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U.S. Strike Against ISIS In Libya Kills At Least 41; Alleged Planner Of Tunisia Terror Attacks Targeted; Czech PM Says EU Draft Agreement With Britain On The Way; American Author Harper Lee Dies At 89; Donald Trump Calls For Boycott Of Apple Products; At Least 43 Killed by U.S. Airstrike on Suspected ISIS Camp; ISIS Targeting Youth; Trump Leads in SC Polling, Rebuts Pope Francis; Egypt's Comedy Show to Debut. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired February 19, 2016 - 15:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL GUEST ANCHOR: Hello there. I'm Robyn Curnow live from the CNN center. I'm sitting in for my colleague, Hala

Gorani. Thanks for joining me. This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

Pentagon says it's still assessing a U.S. strike on an ISIS training camp in Libya, but says it's confident that the attack was successful. War

planes bombed this side in a coastal city near the Tunisian border.

The Red Cross says at least 41 people were killed. The toll is likely to rise. U.S. officials say foreign fighters had gathered at the site for

specialized advanced training.

They believe a senior ISIS operative from Tunisia was among them. He's suspected two terror attacks last year. U.S. officials fear he was

planning to strike again.


PETER COOK, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We took this action against (inaudible) and the training camp after determining that both he and the

ISIL fighters at these facilities were planning external attacks on U.S. and other western interests in the region.

As you know, this is not the first time we have taken direct action in Libya or against other high-value ISIL targets and it may not be the last.

We will continue to target ISIL and its infrastructure wherever it exist and when opportunities such as this emerge, we will exploit them.


CURNOW: OK, let's get more on this from CNN terrorism analyst, Paul Cruickshank. Hi there, Paul. You have your own reporting on this

particularly the links between this camp, the man who is there and these attacks in Tunisia.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: That's right, Robyn, these missile strikes hitting an ISIS operative, hitting ISIS facilities which

have been linked back to two major terrorist attacks in Tunisia over the last year.

One of those attacks against the museum in March where a significant number of western tourists were killed at the other attack in June on a beach in

the resort town in which 30 British tourists were killed.

Investigators now believe that the same cell, the same ISIS-linked cell carried out both those attacks. Was it also plotting an attack on the

French consulate in Tunis?

This ISIS senior operative that is being targeted considered one of the planners of those attacks. And in all two cases, the plotters, the gunman

actually trained near the area in Libya where these strikes took place today.

CURNOW: There's also on a broader geopolitical context explains and also backs up a lot of concern and alarm coming from western intelligence

analysts is how the breakdown in Libya is not just affecting the region, but even wider. And there's a real concern of sort of an access, an ark of

Jihadism across of Northern Eastern Africa.

CRUICKSHANK: Robyn, that's absolutely right. ISIS is surging in Libya today. They have now up to six and a half thousand fighters there. Half

of those fighters in the town of Sert. They control a strip of about 200 miles along the coastline.

And just a few days ago, the French defense minister said they were increasingly worried that ISIS when the Mediterranean calms down in a few

weeks' time, may try to infiltrate operatives into Europe.

The Italian island only 200 miles away from that Libyan shoreline. ISIS is literally on the doorstep of Europe. There's concern that it may try to

mount terrorism attacks from Libya.

There are few Europeans so far that have traveled there, but the worry is that of course may change -- Robyn.

[15:05:03]CURNOW: Paul Cruickshank, thank you so much. Appreciate your analysis as always.

Well, there's a lot of -- there's a lot to lose and time is running out fast. Negotiations are dragging on into the night in Brussels, yet again.

There's little indication of a new deal, or is there?

That's aiming to keep Britain inside the E.U. Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing for unpopular reforms, including limiting welfare payments to


He's been on a huge diplomatic effort to get other leaders on board all ahead of an in out referendum he's committed himself to holding.

Earlier the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, says it's now or never.


DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: We are in the middle of very difficult and sensitive negotiations on the U.K. question. And one thing

is clear to me though, this is a make or break famine.


HARLOW: Break that some European leaders are telling CNN that they want Britain to stay, but here's the thing, every member of the block must be on

board for a new deal to be struck, even if one opposes, the whole thing comes crashing down. It's a tough prospect.

CNN Money's European editor, Nina Dos Santos, is in Brussels for us monitoring all the diplomatic twists and turns. You have also new

information, details about a possible draft agreement. Hi there, Nina.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN MONEY EUROPEAN EDITOR: Hi, Robyn. Yes, it seems that the Czech prime minister has been tweeting just in the last few minutes,

quote, and I'm translating here for one of our Czech colleagues who's been kind enough to do us this service.

"The final meeting with the president that's shorthand of commissioner president is confirmed, and he has confirmed that a draft deal with Britain

is now on its way."

And this is just one comment in a whole sea of different comments that are pushing in different directions here. And Mr. David Cameron, the U.K.

prime minister is being knocked in these negotiations now for well over 48 hours.

He was up until 5:30 in the morning, trying to get a draft agreement hammered out with his E.U. colleagues up until the early hours of this

morning. And then was stuck in bilateral talks with the various parties proving to be more difficult to convince throughout the course of the day.

What is the main sticking point? It is this issue of applying a so-called emergency brake on benefits to migrants. Benefits for people in work and

out of work, but also the really contentious one was the child benefits issue.

Because it concerned benefits awarded to people who may be lived in the U.K., but their children live back in countries like Poland. And countries

like Poland and a number of other Eastern European states are against that.

It seems they've made a breakthrough according to various sources. The U.K. wanted to lock the people out of the benefit system for the first 13

years after they entered the U.K. That was considered completely unreasonable, and they came to halfway house of seven years.

France is still holding out apparently on issues with regard to the safeguarding of the city of London. They don't want the London banking

system to get an unfair advantage as a result of these.

And then the big sticking point from here will be how to implement these rules, Robyn, where do we go from here? Because they have to go through

the European machinery to be signed into law.

Do they open up the treaties or to hundreds of pages, or do they pass it through the European parliament? Then, Mr. Cameron has to convince the

skeptics in his own government that this is a deal that's good enough to put forward for a referendum.

CURNOW: OK. Nina Dos Santos in Brussels there, thanks so much for that update.

Let's get more now from the former Italian prime minister and European commissioner, Mario Monti, joins me on the line from Milan, Italy.

You heard my colleague there in Brussels talking about implementation. But before we even get there, do you think the United Kingdom is going to get

what it wants?

MARIO MONTI, FORMER ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER AND EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER (via telephone): It may get probably a little bit of what it wants and what it

wants will be somewhat flexible thing, I believe. And Prime Minister Cameron will -- will be flexible enough to present the result, the good


Which would be that I believe three years ago when he embarked on the adventure with this famous Amsterdam speech of saying that he would call

for referendum after renegotiation.

It couldn't remotely imagine how much more fragmented the European Union would be. And could not imagine what the reactions of it would be, in

terms of welfare, what the reaction of Greece would be in terms of exploiting the situation to make sure that the border with Greece is not

close. So a very, very difficult adventure.

[15:10:11]CURNOW: That's one way to put it I suppose, a difficult adventure. You say that what Britain gets might be flexible either way, it

will still be some sort of special status. And what does that mean? How are the other countries within the E.U. going to manage that and does it

not set a precedent?

MONTI: Yes, indeed. I think the other members are proving that they really do care about keeping the U.K. within the loop because the top of

all these negotiations. And this precedent that it is remarkable.

On the other hand, I really believe that the E.U. without the U.K. would be a remarkably less valuable especially as we move ahead to an era of

increasing internal and external security concerns.

And of course, I do believe also that the U.K. out of the E.U. would be, would feel maybe a temporary excitement, but then -- a bit out in the cold


CURNOW: OK, So the pros and cons then of Britain being in the E.U. or not, but broadly speaking here, this is going to be a definitive year for the

European Union. It's not just this question about Britain's place in it.

But also real questions about the pressure this migrant crisis is putting on the whole European experiment. How tenuous is the European experiment

at the moment?

MONTI: Well, the European experiment is really in a difficult phase. No question about this. I see a concrete risk of European disintegration.

Not really because of certain countries needing the euro zone, like leaving E.U. like the U.K.

Because I had seen that both brexit would ultimately not happen. But there is a growing disintegration, let's say for example, everywhere in the

between the European Union level and the domestic perception and visceral sentiments of people.

And I attribute this certainly to some weaknesses of the European Union and the institutions, but much, much more to the increasing degeneration of

domestic politics everywhere, with an increasing short arrangement, with so-called political leaders, which who in fact behave more and more as

followers, followers of the polls.

So it's very, very difficult to continue constructing a joint venture in Europe with these increasingly, in effect these, in some respects agreeable

domestic political systems of which the testimony well beyond the European Union is increasing the attachment of the national voters from the

democratic process with participation in the national elections. Not only the European elections.

CURNOW: Detachments, disintegration, you speak of a difficult phase. Thank you so much for your perspective. Mario Monti there.

Well, still to come tonight, a literary legend whose classic novel helped to define the American self has passed away. We'll look at the life and

work of Harper Lee. Stay with us.



CURNOW: You're watching CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for joining us. The literary world is mourning the loss of Harper Lee. The

iconic American author, spent most of her 89 years out of the spotlight, but no one who read the novel "To Kill A Mockingbird" could forget her

talent. Anderson Cooper has more on Harper Lee's life and work.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, "AC 360" (voice-over): A life lesson delivered by the fictional Alabama lawyer, Atticus Finch, in the 1962 film

"To Kill A Mockingbird." The movie looks at the racial injustice of the 1930s through the eyes of Finch's daughter, Scout.

These characters were first brought to life by famed author, Harper Lee, in a novel that became a classic for all generations. Nell Harper Lee was

born April 28, 1926 in a small town of Monroeville, Alabama.

Lee's father was a lawyer and served as inspiration for her book "Civil Rights Hero." Following in her father's footsteps, Lee studied law at the

University of Alabama and became editor of the school's humorous and literary magazines.

But age 23, she'd abandoned law and moved to New York to become a writer. There, Lee reunited with her childhood friend and fellow writer,

(inaudible). Assisting him in the research that led to his breakthrough novel "In Cold Blood."

Their unique friendship played out on the big screen in the award-winning movie, "Capote."

Lee's first novel, "To Kill A Mockingbird" was published in 1960 and received the Pulitzer Prize. In 2007, President George W. Bush presented

Lee with a Medal of Freedom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Filled with admiration for a great American, and a lovely lady named Harper Lee.

COOPER: But for most of her life, she stayed out of the spotlight. In one of the few interviews Lee ever granted, she offered a glimpse into her

thoughts, saying, I want to do the best I can with the talent God gave me. All I want to be is the Jane Austin of South Alabama.

In 2015, the literary world was stunned by the announcement that a second Harper Lee manuscript, titled "Go Set A Watchman" would be published.

Completed in 1957, "Watchman" was actually written before "To Kill A Mockingbird" and features Scout and Atticus some 20 years later.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This is really the publishing event of the decade.

COOPER: That excitement lit up the small town where Harper Lee grew up and lived in her twilight years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To have another book, we are charmed.

COOPER: But many fans were disappointed in the portrayal of the characters they knew and loved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A couple of the tweets really echoing the devastation of fans out there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The idea of Atticus Finch being racist is like Spielberg doing sequel in which E.T. punches Elliott in the face and steals

his lunch money.

COOPER: "Watchman" still became a best-seller. The fastest selling book in Harper Collins publishing history. Through all the funfair, Harper Lee

remained quiet, rarely seen or heard from. But forever remembered for inspiring the world through her written words.


CURNOW: Beautiful piece there from Anderson.

[15:20:03]Let's get more on Harper Lee's legacy. David Kipen is a lecturer at the UCLA Writing Programs, and he is a former director of literature for

the National Endowment for Arts.

You are very well qualified, sir, to talk about "To Kill A Mockingbird." I think so many people around the world, no matter where they are have read

it. It's not just a book that speaks to the American style, it's quite universal in its themes, isn't it?

DAVID KIPEN, LECTURER, UCLA WRITING PROGRAMS: Yes, tremendously universal. It's been translated into 40 languages. It's probably sent more people to

law school than tiger moms at this point. It's a classic.

That who's impact is sending people to law school, I think tends to overshadow its quality as literature. I teach at UCLA, and much though I

love it, there is a bias all across academia that a book this readable can't possibly be a classic, can't possibly be literature.

And I think if people go back to it, they'll see that there's some very subtle ingenious things that she's doing in this book that earn it every

last ounce of love that the world has awarded it at this point.

CURNOW: So, is it then the combination, the combination of the content, the historical contents, the context, that deep thoughts about race and

class in early 20th Century America, or is it also the writing, the art?

KIPEN: I think it's definitely the writing, but of course, it was an earthquake when it came out. For a young woman from Alabama to be writing

a novel as sensitive as this. I mean, you've done so much work in South Africa.

I mean, when "Cried The Beloved Country" by Allan Patton came out, I think you see the same kind of impact that leads to over the decades, incredible

social change. It would be a shame though if that overshadowed just what a funny book it is.

I mean, for all of its high mindedness, if Scout weren't the scamp and the troublemaker and the comic voice that she is. I don't think any of the

social statement would have registered.

CURNOW: You talk about all the great authors of the 20th Century who dealt with these tough issues of race particularly, but I mean, Harper Lee is

being called one of the greatest, if not the greatest author that was an American author saying that, but this book is the novel also. Capital

letters. Was America ready for the book when it came out?

KIPEN: Ideally, I think you would say that no book, no classic, finds a readership that is quite ready for it. I think a book, not just finds, but

makes its readership if it's good enough. And a lot of people who read it weren't ready for it at the beginning, but by the end, may well have

realized that this was in fact, they should, a book they should have been ready for, far earlier.

CURNOW: And, you know, when we talk about great authors and people who just managed to capture the moment, this was just one novel. We set aside

the other one that was published "To Go Set A Watchman," "To Kill A Mockingbird" was really the only book Harper Lee published in 50 years.

And one person said she felt she said enough. She didn't need to do anything more after that.

KIPEN: I think that's true. I mean, if people read the book carefully or, you know, pay attention to the really lovely movie that was made from it

from the script, the temptation is to identify her with Scout.

She was a little girl at the time of the story's events, Harper Lee was, so of course, little girl narrating it, it's tempting to identify the two, but

in fact, I think Harper Lee in that story is Bo Rabbly (ph).

It's the reclusive, awkward neighbor who lives across the street, doesn't come out much, and is much happier communicating in little bits of yarn and

messages pass the back and forth between him and Scout in a knot hole of a tree.

That was Harper Lee. She was so content to let her book speak for her. That sometimes I think we expect too much of writers. I mean, what a great

gift "To Kill a Mockingbird is." It seems almost churlish to expect anything more than any writer than at least one book that good.

CURNOW: Yes, that's enough. What a gift as you say. Harper Lee has passed away at the age of 89, though we will be talking and you will be

teaching about her words for many years to come. Thank you so much, David.

KIPEN: It's been an honor.

CURNOW: Well, still ahead, Republicans go to the polls in South Carolina Saturday to choose a nominee for president. The candidates are hitting the

trail hard trying to win over undecided voters. More on that race, next.



CURNOW: Hi there. Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow. You're watching CNN. U.S. Republican presidential candidates will square off on Saturday in the

key South Carolina primary. Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Donald Trump on to directly to the voters there in the second day of our town hall.

Trump, who is dominating the state's polls was challenged by undecided voters over his previous comments on September 11th and the Iraq war.

Moderator, Anderson Cooper, was asked Trump to respond to Pope Francis who implied some of his actions weren't Christian. Trump said he's not

fighting with the Catholic leader.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a lot of respect for the pope. I think he's got a lot of personalities. He's very different, he's

a very different kind of a guy. And I think he's doing a very good job. He's a lot of energy, but I would say that I think he was very much

misinterpreted. And I also think he was given false information.


CURNOW: Jeremy Diamond is at a Trump rally right now. He joins me from South Carolina. Hi there, Jeremy. I hear Mr. Trump might have just opened

another can of worms.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: It looks that way. Donald Trump here just telling supporters that they should boycott Apple until the

company gives access to the government so that they can access the San Bernardino shooters' cell phones.

There's a case right now in the federal courts, and a judge has ordered Apple to try and give that security information. Donald Trump right now

just called for a boycott of Apple. That's certainly the headliner so far at this event in South Carolina.

CURNOW: Well, Mr. Trump, there's a headline every few hours. With that in mind, you surrounded there by voters, people listening to his message. I

understand there, I think eight military bases in South Carolina.

How is the military vote impacted by Mr. Trump's comments on the Iraq war being a mistake and he's sort of accused George W. Bush of being a liar?

How does that hit a nerve politically with the very military strong electorate in that state?

DIAMOND: Right, absolutely. The military vote here is certainly crucial to securing a win in the South Carolina primary. You know, that's kind of

part of the appeal of Donald Trump in this state.

He's been a very strong in the words in the way he talks about ISIS and the way he talks about bombing the hell out of that terrorist group.

But of course, those comments about Iraq and 9/11, I've spoken with a number of Trump supporters who said they disagreed with Trump's comments

saying that George W. Bush was essentially didn't keep the country safe because 9/11 happened under his watch.

They disagreed with him, but at the same time, that didn't change their vote. They say there are so many more important things to them as far as

Trump's current positions on the issues and controversial comments like that just aren't going to sway them away from him.

So that's certainly interesting. And as well with the Iraq vote, we saw Trump kind of, you know, he suggested that he was ardently opposed to the

Iraq very early on. We saw comments emerge that in 2002, he said that was in favor of it.

So that certainly South Carolina voters still digesting that. Don't expect it to make huge waves as Donald Trump and his strongly militaristic

positions are really what's really resonating with voters here.


CURNOW: OK, thanks so much for that update, Jeremy Diamond. You're watching CNN. Still to come --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Americans, the unbelievers were trying to kill us, but they, the fighters, they loved us.

CURNOW: Kidnapped and indoctrinated. We hear from young children taken from their families by ISIS to be used as soldiers. That's in our exclusive

report, next.



CURNOW: Welcome back. Well Libyan officials say at least 43 people were killed in a U.S. air strike on a suspected ISIS camp.


CURNOW: The (inaudible) foreign fighters had gathered there for advanced training and were planning attacks on waste and interest. It's unclear

whether the strike killed its main target a Tunisian operative blamed for two terror attacks.


CURNOW: The Czech Prime Minister says a draft deal between the E.U. and Britain is now "finally on the way."


CURNOW: It comes as negotiations between the U.K. and the other 27 members drag on into a second night in Brussels. If a final agreement isn't

reached, there's a real chance Britain could ultimately leave the bloc.


CURNOW: And Apple's standoff with the U.S. government over a terrorists phone is heating up.


CURNOW: The U.S. Attorney's office is asking a judge to force the company to help crack the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple has

denied an FBI request, calling it an overreach. The motion will be heard next month.


CURNOW: The author of the classic American novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" has died.


CURNOW: Harper Lee's story about a young girl's perspective on justice and racism was published in 1960. She was mostly out of the public eye until

the recent release of "Go Set a Watchman." Harper Lee was 89 years old.


CURNOW: Well a disturbing new report claims that ISIS is recruiting children to carry out its depraved acts of violence at an unprecedented



CURNOW: The study looked at the deaths of 89 children who were called martyrs in ISIS propaganda this January. The majority of them died

detonating bombs inside vehicles or out on the battlefield across the Middle East. Most of the children were between just 12 and 16 years old but

many were even younger than that.


CURNOW: Earlier I spoke to one of the report lead authors, Charlie Winter, from the Georgia State University and he told me the problem is only

getting worse.


CHARLIE WINTER, SR. RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, GSU: What's particularly concerning is the fact that not only is ISIS operationalizing children in this way,

but it's doing so at an accelerating rate, and it's kind of bucking the child soldier norm. It's not using children uniquely to fill its ranks or

to engage in operations that adults can't do. It's using them right alongside adults and eulogizing them in the very same way. And we are

seeing an accelerating rate of children being used in suicide bombings or run-of-the-mill conventional operations as well.


WINTER: And just yesterday in fact there were five more children and youth that were eulogized by the official ISIS propaganda, bringing the total for

February already very high.


CURNOW: Charlie Winter, speaking to me a little bit earlier. While ISIS doesn't just use physical threats. The militants also weave themselves deep

inside the children's minds.

CNN's Nima Elbagir, has been inside Iraq on the front lines of the fight against ISIS to see how the terror group is luring children in. Here's her



NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Five-year-old Sarah was captured alongside her mother by ISIS. Now free, when her parents aren't

looking, she runs to cover her face. It's what the ISIS captors taught her at gunpoint.

Al-Farouq Institute in Raqqa, ISIS claims it is their main child soldier training facility. To Jihad, to Jihad, they're chanting. In this propaganda

video spread out on either side of an ISIS trainer, blank face rows of children sit. One boy shakes, visibly. Others unable to raise their gaze.

These are the so-called cubs of the caliphate. ISIS' army of child soldiers.

And by God's grace, he's saying, in the coming days, they will be at the front lines of the fight against the non-believers. The (inaudible) front

line, south of the Kurdistan Regional Capital, the Peshmerga commander tells us, this is one of their most contested front lines.

Just the other side of that river there, that's where he says the ISIS positions are. Just the other side of that broken bridge, and it's from

there he says that desperate children are fleeing. Making their way through that river, swimming through the river, under cover of dark, risking their

lives to make it here to safety. But not all manage to escape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (As translated) Many times when we are fighting ISIS, we see children at the front line. They're wearing explosive vests.

ELBAGIR: What's it like for you to have to open fire on children?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are brainwashed. When they make it through our lines, they kill our fighters. It's an unbearably hard decision. You don't

know what to do. If you don't kill them, they'll kill you.

ELBAGIR: U.S. military sources tell CNN as ISIS comes under increased pressure on the battlefield, they are relying on child soldiers to fill out

the ranks. This 12-year-old boy was featured in the Al-Farouq Institute propaganda video. He says he was training to be a suicide bomber. Now

reunited with his mother, he's asked us not to broadcast his face or his voice. He's asked that we call him (Nasar.) Not his real name.

(NASAR): (As translated) There were 60 of us, the scariest times for us all were when the air strikes happened. They'd lead all of us underground into

the tunnels to hide. The told us the Americans, the unbelievers, were trying to kill us, but they, the fighters, they loved us.

ELBAGIR: This of course was all part of the indoctrination. His ISIS handlers would tell him, they were now his only family.

(NASAR): When we were training, they would tell us our parents were unbelievers, unclean. And that our first job was to go back and kill them.

That we were cleaning the world of them. Of all unbelievers.

ELBAGIR: (Nasar) says the youngest of the boys was five years old. None of them exempt from the grueling training.

(NASAR): We weren't allowed to cry, but I would think about my mother. Think about her worrying about me, and I'd try and cry quietly.

ELBAGIR: Highly stylized and romanticized ISIS has released a number of videos showcasing its child army. But the reality is of course, very


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (As translated) When they arrive to us, they are so skinny. They barely look human. They tell us they've been living in a hell.

ELBAGIR: Back at the camp, Sarah's mother hopes her little girl will eventually forget about the head scarf and the face covering. And the men

with guns who threatened her life.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, Guerre, Iraq.

CURNOW: Well, thanks to Nima for that report and we'll take you live now to Washington where U.S. President, Barack Obama, and First Lady, Michelle

Obama are at the Supreme Court. There they are standing in front of a portrait of justice Antonin Scalia.

Justice Scalia died Saturday morning while on holiday in Texas. His body has been lying in repose at the Supreme Court throughout the day. They have

come to pay their respects to a man who really made a huge impact for three decades on the American judicial system. His casket is sitting not far from

the court where he dominated arguments for so long.

[15:40: 30]

CURNOW: You're watching CNN, I'm Robyn Curnow, much more news after this break.



CURNOW: Well this just into CNN, an update on the negotiations in Brussels. E.U. officials are saying that European leaders want the Summit wrapped up

within the next 12 hours. That's a tight deadline for E.U. talks. That, if they don't produce a new deal, could see Britain leave the European Union.

So it's going to be an all-nighter, and we'll bring you updates as soon as they happen.

Well moving on Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is leading going into Saturday's primary in South Carolina.


CURNOW: But his lead is narrowing. On Thursday, a member of the CNN Town Hall audience asked Trump if he still believed former President George W.

Bush lied to get the U.S. into the Iraq war. Here's the exchange.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not talking about lying, I'm not talking about not lying, nobody really knows why we went into Iraq. The

Iraqis did not knock down -- it was not Saddam Hussein that knocked down the World Trade Center OK? That's --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you said was they lied, they said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none and they knew there were

none, there were no weapons of mass --

TRUMP: Well, there are a lot of people that think that. There are a lot of people that think look, bottom line, there were no weapons of mass

destruction. They said there are weapons of mass destruction, I was against the war when it started.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So do you think -- do you think the President of the United States, George W. Bush lied --

TRUMP: Well, look, I'm not going to (inaudible) but that's OK. Let me just -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just giving you another shot at it.

TRUMP: Let me - let me tell you something. I'll tell you very simply, it may have been the worst decision going into Iraq. May have been the worst

decision anybody has made, any President has made in the history of this country. That's how bad it is, okay.


CURNOW: So, could Donald Trump's comments about Bush and the war hurt him? I'm joined from Washington by Ryan Williams, he's a former spokesman for

Mitt Romney, during his Presidential campaign, Jeffrey Lord also joins me from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he was President Reagan's Political Director

and a supporter of Donald Trump.

Hi there, sir, I'm going to start with you, Jeffrey. The Iraq war, 9/11, taking down President Bush, many voters in South Carolina specifically are,

were, part of the military. Many of those voters fought in that war. Maybe lost someone in that war. Is it a mistake, is this an alienation of the

very people who went to war in Iraq?


JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, as a matter I saw a poll just this morning, I can't recall whether it was CNN or Fox, but there was

a poll out this morning that showed that military or veterans in South Carolina were supporting Donald Trump.


LORD: I mean, by a fairly significant margin. Obviously this whole issue is still controversial, I personally supported the war. I supported President

Bush, I do not think he lied, but it certainly is up for grabs in a political argument sense of whether the decision was the correct thing to

do. There are Republicans that feel it was not. Donald Trump is not alone in that. So, but I don't I think - frankly I think issues like immigration

are going to play much more in South Carolina. And on that President Bush and Brother Jeb are seen as open border advocates and not opposing illegal

immigration, so that's a bit of a liability for Jeb Bush.


CURNOW: Well, let's talk about Jeb Bush, the other candidates. Ryan, I mean is this going to be an election that is going to (willow) down this

race? I mean the positioning for top three will be main, there's just going to be three tickets out of this aren't there? Or will there be?

RYAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FP1 STRATEGIES: I think that remains to be seen. The mainstream field of candidates at some point winnow and

once they consolidate around one candidate, whether it's Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio.


WILLIAMS: I think you'll begin to see Trump's numbers get much more competitive. Mainstream Republicans are divided up between several

candidates while Trump is consolidating a small minority, 30% to 40% group of the primary electorate.

But his decision to attack President Bush was the wrong decision. He remains very popular with Republicans. That'll hurt his ability to expand

once mainstream Republicans have consolidated around one candidate.


CURNOW: OK. Well let's talk about consolidation as well. Mr. Bush, is there going to be a point that he has to give up? And what point is that?

Is it about when he runs out of money or is it a matter of looking pragmatically and just saying, this is not - I'm not going to be able to

follow through with this? What kind of position does he need to come into to have that decision?

LORD: It could be as soon as South Carolina. I mean frankly, I don't think he's going to run out of money. He's extremely well-funded. His problem is

that his message is not going over with the voters. So you can have all the money in the world, and still not be making any progress, not winning

primaries, not winning delegates, et cetera.


LORD: At a certain point, reality will dawn here and i think this will, this will stop. There are other candidates that -- and this is already

proven to be the case where they just run out of money because they're not making it, and they drop out. I don't think Jeb Bush will have to drop out

for political reasons I think as opposed to money reasons.


CURNOW: OK. Well we -- I was reading the New York Times recently, and one of the authors there wrote a column saying that Donald Trump has doused the

Republican establishment with the verbal equivalence of napalm in this race. And there seems to be a suggestion that he throws out something

controversial, gets put in the news cycle, and then bicycles bike in many ways. Has this been a strategy of his and he's doing it again where here

now he's calling on people to boycott Apple. Ryan, what is all this about? What is this strategy?

WILLIAMS: Well, there's no question that Donald Trump dominates news cycles with his outrageous comments, and it has helped him solidify that 30 to 40%

of the primary states that support him.


WILLIAMS: But it's going to hurt his ability to grow. Just like we've seen with attacking President Bush, his outrageous statements. This is going to

hurt him long-term. He does not look Presidential. He does not look like someone who can unite the party. And once the mainstream Republicans

consolidate behind one candidate he's going to have a real problem kind of breaking through and expanding his support in some of those later states in



CURNOW: So do you think, if he gets the Republican nomination, Jeffrey, do you think this is going to hurt him? Some of those crazy comments he makes?


LORD: No, no. You know, what he's doing, what he's succeed in doing as both the returns in Iowa where he got 22% of the evangelical vote and the

returns in New Hampshire where he drew support all across the board in double digits among low income, medium income, high income, low education,

high education, college education, women, men, very conservative, et cetera, what he's doing here is putting together the old Reagan coalition.

This is exactly what Ronald Reagan did with a delivered appeal to Democrats and Independents on particular issues. Ronald Reagan was very good at it

and it elected him in two landslides, something that is more traditional establishment rivals were never able to do. And I think Donald Trump is

doing exactly that right now.


CURNOW: Well let's talk about a conversation that has left many people with their jaws dropping. This joust between the Pope and Donald Trump, you

know. People thought it probably couldn't get any lower, and it did. Both of them have seemed to pull back from this conversation.


CURNOW: But either way, it does talk to religion which pays such a huge role in American life and of course in this race. And when you talk about a

General Election, just have a look at a newspaper, New York newspaper, it had a cover today, there you go -


CURNOW: Calling Donald Trump the anti-Christ, painting him on the front cover as the devil.

This is indeed the New York Daily News. They are taking a position. Exactly, they are taking a position, but when it comes down to it,

alienating even the Pope, that can't be helpful, or is it?


WILLIAMS: I think it'll probably help him in South Carolina with some primary voters, but I do think there's a long-term danger in attacking the

Pope. And that's why you saw Trump dial is back a bit.


WILLIAMS: It was highly unusual for the Pope to weigh in on U.S. politics. I mean we've seen this Pope be more political than previous Popes, but I

don't think anyone, probably even Donald Trump thought that the Pope would weigh in on his comments on immigration. So I think that Trump sees it as a

potential opportunity to consolidate some of the base voters in the final days before South Carolina. He dominates another news cycle with just hours

to go before the primary. But there is some long-term danger in attacking the Pope. He is popular with Catholics and people across the country. I

think that's why you've seen Trump temper his language a little bit after making that first initial statement.


CURNOW: Jeffrey, Ryan, thank you both so much. We're going to have to move on, but we do know that the papal spokesperson has said that this was not a

specific comment, it was more about people who chose to build walls and not bridges. Thank you.

LORD: I think the Pope and Trump were just misrepresented, yep.

CURNOW: Thank you both very much. Great talking.

Well still to come here at CNN, live from Egypt.


CURNOW: The sketch show Saturday Night Live has a home in the Middle East. We'll crack a few jokes straight ahead.





CURNOW: You're watching CNN, and this Saturday is a big night for comedy in Egypt. The Arabic version of the U.S. comedy show, Saturday Night live is

said to make its debut. Ian Lee reports.


IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Saturday Night Live has a new home. The popular comedy stretch show is now in Egypt. Not this Egypt, here

SNL star Steve Motten, singing King Tut. The Cairo show follows the New York model known as the SNL bible.

There's celebrity guests. Sketches. Digital shorts. The news with weekend update. And live performances.

KHALID MANSOUR, CAST MEMBER: We're trying to do something original. We're not trying to break taboos, but like in a way, we do. A little bit, but not

intentionally. And we're trying to make it suitable for Middle Eastern audience.

SHADI ALLAM, CAST MEMBER: We're just a couple of bald idiot comedians who try and get on T.V. and make people laugh about things we shouldn't make

them laugh about.


LEE: One such topic been hard to laugh at, the terror group, ISIS. Also known bay derogatory name in Arab.

MANSOUR: You know they get pissed off from Daesh, that we say Daesh. It's quite different than if you know the enemy or if you know all the inside

information that could give you the upper hand in making people laugh.

LEE: SNL in Arabic has the blessing of the shows creator and support of the New York cast.


YARA FAHMY, CAST MEMBER: It is hell, yes, thanks very much. They were right about that. But it's an amazing kind of hell.

LEE: Yara Fahmy is one of the four female cast members. Like most of the Egyptian cast, she didn't know Saturday Night Live.

FAHMY: I went online, I looked it up, and then I started binge watching SNL. I loved it so much. The Kristin wig, she's amazing. She just appears

and people start laughing. She's awesome.

LEE: Unlike New York, Egypt has red lines. And the cast knows crossing them could shut them down.

ALLAM: Because we still do push the envelope, and by some people's standards, that's not cool.


ALLAM: But we will crush them.

MANSOUR: We will. No. that's a little bit ISIS now.

LEE: For now their first job is to introduce to the region a different way to laugh.

Ian Lee, CNN, Cairo.


CURNOW: Thanks again for that report. And this has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Robyn Curnow, thanks so much for joining me. "QUEST MEANS

BUSINESS" with Paula Newton is up next.