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Pope Francis Begins Trip to Mexico; Premier League Update; Diplomatic Situation Dire Over Syria; London Set to Host BAFTAs; Christchurch Hit With Earthquake. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired February 14, 2016 - 11:00:00   ET


[11:00:10] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: A message for Mexico. Pope Francis traveling to one of Mexico's most dangerous cities bringing hope and

calling out corruption. We will bringing you live updates on the pontiff's trip throughout the hour ahead.

Also, clash at the top of the Premiere League as top teams face-off. I'm going to get you the latest from the ongoing drama in English football.

And rolling out the red carpet. It is awards night in London. And British stars are hoping to sweep the BAFTAs. A report from the gala show

later this hour.

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

ANDERSON: A very good evening from the UAE at just after 8:00 in the evening. I want to get you to the situation in Syria first where talks

are being overshadowed by developments on the ground.

Turkish artillery shelling of Syrian Kurdish forces in the north has left two fighters dead, that is according to a Syrian monitoring group.

Now, Washington is urging Turkey to show restraint and to stop the strikes.

It is also putting pressure on another key player in the Syria crisis, that is Russia. The U.S. calling on Moscow to work with the international

community in determining which groups to attack.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: So we don't drive people away from the table because obviously if people who are ready to be part of the

political process are being bombed, we are not going to have much of a conversation.


ANDERSON: Well, that was U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaking at what is the security conference in Munich where most of the key

stakeholders, but not all of them are talking, they're discussing, they're looking for solutions to what is this bloody conflict.

Nic Robertson is standing by. We're getting a lot of conflicting reports on the ground today, Nic. How would you describe the mood there in Munich?

All right. I don't think we have got Nic at the moment. And I think we've got a problem with his comms, as we call them, the communications

between me and him. We'll get him back for you. Big and very important story.

Well, Pope Francis is on the third day on his trip to Mexico. He is set to arrive to soon to one of the most porous and dangerous parts of the

country, a suburb just north of Mexico City.

Now, Pope Francis will celebrate mass there a little over an hour from now. He arrived in Mexico on Friday for what is a six day visit. The pope urged

the nation to combat corruption and drug violence.

Our Rosa Flores is following the pope's travels. She joins me now from Mexico City. And I believe the pope either on his way or about to leave

for the suburb where he will be holding this mass.

He made it clear before this trip that he would speak out about corruption and crime. He is on his way to what is a very tough neighborhood. How

are the locals gearing up for his arrival?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the crowds are very excited, Becky. You can see them behind me. And I want to pan over because the motorcade

is starting to come close to this location where we are stationed right now.

Now, what this is near a military camp where Pope Francis will take a helicopter to Ecatepec. But that appears to be just a false start,

because we don't see the popemobile yet.

But let me set the scene here, these people started arriving very early this morning. And you can see people of all ages here waiting to see the


I can tell you that we have seen flags of Mexico and also of his home of Argentina. Now, a lot of the conversation that is happening and going on

involves his message. What will his message be? And of course, people here hoping for a message of hope, a message of mercy.

You mentioned some of the topics that he is going to be speaking about. And I can tell you from day one he did not shy away from those tough topics

including violence, organized crime, drug violence, kidnappings. And so he was very stern with bishops yesterday telling them not to fall into

that, to avoid that part of the situation and what is happening in Mexico.

And instead, to help the people that they serve and to concentrate on helping the people that they serve. He also gave them a few hints as to

how the situation can improve. He said it is about relationships. You need the church. You need politicians. You need social groups. You need

all of these people to establish and strengthen relationships in order for corruption not to breed.

And I will leave you with this. When he spoke before the president, he said something that really stood out. He said, you know, when you have a

system that is only for a few it breeds corruption, it breeds violence, it breeds kidnappings and danger for the people in general. That is what

Mexico needs to stay away from -- Becky.

ANDERSON: And it's five past 10:00 in the morning in Mexico City there. Just looking at live pictures of the pope as he makes his way to the mass

north of Mexico City.

Just briefly, just how significant is this trip not just for those who will be at the mass today, but for the country as a whole?

FLORES: He represents hope. He represents mercy. There are a lot of ills in Mexico right now. You know, you have got, for example, the case of the

43 missing students. Those families are hoping to be not only at a mass, but they're yearning to meet with Pope Francis. There are other victims of

violence who are hoping to be close to the pontiff, to have perhaps a conversation with him.

We know that victims of violence will be present at mass that happens in Juarez, but about the mass that is going to happen today they are expecting

about 400,000 people in a suburb just northeast of Mexico City. And this suburb

is known for violence. There is a lot of poverty there. And one more thing, it is known for femicides because of number of women, Becky, who

have been targeted and killed in that community.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right, well the pope on his way to mass in Mexico City as ever in what looks to be a fairly unsecured vehicle. I

wouldn't suggest it was insecure, but that vehicle pretty open there as he makes his way through the city.

All right, good stuff. Thank you.

And we will have more on his schedule. We are going to take you live to the

mass that he will be celebrating next hour. And later on in the day the pope will return to Mexico City to visit children's hospital. Stay with us

for coverage of those events and much more on the pope's visit to Mexico.

Well, let me get you back to Munich now where we were discussing some of the perhaps main stakeholders are discussing the situation in Syria. Nic

Robertson is standing by, it's been a very tough day on the ground in Syria. How do you describe the mood there?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As one of concern. It was -- you know, the security conference here was wrapped up by a sort message

of hope, a hope that the international Syria support group, which met here Thursday night into Friday, that the agreement they have come up, with

humanitarian aid, cessation of hostilities within a week's time, which is now five days away, hope that that could be achieved. But I think a lot of

concern and a lot of questions about how that is actually going to work out on the ground.

We have heard the French prime minister here saying on the stage here that Russia needs to stop bombing civilians. The French have, in fact, have

issued a communique about that late this after noon.

We also heard a strong pushback from the Russian foreign minister, you know, sort of indicative of the tension that Russia feels, at least, at the

moment by saying he felt that there was slippage back towards the time of the Cold War, NATO was being unfriendly and opaque, that was his opinion.

But, you know, I think that the hope that is here is going to be realized, if it's going to be realized, through work of Sergei Lavrov, the Russian

foreign minister and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and emphasized today in that phone call we have heard about between President Putin and

President Obama, the White House saying that they have stressed to the Russians the need to stop bombing the moderate opposition. And the

moderate opposition for their part saying they are willing to get into political talks but they're watching to see what Russians do.

The stress Secretary Kerry here made was if you bomb the moderate opposition how can you possibly expect them to get into talks. The worry

is Russia's proceeding with a strategy on the ground that it don't want to interrupt, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nic, as one expert, though, ahs put it today Russia's grip on Syria tightens as brittle cease fires -- or a brittle cease fire deal

leaves the U.S. out in the cold.

Is that a fair reflection of how you would describe how these talks are progressing?

[11:10:19] ROBERTSON: Russia has the initiative. The United States doesn't seem to have a huge amount of leverage. We have heard from the

leader of the opposition today. And he described a situation of -- where the civilians continue to be targeted and where it is not just in Aleppo in

the north of the country that Russia seems to be pursuing a military strategy on the ground in support of

the Syrian government forces, a strategy to try to take more ground in the north around

Aleppo, but also in the south of the country.

United States seems to be -- and this is the opinion that we have heard reflected here -- floundering to find a way to really roll back this

Russian initiative. The meeting if we go back to the meeting, if we go back to that meeting on Thursday night, the international Syria support

group, there was an agreement for a cessation of hostilities in a week.

Why wait a week? There were people in that room who told me they were trying to get Russia to agree to at least taper back, if nothing else,

their strikes in and around Aleppo. There wasn't agreement on that. Russia, to a degree, is doing what it wants here.

ANDERSON: Nic Robertson in Munich in Germany for you this evening. Nic, always a pleasure. Thank you.

Well, the death of one of the most conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court is promising an upheaval in American politics. 79-year-old

Antonin Scalia was found dead on Saturday while vacationing in Texas. He is believed to have died in his sleep.

Now, since his appointment in 1986, Scalia was known for his opposition to abortion, gay rights and gun control. well, now The battle over who should

replace him begins during an already heated election year, of course. Ryan Nobles has that part of the story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A moment of silence for Justice Antonin Scalia.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It did not take long for the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to get political in the

Republican presidential primary debate.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's up to Mitch McConnell and everybody else to stop it. It's called delay, delay, delay.

NOBLES: One by one, the GOP candidates paid homage to the conservative lion and predicted that any Obama nominee to replace him would be unsuccessful.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no doubt in my mind that Barack Obama will not have a consensus pick when he submits that person to

the Senate.

NOBLES: But President Obama is pushing forward, promising to nominate someone quickly and warning Senate Republicans to not play politics with

the court.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give

that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. These are responsibilities that I take seriously as should everyone.

NOBLES: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on the president to wait, and leave the decision in the, quote, "hands of the voters" and the

winner of the race for the White House.

Rank and file Republicans like Lindsey Graham said any Obama nominee will have a tough time being confirmed.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The practical consequences that no one will be appointed that's not a consensus choice.

NOBLES: And as the president and Senate leader squabble, it will be against a backdrop of an increasingly divisive presidential election.


NOBLES: Hillary Clinton rushed to support Obama's right to pick the nominee and push the Senate to confirm.

CLINTON: It is outrageous that Republicans in the Senate and on the campaign trail have already pledged to block any replacement that President

Obama nominates.

NOBLES: The Republican candidates vowed to stand in the way. And once elected, nominate a conservative in the mold of Scalia.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the most important judgments for the men and women of South Carolina to make is who on this

stage has the background the principle the character, the judgment and the strength of resolve to nominate and confirm principled constitutionalists

to the court.

That will be what I will do if I'm elected president.

NOBLES: Setting the stage for a rocky few months in Washington with the future of the Supreme Court and the White House in the balance.


ANDERSON: That was Ryan Nobles reporting for you.

Well, still to come tonight, air strikes, ground troops, allies or enemies, I'm going to take at this: a look at the complexities of the war in Syria.

And it's a massive Sunday in the English Premier league as leaders Leicester take on Arsenal. We'll have a full roundup of the latest

football news and action just ahead.



[11:17:08] ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER: I think there is serious discussion going on with regards to looking at a ground component

on Syria because there has to be possibility of taking and holding ground that one cannot do from the air.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back. It's 17 minutes past 8:00 in the UAE.

You just heard the Saudi Arabian foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir speaking to CNN saying that Saudi Arabia is prepared to contribute ground troops to

the fight in Syria.

Well, the kingdom's jets set to arrive at a Turkish air base within weeks to join the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, that is according to a source

in the Turkish prime minister's office.

Well, as our correspondent earlier explained, the ball is in the court of the U.S. and Russia in

Munich to work we are to look at the start of a secession, at least, of this bloody war that's claimed and continues to claim so many lives.

Ian Bremmer is the president and founder of the Eurasia group. He joins me now from Munich.

We just hear the foreign minister there of Saudi Arabia, Saudi boots on the ground, potentially. How might that complicate what is already a complex

situation in Syria, sir?

IAN BREMMER, EURASIA GROUP: Well, in addition to that, we also have the Turks already sending artillery across the border into Syria directly.

The problem is that your choice for terrorists in Syria depends on who you are as a government.

The Russians, the Syrians -- the Syrian regime, the Turks, the Saudis and the Americans all have different preferences for who they want to target.

The Russians have made very clear that they're prepared just to hit terrorists, but their definition is radically different from that of the

United States and the Europeans. And we're very far from having an agreement.

You know, I've got to say Kerry could have gotten a win if had just said, look, we have an agreement to get humanitarian aid in to ensure that the

Syrians who are under siege will not starve, but he wanted to move towards a cessation of hostilities. There was nowhere near diplomatic baking of

agreement among the principle actors to make that happen. And so as a consequence it has kind of fallen apart.

ANDERSON: One observer earlier today wrote, and I quote, that Russia's grip on Syria tightens as a brittle cease fire deal leaves the U.S. out in

the cold. Do you agree with that? If so why? And how significant is it?

BREMMER: I'm not sure that is fair because the Americans have chosen to stay out in the cold. The Americans are not losing in Syria, they have

chosen not to play. It is a very slippery slope. The U.S. does not want ground troops. They don't want to get stuck. Obama does have a Syria

policy. It's try to stay out as much as possible.

But enormous amounts of American humanitarian aid to support Syrian refugees. U.S. is outspending every country in the world by a large margin

on that front. But there's very little the Americans have done militarily.

The Russians exactly the opposite. There's no Russian humanitarian aid, particularly. There's enormous amount of Russian willingness to engage


So, they are quite literally calling the shots in Syria. And one thing that was obvious from every single person I talked to in Munich is that the

only speeches that mattered were the ones from Prime Minister Medvedev, which was basically a Putin speech and Medvedev said as much, and Foreign

Minister Lavrov both of whom made clear that if there is going to be a political solution of any sort in Syria, it will only be after the military

solution has been made to their satisfaction. They are not there yet.

ANDERSON: Ian, the U.S. and Russian presidents spoke by phone earlier today about the Syria peace talks in Munich. The Kremlin says that both

gave a positive assessment to the process.

You've just alluded to the Russian prime minister. And, of course, the call between Putin and Obama follows the prime minister's dire assessment

on Saturday of Russia's relations with the west. Let's just have a listen to what he said.


DMITRY MEDVEDEV, RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): NATO's policy with regard to Russia remains unfriendly and opaque. One could go

as far as to say that we have sled back to a new Cold War, (inaudible) we're called one of the most terrible threats either to NATO as a whole or

to Europe or to the United States. Sometimes I wonder whether it is 2016 we live in or 1962.


ANDERSON: 2016 or 1962, Ian?

BREMMER: Well, look, it is definitely a new Cold War with only a few exceptions. That the Russians aren't that as important, the Americans

don't really care, the Europeans aren't really with us and the Chinese aren't really with the Russians.

But aside from those four things, definitely a new Cold War.

So, I mean, clearly, look, Medvedev is doing this -- it's a lot of bluster. He's doing it for domestic purposes. But the Russians do like it when

they get to Obama to serve as a supplicant. They love that in terms of the Syria chemical weapons deal that basically Obama couldn't get his act

together on Syria so he came to the Kremlin and said can you help me out.

They liked it when Obama had to come to Russia and talk to them about Syria as opposed to

Ukraine a few months ago after the Russian intervention.

And they like it now when Obama has to make the phone call because the agreement announced by Kerry turns out to be broken.

So, definitely the Kremlin is playing that up. And if you watch RT and news media it absolutely looks like Obama is coming with hat and everything

else in hand. But, you know, Putin, the fact that -- you don't have the basis for a cease fire or a cessation of hostilities right now in Syria.

You don't have it for about 10 different reasons, a principle one of which is the fact that the Russians aren't there yet.

We will see what happens once Assad takes Aleppo. The major problem, of course, is you are going to have a lot more refugees coming into Turkey and

into Europe. As that occurs, they're going to blame the Russians for this, which the Russians don't like. But ultimately you have got to deal

with the refugee crisis.

And the reason we are talking about Syria here in Munich is not because of the humanitarian crisis -- we have had five years of that, not many people

have cared -- it's because suddenly they are washing up on European shores and they really don't like that because they don't have a resolution.

As the German foreign minister said at the opening of the Munich security conference summit, he would consider it a success if the EU simply exists

in present form in a year's time at next year's meeting. That is a pretty bleak opening for the Munich security council. I have certainly never seen

one that bad.

And at the end, we had Wolfgang Isenger (ph) who chairs the conference basically say it

was bleak coming in. My mind hasn't changed going out. In between you got kind of have a bleak sandwich.

ANDERSON: Yeah, interesting. All right, Ian, always a pleasure having you on. Great analysis. Ian Bremmer out of Munich for you this evening.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the world. I'm Becky Anderson.

Manchester City have just kicked off against Tottenham Hotspurs, the North London team, as

race for the Premier League title heats up. We are going to get you the latest on all of the football action after this short break.

And Pope Francis is in Mexico. The message he hopes to send as he prepares to celebrate mass in the coming hour.


[11:26:13] ANDERSON: You are with Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Rather chilly Connect the World out of Abu Dhabi this evening at 26 minutes

past 8:00.

The Premier League title is -- or the race, certainly, is back on. It has been an eventful day in English football. Arsenal beat surprise leaders

Leicester 2-1 with a last gasp winner at the Emirates stadium earlier. And in the past few minutes the other two teams with a chance of winning the

league have kicked off against each other -- Man City hosts third place Tottenham.

Joining me now to discuss all of this is Tom Bushell who is a sports journalist here in the UAE and a regular guest on this show.

I have to say Arsenal left it a little late, but Leicester will be disappointed they didn't at least get a draw.

TOM BUSHELL, SPORTS JOURNALIST: They will be disappointed. This is football, isn't it? This is why we love it. This is why everyone says the

Premier League is the best league in the world. I mean, Leicester going 1- 0 up just before halftime. Again, that man Vardy, on the score sheet in dreamland again having beaten Manchester City last weekend now leading

against Arsenal.

But of course those dreams were dashed in the final few moments. It was Wellbeck who got the goal as well, and he has just returned to action since

missing most of the season. He's been out since last April, pretty much.

He has made a big impact on his return to Arsenal. And Arsenal still very much fighting for

the title.

ANDERSON: All right, that is the game that's finished. The game that's just started, of course, is Man City versus Spurs, if you're in the know --

Tottenham Hotspurs.

Both sides will be going for a win here.

BUSHELL: absolutely.

And interestingly and very importantly Manchester City, Vincent Kompany back in the side. Now that is important, because this season they haven't

lost with him in the side. He is back and that is vital for 12 game run in now to the end of the season.

But of course Spurs have beaten City this season so far. They are looking confident. They're looking in great shape as well. And they are one of the

top four sides who are very much in.

ANDERSON: Any football fan is probably still sort of pinching themselves about Leicester being at the top of the English Premier League. It's only

their third losing game of the season. But is this the beginning of them losing their grip, do you think?

BUSHELL: Well, I mean, a lot of people have been talking about is the pressure going to come to Leicester City, but we have got to remember this

time last season the pressure was on them to avoid relegation.

Now, they handled that.

I think that just having fun. And I think that will continue.

Now, what will be interesting is when it gets to the final few games and they're still in with a shout or still leading by a point or two, whatever

it may be, Claudio Ranieri, the Leicester manager, the former Chelsea manager, Leicester's final game of the season is at Chelsea. If he can

lift Premier League trophy at Stamford Bridge, that would be a great story and a fitting end to the no doubt Hollywood film that will be made about

their season.

ANDERSON: Amazing stuff.

All right, good stuff. And anybody who likes football will really appreciate what we have been talking about, because that Leicester team are

really quite something. And that man Vardy just resigned for them for three years, right?

BUSHELL: Absolutely, yeah.

ANDERSON: $14.5 million. It's loose change in the world of big dollar football.

All right, always a pleasure, Tom, thank you.

The latest world news headlines, plus Pope Francis will soon celebrate mass just north of Mexico City. We are going to get you the very latest on his

trip. Some live pictures coming in from Mexico City for you coming up.

Taking a very short break. Back after this.



[11:32:40] ANDERSON: People in New Zealand are feeling unnerved after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck near Christchurch. Now casualties have

been reported, but came almost exact five years after the Christchurch quake that killed at least 185 people.

CNN affiliate TVNZ has this report for you on that story.


KIM SAVAGE, TVNZ CORRESPONDENT: Nearly five years on, but painfully familiar, cliff faces falling into the sea, panicked shoppers fleeing the

malls, Christchurch, a city reborn, just starting to relax into new normal its new normal again shaken to the core.

(inaudible) Christchurch. People seem to be (inaudible).

SAVAGE: Evacuations followed. The slow reaction at some centers causing frustration with those on the front line.

STEVE TUREK, FIRE REGION MANAGER: We have made it clear to those managers in those shopping mallsabout their responsibilities.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought they had to close it and get everybody out after 5.5

but they don't apparently.

SAVAGE: The thought of returning to work too much for some.

Shock everywhere but it appears no one was seriously hurt. Emergency services were busy in

the minutes following the quake.

KENNY MITCHELL, ST. JOHN TERRITORY MANAGER: Involving a lot of what we call, you know, fainting type events -- chest pain, shortness of breath and


SAVAGE: It was all hands on deck in the east of the city with extra emergency services staff brought in form the wider region.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who had had chipped (inaudible) et cetera. Nothing major of serious consequence but, of course, you know, the memories

of the past obviously need to be taken care of as well as physical damage.

SAVAGE: North and east of the city, liquifaction back again, although not on a large scale.

JOHN MACKLE, CIVIL DEFENSE CONDUCTOR: Well, that was quite a big shake. We are really pleased with the resilience that the network has shown in

this event.

SAVAGE: Measuring magnitude 5.7, but just 15 kilometers east of the city, it the biggest shake for Centabrians (ph) in some time.

ANNA KAISER, SEISMOLOGIST: I believe there was 5.2 in 2013, and then prior to that of course you had the December 2011 quakes, which were 5.9. So

that was quite a long time ago for the people of Christchurch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's uncanny timing, isn't it?

JOHN PRICE, POLIC COMMANDER: Yeah, timing is uncanny but these things are a matter of nature. And we have got to be always prepared.

[11:35:06] SAVAGE: The city's mayor with some words of reassurance for its residents.

LIANNE DALCIAL, CHRISTCHURCH MAYOR: What we have to take from this is that our city is stronger than it was five years ago. There's better able to

respond to things.

SAVAGE: And all of this just a week out from the five-year anniversary of the first big February quake.


ANDERSON: Kim Savage reporting there for CNN affiliate TVNZ.

Well, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump doesn't mince his words, even when it comes to the pope. Now he is speaking out about the palal

visit to Mexico, calling the pope's message too political.

And CNN's Miguel Marquez learned that this criticism may work to Trump's advantage with some voters.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Donald Trump is at it again, staking out a position that on the face of it doesn't seem to make a lot of

sense but may acxtually work in his favor. This time it is Trump versus the pope.

Pope Francis, donning a sombrero, Mexico-bound, and stirring controversy in the U.S. presidential race.

TRUMP: The pope is a very political person. I think he doesn't understand the problems our country has.

We're going to run the table.

MARQUEZ: That's the brash billionaire turned presidential hopeful from a Fox business interview taking on the pope, or as Catholics believe, god's

representative on Earth.

TRUMP: I don't think he understands the danger of the open border that we have with Mexico.

MARQUEZ: The pope, who has staked out traditionally liberal views on everything from climate change to capitalism to the poor, is headed to the

northern city of Juarez, where he will hold a prayer service with immigrants in the shadow of the fence separating Mexico and the U.S.

If elected, Trump promises to transform the fence into a wall.

TRUMP: I think Mexico got him to do it because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is because they are making a fortune and we are


MARQUEZ: It is not the first time the pot stirring candidate has called the pope out.

TRUMP: I have great respect for the pope. I like the pope. I actually like him, he is becoming very political, there's no question about it, but

I like him.

MARQUEZ: And oh what a difference a political campaign makes following Francis's election Trump tweeted the new pope is a humble man very much

like me which probably explains why I like him so much.

So, what gives with all the papal poopooing now?

CHIP FELKEL, THE FELKEL GROUP: It is pandering, no question about that, in terms of positioning himself with that evangelical base.

MARQUEZ: Chip Felkel, a South Carolina Republican consultant and longtime adviser to GOP candidates says Trump may be crazy like a fox.

Donald Trump taking on the pope gets him attention and gets him on the radar in South


FELKEL: It's a way to try to have connection with that evangelical vote that Cruz is expected to do well in.

MARQUEZ: Trump has consistently bested Xruz by double digits in South Carolian polls, but it seems after tasting defeat in Iowa and victory in

New Hampshire he prefers to win leaving no political stone unturned.

Well, Felkel and other say there are very few Catholics in South Carolina, but this may end up backfiring on Trump in later states where he will face

far more Catholic voters.

They say for now, this is a high stakes gamble that the entertainer and businessman is making hoping that it garners him more attention and votes

in the South Carolina primary.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, New York.


ANDERSON: Well, Pope Francis is continuing his travels in Mexico with a mass scheduled to start under an hour from now just north of Mexico City.

Let's get your some live pictures, if we can.

The pope traveling to that mass as we speak. It will take place in a notoriously dangerous area. Pope Francis has urged Mexico's civic and

religious leaders to protect citizens from corruption and crime. And these pictures coming to us just a little earlier on, as I can get you live

pictures I will.

CNN religious commentator Father Becky, Father Edward Beck, joining me now live from New


Let's just talk about this controversy that the pope is courting, not least from Donald Trump, for example. But he has certainly been getting involved

in politics that being the pontiff. There are many people in the States who won't agree with him on that. There may be some people in Mexico who

don't agree. He has been outspoken. Is he right?

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGIOUS COMMENTATOR: Well, Becky, for this pope, he has to enter these issues because he thinks that they are issues of the

gospel. It is not political for him.

Immigration for him is a gospel issue. Remember, his first trip outside of Rome once he was elected was to the island of Lampadusa. The migrants

coming from Africa. He wanted to make a statement that immigration, migrants, those who suffer political hardship, violence in their countries,

have a right to seek a safe haven.

For him, it's a gospel issue, not a political one.

So, here in Mexico -- and again this immigration issue is very hot right now in the United States. He is going to have that mass at Ciudad Juarez

on Wednesday and it is going to be so interesting, Becky, because there are going to be people on both sides of the fence attending this


[11:40:30] ANDERSON: This mass in a notoriously tough part of the city, a part of the city where many women, for example, have disappeared recently.

Before his arrival in Mexico, the pope said he would speak out about corruption and crime afflicting parts of the country. He also said that

the Catholic church needs to do more, it needs to walk the walk rather than talking the talk as it were.

What does he mean by that? What can the church and should the church be doing?

BECK: Well, we have to remember, Becky, that in Mexico the church was suppressed for a very long time.

After the 1910 revolution, the church could not own property, priests could not wear priestly

vestments or garb in public. So, there's a lot of suppression of the church. That began to change after 1992. So the pope says now that you

can do more as a church -- he kind of dressed down the bishops yesterday. I don't know if you saw that in the cathedral. But he said to

them, look, you cannot be coddling with the rich and the powerful, you must be the shepherds of the sheep.

And so once again he is challenging his own pastors, his own bishops to be people for the poor. And he really believes that that is where the priests

and the bishops need to be.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about this trip because he has got a number of stops coming up, not least places that the pope has never been.

Just how significant are these stops that he is making?

BECK: Well, what is most significant, first of all, is we have had popes go to Mexico before.

Remember, John Paul II went there five times. Benedict has been to Mexico. No pope has visited where this pope is going.

So, after the mass today at Ecatepec, and you said it is one of the most violent parts of Mexico, tomorrow he goes to Chiapas, which 75 percent

indingenous people in Chiapas. He's going to celebrate a mass in all of those indigenous languages, really giving outreach to those who are on the

fringe once again.

Then he goes to where the drug cartels are on Tuesday to Morelia in Michoacan. And he is going to be speaking to his priests, his religious

and seminarians, once again those he thinks that should be in the field as part of the field hospital tending to the poor. He is going to speak to

them in a place where drug cartels rule, where there is a corrupt state government.

So, you see, he keeps pushing himself out to the fringe, ending then on Wednesday at the mass

at Ciudad Juarez right on the border and the immigration issue will be front and center then.

ANDERSON: So you are pointing out that he can, or he has an opportunity, to hit one of these key button interests, as it were, immigration, the

poor, drugs, human trafficking. He will do the environment and youth. We know he will do that.

I just wonder what sort of impact he will make in the end in a country where things are -- it's a wonderful country, by the way, but a place that

is very, very, very tough and so many of these issues are such a blight on communities.

BECK: Well, I think, Becky, just shining a light on it begins to make a difference.

You have to realize -- and of course you do -- these people feel forgotten. So for a pope to come where no one else has gone in the religious

hierarchy, I think it says to them you matter. So, I think starting with human dignity of people, it makes a great difference.

And then to say that this is where the church should be. A lot of perception of the people is that the church has really aligned itself with

the government and with the rich.

Remember, we have heard reports of church using drug cartel money to fund building projects

and the people are saying, look, how can the church be using drug money for building projects?

This pope is saying that is not acceptable. That is not who we are.

So I think it makes a difference symbolically, but I also think that makes a difference because he is going and he's saying and challenging people

that the people want challenged.


Father Becky, it's always a pleasure having you on as we close our conversation, pictures just coming to us of the pope in the helicopter on

the way -- or certainly the pope's helicopter on the way to that mass which I believe is going to start in about 45 minutes.

And do stay with CNN. We will bring you some live coverage of that as and when he begins.

Remarkable pictures there as the helicopter delivers the pope to this mass.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, an attack that shook a nation. I'm going to speak to young survivors of the Pakistani --

or recent Pakistani school massacre about how they are rebuilding their lives.


[11:47:42] ANDERSON: Well, a pair of glasses, scattered shoes and blood stained walls and floors, those are just some of the things CNN found when

it visited the scene of Pakistan's most horrific terror attack just over a year ago. Hundreds of children went to school that morning in December

2014 unaware that it would cost 132 of them their lives.

Several school employees and soldiers were also killed, gunned down by the Pakistani Taliban in an ordeal that lasted hours.

Well, despite the huge death toll hundreds of youngsters did survive that attack and a handful were recently brought to Dubai where we got a fisthand

look at how they are trying to recover. Have a look at this


SAADAT SIRAJ, STUDENT: I was thinking that maybe this is the end.

There was nothing but to pray to god almighty to either save me or give me a better place after death.

It was hell in that auditorium. It showed me just a bad place in my mouth, nearly tore off my


Two bullets in fact, one of the right hand.

MUHAMMAD ALI, STUDENT: It was so barbaric, so barbaric.

Everybody who was there that day, he thinks about that and he questions himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are the real heroes of the nation. This is might be a journey of healing for them.

SIRAJ: My heart is still injured, but now I don't think about those days. I mean, I'm okay. I just think about the good days that me and all my

friends had together and that just makes me happy.


[11:50:24] ANDERSON: A story of true resilience.

Live from Abu Dhabi, you are watching Connect the World.


ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back. It's 52 minutes past 8:00 here in the UAE.

American and British actors are getting ready in London as we speak for Britain's film awards Sunday evening.

The film Peril, starring Kate Blanchett, and Stephen Speilberg's drama Bridge of Spies lead

the night with nine nominations each.

Now, this year's BAFTAs will be hosted by Stephen Fry at London's Royal opera house. And on the red carpet outside on what I would expect is a

fairly chilly evening in London, but I may be wrong, CNN senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir is joining us live.

It doesn't look as cold as it has been in -- on some of the occasions I've been hosting this event on the red carpet for CNN, as it were.

Tell me, who have you met and what have you been hearing?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I would just like to point out that perhaps I am a good luck omen, Becky. Because it's not

raining, for once. I know you had to brave the rain on more than one occasion.

It is, however, remarkably cold. I'm just -- we had some of the earlier arrivals, none of the bold-faced names yet, but a lot of those ladies are

not wearing coats. And I have so much pity for them.

The night is going to be -- well, the night as it is -- it was hoped to be, has already been overshadowed, though, Becky, by the controversy that

overshadowed much of this award season, fo course.

The debate and the controversy over the lack of diversity. The BAFTA short-list is a little better than the Oscars, we have representation in

the best supporting actor list with Idris Elba who is pushing ahead as a bit of hometown favorite. But some of those actors who are -- some of

those black actors who are staging a silent protest the other side of the carpet from us, the other side of the barricades, they tell us that it's

not just about the diversity of the short-list, Becky, it's about the diversity of the casting call itself and the need to have that diversity

reflected on the big screens, the reality of the world that we live in reflected on the big screens.

The hope for the BAFTA academy, of course, was that Sydney Poitier, Sir Sydney Poitier, as I should call him, would be here to receive his lifetime

achievement award, but unfortunately his doctors have said that he won't be able to make that Transatlantic trip.

ANDERSON: Britain has always had a groundbreaking film industry. And there were many people who thought to a certain extent -- you rightly point

out some of the season has been overshadowed by this talk of a lack of diversity. And many thought perhaps this was an opportunity to put the

Oscars to shame as it were with the BAFTAs just ahead of them.

You are suggesting that you think that goes a bit too far, do you?

[11:55:14] ELBAGIR: Well, We have heard Steven Fry, he was interviewed by our colleague Max Foster speaking out about this. And he went to great

pains to really underplay this and say -- he called it, and this is a direct quote, pant wetting hysteria.

So, on one level you've had actors themselves, like Idris Elba, speaking out very publicly, he spoke to the parliamentary select committee about the

fact that diversity isn't just doing Britain as a society an injustice, but it is also costing Britain money.

The reality that he and his fellow black actors have had to deal with, where as little opportunity as there is in America, he says that there is

even less here for black actors, that often you have to cross the Atlantic to be recognized here back home.

So, it will have been disappointing for many of them to hear Steven Fry really try and poo poo some very valid concerns.

But everyone that we've been speaking to says it doesn't begin here, it begins at the casting calls. And that's where diversity, in a very real

way, needs to start, Becky.

ANDERSON: A very good point. All right. Well, enjoy the evening. I know it is cold. But you look marvelous.

Nima Elbagir is on the red carpet for you this evening as the BAFTAs are set to kick off. Thank you, Nima.

Well, your Parting Shots just before we go this evening. U.S. President Barack Obama and

First Lady Michelle Obama will be spending this Valentine's Day apart. But that didn't stop the pair from professing their love for each other. And

they made it on to daytime TV. Have a look at this.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Somebody call the situation room because things are about to get hot.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Roses are red, violets are blue, you are the president and I am your boo.

BARACK OBAMA: I Obama care about you more than you even know. That right, Obama cares.

Michelle, I have made a lot of great decisions as president. The best decision I ever made was choosing you. Thanks for putting up with me. I

love you.

And Ellen, happy Valentine's Day.


ANDERSON: And a happy Valentine's Day to you, all of you. I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. Thank you for watching.