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Remembering Muhammad Ali; Massive Flooding Hits Australia, France; What Does Ramadan Mean for the UAE?; Iraqi Troops Fight Towards Fallujah; The Polluted Waters of Rio de Janeiro. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 5, 2016 - 11:00   ET



[11:00:11] MUHAMMED ALI, BOXER: The man who he has no imagination stands on the earth. He has no wings. He cannot fly.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Paying tribute to the legend who floated like a butterfly and whose punches stung like a bee. This hour, we remember

Muhammed Ali, a look at the life of a champion who made his mark in and out of the boxing ring.

Plus, this evening...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's busy getting ready for one of the most important months in the year for us Muslims.


ANDERSON: Looking for the crescent moon as Muslims around the world prepare for Ramadan. We'll show you what the holy month means for people

here in the UAE.

It is just after 7:00 here in the UAE. Welcome.

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali will be remembered this week with services in his home town of Louisville, Kentucky. His family planning a private

ceremony for Thursday, but it will be a very public funeral the next day when former President Bill Clinton is to deliver one of the eulogies.

Well, Muhammad Ali won his fame and fortune as a boxer. But with words as forceful as his firsts, he earned widespread respect and admiration for how

he lived outside the ring.

I want to begin tonight with Polo Sandoval and this report.


MUHAMMAD ALI, BOXING CHAMP: I shook up the world! I shook up the world!

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the boxing ring, Muhammad Ali brought grace and power.

MUHAMMAD ALI: I'll be pecking and a-poking, pouring water on his smoking.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): His wit always packed a punch as well.

MUHAMMAD ALI: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!

SANDOVAL (voice-over): He passed away at an Arizona hospital Friday. His family spokesperson says he died of septic shock due to unspecified natural

causes. Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984. His funeral will be in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, Friday. It will be open to

the public.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Muhammad Ali was truly the people's champion and the celebration will reflect his devotion to people of all races, religions and


SANDOVAL (voice-over): Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in 1942 and quickly started fighting at the age of 12. After discovering the nation of

Islam in the politically turbulent 1960s, Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

He retired in 1981, a three-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist. He won the adoration of fans around the world who admired him for both his

boxing accomplishments and his humanitarian work.

One of those fans, President Obama, put out this message on Twitter.

"He shook up the world and the world's better for it. Rest in peace, champ."

Back in Louisville, the city that once segregated African Americans, is lowering flags in his honor. This man says Ali funded his program to help

the city's hungry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He'd been great in the ring but I think he were more greater outside of the ring, encouraging others to be the best they could


SANDOVAL (voice-over): In Louisville, Kentucky, I'm Polo Sandoval, reporting.


ANDERSON: Well, let's get all the latest on how Ali is being remembered by his fans and the world of sport. Patrick Snell is with us from CNN Center.

First, I want to get to Ryan Young who joins us this hour from Louisville.

And he may have been world famous, the greatest boxer of all time many will say, Ryan. How, though, are residents there remembering their hometown


RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you can imagine, this probably is the most famous person from the city. So, you can really feel the love for Ali

at the home where he grew up. They turned that into a memorial and a museum as well. That just opened up in the last month.

But when you really want to see how he affects people, you can look behind us, so many people have been coming here for the last few hours, hours and

hours dropping off flowers, dropping off messages.

One of the things that stood out to us, there's boxing gloves that people living throughout the city actually with little messages like love Ali,

faith and hope, there's another set of green gloves over in that direction over there. But you can see all the flowers that are here.

This is the Muhammad Ali center. It's a large museum that really shows all the parts of this man's life and the fact that the impact that he has had

on the world. And they're trying to make sure that his legacy lives on.


GREG FISCHER, MAYOR OF LOUISVILLE : We're a great global city here and grounded in the value of compassion. And this is what we're about,

certainly it's what the champ was about. I mean, he leaves a legacy in the ring, there's no question about that. But the real legacy is the values

that he represented and how he wants us to live going forward. And I think his passing right now, we hate -- we knew this day was going to come. But

for us here in our city of Louisville and around the world, I think the question is, what do we do? How do we take up his values?


[11:05:12] YOUNG: Absolutely. People also talk about how Muhammad Ali got his start with boxing. He was 12 years old. He had parked his bike

outside a rec center. Someone stole that bike. and he went to the police officer and said, I want to whoop whoever took my bike. And the officer

happened to teach boxing said, well, you're going to need to learn how to fight. Well, the rest is history, not only was he a big champion inside

the ring, he was a champion outside the ring. And of course, learning from the family that after the boxer passed and all his organs had stopped

working, his heart kept beating for another 30 minutes -- truly a heart of a champion.

ANDERSON: Yeah, remarkable. Thank you.

Patrick, he has one hometown, but as the Louisville mayor Greg Fischer conceded this weekend, he belongs to the world. How is he being remembered

around the globe? And how is his legacy being debated?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: You are right, Becky, a man of the people for the

people and no surprise that tributes just continue to pour in in honor of the legendary Muhammad Ali.

I grew up just taking in and trying to follow every big fight that he took part in, an iconic three-time world heavyweight champion. And fair to say

that I don't have any doubt about this, Ali just simply transcended boxing becoming without question one of the world's best known and highly, most

recognizable figures out there, global leaders say having their say paying their respect.

Reaction, of course, coming in all the time from the world of sports, right across the board. Now, later on tonight here, Becky, in the United States

is game two in basketball's NBA finals. And a pair of huge names from that Cleveland Cavaliers/Golden StateWarriors showdown, well they have been

having their say.


LEBRON JAMES, CLEVELAND CAVELIERS: For an athlete like myself today, without Muhammad Ali I wouldn't be sitting up here talking in front of you

guys, I wouldn't be able to walk in restaurants, wouldn't be able to go anywhere where blacks weren't allowed back in those days because of guys

like Muhammad Ali.

STEPH CURRY, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: Ali was the example of how you use your platform and speak what you believe no matter what people will say.

He gives, you know -- look at him as a sense of confidence in that regard for sure.


SNELL: As I said, Becky, reaction tributes coming in from other huge names from around the world of sports, including the women's world number one

tennis player Serena Williams. Now, she may have lost the French Open final in paris on Saturday, but Serena referencing one of the all-time

greats in the sport posting this to Instagram. "The true greatest of all- time. What a sad day for everyone to lose someone so great and kind and someone who really stood up for what they believed in. He was my hero. He

always will be."

Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson posting this message via Twitter, "god came for his champion. So long great one.

And another former world number one -- former world number one golfer, Tiger Woods, no

less, who broke down barriers on his way to 14 major titles tweeting his praise: "you'll always be the greatest for more than just what you did in

the ring, a champion to so many people in so many ways."

And from the world of football as well, earlier, Argentina's World Cup winning skipper from 1986 Diego Maradona on Facebook: "the greatest of our

time has left us. He was the only man that allowed me to see my father cry when he saw him in person at the fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy

Hearns in Las Vegas in 1981, so how can I not feel this loss when it was who my father admired the most."

In the ring, Ali was a dancer, surely he left because he could no longer give us more happiness, because every time he every time he stepped into

the ring, he ripped it apart. My condolences to the family.

Becky, just a snapshot there of the tributes and the love and affection with which Muhammad

Ali was held, no question about that. Back to you.

ANDERSON; Thank you, Patrick.

And viewers, we are going to continue our coverage of Muhammad Ali's legacy through this hour. I will be joined by guests right here in Abu Dhabi who

knew the boxer well to talk about another part of his life, his Muslim faith. And we will look at Ali's conversion to Islam as Muslims prepare

for the holy month of Ramadan which is set to begin this week. That is coming


WEll, as the battle for Fallujah continues, more than 12,000 people have fled to safety from the city, that is according to the United Nations

earlier today.

Iraqi forces continue to push forward to try to recapture the city from ISIS.

Now, they have made some progress by recapturing the small town of Saqlawiya, which is north of Fallujah. CNN's Ben Wedeman traveled with the

army. I want to warn you, though, some of the video in this report may be disturbing.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iraqi army armored personnel carriers rattle through the dust at the edge of the ruins

of the town of Saqlawiya.

Iraqi officials announced Saturday they had taken control of most of the town a short drive from the besieged ISIS stronghold of Fallujah. The

battle rages on, however, as a combination of Iraqi military, police, Shia- led popular mobilization units and Sunni fighters prepares for the next phase.

These locally made rocket launchers have been brought up to the front for the eventual offensive to retake Fallujah. They have a range of about two

and a half kilometers. Fallujah itself is about four kilometers from here.

Fighting has been intense. But Abu Haiba (ph), a veteran of many battles with ISIS, senses an enemy beginning to wither away.

"Their forces have dispersed," he says.

"Some have retreated to the center of Fallujah, others have fled into the desert."

Nearby, the half-buried corpse of an ISIS fighter rots in the sun.

In the areas of Saqlawiya we drove through, the damage was extensive, not a civilian in sight.

"Where are they?" I asked Saba Handani (ph) of the Iraqi police.

"We found them here in their homes," he responds, "and took them out, put them in our vehicles and took them to camps."

On the lookout for ISIS infiltrators, Iraqi intelligence is holding local men and teenage boys for interrogation. At this spot Friday morning, an

ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of fleeing civilians, killing three children.

Gassad Ikledi (ph), a spokesman for the popular mobilization units insists most of the ISIS militants in the area aren't from here.

"We have information," he says, "that 75 percent of the ISIS members in Fallujah are foreigners and Arabs and 25 percent are Iraqis."

Iraqi officials won't say when the final push into Fallujah will begin. On the front, they wait and listen to the gathering storm.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Saqlawiya, Iraq.


[11:12:31] ANDERSON: Well, to some other stories in our radar today, and the Taliban claimed responsibility for a third attack targeting court

officials in Afghanistan.

Now, since the court's executed six of their members, the attack killed seven people at a court in Logar Province.

Swiss voters are apparently turning down a free income. Swiss media projections show they overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to provide a basic

income to every citizen. Opponents said it would cost the government too much money.

And thousands of people attended a vigil to mark the 27th anniversary of Beijing's Tienanmen Square massacre. It was held in Hong Kong on Saturday

on June 4 1989. You will remember China sent in tanks to break up student- led pro-democracy demonstrations.

Hundreds of people were killed.

Well, Israel also marking an anniversary 49 years since it captured east Jerusalem from Jordan.

Now it is a controversial holiday called Jerusalem Day there. And in previous years, we have seen some violent clashes during an annual march

marking the day.

CNN's Phil Black joining me now from the Damascus gate in Jerusalem. Just describe the atmosphere there, if you will.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure, Becky. There is a very noisy celebration going on behind me. I want to show it to you.

Now, this is where you will be able to see tens of thousands of Israelis streaming down here toward the Damascus gate, entering the old city of

Jerusalem where they will make their way through the narrow confined streets of the Muslim quarter on their way to the western wall at the

Temple Mount, that holiest of sites for people of the Jewish faith.

You can see them singing, dancing, making a lot of noise here. Now the reason they're celebrating is that this day to them marks the unification

of Jerusalem under Israeli control following Israeli military successes of the 1967 six-day war. Essentially, the

establishment of an indivisible Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, and allowing Jews, once

again, to get access to those holy sites at the Temple Mount that mean so much to them.

Now that's why they are celebrating. And of course, if you speak to Palestinians, you will get a

very different view of what this day means to them. They will talk about Israeli conquest, about this day marking the start of Israel's occupation

of Palestinian territory, both here in East Jerusalem and also across the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well.

So, to them, this parade is often interpreted as triumphalist, gloating, certainly provocative given it does take place for the most part through

the Muslim quarter of the old city here.

So for that reason, spirits on both sides are very high. There is no doubt it is a day of very strong emotion. And as you mentioned in recent years,

there has been violence. There had been clashes, incidents notably here at Damascus Gate, deeper in the old city as well. Not huge violent, but by

the standards of this region, this city, very strong potential for escalation. And so that is why the police, the security forces really

aren't taking any chances.

There's an additional 2,000 police officers just policing this event in addition to all the security that you would normally see here in Jerusalem.

And it's why these marchers have a very limited time, according to the organization that has been set up in arrangement with the police, to get

through the old city, to get to the Western Wall to really reduce the length of time which any sort of altercation is actually possible.

So far, it is noisy, it certainly is celebration. But from what we can see, overwhelmingly peaceful, Becky.

[11:16:26] ANDERSON: And Phil, to underscore just how controversial this day is, Human Rights Watch today calling on the ICC prosecutor to open a

formal investigation into what they call serious international crimes committed in Palestine as they call it by Israelis and by Palestinians.

It should be a day where we consider just what has happened to the Middle East peace process, perhaps an oxymoron these days. What is the status at

this point?

BLACK: Well, there is not one really. There is certainly no direct talks between either side, have not been since the failed attempt led very

enthusiastically by the Americans back in 2014.

Just on Friday, we saw an attempt by the French government to renew that process, to call together an international conference of sorts, of

ministers -- foreign ministers, other interested parties, to Paris to somehow begin a new internationalized process.

But it is at a very early stage, neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians were invited to those particular talks. But it is hoped -- or the French

government hopes, that through that process an international conference of some kind can be organized and will lead to direct talks with all the

parties later in the year.

But you really can't stress just how early that is and really how optimistic in a sense this is a

process. This is a process an idea, an initiative, if you like, that's been rejected by the Israeli government, embraced by the Palestinian

Authority. And it's to be fair, it has a long way to go.

And really this event we're seeing here shows just how sensitive a lot of the sticking points still are, really, because what we're talking about

here is Jerusalem. And, of course, in any final status, negotiation or agreement, the status of Jerusalem is absolutely key. What you are seeing

here are huge crowds of people who believe Jerusalem is indivisible, it cannot be divided or shared. It is the capital of the Jewish State.

The Palestinians, their established position for a long time now is that for any peace settlement, they have to have access to the East Jerusalem as

the capital of their future Palestinian state. That's what they are aspiring to.

So there is very little progress, it is fair to say, on the peace process in this region at the moment, Becky.

ANDERSON: Phil Black reporting for you tonight from Damascus gate. Phil, thank you, appreciate it.

Still to come tonight, we are going to return to our coverage of Muhammad Ali, and a connection of his you might not have heard of with the people

right here in the UAE.

Plus, does this look like water that you would want to swim in? Well, some of the water sports athletes may agree with you. Coming up, we dive into

the host of problems facing Brazil's summer Olympic Games.



[08:21:40] MUHAMMAD ALI: Last week I went out to the jungle, I wrestled with an alligator. I tussled with a whale. I handcuffed lightning, threw

thunder in jail. I'm bad, man. I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I'm so mean I make medicine sick.


ANDERSON: Well, his rhymes, as fluid as his punches, perhaps the only thing quicker than Muhammad Ali's fists was the knockout flare he had for

hyping himself.


MUHAMMAD ALI: This is the legend of Muhammad Ali, the greatest fighter there ever will be.


ANDERSON: Well, a short time into his career, Ali converted to Islam. And the religion came to define much of the boxer's life, even his very name,

born Cassius Clay, as a Muslim he swept it away, branding it a slave name.


MUHAMMAD ALI: Clay was a white man's name. It was a slave name. And I'm no longer Clay. I'm no longer a slave. So, no, I'm Muhammad Ali.


ANDERSON: Insisting that god had his back in the ring, Ali never shied away from a bought, reveling in taking on opponents bigger and stronger

than him.

But there's one fight he refused to go into, the Vietnam War. So, authorities in the U.S. came out swinging against him. He was convicted,

fined and denied the right to fight anywhere in the country for almost three years.

Well, Ali's faith also brought him right here to the UAE. The National Newspaper here says, on one visit he passed through while traveling to

Mecca for Hajj.

To get a more personal view of his life, I'm joined now by a Ali Kaddas Al Romaithi whose family family had a relationship with Ali going back

decades. Welcome, sir. You have got some pictures. Walk us through. Tell us about your family and your relationship with Ali. How did you know


ALI KADDAS AL ROMAITHI, FAMILY KNEW MUHAMMAD ALI: My dad graduate in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1969, and the university brought the project here for

the greenhouses, agriculture and irrigation. So by the time Muhammad Ali, is it fair to say, came to the project from Phoenix, Arizona, and visited

my dad. And my dad as speaking English.

ANDERSON: Show us what your dad is there.

AL ROMAITHI: My dad with the hat and the shorts. And Muhammad Ali.

ANDERSON: Fantastic.

AL ROMAITHI: His private photographer. And this is one of the pictures.

ANDRESON; Let us have a look at one of these. Go on.

AL ROMAITHI: And we have also a close picture with my dad and Muhammad in the

greenhouses taking a tour.

ANDERSON: This wasn't about boxing, this was -- was this a favor to dad effectively?


ANDERSON: Amazing. What did dad say about him?

AL ROMAITHI: a lot of things.


AL ROMAITHI: A lot of sport about his -- talk about the religion and meeting people, new faces, looking at how the religion became.

ANDERSON: So, when was this? Tell me which year this was.

AL ROMAITHI: This is 1971.


AL ROMAITHI: Between the first month of 1971.

[11:25:03] ANDERSON: Because, of course, he fought here in an exhibition match after he pretty much retired in '82. He had been through on his way

to Mecca in 1966 I believe, but this was a big visit for the people of Abu Dhabi.

AL ROMAITHI: For the people of Abu Dhabi, for even people in the -- neighbors. And this picture shows that my dad with Muhammad Ali and telling

him to sign his name in the guest book.

ANDERSON: Wonderful. Wonderful. Listen, I want to get a quick response from ali. The New York Times recorded in court after he was convicted of

dodging the draft, of course, the Vietnam War in 1976, saying, quote, my religion is not political in no way, he says. But it seems to have driven

Ali many of his political ambitions.

Do you think that from what you know of him that perhaps his politics were, in fact, deeply

informed by his religion?

AL ROMAITHI: The religion shouldn't be like for politics or anything other thing. Religion, it's who you are believing on who you want.

And I believe Muhammad looked at what is happening and he want to do human rights. So he looked to where is the right religion that will save mankind

from killing or being divided? I believe he went to this Islam not in the direction of politics or any other things.

ANDERSON: We've been talking a lot about Muhammad Ali and the UAE, of course. Let me bring up an image that I think really highlights the deep

link here. Viewers, this image put out on Twitter shows Ali with members of the Emirati royal family. Ali, have a

look at this, including on the right there, the UAE's now deputy crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al nahyan.

What's the reaction to Ali's death been here in a place like the UAE?

AL ROMAITHI: When he arrived, he visit the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the establisher of the United Arab Emirates.

ANDERSON: The first president.

AL ROMAITHI: The first president. And when he saw that Muhammad is a sport man, he went -- he came to him, sat together, talk and brought his

children, which Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed (inaudible) to show them that sport, it's good, sport for self-confidence. And you guys, my sons, learn


ANDERSON: And his son, the crown prince, of course, Mohammed bin Zayed.

And I think the legacy goes on. I mean, '82, an exhibition match here. And sort established sport as a destination for the UAE to a certain

extent, which is how the UAE would like to market itself going forward.

AL ROMAITHI: It's something like amazing. I mean, it's like waiting for snow to come in Abu Dhabi.

ANDERSON: Let's hope we -- I have just come back from London, it was so cold in London, I'm hoping it won't snow here any time soon.

But thank you, good line, excellent, Ali, thank you for coming in.

The latest world news headlines are just ahead.

Plus, Donald Trump says this judge is biased against him because he is Mexican American. Our correspondent reports on Trump's evolving problem

with race. Taking a very short break. We'll be back in the UAE after this.



[11:32:15] ANDERSON: The east coast of Australia has been hit by powerful storms. You are just getting a glimpse here of the damage. The heavy rain

and strong winds swept through the region. Hundreds of people were evacuated.

Let's get more for you from CNN's meteorologist Allison Chinchar who has been tracking that storm, joining me now from CNN Center. What have you

got for us?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Some very interesting information, an incredible rainfall amount coming out of this. Take a look at this. This

is the last three days. Look at this: Robertson, Australia, over 600 millimeters, again, in just three days. Clover Hill picking up about 550

millimeters again.

Other areas also, including the Sydney Airport, now that may not be as high as some of the others, but it's still very high for Sydney. So, again,

that also goes to play into affect.

And around Sydney, this is one of the ferry terminals right here. This is where they would kind of board to get on and the ferry would sit here. The

ferry terminal is actually submerged, so again it's not going to work. And even after the flood waters recede, they are likely going to have to fix

this structure.

And again, looking at Sydney, here a look, 236 millimeters so far is what they've had in June this year. On average, they only get 130. And again,

we're only a few days into June. So, about 104 millimeters above average.

But look at this video that we have to show you, this is also incredible. It's not just the rain down, it's the waves. These are the waves -- again,

just around some of the areas, this particular storm where the video is being shot from is from a restaurant that was washed out from these waves.

Again, just to kind of show you, the impact and the fury that a lot of those waves had.

Now going forward, we still expect to pick up some more rain. Now most of it will be on the southern end of Australia. We're not really looking for

much more rain, say, around Brisbane, but Sydney and south towards Canberra will still pick up, say, about an additional 50 to 100 millimeters of rain,

and again this is on top of what they have already had.

Another area that doesn't need to see any more rain are portions of Europe, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, all of these areas have been dealing

with incredible flooding over the last couple fo days. This is a castle, again, where they have had a portion of the lower level start to actually

pick up some water inside of it.

And again, we mentioned it's not just France, look at some of the other totals. Out of Belgium, we've had 360 millimeters in the last five days.

Germany, picking up about 180. Portions of Australia, especially around Salsburg picking up around 169 millimeters. And again, guys, these are

just the last five days. It has been a little bit more spread out, say, than Australia but that's only going five days.

May was a record month for a lot of areas, including Paris. So, you have to remember, it's in

addition to all of the rain that they got in May.

Going forward, the severe weather threat is still going to be a possibility for some areas. In addition to the flood threat,we will also have severe

winds, we're talking about large hail, especially right here along that portion of Germany and the France and kind of around Luxembourg area.

One other things to mention, too, Germany also hard hit. This was from one of the festivals that

goes on here. This festival was already delayed once. And they went through with it this night. Unfortunately, they had lightning, several

lightning strikes that took place at the festival. And many people, at least 80 that we know of, were injured at this festival because of the

lightning that went into it.

And again, we're still expecting at least an additional 25 to 50 millimeters on top of what they have already had, Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

Well, in exactly two months, the Olympic torch is set to arrive in Rio de Janeiro, until then, one country is grappling with more pressing concerns.

Protesters have taken to the streets over a shocking crime. Corruption allegations have shaken up the political ranks. And looming over it all,

of course, fears the Zika virus will spread.

To Rio then now and our Shasta Darlington live in the heart of the city on a boat in the bay this evening.

Shasta, Brazilian officials say the country has faced other crises and overcome them and it

won't be different this time. That's a line from the spokesman for Brazil's sporting ministry brushing off concerns about the Olympics. And

he may be right, of course, but just how bad are things at this point?

[11:36:29] SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly depends on your perspective, Becky. Here in Ganabara Bay where

the sailing and the wind surfing events will take place, it's pretty disgusting. Just on our way out here, we picked up part of a baby

carriage, a shoe, and an entire bag of dirty diapers.

This is what's floating on the water. What's underneath is worse. It's filled with sewage. And officials admit they aren't going to clean it up

before the Olympics.

So, you can see this is differently a very different kind of Brazil than the one that we expected when they won their bid back in 2009.



SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A surprise announcement seven years ago that sent politicians leaping from their seats

and set off a 24-hour party across the ocean.

On Copacabana Beach today, the mood is a little more uncertain. Despite that initial burst of enthusiasm, it's hard to find a whole lot of people

rushing out to buy tickets.

Have you bought tickets?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not yet. But I want to.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): In fact, with Brazil mired in a deep recession, just 67 percent of Olympic tickets have been sold.

Unemployment has surged. So has crime. We head out with police, patrolling the favelas where drug gangs often have the upper hand.

"Our responsibility is higher with the Olympics getting closer," he says.

"There's going to be a lot of international delegations."

But for foreign visitors, the biggest fear is Zika, with 150 doctors and scientists posting an open letter, recommending the Rio Olympics be

postponed or moved.

The city fumigating venues and tourist sites. But athletes like basketball player Pau Gasol are getting nervous.

PAU GASOL, BASKETBALL PRO: Not just my health and the health of my family but also the potential of an epidemic to spread around the world.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): And then there's the political chaos, prompting rival protests as the suspended president fights to survive an impeachment


There are, however, bright spots. Sporting venues are almost 100 percent complete. Organizers now working on temporary structures like the beach

volleyball stands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many times the drilling is high. A lot of work yet to be done. But also a huge sense of pride of what we've been accomplished so


DARLINGTON (voice-over): As for getting Rio in a party mood, only time will tell if, as Brazilians say, everything ends in samba.



DARLINGTON: You know, Becky, we are all routing for Rio, for Brazil. We have want them to pull this off. But the fact is they have to do a lot of

convincing to get those half a million international visitors that they hope will come, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah. All right. Thank you, Shasta.

Well, Donald Trump joined in remembering Muhammad Ali who just months ago tore into the

U.S. presumptive Republican presidential candidate for his proposed ban on Muslims entering sthe U.S. After Ali's death, Trump tweeted, "Muhammad Ali

is dead at 74, a truly great champion and a wonderful guy."

Well, in December, Trump responded to a speech by President Barack Obama where he mentioned Muslims. Back then, Trump tweeted, "Obama said in his

speech where Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who? Is Obama profiling?"

Well, days later Ali told NBC News, "We, as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda. True Muslims

know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody."

And a lawsuit over Trump University has been dogging the Republican candidate. It alleges that Trump defrauded students. But now Mr. Trump

finds himself in even more hot water it seems not from another lawsuit, but from his comments on the case, specifically what he says about the judge

who is overseeing it.

Sunlen Serfaty reports.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump escalating his attacks on the judge overseeing the lawsuit against Trump University.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I'm building a wall, OK? I'm building a wall.

SERFATY: The presumptive Republican nominee telling CNN's Jake Tapper that Judge Gonzalo Curiel born to Mexican immigrant parents should recuse

himself from the case.

Trump's wave of attacks prompting a rebuke today from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who yesterday announced his support for the billionaire.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The comment about the judge yesterday was out of left field from my mind. I completely disagree with

the thinking behind that.

SERFATY: Trump is attempting to smooth over another rift within the Republican Party, trying to clean up his criticism of New Mexico's Susana

Martinez, the nation's only Latina Republican governor.

TRUMP: We have to get your governor to get going. She's got to do a better job, okay? Your governor has got to do a better job.

SERFATY: Now, Trump is extending an olive branch, telling a new Mexico newspaper, he would like Martinez's endorsement, saying, quote, "I respect

her. I have always liked her."

Martinez, who has been critical of Trump's rhetoric over immigration, is withholding her endorsement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it possible you might not endorse him, ma'am?

GOV. SUSANA MARTINEZ (R), NEW MEXICO: I'm waiting to hear from him as to addressing the issues facing New Mexico.

SERFATY: Republican leaders are urging Trump to tone down his rhetoric, warning it's doing harm to the party's outreach to Hispanics.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: Going after Susana Martinez, the Republican governor of New Mexico, the chairman of the Republican

Governors Association, I think it was a big mistake. What he ought to be doing now is try to unify the party.

SERFATY: Trump, though, does not seem to share those concerns.

TRUMP: The Hispanics, we love the Hispanics. Thank you, everybody.


ANDERSON: Donald Trump for you.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World.

Coming up...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole environment changes from the environment that you're used to be in before. And it's a very magnetic, OK, spiritual and

most people say, wow, I never felt like this before.


ANDERSON: Well, fasting from dawn until dusk. What the holy month of Ramadan means for millions around the world. That's next.

Plus, remembering boxing legend Muhammad Ali and some of his most memorable boasts. That's still to come.


[11:45:36] ANDERSON: Well, you are watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of the UAE. Welcome back at 45 minutes

past 7:00 here. All this hour, we have been covering Muhammad Ali's legacy. Earlier we told you about how he converted to Islam at the age of

22, a conversion that fundamentally helped shape who he was for the rest of his life from changing his name to shifting his politics.

Islam is the world's second largest faith with around 1.6 billion followers worldwide. And now many of them will be preparing for the holy month of

Ramadan, which is set to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the moon sighting this week.

When it begins, Muslims will fast, refrain from food and drink from dawn until dusk for a month.

Well, for more on that, I'm joined by an Khaled Al Ameri, an Emirati commentator here in Abu Dhabi.

Before we talk about Ramadan, though, Ali, Muhammad Ali, raised a Baptist but converted to Islam in 1964. Now, that was a bold and controversial

move at the time. You are way too young to have known about it at the time. But Muhammad Ali, a great legend around the world, not least here.

He fought here in an exhibition match in the early '80s.

How did he affect you as a young Emirati? What do you remember?

KHALED AL AMERI, EMIRATI COMMENTATOR: Well, Becky, I never -- I was born well after he retired. And I was raised well after he retired. So, I

never really knew the fighter Ali. I knew the ambassador Ali, the global phenomenon he became.

But I remember my father used to watch his boxing match. My dad was a big boxing fan. And my father just as much as he enjoyed watching the fight,

he enjoyed watching the weigh-ins when Ali spoke all those things. And when I asked him, who is this, because I didn't know who he was at the

time, he never described him as a boxer, he described him as someone who could go anywhere in the world and people would know him. And that was

something that I feel Ali represented. He represented a message. He represented someone who followed their beliefs and followed their heart,

regardless of what anyone else told him and that was a powerful message that I will never forget.

ANDERSON: That's a wonderful story.

Those were the wind-up weigh-ins that I think your father loved.

All right, we are expecting Ramadan this week. Tell us what we can expect for those of us who won't be fasting.

AL AMERI: So, you know, Ramadan is a time of month where the UAE and the Arab and Muslim world pretty much changes. We don't eat from sunrise to

sunset. We sort of change the way that we work. We change the way that we engage each other. And evenings become more lively, days become pretty

much dead.

And we wanted to sort of show the different things that happen during Ramadan. We feel a lot of the messages that are spread about Ramadan,

especially from the Arab world, focus too much on fasting, that it begins and ends with what we eat. However, the team and I said let's show some of

the deeper stories, the deeper meaning to people who fast, to people who don't fast.

And what we need to remember about the UAE is that it's home to over 200 nationalities. So what we said that we would do is that we would focus on

telling all those stories, about finding the little things that make a difference in Ramadan.

And here is what we have.


AL AMERI: When you imagine the UAE, what comes to mind? How about selfies in front of

the tallest building in the world? Probably giant aquariums and shopping malls.

Well, little does the world know, that there's so much more to the UAE, a side that comes alive during the holy month of Ramadan.

This is a Sharja (ph), a modern vibrant city shaped by age old customs and centuries of traditions. It's busy getting ready for one of the most

important months of the year for us Muslims, a time of fasting and reflection, of big family gatherings and very late nights.

During Ramadan, the whole country changes. We fast from dawn to dusk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole environment changes from the environment that you used to be in before. And it's a very magnetic, OK, spiritual and most

people say wow I never felt like this before.

AL AMERI: For centuries, the breaking of the fast has been signified by the firing of the cannon. Here in Sharja (ph), that tradition is

maintained by the local police force.

I was born a Muslim, so the customs and traditions of Ramadan are a part of me. But ever since the birth of the UAE, people of all races and creeds

have flocked here. I'm going to find out what Ramadan means to these people, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very keen on discovering all Ramadan, it's not just fasting, it's the gathering, it's the sharing.

AL AMERI: As we've seen across the UAE, people are busy preparing to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, each with their own personal story to


Join me in the coming week for more personal tales of what it means to celebrate Ramadan in this busting cosmopolitan country.


ANDERSON: And this is a series of four films. It looks fantastic. So, what else can we expect?

AL AMERI: Becky, I have learned so much. As I said, you know the aim of this series is to take people on a journey. But what we often forget when

we are doing the reporting and covering the stories, that we're on the journey, too. And I have learned so much through this. But, you know, we

take so much for granted like we already know it. But through meeting these people, through discovering the stories that are not always brought

to the forefront of Ramadan, I've learned so much.

So, we have got everything from people who are converts, who are fasting for the first time, to understanding the difference between luxurious

safars (ph) and more sort of more humble luthar (ph).

We are going to see how different people fast, how non-Muslim communities engage with Muslim communities during Ramadan, and how it just impacts such

a diversified population.

ANDERSON: I'm exhausted already. It hasn't even started.

AL AMERI: We were exhausted, too. Believe me.

ANDERSON: Well, all right. If you enjoyed that viewers -- thank you, Khaled, really looking forward to this -- you can get a behind of scenes

look at how Khaled and the team here made it by heading online to the Facebook page. We will air an episode every week

right here on Connect the World during the month of Ramadan, which as I say, will begin either Monday

or Tuesday, giving you an authentic look at how it is observed.

And if you want to know a bit more about how and why so many people are fasting, do head online to for an etiquette guide of what to do and

what not to do. Again, that is

Thank you, sir.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World.

Coming up tonight before we go, Muhammad Ali was indeed powerful in the way in he fought and in the way he promoted himself. More on that up next.


ANDERSON: Right. You're back with CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson just before we go, a couple of minutes until the end of the

show, we return to the life of Muhammad Ali as impressive as his punches were in the ring, the power of

his words also legendary.

For tonight's Parting Shots, then, here are some of Muhammad Ali's most memorable moments.


MUHAMMAD ALI: I don't like fighters who talk too much.

I must be the greatest.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

I'm the prettiest fighter in the ring today, that's my label.

And this might shock and amazing you, but I will destroy Joe Frazier.

I'm so bad. You know what I've been doing? Last week I went out to the jungle, I wrestled with an alligator. I tussled with a whale. I

handcuffed lightning, threw thunder in jail. I'm bad, man.

Can I dance? Is the pope a Catholic?

The man to beat me hasn't been born yet.

I'm the greatest. I'm knocking it all out bums. And if you get too smart, I will knock you out.

Last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I'm so mean I make medicine sick.

Look at me now. Don't tell me that ain't a perfect specimen of a man. Look at that body. Slim, trim and on my toes.

And I don't get hit. I'm the fastest thing on two feet, man. Are you crazy? I'm tired of talking.

I'm not only a fighter, I'm a poet. I'm a prophet. I'm the resurrector. I'm the savior of the boxing world. If it wasn't for me, the game would be



[11:56:07] ANDERSON: Amazing. Muhammad Ali.

You can find an awful lot more, of course, on the website. Lots and lots of stuff there. I'm Becky Anderson. And these tributes will continue

forMuhammad Ali. You have been watching Connect the World. Thank you from the team here and those working with us around the world. It's a very good

evening. We will see you same time tomorrow.