, very close to Sepp Blatter.

And he's been linked with this $10 million payment for the last couple of weeks. He's been desperately trying to distance himself from it despite

the fact that his name was on a letter in 2008 asking for these funds to be released.

But he has always denied he had anything to do with it. And he spoke again about it today while he was in Russia. Have a listen.


JEROME VALCKE, FIFA SECRETARY-GENERAL: The money was given to the (inaudible) committee of FIFA as it was given to the (inaudible) compliance

committee of FIFA. None of the chairman of both of these committees have found any wrongdoing an anything would justify to blame FIFA's

administration or to blame the secretary-general of FIFA, to blame me. Nothing.

So, I'm sorry. I don't know what to say more than that. I have no more answer about this case. I have no more thing to say.

I mean, you have decided that after Blatter I have to be the head to be cut. Fine.


MANN: Wow.


But, he went on to say if the media wants to make me the guy that should go, fine, but don't make it because of the $10 million is what he

was saying.

MANN: Fair enough.

Let's back up a little bit, because just following the allegations is complicated. Here we have a big chunk of money coming from one part of the

world going to another part of the world inexplicably. He did not offer us an explanation about why South Africa might want money to go to the


But South Africa won the World Cup a few -- I guess months later, right?

RIDDELL: Well, even that's in question. If you look at the allegations that came out in Sunday Times over the weekend, which was

actually that Morocco won that bid, but it was decided within FIFA that South Africa won the vote. I mean, that's what the Sunday Times were

alleging at the weekend.

Yeah, I mean, the idea is that this payment came from South Africa. Jack Valcke saying it was deducted from the South African World Cup

organizing budget. And it went to CONCACAF and Jack Warner, who of course is the disgraced former vice president. He was kicked out of FIFA in 2011.

He denies any wrongdoing, but remember it was his deputy Chuck Blazer who in court a couple of years ago testified that he used some of that money as

a bribe to determine the outcome of the 2010 World Cup bid.

So, you know, have I done a good enough job of sort of explaining it?

[11:35:32] MANN: ...a football fan and an accountant and a police detective to follow the story. Happily you are all three for us.

RIDDELL: I'm trying.

MANN: Don Riddell, thanks very much.

As corruption allegations continue to surround football, a new report says the top leagues are making more money than ever. Nothing to do with

FIFA, but fascinating if you are a fan of the sport.

According to Deloitte, the big five leagues made record amounts last year. A total of more than $15 billion, mainly from TV rights and

sponsorship deals. And it seems the Middle East is playing a bigger role than ever, five of the world's eight richest clubs now have Middle Eastern

shirt sponsors, including European champions Barcelona. Of course, Real Madrid, Arsenal, you name it.

Turning now to the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe, the UN refugee agency says more than 100,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean so far

this year, the majority of them either landing in Italy or Greece. Have a look at some video released by the Italian coast guard. It shows a rescue

operation Tuesday.

You can see two vessels clearly intercepting a rubber boat, and then the migrants disembarking safely at the port of Lampedusa.

A migrant's journey ends in Europe if he or she is one of the lucky ones. In April, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh traveled to Libya where many of the

migrants begin their perilous voyage. His report includes disturbing images and we want to warn you about what you're about to see. But still,

this is a glimpse into the dark underbelly of the world of human smuggling.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You've seen the victims of this continental trade and misery end up, in

boats adrift, on beaches drained of life. But here, we expose how the smuggled find themselves in this hell.

A CNN producer stumbles into a Tripoli meeting with a smuggler who thinks she is a Syrian looking to bring more Syrians across to Europe. She

uses her phone to secretly record his offer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): The final, final price is $1,000.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): Each?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): Usually we do Syrians for $1,500, $1,400, or $1,300. If you have a group with you, like 10 people,

you get a discount. For every person you bring, you get a $100 discount. If you brought 10 people, you get one free ticket. Everyone knows about

this discount.

WALSH: He insists they use satellite phones, GPS, and a pilot who isn't Libyan but Senegalese. He's from Mali and drives CNN to the

unfinished building the migrants wait in to cross. To enter, she walks over trash pretending to tell someone in Syria the details on her phone.

Inside, this sick underworld there are more than the 80 migrants who they were told would be in their boat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): But that is a lot of people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): She is asking if that is too many people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): No, no. We will take two boats.

WALSH: Now maybe these peoples' last days on dry land.


MANN: Nick Paton Walsh reporting there.

Othman Belbeisi is chief of mission in Libya for the International Organization for Migration joining us now via Skype from Zarsis (ph),

Tunisia for more on this.

First of all, thanks so much for being with us. But let's just get a look at the problem, because we got a look at it close hand. But, from

further away, thousands of refugees are fleeing North Africa, they're crossing from Libya and Tunisia, to Italy and Malta. Last year alone, more

than 170,000 crossings along these key routes, that according to the group Frontex, which is really trying its best to try and stop all of this.

170,000 people last year. One officer of the British navy is telling reporters it could be 500,000 this summer alone in Libya already.

Does that number agree with what you're expecting? That seems like -- we were talking about a flood, that seems like a deluge.

OTHMAN BELBEISI, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: If we talk about the current departures out of Libya until the 9 of June this year,

it's about 56,000 who reached Italy coming from Libya.

So, with the current -- with the current trend and based on what we see on the ground, maybe the number would be slightly higher than last

year. But 500,000 is a bit of a large number.

MANN: That is I'm sure good news to all concerned. And I'm wondering why the number is not going to be as bad as that officer fears, because

Europe has big plans, I don't have to tell you, to try to stop the flow of migrants. It's put forward proposals, including to undertake systematic

efforts to identify, capture and destroy vessels before they are used by traffickers.

The EU was threatening armed intervention. They were threatening in some way to stop at least what we have been seeing. Has there been any

step towards a real successful intervention? Has there been anything, any kind of progress?

[11:40:32] BELBEISI: So, if I may go back to the numbers, definitely numbers may change depending on the situation, mainly the security

situation on the ground. We have people losing their jobs, their livelihood, borders of the neighboring countries are closed, so they are

left with very limited options and the only available option is taking the boats for many of the migrants.

Coming to the -- let me say the measures being taken to combat the smugglers, I believe the focus should be on prosecuting the smugglers

rather than focusing only on the boats, because for the boat, the boat before the trip is a normal fishing boat. And after the trip, once the

boat arrives to Europe, then you can keep the boat.

But the problem lies with the smugglers who are operating almost freely in the country. And it's a very low risk for them to run such


So, there is almost no risk for the smugglers, and that's why we see the increasing number of smugglers.

MANN: Othman Belbeisi of the immigration -- Organization for Immigration. Thanks so much for talking with us.

BELBEISI: Thank you.

MANN: You can find out lots more about this on our website. Go to to reach articles and watch reports, including this one by Isa

Soares off the Greek island of Kos. She was on board a coast guard vessel witnessing the rescue of migrants who had been trying to make their way to

Greece. Her report and many more at

This is Connect the World. Coming up, Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with the pope at the Vatican, but what will the trip mean for

the minority Catholic population back home in Russia itself?


MANN: Welcome back.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The pontiff and the president previously met in 2013 before

Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Some have been pressing the pope to bring up the situation in Ukraine with the Russian president now.

You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World.

Roman Catholics are a tiny minority in Russia. The majority of Russian Christians, of course, belong to the Orthodox Church. Matthew

Chance has been to a Catholic congregation in Moscow to find out what the mood is like there.


[11:45:00] MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At mass in central Moscow, a rare glimpse of a Russian religious minority. The

sanctuaries Russia's Roman Catholics have kept a low profile, often viewed by their Orthodox countrymen with mistrust as outsiders in their own land.

REV. KIRILL GORBUNOV, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST: We don't feel that we have to prove something to someone. We are just there. And we are there

for a very long time. And so even if some people here in Russia and Moscow think that we are -- we came from somewhere, that we are aliens, we still

don't think that this is true.

CHANCE: But it is true that tensions with the Russian authorities have frequently surfaced. Church officials say Roman Catholic missionaries

and priests have had visas revoked for minor infractions, and that the church faces a general atmosphere of unfriendliness.

It is, of course, the world's biggest Christian denomination, but here in Russia Roman Catholicism is just a tiny minority, less than 1 percent of

the entire population. And many Russians want it to stay that way. Some Catholics say they're often seen as foreign agents, unwelcome, in a mainly

Orthodox Russia.

But there's hope that could now start to change. The pope and the Russian president have met before in 2013. This time, the Kremlin says

further contacts will be discussed, fueling speculation a first papal visit to Russia may be explored.

Father Kirill told me that may help heal the ancient rift between the Orthodox and Catholic church.

GORBUNOV: I think that the pope brings with him a certain charisma of love, of understanding, of invitation to dialogue. And I very much hope

that when one day the pope will come to Russia, the same miracle will happen.

CHANCE: A miracle that may bring Russia and the west closer together as well.


MANN: Let's go live to the Russian capital and talk to Matthew Chance.

Matthew, you mentioned in your report just how small a minority Roman Catholics really are. But it bears repeating and seeing how they compare

to other religions even though who profess no faith, the overwhelming majority of Russians, 72 percent identify themselves as Christian Orthodox,

Russian Orthodox, of course, that according to the Pew Research Center.

Well, almost 20 percent say they are not religious. 5 percent say they are Muslim. Less than 1 percent of Russians in the Pew report again,

as you mentioned, identify themselves as Roman Catholic, which makes you wonder, why does the Russian president go to the Vatican? Is it a sideshow

on a visit to Rome, or was there real business to be done there?

CHANCE: I think there's a real strategy at play here. I mean, of course Vladimir Putin perhaps is reaching out to the several hundred

thousands Roman Catholics in the country. But meeting the pope is more about -- is more than just about, you know, reaching out to the people who

follow that particular denomination. I mean, the pope is a global leader in many ways, particularly this pope, Pope Francis. And Vladimir Putin

wants to show the world that he is not isolated, that he can go to the Vatican and stand shoulder to shoulder with this world leader and sort of

cock a snoop at the western leaders, at Washington, at the European leaders who say, look, Vladimir Putin is increasingly isolated. Here he is doing

business with the pope.

MANN: You know, and as a surprise the pope is doing business with Vladimir Putin, which raises a lot of questions about exactly the pope is

after. But I guess he wants that visit to Russia, I suppose. He wants better relations with the Orthodox Christians of Russia. What are the

politics of that for Vladimir Putin?

CHANCE: You're right. He does want better relations with the Roman Catholics of Russia. He wants to expand, I expect, the Roman Catholic sort

of fan base, faith base in Russia as well. That's something that has for many centuries put the pope at odds with the clergy amongst the Russian

Orthodox individuals here in Russia.

There's a great deal of mistrust amongst the Russian Orthodox clergy. What the Roman Catholic pope really wants is to convert believers in this

country to Roman Catholicism in what they believe to be a traditional Russian Orthodox land.

And so it's very controversial in that sense. And that's why we haven't seen an invitation, or one of the main reasons we haven't seen an

invitation extended from the Kremlin at this point to the pope to visit Russia because it would be so controversial to the Russian Orthodox

faithful at home.

MANN: Catholic Ukrainians are offended, I think, by the close relations that seem to be developing between these two men. Certainly

they're disappointed that the pope hasn't spoken out more about Russian intervention in Ukraine, about the annexation of Crimea. Would Vladimir

Putin care much if the pope were to issue a statement like that? Does he worry about the Catholics -- the Catholic Church's views of an intervention

that's been condemned, I mean, worldwide by just about every other religious leader -- not religious leader, forgive me, every other secular


[11:50:20] CHANCE: Well, I mean, perhaps. But I mean, to be fair we haven't heard what Pope Francis has to say yet. They haven't met each

other yet.

And so, yes, in 2013 when they last met. He did speak about Ukraine. He called it fratricide, sort of battle between two brothers. That angered

a lot of Catholics in Ukraine. They wanted the pope to sort of identify that Russians as the aggressor in all of this.

And I certainly don't think Vladimir Putin is going to the Vatican, you know, thinking that he's going to be chastised by this very prominent

world leader. That's not what his expectation is. There's a lot the two have got to business over, not just the diplomatic relations between the

Vatican and Russia, but also their cooperation on providing security and greater safety to Christians in the Middle East. It's something they've

spoken about together in the past. It's something that the two leaders hope they can work together on in the future as well.

I mean, having said that, I mean, if he does get stern words, or a dressing down from the pope, it's not clear that would have much impact on

Vladimir Putin's actions. I mean, afterall he received a very strongly worded statement from the G7 just a day or so ago. He's been routinely

chastised in western capitals, in Washington, in London, in Paris and elsewhere. And so I'm not sure that the pope's authority would go very far

towards making Vladimir Putin change his actions.

MANN: Matthew Chance live for us in Moscow on what is a fascinating partnership. And once again, we're awaiting that meeting. Thanks so much.

You can follow the stories the team is working on throughout the day by going to our Facebook page Get in touch by

tweeting me @JonathanMannCNN.

This is Connect the World. Coming up, we'll have the story of Hope the Rhino. She survived a brutal attack by poachers. Can medical teams

keep her alive? That's next.


MANN: Welcome back to Connect the World. I'm Jonathan Mann.

Now to a story of hope about a rhinoceros named Hope. She was found in South Africa barely clinging to life after being savagely attacked by

poachers for her horn. In a report, we will warn you about in advance. It's tough to watch some of it. CNN's Diana Magnay witnesses the

remarkable efforts to save Hope's life.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The first time this rhino faced a gun like this, she suffered unimaginable trauma. Now a team

of vets dart her to save her, to clean and dress the gaping wound where her horns once were, to salvage what the poachers left of her face.

From where I'm standing you can actually see directly through her nose. She's so badly injured. The poachers darted her, because it's a

silent procedure. But then they hacked away at her horn with machetes. So now the airflow is compromised. And she's breathing mostly through her


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to start with that, see if it works.

MAGNAY: The team have named her Hope. When they found her four days after the poachers had, she was in a terrible state, weak from massive

blood loss, and from the after effects of the anesthetic.

DR. WILLIAM FOWLDS, SAVING THE SURVIVORS: Infection had set in. The flies had laid eggs, which had then become maggots and were beginning to

eat her alive. So, she's been through all of that.

[11:55:07] MAGNAY: The team are feeling their way here. There have been just a handful of operations to save rhinos this badly injured.

There's no template for success.

The anesthetic must be closely monitored. The animal hauled to her feet periodically to keep the blood flow going. Plus, there's very little

facial bone left to work with.

DR. JOHAN MARAIS, SAVING THE SURVIVORS: We will use that bone actually to force on this dressing into the skull.

MAGNAY: That is a gruesome process. The wound must heal moist, so a protective mold is drilled to the remaining bone on her face, and sewn into

the skin of her nose.

Hope ripped the last cover off. The itch underneath must have been unbearable. This one must hold for longer.

It'll take awhile, two years perhaps, until she's healed. And it is a harrowing process not just for hope, but for the vets battling to help her

and others like her.

FOWLDS: Being next to animals that have been subjected to this amount of brutality is -- it's an incredibly emotional experience partially

because we are just for completely dumbstruck as to the reasons behind it. But I think the importance is that there is this disassociation between

what is taking place on the ground and what animals are being subjected to through poaching and illegal trade in wildlife, and the consumers on the

other end of the world that are buying products without realizing just what they go through.

MAGNAY: Hope's horns may already be in Asia where, especially in Vietnam rhino horn is wrongly considered to be some sort of health elixir.

This is the reality, animals brutalized, a species endangered and in trauma to feed the breed of consumers who do not see the harm they're doing.

Diana Magnay, CNN, Chenwari (ph) nature reserve, South Africa.


MANN: And before we go, we just wanted to remind you that all next week, Connect the World will be in the Egyptian capital Cairo. You can

share your pictures from Cairo on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag Only in Cairo. Get involved. Start sharing.

I'm Jonathan Mann. You've been watching Connect the World. Thanks for joining us.