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India's Answer to Uber; Pope Francis Visits Cuba; Hungary Reopens Border with Serbia; Carly Fiorina Rises in Polls Post Debate. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired September 20, 2015 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:20] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Making history in Havana: Pope Francis kicked off his first full day in Communist Cuba with an open air

mass. We'll be live in the Cuban capital momentarily for you.

Also ahead, facing a surge, Republican front-runner Donald Trump sees a challenger jump in the polls after their exchange.

And we hit the road with one of Iran's only female motorbikers. We're live in Tehran this evening to hear about the difficulties (inaudible) in

the Islamic Republic.

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

ANDERSON: A very good evening from the UAE. It is just after 7:00 here.

It was history in the making as Pope Francis began the first full day of his trip to Cuba by holding a huge mass in the heart of Havana's

Revolution Square. As many as 300,000 people attended, according to Vatican officials, the ceremony remarkable in that until the 1990s Cuba had

spent decades as an officially atheist state.

Well, let's cross live to Havana now. Patrick Oppmann joins us. And Patrick, Revolution Square as the crowds empty out, mass now over.

Describe the atmosphere over the past few hours.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, there's been celebrations or moments where you had tens of thousands of people

completely silent hanging on Pope Benedict's every word. And then you really had scenes that I've never seen before having covered the previous

two papal masses where the pope drove amongst the crowd, was reaching out, pulling babies and children up to him to give -- kissing them, touching

disabled people. There were protesters who were quickly taken away by security. The pope didn't seem to miss a beat, though. One of the many

reached out and was sort of touching him on the head as he grabbed on to the Popemobile and refused to let go.

But by and large, it was really an atmosphere of enthusiasm, very positive. And the pope of course had several very key messages. And he

said those who do not live to serve do not serve to live. A real shot at perhaps some of the people in government who really are there only for

their own well being.

And it'll be interesting to see what comes next, though, because this is just the first event of this pope's trip across Cuba and across the east

coast in the United States. He has two more masses in Cuba where we expect President Raul Castro to attend along with him.

This afternoon, after a well deserved rest, one would assume, he will go behind me here to Raul Castro's office, the counsel of state in Cuba.

He will meet with high level Cuban government officials and see members of the Castro family.

We still don't know if Cuban -- former Cuban president Fidel Castro figures in those plans at all. We know that Pope Francis has asked for a


And then he goes to a really interesting and unique event. He'll be meeting with the youth in Old Havana. Thousands of young Cubans who will

have not only the opportunity to meet with a pope, Becky, they'll have the opportunity to -- thanks to Vatican installed wifi to -- probably for the

first time in their lives, freely upload and download and tweet and post and enjoy something that most Cubans have not done in a very special

occasion with Pope Francis speaking to them, Becky.

ANDERSON: So, some very, very significant moments and some historic moments today.

Pope Francis of course was greeted by Raul Castro, the president at the airport after landing in Havana. And the pontiff of course credited

with healing the rift, as it were, between the U.S. and Cuba, certainly helping to heal the rift. Was that in fact acknowledged by Raul Castro?

OPPMANN: Very much. He was thanked again as he was thanked when the breakthrough took place. And of course that makes his trip special as

well, because as pope unlike other pope's who have come with the expectation that perhaps one day they could help Cubans improve their

lives, this pope has already done a great deal to improve Cuban's lives because you have the opening with the U.S., you have parts of the economic

sanctions that the U.S. still has against this island being lifted.

So, this pope has already done quite a bit. But, you know, he's also not a man to rest on his laurels, is he, Becky? So, he's going to continue

to push for more opening and more reconciliation before he flies on directly from Cuba to the United States, another first Becky.

ANDERSON: That's right. And Cuba of course the pope's first stop on this trip and he will be in the United States as you rightly point out at

the end of the week or later in the week. What do you think the message is in that traveled to Cuba first before his trip to the U.S.?

[11:05:17] OPPMANN: And even more telling, Becky, of course the U.S. trip was set up months and ahead of time. He added the Cuba trip, which

made Cuban officials have to scramble to have events like this ready. And it really is I think putting -- you know, he talks about the peripheries a

lot and that how perhaps countries that think they are the center of the world should rethink that kind of arrogance, as perhaps the pope would say.

He talked today about disciples coming to Jesus and asking who of them was the most important?

So, I think he's sending a message to both Cuba and the U.S.

Cuba, of course, being such a small country, but has really had a large role in history in this hemisphere. Surely with the United States,

the pope is very much aware of that history and I think he's putting the U.S. and Cuba on notice that he is not going to stand by and take a victory

lap and take credit for what's been accomplished, but accomplished a lot more, oh, as one biographer the pope told me that he -- the pope sees the

distance between the U.S., the Florida Straits really as the Berlin wall of our times and it's separating families, separating Cubans and he would like

to heal that breach, Becky.

ANDERSON: Patrick, finally and very briefly, you talked about how officials had to scrambled to get this trip sorted out. Just give us a

sense of what goes into the preparations and pulling off a trip like this? I mean, after all this is the pope.

OPPMANN: Oh, of course. Nothing can go wrong, and this is Cuba where sometimes nothing goes right. So, let's back up. In last month, we had a

little event -- the U.S. embassy opened here, that virtually stopped the country. They never had anything like it. Secretary of State in the

United States coming here, (inaudible) absorbed all the resources and attention, but at the same time they had to get ready for Pope Francis.

And just yesterday I was watching people paint streets, get the last details ready. They were -- you know, coming very close to not being


I'll tell you a funny story, the media bus got lost this morning coming here. So, there's some parts of the plan that fully didn't come

together as they should. But listen, we all got here. The pope seemed at peace and very happy in the surroundings. He had a smile on his face as he

was reaching out to Cubans hugging them, kissing them, and the Cardinal of Cuba had told me that this is why the pope was coming, to have that contact

with Cubans.

It's his first time in Cuba. And he was able to reach out to them in a way that I've never seen the pope do before, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, remarkable stuff all those who were there witnessing the scenes, an historic day in Cuba. Thank you.

And we'll have lots more coverage of the pope's visit to Cuba coming up in the show for you in just a few minutes.

I'm going to return to Havana for more analysis on the trip. That's as much diplomatic as it is spiritual. We'll explain that ahead.

Plus, will this man -- Cuba's President Raul Castro, who once led a communist atheist revolution now turn back to he Catholic church? A

question for our guests.

And later on we'll show you some of the best images from the island, looking at how Cubans have been welcoming the pontiff.

Moving on, some breaking news just in to CNN. Senior U.S. officials have just told the network two Americans, two Americans being held hostage

in Yemen have been freed and are on their way to neighboring Oman. One of the Americans has been identified as 45-year-old Scott Darden (ph) who was

reportedly taken hostage in the capital Sanaa in March.

For more, let's cross to CNN's Nick Paton Walsh who is live in Beirut for us covering the story.

And the details just coming on. What do we know of this release?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is still patchy at this stage, the information we have. A few hours ago, a diplomat in

Sanaa told me a total of six foreigners had been released by the Houthis and were being accompanied by a Houthi delegation on a plane from the Omani

government to Amman, the capital there Muscat.

Now the timing of this is not entirely clear. A State Department official stateside in Washington is now saying that in fact two Americans,

one of them named Scott Darden, who you mentioned there, working for a logistics company in Yemen has now arrived in Muscat. The fate of the

other six diplomats I referred to not entirely clear.

Now we hear also, it's believed that a total of three Americans were held by the Houthis, two released today, a third one still held -- as far

as we are aware, according to a senior state department official. The others said to be on that plane by the diplomat I spoke to. Well, he said

we're talking about two Saudi Arabian citizens and one Briton. That's not been confirmed by either of their host governments and the timing of this,

let's say, conflicted, unclear really, precisely when that plane took off from Sanaa. But we now understand that it's close enough or in Omani air


This negotiated, this State Department officials says, by the Omani government and part -- according to a diplomat I spoke to, of a goodwill

political gesture made by the Houthis, remember they are the rebel movement that controlled much of the capital, increasingly less of Yemen's territory

since the Saudi Arabian-led coalition began bombing and moving against them on the ground. They made this gesture, the political goodwill, a

delegation following in that plane. We are told because they wanted to perhaps discussed the ability of maybe beginning political negotiation to

find some kind of ceasefire or solution to the conflict.

But the upshot, the good news today that it's clear that two American citizens are out and perhaps to some other foreigners as well, though I say

we don't have clarity on that stage as to who else was on that plane, Becky.

ANDERSON: The timing potentially to coincide, one would expect, with UN backed peace talks, which are planned for this week in Muscat in Oman,


WALSH: Yes, that is what we are told potentially was the motivation behind this. There are some suggestions that in fact, diplomats from other

countries went in ahead of this release. He may have been involved in negotiations to facilitate it. Of course, given the nature of the

coalition the Houthis face, which is backed by the United States, Saudi Arabian planes and other Gulf nations in the sky, but U.S. intelligence

sitting on them often -- and in fact many of those planes purchased from the United States.

That gesture of handing over those two, it seems, but possibly asked for three American citizens held by the Houthis would have done a lot,

perhaps, to set a better term.

But I have to say the diplomat I spoke to in Sanaa, a long-term observer of this is very skeptical about the possibility of these peace

talks seeing some success. In his perception, we're talking about a Houthi group here feel encircled in the capital Sanaa that is increasingly the

case. They are well dug in there, though, and it will be difficult many believe, for the Saudis and other groups backing them to find an easy way

in to that particular capital.

Many fearing that perhaps a military solution is more favorable for the Saudi coalition. That's certainly what this diplomat believed was the

case. But hopes hide it given this conflict has cost 5,000 lives or so, so far, 2,000 of those civilians. There have been many reports of the toll on

civilians of this bombing campaign from reputable human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, that potentially these talks in Oman, Oman

having long-term tried to broker some kind of peace, hasn't really worked in the past few months. We're still in a very bloody campaign here, but

potentially talks in the days ahead might lower the temperature enough to see at least the planes out of the skies or the humanitarian aid come in

that's so badly needed.

Remember, there are millions of people, it's thought, urgently in need simply of food, not knowing where their next meal is going to come from

inside of Yemen, not to mention a crisis of medical aid and other basic commodities inside the capital Sanaa -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh on the story out of Beirut for you this evening.

Still to come tonight on this show, in American presidential politics, Carly Fiorina rises in the polls while Donald Trump takes a slight hit.

And a coach says she has the potential to go far, but just how far can a woman go in motorcross in Iran? Stay with us.


[11:15:56] ANDERSON: Well, as many as 300,000 people gathered in the Cuban capital earlier to celebrate mass with Pope Francis. Crowds began

building from the early hours this morning, despite searing temperatures.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church delivered his message of hope and unity in the same square used to celebrate the country's Communist


Welcome back. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World out of UAE with me Becky Anderson.

Now this trip is significant on both a political and a religious level as the pope delivered a message of service to others. For more, let's

cross back to Havana now where CNN's Rosa Flores joins us.

I know you actually joined the pope on the papal flight in. I want to talk about that in a moment.

I think we may have lost Rosa for the time being. Let me -- let me carry on and see whether we can get her back in a moment.

Even though President Raul Castro helped make Cuba communist and officially atheist, he recently said he is considering becoming a Catholic


Patrick Oppmann has more on that.


OPPMANN: It was supposed to be a photo op: the pope meets the president of Cuba. Then Raul Castro went off script, way off script.

"If the pope continues talking like this," he says, "I may go back to the church and start praying again. I am not joking."

It could have been Castro's way of thanking the pope for playing a crucial role in restoring U.S.-Cuban relations. If Castro is thinking of

returning to the fold, it would be quite a turnaround.

For over three decades, his revolution all but banned religion.

His comments weren't a complete surprise to Cuban's Cardinal Jaime Ortega (ph), who told CNN that in his office, the Cuban leader has a statue

of the Caridad de Cobre (ph) a version of the Virgin Mary that looks similar to this.

He was supposed to give the statue to Pope Benedict, but then he changed his mind.

"Many people who had visited his office told him that it was really nice," the cardinal says, "and that he should leave it there and have

another one made for the pope. And that's what happened. He gave another one to the pope when he came. And that one stayed in his office.

During his trip to Cuba, the pope and Raul Castro will be seeing a lot of each other.

And we were in Havana's Revolution Square where the pope will deliver his first mass in Cuba. What's different, though, about this papal trip

really unprecedented is that Raul Castro will not only be at the mass in Havana, he will be at all three of the masses the pope gives while he is in

Cuba. Many people say it is beyond a symbol of respect, that it is actually a sign of the friendship that's been developed from these two very

different men.

Francis' biographer Austen Ivereigh says changing the U.S.-Cuban relationship is a crucial part of the pope's foreign policy and future


AUSTEN IVEREIGH, AUTHOR THE GREAT REFORMER: Look, I think he's coming here because this is part of the process, which began with the restoration

of those diplomatic ties. So, I think he's coming to build bridges. He's coming to heal wounds. The fact that he's going from Cuba to the United

States I think is highly significant.

I think that the sea between Miami and Havana is to this papacy what the Berlin Wall was to John Paul II.

OPPMANN: So far, church leaders say there is no sign that Raul Castro has returned to religion, but Pope Francis says he wants to build bridges

and heal old wounds in Cuba, and perhaps in the unlikeliest of places and people, restore some faith.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.


ANDERSON: Well, let's get you back to Havana, then, where I hope CNN's Rosa Flores is joining us.

And Rosa, I have just been listening to Patrick's piece there alluding to the fact that Raul Castro has, well, made comment in the past.

What chance this man will take the faith?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, after his visit to the Vatican, he publicly said that after reading all of Pope Francis' speeches,

after reading books about him, that he was really impressed by Pope Francis and then said that he was going to be present at every mass that the pope

delivers here in Cuba.

So, we don't know what's going to happen, of course. We can't read Raul Castro's mind, but they do have something in common. They're both

Jesuits. As a matter of fact, a few months ago I was here in Cuba. And I took a trip to Biran (ph), the area of the island where both Fidel Castro

and Raul Castro are from. And there is this museum, Becky. And I remember clearly looking at a photograph of Fidel Castro and Raul Castro with their

Jesuit school uniforms.

And so we don't know if they're going to go back to the church, if Raul Castro would go back to the church. But we know that they have been

part of the church before. So we'll have to see.

ANDERSON: Fascinating.

Pope Francis has called for the church in Cuba to have, and I quote him, Rosa, "the freedom and the means to pursue its mission." He said this

on his first visit to the islands. We've just been discussing the background to the Castro brothers.

Do you think Cuban authorities are listening to these messages?

FLORES: You know, I think that if you read between the lines of the homily today, I think it spoke about leadership, Becky, quite frankly. He

-- the pope said multiple times that its all about service. And it's about serving the poor, it's about serving the fragile. It's about serving the

vulnerable. And he said we don't serve ideas. We don't serve an ideology, we serve a people, he said.

So, I don't know if -- you know, if Raul Castro might interpret that as you know serve the people, the Cuban people not an ideology, you know,

speaking of possibly communism. He did not say the words communism. This is me trying to interpret. And I've read his homily over and over in

Spanish trying to understand and find a theme in this homily.

But he mentioned it multiple times and said you serve people, you don't serve ideas.

ANDERSON: You traveled to Havana on the papal plane and you had a moment in time with the pontiff. Just describe that experience.

FLORES: It was a remarkable experience, Becky. I spent about 45 seconds with the pontiff. I chatted with him. He actually joked about a

priest that I talked to before getting on the plane. And everybody on the plane started laughing about that's -- so it was a really light moment.

and then he offered me his blessing, so I received his blessing.

It was incredible, an incredible moment that truly I will remember for the rest of my life.

ANDERSON: Remarkable. And as you were speaking, we are just looking at those images. Good for you.

This is at the back of the plane, is it? Just describe -- did he just -- does he just walk up to the reporters?

FLORES: He did.

So, just to set the scene for you, the pope and his entourage, if you may, are at the front of the plane, the front of the aircraft, all of the

journalists are in the back of the aircraft, and there's probably about 70 of us -- or a little more over 70, and the media personnel from the Vatican

told us that they have actually more journalists on this trip than they normally do, because there were about 140 requests to be on that plane.

So, I was very, very lucky to be admitted on that plane.

And so shortly after takeoff, here you see the pope coming to the back of the plane, greeting all of the reporters first via microphone and then

going individually aisle by aisle and giving every person on that flight his personal attention.

ANDERSON: Remarkable.

Rosa, well done. Thank you.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, Donald Trump faces more questions about Muslims. We'll have his latest comments.

First up, though, we're going to head to England to bring you the very latest on the Rugby World Cup where there have already been plenty of tries

and a major upset. This is a huge competition and that's up next.



[11:26:05] UNIDENTFIED MALE: Perhaps pointing there. The space out wide here for (inaudible). It's good. He's done it. At this moment, and

Japanese (inaudible) history.


ANDERSON: Those were remarkable scenes as Japan celebrated their win over two-time World Champion South Africa in what is being dubbed the

greatest upset in World Cup history. And how is this for suspense, that winning try came in the fourth minute of added time.

Well, that's only Japan's second ever win at a World Cup, but the captain says he wasn't surprised.


MICHAEL LEITCH, JAPAN CAPTAIN: We've been training to beat the Springboks the last three years. So, you know, obviously we're pretty

pleased with our effort. And you know the boys are really happy. That's the first point in 24 years. And to beat the Springboks at the World Cup,

you know, it's a pretty special feeling.


ANDERSON: Well, as the action continues, other countries will be looking to emulate Japan's heroics. The U.S., who you can see in navy

blue, started their campaign today, losing to Samoa. Also in action were Wales who have just beaten Uruguay at home in Cardiff. And defending

champions New Zealand you see here are set to kick off against Argentina shortly.

Well, there are about 40 days left of the rugby World Cup. Organizers say it's the world's third largest sporting event. CNN's Alex Thomas

explains why it matters.


ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: OK, so we'd be stretching it to say Rugby is becoming as global as football, but there is at least one

team from every continent on the planet, bar Antarctica. Traditional powers such as New Zealand, England and South Africa in the mix with

improving nations Uruguay, Namibia, the United States and more. And there's enough interest for organizers to claim around three-quarters of a

billion people will watch on television and online.

The Rugby World Cup is aiming big, not just trying to match worldwide competitions like the Premier League and the NFL, but going one better.

Global, how about interstellar? OK, rugby ball in space was just a stunt, but organizers are using technology to engage new fans.

Don't know your hugger (ph) from your grubber (ph). Well, they've made these jargon busters to help you understand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If kicked so that the ball rotates end over end, the trajectory should remain essentially straight.

THOMAS: Rugby officials aren't growing the game from scratch, though. They already claim the World Cup is the third biggest sporting event on the

planet, that's based on TV audience, tickets sold and the number of countries taking part.

But it is open to debate, especially with lovers of the Winter Olympics and European Football Championship.

Unlike the 2012 Olympics, this isn't just a London event. Rubgy World Cup games are being played in 13 different stadiums across 11 cities in

England and Wales. Fans of soccer clubs like Manchester City and Aston Villa will have to get used to their home grounds looking a little


The team on everyone's lips is the All Blacks and their famous haka war dance. (inaudible) the New Zealands team and their distinctive kit.

They're not just defending champions and ranked World Number One, they have dominated Rugby Union for well over a decade. Some even claim they're the

best sports team of all time. Now that's a barroom debate to really stir some passions.


[11:30:04] ANDERSON: Well, it looks like it's going to be an exciting tournament. It already has kicked off. And boy has it been great today

that's for sure.

You can catch in depth coverage of the Rugby World Cup each week on CNN World Rugby each week on CNN World Rugby. Catch it Friday 11:30 p.m.

in London only on CNN. But I promise you, Connect the World will reflect the best of the tournament as we go through what is the next, what, five-

and-a-half weeks.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, tired migrants finally make it into Austria after a whirlwind of

border crossings in eastern Europe.

Plus, with a helmet and a motorbike, one woman is chasing her dream in Iran. The details on that in about 15 minutes. Taking a very short break.

Back after this.


ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour here on CNN. And just after half past

7:00 in the UAE.

And in Cuba, Pope Francis held a large mass in the heart of Havana's Revolution Square. According to the Vatican as many as 300,000 people went

to hear Francis deliver his message. Up until the 1990s, of course, Cuba has spent decades as an atheist country.

Well, a senior U.S. official tells CNN two Americans held hostage by Houthi rebels in Yemen have been freed. One of them is 45-year-old Scott

Darden. Both were taken hostage in the capital Sanaa in March. Their release was negotiated by neighboring Oman.

Hungarian government says it's reopened a key border crossing with Serbia. Thousands of migrants were forced to reroute their journey to

western Europe when that entry point was closed last week. Many went on to Croatia.

And polls close in just about 30 minutes in Greece's second general election this year. The leftist Syriza Party and the conservative New

Democracy Party are neck and neck, but neither is expected to get an outright majority. The winner will oversee economic reforms to save

Greece's financial system.

Well, a new poll following Wednesday's CNN debate reveals Carly Fiorina has risen to second place among U.S. Republican presidential


Now in the just released CNN/ORC poll, the former Hewlett Packard CEO gained 12 points to reach 15 percent. Donald Trump some support, but still

tops the list with 24 percent amongst likely Republican voters. Jeb Bush remains in the single digits with 9 percent.

Well, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump was a guest on CNN earlier. And said that the entire world had a problem with radical Muslims. The

comment follows heavy criticism from both Democrats and Republicans last week after Trump failed to correct a supporter's anti-Muslim comments at a

campaign event. Here's a portion of Trump's interview this morning with my colleague Jake Tapper.


[11:35:35] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: You are running to be president of United States of America. That includes millions of peaceful, law-abiding

Muslim-American citizens who love this country. This man said -- quote -- "We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims."

Now, you're not responsible for what he says, but this is raw, unvarnished, ignorant bigotry. You are a leader. You are the front- runner

in the Republican race. Do you not have a responsibility to call out this hatred?

TRUMP: Well, you know, we could be politically correct, if you want.

But, certainly, are you trying to say we don't have a problem? Because I think everybody would agree. I have friends that are Muslims. They're

great people, amazing people. And most Muslims, like most everything, I mean, these are fabulous people.

But we certainly do have a problem. I mean, you have a problem throughout the world.

TAPPER: What's the problem?

TRUMP: Well, you have radicals that are doing things.

I mean, it wasn't people from Sweden that blew up the World Trade Center, Jake.

TAPPER: I get that. But to say we have a problem, and it is called Muslims, because there are some extremist Muslims, is tarring all Muslims.

You would agree that the vast...


TRUMP: No, I don't agree with that at all.

But you have extremist Muslims that are in a class by themselves. I mean, they are -- it is a problem in this country. And it's a problem

throughout the world.


ANDERSON: Well, Trump was also asked about his attitude towards Muslim-Americans during two campaign stops Saturday in the key state of

Iowa, one of them at a high school dance.

CNN's MJ Lee was there.


MJ LEE, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Becky, Donald Trump is continuing to receive questions about this latest controversy. He was

uncharacteristically quiet about the issue earlier in the week than when he made two campaign stops in Iowa on Saturday. He talked about the issue,

including a number of tweets that he sent defending his interaction with this one supporter. And he also attended a high school homecoming in

Urbandale (ph), Iowa where I caught up with him and asked him briefly about his views on Muslims in the country. He also a received a question about

his views on Muslim-Americans from one of the high school students at the homecoming.

Take a listen to what he said.

Do you personally think that Muslims pose a danger to this country?

TRUMP: I love the Muslims. I think they're great people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I consider Muslim-Americans to be an important asset to our country and society. Would you consider putting one in your

cabinet or even on your ticket?

TRUMP: You consider what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Putting one in your cabinet or on your ticket? A Muslim-American.

TRUMP: Muslim? Oh, absolutely. No problem with it. Would I consider putting a Muslim-American in my cabinet, absolutely no problem

with that.

LEE: And as you can imagine, Democrats have really pounced on Donald Trump saying taht he is an outright racist whereas Republicans have had a

more mixed reaction to the latest contriversy saying that it's not always a candidate's responsibility to correct a voter when they say something that

is incorrect.

One more thing that I would like to point out, Becky, some recent polling from CNN showed that 29 percent of Americans actually believe that

President Obama is a Muslim. That's 43 percent of Republicans.

Now among Donald Trump's supporters, that number goes up to 54 percent. So some interesting numbers to think about as we continue to see

how this controversy unfolds in the next couple of days.


ANDERSON: MJ Lee for you.

Thousands of people who were stuck at border crossing in Europe are finally nearing the end of the journey through Europe, but hundreds of

others are still in limbo.

These refugees are at Croatia's border with Slovenia. Police there are letting a small number of people through, meanwhile Hungary says it's

reopened a border crossing with Serbia.

But it has been fortifying its borders with Croatia during the past few days. Many people are still showing up and authorities now are

transporting them to the border with Austria.

Well, it's those refugees who are now in the final stretch of their trip. CNN's Ben Wedeman walked with some of them on their way into Austria.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They arrived at the train station dazed and confused in the dead of night. They didn't know

where they were or where they were going.


WEDEMAN: You're on the border with Austria, I explained. To get there you have to walk four kilometers.

The train had taken this group of several hundred refugees and migrants from the Croatian border through Hungary directly to here at

(inaudible). No formalities and few amenities along the way.

And on this last stretch out of Hungary and into Austria, a country that has welcomed refugees, neither exhaustion nor injury could hold them


Lusha (ph) a Palestinian refugee from Aleppo, Syria had sent her children ahead with relatives to Munich in Germany.

"Every step I take gives me joy," she tells me. "Because I'm getting closer to them. I miss them so much."

Son Amir (ph) in his arms, Adnan (ph) from Damascus finally sees light at the end of a long tunnel stretching back to his homeland in ruins.

"I feel relieved," he says, even though the grueling nine day trek from Turkey has left him penniless.

"Despite what we've been through," says Mushar (ph), "I'm happy because we made it."

As a last gesture before they stepped out of Hungary, local aid groups weighed them down with refreshments after days, indeed weeks, of

frustration, false starts and closed borders, some good fortune and good food was finally abundant.

These are the lucky ones who have reached the promised land. They've arrived in Austrian territory. From here on in, there's no guarantee that

life is going to be easy. In fact, it's probably going to be difficult. But at least their journey is almost over.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, on the Austrian, Hungarian border.


[11:41:35] ANDERSON: We are in Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, how motorcross racing in Iran is not only trying to reach the

finishing line, she's also trying to reach gender equality.

First up, though, we head to India for you for the start of our special weeklong series looking at the impact of economic and technological

growth on the country's people.


ANDERSON: 44 minutes past the hour here in the UAE. You're watching CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.

So, it's the world's largest democracy, one of its biggest economies, and soon it will be the most populated country on earth.

All this week, we are taking a special look at India, a country that is changing rapidly, and how that is impacting over a billion people who

call it home.

Kicking it off, CNN's Mallika Kapur heads to the streets of Bangalore to look at India's answer to Uber.


[11:44:53] MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Mahesh is part of the disruption, a buzzword coursing through the streets of

Bangalore. His life, he says, has taken a U-turn because of Ola.

MANESH CHANDRA, DRIVER (through translator): I was told about Ola (ph) by my friends, that it is a good way to earn money and there is

benefits. If Ola (ph) was nonexistant, it would have been difficult for me and I would have had to take a lot of loans.

KAPUR: Ola (ph) is India's largest and most popular ride hailing app, average this day 750,000 rides a day in over a 100 cities.

With a valuation of well over $1 billion, it's a poster child for homegrown success in a city dubbed the Silicon Valley of south Asia.

ANKIT BHAT, DEVELOPER: Every program, or every good designer essentially makes his way to Bangalore once in his life and that's the kind

of gravity that Bangalore has in the technology and the startup (inaudible).

KAPUR: Cut through the traffic clogged streets, and manicured lawns with glistening office buildings, housed some of the country's top IT

talent. Once a back office to the world made famous by its call centers, a renaissance is happening here.

ANAND JUBHAMANI, DEVELOPER: Unlike the Valley and all it solves in a big way for global issues, what's emerging in India is a lot of companies

for focusing on Indian problems to solve for at scale. So, we're talking about a lot of high (inaudible) startups looking at solving one problem and

doing it very, very well.

KAPUR: Being an Indian company, a homegrown Indian company, does that give you a competitive edge, because you're not alone in this space. You

do have competitors.

JUGHAMANI: Absolutely. I think what makes all the difference is the fact that we solve with a customer or the end customer (inaudible) of the

product, we have not tweaked a product to suit these guys, but we've actually built the product ground up for them.

KAPUR: The key is understanding what locals want.

Many Indians prefer paying cash, so that's what Ola (ph) let's you do. And its app supports 11 regional languages.

Simon (ph), we're going to do something very Indian now and get ourselves an auto.


So, you have an option to (inaudible) on the app. One touch send out your locality and you have an auto coming towards you within minutes.

What was traditionally offline is now online with Ola's (ph) technology.

BHAT: What's interesting part here is the driver entrepreneur, the driver partner who is sitting up there also gets access to consistent

demand. So for him at any point in time he has hundreds of thousands of customers around him having an app.

KAPUR: He doesn't have to waste time looking for customers?

BHAT: True. So an average auto driver today in a city like Bangalore earns about 20 to 50 percent more than what he used to earn before.

KAPUR: Finding Indian solutions to Indian problems has helped the startup gain around an 80 percent marketshare. Uber, its main competitor

comes in at around 4 percent.

As we weave through traffic, I witnessed the enthusiasm that is driving growth for one of India's hottest startups. It's more than just a

ride to Ola (ph), instead the hope is to make the personal car obsolete for a billion Indians.

Mallika Kapur, CNN, Bangalore.


ANDERSON: And we are heading to India all this week to take a special look at a decade of innovation and economic growth and how those changes

are shaping one of the world's most vibrant nations, from its food to its people even to its world famous movie industry, that of course is

Bollywood. That's in Growing India all this week on Connect the World.

All right, we'll take a very short break. Coming up tonight, find out how one fearless female in Iran is taking on a man's world through her

passion. All this.

Plus, we'll look at how Cuba has been welcoming Pope Francis and how he has been reacting. Stay with us.


[11:50:20] ANDERSON: Well, sports can be a difficult issue for women in Iran, but could one the obstacle presents an opportunity, one of the

country's only female motocross races, dreams of breaking down gender barriers and to show her sporting prowess on an international stage. My

colleague Fred Pleitgen reports.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Believe it or not, motocross racing as a strong following in Iran. Riders are fast and

furious and many compete internationally.

Most would expect this to be an all-male domain in this country, until they meet Behnas Sharfier (ph), one of the first and few female motocross

riders in Iran.

"When I was 15, I saw a lady going around, doing whatever she wanted on her motorcycle," she says. "And that's when I realized I wanted to ride

one as well."

No easy task in a country where women can't even get a license to ride a motorcycle on the streets.

"There are some groups of men when they see us they say you should stay at home and cook. This sport is not for you," she says. "It makes me

so mad, so I want to prove them wrong."

Women in sports are a difficult issue in Iran. Conservatives continue to try and ban women from even attending sports events. And the captain of

Iran's women's national soccer team was not able to participate in the Asian championships because her husband wouldn't allow her to renew her

passport. A husband's permission to leave the country is required by Iranian law.

Behnas Sharfier (ph) faces similar problems. She can't compete in Iran and many dirt bike tracks won't let her practice.

"I believe 100 percent you should not make a difference between women and men," she says. "In many sports, women have proven that they are just

as good."

Behnas Sharfier (ph) is coached by Iran's motocross champion Razul Najafi (ph). He says in the beginning it was a little strange for him to

see a woman trying to take up the sport in Iran, but now he believes with proper sponsors and if given a real chance, Behnas (ph) could go far.

"She's very talented and can reach very high," he says. "But she needs better facilities and more sponsorship to advance further."

Behnas Sharfier (ph) has been invited to international races, but a lack of funding often prevents her from making the expensive trips. But

that has not stopped her from chasing her dream, practicing hard, riding fast, hoping one day her time will come.


ANDERSON: It's not the first time that women's rights in Iran, especially treatment in sports has come into the spotlight. Last week was

one such example, as Fred noted in his package reports that the captain of Iran's women's football team will miss a forthcoming match because her

husband refused permission caused widespread controversy.

For more, let's joins CNN's Fred Pleitgen live in Tehran. Just as you think things might be changing, then you get a story like the football

story, Fred. What's the sense that there is a different era to come?

PLEITGEN: Well, it certainly is an ongoing debate here, Becky. It is something where on the one hand, of course, you have people who are

outraged at what happened to the female football national team's captain. That whole issue was something that was widely debated here in Iran, sort

of quieting down now as more on social media at this point in time than it is actually really in the public discussion here anymore.

And there really were various sides to that issue as well. On the one hand, you've of course had the husband who was saying that he wanted his

wife to stay at home for their child's seventh birthday. And she was quite frankly calling for the rules, the laws here in Iran to change. It really

is something that is an ongoing debate here in this country.

And you had this for instance recently when you had a high profile volleyball match where there was a big debate about whether or not women

should be allowed into the stadium.

There's an upcoming big football tournament that's due to take place here next here where there were some people who were campaigning for FIFA

to call on Iran to allow women into the stadium, to change their policy. But it is something that is very, very difficult to do here, because on the

one hand of course you do have conservatives here who feel that it's not appropriate, but on the other hand you also of course have a very young

population and one that does feel that the laws, the rules, need to change.

So it's going to be interesting to see how all this is handled, especially now, of course, that you have Iran opening up so much to the

international community, with so much investment potentially pouring in here to see whether or not that will have bigger affects on society as a


But it certainly is something where you can feel that there is actually quite a vibrant debate going on here in this country as to best to

move forward on these issues, Becky.

[11:55:10] ANDERSON: Is there a lot of public support for the women's football captain?

PLEITGEN: There is -- well, there certainly is a lot of support for the football team. I would say that in total what you have here is most of

this debate happens more on social media than it actually does in the sort of public sphere of newspapers, of television, of things like that.

Very little in the debate that I've seen here in sort of the big media publications. But of course you do have that hashtag that has gone global

and that is getting a lot of attention, not just in Iran, but in other places as well.

It really does depend on where you stand on the issue. Most conservatives of course don't have any time whatsoever for the stance that

the -- of the female football captain (inaudible), but of course there are some people who are moderates, who are reformers, who feel that she has a

point. I mean, if you talk, for instance, to the folks there at that motorcycle track, all the guys there said they'd be perfectly fine with

women competing as well. It really does depend on where you stand on this debate.

ANDERSON: Yeah, something that polarizes society. All right, thank you.

What did you think of Fred's report and the issues that it throws up? We always want to hear from you. This is your show. The team at Connect

the World is around all day. You can follow the stories that we're working on throughout the day ahead of this show. You can get that on the Facebook

page. You can always let us know your thoughts and watch our reports there and others. And you can get in touch with me

as ever by tweeting me @BeckyCNN. That's @BeckyCNN.


Cue tonight's Parting Shots. And we want to take you back to Cuba where we started this hour to show you how people there have been welcoming

Pope Francis, the country's youngest generation clearly ready for the possibilities of the new era that the pope is helping bring about. And to

those more likely to remember the island's difficult past, quite literally holding him close to their hearts.

Arriving at mass early, or earlier, a sea of the faithful surrounded Francis. Their flags for Cuba and the Vatican flying jointly.

Well, bringing the two together won't be easy. You can see the image of the fiercely community revolutionary Che Guevara looking over the mass

from on high there. His beliefs still cast a shadow.

So, for many wanting more religious freedoms in Cuba, they may have to sit and wait a little longer.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World. From the team here in the UAE and those working with us around the world, a very good evening.