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CONNECT THE WORLD

Britons Propose Ban on Donald Trump; Middle East Businesses Distancing From Donald Trump; African Startup: Mosound Events; The Secret Pact Signed During Vatican II. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET

Aired December 9, 2015 - 11:00   ET

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


[11:00:10] ZAIN ASHER, HOST: A furious fallout: Donald Trump's proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S. is condemned around the world,

including in the U.K. where almost 200,000 people are calling on the government to ban Trump from the country. We are live in London at this

hour.

Also ahead, what this means coming up.

Plus, Muti Merkel is TIME's Person of the Year. We are live in Berlin to hear why her position on Europe's refugee crisis is so praised and so

criticized.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.

But first we start here in the U.S. where Donald Trump is facing a growing backlash over his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the

country.

The Republican presidential frontrunner has been criticized by members of his own party, the Democrats, and even the White House. But the man

himself remains defiant. Here he is speaking to ABC News defending his position.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have people that I have tremendous relationships with, they're Muslim. And Barbara, they agree

with me 100 percent. It is short term. Let our country get its act together. They knocked down the World Trade Center, they tried doing it

twice. Other things have happened. They have a lot of -- there are people that have tremendously bad intentions. We have to be tough. We have to be

smart. And we have to be vigilant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: I want to take you straight now to Washington where CNN's Athena Jones is covering the story.

So, Athena, we heard a lot of people come out and basically condemn Donald

Trump's comments, including the White House, the White House spokesperson says that Donald Trump's comments, quote, disqualify him from the

presidency.

Also Paul Ryan says that his values are not truly conservative. How unusual, rather, for the administration and the House speaker to weigh in

on comments made by presidential candidates?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Zain. Well, we do often hear the White House weighing in, whether it's the president himself, or a

spokesman on some level when it comes to presidential politics. You don't often hear them saying a candidate by name, and -- but they do sometimes

have to weigh in.

It is highly unusual, however, to hear the House speaker, a sitting house speaker, wade into presidential politics. But this is clearly a

moment that's calling for a widespread response and widespread condemnation.

I just want to play for you a little more of White House press secretary Josh

Earnest's very strong words against Donald Trump. Let's go ahead and play that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The Trump campaign for months now has had a dust bin of history like quality to it, from the

vacuous sloganeering to outright lies to even the fake hair, the whole carnival barker routine that we have seen for some time now.

The question now is about the rest of the Republican Party and whether they're dragged into the dust bin of history with him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: And so that's the real question here, what is the Republican Party going to do about this? And Zain I just want to add for you, we have

been talking about this widespread, global condemnation of Trump's comments. I just want to show for you, I believe you have it, you can put

it on the screen, just the latest newspaper cover from The New York Daily News. This one is showing Trump beheading the Statue of Liberty. It also

makes a reference to that Nazi era poem about Germans who stood by, didn't stand up to Nazi policy then, and this is in comparison to the cover

yesterday from the New York Daily News that compared -- from the Philadelphia Daily News, I should tell you -- that compared Trump to Hitler

himself. You can see it there, the new furor showing him with that gesture that's very similar to a Hitler salute.

So, there's no mistaking that there is widespread condemnation just not so much necessarily from Trump's supporters.

ASHER: And we have even heard British Prime Minister David Cameron speaking out about this as well.

But Athena, if Donald Trump does becomes the Republican nominee, does that mean that his GOP rivals who have been condemning him, will they now

come out and have to support him?

JONES: That's the big question here, that is the key question here. I mean, the Republican Party is facing something of a crisis right now.

You have already seen Donald Trump hint all along the way, including yesterday, about how his supporters would follow him if he decided to make

third party run. He said over and over again that he may abandon the Republican Party is he doesn't feel as though the party is treating him

fairly. And so that is why you have even people like Speaker Ryan who condemned Trump's remarks yesterday, but also said that he would support

the Republican Party nominee whoever it is, and that means that could be Trump.

You have a lot of candidates who are saying, look, Trump is not going to be the nominee, so it's fine for me to go ahead and say I'll the nominee

because it is not going to be him. But the big question is, what if it does come down to him. Can they have it both ways? Can they say that he

is not representing the party but then also say, hey, you know, he is better than Hillary Clinton. That is the big question that Republican

candidates and the party is going to have to answer -- Zain.

[11:05:18] ASHER: Yeah, initially they dismissed him at the beginning. But, you know, we have seen him be consistently on top in the

polls. So, the big question, will he end up being the nominee? OK, Athena Jones, live for us there in Washington, appreciate it. Thank you so much.

trump's comments have been heard loud and clear around the world. CNN has been speaking to several people in various countries to find out what

they think of the presidential hopeful.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is stupid. I don't think such intolerant people and partial people should become presidents. They don't deserve to

become president. He is somewhat like Hitler. He was intolerant toward Jews and has become intolerant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to understand what's the real solution, but also understand the reaction against Muslims and if you act really

emotional, you may say this kind of stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We Muslims are being sanctioned with such restrictions in all countries. Is being Muslim a

crime? I would like to request that our leaders and the listeners not to put such sanctions on us. Islam, nowhere in its teaching, allows

terrorism. Terrorists are not Muslim.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: And CNN's Emerging Markets editor has also been looking into Trump's business interests overseas and finds that some of Trump's previous

supporters are now turning against him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is stupid. I don't think such intolerant and partial people should become presidents. They don't deserve to become

presidents. He is somewhat like Hitler who was intolerant toward Jews and he is becoming intolerant toward Muslims.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to understand what's the real solution, but also understand the reaction against Muslims and if you act really

emotional, you may say this kind of stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We Muslims are being sanctioned with such restrictions in all countries. Is being Muslim a

crime? I would like to request that our leaders and the listeners not to put such sanctions on us. Islam, nowhere in its teaching, allows

terrorism. Terrorists are not Muslim.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: And we do apologize, that does appear to be the wrong video piece. We will work on that and get you back to the right one later on in

the show.

Turning now to Syria where hundreds of fighters and civilians are evacuating from the city of Homs. The Syrian government and rebel forces

agreed to a temporary cease-fire to allow the evacuation. Now the rebel stronghold once dubbed the cradle of the revolution appears to set to

revert back into government hands.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: Crowds surrounding a line of idle buses, some smiling and tearful say their good-byes.

Early morning in Homs, a truce has been brokered between opposition fighters, including some with ties to ISIS and al Qaeda, others with the

Syrian regime, allowing more than 800 people to leave the besieged neighborhood of al-Weir (ph).

Women and children wait to board green buses away from what was called the heart of Syria's

revolution. And joining them are injured residents, even some fighters loyal to ISIS and others from

various rebel groups. Those who refuse to negotiate with Assad's government also join the long queue, waiting to

get out.

Under the terms of the truce, this symbolic city for the rebel stronghold will soon fall back to the Syrian regime, dealing a significant

blow to opposition fighters.

The agreement is to clear the neighborhood of gunmen and weapons carried out under auspices of the UN and Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

Though one man getting on a bus says he isn't leaving to put down arms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I am from Aleppo, and we don't negotiate with the regime. We want to go out, so we could fight

elsewhere and not have to negotiate with them.

ASHER: Another refuses to leave his home saying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): All these people that you see aren't leaving, the ones leaving are just the wounded and their families.

People are remain steadfast on the fronts. The fighters aren't leaving and the big factions aren't leaving. The ones leaving are individuals, the

wounded and those whose families are outside Syria or outside of Homs.

ASHER: Still, hundreds of others have left for Hamaa and Idlib in this pocket of cease-fire, and bags are loaded onto buses as people head

out from this ancient bloodied city that was once so significant to rebels.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: Time for a quick break here on Connect the World. Still ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could say British values is having respect for people, then yes we can all -- you can all stand up and be around this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[11:10:05] ASHER: You'll hear from Muslims across the Atlantic on what it means to be British and Muslims.

But first, from Serbia, those screams were heard all the way in Berlin. We'll look at the link between the Europe's refugee crisis and

TIME Magazine's Person of the Year. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: One of the most powerful women in Europe trying to comfort a sobbing young asylum seeker who feared deportation. And these images of

Angela Merkel went viral last summer, symbolizing really the delicate balancing act the German chancellor was trying to carry off when it came to

Europe's refugee crisis.

Praised and criticized in equal measure, Merkel has now been named TIME's Person of the Year, in part for her handling of the refugee issue.

She's been instrumental in welcoming what's expected to be more than a million -- more than a million asylum seekers by the end of the year.

The magazine cites her as, quote, her steadfast moral leadership on this issue, and many refugees echoed that. They actually dubbed her Momma

Merkel for her open door policy in Germany, which has allowed hundreds of thousands of refugees to stream into places like Munich after a long and

frequently very dangerous journey.

But at home, Merkel's stance has drawn harsh response from some quarters with some

saying that she has simply gone too far.

Joining me now from Berlin to explain the magazine's choice is Simon Shuster. He's a correspondent with TIME magazine.

So, Simon, thank you so much for being with us.

So, Merkel is actually the first woman to be named TIME Person of the Year in 25 years. Does that say more about her leadership skills or more

about just how important the refugee crisis has become?

[11:15:02] SIMON SHUSTER, TIME: Well, we certainly didn't choose Angela Merkel because she's a woman. I think it says something about the

way the institutions of power are set up in the world today that it has been so long since a woman was in the kind of leadership role and had the

kind of power that sets someone up to be person of the year, but that's changing quite fast. I'd be surprised if it is another 25, 30 years before

we see another woman on the cover of the Person of the Year issue.

ASHER: And when you look at who she was I guess competing with, she was competing with the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also Donald

Trump, another controversial figure we've been discussing on the show. Was Angela Merkel, was that a tough choice to make?

SHUSTER: I think that the choice was quite clear. You look at the kinds of challenges that Europe has seen in the past year, how European

crises dominated the news and the way that Angela Merkel stepped in and really took charge in a way that we haven't see her do throughout her ten

years in office, talking about terrorist attacks in Paris first started the year

in January, then of course the euro crisis this summer, then again with the refugee crisis I think most pointedly, and again in the Paris attacks in

November.

And each time she stepped up and showed leadership skills that I think a lot of people maybe around the world were expecting of Germany

considering the size of its economy, its influence. But this we really saw Merkel come to embody that kind of leadership around the world.

ASHER: And when you look at the different, I guess, the different crises that Merkel has sort of taken control of if you will, the refugee

crisis, obviously the migrant crisis, which you've been discussing. But as you mentioned, the Greek debt crisis as well, keeping the Eurozone

together, which crisis do you think has really shown Angela Merkel's strength?

SHUSTER: That's an easy one, I think it is the refugee crisis will define her legacy in many ways for good or for ill because it is such a

massive challenge that she insists Germany can handle. A lot of people at home and even within her own party question whether Germany can handle such

a massive influx of asylum seekers and refugees.

But I think her moral leadership on this issue at a time when a lot of leaders in Europe and around the world chose to close up, build fences, and

cage themselves off, her decision on the contrary to open up and try to manage this in an orderly way as Germany is

so good at doing, I think that made her stand out all the more this year.

ASHER: And describe the process. I mean, when TIME magazine's editors sit down, they get together, and they want to pick the person of

the year, describe the process of elimination that goes into that.

SHUSTER: It is a vibrant discussion always that starts in the fall in the editorial offices of

TIME in New York. We always do in recent years at least an online poll, and that certainly is factored into the decision, but in the end it is the

editors who sit down and really look at all of the people who have impacted the world and the news throughout the year for good or for ill, and it is a

decision they make based on our reporting throughout the year and really the influential people, personalities, institutions that have shaped the

world and our perceptions of it.

This year I think the choice was pretty clear.

ASHER: And how well does this particular issue every year do -- how well does it do in terms of sales compared to the regular issues of the

magazine?

SHUTER: I'm just a humble reporter, I wouldn't know anything about the sales side of things. We have a bit of a Great Wall of China between

us on the sales side. So, I'm not sure.

Certainly it gets a lot of attention. It is discussed and I think it is a good opportunity for a lot

of people, a lot of media organizations, a lot of world leaders to kind of reflect on the year and to think about the crises we faced, the challenges

we faced as kind of a global community, and that's why I think it gets so much attention, that it's a chance to reflect on the year that has just

gone by and what we can expect in the future.

ASHER: Yeah, the refugee crisis has really effected the entire world, but Angela Merkel has certainly been the leader at the forefront of that.

Simon Shuster, thank you so much for being with us giving us your perspective. Appreciate it. Thank you.

SHUSTER: Than you.

ASHER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up, Beijing is under a red

alert for a third day as air pollution hits hazardous levels in China's capital city.

And we're in Georgia next where old meets new in One Square Meter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[11:28:20] JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Tblisi, a 5th Century city where today modern structures stand side by side with the

ancient.

A ten minute drive up the mountain, I explored a vast landscape of canyons and a panoramic view of the city below.

It's all part of Kirsenizi Residence (ph), purchased on Christmas Eve 2004 by Swiss financier Ron Waldman.

RON WALDMAN, FINANCIER: It was my first visit to Georgia. I fell in love with the property and I fell in love with the country.

DEFTERIOS: It remains a big, long term commitment. 400,000 square meters of land.

WALDMAN: You've got unbelievable trees, any fruit you can conceivably think of.

DEFTERIOS: He outbid a Russian oligarch by offering $16 million. A year later, he fell in love with his Georgian wife Maya (ph).

They showed us the centerpiece of the property, the historic Baria House (ph), once the official

residence for the country's president Eduard Shevardnadze.

WALDMAN: It's astonishing who has walked through the doors, from the pope to every president, Nixon, George W. Bush was here in 2005.

DEFTERIOS: This entire complex has a colorful past and retains a spot in Soviet history. This house was built in 1960 for Nikita Khrushchev, the

first secretary of the Communist Party. It remained a summer residence, or dacha (ph). It is now the home to the French embassy.

Creating an embassy row was the first order of business by Waldman. The property also houses the British embassy, three others, and an EU

monitoring mission.

WALDMAN: Embassies of this magnitude give a good impression to the people and to visitors and to the international community that this is a

safe and sound place.

[11:25:08] DEFTERIOS: He has sunk another $15 million to prepare for the next phase.

A Georgian developer recently closed on this parcel of land: 26,000 square meters to put up to 50 villas.

In a cafe at the heart of the Tblisi I met with property consultant Livant Geramonte (ph) who said that Waldman needs to pick his developers

very carefully.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you buy there, you understand that this in ten years, this will be how this property will look, old property. And you

buy this promise and you need to be safe with this promise.

DEFTERIOS: A promise the owner needs to keep to make back his now decade long investment.

John Defterios, CNN, Tbilisi, Georgia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(HEADLINES)

[11:30:49] ASHER: Well, Donald Trump's comments have caused quite a splash on the

other side of the Atlantic. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has called them divisive. But Trump also singled out London, claiming that parts of

the city were so radicalized that police were scared for their lives.

Enter Boris Johnson, the eccentric London mayor who has personality like Trump and is known for his, I guess you could call it, trademark

hairdo. He called the remarks utterly offensive, the city's metropolitan police service went a step further inviting Trump to see for himself what

it's really like in the city.

And it seems that people in Britain are responding, too. Take a look here. This petition on the UK parliament's website is calling for Donald

Trump to be band from the United Kingdom. A few moments ago, let's see, it has reached -- it's got more than 215,000 signatures and it's still going

up.

Let's get the view from London now. Our Diana Magnay is there live for us.

So, Diana, as you just saw more than 200,000 people have signed this petition that would

ban Donald Trump from London -- or England, and technically the UK can ban people for hate speech or exclusion speech, but isn't it sort of rather

unlikely that they're going to ban a U.S. presidential candidate?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is quite unlikely. I mean, in terms of the petition when it reaches 100,000 signatures, then

it will go to a petition committee who will decide whether the parliament will debate it.

And on the other hand, you have the fact that home secretary obviously has powers to ban anyone using hate speech or who she considers not

conducive to the public good. But there's no sense at this stage whether Donald Trump enters the UK or not is remotely on the government's agenda.

I think what is important, though, is the fact that the prime minister has felt it necessary to

weigh in on these comments and say that they are utterly divisive.

And that is important at a time when Britain is really trying to engage Muslim communities to combat extremism from within. Let's take a

look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAGNAY: The man wielding the knife at this London underground station last Saturday night shouted this is for Syria, as he lunged at passers by.

But it's this phrase which has got the nation talking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ain't no Muslim, bro.

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Some of us have dedicated speeches and media appearances and sound bites and everything to this

subject, but you ain't no Muslim, bruv, said it all much better than I ever could.

MAGNAY: British society is hugely diverse, multiple ethnicities, and as Donald Trump took to the U.S. air waves calling for a ban on Muslims

entering the states, British Muslims can be quietly confident that for now no politician would say the same on British soil and hoped to get elected.

But some Muslims we speak to feel they're not being given the benefit of the doubt, as fears around terrorism generate mistrust.

Badulrahman Bangura is the Imam at a mosque in the part of east London where Saturday's knife attack took place.

BADULRAHMAN BANGURA, IMAM: You will have to make statements. You will have to apologize. We are not -- I think the Muslim community is fed up

with this.

SHEIKH AHMED, BRITISH MUSLIM: We are trying to build a better community, to come together. Not to have differences.

MAGNAY: Williams is a Muslim rap artist who converted to Islam ten years ago. It was three weeks before the terrorists bombed the London

underground killing 52 people in the worst terror attack on British soil.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even then it was quite a harsh climate. But now, there is something different. I am not quite sure how to put it. But it's

not so much fair as it is actually resentment.

MAGNAY: In October, David Cameron outlined his new counter-extremism strategy, vowing to tackle the alienation and segregation that can allow

extremist ideologies to take root. Calling on Britain's, whatever their background, to united behind shared values. But Bangura, who wrote a thesis

on the culture of alienation and extremism amongst young Muslims in Britain, says for some there is confusion about what those values are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I posed the question to some of the youth that I interviewed. What are the British values? Nobody could come back. I did

extensive research into this.

MAGNAY: Williams, too, feels the government's message does not necessarily translate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you could say British values is having respect for people, then yes we can all stand up and be around this. But like I

think sometimes we have these -- I don't know we spew out things and we say things but it has no real weight.

MAGNAY: And so she raps, to promote what she says are shared human values, a call on all members of society to stand behind them.

Diana Magnay, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MAGNAY: And, Zain, David Cameron calls Trump's comments divisive, unhelpful and completely wrong. He knows that British Muslims will be

watching those kinds of comments. He knows that they play into ISIS' hands as ISIS tries to create this rhetoric or narrative of a battle between

islam and the west and that there are some young and vulnerable who feel isolated in Muslim communities in the UK and that is why he wants to come

out strongly against those kinds of comments -- Zain.

ASHER: Yeah, and in the face of all this, meantime, Donald Trump isn't backing down. He is, in fact, doubling down on those comments.

OK, Diana Magnay, live for us in London, thank you so much.

And aside from London, there has also been furious reaction in the Middle East, too. CNN's emerging markets editor has been looking into

Trump's business interests overseas, and finds that some of his former supporters are now turning against him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEFTERIOS: In many ways, Khalaf al-Habtoor is Dubai's answer to Donald Trump A self-made man, head of a multibillion dollar property

empire. He's outspoken and proud of his achievements.

How much are you responsible for what you would say of building it?

KHALAR AL-HABTOOR, DUBAI DEVELOPER: A lot. Maybe more than 50 percent.

DEFTERIOS: A few months ago he viewed Trump as presidential material, but not any more.

AL-HABTOOR: I view him as the biggest enemy of Islam. He is a man supporting ISIS and

we have common enemy, the world, us as a Muslim, as ISIS. And Trump now encouraging them, this

is what ISIS wants to hear.

DEFTERIOS: Habtoor says he is in no way anti-American. His office is adorned with artwork

of Abraham Lincoln and he received an honorary degree from Illinois College.

For him, this is about overstepping the mark.

You're a developer of scale. I mean, an $18 billion company. Would you work with Donald

Trump?

AL-HABTOOR: No. No. Not me. I don't trust him. I don't trust him any more.

DEFTERIOS: Habtoor showed me a letter he received a month ago from Ivanka Trump, thanking him for his public support for her father back in

August, support which has now vanished.

Just eight months, Ivanka came here to outline an ambitious strategy to use Dubai, the more liberal emirate, as a gateway for the Trump

organization into the oil and gas rich states of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It appears that master plan may be put into jeopardy by her father's latest

divisive comments.

Trump's primary partner in Dubai, Damac Properties, where the Trump organization has a golf course, is standing by him, saying it did not want

to mix business with internal U.S. politics.

But cracks in Trump's overseas business adventure are beginning to surface.

The CEO of Lifestyle, a home decor chain based in Dubai said in light of the recent statements

made by the presidential candidate in the U.S. media, we have suspended sale of all products from the Trump home decor range, meaning lifestyle is

pulling Trump out of 195 stores in the region and beyond.

Habtoor believes he won't be the last to desert him here or in the wider Muslim market of 1.6 billion people.

HABTOOR: I think he damaged all his brand in all the Muslim countries. I mean, nobody will accept him, nobody will accept his brand in

any country.

DEFTERIOS: And Habtopor's future plans, including this $3.5 billion project, seem unlikely to

include a certain Donald Trump.

John Defterios, CNN, Dubai.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: Let's take you to Beijing now where the city has issued its first ever red alert for air pollution. Much of the Chinese capital shut

down Tuesday, crippled by smog. You see it there. Schools were closed, along with construction sites. And number of cars allowed on the road has

actually been restricted.

The U.S. embassy in Beijing recorded the air quality index in the city at 250. And that's a level that is classified as very unhealthy.

Meanwhile in Paris, delegates from around the world are making a final push for an international agreement to slow global warming. U.S. Secretary

of State John Kerry expressed optimism about the prospects of a deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[11:40:04] JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We can find a way to summon the shared resolve that we need to tackle this shared threat. I'm

confident of that. I'm confident we can rise above the debates that have dragged us down. And together, we have the ability to reach the ambitious

agreement that we desperately need. There is no reason, no reason for any other course of action.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: And while negotiators in Paris try to hammer out an agreement, scientists are searching for ways to make renewable energy a more viable

alternative to fossil fuels. Even in the oil rich gulf, there's emphasis on new, clean technology like solar power.

CNN's Jon Jensen takes us to a solar plant where new storage methods are making solar even cheaper and actually more appealing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JON JENSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is one of the cleanest, most abundant resources on the planet. But even in the desert, the sun doesn't

always shine.

Enter Christian Thiel. His company recently developed a new way to harness solar energy, even on a cloudy day.

CHRISTIAN THIEL: It is a simple box. And it makes energy storage extremely simple.

JENSEN: Thiel's box works by holding the heat generated at a concentrated solar power plant.

This is what they call beam down technology. And the way it works is the sun hits a collection of mirrors on the ground that you see behind me.

That light is reflected up to a tower where there is another set of mirrors. It bounces down onto a receiver, warming it up, creating energy.

That energy is then stored in the form of heat, typically in molten salt before being converted to electricity. Thiel's technology, though,

uses special concrete bricks. They hold heat better, more efficiently and the material is 60 percent cheaper to build, he says.

THIEL: What we have done is to develop a solution that's modular, freely scalable, environmentally friendly and able to be mass produced

anywhere.

JENSEN: Solar power is nothing new. The technology has been around for decades. But creating affordable and efficient storage could be the

next frontier for renewables.

Energy experts believe better thermal storage could also help lower costs and reduce waste for industries that already use heat, like

desalination.

The Gulf states rely heavily on energy intensive desalination for drinking water.

Thiel's box was built and tested here in the Gulf at Abu Dhabi's Mazdar Institute, a graduate research facility focused on finding energy

solutions and making them cheaper than oil.

STEVEN GRIFFITHS, MAZDAR INSTITUTE VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH: But there's a great opportunity to revolutionize the price performance of

energy storage with this technology.

JENSEN: They say it is tested and ready for the market, hoping companies will be attracted to their offer, making it cheaper to use the

sun, even on a cloudy day.

Jon Jensen, CNN, Abu Dhabi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It has been described as the greatest threat to our future And as politicians from across the

globe try to seal a deal to tackle climate change, join me and my colleague Max Foster as we host an interactive debate.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A panel of experts will have their say on the biggest threats and a studio audience will vote in

real time on the question of what can be done.

GORANI: From increasing our recycling to giving up our foreign holidays, we will discuss what we can all do to help. So, join us for

CNN's 2 degrees climate change debate.

ASHER: And you can actually watch that full debate in about, let's see three-and-a-half hours from now. It's about 8:00 -- it'll be about

8:00 in the evening in London right here on CNN. You won't want to miss it.

Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up, a secret Catholic pact signed 50 years ago is now making headlines. Many asking if

it is guiding Pope Francis today. We'll have details coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every event or celebration needs quality planning and meticulous attention to detail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Kevin Millay (ph) and I'm the team leader of Mosound Events (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Millay's (ph) journey began as professional DJ.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea for starting Mosound Events really came when I would go for events as a DJ, and my provision was one single item,

which was DJ and music, but you find the sound system was not good, the coordination of the event was not good, there were gaps.

I was very lucky to have had some very good friends around me from the beginning. And also, I got an opportunity to work with one of the big

companies then. And I learned a lot.

Things that are necessary you can't grab from a class in relation to my industry. And I put that together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since launching in 2008, Mosound entertainment has become one of Nairobi's most popular event planning companies. It has

82 full-time employees, and about 200 casual workers. Millay (ph) says his company is constantly thinking outside the box.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mosound's DNA is brought to make small sound stand out, and is mainly our values, it's the teamwork, it's the excellent, it's

the speed. It's being able to come to an event and we transform it.

David, you ready to go?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it hasn't always been easy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be honest, the journey hasn't always been smooth. I was a young guy, very passionate. But I didn't have success to

people that could guide me and show me the next step. And in that season, I made a lot of mistakes, but today when I look back I say some of those

mistakes are what has brought us to where we are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Millay (ph) says that his passion to perform opened up opportunities for prosperity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The events industry is quickly growing so fast because we have businessmen setting up here, and with them being able to

trust what we are able to do, and not even bringing people from outside to come and do the events here it's a big for us.

The events industry is dynamic. And technology is changing. Clients have different needs. So the demand is there.

UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: This driving philosophy is what has earned Mosound the confidence to plan and deliver big events by the global

entrepreneurship summit, which was held in Nairobi last July.

The 33-year-old believes the entertainment industry is dependent on technology and creativity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most important thing is your passion and not the money. Discover your passion, cultivate it, and you'll be amazed how

much you can transform Africa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ASHER: Now for our parting shots: a secret pact that is not so secret anymore. 50 years ago, a group of Catholic bishops gathered in the

catacombs beneath Rome to sign a pledge promising to focus on the poor. Today, that pledge is gaining renewed attention thanks to the vision of Pope Francis.

Here's our Delia Gallagher with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: 92-year-old Father Luigi Batazzi (ph) is the last known survivor of a secret pact that experts say

may have influenced Pope Francis signed 50 years ago at the time of Vatican II by Catholic bishops in this underground church in Rome.

Called the Pact of the Catacombs, it vowed to create a poor church for the poor, the same church Pope Francis says he wants today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I always say that Pope Francis is the new catacombs pact.

GALLAGHER: Now this pact had 13 points. And in it these bishops vowed to avoid wealth, or the appearance of wealth, including in what they

wore, not wearing rich vestments or loud colors, avoiding gold and silver. They also said they wouldn't accept invitations to extravagant dinners.

And they also vowed to put pressure on international organizations to help change the economic structures which they said exploit the poor.

These are all points that are remarkably similar to Pope Francis' agenda for the church today.

Father Botazzi (ph) says the bishops made the pact because they were disappointed that Vatican II did not talk enough about the poor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We were a bit disappointed that the council had not spoken.

GALLAGHER: The signers sent a lawyer to the pope at the time Paul VI, but Botazzi (ph) says the Vatican was too afraid of the political,

especially Marxist, connections of aligning themselves much with the struggles of the poor.

This pact is mysterious, because after it was signed, it essentially went underground, and the promises it made were kept alive only by a few.

And what we know about it today is based on letters and the testimony of those who signed it.

American nun Sister Sally, Hodgden (ph) recently addressed a Vatican conference on the pact of the catacombs. She says knowledge of the pact

was kept alive mostly in Latin America and became a foundational document for the Latin American churches focused on poor.

SISTER SALLY HODGDEN, NUN: There were 500 bishops who signed it later, most of them from Latin America. So my guess is that Pope Francis

did know about it, as he grew up in the church in Latin America.

GALLAGHER: Pope Francis has said that reaching out to the poor is what Jesus did, but like the pact, he also wants a church that is poor, one

without extravagant clothing, fancy titles, or apartments, especially at the Vatican.

HODGDEN: Even before Pope Francis all of us were trying to live this, without referring to the Pact of the Catacombs. So, it isn't that when we

had different popes we that haven't tried to live gospel poverty, but it is just easier now.

GALLAGHER: A secret pact for a poor church that has languished underground for 50 years, now resurrected through the work of Pope Francis.

Delia Gallagher, CNN, Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: Wow, an incredibly rare glimpse at those catacombs, many thanks to our Delia Gallagher for that insight.

And as a reminder, you can always follow the stories our team is working on throughout the day. You can of course go to our Facebook page,

Facebook.com/CNNconnect. And you can always get in touch with me via Twitter. You cantweet me @zainasher.

Everyone, I'm Zain Asher, that was Connect the World. Thank you so much for watching. Have a great evening.

END