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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI

Hundreds of Pilgrims Killed at the Hajj; Pope Addresses U.S. Congress. Aired 3-4p ET.

Aired September 24, 2015 - 15:00   ET

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


HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight Hundreds of pilgrims killed at the Hajj.

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GORANI: A scene of chaos turns deadly at the Muslim pilgrimage proving that Saudi Arabia safety measures are not enough.

Then the Pope will visit his second American city within just a few hours. But not before a good-bye ceremony in Washington. We'll bring that to you

live on CNN.

Plus, it is spreading to Europe. Can Volkswagen do anything to mitigate the cheating scandal?

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GORANI: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani, we're coming to you live from London, thanks for being with us this hour. This is "The World Right Now."

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GORANI: Saudi Arabia's king Salman is ordering an investigation into the deadliest tragedy at the Hajj in more than two decades. At last count, 717

people were killed in a stampede today at the annual Muslim pilgrimage. Pictures from the scene are heart breaking. We warn you they are difficult

to watch, a horrific end for many to the journey of a lifetime. Take a look.

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GORANI: Pilgrims, hundreds of them, lie lifeless in the streets. This is the horrific aftermath of Thursday morning's stampede in Mina, just outside

the holy city of Mecca. According to Saudi state media, these worshippers had been walking together during the Hajj when there was a sudden surge in

the crowd. People fell and were crushed. One pilgrim described how rescue workers spent hours trying to help the hundreds of injured.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw the ambulances, I saw bodies, lots of responders and like I just told you a helicopter landing, at least 20, 30

ambulances passed me by ever since I arrived the sound of the sirens hasn't stopped.

GORANI: The stampede happened during a ritual known as the stoning of the devil. World leaders extended their condolences.

BAN KI-MOON, UN SECRETARY GENERAL: I would like to join the President of the General Assembly in expressing my deepest condolences to many hundreds

of people who died and I sincere hope that under the leadership of Saudi Arabia there would be an immediate and necessary assistance for those

people.

GORANI: It's not first time lives have been lost during the Hajj, which attracts more than 2 million Muslims each year, and is considered one of

the five pillars of Islam.

Over the years, hundreds of people have been killed because of overcrowding. In 2006, another stampede killed at least 363 pilgrims,

prompting the Saudi government to make the area safer. Those improvements, though, failed to prevent Thursday's tragedy.

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GORANI: There you have it. As I mentioned, there are billions of dollars were spent trying to improve the infrastructure, trying to manage the

crowds. We're talking hundreds of thousands of people at the same place, at the same time, cameras were installed, 100,000 police officers, but, of

course, as we mentioned, nothing prevented the catastrophe. Now, the witness we just heard from spoke at length to CNN. She said security

precautions at the Hajj are much better now than in years past, but still clearly not enough. Listen.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last time I was here maybe ten years ago there was none of this multilayer. I see four floors above me so the pilgrims are

divided by area and section. The roads have become one way so no one is walking back now. But as you said despite this, something like this today

still happened. Even though it has become so much more organized, so we're actually walking in lanes, divided by blocks. No one can walk back. It's

only a one way system. But you know the heat, the dehydration, the number of people keeps increasing every year. So I think that was part of the

reason that led to what happened today.

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GORANI: Iran's supreme leader is holding the Saudi government responsible for the tragedy. The Saudi Health Minister says pilgrims themselves are to

blame because they did not follow instructions. We're joined now by Khalad Al Maeena Editor at Large for the Saudi Gazette Newspaper. He's in Jeddah,

not far from where the tragedy unfolded.

So the Saudi Health Minister has already in some of the statements he made blaming pilgrims for not follow instructions. This is raising eyebrows in

some parts of the world, saying, you know, you're blaming the pilgrims and not maybe a system that didn't protect them from this catastrophe

happening.

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KHALAD AL MAEENA, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SAUDI GAZETTE: Well, I think this blame game should not go on. I think what we need to do is share an

investigation. The Crown Prince himself I have had a meeting with his senior staff. A high level unit is going to look into this from all

aspects. But I don't think the officials should start saying that this pilgrim is to blame or that group is to blame.

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AL MAEENA: Right now the mood is that of a very tragic nature. And we have to look into this. And unfortunately this happened just about ten days ago.

You and I spoke on CNN about the tragic incident in Mecca, the Grand Mosque. So these two incidents really have shaken up society in this part

of Saudi Arabia.

GORANI: Right, absolutely understandable. You know let me ask you the question about security, about safety. Saudi authorities after 2006 they

built decks around the pillars, they made the pillars larger as well so that people had more surface area because you're supposed to throw pebbles

at the pillars representing the devil. They created a one way system to go in and out of that area where the pillars are located. All of that

infrastructure, all of that money and yet this happened. What went wrong here?

AL MAEENA: Well, I'll tell you accidents happen that in no way we would try to in any way shy away from any blame. I agree with you. I've been to the

Hajj five times in the past five years taking people with me and these gigantic structures, like the Star Trek, the thing that you see, there has

been no stampede in that area.

Quite a few news organizations thought at this time (inaudible) stoning of the devil. It happened in a narrow road, there are 204 the roads here are

number and 213 and I think there was what you call a gridlock.

Also, its 39 degrees centigrade temperature, plus humidity. Many of these people fall down, dehydration, and the pilgrim myself, some of the pilgrims

did not follow the rules or regulations that said to go slowly or wait. The from (inaudible) right at the stoning and then want to get to

Mecca,(inaudible)

So I don't want to get into a blame game. But I think we have to wait until the final investigation is over.

GORANI: But there is one question, another question that people are asking Khalid Al Maeena and that is the number of pilgrims is increasing. I mean

you have a religion here followed by up to 1.2, 1.3 billion people. Many of them want to go to Mecca, to Mina, to perform Hajj. Is it time to perhaps

consider that too many people are there at the same time? To limit the number of pilgrims to a smaller, more manageable crowd?

AL MAEENA: Good point. This was said before by the Saudi government three years ago and there was an outrage by a lot of people across the globe in

the Muslim country saying that the (Harem) belongs to all Muslims. But Saudi Government did take stringent measures this time to see that the

local Hajjis will go. Even I, who live 35, 40 miles away from Mecca, cannot go. And I could even be arrested or detained if I go without a permit.

So they did try in (inaudible). I mean (inaudible) to be I don't think they were illegal but those who go without forms of permits by to 400,000.

But you cannot do that with people coming from outside.

But I think that is an eye opening, a water shed and I do believe that as preparations start for next year's Hajj there'll be a lot of (inaudible) to

be done and the number of pilgrims will be taken into consideration. Because we cannot afford to have another incident because it mars the

reputation of the country but also causes sadness. Remember we people who live in Muscat and (inaudible) obliged to serve the pilgrims and we,

ordinary people (inaudible). And in all honesty the (inaudible), everything on a wall footing right from the word go. All ministries and

all that this happened.

GORANI: All right, Khalid .

AL MAEENA: And what makes it worse is it happened 10 days.

GORANI: All right, Khalid Al Maeena, thanks very much, the Editor at Large for the Saudi Gazette Newspaper joining us from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Where

it is very late in the evening there so thank you very much.

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GORANI: Well of course, we were talking soul searching, about tough questions that Saudi Arabia's going to have has to answer. A little bit

later I'll speak with a leading Muslim figure here in Britain who's performed the Hajj for his thoughts.

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GORANI: Now to the United States where Pope Francis made history today. He's been doing that quite a lot in America. He became the first Pontiff

ever to address congress. Later this hour, the Pope heads to New York for the first leg of his U.S. tour.

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GORANI: And I should have said for the next leg because his first was in Washington. Earlier Pope Francis delivered a speech that did not shy away

from sensitive issues. The Pope touched on immigration, yet again the environment, the death penalty as well was brought up. He also urged

congress to confront religious extremism and violence.

POPE FRANCIS: A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of our religion, and ideology, or an economic system. While

also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. [Applause]

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GORANI: Francis also touched on the migration crisis, challenging Europe and immigrants, seeking to reach the United States. The Pope urged congress

and all Americans to welcome outsiders.

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POPE FRANCIS: I say this to you, as a son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descendants from immigrants. Tragically the rights of

those who were here belong before us were not always respected.

GORANI: Pope Francis then emerged on to the balcony of the capitol to offer a blessing to the massive crowds. Yet another rock star welcome. There you

see Joe Biden, the U.S. President, and John Boehner the speaker of the house. A number of members of congress including as I mentioned the house

speaker visibly moved, shedding tears. Perhaps not for the first time in public for John Boehner.

A lot more to come this evening.

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GORANI: We will be discussing the crisis at Volkswagen.

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GORANI: Showing no sign of slowing down and vehicles in Europe could now be improved. We'll bring you all the latest.

Also outrage in the West Bank over the shooting death of a young Palestinian woman. We'll look at differing accounts of what happened

exactly at an Israeli checkpoint.

We'll be right back.

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GORANI: The scandal surrounding Volkswagen is showing no signs of abating and there are indications that vehicles right here in Europe were involved.

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GORANI: Germany's transport minister says VW has admitted that vehicles in Europe were manipulated as well. And that follows the discovery that diesel

cars in the United States were fitted with devices designed to cheat on emissions tests.

Alex Dobrindt says he is not sure how many of the 11 million cars affected worldwide are in Europe.

ALEXANDER DOBRINDT, GERMAN TRANSPORT MINISTER: (As translated) we were told the cars in Europe with 1.6 and 2.0 liter diesel engines are also affected

by the manipulations. We will continue to work closely with VW about which vehicles are affected.

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GORANI: Well let's cross over live now to Maggie Lake, she is there. This is just an unbelievable scandal for VW. It's admitting that it's cheated

and that it could have infected Europe. Tell us about the possible scenarios here.

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes I mean Hala, this is very serious and you've seen that reaction. It is not only showing up in the

stocks, it is dragging broader global stock markets down.

Let's look at VW stock to begin with. It has stabilized, and in fact it was trading a little higher today in the U.S.

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LAKE: Don't be fooled by that. This is a company as you can see from that very painful chart that's lost almost half its value and is in full blown

crisis mode. A lot of rumors flying around today that there may be more senior managers that are going to lose their jobs as a result of this.

Reports that perhaps Volkswagen maybe thinking about tapping the head of Porsche Matthias Muller, to take over at VW.

Volkswagen would not comment, confirm any of those reports. We do expect there will be an announcement on management on Friday as it tries to get

ahead of this problem.

But this is something that has rocked investors and has moved up to the very highest political levels in Europe, Hala. I spoke to Pierre Moscovici,

he is the European Commission for Economic Affairs and asked him about it. Have a listen to what he said.

PIERRE MOSCOVICI, EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Of course it's an important scandal. And it strikes everybody in Germany first, but also

in Europe and all over the world. And the EU Commission is also concerned because we have the duty to be vigilant on the standards of emission, which

are Ambassadors in the EU. So we are in close contact with Volkswagen. We know that there are investigations as well in the U.S., in California,

inside Volkswagen in some member states and we anchorage the member states to lead the investigation and to go to the commission in order to ensure

that this cannot happen again.

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LAKE: And everyone urging Volkswagen to be as transparent as quickly possible. When we talk about those investigations Hala, the U.K.

Transportation Ministry announcing today that it is launching its own investigation into this. So the list of investigations and probes

continues to grow by the hour.

GORANI: And as you mentioned there are fears regarding other auto manufacturers, BMW stocks are down. Why would this scandal that is a

Volkswagen scandal affect BMW shares?

LAKE: I think everyone is looking at -- if Volkswagen had to rig the test to get the performance and the fuel efficiency, are they the only ones that

did that.

There was a report out in a German magazine suggesting that BMW cars had a very different emission test in the lab and on the road.

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LAKE: That they were not measuring up. BMW all day long pushed back on that and said that they do not rig any tests. And in fact telling CNN said when

it comes to our vehicles there's no difference in the treatment of exhaust emissions whether they're on rollers or on the road.

Investors seem to be pushing sell first and finding out the facts later though. BMW stock up one point today, down 8%. And it is not over, there

is going to be scrutiny on the entire industry as to what exactly is going on with the emissions and whether this is an industry that should be self-

policing itself. I think the answer you're going to find there is no.

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GORANI: OK, Maggie Lake, live in New York. Thanks very much.

LAKE: Sure thing. GORANI: Quickly some -- let's bring you the latest from Washington with

live images where Pope Francis is preparing to depart the City after a historic visit.

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GORANI: As we were discussing there some live images with well wishes and fans were expecting to speak with our John Allen, our senior Vatican

analyst any moment.

Just to bring you up to date on the Pope's schedule. He is right now speaking with the people assembled outside of the Vatican embassy in

Washington, D.C.

In just a few minutes he's expected to depart for Joint Base Andrews, that's where his plane will take off, and take them to John F. Kennedy

International airport. From there he will in fact conduct evening prayers at St. Patrick's Cathedral, that's expected at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time,

which is 11:45 p.m. our time and almost 1:00 a.m. Central European time. So for all you night owls you can catch that on CNN.

[15:20:09] John Allen is accompanying Pope Francis. He traveled -- will be traveling shortly in the Papal motorcade as it begins to make its way from

Washington to Joint Base Andrews to Maryland.

So, John, a long day for the Pope.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: It has been indeed been a long day for the Pope, Hala. Of course, he began this day leaving the residents in

Washington where he is staying, the residence of the Papal Ambassador here in the United States by greeting people to symbol that side (inaudible)

building called the (inaudible).

Then went to the capital building for a historic, first ever address by a Pope to a joint session of congress. To a what has to be said by Washington

standards a fairly rapturous reception in the main chamber of the house.

Laid out a speech that went on for almost 40 minutes. A very sort of detailed analysis of policy challenges facing the United States, a wide

range of issues. When he finished with congress he then went to a prayer service, in St. Patrick's Cathedral in the heart of urban Washington. And

then had lunch with a group of almost 200 homeless person.

And he's now getting ready of course to head out to Andrews air force base to catch the papal plane to fly to New York where he's still not done

because he's got a vesper service tonight at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York with a group of clergy, religious and seminarians.

So an extraordinarily intense day for the Pope on his second full day in the United States. I am swift remembering Hala that all of this is coming

after three jam packed days in Cuba. So for a 78-year-old Pope who suffers from sciatica and is missing a piece of (inaudible) this has been a

workout. But there has been no indication that Francis has been hobbled by it.

GORANI: Yes, we did notice a bit of a limp and that is caused by sciatica which is not a serious medical condition but it can - I've suffered from

sciatica in the past and it does make you walk with a little bit more difficulty.

Let's talk a little bit about the themes he brought up at the joint meeting of congress. Yet again immigration yet again saying people who made this

country great all came from somewhere. Those who were here before weren't treated necessarily very well. The environment, et cetera. What kind of

reception did he get on Capitol Hill?

ALLEN: Well, because Hala there we're also those -- the points you just mentioned of course would play the best with the political west, the

Democrats in the states. But there was also some points in there for the right.

He talked about the importance of defending life from the very beginning, which was taken as an anti-abortion statement. (Inaudible) strong cheers

from the Republican chamber. He also talked about the defense of marriage. But I think in general most people took this not as a kind of political

manifesto, but as a moral statement of conscience.

Indeed it was sort of - you know my colleague covers congress and covers the White House all the time was saying (inaudible) in perhaps the most

politically pulverized city on the face of the earth and the most polarized spot within that town, the whole of congress. So it was a kind of - rare

moment of bi-partisan concord.

Beyond that, I think it was fascinating. The Pope chose to lift up four Americans as kind of role model that his message. Abraham Lincoln and

Martin Luther King, both non-catholic. And then two Catholics, (inaudible) the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement Thomas famed for a passion for

the (inaudible). And Thomas Merton, (inaudible) Monk, famed for his commitment to enter religious dialogue and the peace. (Inaudible) Vietnam

War and so on.

And as for a Pope who has sometimes been labeled as anti-American, this was his way of saying, listen, there are plenty of Americans who share my

values.

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GORANI: John Allen, our senior Vatican analyst, thanks very much there. Taking us back to the joint meeting of congress where John was saying both

sides seem to be at least for one brief fleeting moment in agreement.

Certainly this Pope Francis, this people, personality, if he's not able to bring the two sides together, even for a few minutes, then I guess nobody

is. There you have it. This was just a few hours ago this morning on Capitol Hill.

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GORANI: A lot more to come on our top story this hour.

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GORANI: Saudi Arabia will have to face some pretty tough questions about how to make the Hajj safe once and for all. A leading Muslim figure here in

London joins me next.

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[15:26:34] GORANI: Let's return now to our top story; that horrific stampede at the Hajj that killed 717 pilgrims. It is the deadliest tragedy

at the annual Muslim pilgrimage in a quarter of a century. I'm joined now by Miqdaad Versi, he's the Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim

Council of Britain. You've performed Hajj, I understand, before.

When you heard the news, even though Saudi Arabia had made many improvements to that area, where the stoning of the devil takes place,

three pillars, they've made them bigger, they've added decks et cetera, and yet this still happened. What went through your mind?

MIQDAAD VERSI, ASSISTANT SECRETARY GENERAL, MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN: It was the tragedy, it was very disappointing that this had happened and very

worrying that you know people that I know may have been in that situation and may have died or been injured.

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GORANI: Do you know of any Britain's who may have lost their lives today? Have you - have you had any confirmation of that?

VERSI: No. We at the Muslim Council of Britain have talked to a number of Hajj groups from the U.K., but so far we haven't heard of any casualties so

far.

GORANI: All right. Now let's talk a little bit about what it is like being there. You've done it. Describe the scene a little bit. This is the fifth

and last day of the Hajj, it's the last ritual before people usually leave the area. What is it like being in the crowd?

VERSI: I mean one thing that is quite powerful is that you have the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the white and the black, everybody

wearing two sheets of - two sheets of white. And everyone is wearing the same thing and doing the same thing together. That idea of unity being

altogether and doing the same thing and commemorating something that happened a long time ago as part of your faith, something that is sort of a

pillar of your faith is very empowering and very spiritual for the people involved.

And when you're coming there and your - the aim is for you to throw seven stones at each of the pillars, the idea of that is to throw away your

vices. These spiritual ideas are very important. And play a major role in people's lives.

GORANI: But when you're in the crowd, I mean did you in your case when you were there, do you get the sense it is overcrowded? Do you get the sense

that the groups need to be a little bit smaller because the numbers are increasing every year.

VERSI: Yes, over 3 million people this year, of course it is quite crowded. There are a lot of people. But to be honest, when I went two years ago, I

was surprised at how much better organized it was than when I went previously seven years ago. It looked like they'd had people and police in

each of these areas and it was one way and they ensured that no one was able to go back and they were very strong about it. And clearly there must

have been something that's gone wrong this time that didn't happen in previous years.

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GORANI: All right, well we know an investigation is under way. Thank you, Miqdaad Versi, of the Muslim Council of Britain for joining us live from

London, we appreciate your time this evening.

This is The World Right Now. Later this hour, Pope Francis is set to begin the second leg of his U.S. tour.

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GORANI: We expect a live departure ceremony anytime now.

Also, outrage in the West Bank over the shooting death of a young Palestinian woman. We'll be right back.

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[15:32:16]

GORANI: Tragic scenes today in Saudi Arabia at least 717 pilgrims were killed in a stampede at the Hajj.

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GORANI: Officials say a surge in the crowd caused people to fall during the stoning of the devil ritual outside of Mecca. Iran's supreme leader says

the Saudi government should be held responsible.

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GORANI: Pope Francis has wrapped up his trip to Washington and is soon to take off for New York on the next leg of his U.S. Trip.

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GORANI: These are live images coming in to us from outside Washington where the papal plane is expected to take off around 4:00 p.m. Eastern, that's

about half an hour from now. Earlier today Francis made history as the first Pope to address a joint session of congress.

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GORANI: Nigeria's military says its forces have rescued 241 women and children during a raid on two Boko Haram camps.

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GORANI: The Nigerian military says dozens of Boko Haram militants were arrested during that operation.

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GORANI: Now to this story. Israel is defending the shooting death of a Palestinian teenager at a West Bank check point. It says the 18-year-old

woman had attempted to lunge at soldiers with a knife. But a witness disputes that. Saying she was shot in cold blood. As Oren Liebermann

reports photos from the scene don't conclusively support either side, take a look.

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OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hundreds turned out in Hebron for funeral of a Hadeel al-Hashlamun calling for revenge as they carried her

body down the street.

The Palestinian teenager was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers at the Hebron checkpoint Tuesday morning. The IDF says she set off the metal

detector but refused to stop when soldiers told her to.

The IDF says she then pulled out a knife while moving toward the soldiers at which point the soldiers opened fire.

The IDF provided this picture of the knife. But an eyewitness disputes that account saying al-Hashlamun was surrounded by soldiers and standing still.

Pictures from the checkpoint show soldiers pointing their guns at a woman covered in black said to be al-Hashlamun while she appears to stand still.

CNN could not independently verify these pictures.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (As translated) The number of soldiers became six, aiming their weapons at her and screaming at her. I told them, give me a

minute to speak to her but they refused. Then one of the soldiers sniped and shot her left leg. So she fell on the ground and then he shot her right

leg. Then seconds later he fired four bullets at her.

LIEBERMANN: Palestinian Human Rights group Youth Against Settlements released these still photos of the incident. After al-Hashlamun was shot

she was taken to a hospital where she died of her wounds.

Her death comes at a time of soaring tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and very much adds to that tension and anger. Israel had closed

access to the West Bank and Gaza and restricted access to the old city of Jerusalem because of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

[15:35:06]

LIEBERMANN: Israel says the restrictions are for security reasons. But Palestinian and Arab leaders say the measures are "an attack on one of the

holiest sites in Jerusalem known to Muslims as Al Haram Al Sharif, the noble sanctuary and the Jews as the Temple mount."

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LIEBERMANN: It is also the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha. Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.

GORANI: Let's return now to that deadly stampede at the Hajj. It is just the latest tragedy to strike the pilgrimage.

You'll remember less than two weeks ago there was a powerful storm it toppled a construction crane and it sent it crashing through the roof of

the grand mosque in Mecca and that killed more than 100 people.

In 2006, there was another stampede killed 363 people during the stoning ritual in Mina. Hundreds have been killed in past years during other

ceremonies, the deadliest incident. 1990. When more than 1400 pilgrims died in a huge stampede in Mina after a ventilation system in a tunnel failed.

But this wasn't supposed to happen because Saudi Arabia spent billions of dollars trying to improve the infrastructure. They have 100,000 police

officers and security officials positioned everywhere around there to make sure that the flow of people does not end up in a stampede and tragedy

such as the one we saw today.

Our next guest works for a charity her in the United Kingdom that helps pilgrims prepare for the Hajj. Farhan Khalid is a spokesperson for the

Association of British Hujjaj. Thanks for being with us.

First of all, you've been to Mecca, correct?

FARHAN KHALID, SPOKESPERSON FOR ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH HUJJAJ: Yes.

GORANI: Now, when you heard the news, and presumably you've also performed the stoning of the devil ritual et cetera, what did you think? When were

you there?

KHALID: To be honest the news is devastating and our hearts and our souls goes out to all those who have been affected.

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KHALID: What we find a situation which is in recent years is unprecedented. Since 2006, where we had a number of casualties due to a stampede Saudi

Arabia as you rightly said before invested billions of dollars into security measures, into safety measures, into the infrastructure of the

whole Hajj. And since doing this in 2006, there have been no incidents whatsoever, no major incidents in which there's been casualties.

Today unfortunately nearly a decade later, we've had a huge incident and I think we cannot really conclude anything at the moment. We need to wait

until an official investigation has been done as to why this has happened and to take appropriate steps going forward.

GORANI: And what do you advise pilgrims in the U.K. who want to travel to Saudi Arabia, what do you tell them to do? What kind of safety advice do

you give them?

KHALID: I think that's one of the things that's lacking. When people go they tend to study the religious aspect of the pilgrimage and they don't

look at the health and safety aspect.

Now when you have over 2 to 3 million people converging on one place, which is the largest gathering of people anywhere in the world-- you need to

think about the health and safety aspects.

For example, when you have people from different countries, there's issues of communicable diseases to ensure people are properly vaccinated, that

they take the appropriate medicines et cetera before they leave.

Things such as when you're in large crowds, make sure you are following the guidelines. Now the guidelines set up by the Saudi authorities, when people

go for example from the U.K., they have to go with organized tour operators and part packages. And with that, they go in groups of say 20 or 30

pilgrims. Now these groups have a tour leader at the front who tells you when you're supposed to be moving, which lane you're supposed to be going

in, which direction you're supposed to be moving in. And unfortunately what's happened today maybe as a result of people not listening to these

leaders and not listening to where they need to be and where they need to go.

GORANI: But I've got to ask you this as well. I mean the numbers keep increasing. Clearly many Muslims want to go there. Is it also a question

of you know limiting these numbers?

More than 3 million people, I've been to Mecca a couple of times. You know as much as you build decks and build ramps and do everything, inevitably

with 3 million people in such a small space sadly these events are going to occur.

KHALID: Well I think if we, as I said before, if we look back over the last decade, we haven't had a major incident.

This incident has happened out of the blue. We need to find out why this happened, there needs to be an investigation into why this took place and

lessons need to be learned from this.

In terms of numbers, the Saudi authorities have already over the last few years been decreasing the numbers who are coming to the Hajj by imposing

quotas on people. For example if you've been in the last five years, they won't allow anyone to have a visa to go again to encourage people who

haven't been able to go for the first time.

There are these kinds of things in place but like I said I think the first and foremost we need to have the results of the investigation to find out

what actually happened before we then decide how to take appropriate measures going forward.

[15:40:07]

GORANI: All right, Farhan Khalid, thank you very much for joining us, we appreciate it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KHALID: Not a problem, thanks.

GORANI: Now you can go to my Facebook page, Facebook.com/halagoranicnn. Tell us your stories for instance if you've performed the Hajj, what you

think of this story, this tragic story. 717 people dead, imagine the number of people mourning today. Facebook.com/halagoranicnn.

Balkan neighbors, Croatia and Serbia, are trading insults and embargoes at each other.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: More than 44,000 migrants have crossed into Croatia from Serbia in the last few weeks and relations between the two countries are getting very

chilly indeed. Croatia barred Serbian registered vehicles from entering the country and Serbia responded by stopping goods and cargo materials.

Croatian Prime Minister, Zoran Milanovic, did not mince words when he talked about this spat.

ZORAN MILANOVIC, CROATIAN PRIME MINISTER: (As translated) Only a small move by Serbia stands between this and full normalization. But I cannot and will

not allow them to make fools out of us and send everyone, absolutely everyone to Croatia because that could be stopped today if there was will

to do so and if they can control their own country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Neighboring Hungary voted against the European plan to introduce mandatory quotas on resettling refugees with Prime Minister Viktor Orban

rejecting what he called Germany's "moral imperialism over the crisis."

I'm joined now by Hungarian Government Spokesperson, Zoltan Kovacs, thanks you being with us once again.

So what is Hungary prepared to do here? Because some are preparing legal challenges to this plan to resettle migrants across Europe. Is Hungary

prepared to go down that route?

ZOLTAN KOVACS, HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON: Well that should be cleared out during the upcoming weeks, maybe months.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KOVACS: But fortunately at the summit yesterday, the quota didn't come up as a separate issue and we believe that that's right because even the

debate about a quota was a waste of time in face of what we are -- we have to face actually on the ground and that is the influx of hundreds of

thousands of people to the European Union.

So finally Heads of States were able to talk about real issues, among them, about the six points actually Prime Minister Orban has offered to the

summit. Five of them accepted. Unfortunately one, probably the most important, not yet, achieved, and that is border protection in Greece.

GORANI: Now let me ask you though about this plan because a qualified majority vote has essentially made it the plan that the European Union will

adopt. What is Hungary prepared to do now once it goes into effect? How many migrants or refugees will Hungary take in?

KOVACS: Yet again, you have to really understand the perspectives of Hungary and not only Hungary but the central European countries and also

Finland which abstained. And that is -- it is useless to talk about quotas until you know how many people you have to distribute over the European

Union.

Why talk about 120 plus 60 or 40 when (inaudible) Hungary has witnessed the influx of 240,000 people this year. And the Germans are expecting 800,000.

So the math won't add up. And as a matter of fact again, the first step is missing here.

GORANI: I understand but Mr. Kovacs, this is the number that they've agreed on. So this is the number and I don't have to tell you this, there was

40,000 agreed on in June, now it's 120,000. The total is 160,000. It's not every single refugee and migrant who enters Europe but this is the number

that they've agreed to resettle fairly, some countries will say, across Europe. Is Hungary willing to buy into that plan at least?

KOVACS: Again we respect the decision but still there's a couple of things we have to look into. And that is back in June the heads of state which

cannot be overwritten actually very easily by the commission or even by the decision of the Ministers of Interior, has decided on a completely

different approach and that is on a voluntary quota.

But here again, the quota itself is a better idea by principle and is not going to work on the basis of if you like practical issues. Again lots of

questions arising with the quota. That's behind us and we are happy with that because we, right now, are able to concentrate on the most important,

the major issues here facing the influx of illegal migrants to Europe.

GORANI: OK, Zoltan Kovacs is the Hungarian Government Spokesperson, thanks for joining us this evening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: We will be right back on CNN.

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15:57:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: And Pope Francis is now en route to Joint Base Andrews outside Washington in Maryland. These are live images coming to us there from the

tarmac. And you can see the papal plane ready for the Pontiff.

He is set to depart for New York at the top of the hour. And his day is not over yet. He's going to be performing prayers at St. Patrick's Cathedral

there. He also has a full day tomorrow in New York City. Tomorrow, Friday. A visit to the United Nations. He will address the U.N. General Assembly.

Of course this morning he addressed the joint meeting of the U.S.. Congress, the first Pope ever to do so.

Also, at 11:30 tomorrow, Friday, eastern time, there will be a multi-faith service at the 9/11 memorial and museum.

Starting to hear cheers in the background there, perhaps the Pope not far from our camera's position. It's 3:47 p.m. Washington time and according to

the schedule in front of me here, it is 4:00 p.m. that his plane will take off for New York.

All right we'll have more of course on the Pope's visit a little bit later.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Thousands of North Koreans in the meantime have fled the south and only a few have asked to go back. CNN met one woman who said she is

desperate to return to her family in North Korean in (inaudible), but can't because she says she's trapped in the south. Will Ripley brings us this

exclusive report.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILL RIPLEY CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Every hour, every day, this wife and mother says she suffers. Living with the consequences of what she

calls a horrible mistake. The wrong choice I made my choice of wanting to earn money for my treatment led to the worst situation of my life, says Kim

Ryon Hui.

Kim went to China four years ago seeking medical care for liver disease but found she couldn't afford it. She says a broker tricked her into going to

South Korea, promising she'd make a lot of money to pay her bills. Kim says she didn't realize once she signed the papers renouncing her North Korean

citizenship, she could never go home.

At the time, she says, she didn't even know what a North Korean defector meant. Desperate to return to her family, Kim says she pretended to be a

North Korean spy, hoping to be deported instead ending up in prison. Today, she's out on parole, working at a recycling plant. Kim says she is trapped

in South Korea.

Her arms bear the scars of multiple suicide attempts. In Pyongyang, I meet Kim's husband and 21-year-old daughter who hasn't seen her mom since she

was 17.

She asked why, why can't she come back? Why do we have to go through such suffering? We ask if they would like to send her a message?

[15:50:07]

RIPLEY: To my wife in South Korea don't forget here you have parents, a husband and daughter, and a socialist nation. Keep on fighting until the

end.

We show their message to Kim. The first time she's seen her family in four years. What am I going to do, she says? Kim also asked to send a message, a

tearful apology to her family. We meet once again with Kim's husband and daughter. They promise to relay her message to her aging parents, unsure

when or if they'll ever be reunited.

South Korea's unification ministry says the law does not allow them to bring this family back together. Like so many others on the divided Korean

peninsula, the anguish of separation, one of thousands of families torn apart. As the video plays, no words, just heart break.

Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Sad story. Back to the Pope, the Pope's movements, he's preparing to leave Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Take a look at these live pictures of where he will take off. It is Joint Base Andrews. That is, in fact, not strictly Washington, it's in

Maryland. He leaves behind a strong message about poverty, he addressed the joint meeting of congress today. He spoke a lot about some of these issues

that are actually front and center in the U.S Presidential election. We'll talk a little bit about how all of that was welcomed by the politicians on

Capitol Hill, and also a little bit about what is coming up for him in New York and then in Philadelphia. A very packed schedule for Pope Francis.

We'll be right back.

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GORANI: All right, some live images coming to us from Maryland. In fact I should say from Washington there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: We were showing you the papal plane at Joint Base Andrews. And right now the papal motorcade is heading toward the airport there. We heard

some cheers earlier. They were for cardinals that will accompany the Pope. He's going to New York City. He has a very busy schedule. We were

discussing with our senior Vatican analyst, John Allen, for a 78-year-old with sciatica, talk about a packed schedule.

Today, he of course addressed a joint meeting of congress on Capitol Hill. He also visited St. Patrick in the city and Catholic charities in

Washington. In about 15 minutes was his scheduled departure time but it looks like he may be just a tad late for that. And this evening he will

attend evening prayer at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.

There it is. The papal motorcade on its way to Joint Base Andrews. Pope Francis did not shy away from some hot button issues during his address to

the U.S. congress today. The Pope spoke about the refugee crisis, the environment and the death penalty. But one of his core messages was on

inequality. Listen.

[15:55:11]

POPE FRANCIS: The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly. And on many fronts, especially in each course. I know that many

Americans today as in the past are working to deal with this problem. It goes without saying that parts of this great effort is the creation and

distribution of wealth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Pope Francis there. Let's go to our colleagues at CNN U.S.A. for more on the rest of Pope Francis' historic visit to the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Vatican flag flying on the front of that car. A wave there. Amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean it just stands out. This Fiat just so totally stands out in the motorcade and the Pope's hand, outstretched out of the

back right to the crowds here who have been cheering for him. So many young people waiting to get one final glimpse at Joint Base Andrews before the

Pope departs. Let's just listen to the crowd.

So as we see on these pictures, and really it is a rock star welcome, it's a rock star good-bye before the Pope heads onto New York, I'd love to bring

in one more voice, (Sister Mary Scullion), she's the founder of Project Home which is a non-profit that provides housing and services to the

homeless in the Philadelphia area and that's where the Pope will be headed after his time in New York.

And so sister I just wanted to make sure I got you in. I want to hear your voice because, you know, it is so important to this Pope to come meet and

speak with and perhaps even wash the feet of the homeless in your city. Can you tell me more about what he'll be doing there and why this so important

to him and to you.

(SISTER MARY SCULLION): The Pope's commitment to those who are poor and homeless is critically important. Because in the past, it's very rare that

you hear national leaders talking about homelessness and poverty. But Pope Francis is shining a light on those who are on the margins of our society.

And he's shining that light in a way to invite all of us to come and take action, to look our brothers and sisters in the eye, to call them by name,

to know them as people, as individuals, and to work together to for more inclusive and us is sustainable society. I was ecstatic today listening to

him, seeing him. When he went to the Catholic charities luncheon this afternoon, he was right there in the midst of people who were homeless, the

volunteers, and you know the great leaders and Catholic social services. You know with no barrier but really warm, contact, right there with the

people. And it was just an amazing, beautiful gesture.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you are humble yourself. But let me just brag on you. You've been working, doing this sort of work for 30 years. And

I know you say it's radically changed you and it's so important to you and it's obviously so important to the man in the center of the screen. Sister

Scullion thank you so much there in Philadelphia, the founder of Project Home.

And in my waning moments with you here. Live on CNN, let's just watch. Pope Francis embark on Shepherd One, it's an American airlines plane, before he

heads to New York.

END