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Leicester City Ties Manchester United 1-1; Leicester City Greatest Underdog Of All Time?; Brussels Airport Reopens; Bamboo Masters of Hong Kong; French Protest Proposed Labor Reform Bill. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired May 1, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] CHRISTINA MACFARLANE: Now, if you compare to this season, they've been 134 days right at the top. I mean, it's been a complete 180
in just one season.
And as we've heard speak of over these past few months, the team were, of course, 5,000-1 to win the title this year. And speaking (inaudible) even
they struggled to put into words exactly what it is that has brought about this turn
They say to me that it is very much down to do with the team spirit that Claudio Ranieri has brought to the team, the expression with which the
players have been allowed to play on the pitch and the fact that they've begun to know each other, the fact that they've begun to really understand
how one another plays that has got them to this point.
But of course there's been some other superstitious reasons as to why perhaps they've had this turnaround. Leicester City is, of course, the
home of King Richard III who, as we know, was reburied here in the cathedral just up the road around about a year ago. And ever since he was
buried or reburied, Don, Leicester have been unstoppable. Their win rate has gone from 32 percent to 62 percent.
So, many people here thinking that there's many different reason as to why Leicester have got to this point, but of course we now have to wait 24
hours to see if they can really do it.
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yeah, you never know, it takes a bit of everything. King Richard III not the most popular king. They found him
buried under a parking lot and then reburied him, as you say, and everything has changed.
You mentioned Claudio Ranieri. Some of Leicester's players have been absolute revelations this year. Ngolo Kante, who I think has made more
tackles than anyone else. Riyad Mahrez, they call him the Algerian Messi. Jamie Vardy, of course, with all his goals.
Let's bring in Rhiannon Jones who has been watching the game close to Old Trafford where many of the Leicester city fans will be emerging from the
stadium very shortly. Rhiannon, what's your take on how Leicester performed today. It was a very hard game for them, wasn't it. And I think
they probably will be quite happy with a point.
RHIANNON JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm sure they will. It was a tough game. It was always going to be a tough game at a stadium steeped in so
much history, such successful club that Manchester United is it started off incredibly interesting, incredibly good first half even though Manchester
United dominated the quarter of an hour. And Anthony Martial opening the scoring.
Leicester City, then came back, thanks to goal from capital Wes Morgan, which equalized, brought them back into the game. So, delicately poised as
they headed into half time. Plenty of chances on goal from It was Leicester City that really came out fighting in the second half. Plenty of
chances on goal from Ulloa, from Wes Morgan again, from Okazaki, from Riyad Mahrez, player of the year, of course England player of the year.
So it really was -- I think they will be feeling a little bit hard done by it. They didn't actually score a goal in the second half. And went in and
take those three points. And then of course, Danny Drinkwater who makes his return -- who has made his return back to his former club, well he
picked up the second yellow. That's a red card. They were down to 10 men. He now misses Leicester City's next game of the weekend to Everton.
But it's all down to Tottenham Hotspur now and their trip to Chelsea.
RIDDELL: Yeah, it might not matter that Danny Drinkwater is going to miss any more games this season. It might be a moot point if Tottenham are
unable to got to Stanford Bridge and beat Chelsea on Monday evening.
I don't know if you've had a chance to speak to any of the fans yet, because it looks like it's some rather mellow Manchester United fans who
are making their way out of the stadium behind you.
Let's head over to Bangkok now where Saima Mohsin is reporting for us. She's been she has been covering the game there. Of course, an awful lot
of Thai people have been Leicester City fans, not just because of their success this season, but because that is where the team's owners hail from.
Saima, what has the atmosphere been like where you are today?
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been absolutely incredible, Don. I can tell you that I'm a huge football fan myself and I
didn't see crowds like this in Thailand during the World Cup. 600 people gathered at this outdoor viewing part at King Power headquarters tonight.
They got here by winning competitions, joining Leicester City's fan pages on social media, entering competitions through there. They really wanted
to be here.
And I can tell you, the land of smiles was the land of goans and cheers. How many near misses did we witness tonight in that match? It was
Now, I spoke to several people here, some of them said they never watched football before. One man said he used to support Manchester United, but
because it's a Thai-owned team now, he is backing Leicester City as are so many people here.
One family told me if they win the Premiership title, they're going to be making a trip, a kind of pilgrimage to Leicester.
Now, we usually see Brits coming here to Thailand, so I think Britain should be prepared for a few Thai tourists heading their way as well.
Now, of course, Christina mentioned superstition. Now we know there are a lot of Thai monks that have been backing Leicester City, too. They've made
at least 10 trips to the ground over in Leicester City. And here tonight, some of those Thai monk followers and worshipers from that very temple came
here. They -- I don't know if you can see them behind me, that cameraman just cut in front of them, but there are some of them wearing those special
head scarves with Buddhist prayers on them.
They said that when they wear them Leicester City never fails to win or draw. Tonight it was a draw -- Don.
[08:05:46] RIDDELL: It's takes a little bit of everything, doesn't it?
You know, it's great to see, because we know that the Premier League has fans all over the world. And typically, though, those fans are supporting
Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City. You see people following those teams all over the world. Here are the two, not Leicester City, but
it's great to see that in Thailand. And I think that is changing all over the globe right now.
Let's hear from one of the fans who was actually been I would imagine chewing his or her fingernails right the way through the last 90 minutes.
Christina is joined by one of the supporters. And what do you think, Crissy?
MACFARLANE: Yeah, that's absolutely right.
I'm joined here by Terry, a devout Leicester City fan supporter, and his son.
Terry, how are you feeling after that nailbiting game?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll tell you what, I feel brilliant. I feel ecstatic. I'll tell you what, with this (inaudible), all we need is Tottenham to slip
of tomorrow night. And I'll tell you what, we are going to be the champions.
MACFARLANE: You are going to be the champions?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we are.
MACFARLANE: Tell me, can you explain Leicester City's success this season? Everyone has been struggling to explain it. How do you explain it?
UNIDENTIIFED MALE: Well, it's togetherness. The team has just been brilliant. For me, the player of the year is Jamie Vardy. What a player.
What a man. You know what I mean? Some of them goals he took. Liverpool. Outstanding.
I was just gobsmacked when I saw that.
MACFARLANE: And how do you feel about the prospects of playing in Europe next season, to have Barcelona coming here to Leicester City as well as
Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and the like?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll tell you what, they've got to fear us. Because I tell you what, Leicester City are fearless. We're awesome. No one is
going to beat us ever again. Ever again.
MACFARLANE: OK. No one is going to beat you ever again? Thank you very much.
Well, you heard it here, Don, first. Very high spirits here in Leicester City. And everyone is going to be back here to see their team take the
RIDDELL: Yeah, it's great to see isn't it? My old boss was a Leicester City fan. And he used to hate the fact that when he went to the games,
that in one corner of the ground, there was a flag or a banner. And they were called the Leicester Reds. And basically it was people in Leicester
who supported Manchester United who would only got to Leicester stadium once a year, and that was to cheer on the away team. And it used to drive
him absolutely mad.
And I think we're seeing now a complete shift, Leicester at the top of the table, and deservingly so, and a lot of neutral fans really rooting for
them, which never happened before.
Let's see, who else do we want to speak to? What else can we get from the situation here?
Let's just how about Rhiannon Jones who is outside the game at Old Trafford. Hopefully, some of the Leicester fans are beginning to emerge
now. Rhiannon, what are you seeing there?
JONES: Well, to be perfectly honest, Don, I've got my back to it, so I don't really know. I came straight from the game straight out and I've had
my back to it since.
But a couple of fans have come up to my left and my right, as I know whether they're pleased Leicester City fans or relieved Manchester United
fans, because of course today's game was a very important one for Manchester United, too. They're still chasing that top four spot. And,
well, Leicester City, they've got to be happy with the draw, because all Tottenham Hotspur, if they don't beat the results that Leicester City got
today then the title is, of course, Leicester City's. And they will have made history.
RIDDELL: All right. And that will be quite something. Rhiannon, thanks very much. Chrissy, also, and Saima from Bangkok, thanks s very much to
all three of you.
You know, at the beginning of the season, Leicester were facing 5,000 to 1 odds of clinching the title, according to the book maker Patti Power (ph).
That means that with odds 1,000 to 1, Bono has a better shot at becoming the next pope, the singer Lady Gaga, is more likely to become the president
of the United States in 2020 with those odds of 500 to, that's according to William Hill.
And with odds of 250 to 1, the American rapper P. Diddy is more likely to be the next James Bond.
Lynda, they are saying, the bookies in the UK estimate that if Leicester do this -- and I think it's now very unlikely that they won't do it -- it is
going to cost the British bookmaking industry $22 million.
LYNDA KINKADE, HOST: And a lot of happy people are going to get a decent payout.
KINKADE: And you mentioned Ranieri when you were chatting to Christina Macfarlane, it was interesting when I read that he promised the team pizza
if they could keep the opponents scoreless.
[11:10:09] RIDDELL: Yeah. I'm not sure they've done it every game, but they certainly have done it quite a few times. Basically, you know, I mean
top level athletes are supposed to eat very healthy, and he's being stodgy -- heavy pizza isn't necessarily the best way to go.
But they made that their thing. Every clean sheet was rewarded with pizza for the team. And that was just another way of rewarding his players and
incentivizing with something I guess trivial, but you know a great way of bonding the team.
And it's worked.
And this is just such an amazing story for Claudio Ranieri. He's, you know, a bit of a journeyman manager. He's managed all over Europe. He's
been known as the tinker man, basically he just can't stop kind of meddling with the team and always making changes in the lineup and throughout games.
And a tinker man phrase has really stuck. And it's not a very complimentary one.
When he was appointed Leicester manager at the start of this season, he was just coming off an absolutely disastrous spell with the Greek national
team. They fired him. He was kind of seen as damaged goods. His managerial -- his best managerial days behind him.
he was hired at Leicester, a team who were bottom for most of last season. That confirmed what many people believed, they're going to get relegated
this season and he'll be one of the first managers to be fired. And look where they are now. It's just an absolutely brilliant story. We're really
seeing his personality, his very bubbly, infectious personality coming through in the last few games, because he's finally relaxing and he's knows
that they're very close.
And even if they don't do it, they're still going to be in the Champions League next season. So, it's great to see. He's a really great
personality. And you can't help but be happy for him, given what he has been through to get to this point.
KINKADE: Absolutely. He deserves a lot of credit. Great to have you with us, Don Riddell, thank you so much for that coverage.
Well, we're going to be right back with the other days stories in just a moment. Stay with us.
KINKADE: Let's turn to Iraq now. The Sunni terror group ISIS is claiming it carried out a second day of attacks, appearing to target Shiite Muslims.
It says one of its attackers blew up a car at a gathering of Shiite security forces, then as people arrived to help a second suicide bomber
struck. At least 11 people were killed and 13 others were wounded. They're part of a recent wave of bombings across the country.
And of course, it comes as the capital Baghdad remains in a state of emergency after enraged protesters broke into the heavily fortified green
zone on Saturday and, as you are seeing, they got inside parliament.
Let's bring in CNN's Ben Wedeman now who joins me from Rome who has, of course, reported extensively from the Middle East.
Ben, great deal of anger there in Baghdad. What is fueling this anger?
[11:15:01] BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's fueling it at the moment, of course, is anger at corruption, which seems to
be something that Iraq simply cannot kick.
We know that Prime Minister Abedi last year, last summer, after similar protests, had compromised to crack down on corruption.
And yesterday, he was supposed to hold a vote in parliament in which a new cabinet would be appointed not on the basis of sectarian affiliation, which
is the system that was set up by the Americans going back to time they -- 2003-2004, but he wanted to appoint a technocrat cabinet.
But of course the members of the Iraqi parliament, who are the main beneficiaries of the current system of government have resisted that effort
tooth and nail. So they could not even, there wasn't even a quorum to hold that
So, that really sparked the protesters to go inside the green zone to occupy parliament. Now we know, for instance, that 70 members of
parliament, mostly Kurdish and Sunni members, have fled to northern Iraq as a result of those protests, in fact as some of them were driving outside of
the green zone, their cars were pelted by rocks from angry protesters.
At this point, Prime Minister Abedi has sworn that these protesters who occupied parliament will be arrested but we understand no arrests have been
made. And at this point, it's anybody's guess what's going to happen next in Baghdad since the government seems to be teetering on collapse. And the
protesters are continuing to demand, not surprisingly, that a new government be formed and corruption be crushed.
But that, of course, is perhaps mission impossible in a country where, according to Transparency International, it ranks 161 out of 168 countries
when it comes to corruption, Lynda.
KINKADE: So, Ben, what does Prime Minister Haider al-Abedi need to do to hold on to power and also to restore a sense of calm and order there?
WEDEMAN: Well, what he needs to do is show that he can walk the walk as opposed to just talk the talk when it comes to corruption, that he needs to
show that he can form a government that will take decisive action to change the
situation, but that is really almost mission impossible.
You have to realize that, for instance, the green zone -- for many Iraqis symbolizes much of what is wrong with Iraq. The green zone, you can only
get in if you have bot special pass, special permission and life within the green zone, for
instance, when the rest of Baghdad is suffering from water cuts, electricity cuts,
insecurity, violence and whatnot, the green zone, the lights never go off there. It's a very safe area where people -- few people who are lucky to
have to access to it, to perhaps live inside of it live a life of luxury unimaginable to people outside.
Now, how he can change all of that, I don't know, but he certainly is going to try.
But with a government that is falling apart with security forces that can't really secure government institutions it is going to be a tall order.
KINKADE: It certainly is. Great to have your perspective on all of this.
Ben Wedeman joining us live from Rome. Thank you.
Now, Iraq is proving to be a puzzle almost impossible to solve. Remember, it's been 13 years since former dictator Saddam Hussein was toppled.
Let's get some more analysis now from Renad Mansour, a fellow researcher at the Carnegie Middle East Center. He's with us from Beirut via Skype.
Great to have you with us.
Some commentators say this is the worst political crisis since the U.S.-led invasion and the fall of Saddam Hussein. Is that a fair assessment?
RENAD MANSOUR, CARNEGIE MIDDLE EAST CENTER: I think it's clear today that a precedent has been set and that is structural change is required, no more
talk of reforms, no more simple rhetoric. There's clearly a mandate now but Abedi, the prime minister of Iraq, has to change the structure. And
it's really the first time that that structure that was set in 2003 is being challenged to this point, it's the first time that you have
protesters moving all the way inside the green zone, and inside parliament and demanding for change.
And it's really a show of force from the protesters and those, for example, are led by the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr saying that we demand change,
but not only change but we demand change now and we need to recall that yesterday's, you know, storming of the parliament was in direct reaction
for many of the protesters -- a reaction to the parliament coming up with a decision to delay the cabinet reshuffle until May 10.
So, clearly it's we want change, we it now and I think it's insofar as that is the case it's clearly a major point in post-2003 Iraq.
[11:20:14] KINKADE: And if there are not any changes, if it stays as is, what's the likelihood, do you think, that the prime minister will be
MANSOUR: Yeah. I mean, for Abadi, for the prime minister, he is facing a lot of challenges, both external and internal. Within his own party, one
of the strongest leaders, for example, former prime minister Nouri al Maliki is looking for a vacuum, is looking for parliament to dissolve so
that he and his group can come back in to power.
And on the outside, you have -- lead by Muqtada al-Sadr, a very strong popular movement now that's also demanding change. So, he's kind of stuck
in between these two forces. And one that's making him to fail, and one that's making him have to change.
And at the same time, you then have this group of elite who have been benefiting from the post-2003 the structure of communal patronage, and they
fear that any sort of new system they may lose their privileges. And even worse, a lot of them may actually be in a lot of trouble, legal trouble
because what change might entail.
KINKADE: The U.S., of course, is no doubt watching this very closely. It -- in recent times it's been more optimistic about fighting against ISIS
within Iraq, clawing back territory, but there mst be a lot of concern. How much more of a challenge will they be in fighting ISIS if the Iraqi
government as it stands is struggling to hold power?
MANSOUR: Yeah, well I mean on the surface it clearly seems like this is a major setback to the fight against ISIS. But actually there's a contrary
point here. We've all been saying for a very long time that the way to defeat ISIS is to win back those Iraqis who don't have faith in the
You need a political solution, you need some sort of political reform to convince those in Mosul and elsewhere that might be supporting or, at the
very least, indifferent to the Islamic State, to move away from them.
And so this might be actually a way to open up the political wing to the fight against ISIS by trying to restructure a system that has been failing
for more than 13 years.
KINKADE: Renad Mansour, we have to leave it there for now for now, but great to have your analysis on all of that. We appreciate it.
Well, some other stories on our radar right now, voters in Iran are pushing change into parliament. Results of a run-off election Friday show
reformist and moderate politicians were the big winners.
Allies of President Hassan Rouhani said well and more women won seats than the clerics.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with foreign diplomats in Geneva this week to discuss the fighting in Syria. The U.S. and Russia
have agreed to recommit to a truce for parts of the country.
The U.S. is pushing for the truce to also include Aleppo, which has seen at least 230 people killed in the past week.
Now, at this stage, no one has claimed responsibility for a deadly car bomb attack in Turkey near the border with Syria. It happened outside police
headquaters in Gaziantep early Sunday. Two police officers were killed and 22 other people were wounded, that's according to state media.
Turkey has been hit with a series of recent attacks claimed by ISIS or the Kurdish militants.
In Kenya, a dozen ivory towers are burning in the nation's Nairobi National Park. Flames consume more than $170 million worth of elephant tusks and
rhino horns poached from thew wild.
Kenya's president lit the first pyre, sending plumes of smoke into the sky.
It's now the first blaze of its kind, but it is by far the biggest. Our Robyn Kriel report.
ROBYN KRIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The fire is crackling loudly, you can feel the warmth from far away, and the smoke is quickly filling the
air. In some parts of the world, this would be considered ludicrous. There's been a lot of controversy surrounding this burn. 105 tons of ivory,
1.35 tons of rhino horn going up in smoke, an estimated black market value of $172 million. Now, no more.
Kenya's message to the world, this ivory is worthless. It has no value unless on a live animal.
Kenya first began burning ivory in 1989 and initially saw good results. Experts attribute the scourge in poaching to Asia's voraciously growing
appetite for Ivory, particularly in China.
This is the biggest ivory burn in history. It's left 12 piles of contraband, like these, blackened with smoke, in a fire due to last for
more than a week. The Kenyans hope this will change perceptions forever.
Robyn Kriel, CNN, Nairobi National Park, Kenya.
[11:25:02] KINKADE: Demonstrations are being held around the world for International Workers Day on the first of May.
In Paris, thousands of people are participating in this rally over the last several days. There have been, at times, violent clashes between police
and people upset over a controversial labor bill.
CNN's Jim Bittermann is in the thick of it in the French capital and joins us now. Jim, the march across the city I understand is under way. What
are protesters telling you about their motivation for coming out?
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the center of this motivation is the law, the labor reform that the government has
proposed, a law that is going to be be reviewed by the parliament later on this week.
Now, this is the seventh demonstration we've seen of this kind against the labor law. We've had a little bit of trouble here just a few minutes ago
down the street here. The main body of the demonstrators are coming this way, and the forces of security here were hit with some stones and so they
use tear gas in response. And that is, of course, provoked more stones and some injuries. We don't know exactly at this point how many.
But basically they're now trying to clear the path to get to the end of where this demonstration
is meant to end, which is down in that direction. But it's a ways away from here.
But in any case, they're going to try to clear this path, I think, we've seen the gradual movement of the CRS, which is the top security force here
clearing the streets so that the main body of the demonstrators can reach their goal as it were, Lynda.
KINKADE: And these protests we've seen over a number of days now, things got completely out of hand earlier on Thursday over that deal. Just
explain how much security is there today?
BITTERMANN: Well, we've seen some incidents. There's been some broken windows, and as I've mentioned earlier, Lynda, we saw some stones thrown at
police and the police haven't used tear gas in response.
Now, they're moving up the street here. We may have to move as they move us along here, trying to get to where this demonstration is supposed to
But in any case, we've seen a little bit of trouble today, nothing like the other day, but clearly that in this crowd there are some people who are
bent on causing some problems and we may see something before the day is out in a way of more violence again.
KINKADE: And it's not just Paris, Jim. Right across the world on this May Day, many people are protesting over rising unemployment.
BITTERMANN: Yeah. I mean, this is one of the big problems here, unemployment is running around 12 percent. And that's what brought a lot
of people out. They're not happy with the government's plans to combat unemployment, basically their plan is to reform the labor laws in the
country, which they hope will free up some of the jobs that may be created by business. They want to make it, for instance, easier to hire and fire
people. They feel that employers have been hesitant to hire people because it's so difficult to fire them once they're hired.
And also they want to cut back on the number of people eligible for the 35- hour workweek and some things about that.
All this is contained in that law, which is going to be debated in the parliament on Tuesday. And it's something that has caused a great deal of
angst here, and bringing a lot of people out in the streets -- Lynda.
KINKADE: OK, great to talk to you, Jim Bittermann. We will come back to you to take
a look at that protest, if it does get further out of hand. Thank you very much.
Well, live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up, not quite a fairy tale ending for Leicester City, but it's not over yet. We'll
have the post game analysis just ahead. Stay with us.
[11:32:32] KINKADE: Well, let's check back on our top story this hour, a 1-1 draw between Leicester City and Manchester United. .
It was a nervewracking, nail biting game at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. Now the Foxes must wait till Monday to find out if they can claim
the English Premier League crown.
Everything hinges on the final score between Tottenham and Chelsea.
Sports commentators tend to throw around the world underdog, but when it comes to Leicester City, it's no exaggeration. Let's take a look at the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the start of the season, who would have thought it? Leicester, known for crisps, were an eye watering 5,000-1 to win the
English Premier League. To put this into perspective, at 500-1, we had Lady Gaga to be U.S. president in 2020, and 5,000-1, we had Elvis Presley
to be proved to be alive.
But is this football's greatest underdog story? Notingham, known for Robin Hood, had a forest team that only used 17 players in their entire title
La Coruna (ph), known for being founded by Hercules, at a Deportivo team that spectacularly broke the Real Madrid and F.C. Barcelona duopoly.
Montpelier, known for its wins, blew away their moneybag rivals with a stunning title charge on a shoestring budget.
Denmark, known for bacon, hadn't even qualified for the 1992 Euros. They were sunning themselves on the beach, but exterior political forces changed
all that. The unfancy Danes were back in the fold and never looked back.
Greece, known for the acropolis and a team who had never previously won a tournament game in their history turned defense on defense on defense on
the way to Euro 2004 triumph.
But what makes Leicester the greatest triumph of all is many took them for relegation at the start of the season, so much so they weren't even worth a
KINKADE: Well, we're joined now by Marcus Speller, he's a presenter with the Bleacher Report. He joins us now from London. Marcus, great to have
you with us.
This is one of the greatest underdog stories ever. But it's not quite over yet, is it?
MARCUS SPELLER, BLEACHER REPORT: No, it's not. I mean, Leicester -- I think that was actually not a bad point Leicester got at Manchester United.
It puts pressure on Tottenham Hotspur, of course, chasing them in the them in the Premier League to go and get a win against
And Chelsea and Spurs have a rivalry. Chelsea won't want Tottenham to win the League. So, I think that Tottenham could slip up tomorrow night and
hand Leicester the league title. But if they don't, Leicester can then win the league at home against Everton in their next match, which would spark
wild scenes in Leicester, certainly.
[11:35:06] KINKADE: And that, of course, would be the preference, wouldn't it? Because if it comes to tomorrow, it might be a little bit of an anti-
SPELLER: True, but I think if you ask anybody who is a Leicester fan, they just want it done, they just want it over. They don't care how it's done.
They want to get over the line.
Yes, in an ideal world they would win it in front of their home fans, of course, but I think Leicester fans tomorrow is a public holiday in England
so if they celebrate with a league title when they do it, they'll certainly take that all day long.
And looking at today's match, it's quite interesting to note that this is one of the teams with
the smallest budgets, Leicester City versus Manchester United, which has a massive budget.
SPELLER: Yeah, it's very true. I mean, Manchester United has spent 215 or 300 million pounds in the last couple of years and you compare that to
Leicester who have spent hardly anything. I mean, Riyad Mahrez is one of their star players. They brought him for 400,000 pound a couple of years
I mean, it is utterly remarkable, this Leicester City story. You can't find enough superlatives to describe it. I mean, your report there
mentioned a number of other teams that were quite spectacular in their league wins, or cup wins.
But this, for me, it would be -- I'm going to put my neck on the block and say the greatest
achievement in the history of team sport if they win the league.
KINKADE: Yeah, it would certainly be incredible. And of course, Jamie Vardy was missing today, one of their key strikers.
SPELLER: He was, he was suspended. He got sent off a couple of games ago. And then said some rather naughty things to the referee. And he got an
extra match ban for that.
But he's not back for the next game, so maybe the fairy tale will be that he scores the winning goal against Everton at home in their next match to
win the league, which would be quite something for a guy who is playing amateur football four or five years ago. And it's not like he's 23 years
old and he was playing that when he was in his late teens or something. He's 29.
So, his story in itself is remarkable and then of course you have the bigger picture, which is Leicester City.
KINKADE: Yeah, and talk to us about that bigger picture. Why has this team gone from strength to strength?
SPELLER: well, the great thing is nobody can make any sense of it, which is the absolute beauty of it.
I mean, Leicester have got a team who are -- they have great cohesion, of course. They will work hard for each other. they have got a decent
But there's a number of other factors. I mean, I don't want to diminish their achievement, but obviously they haven't been playing European
football, which a number of the other sides have.
So, Leicester can play every game like it's their last. They can run around. They can put everything into it and have that higher work rate.
When you have a number of other games it's obviously a little more difficult, but that doesn't take away from their achievement at all,
because they've done this with a small squad. I think sometimes just the stars align in a certain way and then opportunity opens. And my goodness,
they've taken it.
I mean, yes, some of the other sides like Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal have been a bit poor by their own lofty admissions or standards. But
Leicester, the cohesion they've had, they've just ran with it. You know, like I say, once in a while, a blue moon appears and you've got to go for
it. And my goodness, haven't they just?
KINKADE: Yeah, the stars are certainly aligned. Marcus Speller, it's great to have you with us. Thank you so much.
SPELLER: Thank you.
KINKADE: Let's talk a little bit more about this with CNN's World Sport's Patrick Snell.
This was a tense, tense match today.
SPELLER: It certainly was, yeah. Leicester coming close, but in the end, they must wait just a
little bit. Maybe within 24 hours they will be crowned champions of England. But just picking up on Marcus' point, yeah, a terrific
achievement for Leicester throughout this season. They're not there yet. They've done so well. They're so near and yet so far.
But I want to elaborate a little more and pay tribute to as well Claudio Ranieri, their wily, experienced Italian headcoach. He has been, for me,
instrumental. If just keeping your players calm when you're coming down the stretch.
Remember, a lot of these players -- only one of them has title-winning experience -- Robert Houth, the big German at the heart of their defense
when he was with Chelsea, but this is a bunch of players who have never won top flight titles, England's top flight titles before. And Ranieri -- and
we should say that he as a head coach has never won a top flight title before.
But he is 64 years of age, he has a wealth of experience. He's managed some of the world's biggest clubs and he has just been deflecting the
media, he's been very relaxed, very cordial. On Friday, we saw him going around the room packed full of reporters, shaking hands. And that really
does help distract the pressure away from the players, they're able to focus on the job in hand. And he's done a wonderful job doing that as
Senor Ranieri. And he must take huge credit.
But, we've just been listening to some Chelsea players after the game. And they were asked where are they going to be watching the big
Chelsea/Tottenham game on Monday? They're apparently reportedly at least gathering together at least to try and watch it together, because this is
going to be one huge party depending on the result of that game.
There's a really good chance they'll be crowned champions of England for the first time ever on Monday.
And you know what, even if they don't, they can do it the following weekend when they take on Everton at their own King Pass Stadium, Lynda.
KINKADE: And it's not too much pressure. It's good they've got a couple of chances. And I wonder whether their manager might be serving them Pizza
tomorrow as a bit of a reward.
SNELL: They deserve at least that.
Yeah, of course, yeah -- he did that periodically throughout the season for a limited amount -- get me a certain number of clean sheets by a certain
point of the season and it's pizzas all around.
But it's that kind of thing -- it's -- there's more, there's more method behind that apparent madness, because it's team bonding, players respond to
that. They pick up on that.
And in turn what happens is they go out on the pitch and they give their all for their manager. They are sweating blood, quite literally, at times
for their manager. And it's just wonderful to see.
This is the ultimate, ultimate fairy tale. I've been referring on it -- referring to it on air as the unthinkable dream. Well, it really is almost
reality now, Lynda.
[11:40:37] KINKADE: It really is a Hollywood ending. And of course I get very motivated when someone shouts me pizzas.
Clearly, that's helping.
SNELL: I've got one on your desk right now. So, there you go.
KINKADE: I'll stick around for a couple of extra hours.
Patrick Snell, great to have you with us. Thank you.
Well, you're watching Connect the World. We'll be right back after a very short break. Stay with us.
KINKADE: Welcome back. You're watching Connect the World. And this is me, Lynda Kinkade. Let's get you over to Belgium now when in just the few
hours the first passengers have begun passing through the departure halls of Brussels airport since the deadly terror attacks nearly six weeks ago.
Our Erin McLaughlin reports from the scene.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nearly a month ago, this was a scene of chaos and devastation. After all, it was in this departure hall that
three alleged terrorists with their luggage carts laden with explosives walked in.
Now, the first two bombs detonated seconds apart, the third was detonated by authorities once the hall had been evacuated. Authorities, ever since
that day, have been furiously trying to get this airport back up and running. And today, a big step in that direction.
This departure hall has been opened. There was an opening ceremony with dignitaries as well as airport staff. And as you see behind me, these are
the first passengers to be checking in since the terrorist attacks, the symbol of recovery for this country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are recovering and we're trying to do our best for us colleagues as for the passengers to go back on track how we used to.
And it's a signal that they cannot, you know, beat us and they cannot just make us a victim, is a strong word, but we're strong and we're trying to
fight back as...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel very sorry for all the people that were injured here. And I think we just have to go on. And this is the European Union.
And we travel and we do all the things we want to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's strange to be here now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little bit afraid, I guess.
MCLAUGHLIN: Belgium remains under threat level three, which means that an attack is possible and likely. And there is a heavy security presence,
including military presence here at the airport. There's multiple layers of checks. In fact, passengers are screened before they can even check in,
something that was not in place prior to March 22.
Now, this airport is currently about 80 percent functional. And that's because parts of the
departure hall are still being repaired. It's expected to be fully operational mid-June.
Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Brussels airport.
[11:45:14] KINKADE: Well, now when you think of all the materials that go into modern
skyscrapers you probably think concrete, glass and steel. But in Hong Kong, workers are
employing a more traditional resource to reach new heights. CNN's Ivan Watson has more on Hong Kong's bamboo scaffolding.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 30 stories up, hanging on a bamboo pole. This is how they build and repair skyscrapers in Hong Kong
with scaffolding made of bamboo. It's a common sight in these urban canyons, towering ladders of sticks trusted by the workers
who cling to them.
It's all the more remarkable when you consider bamboo is technically the largest member of the grass family.
To get a better sense of how this very modern city uses such an ancient technique for construction, I went to bamboo scaffolding school.
So this is the bamboo?
WEN CHI-LEUNG, BAMBOO SCAFFOLFDING MASTER: Bamboo.
WATSON: Master Wen Chi-Leung explains, because it's both hollow and strong, bamboo is lighter, cheaper and more flexible than metal
scaffolding. And that allows him to work at dizzying heights.
You've worked 88 stories up on bamboo?
"I can see a lot of clouds from up there," he says.
The key to this job is a safety technique Master Wen calls riding the bamboo, keeping an ankle locked around a pole at all times.
You keep your gloves in your helmet?
WATSON: As for the scaffolding.
You make it look so easy.
It's held together with simple knots made of nylon strings.
Maybe you can finish this one for me, because I've ruined it.
I should probably stick to my day job.
Goes up like that?
The people who do this work are proud of their craft.
"Bamboo scaffolding is an art," this scaffolder says. A Chinese traditional art that can be traced back thousands of years.
It's certainly an example of an ancient skill that continues to be taken to modern day heights.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
KINKADE: Well, Washington rolled out the red carpet for the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday. It was the last time U.S. President
Barack Obama attended the dinner as commander-in-chief. He took on the role of comedian-in-chief, poking fun at all the candidates, even himself.
Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good evening, everybody. It is an honor to be here at my last, and perhaps the last White House
The end of the Republicans never looked better.
LARRY WILMORE, COMEDIAN: Nice to be here at the White House Correspondence Dinner or, as you know they're going to call it next year, Donald Trump
Presents a Luxurious Evening Paid for by Mexico.
OBAMA: We've got the bright new face of face of the Democratic Party here tonight, Mr. Bernie Sanders.
Bernie, you look like a million bucks, or to put it in terms you'll understand you look like 37,000 donations of $27 each.
WILMORE: I can't understand why everybody treats Donald Trump with kid gloves. And then I realized they're the only gloves that will fit his
stupid little baby hands.
OBAMA: Bernie's slogan has helped his campaign catch fire among young people, "Feel the Bern." Hillary's slogan has not had the same effect.
WILMORE: There's a joke going around the internet that Ted Cruz is actually the Zodiac
Killer. I'm not making that up. Come on, that's absurd, you know, some people actually liked the
OBAMA: Meanwhile, some candidates aren't polling high enough to qualify for their own joke
WILMORE: Ted Cruz got zero delegates in New York, which is actually five more than I thought he would get for the Zodiac Killer.
OBAMA: And with that, i just have two more words to say.
KINKADE: Great show there by the U.S. president.
Well, there's a saying that goes "dance like no one's watching."
New York Governor Chris Christie did exactly that at a Bruce Springsteen concert except
everyone was watching.
CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on how Christie rocked the night away.
[11:50:02] JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Chris Christie's wife made that ever so subtle eye roll -
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The only thing she's got going is the woman's card.
MOOS: As Donald Trump slammed Hillary, we wondered what her husband was thinking. Was he reliving his wild and crazy night before? The governor
didn't just clap his way through a Bruce Springsteen concert in Brooklyn, he belted his way. And played air guitar. And took selfies with strangers
and then sang with them.
And he didn't care that cellphones everywhere were spying on him. He didn't act trapped. He acted free.
"I've never seen such a display of such pure joy from one man," tweeted a concert goer. "I mean the guy is rocking out like no one's watching." "Hey,
when you're in a trance with your eyes closed, no one is watching." Even Christie critics at Gawker (ph) called him a concert hero. "Guys,
Chris Christie couldn't be cuter if he tried," tweeted another audience member.
The New Jersey governor has idolized The Boss since he was a boy. He's attended over 130 Springsteen concerts.
MOOS (on camera): Politically speaking, the governor and the rock star dance to the beat of a different drummer. Springsteen, a die-hard liberal,
turned down Christie's request to perform at his first inauguration.
(voice-over): But they shook and hugged it out at a Hurricane Sandy telethon.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: He told me, it's official, we're friends.
MOOS: Even if The Boss did once sing a parody about bridgegate with Jimmy Fallon.
JIMMY FALLON AND BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (singing): You're stuck and Governor Chris Christie for the New Jersey traffic jam.
MOOS: Now the one jamming is the governor.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
KINKADE: Looks like a lot of fun.
Well, coming up, Leicester has given new meaning to the words team spirit as they sought success from a higher power. We'll take you to Thailand to
meet their unlikely inspiration next. Stay with us.
KINKADE: Welcome back. Not all fairy tales have a happy ending and you'll know from our top story that at least for now Leicester City Football Club
will have to sit tight and wait for theirs.
But still, their rise has been nothing short of spectacular. Just how did they pull it off? Good teamwork? Good tactics? Or maybe good karma.
In today's Parting Shots, Christina Macfarlane shows us the team's spiritual side.
MACFARLANE: Leicester City's improbable rise to the top of the Premier League has stunned the footballing world. While pundits in Europe grapple
to understand the secret for their success, here in Thailand, the home of the club's owners, football fans believe it's more to do with spirituality
than skills and tactics.
For the past three years, monks have been traveling from the temples here in Bangkok all the
way to Leicester City football grounds to bless the pitch and share secret fabrics with the players. And one monk is credited with turning the club
into an unstoppable force.
(inaudible) is the assistant abbot at the Golden Buddha temple and has traveled around a dozen times to the club at the request of the Thai
owners. Recently, he gave this unbeatable fabric to the team, which is said to bring good karma.
He recalls how the players were somewhat taken aback by their meeting with the monks
PHRA PROMMANGKALACHAN, MONK, GOLDEN BUDDHA TEMPLE (through translator): Well, they're from different regions. They're not Buddhists and therefore
during our first meeting they were a bit indifferent. But Mr. Vicha (ph), he wanted blessings for the club and each individual player.
The site of monks, at the King Power Stadium in a season where Leicester City have roared from the bottom to the very top of the Premier League has
drawn much attention to the club and their unconventional Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
PROMMANGKALACHAN (through translator): He never intended to change the way a Premier league club was run. All he wanted was for his team to be
confident. But Mr. Vichai is a good Buddhist, and wherever he goes, he never forgets about Thailand.
MACFARLANE: And that's something the Thai people here have taken to their hearts, many of them switching from the traditional giants like Manchester
United and Liverpool to follow the fairy tale, meaning retailers have completely sold out of the Leicester King Power blue shirts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It means a lot for us. This is the first time that a team owned by Thai people could be the champion. And
I think they are going to win. I look at us. We have a great monk. We have monks who bless them.
MACFARLANE: If karma takes Leicester City all the way to the Premier League title, one wonders what it will do next season when the Foxes step
up to take their place among Europe's elite in the Champions League.
The answer to that lies in the heart of the temple.
PROMMANGKALACHAN (through translator): It's up to them. If they continue to uphold the law of karma it will be their power. If they still have
consciousness and good intention and determination to do good deeds, the power will remain with them forever.
MACFARLANE: Christina Macfarlane, CNN, Bangkok.
KINKADE: Well, even if you're not a football fan it's hard not to get caught up in the magic of Leicester City's story, but after Christina's
report what or who do you think is behind their success? The monks, maybe eve Richard III, or just plain old good luck. Let us know and check out
all the other stories we're working on by going to our Facebook page, that's Facebook.com/CNNconnect.
I'm Lynda Kinkade and that was this edition of Connect the World. Thanks for watching.