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Thailand's King Passes Away; Trump Campaign Treatens to Sue New York Times; Boko Haram Releases 21 Chibok Girls. 11:00a-12:00p ET

Aired October 13, 2016 - 11:00:00   ET


[11:00:32] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: The king of Thailand dies at age 88, leaving behind a legacy as one of the world's longest-serving monarchs.

Next, we are live in Bangkok where mourners have gathered to pay their respects.

Also this hour, Donald Trump denying published accusations that he inappropriately touched three different women. The latest developments in

what is the race for the White House coming up.




empty. These are rare pictures filmed by activists.


ANDERSON: Inside ISIS-controlled Mosul. A glimpse at life there ahead of the major offensive planned to take the Iraqi city. That report later this


A very good evening at one minute past 7:00 here in Abu Dhabi. You're watching Connect the


The Thai people are in deep morning over the death of their revered leader, King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be remembered as one of the world's longest-

reigning monarch. He took the throne 70 years ago and was beloved as a father figure in Thailand.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was like a father. I must say he is really a father. He's not a living god. He's not a (inaudible). He's a father to

everybody, a father who worked every day for the past 70 years without holiday, without even vacation. He's -- right now, he is not a father, he

is a grandpa who didn't have any holiday at all even. He was bed ridden in the hospital.

RIPLEY: But you were hoping for a miracle, even this afternoon when you left work to come here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With all my heart.


ANDERSON: Well, an outpouring of grief there from a Thai woman who prayed the king

would recover. Our Kristie Lu Scout has more now on the Thai monarch's life and legacy.


LU STOUT; King Bhumibol Adulyadej was revered to the point of being worshiped like a living god. One of the longest reigning monarchs in the

world, he served for 70 years.

And to the Thai people, he wasn't just a head of state, he was a stalwart defender of democracy. Many here thank him personally for their freedom.

King Bhumibol inherited the throne in 1946 and was formally crowned amid much pomp and

ceremony four years later. He traveled the world meeting foreign leaders, acting as a sort of ambassador for Thailand. Here reviewing a guard of

honor with President Eisenhower in 1960.

He worked for decades trying to improve the lives of ordinary Thais, using his engineering

background, advising on new irrigation systems. He also worked to eradicate opium production, replacing it with more sustainable agriculture.

But he also frequently had to guide Thailand back from the brink of crisis, intervening at

critical times during succession of military coups, many saying he was a guiding hand, always steering Thailand back to democracy.

In 1992, the king again exercised this discreet power during a political crisis. Two rival military leaders were summoned before the king after

days of violent clashes between pro-democracy campaigners and the army. Pictures of both men submissively bowed before their monarch calmed

tensions and stopped the violence immediately.

The king made fewer public appearances after 2009 when he was admitted to hospital for respiratory issues, a stay that lasted four years. Well

wishers continued to support him as his health declined after that. He returned to hospital for several different health issues, including a

gallbladder removal, fluid on the brain, and surgery to open the arteries in his heart.

His passing will leave a cavernous void in Thai society, a country now united in profound

grief and sorrow, their monarch, the father of modern Thailand, will be dearly missed.


[11:05:04] ANDERSON: Well, Will Ripley joining me now live from Bangkok for you

viewers. And Thais will have a deep bond with this monarch. How are they reacting?

RIPLEY: Well, it's extraordinary the scenes that are unfolding here in the streets of Bangkok tonight, Becky. Somebody brought in this portrait of

King Bohumibol, and people have been ling up to take photos with it, to hold it up.

Look at this line here. This is just a spontaneous gathering in the streets. And as we've been driving around the hospital where the king was

in hospital for more than two years and was pronounced dead at around 3:52 local time this afternoon.

People have come here after work just to be a part of this moment, to get closer to their king. And you actually are the man who brought the

portrait. And did you expect the line to go down the street like this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I expect that the portrait to give people closure, because when I first got here, people were walking around cluelessly,

including me. And the portrait actually purchased across the street, if you can imagine in Bangkok -- in Thailand, at every

single photography shop there will be a portrait of the king so all I did was walked in and said can I get a portrait.

RIPLEY: And you're wearing a pink shirt, which a lot of people were wearing today, which is a color to try to encourage the healing of the

king. For those who don't understand what he means to you, 70 years of service reaching out to people not only here in Bangkok, but in the rural

areas as well. What does the king mean to you? And what is this loss tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, first of all, the king, Bohumibol, the king (inaudilbe), he took the throne right after World War II. And it was a

difficult time for all of us, for the world. And he showed Thailand progress and unity. He brought people together like never before, and

throughout his life -- because if you remember the history, he was the king from the eighth brother, so he wasn't exactly born to be the king at the time.

RIPLEY: And yet at age 18, when his brother died mysteriously, he took on that responsibility, and took it on in just an incredible way with these

civic projects that helped improve people's lives, through enhancing the food supply, agriculture, agriculture, I mean,

education, the list goes on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He never stopped giving. I think that's what most people -- everybody, Thai or otherwise, could relate. This is the king who

would never take anything for himself, and just keep giving until his very last moment.

RIPLEY: Tanat (ph), thank you very much -- who brought the picture that is -- now look down this line. Look, the line has grown even more.

People are waiting just to take a photograph with this. I appreciate your time and chatting with you this evening.

Becky, the parliament here held an extraordinary session. They just wrapped it up a short time ago without naming a successor. It was

speculated that Prince Wachiralongkorn, the 64-year-old crown prince, would have been named successor by the parliament. That has not happened. Words

from the government that they just don't feel this is the right time to name a successor. You can see by the crowds out on the streets this

evening this night belongs to the king and his people who are mourning his loss. King Bhumibol, 88 years old, and a man who really -- the void can't

be filled here is what people believe. How can anybody fill the shoes of this man who has served his country for most of his life.

ANDERSON: Will Ripley is in Bangkok for you this evening.

Well, some of the other stories that are on our radar today for you. And music superstar Bob Dylan is this year's winner of the Nobel Prize for

literature. The 75-year-old won for, quote, creating new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition. Dylan, famous for

songs like Blowing in the Wind" and The Times They are A-changin'."

The first minister of Scotland is raising the prospect of a second independence referendum after the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU.

Now Scotland overwhelmingly chose to remain, you may remember, in June's referendum.

Nicola Stugeon said the bill will be published for consultation next week.

A Syrian refugee suspected of planning an attack in Germany has committed suicide in police

custody. The 22-year-old was detained after police found more than a kilogram of explosives in the

flat in the east of the country. German police detained him for planning a bomb attack with, quote,

Islamist motives..

Well, when Donald Trump appears at a rally in Florida next hour, many will be watching to see if he addresses new allegations threatening to

overshadow his campaign message.

Now, several women have come forward to accuse Trump of touching them inappropriately. Two told their story to The New York Times while the

third accuser is a writer for the U.S. People Magazine.

Well, Trump denied wrongdoing on Twitter this morning, quote, "the phony story in the failing @NewYorkTimes is a total fabrication, written by same

people as last discredited story on women. Watch!"

Another tweet read, quote, "why didn't the writer of the 12-year-old article in People magazine mention the incidents in her story? Because it

did not happen.

Well, CNN hasn't been able to independently confirm the accusation. Jason Carroll tells us why they are surfacing now, and we do warn you, some of

the language in his report is graphic.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Several women speaking out, accusing Donald Trump of touching them inappropriately.

JESSICA LEEDS, ACCUSES DONALD TRUMP OF INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING: It was a real shock when all of a sudden his hands were all over me.

CARROLL: Two of these women, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks, telling "The New York Times" they were both groped or kissed by Trump without consent.

The incident with Leeds allegedly took place 35 years ago when she sat next to the billionaire in the first-class cabin on a flight.

LEEDS: If he had stuck with the upper part of the body, I might not have gotten -- I might not have gotten that upset. When he started putting his

hand up my skirt, that was it.

CARROLL: Crooks telling "The Times" after introducing herself to Trump outside an elevator at Trump Tower, Crooks alleges he would not let go of

her hand, then kissed her directly on the mouth, something she says felt like a violation. Crooks says this happened in 2005.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them.

CARROLL: That same year, Trump boasted to Billy Bush about how he forces himself on women.


TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.

CARROLL: The two women telling "The New York Times" they came forward after watching Trump deny ever assaulting women at Sunday's debate.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Have you ever done those things?

TRUMP: Women have respect for me. And I will tell you, no, I have not.

CARROLL: The Trump campaign says the entire article is fiction, calling "The New York Times" story a coordinated character assassination.

Also in 2005, Natasha Stoynoff, a writer for "People" magazine, claims that she was physically attacked by Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate while writing

a piece on Trump and his wife, Melania's, one-year anniversary. Stoynoff says she was briefly alone with Trump in a room when, "within seconds, he

was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat."

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but a Trump spokesperson told the magazine, "This never happened. There is no merit or

veracity to this fabricated story."

This as another recording that year reveals Trump bragging to Howard Stern about going backstage at the beauty pageants he owns.

TRUMP: I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant, and therefore I'm inspecting it. They're standing there with no clothes. "Is

everybody OK?" And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.

CARROLL: Former Miss Arizona, Tasha Dixon, tells CNN that's exactly what happened in 2001.

TASHA DIXON, FORMER MISS ARIZONA: It was announced Donald Trump was going to come in, and before you could put a robe or kind of dress yourself, he

walked in. And you know, some women were half naked. Others were in the process of changing.

It puts us in not only a physical, vulnerable position, but also an emotional state.

CARROLL: Trump's campaign manager refusing to comment.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: There's no way for me to know what happened there.


ANDERSON: All right.

Well, let's get you to D.C. now bring in CNN Politics reporter MJ Lee. And MJ, even before polling has hit after these latest allegations, it was

clear Trump had virtually had no path to what are these 270 electoral votes he would need if he were to become president. If he were to make it -- if,

and that's a big if at this point, he would need suburban women voters, correct?

MJ LEE, CNN POLITICS: That's right, suburban women voters and educated people who live in the suburbs. I mean, these are both demographic groups

that he has struggled with, not to mention people who are African-American, Hispanic, Asian, basically non-white voters, all groups of people that

Trump has struggled with. And you can imagine that these kinds of allegations beginning to pile

up, that is not going to help Trump win over voters who have already fueled a great deal of skepticism about whether he has the temperament to be


Of course, this is something that Hillary Clinton has pressed over and over again. And I think the fact that these allegations are now really coming

out and it really appears as though the floodgates have opened, that is actually going to make Hillary Clinton and her job of pressing that case

even easier. I think one thing that's notable since you mention suburban voters and women voters, that's very interesting that we have gotten some

indication that the Trump campaign is pulling back from the state of Virginia.

Virginia, of course, is a big and important battleground state where both Trump and Clinton have campaigned very hard this cycle. The fact that

sources are telling us now that the Trump campaign may be pulling its resources, its time, its people, away from Virginia, basically is an

explicit acknowledgment that the campaign acknowledges that the state is not one

that it can win. And the reason that this is so interesting in this context is because this is a state where we have a diverse population, we

have suburban women, that someone like Trump would need to win. And he's struggling to do that so far.

ANDERSON: MJ, appreciate it out of New York, this evening. My mistake. I thought you were in Washington, but out of New York this evening. Thank

you very much indeed.

Well, there are hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough on Syria. That could be in the making. The U.S., Russia and other nations have agreed to discuss

at least to discuss a new cease-fire this weekend at talks in Switzerland. But we've seen this scenario before, haven't we?

Diplomacy is moving far too slowly for the people caught in Syria's civil war. In just the past several hours, the white helmets group, the

volunteer group, as they're known said at least 13 people have been killed in the latest air strikes on rebel-held eastern Aleppo, and eight other

civilians were reported killed on government-held parts of the city on Wednesday.

While Russia clearly an incredibly important asset in all of this, Matthew Chance joining us from Moscow with more. And what is the very latest

perspective from there re: Syria, Matthew?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, Becky, it's important to remember that the Russians weren't the ones that walked

away from the talks in Geneva, the bilateral talks with the United States.

It was John Kerry that announced they were at an end. And it's John Kerry that's now come

back to the negotiating table with the Russians and admittedly with other countries as well, with the Turks, with some Gulf states as well, that are

all involved in the Syrian conflict in some way. They're all going to be talking now in Switzerland on Saturday.

Those talks begin, on exactly the same issues that were never resolved during the last round

of negotiations, the bilateral negotiations between the United States and Russia.

So, we're talking about a couple of things. I mean, first of all, the humanitarian access, that's the most urgent issue, of course, so those

areas of eastern Aleppo under rebel control, there are tens of thousands of people trapped inside amid a ferocious bombing campaign that

both the Syrian armed forces and of course backed by the powerful Russian air force. That's one of the things that's going to be front and center of

these negotiations. Can it at least be a temporary cessation of hostilities to allow some humanitarian access to those civilians.

But there's also a much broader conversation that's going to have to be addressed about waht is the future of Syria going to look like. And that's

where the fundamental disagreements come into play, because Russia wants to see a Syria where Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, is in a strong

position, if not an unassailable one.

And the United States and its allies and other countries, they don't see Bashar al-Assad as having a future in Syria. And that's a fundamental new

difference between these various sides.

ANDERSON: Matthew, thank you. Matthew is some Moscow for you. Russia's relationship with Syria is one that has endured, of course, throughout this

brutal conflict.

For a closer look at the Kremlin's ties with Damacus and other key Russians allies, do head to the website at

Still to come tonight, inside an ISIS stronghold, we get a rare glimpse at what is an Iraqi resistance group who say they are ready to fight when the

battle for Mosul begins.

And the U.S. takes action after its warship is targeted for a second time in the Red Sea. We'll have the very latest on growing tensions between the

U.S. and Yemen's Houthi rebels. That story coming up.


[11:21:51] ANDERSON: Well, amassing troops in Iraq pro-government forces gear up for the fight to retake Mosul from ISIS. These troops are one of

many groups with a stake in that battle.

Welcome back. You're watching CNN and Connect the World.

And this is a story that we are following closely on this show. I'm Becky Anderson for you.

Besides a variety of Iraqi forces, several global players, too, are following those preparations with interest. Turkey insists it will take

part in the offensive despite Iraq's protest. The west, too, is playing its part.

Well, these are French jets taking off from the Charles de Gaulle airport, sorry the aircraft carrier on their way to join U.S.-led airstrikes against

ISIS in Iraq.

But what about inside the city of Mosul? Well, ISIS's grip is so tight that it is rare to get testimony or footage out. One group managed to do

just that.

For the details, my colleague our senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh joining me now from Irbil in northern Iraq -- Nick.

WALSH: Becky, interestingly, as the pressure mounts on Irbil, and there's no doubt with the buildup of military hardware, the fiery rhetoric we're

hearing that's likely the beginning of this offensive, the most substantial against ISIS in Iraq, and possibly the last, certainly in this country in a

major way may be a matter of days ahead.

And part of that is a reliance upon angry population inside of Mosul who formed a loose network of cells of resistance, expected to activate when

that assault begins.


WALSH (voice-over): The city itself is a distant prize. Masked by dust, fairly visible here and its outskirts are very alive. With ISIS presumably

digging in, readying for the fight coming down the main road in the days ahead.

Motorcycles, trucks, but no civilians to be seen. What life there was here is being purged by ISIS. Air strikes in their wake. Inside the city,

streets are empty.

These are rare pictures filmed by activists inside the city, comfortable enough now the end maybe near to send out video could get them killed, of


The date, October the 9th on the paper, and nobody on the streets. An ISIS pamphlet with a letter M in Arabic dot on it, which has never looked more

sinister. M is for macarma, resistance.

At first, a rag tag group of locals, but now behind this ISIS truck being torched, they claim in this video. A resistance fighter arranged a rare

call to outside the city going to its outskirts to get network reception and explained to us what happens when the assault on the city starts?

(on camera): What signal are you waiting for, for the zero hour attack against ISIS?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We do have a signal, God willing with the advancement of the security forces, we will start when they're at

the outskirts of Mosul suburbs. We cannot announce or talk about the targets at the moment. We use the simple weapons that we have under our


[11:25:2] WALSH (voice-over): ISIS have released images of life as normal, but even their propaganda shows how the coalition and huge air power are

closing in.

(on camera): Are ISIS acting differently like they think they're under siege.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They're scared and devastated. We know from their behavior, they're movements, moving from one house to

another. They only move from one side of the city to another. They only move at night.

At their check points they cover their faces now. The way they used to when they first entered Mosul. There are female detachments that go in the

houses looking for phone SIM cards.

WALSH (voice-over): Up on the ram parts, you can see the screws are tightening, but the days ahead for those trapped inside the city will be

darker indeed.


WALSH: Now, another member of that resistance network described how actually the weapons they used to target high-ranking ISIS officials,

important people rather than the rank and file, were actually taking it from the Iraqi police stations when ISIS first moved in 2014 and been

hidden away as a cache. They and sometimes disposed of, in fact, after those attacks

and not leaving any evidence following those resistance members around with them in the city.

How important is this potential insurrection when the assault begins? One coalition official says they're not dependent on it, but frankly another

city official quite clear they need that to happen to try to get the population of the city on board with the idea of forces coming in, so

certainly I think a lot riding on their ability to attack ISIS when that assault begins, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick, is Turkey really going to make good on its threats to intervene in Mosul? This is a concern for the Iraqis and for the

coalition, of course.

WALSH: Well, if you look at the volume of political rhetoric swirling around at the moment, this whole thing is a disaster before it really gets

going, but that's probably not what's going to happen on the ground if you look at the official plan that's being outlined, and that is that the Iraqi

military are supposed to move in and use Sunni paramilitary groups to get involved in calming and policing the Sunni population of Mosul when that

assault begins.

That's the theory. The question really is what if that plan slips? And the key question mark hangs over the Iranian-backed Shia militia, who have

been involved in a lot of the fight against ISIS across Iraq. They have said explicitly they will be involved in the fight in Mosul. That's got

many concerned in Sunni communities here because of their record of violence against those community, and much of the sectarian nature of the

violence here in Iraq.

Possibly Ankara's very vociferous statements is designed to say to Baghdad keep those militia out of this fight as agreed in the official plan or we

may intervene.

But it's got a lot of people thinking and talking, if we begin to see chaos, misunderstandings, etc. -- I've spoken to Peshmerga officials, to

other individuals here, too, who are pretty clear they have no problem with Turkish assistance and NATO military in trying to keep this city, in their

minds, Sunni as much as possible.

So, yes, the fear is if plan a that's been agreed and is part of the blueprint for this assault falls apart, there isn't really a plan b,

although I think many believe they know who their allies will be, who they will turn to to try and pursue their own visions of where Mosul should be,

possibly months from now, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh is in Irbil, in Iraq for you this evening. Nick, thank you.

Well, your latest world news headlines are just ahead, viewers. Plus after an early morning handover, freedom at last: we will bring you the details

of 21 Nigerian school girls who have been released by Boko Haram. That is up.



[11:33:08] ANDERSON: Well, after more than two years in captivity, 21 Nigerian school girls are free this hour. Nigeria says the terror group

Boko Haram released them as part of a deal brokered with the Swiss government and the International Red Cross. Now, the girls were seized

along with more than two other -- 200 other young women in an overnight raid on their school in April of 2015 sparking global outrage.

Well, Nima Elbagir has been following this story from the very start, joining me tonight from London. How are these young women and where and

when were they released, Nima?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it seems to have moved very fast, even reaching out to some of our contacts within the

Nigerian government. They have been pretty surprised with how quickly this has all come about. 3:00 a.m. local time is the time

we're being given as the point at which the girls were finally handed over. And it's where they were handed over that really will give the most insight

into where potentially they could have been kept.

Banqi (ph), it's a Nigerian border town along the Cameroonian/Nigerian border. Previously most of these girls had been believed to be held in the

Sambisa stronghold. Many of those within the intelligence communities inside Nigeria say now their thinking is that while it makes sense that

perhaps they were outside Nigeria for much of this time in either northern Cameroon or the south of Chad given the ability of their captors to move

them so quickly to that meet point.

They, then, were moved very quickly through Borno state to the state governor in Maiduguri. And they are en route to Abuja where the

presidency, the president's office, will be meeting them. And it's at that point that we're going to begin to get a sense of how they are.

That is, of course, the key question. You were absolutely right, Becky. And that's going to take a lot unpicking. There are psychiatrists are on

standby. There is a whole process that the government hopes they'll be able to put into place, because this has been an unimaginably difficult

two-and-a-half years, no doubt, for these girls.

[11:35:12] ANDERSON: And still so many still held.

This as we were reporting was part of a deal brokered with the Swiss government and the

International Red Cross. Do we have any more details on that deal?

ELBAGIR: Well, we have known for some time that the Swiss government was attempting to mediate. It's the International Red Cross that seemed to

have come in more recently. This, speaking again to sources within the government, they believe really is a goodwill indicator, that both sides

now feel that if this handover of these 21 girls could have happened as it has with at the moment no sense

anything has gone too particularly wrong, but that will open the way for the rest of those almost 200 girls, approximately 200 girls for deals to be

negotiated around them.

The sticking point is that Boko Haram have continuously said -- and these are the last remaining major assets, these girls, that they want either a

prisoner swap or they want money, both of which the Nigerian government has been very cagey about agreeing to. And there is a lot of contention about whether there was a prisoner swap. In this case,

the Nigerian government denies it, but many of those we're speaking to say it's highly unlikely that this could have happened with at least some sort

of a quid pro quo in the works.

But everybody we're speaking to is hugely optimistic, Becky. They really feel that this has say it's highly unlikely this happened without a quid

pro quo in the works.

But everybody we're speaking to is hugely optimistic, Becky. They really feel that this has opened the door for more girls to be released, and

hopefully more good news for these families.

ANDERSON: Well, that is good news. Nima, thank you.

Well, the U.S. says it has launched defensive measures after an American warship in the Red Sea targeted twice this week. Now, the Pentagon says it

struck three radar sites in Yemen in territory controlled by Houthi rebels. The Houthis deny targeting the ship. Washington backing the Saudi

coalition, of course, fighting Houthi rebels who are supported losely by Iran.

Well, the UN has called the crisis in Yemen a humanitarian catastrophe. Muhammad Lila is here with me tonight on set.

What do we know, firstly, Muhammad, about these striks?

MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, we know that the Pentagon says that it fired Tomahawk missiles from one of its destroyer warships to

in the waters to coastal targets inside Yemen. They say that territory was in Houthi-controlled territory.

And you mention that they're calling these radar sites. We don't know if these were the actual locations where missils might have been launched

from, but the Pentagon says that whatever is there it's now been completely destroyed.

ANDERSON: Yemen has been bombarded for more than a year now by the Saudi- backed coalition. So what makes these strikes any different, do you think?

LILA: So, that's a good question. Normally you know three air strikes in a country that's had hundreds of them would not be making news. The reason

why this is actually critical is because it's the first time that the American armed forces are effectively intervening in this conflict. Up

until now, they've been happy to play a role -- a backup role to the Saudi coalition. So they've been providing logistics and coordination and

intelligence even providing fuel for Saudi jets to continue this campaign.

This is the first time the American military has directly fired on targets inside Yemen. So there's a concern it could be a turning point.

ANDERSON: Before we move on, what do you make of the U.S. response to all of this? It's quite guarded, hasn't it?

LILA: Well, this is very interesting. You know, because we think that you know America has not been playing a significant role in this war, but they

actually have been providing a lot of intelligence. And there's a lot of high-level coordination, both in terms of patrolling the waters, which is

of course a very key American interest, but also in backing up their allies, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, all of the other countries there that are

part of this coalition, America has been working very closely with them. Now that America has taken the next step and started firing at targets that

they say are endangering American Seacraft, who knows where this will go.

ANDERSON: Yeah, all of this of course with a backdrop of pretty messy relations between the U.S. and Saudi at present.

What is the Houthi position in all of this?

LILA: Well, the Houthis reject all of these accusations. They say they have never fired missiles against U.S. ships. They say they've never

targeted U.S. ships. And they take it step further. They say that this is all designed to draw attention away from the fact that innocent civilians

are being killed in Yemen.

ANDERSON: Because this is, as described by the UN, a massive humanitarian catastrophe. We mustn't forget that.

LILA: And the backdrop to all of this is that Yemen was already one of the poorest countries in the world before this bombing campaign started. 90

percent of all of the goods that came into Yemen were imported. And so now you have a blockade where the goods can't come in, the medicine can't come

in, the fuel can't come in, and that's why the United Nations and human rights watch and other NGOs have come out and said very strongly this is a

humanitarian disaster.

ANDERSON: And many people calling this the forgotten war. We will continue to report on it until things improve, because it is a horrible

situation. Muhammad, thank you for that.

Muhammad Lila joining me on set in the house tonight.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, Donald Trump on the defense. The Republican candidate is

denying accusations that are overshadowing his campaign message. And this is just weeks before voters go to the polls. That is coming up.

Also tonight, what are a teenage refugee and an actor on the hit TV show Game of Thrones have in common? Find out after this.


ANDERSON: Right. Welcome back. It is just before quarter to 7:00 in the evening here in the

UAE. I'm Becky Anderson. This is Connect the World.

Donald Trump has tried to move beyond the controversy over a 2005 tape by saying his lewd

remarks about women were words, not actions. At the second presidential debate he denied ever committing the kind of behavior that he had bragged

about on the video that you'll remember surfaced at the weekend.

But, several women have now come forward to accuse him of unwanted advances. They say his denials at that debate outraged them and prompted

them to come forward.

Two accounts appear in a New York Times article, a third allegation appears in People magazine.

Now, Trump strongly denies these accusations. And CNN hasn't independently confirmed the women's accounts.

We are keeping our eye on this stage in West Palm Beach in Florida, that is where Trump is expected to address supporters at the top of the hour. If

we see them, we'll go to him, because we may just hear about these accusations.

But before we do, and before he starts speaking, CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter joining us tonight. And Brian, let's start off

with these New York Times accusations. Now, an attorney for Donald Trump demanding a, quote, full and immediate retraction and apology from the

paper. In a letter to the newspaper's executive editor, the lawyer says, and I quote -- your article is reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel,

per se. It is apparent from, among other things, the timing of the article, that it is nothing more than a politically motivated effort to

defeat Mr. Trump's candidacy.

So, firstly, what chance do his lawyers stand of achieving a retraction at this point.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Legal experts say a very, very, very small chance, less than 1 percent. The New York Times is not

officially commenting, but they are definitely not retracting the story.

I'm told a response to Trump is in the works. The Times believes it's on very solid legal ground and that the story was absolutely important to


Just one other detail of what's going on behind the scenes at The Times, there was going to be one of those standard news room educational sessions

today. It was going to be a kind of a class session, with the chief lawyer at The New York Times. Reporters come and learn what the lawyer does every

day. Well, obviously he had to cancel just now, because he's busier with this legal threat.

But the idea that Trump would follow through and actually sue, it does seem far-fetched. Trump often times makes threats to sue and rarely follows

through. We'll see if this time is different.

[11:45:42] ANDERSON: One of the questions his campaign has said asked is the following, simply: if people had these allegations in the past. Why

come out with them now? Why wait?

STELTER: And the answer to that, according to the women who were involved, is that they

heard Donald Trump lie on stage on Sunday night at the debate. They say Trump was lying when Trump said that he had never acted on his claims of

sexual assault, that he was heard in that Access Hollywood video saying that he does these things, that he would go up to women and grope them and

kiss them, but those were only words, those were never actions. Remember, he explicitly denied the behavior to Anderson Cooper.

These women told The New York Times that when they heard that out of Trump's mouth, they were motivated to speak out, because they believe he is

not telling the truth.

Now, the Trump campaign says this was all politically coordinated. I've been getting messages from Trump aides who say this is clearly coordinated

between the Clinton campaign and the media. But I don't see evidence of coordination. What I see are women who were motivated to speak because of

what Trump said on the debate stage on Sunday night.

ANDERSON: Interesting, isn't it? One of the lines out of the campaign is these sort of accusations belittle accusations of sexual harassment. I'm

not quite sure how they got there.

But anyway, let's move on.

The Washington Post editorial -- yeah, yeah, OK. And (inaudible) worth having a conversation about that, actually. Let's move on.

The Washington Post editorial board has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Now interesting timing again, the board says the Democratic

nominee is, quote, not the lesser of two evils, but a choice Americans can be proud of. And the board goes on to say in the gloom and ugliness of

this political season, one encouraging truth is often overlooked: there's a well qualified, well-prepared candidates on the ballot.

Hillary Clinton has the potential to be an excellent president, they say, of the United States, and we endorse her without hesitation.

Is this as a result of what we have seen and heard about Donald Trump over the past, what, 48 to 72 hours, or would this be just classic timing for

The Washington Post endorsement, for example? I'm just trying to get a sense of just how big a buildup of momentum now she has in the wake of this

crisis for Donald Trump.

STELTER: This editorial happens to be a coincidence. The Post editors have been working on this for awhile.

They've been trying to send a message not just about the dangers of Trump, but about the benefits of Clinton. They say it's not enough just to argue

that Trump is unfit, you actually have to argue why Clinton is fit, why she is prepared, why she is a wise choice.

So, The Post had been working its way up to this. But you're on to something I think really important. What we are seeing is a groundswell of

support for Clinton from new and unexpected corners, whether that's from Republicans who have not broken ranks in the

past and supported a Democrat.

We've seen a number of newspaper editorial boards in red states, normally Republican editorial boards, who have endorsed Clinton in recent weeks.

And I believe we have not seen the last of that.

There are more editorial boards. They will be weighing in on the days to come, The Washington Post just the most recent.

ANDERSON: I know the math is becoming difficult for Donald Trump, that classic 270 electoral votes he needs looks as if it's becoming increasingly

difficult for him to get when you look at the map.

But he's not down and out completely at this stage is he?

STELTER: No. This is 26 days to go. And if we've learned one thing about 2016, it's that there is a twist every single day. You know, maybe that's

because Donald Trump was a reality TV star. He knows what a plot twist is. He knows the value of a plot twist. Later today, he's going to try to

bring out Bill Clinton accusers, women who say that Bill Clinton sexually abused

them in the past. He clearly has a plot twist in store. We'll see exactly what it is later today.

Yes, the window for him is closing, and the paths for him to the presidency are very narrow, but given how unpredictable, how unexpected this campaign

has been, I think you wouldn't want to place a bet in any direction for sure right now.

ANDERSON: Always a pleasure having you on the show, sir. Out of New York for you today, Mr. Brian Stelter.

Well, new data from Google shows that online searches for write-in candidates have searched over the last week clearly an indication that

Americans have serious doubts about both candidates. You can learn a lot more about this at as you would expect from here at CNN.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson, coming up, a surprise reunion for a teen at a refugee camp and a star of a hit TV

show. Their story is just ahead.

Also, bringing color to a dark situation. We show you one Syrian artist's approach to telling the story of life. That, after this.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Five minutes or so to go. Stay with us. A Syrian teen who fled

the war in his homeland is starting a new life as a refugee in Germany. And shortly after his arrival, well he got very special visit from a friend

who also just happens to be a star in one of the television's biggest shows.

My colleague Robyn Curnow explains.



ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two unlikely friends, one a TV star, the other a refugee.

LIAM CUNNINGHAM, ACTOR: She was good, she was kind and you killed her!

CURNOW: You may recognize Irish actor, Liam Cunningham. On screen, he is in "Game of Thrones."

CUNNINGHAM: All of them fooled.

ALHERAKY: In Syria, I was in pi school.

CURNOW: While 16-year-old Hassam is far from famous. One of the refugees from Syria's civil war.

To Cunningham, war is a fantasy played out on a fictional battlefield.


CURNOW: But for Hassam, it is all too real. He was forced to flee Syria after his school was hit by an air strike, killing several friends and

other students.

Cunningham and several "Throne" cast mates visited refugee camps in Greece earlier this year trying to raise awareness to their plight. He met Hassam

in Jordan and the two hit it off.

The teen hoped to eventually join his father and brother in Germany. Hassam started to teach himself Germany and English so he could easily integrate

in to society. That was a month ago. He made it successfully to Germany and is living in Stuttgart, when Cunningham decided to surprise his friend.

ALHERAKY: Oh, my gosh.


Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness.

CUNNINGHAM: Good to see you.

CURNOW: Both friends delighted to be reunited.

CUNNINGHAM: Welcome to Europe.

ALHERAKY: What are you doing here?

CUNNINGHAM: I came to see you.

ALHERAKY: Really happy. Really happy. It's like unbelievable. Yeah, yeah. I can't explain my feelings, yeah.

CUNNINGHAM: I'm overjoyed. I'm incredibly happy because of the generosity of the German people.

CURNOW: While the two were busy catching up, Hassam admitted he never heard of "Game of Thrones."


ALHERAKY: I didn't realize my friend here, Liam Cunningham, is big famous. Just when the ladies told me that he is a big actor and famous actor. Oh,

my god. So I give him a hug.

[11:55:03] CURNOW: Hassam promises to start watching the show once he and his family get settled in their new home.

Robyn Curnow, CNN.


ANDERSON: The refugee you saw there and others like him are running from war and conflict. Try to put yourself in their shoes. How would you cope

with your neighborhood being constantly under siege? It's awful to even imagine, isn't it?

Well, in our Parting Shots tonight, we meet a Syrian painter who is making the most of what he's got and finding a way to uncover beauty, even in

bombs and bullet shells. Have a look at this.


ANDERSON: Syria just one of many issues where the U.S. presidential candidates don't

see eye to eye. Immigration by Muslims in particular is another. But as the campaign rhetoric gets more heated, some see satire as a fitting

response, so do be sure to head to our Facebook page to watch our interview with the man who kicked off the hashtag #muslimsreportstuff, other stories

that you may have missed on our show this week. You can find out more at Leave your comments. We enjoy all of them.

I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. Thank you for watching.