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Theeb Could Be First Jordanian Film to Win Oscar; Relative Quiet Continues in Syria; What's Next For Democrats, Republicans on Campaign Trail?; Iranian Reformists Win Big in Early Voting. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired February 28, 2016 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:12] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Now victory for reform in Tehran, results in the country's first post-nuclear deal elections suggest a validation of

President Rouhani's policies.

This hour, we will be live for you in Iran's capital.

Well, also ahead, the long march to the White House continues. Can Democrat Hillary Clinton capitalize on her win in South Carolina and keep

the momentum up?

And on the Republican side, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz try to catch up with donald Trump. The very latest on the race is coming up.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Theeb is set in 1916 just at the beginning of the Arab revolt.


ANDERSON: The odyssey of a young boy Bedouin boy and an Bnglishman is up for best foreign language film at the Oscars. We hear from the director a

little later this hour.

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

ANDERSON: A very good evening just after 8:00 here in the UAE. I want to begin tonight in Iran where early election results show strong gains for

reformist candidates in Tehran. Now, they are predicted to win all 30 seats that are

up for grabs in the capital. It is the first time voters have gone to the polls in Iran since last year's landmark nuclear deal with the west.

Well, let's crack on for you. Our senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen has been in Iran over the past week. Joining us now from the

capital. What do we know at this stage?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly does look as though from these early results that the reformists here and

the moderates appeared to have gotten a lot of votes in this election. And if it does stand the way that it's shaping up right now, and a lot of the

votes in Tehran apparently have been counted already as well. It could be the case that all 30 seats for Iran's parliament here in Tehran could go to

the reformists.

Now, of course, Becky, there's also a second election that took place, the one for the Council of Experts, the religious body that at some point will

have to choose the next supreme leader and there it looks as though reformists are doing quite well as well.

The two candidates leading that list there Hashemi Rafsanjani and Hassan Rouhani, both of them moderates and Hashemi Rafsanjani came out earlier

today on his Twitter feed and already said, quote, that there is no way anyone can resist the will of the people and that anyone who the people

don't want needs to step aside.

Of course, his message very clear to the country's conservatives.

However, here in Tehran and other places, so far there really hasn't been any celebration on the part of the moderates. Clearly people are still

waiting to see whether or not these early election results will then be validated by the final results.

And certainly speaking to some people here in Tehran not everybody believes that what is shaping up right now will actually bring them change.

Let's listen in.


UNIDENTIIFIED MALE: Do you think the results will be good for Iran?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope it will be good, but I don't think so.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I don't know, they don't care about the people votes. They do what they want. Yes, people say they will again reform the

country and will do all our work for country, but after they choose, no, nothing.

UNIDENIFIED MALE: Are you hopeful for Iran?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With this decision no.


PLEITGEN: So, as you can see a little bit of disillusionment there among some people. And also, of course, the conservatives themselves not giving

up that easily. There are some conservative publications who are saying, yes, the reformists may have done very well in Tehran. However, they

believe that in the rest of the country that they are the ones who are ahead. It's interesting, because we have been watching the election

results sort of come in, and it seems as though, among returns there are also a lot of independent candidates where it isn't really clear whether or

not they are conservative or moderate or reformist. They could go either way. So, certainly not really clear who has the edge in the entire country

but the conservatives certainly saying they may be down here in Tehran, but certainly not in the rest of the country they believe, Becky.

ANDERSON: Frederik Pleitgen is in Tehran for you. And plenty more analysis on elections. Thank you, Fred. For you this hour, viewers,

including who are the winners and who are the losers? I will be joined by analysts to ask what is next for the Islamic Republic.

And what is the mood on the streets? I want to get back to Tehran later to assess the people's vote.

For a second day, the Syrian battlefield has gone a lot quieter. The cessation of hostilities agreement, which the United States and Russia

helped broker, took effect on Friday. It does seem to be holding. It remains, though, quite fragile. Several air strikes have been reported

across the country, unclear who conducted them at this stage. And the opposition accusing government forces of a number of violations early on.

Now, the truce does not include terrorist groups like ISIS and the al Nusra Front.

Well, let's get you to neighboring Amman, Jordan where Jomana Karadsheh is standing by. We can see what we are learning from the ground. It seems

that this ceasefire is holding, albeit tentatively in most areas. How is this being monitored, Jomana? And what happens next so far as any solution

to this conflict is concerned or is that too early to be asking at this stage?

[11:06:05] JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, Becky, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, that's

the group that monitors the conflict on the ground, a group that's based in London. They've reported some violence in the country today as you

mentioned, most significantly a number of air strikes that took place in the northern and western countryside of Aleppo and also in the southern

countryside of Hamaa (ph).

Now, they didn't say who is behind these air strikes, who carried them out, but they said it is believed to be either Russian or Syrian regime planes

that carried out the strikes.

Now, the High Negotiating Committee, that is the main opposition bloc, as you know, a spokesman for the HNC, spoke to our Nic Robertson in Riyadh in

Saudi Arabia they are accusing the Russians of carrying out the air strikes. And they say in Aleppo, for example, these air strikes, the areas

that were targeted there is no ISIS or Jubhat al-Nusra there.

As you mentioned, these two groups are excluded from the deal and Syrians and the Russians are allowed to still go after these targets.

Now, about the situation in general, this HNC spokesman says that the situation on the ground is better. People are more comfortable. As you

would expect, Becky, after years of bloodshed any kind of reduction in this violence is

good news for the people on the ground. So civilians who have been caught in the midst of this bloody conflict.

But the opposition saying that there have been several violations carried out by the regime, they claim. They say that in the past 24 hours they

recorded 15 violations. What they're doing next is they say, first of all, they are not responding on the ground right now because they say this will

give the regime -- they will allow the regime to carry out more attacks against them in response.

So what they are doing is they are writing letter, sending this letter to the secretary-general of the UN to the special envoy Staffan de Mistura and

the foreign ministers of the international support group for Syria. And they are going

to wait and see what happens over the next few days.

As you mentioned, it is probably a bit too early for them to judge if this ceasefire is working or not. There is lots of ambiguities they bring up

like, for example, what you mentioned, Becky, who is monitoring this ceasefire? What kind of response is there if there are violations? What

they say is who is going to punish the regime if there are violations like the ones mentioned, those claims of barrel

bombs and rocket attacks that they say are ongoing.

So, really fragile ceasefire, Becky, but for now the hope is that this will allow the much-needed aid, at least in the next few days if it holds, if

the situation remains as it is right now allowing aid organizations to deliver that desperately needed aid to so many besieged areas in the

country, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, any cessation of violence, I'm sure, is good for people on the ground. It's a question of whether this holds and what happens next.

And those are questions we will be posing in the days to come. For the time being, Jomana, thank you for that.

In Iraq, at least 23 people were killed in two bombings in the capital of Baghdad. It happened in a busy outdoor market in a Sadr City, which is a

predominantly Shiite district. A motorcycle fist exploded, followed by a suicide attacker who blew himself up. 36 people ther were injured. ISIS

has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Well, in U.S. politics, Hillary Clinton grabs a decisive win in the South Carolina Democratic primary and she is already looking ahead to a final

match up against the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump.

M.J. Lee has the latest in the Republican race. Let's, though, begin with Brianna Keilar on what's next for Clinton.


[11:10:00]BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Clinton campaign just relishing their big win here in South Carolina. Hillary Clinton's

communications director Jen Palmeiri (ph) saying they did better than they expected they would.

Campaign sources have been telling us they think Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. And it was significant that in Clinton's

speech, she outlined what her argument in a general election would be against Donald Trump.

HILLARY CLINTON, 2016 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Despite whaty ou here, we don't need to make American great again, America has never stopped

being great.


CLINTON: But we do need to make America whole again. Instead of building walls, we need to be tearing down barriers.

KEILAR: Publicly, Clinton aides are striking a cautious tone saying they still have 46 states ahead of them. They have a long way to go. But

privately, they are not quite as cautious. One aid telling me they think they will have this wrapped up by March 15. We will see a series of

contests then following those series of contests that we're going to see on Tuesday for Super Tuesday.

By mid-March almost 60 percent of delegates will have been awarded. And by then aides think it will be clear there is no pathway for the nomination

for Bernie Sanders.

Brianna Keilar, CNN, Columbia, South Carolina.

M.J. LEE, CNN CORREPSONDENT: With Hillary Clinton looking to clock up the Democratic nomination after her big win in South Carolina on Saturday,

Donald Trump is looking to do exactly the same thing on the Republican side. And for him right now Super Tuesday is where it is at. He

campaigned on Saturday in Tennessee and Arkansas. And today he heads to the state of Alabama.

Now, when he campaigned in Millington (ph), Tennessee Saturday night he went after Marco Rubio very hard as he has been doing all week.

He called Rubio a lightweight and a choke artist. And he also made a very confident prediction about the Florida primary race coming up on March 15.

Here is what he had to say.

TRUMP: He is number two or three in Florida. He is a Senator. He's 22 points behind. If he ran in Florida today for an office he couldn't run

for dogcatcher. He wouldn't be elected. He wouldn't be elected. He is unelectable.

LEE: So, Trump sounding very confident that he can defeat Marco Rubio in his home state.

Now of course, Florida, and winning Florida, is a personal mission for Donald Trump. He considers the state of Florida almost his second home

after the state of New York and he believes that he can win all 99 delegates that are at stake on March 15 in the state of Florida.

Back to you guys.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: I know you're big on Twitter.

The hashtag #neverTrump hashtag exploded on Twitter this weekend. These are Republicans saying they will never vote for you. Marco Rubio himself even

used that hashtag. What do you think of that?

TRUMP: Well, he can do whatever he wants. You know, I signed a pledge. And the pledge is a two-way street.

And if it's not that way, you're going to have a big problem. They're going to have a big problem with me. We have tremendous amounts of people. We

have -- as you know, you know, I'm going to Alabama today. We're going to have 25,000 people and probably more than that.

We had to go to a football stadium because no building held it. And we're going to have an amazing crowd. And yesterday in Tennessee, I had 15,000

people in a hangar. In Arkansas, you probably saw that one in the morning. In Arkansas, we had about 15,000 people in a hangar.

And, you know, we have a lot of people. I'm representing people. I'm not representing myself. I'm representing a lot of anger out there, and there's

-- we're not angry people, but we're angry at the way this country's being run. And a lot of them are angry -- angry at the way the Republican Party

is being run, Jake.


ANDERSON: Well, Trump's Republican rival John Kasich calling also appeared on Jake's show. He's calling on the Republicans to stop the name calling

and says he is confident he can win his home state of Ohio in mid-March.


GOV. JOHN KASICH, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDNENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know what? I would like to be president and I would like to raise the bar to get

there. And I believe that this is the way in which to do it. And, Jake, I have won a lot of elections in my lifetime. And by the way, I'm beating

Hillary Clinton by more than anybody else in the field. So, why would I change?

TAPPER: Well, I mean, no offense but you haven't won a contest and it doesn't look like you are going to win any on Tuesday.

KASICH: No. I think Trump is probably going to win probably all of them.

But you keep holding your own. And we have our campaign plan.


LU STOUT: Well, a reminder that the next big contest for both Democrats and Republicans is this week's Super Tuesday, as its called, when several

states hold contests. Still to come tonight, an early victory for the moderates in a vote that is far from over. We analyze the winners and

losers of Iran's historic elections. That's coming up for you.

And later in the show, armed gangs rule parts of Cape Town in South Africa. We're going to get you out on patrol with special police units battling to

take back the streets.

Taking a very short break ourselves. Back after this.



HASSAN, TEHRAN RESIDENT: If the results be as they are exactly as they are that could

make a change.


ANDERSON: That was 19-year-old Hassan talking to our team in the streets of Tehran earlier on. He's one of millions of Iranians who voted Friday.

Early polls show strong gains for the reformist movement as it's known in the capital of Tehran.

You are watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of the UAE. Welcome back. 17 minutes past 8:00 here.

Now, earlier results indicate these reformist candidates have succeeded in winning all of the 30

seats up for grabs in the capital. Plenty of votes still being counted with final results due on Tuesday.

And the next (inaudible) or Parliament, is expected to remain dominated by conservative MPs, FYI, as it were.

Well, for more we are joined now by Ellie Geranmayeh. She specializes in Iranian issues at the European Council on Foreign Relations with us from

London to help us pick apart what is going on in Iran at present.

And a lot of the attention, Eli, focused on results out of Tehran. So, let's start there.

Explain the significance of what is going on in Iran's capital city, if you will.


What I think what has happened is that Rouhani won his referendum for policies, because what happened in Tehran was that the reformist camps and

the moderate centrist camps aligned forces to create a list of so-called hope which included 30 names of candidates that they were going to support

and they called their supporters and backers to come to the streets and vote in Tehran.

And the turnout in Tehran has actually been higher than before, higher than precedented. And what that has meant is a sweeping victory for that bloc

of candidates in the Tehran province and a complete marginalization of the hardline conservatives in parliament.

ANDERSON: It doesn't necessarily reflect what is going on elsewhere in the country, but clearly what is going on in the capital is significant.

Let's look at some of the people who seem to have done well in these election, Ellie. Mohammad Reza Aref is a prominent reformist and former

vice president under moderate President Mohammad Khatami. Ali Motahari isn't necessarily a reformist by definition, but his recent calls for

political reforms have made him popular among reformist despite his conservative views.

There's Akbar Rafsanjani, and perhaps a name that our viewers will be familiar with. He's faced years of attacks by hardliners for his political

stances. He's also once headed the Assembly of Experts until he lost his leadership in 2011 some say for his support of the 2009 Green movement.

So, three names. How big are these wins for the reformist and moderate camp? And can they effect real change?

[11:20:25] GERANMAYEH: OK. So, let's first off by taking the country as a whole as it reports were also indicating the results aren't finalized and

there are 31 provinces in total to be counted through.

And it does look like what's happened is that there is no longer a majority in parliament and that

reformists are by my latest count there is about 30 percent across the country of reformists. So that puts the reformists in a strong minority


What's also happened is that the conservatives still have their popular support in places that

they have good strong backing in, but they are no longer the majority within the total numbers.

And more importantly there is now an increase, also in the number of independents running. These are primarily both reformists and conservatives

who could sway either way. And the job of people like Rouhani and others who are influencing parliament will be to try and peel them away from the

conservative side and bring them towards a more centrist position to help them with practical demands in parliament.

So that's parliament.

The other issue, which is the third person on your list, Rafsanjani, that's for the Assembly of

Experts. This is an 88 member body that most people think and believe is going to be in charge of selecting the next supreme leader of Iran in the

next eight years when it's seated.

And what has happened there is that Rafsanjani and Rouhani are leading the polls for that assembly of expert, the 88 member body. And what's

happened, particularly in Tehran, is that the ultra hard line conservative candidate that used to sit on that body seem

to have actually lost out support and may not even be making it on to the list anymore.

So, what we are seeing is not a complete sweeping victory by the reformists, but actually a dilution of the hard line conservatives so that

there is now a more central position that can support the administration's policies domestically going forward.

ANDERSON: And I guess that begs the question, because we're hearing reformist, conservative, it does feel somewhat basic for us to be talking

in these terms when as you have rightly described it seems to me that there is some sort of might we call it pragmatic or third way, the pragmatists

who are sort of beginning to come together from both camps as it were. Are we seeing the sort of demise of the fringe on both sides and coming

together here?

Before we talk about losers, because I think there are some significant losers here. I just want to get the sense of where you think the

positioning is here.

GERANMAYEH: I think in the lead up, in the last two weeks towards the elections, it was clear that the pragmatic leaders on the reformist side,

also those from the center that are clearly within the Rouhani camp and also within the conservatives, the person you had on your list, Ali

Motahari, who is a conservative, but also makes very pragmatic decisions on issues like the economy.

They have all joined forces in a new type of alignment that we are seeing now in Iran to bring the consensus towards pragmatic centrist positions.

And what that means is that we are unlikely to see radical steps from either the reformists or the hard liners going forward when it comes to

parliamentarian decisions.

So, for example, the type of political social reforms that former President Khatami, who is seen as the leader of the reformist camp, his type of

initiatives were seen as radical within the contours of the Islamic Republic. We're unlikely to see those type of (inaudible).

But neither are we going to see radical steps that the parliament took under former President Ahmedinejad who was also seen as a radical that was

acting beyond the contours of the Islamic Republic.

So, I think what we're going to see is particularly an alignment on economic issues going forward.

ANDERSON: Yeah, interesting.

All right, let's take a look at some of the losers. And I want to take a sort of wider picture. We've been talking about sort of domestic policies

here. And how things might stack up. I want to take a look at how the results of this election might effect foreign policy.

Let's have a look at these losers. Gholam Ali Hadad-Adel is a vocal conservative and headed

Tehran principlist coalition. He also served as a speaker of parliament. It does look likely -- he does look likely to have missed out on a

parliamentary seat this time.

And Ayathollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi -- and apologies for my pronunciation here. It will get better.

Many will know him as spiritual leader of the conservative movement. He's a big critic of the reformists and says the Islamic Republic should be more

Islamic. It seems he's also set to miss out on a seat in the Assembly of Experts.

Now, look, these are big figures that we are talking about here, Ellie. What do you expect the

establishment's response to be? And on the wider picture, how might all of this effect Iran and its actions and strategy with the outside world?

GERANMAYEH: Well, indeed, as Hadad-Adel, the leader of the principlist currently fails to win a seat in Tehran, which early polls indicate that he

has. For one thing, the principlists are going to have to elect a new leader for their coalition in parliament.

And that kind of leader is going to probably sway more towards the center rather than the far right within that camp.

Others from the Assembly of Exerps who is Mespah-Yazdi who you say has lost out. He is also seen additionally to be the arch-rival of people like


So, I think what we're going to see is there is a lot of people who influence and have a lot of power within both parliament and the Assembly

of Experts who aren't necessarily the elected candidates.

And what's important about the elected candidates is who politically they sway towards within within the outside forces. So, it's not just the

Rafsanjani camps or the Mesbah-Yazdi camps who used to make these decisions, it's also outside power centers such as the Revolutionary Guard.

And the way that the leadership within the different power blocs is able to relate to those candidates that have now been voted in is going to be very

important both for domestic issues and to a greater degree for foreign policy issues.

And the reason that is that is, as I said, the Assembly of Experts could choose the next supreme leader or it choose even a what is called a council

of leaders, which is not necessarily one person in a way that almost disperses the power not just for one candidate but a council.

And so that can actually sway whether Iran is going to move towards a more revolutionary style or system of governance or a more Republican style

system of governance.

ANDERSON: Ellie, it's always a pleasure. Thank you very much indeed.

And the results of these elections, then, not yet in. Expect the result for Assembly of Experts fairly soon.

It could be that there will be a runoff, of course, for the parliamentary elections as we move through the vote counting here. Ellie, thank you.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, reformists are making major gains in Iran's parliamentary elections. So, what is the mood

on the ground? Back to Tehran in about 10 minutes time for you.


ANDERSON: You're back with us on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson jsut before half passed 8:00 here in the UAE.

To South Africa for you where police in Captown are battling street violence. Armed gangs rule over some neighborhoods and the city has turned

to special units to fight back.

CNN's David McKenzie reports on the city's gang crack down.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Peering out of windows, wary of the cops below. The police say they want the community's help to

catch Cape Town's most wanted criminals, but the people here know that the gangs run these streets.

They were here to do public outreach in this neighborhood, but this man has already been shot. The police are talking to him. This operation has just

begun and shots were already fired.

They knew the police were here and still they shot each other?

[11:30:12] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't care. That's just expected (inaudible) for the police. They don't care.

MCKENZIE: They have no respect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have no respect for the police here.

MCKENZIE: They are with the specialized gang unit of the metro police. For their safety we can't show their faces.

Crime is entrenched in the Cape Flats. It's been that way for decades. But in Lavender Hill, murders have doubled with many innocent victims

caught in the crossfire.

Gang members killed Yena Brenicom's (ph) son a year ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He wasn't a gangster and they shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the young boys, most of the young boys feel forced to join gangs.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because they're afraid of the gangs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A crack pipe. It's a crack pipe.

MCKENZIE: But city officials are finally fighting back, turning traffic cops into special

investigators. And they have called in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And about every bad thing that could happen, happened in that one

scenario. I mean, it was totally off the script, right. We were thinking...

MCKENZIE: Active agents whose identities must be concealed run the training.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't see any huge flaw that would make me not want to roll with you guys.

MCKENZIE: It's been open season on the cops here. Many of these officers have seen colleagues killed. Every one of them knows a routine traffic

stop can turn deadly.

A show of strength, they say, is disrupting gang operations. But tonight few arrests, all they can perhaps manage is to slow the menace.

David McKenzie, CNN, Cape Town.


ANDERSON: Your headlines follow this. Stay with us.



[11:34:35] ANDERSON: Moderates in Iran appear to be making a strong showing in the country's parliamentary elections. Preliminary results

indicate that they are poised to take all 30 seats up for grabs in Tehran.

Well, the stakes high, as you know, this is the first major election since Iran's landmark nuclear deal last year. It could shape the future of the

country and its relationship with the west.

Fred Pleitgen is in Tehran. He is standing by. Just give us a sense, then, of the significance of these elections. I know you have been speaking

to people on the streets of Tehran. And we know that Tehran -- what's happening in Tehran isn't necessarily reflected around the country. But

just how significant are these elections, or this vote this time?

PLEITGEN: Well, they are very significant, Becky. And certainly when we spoke to people out on the streets they said that they were coming out

because they felt that these elections would be pivotal for the future of their country and certainly the turnout of about 60 percent for these

elections seems to indicate that really people did take this very seriously because of course at this point in time

this country is in a big-time of change.

It's not necessarily fast change but it is certainly something where people at least judging by the results that are coming in believe that the

government is moving the country in a direction that they seem to approve.

Of course, many people here for years have said that they felt shackled, for instance, by the

sanctions. You have a very young highly educated population, one that certainly wants to succeed more than it has in the past.

Now, we went around Tehran today and asked some people what they believe this election

would bring for them in the future and here is what they said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conditions that they have it's better than the old ones from Ahmedinejad and the others. It's better I think. It's so much


Freedom is more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What change do you want them to bring to Iran? What do you want them to change?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom for us. I want, for example, we want to go to the party the police doesn't go there and, yeah, bust all of the -- so I

think the reformers will win and things get better.


PLEITGEN: And, of course, the platform that Hassan Rouhani ran on, Becky, was one of bringing this country's economy up to speed. That is what he

was talking about in his election campaigns. And certainly at this point in time most Iranians have not felt the benefit of sanctions relief yet.

There are people that we have been speaking to also who said, listen, they want that to be felt sooner rather than later of course. They want jobs.

They want economic stability. They want, of course, investment in this country, as well.

So on the one hand, the election results, if they do stand the way that they seem to be shaping up, certainly is a clear mandate for Hassan Rouhani

to continue what he has been doing, but also, of course, should be a motivation, many people believe to him, to deliver on getting people these

jobs and economic growth, as well, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen in Tehran for you this evening. Thanks, Fred.

Well, I want to get you back to U.S. politics. Hillary Clinton has scored a significant victory in South Carolina, that is her biggest win of the

race so far and it will certainly give her an edge as she and Bernie Sanders barrel towards what is known as Super Tuesday.

Exit polls show most voters in Saturday's primary trust Hillary Clinton to help solve racial issues, for example.

Well, CNN contributor Ryan Lizza now joins me live from Columbia in South Carolina.

A big day Tuesday. I think it is, what, 13 states up for grabs. Is this the turning point that the Clinton campaign had been waiting for ahead of

what is a very big day in U.S. politics coming up?


I mean, this is where we learned if Hillary Clinton's so-called firewall holds and if the results from South Carolina are any indication, this so-

called firewall, her southern firewall is quite strong.

She has always argued that Iowa and New Hampshire would be difficult states for her, but that once the contest moved to the south that Sanders, Bernie

Sanders, would have a tough time. And she won by almost 48 points last night and has basically proven that Sanders cannot break through to non

white voters.

ANDERSON: Let's have a look at the other side, at the Republicans. How do you assess the latest mudslinging on the Republican side?

LIZZA: You know, just -- something like -- nothing -- I've never covered a campaign like this. And I've covered -- this is the fifth presidential

campaign. We have never seen the level of vitriol and personal attacks the way we are seeing on the Republican side.

It started obviously with Trump when he sucked up all the media attention for eight months. And I think Marco Rubio decided at the last debate that

the only way that he was going to have a chance to defeat Trump was to turn the race into a two-man battle. And the only way to do that was to elevate

himself against Trump and he had to basically become Trump in order to defeat Trump.

And that's what we've seen in the last few days with Rubio almost doing a standup comedian's

routine in the way he has been mocking Trump. We have never seen anything like it in American politics. It's much more like a reality TV show than a

political campaign.

ANDERSON: All right. Well, it's going to be a big week in this reality TV show or political campaign as is also known. For the time being, Ryan,

thank you for joining us.

Many American voters will place a heavy importance on faith as they cast their Super Tuesday ballots. Have a look at this, it's

And right now you will find an article there, a look at how the presidential front runners are using their religious beliefs on the

campaign trail. It's a good read. Read Clinton and Trump, a tale of Two Corinthians. Let us know what you think. Excellent read. It's on the

site. Lots more there. That is the CNN Politics site.

This is Connect the World that you are watching at the moment with me Becky Anderson.

Coming up, what Arab Spring protests in Cairo revealed about violence against women and what Egypt has been doing to stop it.

Plus, tjhe Academy Awards just hours away aren't they? Well, how a Jordanian film could make

history at the Oscars ceremony.


ANDERSON: At 43 minutes past the hour here in the UAE. The hour of 8:00, in fact, 43 minutes past 8:00. You are watching Connect the World with me

Becky Anderson. Welcome back to you this Sunday.

Now, it was five years ago this month that Arab Spring protests forced the ouster of Egypt's president. The violence at the time brought to light a

shocking tendency of brutal violence towards women.

Activists say new laws are helping to curb that. CNN's Ian Lee takes a closer look in



IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDNET: Survivors say what you are witnessing is the scariest moment of their lives when a mob of men isolates

and sexual assaults a woman. Many left naked, violated and broken.

The physical and psychological scars last for years. In 2013, we interviewed one victim Sharouk El Altar.

SHAROUK EL ALTAR, ASSAULT VICTIM: It was very crazy. I couldn't see anything but a bunch of people surrounding me from everywhere from every

direction and like caressing me everywhere.

LEE: The attacks occurred around the Egypt's tumultuous uprisings. The general rule is during large protests or celebrations here in Tahrir Square

at sunset, so about right now women, especially foreign women, should start heading home or face the likelihood of being sexually assaulted by a mob.

Reports of similar incidents have surfaced in parts of Europe, in particular Germany. New Year's Eve in Cologne ended in hundreds of women

reporting sexual assault.

For some Egyptian activists, that night in Cologne brings back painful memories from Tahrir Square.

DALIA ABD EL-HAMEED, EGTYPTIAN ACTIVIST: What is common in the two things is using women's bodies as a battlefield to achieve political ends

LEE: In Egypt, some tried to use the attacks to tarnish the revolution's image. While in Germany, the violence in Cologne is heightening concerns

over immigration.

EL-HAMEED: The most important thing in these assaults is the safety and the well being of the survivors.

LEE: This mob mentality manifests in daily street harassment. In 2013, a UN report founded 99.3 percent of Egyptian women were sexually harassed.

Since then, the country has made progress. The ministry of interior created a special women's unit. The government passed laws with strong

penalties especially for mob assaults.

Activists raise awareness through the media.

HADEER MANDOUH, WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVIST: A number of women got sexually harassed in the streets every day are very large. The difference in the

streets is awareness of people.

LEE: No new official numbers exist since the UN report. Mob assaults appear to have decreased for now. Many attribute this to a new law that

plays stricter rules around protesting.

Years later, Sharouk still think of that day

EL ALTAR: Whenever someone harasses me and I feel like he is getting closer to touch my body or it reminds me of what happened. I feel like

strong enough to look at them in the face and to sometimes curse them.

LEE: She encourages victims to speak out and to never feel ashamed.

Ian Lee, CNN, Cairo.


ANDERSON: I want to introduce you to a group of heroes just tonight at this point, wounded military veterans, the elite of the elite, fighting a

new battle. They are working with a nonprofit called Protect the Mission to track online predators who target kids, and as our Kyung Lah found out

the CNN Freedom Project, these men, once again, are very much on the front line.


KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Protect says the United States is the world's largest producer of child pornography, the images too hard

to look at, often too horrible even to describe.

But for these heroes, the idea of not taking action is not an option.

J. CHRISTIAN, CEO, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION TO PROTECT CHILDREN: But what we are dealing with is actual capturing of crime scenes. It gives you that

sense of urgency to make sure that you're able to get there as fast as you can. And when they go out in the field, the main objective of the hero is

to aid and assist in child rescue.


ANDERSON: You're going to hear their stories and lear of their successes and what more needs to be done all part of the Freedom Project starting on

Monday, that's only on CNN.

We'll be back with much more on Connect the World in just a few moments. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Well, this is CNN. And Connect the World with me Becky Anderson, welcome back.

Right, the gold statues are ready for Hollywood's biggest night of the year. The stars just hours away from descending that red carpet for the

Oscars ceremony. And this year it is shaping up to be quite a tight race for the top award. Our Stephanie Elam shows us the movies and the people

who are in the running.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A mother and son trapped in captivity at this.

BRIE LARSON, ACTRESS: Jack, listen to me. This is our chance.

ELAM: An Irish immigrant finding love and independence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wish I could stop feeling that I want to be an Irish girl in Ireland.

ELAM: A frontiers man seeking revenge. "Room," "Brooklyn," and "The Revenant" are just three of the films nominated for the best picture at the

88th Academy Awards. The Leo DiCaprio led drama is at the top of the heap with 12 nominations.

Other films in the hunt for best picture include "The Big Short," "Bridge of Spice," "Mad Max Fiery Road," "The Martian," and "Spotlight" in one of

the highest races in Oscar history.

MATTHEW BELLONI, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: There are legitimately three, maybe four potential best picture winners. So, you know, it's very rare that you

come down to that last envelope and people don't know what's going to happen.

ELAM: The best actor category is full of a-list talent like Bryan Cranston for "Trumbo," Matt Damon for "The Martian," Michael Fassbender for "Steve

Jobs," and last year's winner, Eddie Redmayne.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Oscar, wow!

ELAM: This time for the Danish girl but the focus is on DiCaprio and whether this role will get the six-time nominee his first Oscar win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's had so many great performances and nominations, this is going to be the year that he'll take it.

ELAM: The best actress race has previous winners Cate Blanchett for "Carol" and Jennifer Lawrence for "Joy" going up against Saoirse Una Ronan for

"Brooklyn" and first time nominee Charlotte Rampling for "45 Years," and Brie Larson for "Room."

LARSON: It feels like I'm part of some tribe. It feels so good.

ELAM: Having already snagged a Golden Globe and Saga Award for her performance, Larson has the momentum heading in to Hollywood's biggest



ELAM: And returning for second time as host of the Oscars is Chris Rock known for his in your face comedy, many are wondering how the comedian will

deal with the elephant in the room.

BELLONI: The one thing that everyone is expecting is how is he going to handle this all white nominee issue and is he going to be merciless with

the academy?

ELAM: a congratulatory ceremony filled with lots of controversy? It must be Hollywood.

Stephanie Elam, CNN.


ANDERSON: I wonder whether he is merciless. What do you think? Who do you think will be taking home the Oscar so far as the headlines are


What do your favorites from the year? Let us know. You can use the Facebook page. If you are a regular viewer, you

will know that you can get in touch with us that way, or by using Twitter. Tweet me @BeckyCNN. That is @BeckyCNN.

Well, for our Parting Shots this evening among all the films competing for an Oscar, there is one in particular that is building excitement in this

part of the world, particularly in Jordan. The film Theeb is the first Jordanian film ever to be nominated for an Academy Award. The director

says the film isn't significant just for the story it tells, but also for the movie's own journey to the screen. Have a look at this.


ANDERSON: One of this year's Oscar contenders for best foreign language film, Theeb, is a story of a young Bedouin boy whose peaceful existence is

turned upside down by the arrival of an Englishman to his family's camp.

He embarks on a journey with his brother and the Englishman that will change their lives forever.

NAJI ABU NOWAR, DIRECTOR, THEEB: Theeb is set in 1916 just at the beginning of the Arab revolt. The Arab revolt has begun in Mecca and

Medina and it is moving northwards through the (inaudilbe).

So, it is at the beginning of the Arab revolt. And the context of the wider First World War. So, it is basically the Middle East on the brink

of massive change.

ANDERSON: Seen through the eyes of Theeb, which means Wolf, the shadow of the war is distant on the horizon but its impact has ramifications for his


NOWAR: This is sort of the end of the Bedouin culture in a way and in that area.

Afterwards, the map is radically redrawn and new borders go up, the borders that we see today. And a lot of problems that we see today come from that

moment in history from the map being redrawn and the new borders going up.

ANDERSON: The first Jordanian film to receive an Oscar nomination, Theeb has already won a BAFTA for best outstanding British debut for Jordanian-

British director Najib Abu Nowar.

Nowar and his team spent a year searching for a Bedouin tribe that had recently settled and another year living with them to prepare for filming.

[11:55:13] UNIDENTIIFED MALE: Where are you going? That's where we came from.

NOWAR: For me it was a wonderful experience because the Bedouin really became the co-authors of the film through workshopping the actors and them

contributing to their characters and what is real and not and authentic dialogue to consulting with the tribal elders on the story, and them

telling us, you know, their fathers or grandfathers were the men who lived in this world at that time. So, thye really gave us so much information

about what it was like back then.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can't sacrifice the mission for two boys, I don't care who their father is.

ANDERSON: After another year of devastating conflict and bloodshed in the Middle East, the film offers global audiences an alternative perspective on

Arab culture.

NOWAR: I'm a film maker. I live for cinema. That is all I'm interested in. I don't make films for political reasons. But I have been very happy

and proud that, you know, people have been coming up to me and saying we are so happy that finally something positive is coming out of the Middle

East on an international scale, because usually the news reports are usually only about sort of death and destruction and war and things like


I think it is important the world see we are more than just a conflict zone, we have more to offer the world than that.


ANDERSON: Well said.

CNN, the place to turn before and after the Academy Awards for all the glamour from the red carpet to tune into Hollywood's biggest night, that is

11:00 p.m. Sunday in London, 3:00 a.m. Monday in Abu Dhabi. And once the Oscars wrap up, join Don Lemon and Isha Sesay for And the Winner Is during

the ceremony you can also vote in our Oscars poll, that is at

That's your fill. CNN continues after this short break. We will be back with the headlines.