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World Leaders in Vienna Negotiating Syrian Peace; World Leaders Ready to Arm Libya's Unity Government; Fight Against ISIS Continues in Syria; Manchester United Bomb Scare; Donald Trump on Brexit; Former New Zealand PM Helen Clark Seeking to Become First Female U.N. Secretary- General; Suspect in Hacking Deaths Arrested in Bangladesh; 17 French Politicians Speak Out Against Sexual Harassment; Russia Threatens to Boycott Eurovision; Demining the Holy Land. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired May 16, 2016 - 11:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via Translator): I want thinks to be better like they were before and for the kidnapped people to come back, 7-year-old Gabriella



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Children of war, Christians facing the threat of extinction in Syria.

We're live in Damascus this evening while 2,000 miles away in Vienna, Austria, diplomats push to end the violence. Also --


HELEN CLARK, FORMER NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: Gender equality is a big priority for me. I've been cracking glass ceilings throughout my whole



ANDERSON: Why Helen Clark thinks she can be the first female Secretary General of the United Nations.

And how demining these sites is providing new hope in the Holy Land.


ANDERSON: Well I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD live from Abu Dhabi. It's just after 7:00.

It may sound like deja vu but we begin this hour as crucial diplomacy swings into action all this week, hoping to fix some of this region's most

stubborn and deadly conflicts. The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Vienna right now meeting with European and Arab foreign ministers to

talk about Syria and Libya. There's a press conference going on as we speak in Syria.

Kerry wants to give new life to the so-called cessation of hostilities, which has come close to breaking down completely as new fighting rages,

especially -- as you see in these pictures -- in the city of Aleppo.

And this just in from those talks, U.S. and other world powers say they are ready to arm the Libyan government to help fight ISIS there. Earlier,

Kerry met with Libya's prime minister. Washington's top diplomat was piling on support for his unity government, as it's known, but one expert

told me it may not be enough.


FAWAZ GERGES, PROFESSOR, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: My take on it is that there's a real fear that you're going have three governments. You have one

in Tobruk in the east, you have one in Tripoli, and now you'll have a national unity government. That's exactly why ISIS has been able to find a

home. ISIS basically feeds, is nourished on chaos and instability.


ANDERSON: And the Iraqi army says it's trying to retake the strategically important town of Al-Rutba from ISIS. It sits along the international

highway linking Baghdad with Amman.

Right. We're covering these angles for you as you would expect in the only way CNN can. Our Frederick Pleitgen on the ground for you in Damascus;

Jomana Karadsheh is in the Jordanian capital of Amman this evening.

Fred, let me come to you first. A couple of weeks ago, John Kerry said the conflict in Syria was, and I quote, "in many ways out of control and deeply

disturbing." That was at talks in Geneva. Fast forward to today two weeks later and the U.S., Russia, Iran, representatives of the Gulf States, all

of whom have a stake in this proxy war, talking to each other 2,000 miles away from Syria. Has anything changed?

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's certainly some things that have changed. On the one hand, the people here for instance in

Damascus, Becky, have gotten a taste of what it could be like if the weapons were to fall silent. There has been a cease-fire, a cessation of

hostility, that has held here for the Damascus area and certainly many people that we speak to here on the ground say that this is something that

they would like to get used to, something that they would like to see extended indefinitely.

On the other hand, though, of course you still have areas like Aleppo where the fighting rages exactly the same way that it did before. Back then,

when Secretary of State Kerry said that, it was right in the middle of when the Syrian military had launched a large-scale offensive in the Aleppo

area. And that is certainly something where we still do see a lot of fighting.

In the end what it's going to come down to is for the Syrians in all of this, the government and also the rebel factions, whether or not they are

willing to make very painful compromises. One of the things the opposition says is they say at the end of a transitional process, they want Syria's

president Bashar al Assad to step aside. The Syrian government has said absolutely not; it's not even something they want to talk about. Are these

two sides going to be able to come to an agreement? It seems that thought at this point in time it is very difficult.

[11:05:03] So right now, the prospects for these talks yielding any sort of headway seem to be very, very difficult. But at the same time you do have

members of the international community who are still trying to move things forward. Of course, first and foremost, the United States, who is very

much interested in trying to get all of the sides here of this conflict to band together and to fight ISIS together, which, of course, they say should

be the main priority to try to get rid of them here in this country. Becky?

ANDERSON: And at those talks, let's remind our viewers, world powers say they are ready to arm Libya's unity government in the fight against ISIS.

How they do that, who they will be arming, the details sketchy at present. And many critics, of course, of that U.N.-backed what is now a third unity


Jomana, contrary to what U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy in the fight against ISIS told reporters in Amman, Jordan, evidence in Iraq at

least that ISIS is very much in evidence and by no means losing a grip, correct?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the line you keep hearing from U.S. and Iraqi officials is that ISIS has lost ground, that it

has lost that ability to gain territory in Iraq, that they are unable to do that anymore. They even give you figures saying that, n Iraq, it's lost 45

percent of the territory it once controlled; in Syria, it lost about 20 percent of the territory that it controlled at its height.

But the one thing clearly, Becky, that ISIS hasn't lost the ability do is these spectacular, at times complex and coordinated attacks we have seen

taking place over the past couple weeks in and around Baghdad and other parts of the country.

Now you get different opinions about why ISIS is doing this right now, this stepped up campaign, this upsurge in violence. Obviously this is happening

at a time where we're seeing a very serious political crisis in the country, and as ISIS and other extremist groups have done in the past in

Iraq, trying to exploit the political rifts in the country to try and exacerbate sectarian tensions and reignite the sectarian war. That's one

motivation. Others would say that it's trying to draw the attention away and the focus from the battlefields in the north and the western parts of

the country by stepping up these attacks in and around Baghdad.

But U.S. officials, Becky, would say that this is ISIS on the back foot or this is a weakened ISIS that is carrying out these attacks as a response.

It's being really defensive here that it doesn't have the ability. But clearly, we're seeing really these bloody attacks that are taking place

almost on a daily basis, and the impact has been devastating in that country.

ANDERSON: Jomana is in Amman in Jordan. We thank you.

Fred, as you've been discovering in Syria, for some, this is now an existential fight.

PLEITGEN: Yes. It certainly is, Becky. And really the community that we focused on is the Christian community here in Syria. Of course, there are

groups like ISIS who have said in the past that look, for the Christians here in this country, they can either convert to Islam or they can leave

the country or they will be killed. Those are the options that ISIS has presented to the Christians.

So even though at this point in time, many of them continue to live here, continue to live defiantly here, they are also in fear about the very

existence of Christianity here in this country. Let's have a look at one of the most ancient Christian towns in Syria.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): "Jesus loves you no matter how you feel," these children sing at a religion class in Maaloula, Syria's most famous

Christian town, which was occupied by Islamist militants for six months. Several townspeople are still missing.

"I want things to be better like they were before and for the kidnapped people to come back," 7-year-old Gabriella says. Similar words from 8-

year-old girl Berla Amun (ph). "I want Maaloula to be better and more beautiful than it used to be," she says.

Shocking, their reaction when I asked how many of them have had to flee their homes.

Islamist rebels led by al Qaeda's win in Syria, Jabbat al Nusra, invaded Maaloula in late 2013. This video by one of the groups allegedly shows a

suicide blast that took out the checkpoint to the village. The rebels kidnapped 12 nuns from a convent. It took more than six months of intense

battles to oust them.

But scars remain. This is the same Teqlah (ph) convent and shrine -- or what's left of it. A warning to Syria's Christian community.

(on camera): While some buildings here in Maaloula have been restored, others remain exactly like this -- completely destroyed and mostly burned

out. And of course many people who lived in this town ask themselves whether Christianity still has a future here in Syria.

[11:10:08] (voice-over): Syria is home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. Maaloula is the last place where the Aramaic

that Jesus spoke is still in use. But groups like ISIS have vowed to oust the Christians from this land.

This member of Maaloula's city council shows me just some of the priceless icons that were damaged or looted, especially the most ancient ones.

JOSEF SAADI, MAALOULA CITY COUNCIL: They stole it and then they fire the other. The new one, they fired it.

PLEITGEN (on camera): They burned it.

SAADI: They burned it.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): As we left Maaloula, a Christian song was playing on a loudspeaker system in the entire town, a sign of defiance from a

Christian community that hopes the children learning about their long heritage in Syria will have a future in the land of their ancestors.


PLEITGEN (on camera): So as you can tell, Becky, the defiance is still there on the part of the Christian community. But, of course, the

attrition is as well. Ad you know, one of the things we mentioned in that report is that Maaloula is one of the only places where the Aramaic of

Jesus Christ is still being spoken. Well, they had an institute in that town to teach Aramaic and to preserve that language for future generations.

The woman who headed that institute has now also fled the country as well. Becky.

ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen is in Damascus for you this evening.

And just to bring you back up to date again on what we are getting out of Vienna where there are talks ongoing between world powers on both Syria and

on Libya. What we are hearing on Libya is that the United States and other world powers say they are ready to supply Libya's internationally-

recognized government with weapons to counter the Islamic State and other militant groups gaining footholds, they say, in lawless regions.

World powers aiming to push for exemptions to a U.N. arms embargo which was imposed on Libya to keep lethal arms away from Islamic extremists some time

ago. The question really will be the detail in this. Who will world powers be delivering arms to? They say to the army of the internationally-

recognized unity government. Quite frankly it doesn't have an army. There are three governments effectively running in Libya at present and each of

those governments needs help on the ground. And oOne assumes that help oft-times will be militias.

So important times ahead. This was always going to be an important date for Libya. But this is not by any stretch the end of the road. First

steps, I guess, as far as the U.S. and world power -- other world powers will be concerned as far, as they say, arming the unity government. We'll

hear more on this and we'll doing a lot more on Libya as we move through what is a very crucial week, not just for Libya but of course for the

region. But specifically getting stuff out on Libya is very important. Important story there. OK.

All right, let's get you some of the other stories on our radar today.


ANDERSON: The police commissioner for Greater Manchester has told CNN that the bomb scare at Manchester United stadium has exposed a gap in security.

An investigation has been ordered after the discovery of a suspicious package on Sunday. It turned out to be a dummy bomb used in a previous

security exercise.

Let's bring in our Christina MacFarlane; she's at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester. "A fiasco" is how the police chief has described this,

Christina. Who is responsible?

CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, if you listen to the Greater Manchester Crime Commissioner, he has said the fault lies squarely

on the shoulders of Manchester United. He called it unacceptable incompetence. Not only that the device could have been left in the stadium

here for four days before the match was due to take place, but that no one actually found it until half an hour before kickoff.

[11:15:00] Now, Manchester United released a statement late last night in response to this, saying that they will launch a full investigation looking

into how this happened, why this happened. They said they will refund the tickets for the fans who turned out for the match yesterday and will

provide free tickets for them tomorrow.

The match has obviously been rescheduled to take place here at Old Trafford on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.

But it is enormously embarrassing and hugely financially costly, Becky. The football club stand to lose out by some $4.3 million as a result of the

events yesterday. And that's not even to mention what the city stands to lose out. They deployed the police force here yesterday, sniffer dogs, and

a bomb control squad also turned out here. But more importantly when we spoke to the crime commissioner earlier, he said that the key issue was the

security here and the fact that that needed to be looked into now with more detail. Here's what he had to say.


TONY LLOYD, GREATER MANCHESTER MAJOR & POLICE COMMISSIONER: The events of yesterday, Sunday, has revealed that there is a gap in the security, and

that gap has now got to be recognized. That gap has now got to be filled to make sure that -- that in the event of somebody trying to place a

device, that that will be discovered.

Obviously in the end it's about the professionalism of the club like Manchester United to make sure that the public has the reassurance that

they can go a football ground, a sporting ground, and be safe. In that way, I'm calling on the club to make sure there is proper independence in

their inquiry. I think there is the call to the world football to examine security and keeping people safe is more important than three points in a

football match. More important than money in actual fact, but we've got to get it right.


MACFARLANE: Now all of that said, Becky, there has been some praise in the last 24 hours for the security teams here. The way they conducted the

evacuation yesterday was very calm, very efficient. There was no panic. So I guess in light of the events, there is some reassurance that they know

how to act in the event of something like this happening. It was just lucky, of course, that it was a false alarm.

ANDERSON: Christina MacFarlane in Manchester for you.

Still to come tonight -- thank you, Christina -- a war of words between Donald Trump and two top British politicians. The new criticism he is

aiming their way is coming up.

Plus, I spoke to New Zealand's former prime minister to ask her why she thinks she is the right person to run the United Nations. Her response

just ahead.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Donald Trump doesn't appear to be making any new friends in a nation that has long been one of America's strongest allies.

[11:20:01] In a new interview with ITV, he criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron and the new London mayor Sadiq Khan. He also

weighed in on the debate over whether the United Kingdom should leave the European Union -- Brexit as it's known.

International diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joining me now from London. And bang goes the relationship it seems were Donald to win the U.S.

presidency. Explain.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, he said in terms of his relationship with David Cameron, at least the views he's now

expressing are those that he's heard from David Cameron. David Cameron of course criticizing Donald Trump for his position on not allowing Muslims,

or saying that he wouldn't allow Muslims in the United States. David Cameron has called this divisive, stupid, and wrong and has on occasion

very recently been asked if he would take any back. He says no, so Donald Trump says, well, I don't care. But it seems that we're not going to get

along too well.

He was also, Donald Trump, talking about the issue of Brexit. And on that he said, look, this is a decision for the British people to make their own

minds up. But he went on to say something that will also not play well with David Cameron. David Cameron wants the British people to vote to

remain in the European Union; Donald Trump, however, thinks it might be better for them to leave. This is what he said.


DONALD TRUMP (R), U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I just speak for myself. I don't want anybody to even, you know, change their opinion.

Personally I wouldn't do it. I mean, a lot of the migration and a lot of the acceptance of people is because of the European Union. I think that's

been a disaster.

PIERS MORGAN, HOST: So you would prefer Britain personally to pull out.

TRUMP: Me, I have no preference. I'm -- you know, I have big investments in Britain, but I have no preference. I think if I were from Britain, I

would probably not want it. I'd want to go back to a different system.


ROBERTSON: But in terms of a special relationship, he hinted there that perhaps it would be better under him than President Obama, because

President Obama when he was in London standing next to David Cameron recently said that if Britain were to pull out of the European Union, if it

wanted to negotiate a trade deal with the United States, it would have to go back to the back of the queue, the line. Donald Trump now says

absolutely not. Britain would not have to go to the back of the line to negotiate a new trade deal. That will be something here the Out camp of

the Brexit, for the Brexit referendum, they will take some comfort from that, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nic, all right, thank you. Nic Robertson on the story for you.

Of course, the U.S. election isn't the only race going on. The United Nations has to pick a new Secretary-General as well. Candidates hoping to

get the job are starting to pop up, and over the next few months I'm going to be speaking to many of them for you and on your behalf.

First up, New Zealand's former prime minister Helen Clark. She wants to become the first ever woman to be the world's top diplomat and she's been

making gender a big part of her campaign. I caught up with her a little bit earlier today to talk about that. But I began by asking her her views

on the rolling conflicts here in the Middle East and the U.N.'s involvement in talks to try and stop them.


HELEN CLARK, FORMER NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: First, I think there's got to be a lot of emphasis on prevention of conflicts. These conflicts don't

come out of nowhere. So what more could the U.N., leading the international community, have done to stop tensions boiling over into these

very protracted conflicts? Once the conflict is actually under way, then the U.N. has to use every good office that the Secretary-General has

through the mediators to try and bring it to an end. Now clearly in the sixth year of the Syrian conflict, this has not succeeded to date. But

full marks to the mediator for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, for sticking with it and trying to get the parties to talk.

ANDERSON: These are a failure, though, aren't they?

CLARK: Well, when six years into a conflict, everybody's failed. But I think most people would say there is no military outcome to this except

more misery for the people of Syria. So we have to keep at the diplomacy.

On the development side and the humanitarian side UNDP, sister agencies, we're in there trying to do the best for the people. But it's hard going.

ANDERSON: So it's prevention rather than reaction going forward if you were SG. Listen, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council

charged with the maintenance of international peace and security are the U.S., China, Russia, France, and the U.K, of course, and it's been that way

since the organization's inception. But the world is a very different place today. Would you like to change that makeup?

CLARK: The Security Council, as we see it, is the post-World War II settlement and clearly over 70.5 years a lot of things have changed.

There's new kids on the block, as it were. The geopolitics, the geoeconomics is different. So, yes, it should change. But the debate

about this has been going on for a long time. When I was Kiwi prime minister, we were looking at the options then.

[11:25:03] I don't expect a quick outcome to that either, but I would hope that the U.N. member states will focus their minds on what could be done to

make the Security Council look more like today's reality.

ANDERSON: So with the status quo, are you telling me that U.N. is pretty much irrelevant?

CLARK: No. It's highly relevant, but it could be more relevant. It could be more effective. And that's -- I've put myself forward because I think I

could make a contribution, as someone who's been a long-time leader, many years in my own country as prime minister, in my region, in these last

seven years at the U.N., seeing it somewhat from the inside, although across the first avenue from the secretary, but I think there's things

could be done to sharpen up the act.

ANDERSON: You've launched your campaign, Helen, to become the first woman to lead the U.N., saying that peace really matters to women. Now, I

certainly wouldn't argue with that, but how does that make you any more qualified than a man to provide solutions for peace?

CLARK: I've never asked anyone to elect me over a long career in public life because I'm a woman. But I am a woman. I'm proud of being a woman.

And I do think I bring women's perspectives to these jobs.

For the issues of peace and war, women are incredibly affected. Look at the women of Syria and the burden they are carrying with lives for their

families completely disrupted. Women are always the most affected, women and their children. So I think bringing that very clear focus on people,

their needs, how events are affecting them, is a strength I could bring to the job.

ANDERSON: I want to read you something from a report on equality, gender parity, the McKinsey & Company, a consultant firm, put out last September

saying, quote, "In a full potential scenario in which women play an identical role in labor markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or

26 percent, nearly a third of global annual GDP, could be added by 2025." End quote.

That is a phenomenal amount of money; it's more than 1.5 times all America's estimated economic activity in 2015, some $18 trillion. Which

begs the question, doesn't it -- equality is good news for everybody, not just morally, but frankly an absolute financial bonanza. What will you do

if you become U.N. Secretary-General to make this happen?

CLARK: It's a no-brainer, isn't it, that if women could participate in the economy to the same extent as men, the economy has got to be a lot larger

than it is today.

So in the work I've been doing at UNDP, we do a lot on women's economic empowerment. It goes back to has a woman had the chance to have her

education? To have her choices? Does she have equal access to resources that you need to be productive economically? In quite a number of

countries we see women can't own land, can't rent decent land, can't access credit, can't open a bank account. We have to overcome all these practical

things to ensure that women at the base of the pyramid, the poorest women, have got a fair gone. And then if we look at the advanced societies,

again, we have to see that women have equal opportunity go all the way to the top and be with the top decision-makers and make decisions which are in

the interests of women and men.


ANDERSON: Helen Clark, speaking to me just a little bit earlier.

Now you just heard us talking about women's equality or gender parity; that is an issue I am not afraid to say I am very passionate about, as you

probably expect. If you head to our Facebook page, you will find this: my pledge to promote equal opportunities for men and women alike.

Other women right here in the UAE are there doing the same thing as well. So get involved. Take a look at that. And send us your pledges, your

videos. Let's get some traction on this.

The latest world news headlines just ahead. Plus, sporting history is being made in Leicester. We will be live there as the city's football

fairy tale comes to a glorious end.


[11:32:10] ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. This is CNN and these are your top stories at just after half past 7:00 in the UAE.


ANDERSON: Police in the capital of Bangladesh have made an arrest after last month's machete attack killings of two activists. One victim the

editor of the country's first LGBT magazine. The suspect a member of an al Qaeda-inked group that's claimed other similar attacks in the past year.

My colleague Alexandria Field has more on his arrest.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After weeks of searching for suspects connected to the hacking death of two LGBT activists, Tanay Mojumdar and

Xulhaz Mannan, police in Bangladesh say they have made one arrest. Shariful Islam Shihab, a 37-year-old who they say is connected to what they describe

as a homegrown Islamist militant group called Ansarullah Bangla. Terrorism experts in the region whom we've spoken to say that Ansarullah Bangla does

have ties to al Qaeda.

In the aftermath of this double hacking murder, the Bangladeshi chapter of al Qaeda publicly claimed responsibility for the killings online. Police

say that five or six men were involved in the slaughter of Tanay Mojumdar and Xulhaz Mannan. They say that the group of men posed as couriers and

then burst into an apartment in Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital. At the time of the killings, Xulhaz Mannan's mother and a maid were inside the

building. Police say that the weapons used included knives and machetes, but they say that firearms were also on the scene, and those were key

pieces of evidence in this arrest. Two guns were picked up and authorities say that one of those guns was traced back to the suspect in the case,


Police can now hold Shihab for up to three days for further interrogation. They hope that he could be the key to find the other suspects in this

double murder, as well as the spate of machete murders that we've seen unfold across Bangladesh in the last year, and even as far back as 2013.

The victims in these cases have included secular bloggers, atheist bloggers, religious minorities, the LGBT activists, and even academics.

Police are now hopeful this arrest could lead them to some further information.

In Hong Kong, Alexandria Field, CNN.


[11:35:00] ANDERSON: A group of French politicians say they are fed up and will no longer remain silent about sexual harassment in politics.

Seventeen women, all former French ministers, signed a letter published in the French journal. It comes after two top French politicians were accused

of inappropriate behavior.

Our senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann joining me live now from Paris. These aren't the first allegations but certainly the noisiest

and most high profile. Who's speaking out and why now?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think a couple things. What you mentioned those two high-profile politicians the

last week were accused of sexual harassment, and the amount of hypocrisy involved in one case particularly because the deputy president of the

National Assembly basically had signed on with a bunch of other leading members of the National Assembly to say that they were going to fight

sexual harassment. And yet there are eight women out there who have accused him of some very serious sexual harassment violations. He's denied

the charges but nonetheless he resigned as the deputy president of the National Assembly.

Here's what the newspaper looked like yesterday. The pictures of the leading women, the 17 women who have come forward. And these very well-

known women in France. They're very high-profile people, including Christine Lagarde, for example, who's a former minister of finance, now the

head of the IMF. All of whom have had some kind of a sexual harassment issue in the past with people around them.

And so this group, which represents politicians of both sides of the aisle, the political aisle here, I think is going to have some clout. But it's

not the first time this issue has come up. About two years ago, there was a group of 40 women -- leading industrial, women in industry and private

industry -- basically who came forwar,d made the same kind of accusations, and it doesn't seem like much has changed from that, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right, what happens next, do you think? What's going to come out of this?

BITTERMANN: Well, there's actually a piece of legislation that's making its way through the National Assembly right now and it's going to do a

couple things that these women are calling for. One, for example, would extend the statute of limitations from three years to six years so that

women could, in fact, have a longer period of time to bring allegations of sexual harassment if they were, perhaps, fearful of losing their jobs.

And another thing for the women in that kind of situation where they might be fearful of losing their jobs, they can bring charges -- according to

this piece of legislation, they can bring charges through an association without doing it individually and, therefore, remain anonymous if they want

to bring charges of and allegations of sexual harassment and still hang on to their jobs and not be in some way harassed because of that. Becky?

ANDERSON: Remarkable. All right. Jim Bittermann is in Paris. Always a pleasure, Jim. Thank you.

In around an hour and a half from now, something will happen in the historic English city of Leicester that has never happened before. An open

top bus will parade and honor Leicester City Football Club as the No. 1 team in the country. As you'll remember, Leicester took the Premier League

title despite odds of 5,000 to 1 against them. So for that reason, we will give them another day or hour in the limelight. Rightly so.

Alex Thomas is there for us. Alex, how are the preparations going?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Becky, I couldn't quite hear you introduce me there, but hopefully you did set me up to tell you about the victory

parade that Leicester City are going to enjoy, having pulled off a remarkable fairy tale story, perhaps the biggest underdog story in the

history of any sport really.

And here we are, a couple hours away from an open top bus parade involving the Foxes, as they're known. That's their nickname. Having started the

season 1,500 to 1 outsiders to win the Premier League. They beat world famous sides like Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal to the

Premier League title.

I'm going to let my cameraman Tony show you the crowd building up here in the Leicester City center. Ten deep in places; they're expecting as many

as 100,000, but when you consider there's only a population of 300,000, one in three people in this town are expected to come out and cheer their

football side on. And this is supposed to be, historically, a rugby town, not a football one at all.

Tony, go back down there and just show them the Italian fans in the corner there. Because part of the Leicester story, Becky, is their manager,

Claudio Ranieri, a veteran Italian coach who's had some success in many around Europe. This is the first time he's won a national championship,

and he's really been taken under the wing of everybody here ,adopted by the city if you like. There are certainly some Italians cheering and chanting

his name.

[11:40:00] We're he not sure if they've flown from Italy especially for this. But, you know, I wouldn't put it past them. This is a story that

has captured the attention of people around the world. Leicester City owned by Thai businessmen and we hear that some of the leading players that

have made their name this season like N'Golo Kante, Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, are going to go over and meet dignitaries in Thailand later this

week. What a global and amazing sporting fairy tale this has been, Becky.

ANDERSON: Isn't it a just? A proper CONNECT THE WORLD story.

Listen, the question is they might be going out to Thailand for a bit of break (INAUDIBLE). Is the owner, is the owner going to be able to keep

them through the summer? I mean, there will be a lot of interest in what has been this incredible team. They've worked so well together. But as

individuals, there's three or four players on that team who surely will be under the eye of other teams. Will they be able to hold this team

together, do you think for a repeat performance?

THOMAS: They've said, Bekcy, they're going to try whatever they can do to hold on to these players that have made their name this season. The likes

of Kante and Mahrez have been -- have come out of French lower leagues only a few years ago. Jamie Vardy was on the Leicester bench a couple of season

ago. These players have almost come from nowhere and all peaked at the right time. Kasper Schmeichel, their goalkeeper, son of Manchester United

legend, Peter Schmeichel, former Denmark international.

So they've done so well to capture the Premier League title. Will it be just an amazing one off that'll leave us scratching our heads and saying we

were there in the decades to come? Or can they hold on to this group of players? And they're going to be in the Champions League next season as

English champions, possibly playing the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich. That'll be fascinating.

The city aren't quite ready for that yet. At the moment, and in the hours ahead, they're just here to cheer on their side and to say well done. The

open top bus is coming past me here in the next couple hours. Becky?

ANDERSON: Basking in the glory and so they should. Go on, those Foxes and their fans. Thank you. Alex is in Leicester for you this hour.

Live from Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up more fallout from Ukraine's controversial Eurovision win with a Russian politician

calling for Moscow to boycott next year's competition. We'll be live in Moscow for you.

And --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see an anti-tank mine right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sure. There is the first line is right here, like 30 meters from the place where we're standing.


ANDERSON: Christians believe that right here is where Jesus was baptized, but for decades it's been inaccessible. Going to tell you about an effort

that could change all that.

Taking a very short break. Back after this.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.

Now to the fallout from the Eurovision Song Contest. Ukraine won with a song called "1944" about the deportation of an ethnic group from Crimea

during the Second World War. Well, now a Russian senator is suggesting that Russia skip next year's competition in response.

Let's go to Moscow and our correspondent there, Matthew Chance. Oh, dear. They going to be performing or not next year, do you think?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A good question. There have been -- there has been this call, as you say, from that Russian

senator for a boycott but the Kremlin is already in the past hour or so tried to row back on that, saying, look, it's too early. Too early for us

to talk about a boycott, too early for us to rattle sabers, they said.

So, you know, Russia has a record of being indignant and then getting over it and moving on. And that may well be the case this time. But, look, I

mean Russia is all about -- particularly under Vladimir Putin -- it's all about reasserting the country on the international stage. We've seen this

on the battlefield in Ukraine, of course; in Syria, more recently as well; but we've also seen it in other international arenas like the Eurovision

Song Contest last weekend where results have at best been mixed



CHANCE (voice-over): It was meant to be a spectacular turning point, an international event at which Russia could redeem its battered reputation.


CHANCE: But this carefully choreographed Eurovision performance, where one of Russia's British pop stars failed to make the cut. Even worse, it was

beaten to victory by Ukraine with an overtly political song seen as critical of the Kremlin. Disappointed Russians are calling foul.

(on camera): Do you think it was a political decision?


CHANCE: Why? Why do you think that? Maybe his song wasn't good enough?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I always think that Eurovision is a political contest but not -- not music.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via Translator): I think they didn't judge the vocals. They simply closed their eyes to Russia's performance, which definitely

stood out. Zero points from some European countries; the public liked it. There's something weird.

CHANCE (voice-over): It's a view reflected, even encouraged, on Russian state television, with the country's top news anchor, dubbed by the western

media as its Propaganda In Chief, noting that Russia's entry won the popular vote, only losing on the official count.

"The results of Eurovision is purely political," Dimitry Kiselyov says, "reflecting the current situation in the European Union. The bureaucracy

is heading one way," he adds, "while the people are heading the other."

(on camera): In the past few years, Russia has found itself increasingly at odds with Europe and the west over a range of issues like the annexation

of Crimea in 2014 and the subsequent war in Eastern Ukraine, the suppression of gay rights here in Russia and of course the war in Syria in

which Russia has intervened.

The resulting strains are often characterized here as anti-Russian propaganda and met with efforts to boost Russia's image abroad.

(voice-over): But Eurovision isn't the first time Russian hopes of wowing the world in the international arena have turned sour. The expensive Sochi

Olympics in 2014 were meant to showcase Russia's sporting prowess. But allegations of mass doping have simply tarnished Russia's image even more -


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me speak from my heart.

CHANCE: -- forcing the country's sports minister to plead for forgiveness and to allow Russia to compete at the upcoming Rio games.

[11:50:03] "Russia is very sorry and ashamed of athletes who were not caught by anti-doping systems," Vitaly Mutko wrote in the British "Sunday

Times" newspaper. "Doping is a global problem he continued. Not just a Russian problem."

But Russia's problem is much more serious, anegative image which even a pitch perfect techno ballad can't overcome.


CHANCE (on camera): And, Becky, Russia hasn't had much luck at the Eurovision Song Contest in the past either. In 2014, they became the first

ever act to be booed by the crowd over the intervention in Ukraine and over the suppression of gay rights. They were booed again the year later, last

year in 2015. And this year they really went thinking they were going to win, they were going to turn it all around, only to be kicked to the post

by their arch enemy essentially in the Eurovision and in the real world, Ukraine.

ANDERSON: Amazing. All right, Matthew Chance is in Moscow for you this evening.

For almost 50 years, pilgrims to the West Bank have been barred from visiting one of the world's holiest Christian sites because of land mines

left there during the 1967 Six Day War. Oren Liebermann now explains how that could soon change.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The signs around us warn of danger in three languages. Here, only the road is safe. Beyond the

barbed wire, nearly 5,000 explosive mines covering one square kilometer

MICHAEL HEIMAN, ISRAELI NATIONAL MINE ACTION AUTHORITY: In this particular area we're not looking to find a anti-personnel mine.

LIEBERMANN (on camera0: And you can see an anti-tank mine right now.

HEIMAN: Yes, sure. There is the first line is right here like 30 meters from the place where we're standing.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): This mine field in the West Bank restricts access to one of Christianity's holiest sites, recognized as the biblical site as

the baptism of Jesus. Pilgrims from all over the world bathe in the waters of this holy site on the Jordan River at a Maran (ph) tourist center opened

in 2011.

But seven Christian churches at the site, all different denominations, have been closed for half a century.

(on camera): Want an idea of how many land mines there are in certain spots here? See that dark ball right there? That's an anti-personnel mine

and this field is full of them.

(voice-over): During the Six Day War in 1967, the Israeli and Jordanian armies laid mines here. Churches were booby-trapped and unexploded

ordnance could still be anywhere. The churches have been off limits ever since.

JAMES COWAN, CEO, HALO: And if we didn't do it, these mines would stay here forever.

LIEBERMANN: I speak with James Cowan outside the Romanian Orthodox Church. He is the CEO of HALO, the world's largest humanitarian mine clearing

organization. HALO has just gotten permission to clear the mine field with the approval of both the Israelis and Palestinians.

(on camera): 40, 50 years later, these mines are still dangerous.

COWAN: Absolutely. And they would still be dangerous 100 years from now if we didn't clear them.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): In Syria and Iraq, ISIS has leveled ancient holy sites, bulldozing history and destroying precious artifacts. Here, the

goal is to do the reverse -- clearing the mine field will preserve these holy sites, pilgrims and tourists can visit once again, and this area can

heal from the scars of battle.

Oren Libermann, CNN, the holy land.


ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

Just about five to 8:00. Coming up, a bounty buried beneath the sea. The incredible discovery that's more than a millennium in the making.


ANDERSON: Right. Just before we go, when two archeologists went diving off the coast of Israel they could scarcely have imagined what they would

find. Deep under the sea was a treasure trove more than 1,500 years in the making -- a shipwreck offering a bounty of incredible rare cargo.

Here's that story and those are your Parting Shots tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the cargo was completely under the sand, so that's why it's preserved so well so that I can find it in just few years or few

moments after they were made.


ANDERSON: Isn't that remarkable?

Well, before we leave you, let's remind you of our top story this hour. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that his country and other world

powers are ready to begin arming Libya's unity government. They want to -- it to use the weapons to take on ISIS, which has had a growing presence

there. Kerry ruled out outside military intervention.

I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. From the team here and those working with us around the world, very good evening. Thank you for

watching. CNN continues after this short break. Don't go away.