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Pope Francis In New York; Swiss Authorities Open Criminal Investigation Into FIFA President Sepp Blatter; Saudi Arabia Faces Criticism After Deadly Stampede At The Hajj; President Obama Welcomes China's Leader To White House. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 25, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET




HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight, Pope Francis in New York.


GORANI: The Pontiff calls on world leaders to work together and pays a visit to ground zero. We are live in New York this hour.

Plus, called in for questioning. Swiss authorities officially open a criminal investigation into FIFA President, Sepp Blatter.

Also Saudi Arabia faces criticism this time after a deadly stampede at the Hajj. We are live in Mina.

And the U.S. President welcomes China's leader to the White House, but doesn't shy away from tough issues.


GORANI: Hello everyone, I'm Hala Gorani, we're live at CNN London, and believe me when I tell you it is a busy news day on this Friday. Thanks for

being with us. This is "The World Right Now.


GORANI: The dangers of excluding the poorest people, the need for universal fraternity, key themes of the Pope's speech to the United Nations

General Assembly today in New York.


GORANI: Pope Francis touched on eradicating nuclear weapons, protecting the environment; he often brings that theme up, respecting all of life as well.

He also urged diplomats to remember the individuals most affected by the problems they are trying to solve. Listen.

POPE FRANCIS: (As translated) Real human beings take precedence over partisan interests, however legitimate the latter may be. In wars and

conflicts, there are individual persons, our brothers and sisters, men and women, young and old, boys and girls, who weep, suffer and die. Human

beings who are easily discarded when our only response is to draw up lists of problems, strategies and disagreements.

GORANI: Pope Francis there after the U.N., he headed to ground zero.

It was an interfaith prayer service that was held there, Pope Francis went on to meet families of those killed in the 9/11 terrorists attacks. Let's

take a look at some live images coming to us from New York.

Crowds gathered in and around Central Park hoping to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis. He will be heading, by the way, to East Harlem, the East

Harlem school, Our Lady Queen of Angels, in about an hour's time, but in the meantime the motorcade will be passing through some of those areas in

New York where people gathered are hoping, as I mentioned to catch a glimpse of the Pontiff.

And in the East Harlem school he will be meeting with some of the students, two dozen students from four Catholic elementary schools. He will be

greeting children outside the school as well, and then later on he will be leaving. And if you think he's had a long day so far, it does not end.

He will be greeting in that school some migrants and immigrants, there will be a prayer at 5:00 p.m., and later, Madison Square Garden for Pope

Francis. So, a big day, a long day and one that ends on yet another high note.


GORANI: Our Rosa Flores is at Our Lady Queen of Angel's school in Harlem, she joins me now live.

I imagine the sense of anticipation is hitting - is very close to peak levels, Rosa?

ROSA FLORES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Imagine the emotions going through the bodies of the people in this community, Hala. I've talked to

several of them, they're speechless, they were almost trembling.

I talked to a few women who were holding their phones close to their heart saying they were hoping to take a photographer. But it's not just going to

be emotional for the people of this community. I really truly think that it's going to be emotional for Pope Francis, and here is why.


FLORES: When we left Rome on the papal plane and Pope Francis gave his first greeting to journalists, he said I'm very emotional because I met

refugees from Syria who the Vatican had taken in. He said I'm very, very emotional. Well hear this, here in Harlem; the Pope will also be meeting

with refugees from Mexico, Honduras, Peru, from Africa. So we're expecting him to be a little emotional. Now he's also going to be meeting with

students, and so we know that Pope Francis just glows with emotion when he's near students.



FLORES: And on top of that I've got to you know show you around here, because this is a community that has a lot of need. There's much poverty in

this area, and so we know that Pope Francis has the poor in his heart.


Now here's what is going to happen. Pope Francis is going to come in and enter the school that you are looking at right now, he's going to go in,

he's going to meet with students in a classroom then he's going to meet with refugees. Also in the gym, immigrant families, those women that I was

telling you a little while ago that were hoping to get a blessing from Pope Francis. And then he's going to exit through the door that you are looking

at now and leave down the street that you are taking a look right behind me and head over to Madison Square Garden.

But again, we could see a very emotional Pope Francis and, Hala, if we know anything about Pope Francis, we know that when he is touched and inspired

by people, sometimes he throws his homilies out the door. So we'll just have to see what happens here that might inspire him to say something new

and not scripted at Madison Square Garden.


GORANI: We'll be listening. Let me ask you about this particular school, this particular neighborhood in New York. Why the choice of this school,

Our Lady Queen of Angels? Because (inaudible) Kevin Sullivan who is the Executive Director of Catholic Charities, called this his most important

stop. So what is the particular importance of that area and that school?

FLORES: You know Pope Francis chooses the places that he wants to go to, and usually it's where there's need, where there is pain, where there is

poverty, and that's what we see in this community.

Now, in this particular community there's one thing that makes it stand out even more, and that's the church that they just lost. Let me show what I'm

talking about.


FLORES: So the church that you see, the one with the green cross, this church was closed back in 2007 because of financial problems in the

diocese. And so people were actually sitting in the church, praying because they did not want their church to be closed off. Well hear this, they --

the police waited for them to finish their rosary, they were handcuffed and taken away.


FLORES: The church was then closed. So imagine the pain in this community because of that. They actually sometimes gather in a park that's here

nearby to just read scripture and have more of a spiritual gathering or meeting.

I actually met a few women who want to talk to Pope Francis and ask him to re-open this church because they need a place of worship. Now you and I

know, Hala, things like that really pull at the heartstrings of Pope Francis; when there are people in need, when you see poverty, refugees,

immigrants, children, so I really think that that's one of the reasons why this particular place was chosen because it's a culmination of all of those

groups that mean so much to Pope Francis, and it's a culmination of emotions and so we're going to have to wait and see what Pope Francis says

or if he changes his remarks even, the remarks that he's going to make inside this school because of the people that he is meeting and the stories

that he is hearing from them.

GORANI: All right, Rosa Flores in East Harlem. Thanks very much. We'll be following of course the Pope's every movement and we'll be broadcasting

live some of the remarks he might make at the school and of course later at Madison Square Garden as well.

Talk about a big surprise in U.S. Politics. A few jaws dropped right to the floor. The speaker of the house of Washington, D.C. is resigning.


GORANI: He announced his resignation, John Boehner today, one day after the Pope's historic appearance in front of a joint meeting of congress. You can

see the emotion on his face Thursday behind the Pope, we see him there he shed a few tears. He told reporters about another off camera moment with

Pope Francis. Listen.

JOHN BOEHNER, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: The Pope grabbed my left arm and said some very kind words to me about my commitment to kids and education. And

the Pope puts his arm around me and kind of pulls me to him and says please pray for me. Well, who am I to pray for the Pope? But I did.


GORANI: John Boehner will step down at the end of October. We'll be discussing this surprise resignation, what it means for the Republican

Party as well and its relationship with Barack Obama. A little later we'll be live at the White House.


GORANI: Now, other big news today. The stories just kept coming. The embattled FIFA President is facing new scrutiny. Sepp Blatter has been

hauled in for questioning as Switzerland opened a criminal investigation into his activities.


GORANI: The Swiss Attorney General's office says it's focusing on "suspicion of criminal mismanagement," among other things. And it's

examining what's being called a disloyal payment of $2 million to the President of UEAFA, Europe's football body, Michel Platini, that might be

an issue for Platini because he's seen as the most likely successor to Sepp Blatter, when he steps down.


GORANI: There are widely differing opinions over Sepp Blatter. Some think that he's transformed the game for the better. Others that he's severely

hurt its reputation. CNN's Don Riddell takes a look at a very controversial career.


DON RIDDELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's been football's most powerful man for over 17 years. As the head of FIFA, a sports world

governing body, Sepp Blatter lived an opulent, jet set lifestyle, often treated like he was a head of state.

But all that is in serious jeopardy now, after the Swiss Attorney Generally revealed that Blatter had been interrogated on suspicion of criminal

mismanagement and misappropriation.

American investigators have been probing FIFA for a variety of white collar crimes dating back two decades. And this year Swiss prosecutors launched

their own investigation into the bidding procedures for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments.

FIFA's critics felt Blatter he cultivated a culture of corruption from his headquarters in Zurich. But even though his organization was humiliated by

the arrests of more than a key dozen operates in May, he was still triumphantly elected for a fifth term as President. Just days later though

Blatter announced he was standing down, prompting a new election.

This month investigators on both sides of the Atlantic said that they were expanding their operation, and just last week Blatter's right-hand man,

Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, was relieved of his duties and suspended.

In recent days Blatter has been hinting he would serve as President beyond February, but now the future is very uncertain. Not just for him but for

the governance of world football.

The UEFA President, Michel Platini, was tipped to succeed Blatter next year but he was also implicated in the latest developments.

Much could change in the next few days and weeks and FIFA's Presidential election is still five months away.

Don Riddell, CNN.


GORANI: Let's cross over to Zurich for analysis of today's events. Keir Radnedge joins me know on the phone from there. He's the executive editor

for World Soccer Magazine. And of course was there for a FIFA news conference I understand that was cancelled.

What kind of legal trouble is Sepp Blatter in exactly right now?

KEIR RADNEDGE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORLD SOCCER MAGAZINE: Well Sepp Blatter's in very serious trouble now.


RADNEDGE: He has insisted all along that he Mr. Clean, that he is the man to take FIFA into a new reformed era but in the last two weeks his name has

come up in various investigations. And when he finished his meeting with the committee today and went back to his office he found the office was

(inaudible) by policemen who wanted to interview him about these various matters that Don Riddell has referred to.

GORANI: So what happens next here because he's not, just to be clear, he's not under arrest, he was brought in for questioning, he says he's

cooperating, so what happens now?

RADNEDGE: Well, what happens now obviously is that the Swiss authorities will continue with their investigation, and they have announced that very

publicly, and it will be up to the FIFA Ethics Committee, really, to just to have a look at the situation, and see whether Blatter is able, they

feel, to continue in his job or whether he should be asked to take gardening leave.

GORANI: So is it possible that he will face arrests? Is it possible - I mean could this escalate to where he might be extradited or a request for

extradition might be made for Blatter?

RADNEDGE: No, this is an investigation being run by the Swiss, not by, for example, the U.S.. Authorities. And in any case he's a Swiss citizen, he

cannot be extradited from Switzerland.

I think it's a very, very long way from going from Blatter being investigated to the possibility of Blatter being charged with anything.

The Swiss have got a major investigation on their hands and they've admitted themselves it will take them a very long time to join all the dots


GORANI: They also spoke to Michel Platini, of course the head of UEFA. He's seen as one of the most likely replacements for Sepp Blatter, as the head

of FIFA. What impact will that have on his chances do you think?


RADNEDGE: Well this the big question almost tonight, because this -- Blatter apparently, according to the Swiss authorities, paid Platini some 2

million Swiss Francs for his work, that Platini had done before he became UEFA president, and when he was known as a sort of football counter to


Now it took nine years for the payment to be made is another matter. Platini has said that the payment was above board, that it was proper

payment for work that he had done but obviously this is going to cast a shadow over his Presidential bid.

GORANI: Keir Radnedge, thanks very much joining us from Zurich, we really appreciate your time this evening on what is and what was today another

news breaking story among many.


GORANI: You're watching the World Right Now, a lot more to come tonight.


GORANI: Muslims are continuing a sacred ritual at the Hajj, a day after a stampede killed more than 700 people.

We will look at what may have caused the tragedy just ahead.





GORANI: We are learning more today about the victims of that horrific stampede at the Hajj, but there are still so many questions about what

caused the crush at the annual Muslim pilgrimage.

More than a dozen countries are reporting their citizens among the dead. At least 131 victims were Iranian. A closer look now at what happened outside

Mecca, and once again, we warn you some images are disturbing.


GORANI: The day after the stampede, graphic new pictures emerged showing the immediate aftermath, the bodies of hundreds of pilgrims lying lifeless,

many on top of one another as emergency crews and other pilgrims stand among the dead.

With more than 700 killed and more than 800 wounded, it is the worst disaster to strike the annual Muslim pilgrimage in 25 years. We're getting

a clearer picture of where the stampede happened in Mina, just east of Mecca as thousands were on their way to perform the stoning of the devil

ritual at Jamaraat.

According to Saudi state media, two large groups arrived together at a crossroads when there was a sudden surge in the crowd. A Lebanese man

injured in the stampede describes what he saw.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (As translated) As our group started to head back taking road 204 another group coming from road 206 crossed our way, heavy pushing

ensued. I am at a loss of words to describe what happened. The massive pushing is what caused the high number of casualties among the pilgrims.

GORANI: Saudi's officials have suggested that the pilgrim's themselves were largely at fault for ignoring crowd control rules.

While Saudi Arabia's King Salman met with representatives from countries who have pilgrims taking part in the Hajj, telling them he's ordered a

safety review. But in Iran, there's outrage. That country lost more than 130 of its citizens in the disaster. Protesters took to the streets of

Tehran Friday with Iranian officials blaming the Saudi government calling them incompetent and incapable.


GORANI: Back in Mina thousands of Muslims continued their pilgrimage carrying out the stoning ritual for a final day as the Hajj comes to an end

for this year.


GORANI: One pilgrim says the sight of the carnage was simply horrendous. Ethar El-Katatney is a journalist and blogger and she joins me now on the

line from Mina, Saudi Arabia. Thanks Ethar for being with us. Where were you when the stampede happened?

ETHAR EL-KATATNEY, JOURNALIST AND BLOGER: So I was on the way to actually enter Mina, we were delayed a little bit entering, and as soon as my bus

landed, actually a little bit -- way before that you could hear the ambulances, you could hear the sirens and they continued all day. So when

I exited the bus on the bridge below me, I could see bodies being loaded on to stretchers and it was just - it continued on all day, the ambulances.

The road where my camp is, it's only a couple hundred meters away from where the intersection of where the stampede happened and the police had

cordoned it off all day, and up until midnight people were still seeing bodies still being loaded. From all day and they hadn't yet collected all

the bodies. I saw a van full of stretchers, just stretchers, kind of you know going in that area to collect the bodies.

GORANI: Over 700 people were killed. Let me ask you this question. For people not familiar with the setup there, where the three pillars are; the

Saudi authority since 2006 have established a system where it's really a one-way flow of people. Have you been to the area where the two groups

reportedly ran into each other and created chaos and ended in this stampede? How could - how could this have happened?

EL-KATATNEY: Yes, like I was just telling you I'm only a couple hundred meters away from it, literally a two-minute walk. So I was here 10 years

ago before Saudi had instituted the system, where now the pillars are kind of a four story infrastructure building, they're wide to kind of prevent

all people gathering around the little stone pillar. And like you are saying, the roads are one-way.

And it's very clear to see when you actually walk, as I did twice already, and there's one more time to walk, the streets are built to be one-way.

Unfortunately, what happens is it's not enforced so there's nothing stopping you from coming back the way you came unless a soldier or police

actually tells you not to. And because the area where the pillars open air- conditioned - kind of an open air air-conditioning, a lot of people find it easier to walk back that way, especially since the walk back is filled with

people who are called (inaudible) which are literally families who have just laid out their belongings. People who are on pilgrimages but without

tents, who literally spread out hundreds of them in the street, so that's why it's easy to trip over them.

So the intersection where the stampede happened, the roads are small and it's an intersection. What I've heard from eyewitnesses I've talked to is

that these people who were sleeping on the road lying, actually some of them were sleeping, which I think is just horrendous to think about, and

then when the two groups merged they tripped over the people sleeping. And because the rituals are so intensive in terms of you know physical

strength, people - like someone told me like if you literally push them they'll fall over because of the heat, the dehydration, the exhaustion. So

when one person falls that's it you know it's kind of a snowball effect and they all fell on top of each other.

GORANI: All right, Ethar El-Katatney, thanks very much there for your eyewitness account.


GORANI: I know you were there and it's great that you're telling us how things are different now compared to ten years ago and what may have led to

this tragedy.

Ethar El-Katatney, a journalists and blogger in Mina, Saudi Arabia, thanks for that.

Now new information just in about last month's Bangkok shrine bombing that killed 20 people.


GORANI: Police in Thailand are saying that the man you are seeing now in his identifying yellow shirt is the man they arrested at the end of August.

They are basing that on newly obtained surveillance footage. Police say he's also made several confessions relating to the crime, so according to

the police getting perhaps closer to an explanation and to an identification of the suspect and to an explanation of why this horrific

act was committed.


GORANI: Still ahead, U.S President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jingping take on cyber terrorism and more at the White House.


GORANI: We'll have a live report on what both leaders are calling a productive meeting, next.






GORANI: A series of malicious cyber-attacks have undermined relations between China and the United States.


GORANI: The topic was high on the agenda during talks between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President, Xi Jingping at the White


President Obama says the U.S. and China have agreed not to engage in cyber theft of trade secrets and intellectual property from each other for

commercial gain. President Xi emphasized that cooperation was the only way to confront cybercrime. So lots of very consolatory public comments made by

the two leaders.

Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, joins me live from Washington.


GORANI: Let's talk a little bit about some of the issues, but there are also some of the tougher issues for the two to discuss. There are currency

war discussions as well as human rights. Talk to us a little bit about the discussions between the two men.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're right, human rights did come up. The President talked about that in that joint news

conference with President Xi, and then these tricky areas of concerns for the U.S. when it comes to the South China Sea.


ACOSTA: The President saying that he wants to see even though the United States does not have its own interest in the South China Sea, it wants to

see that region at peace. It doesn't want to see these sorts of provocative acts that the U.S. believes China has put on display recently, by building

up its military presence in the South China Sea.

But you heard President Xi say during this news conference that he believes any islands in the South China Sea are Chinese territory. And so there was

no agreement there.

But, Hala, the big area of cooperation I think was on the cyber front. While they did not get everything both sides wanted and certainly the White

House did not get everything that it wanted, it did get an agreement from the Chinese government that they will not engage or support activities that

engage in commercial espionage. And you heard the President saying you know that he would like to go further, and you know we've heard this from

administration officials in recent days, they are furious about this OPM hack, the hack of the Office of Personnel Management that essentially

exposed the personal data of millions of American federal workers. They did not get any kind of agreement on that front, government to government cyber



ACOSTA: But they did on the commercial front and so the President did talk about that accord be reach, and here's a bit of what he had to say in the

Rose Garden with President Xi about that.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Even as our nations cooperate, I believe and I know you agree that we must address our

differences candidly. The United States will always speak out on behalf of fundamental truths, we believe the nations are more successful and the

world makes more progress when our companies compete on a level playing field, when disputes are resolved peacefully, and when the universal human

rights of all people are upheld.


ACOSTA: Now one thing that you heard the President say during this news conference is that actions are going to speak louder than words, that

they'll be watching the actions of the Chinese when it comes to this cyber issue in the weeks to come.

And just speaking of the human rights issue, we should point out right now just in case our viewers can hear this as I'm talking right now, there's a

big protest going on on Pennsylvania Avenue, the pedestrian part of Pennsylvania Avenue that runs along the north lawn of the White House, just

outside the White House grounds, Hala. There are Tibetan protesters engaging in sort of shout-off if you will with pro-Chinese demonstrators

outside the gates of the White House. And so the human rights issues that the Obama administration have raised on numerous occasions sort of playing

out on the front lawn of President of the United States.


GORANI: All right, yes, we can sort of hear, I think perhaps our viewers can as well, a few sort of more like distant voices on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Let me ask you though about the big political news of the day, John Boehner, the speaker of the house resigning. It was a total surprise for

many people, even it seems members of the Republican leadership. What was the reaction at the White House? How will this change the President's

relationship with Republicans on Capitol Hill?


ACOSTA: Well, and I should point out Hala, it had an immediate impact on this Rose Garden news conference.

I saw Secretary of State, John Kerry, explaining to a Chinese official, look our speaker of the House of Representatives have stepped down, it may

delay things a little bit when it comes to this news conference.


ACOSTA: So, it had an immediate affect just on the Diplomatic theatre that we were watching in the Rose Garden that was about to unfold.

But you heard the President say during this news conference that he respects John Boehner, likes John Boehner, called him a patriot, said he

loves America. But he said, what a lot of people say here in Washington and that is House Speaker, John Boehner just had a difficult time controlling

his conservative caucus

And Hala, just for international viewers to understand the magnitude of this, John Boehner announced that he is stepping down as speaker of the

house just about a week -- less than a week before the U.S.. Government runs, technically runs out of money and does not have money appropriated

for the next fiscal year. And so they are looking at the prospect of a government shutdown occurring in about five short days from now if theirs

is no intervening action. And that means that you know we may see this drama play out on an international stage where you know global markets

might start looking at the U.S. economy with sort of a wary eye, because you know this shutdown talk we saw a couple of years ago, when it occurred

here had major ripple effects across the globe. They're very concerned at the White House that that could play out once again against next week.


GORANI: All right, Jim Acosta, thanks very much.

A quick break, we'll be right back on CNN.



GORANI: Welcome back. A look at our top stories. FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, is now the subject of a criminal investigation and has been

brought in for questioning.


GORANI: Switzerland's Attorney General's office says the investigation will focus on, "suspicion of criminal mismanagement."


GORANI: Also among our top stories, Pope Francis visited ground zero in New York.


GORANI: He held an interfaith prayer service and met with victims of 9/11 families. We expect Pope Francis to travel to a school in East Harlem, any

minute now, we'll bring you that live when it happens.

In fact here are some live images coming to us of people hoping to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis a little bit later when he drives through Central

Park after his visit to that East Harlem School in and around Central Park, lining the streets, lining the areas around the park, hoping perhaps, to

see Pope Francis on his -- the second leg of his U.S. Tour.


GORANI: Also among our top stories, the last British residents in Guantanamo Bay, is set to be freed by American authorities.

Shaker Aamer has been held at the military prison for more than 13 years. He was accused of recruiting for Al Qaeda, he was never formally charged.

He has previously been cleared for release by two U.S. Presidents.



GORANI: And more news today regarding Volkswagen. It has a new CEO as it grabbles with the wide reaching scandal over rigged emissions.


GORANI: Matthias Muller is currently Chairman of Porsche. Millions of diesel vehicles around the world are involved in the investigation.


GORANI: Let's return now to our stop story, Pope Francis' historic visit to the United States. He's now on his second city.


GORANI: He hosted an interfaith service at New York's ground zero a few hours ago. He gave his major address of the day to the United Nations,

called on leaders to combat climate change among other things. The Pope says climate change affects the world's poor more than most groups.


POPE FRANCIS: (As translated) They are cast off by society, forced to live of what is discarded and suffer unjustly from the consequences of the abuse

of the environment. These phenomena are part of today's widespread and quietly growing culture of waste.


GORANI: To discuss the Pope's emphasis on climate change on the environment he's brought up the environment practically at every speech in the United

States and in previous speeches, of course. The author, the economic adviser and director of Columbia University's Earth Institute, Jeffrey

Sachs joins me now live from the United Nations.


GORANI: Jeffrey, you've met the Pope before, we're seeing an image of that moment now. You also work closely with the Pontiff Academy of Sciences, and

that group advises the Pope on the environment, on economics. So thanks for joining us.


GORANI: So you attended today the Pope's U.N. Address. What did you make of it?

JEFFREY SACHS, DIRECTOR, EARTH INSTITUTE: It was wonderful. Of course, he had the world leaders in front of him and he told them that they have a

moral obligation to pursue the common good. And he said that the international system is over-run by greed and by power, the lust for power,

and therefore it's not protecting the poor, the marginalized and it's not protecting the earth itself.

It's a very strong message, it was wonderfully received with standing ovations. And I think a lot of people were listening.


SACHS: There is a change in mood right now that we need a new direction and the Pope has helped to create that very important sense of the need for a

new direction.

GORANI: And that was my question. Do you think it will lead to action? It's not difficult to find this Pope charismatic. It's not difficult to listen

to his speeches and be inspired by the things he says, but then perhaps turning that into sort of tangible action that will really have an impact

on the environment and inequality is a whole other matter. Do you think that can happen?

SACHS: As the Pope himself pointed out, the real test of this is just a few weeks away when the World's Governments meet in Paris in the first week of

December to try to hammer out for the first time since signing the Climate Treaty 23 years ago, a real way to implement it.

Now there's very good news, I think it's extremely significant when President Obama and President Xi Jingping of China President met. The

announcements coming out of that of new bolder moves by both governments understanding that we have to decarbonize the world's energy system, and

each one of them saying they're committed to decarbonizing their respective energy systems over the coming decades. And they're aiming for practical

results in Paris is extremely positive.

We've never had so much momentum going into one of these international climate meetings, so there's very high expectations but there's also a lot

of optimism that is grounded in the moves that governments are making right now.

GORANI: Well it's good to hear that you of all people - that you are optimistic regarding the future and perhaps that some sort of consensus or

agreement among the world's richest and perhaps even most wasteful and highest polluting nations might come to some sort of agreement in Paris.

But I want to ask you a personal question about your thoughts on the man. You've met him before, what do you think makes him so charismatic? Because

people are starting to talk about Pope Francis as the moral authority in the world today, regardless of what religion people who are listening to

him, what religion they are?

SACHS: He speaks beautiful truths and I'm smiling because when you meet him you feel good and everybody around you feels very good also.


SACHS: He's speaking powerful truths that are not about the dogma of the church, for example. They're about the basic truths of being kind, taking

care of nature, taking care of each other. The golden rule, these are basics, but you know in our world today, there are very few moral leaders,

people that we really trust to be ethical and be carrying out a moral purpose.

He's without doubt, inspiring us because of the beauty of these core ideas of decency and human dignity that he is putting in such a beautiful way.

And I must say, when you read Laudato Si which is the encyclical of the Pope, it's an incredible joining together of precision science and

wonderful moral reflection. And then pretty straight-forward global hitting hard politics, we need to plan, we have to get to a global plan for our

common home.

So it all fits together and I think it's that integral approach, which is what he calls it himself connecting everything that is resonating across

all religions all over the world.


GORANI: But he must know that when he visits the United States, of course now with a Presidential campaign going on, with the Republican candidates

battling for the nomination, that by bringing up issues like immigration, like inequality, like the environment, that he is also weighing in on

internal politics. He must know that.

SACHS: Well, I think he would put it differently. He is stating issues of the common good for the planet.


SACHS: The fact that that's about politics would be fine with him because in his view, as he said very strongly in his speeches to congress, for

example, politics is or should be about pursuing the common good. It's not just a struggle for power in the church's view and the Pope's view, it's

about lawmakers for the common good.

He flattered them yesterday in congress, he said you're like Moses, you're a law giver and what is the responsibility of a law giver? It is to pursue

the common good. And I think you could see the congress kind of sitting up with pride, oh, like Moses, so we're law givers, that's not how we view

congress these days, unfortunately. We view it as a sordid affair, lots of money changing hands from big campaign donations. We know the lobbyists are

so powerful.

But the Pope was really inspiring them to think in a different way, which is that their job is not to represent the last lobbyist that gave them a

campaign contribution but rather to pursue the common good. It was an approach through the attempt to inspire them. I think it did reach some of


GORANI: Right, I was going to say -- I was going to say, there's no better way to get something out of somebody than to flatter them.

When you meet him, did you feel as inspired? I mean it sounds like he inspires you as well. You're a world-renowned academic, I mean your

expertise in terms of the environment, of sustainability are known all over the world, is he inspiring you as well and if so in what way?

SACHS: He is definitely, and I've been going to the Vatican frequently in the last three years working with the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and

Social Sciences, as you mentioned in the introduction.

What I find amazing about what he's doing and about what the church is doing right now, is it's looking for the best science. We had meetings of

the world's top climatologists, absolutely rigorous science being discussed. Co-joining it with a vision of humanity and the decency which

we're yearning for. It is inspiring, at least I find it so very, very much. And this idea of what the church is standing for, is really the marriage of

- they call it the marriage of faith and reason, and I would say it's the marriage of faith and science and rigorous thinking is a wonderful

combination right now, because it's really saying, we need the science to tap into what will be good for humanity.


SACHS: It's not science for science sake, but it is rigorous science for the sake of trying to find the common good and I think that this is an

extremely important urgent message, and it's resonating.

By the way, religious leaders across so many faiths have come to the Vatican in the meetings that I've been participating in, Muslim leaders,

Jewish leaders, Buddhist leaders, Hindu leaders, because they're also inspired and drawn to this idea that we're really looking for a worldwide

ethic that transcends any individual religion.


GORANI: All right, well certainly in more areas than one we would need that. Jeffrey Sachs, thank you very much for joining us from New York. We

appreciate your time this evening on CNN.

And to our viewers, you can weigh in also on this story and others, you can go to And there you can tell us what you think

about this papal visit and what stories you'd like us to cover and your opinion on the stories we have covered as well. There were many today.

Lots of breaking news and there is still a lot more to come after a break.


GORANI: Allegations of bribery and corruption, I'll ask my next guest whether what some people are saying is true, that Sepp Blatter's FIFA is

riddled with fraud. That is next.




GORANI: Let's turn back now to one of our top stories this hour, as FIFA continues to become even more entangled in legal problems. Even on his way

out the door the organizations Sepp Blatter has been dealt a new blow.


GORANI: Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into him personally. It comes as allegations of corruption surround the

organization including the Qatar 2022 World Cup,


GORANI: World Cups like that generate billions of dollars in revenue and pull in hundreds of millions of viewers from around the world. That is why

the spotlight hits FIFA so harshly. Let's get more from Gavin Hamilton, he's the editor of World Soccer Magazine and he joins me now via Skype.

Let me first ask you Gavin about the two issues that the Swiss investigators are looking into. One the awarding of TV rights in the

Caribbean through Jack Warner, and - but then the other is a payment to Michel Platini who is the head of EUFA who is trying to replace Sepp

Blatter when he steps down in a few months. So let's talk a little about what impact all of this could have.

GAVIN HAMILTON, EDITOR, WORLD SOCCER MAGAZINE: Sure, I mean I think the story about Jack Warner we've known about for a few weeks, it's a contract

that Blatter signed with Warner, agreeing the T.V. rights for the World Cup.


HAMILTON: Which Warner then went and sold on for a large amount of money and made a huge personal profit from. Blatter is now entangled in that


But the more interesting story I think is this alleged payment to Michel Platini the European President who is Blatter's former protege, the man who

is planning to succeed Blatter as President when Blatter steps down in February.

Platini received this payment for work that he - he conducted for Blatter and FIFA between 1999 and 2002 but he only received the payment in 2011.

Nine years after he did the work for Blatter.

And that's the crucial question. Why did it take so long for him to receive this money? And 2011 was when Blatter stood for re-election as FIFA

President and was elected unopposed partly because Michel Platini agreed not to stand against him.

[15:50:12] GORANI: So Gavin, this sounds like this may be a big issue for Michel Platini. Of course in the next few months presumably we'll get even more

details about what exactly Swiss investigators are looking into.

We've heard from Michel Platini, what did he have to say?

HAMILTON: Well he's a - he's issued a statement saying that was a contract that he had with FIFA to carry out work as a consultant between 1999 and

2002, before he was elected to the EXCO, the FIFA Executive Committee in 2002.


HAMILTON: What he hasn't explained is why there was this nine-year delay for payment for this work. I mean I don't know many people or many

organizations that wait nine years before they pay people. So it's an extraordinary situation.

Platini has said that it's all above board and he can explain everything. What he hasn't done is explain this 9 year gap between doing the work and

being paid for the work. And that's the central issue that he has to answer questions about.


GORANI: So, could this hurt his chances? I mean clearly it's going to have some sort of impact?

HAMILTON: Yes, because Platini is presenting himself as the man who can change FIFA, who can bring FIFA and take FIFA into a new era away from the

corruption and clean up FIFA.

But he's embroiled in the corruption as much as anybody currently involved in the organization. So he's tainted by this, and it's going to be - it's

going to take an awful lot of explaining to do on his part if he is going to stand in an election in February as a credible candidate.

GORANI: Let's try to jump into the future a little bit more. If Michel Platini is too tainted to run and in fact replace Sepp Blatter, he's

certainly announced that he would like to do so. Who else is a viable candidate here to head FIFA?

HAMILTON: Well that's the question as we're running out of options because so many people in FIFA are engulfed in corruption allegations.

Only last week Jerome Valcke, the Secretary General was suspended over allegations of profiting from the sale of the black market sale of World

Cup tickets.

We have a couple candidates already, Prince Ali, a member from the Middle East up on the Executive Committee, (inaudible) from South Korea, a former

Vice President. These are people who've stood up against corruption in the past, but they don't the necessary support from Africa and Europe, that's

where Michel Platini was banking on support from. And it's a very open election at the moment. And we may well see candidates from North America,

and others from Europe emerge if Platini is discredited over the coming weeks.


GORANI: All right, more FIFA drama today. Thanks very much, Gavin Hamilton, the editor of World Soccer Magazine. Thanks for joining us.

We'll have a lot more on the Pope's visit to the United States after a quick break. Stay with us.




GORANI: All right. Let's take a look at some live images coming to us from the school in East Harlem that the Pope will be visiting.


GORANI: In fact that is in and around Central Park. This will be the route he will take a little bit later. This is inside the school. The school is

called Our Lady Queen of Angels, inside there in anticipation of the Pope's visit.

Mayor De Blasio of New York, we also have Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. The Pope is going to be

meeting schoolchildren and students, sixth, third and fourth graders from Our Lady Queen of Angels. He will also be accepting a gift from the

students there.

The kids assembled, they must be a little nervous because according to the schedule they are going to perform for the Pope inside the classroom. Some

of the kids will be putting on a little performance there for the Pontiff.

To the left there, as I was mentioning a little bit earlier, that is Central Park. After the Pope leaves the school, he will be leaving in an

open motorcade driving through Central Park which is why so many people are gathered there, because they are hoping to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis.



GORANI: Finally tonight, imagine a car so fast it takes an air force pilot to drive it. The so-called blood hound is making its debut in London.

CNN's Sherisse Pham went to check it out.


SHERISSE PHAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It looks like something out of the latest James Bond movie. And there's even a cute-like character. But

this is reality, say hello to the bloodhound billed as the world's fastest racing car making its world debut in London.

RICHARD NOBLE, PROJECT DIRECTOR: 0 to 1,000 miles per hour is 55 seconds, and then when we go through the measured mile that's 3.6 seconds. A mile in

3.6 seconds. And then we've got to think about stopping.

PHAM: This is going to be driven by an RAF pilot. As you can see it's not quite done yet but when it is it is going to be supersonic.

This racecar is part jet and part rocket.

NOBLE: This is known as a hybrid rocket, it's very, very clean, and 98% efficient. It's an amazing thing.

PHAM: It was built by a team Formula One and aerospace experts with help from the British Royal Air Force and army engineers. The goal to smash the

current world land speed record of 763 miles per hour.

The outside is sleek and aerodynamic, and the inside, well, we'll let an expert tell you all about it.

AULDEN DUNIPACE, EDUCATION DIRECTOR, BLOODHOUND SSC: You've got the most impressive jet engine, the J200 coupled with the next generation of space

travel. Our rocket motors are being built for the European Space Agency. And then the most extraordinary aerodynamic design.

PHAM: Next up for the bloodhound? A trip to South Africa to race on a track built especially for this supersonic machine. The goal is to hit 800 miles

per hour next year and 1,000 miles per hour in 2017. No doubt this racecar is already on "007's" wish list.

Sherisse Pham, CNN, London.


GORANI: This has been the World Right Now, thanks for watching. I'm Hala Gorani. Our special coverage of Pope Francis's visit to the United States

continues ahead.