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What To Expect From Tonight's U.S. Vice Presidential Debate; Malala Yousafzai Still In Critical Condition

Aired October 11, 2012 - 16:00   ET


HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, we've seen the contenders for the White House battle it out, now they're running mates take center stage. The two vice presidential candidates prepare to go head to head.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.

GORANI: Tonight, we'll look at what each candidate has to offer and whether their performance tonight could be a gamechanger.

Also, coming up this hour...


GIRL: It seems that the teachers are still on strike.


GORANI: From the hills of Kenya to the streets of London, how the education of girls can be worlds apart.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like I knew stuff was going on from kind of when we had to back date the prescription.


GORANI: A former masseuse speaks out after Lance Armstrong's team is accused of the most sophisticated doping program sport has ever seen.

Vice President Joe Biden and the Republican rival who wants his job are just hours away from their only face-off of the U.S. election. Mitt Romney's campaign tells CNN that his running mate Paul Ryan will, quote, focus on substance, unquote. Ryan made a name for himself with a controversial plan to cut the budget in America. Biden, an experienced former senator is looking to revive the flagging morale of the Democratic base in some cases.

Last week's presidential debate tightened the race a bit. More on that in a moment. For our international viewers, President Obama and Mitt Romney are household names, but Biden and Ryan rarely get to do a star turn. Still, they do know about pressure with the economy expected to dominate tonight's discussion.

CNN's Maggie Lake takes a closer look at what each of the running mates is expected to bring to the table.


ANNOUNCER: Please welcome Vice President Selina Meyer (ph).

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Many call the vice presidency a thankless job, made fun of in shows like the cable comedy Veep.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the president call?


LAKE: But with the economy the defining issue in the presidential race, Paul Ryan and Joe Biden find themselves in pivotal roles as they hammer home their party's message on jobs, taxes, and the deficit.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Time to help the middle class, not lay more burdens on the middle class.

PAUL RYAN, (R) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America needs a turnaround. And the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.

LAKE: Call them the policy wonk and the populist, two fiercely competitive candidates with two very different economic CVs. First, the Biden CV.

He's been with President Obama since day one. Before that, a 36 year veteran of the Senate where he was the chairman of the foreign relations committee. No fancy arugula for this guy, he's generally viewed as an Amtrak riding...

BIDEN: Thank you very much.

LAKE: Straight talking everyman, and an aggressive defender of the Obama economic record.

BIDEN: We're going to ask the wealthy to pay more. My heart breaks. Come on, man.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Joe Biden is the Obama campaign's weapon when it comes to the working class voter. Joe Biden seems to connect better with working class, with blue collar workers in some of the tough battleground states like maybe an Ohio, a Pennsylvania.

LAKE: Biden is also known for his famous unscripted moments.

BIDEN: The number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be as Barack says, a three letter word, Jobs, J-O-B-S, jobs.

LAKE: No wonder he's the gift that keeps on giving for comedians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They say Paul Ryan has 6 percent body fat. I guarantee you Biden has got 8 between his ears, OK.

LAKE: Next up, the Ryan CV.

He's a seven term congressman from Wisconsin and the chairman of the House Budget Committee. He made a name for himself with the so-called Ryan Budget, which could cut taxes and entitlement programs. Ryan says action is needed now to slash government spending.

RYAN: We've got to get this debt under control. We're not going to kick the can. We're not going to duck these issues. We're going to fix this mess.

LAKE: Many say they like Ryan's straight from the gut message.

RYAN LIZZA, THE NEW YORKER: In general, you know, he preaches a sort of deregulatory philosophy. That's been received very, very well from the business community. He really tapped into that, you know, anti-Washington Tea Party sentiment.

LAKE: But expect Biden to come into this debate swinging.

LIZZA: That's the danger in a presidential campaign of specifics. You put out a specific plan and it can get attacked.

LAKE: The Ryan Budget guarantees the economy will take center stage for the first and only vice presidential debate.

Maggie Lake, CNN, New York.


GORANI: Well, so what can we expect from the debate tonight? What kind of style can we expect from tonight's competition in that U.S. southern state of Kentucky? Jim Acosta is in Danville, the scene of the big faceoff. And he joins me know live.

So, we only have a few hours to go. What's the mood. And also what's at stake for this duel?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I'm not really sure, Hala, if any vice presidential debate has dramatically altered a presidential race. You know, these debates tend to be remembered more for their zingers. You'll recall Lloyd Bentsen back in 1988, "senator you're not Jack Kennedy." I mean, that's usually what happens at these debates. There's that one moment that sort of etched in our memory, but it doesn't really have a dramatic affect on the presidential race.

However, this time could be a little bit different. President Obama has admitted he had a bad night in his exchange with Mitt Romney last week in Denver, so that has put more pressure on Joe Biden to come out swinging tonight. He has indicated that he is going to be a little scrappy tonight with the Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. And Paul Ryan seems to be setting some expectations for himself, low expectations you might say. Consider what he said at an ice cream store down in Florida yesterday.


RYAN: Joe Biden has been on this stage many times before. This is my first time. So sure it's a nervous situation, because Joe Biden is one of the most experienced debaters we have in modern politics.


ACOSTA: Now Paul Ryan is no slouch when it comes to debating either. I talked to one of his aids who said he did debate several times during his congressional career. He's also gone toe to toe with President Obama in various budget discussions that have been televised nationally here in the United States. So Paul Ryan has been on this kind of stage before, maybe not quite like this stage.

Another thing I should mention, you mentioned at the top of the hour Hala that - that Paul Ryan is going to be focusing on substance. That word came out of a conversation that I had with the top Romney adviser who said, yes, Paul Ryan is going to be focusing on substance tonight. And the reason why is because they feel that worked out very well for Mitt Romney. If you consider what happened at last week's debate in Denver, a lot of people were talking about zingers, are we going to see the zingers fly in Denver and then by my count Mitt Romney only really delivered two during the course of that evening. And he really sort of focused in on substance.

Now the Obama campaign says, well, he was not really being straightforward with the American people there, but I would look to Paul Ryan to continue that debate tactic debate tonight, Hala.

GORANI: OK, Jim Acosta covering the VP debate this evening on CNN. Thanks very much.

Now of course some very recent history hangs over tonight's debate before the first presidential faceoff Barack Obama led in the CNN poll of polls. After the debate of October 3 it was of a bit of a different story with the Republican challenger Mitt Romney taking a one point lead in that poll of polls.

So the question is what does the vice presidential debate do anyway? Does the Biden/Ryan competition become a gamechanger on any level, especially after that lackluster Obama performance. CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein joins us live from Washington.

Good to see you, Ron.

First off, we heard from Jim, Ron, that you know they're not gamechangers. But in the current environment, after Obama's performance and debate number one, I mean, is there a little bit more pressure on Biden now?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, I think there is. I mean, Jim's right, historically they have not been huge events in the history of these campaigns, but I think you do have an environment now in which the media coverage of these things matters as much as the event itself, the after fact, the kind of reverberations of that first debate have been enormous and very damaging for the president. It hasn't totally turned the race upside down, but it has clearly hurt them.

And I think tonight, the pressure on Biden is really to change the story line. You know, if we come out of this debate with the sense that Paul Ryan dominated the debate or did very well, there will be kind of that drumbeat that the Democrats continue to be on the defensive. He needs to find a way to shift the argument back to some of the arguments that were working for the Democrats in September and most of all arrest this kind of perception that Republicans are now with the momentum and the wind at their back.

GORANI: I find interesting the generational difference as well. I hear you have Joe Biden olde enough to be the father of Paul Ryan, much more experience politically, what can that lead to in terms of what kind of faceoff we can expect?

BROWNSTEIN: You know it's really striking, you mentioned that, it's not only a generation gap, some have called it a two generation gap. Joe Biden was born in 1942. He's from the generation before the Baby Boom, Paul Ryan is our first national candidate from the generation after the Baby Boom, what we call Gen X.

They do have one thing in common, though, they both have really kind of settled in on this political life very early. Joe Biden was elected to the Senate at the very young age of 29. Paul Ryan to the House of the very young age of 28. They represent very different generations. Joe Biden is kind of maybe one of the last of the New Deal Democrats, that kind of - from that era where ethnic blue collar workers were predominately Democratic. And he talks about government's kind of responsibilities in very much of a kind of communal way, almost like a Dorothy Day kind of Catholic social, you know, social - a gospel vision.

Whereas Ryan really is the embodiment of the modern Republican small government ethos. He really has been the leader intellectually of that in the congress.

GORANI: We'll seen in terms of style, I guess, maybe perhaps even more than substance as you mentioned might be important.

We heard from Paul Ryan a little bit earlier when we were speaking with Jim Acosta, now let's hear from Barack Obama and what advice he is giving Joe Biden ahead of this debate. Let's listen.


DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: What's your message to Joe Biden about tomorrow night?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I've been - you know, I think Joe just needs to be Joe. Congressman Ryan is a smart and effective speaker, but his ideas are the wrong ones. And Joe understands that.


GORANI: So, you know, Paul Ryan was lowering expectations as far as his performance is concerned. So what do you make of Barack Obama's advice to Joe Biden?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, his first advice should have been show up, because you know the question is to what extent the president himself was fully engaged in that first debate. Look, I think he's about right. I mean, Paul Ryan has been an intellectual leader of these younger conservatives in the House. His budget to a greater sense I think in any other single document before kind of embodies what Republicans would like to see as kind of the long-term evolution of the Federal Government. And as such it does provide kind of the centerpiece of this debate. And I suspect there's going to be a lot of debate about it. Biden representing that kind of, as I said, kind of communal vision of government that in earlier generation of Democrats kind of held I think is going to be at that very aggressively.

GORANI: Well, I can - I'm actually quite looking forward to this vice presidential debate. I mean, I don't know, perhaps it...

BROWNSTEIN: You can get a clearer contrast.

GORANI: Yeah, right, exactly. Thanks very much. And also of course the upcoming presidential debate. Ron Brownstein, thanks very much as always. Good talking to you.

And CNN is your destination of full coverage of the 2012 U.S. elections. Stay up with us when Joe Biden and Paul Ryan go face to face and watch it live starting Friday at one in the morning in London, that's 8:00 Friday morning in Hong Kong. Or you can see a replay of the debate Friday night at 9:00 in London during this hour in fact 24 hours from now.

And still to come tonight, with the White House race tightening, we'll look at one group of voters that the candidates will need to woo. Find out who is trying to impress the female voters.

But up next, the latest on that Pakistani schoolgirl fighting for her life still this hour after the Taliban tried to silence her. We'll be right back.


GORANI: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World. Welcome back.

A teenage Pakistani activist who survived a Taliban assassination attempt has been air lifted to a special hospital in Rawalpindi. Malala Yousafzai, campaigner for education equality for girls, remains in critical condition a day after surgeons removed a bullet from her neck. The Taliban have vowed to kill the 14 year old even if she survives. CNN's Reza Sayah has more.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Late Thursday night, Malala Yousafzai's condition was still critical a day after doctors removed a bullet that was lodged in her neck, this according to a government official here in Pakistan. That official telling us the doctor is keeping a close eye on swelling of her brain, a condition called cerebral edema. This is a condition that can cause some serious complications. Doctors say the next day or two are going to be key in Malala's recovery. We also spoke to her uncle who seemed to be optimistic. He was telling us the family is gaining hope that she's going to recover.

In the meantime, the Pakistan's foreign minister telling CNN authorities have arrested scores of people who are suspected of knowing something about the attack on Malala. It's not clear who these people are and how they're linked to this incident.

Also on Thursday the outpouring of emotions and support continued for this mini-activist that has captured the hearts of many Pakistanis, especially in schools throughout the country. Students were painting banners, writing letters, personal messages, get well cards. Malala has become a hero to many in Pakistan. All of those admirers praying that she recovers.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.


GORANI: Well, CNN's Christiane Amanpour spoke with Pakistan's foreign minister about the attack on Malala. She asked Hina Rabbani Khar if her government was doing enough to confront extremism in Pakistan and take on the Taliban. This is how the foreign minister responded.


HINA RABBANI KHAR, PAKISTANI FOREIGN MINISTER: That they have the ability to strike back at us (inaudible) and at this girl also is a clear indication that what we need to do is to look at this as a challenge to all of us collectively rather than spend time, as we have done unfortunately in the past, to go into a blame game of who is doing what.

I think Pakistan - Pakistan's commitment to this is clear.


GORANI: Well, hear more from Christiane's interview with the Pakistani foreign minister on a special edition of Amanpour at 10:00 pm in London, 11:00 in Berlin on CNN.

Now here's a look at some other stories connecting our world tonight. Syrian state television is reporting a terrorist explosion has rocked Damascus near the ministry of higher education. It comes as Turkey's prime minister defends his country's interception and forced landing of a Syrian civilian airliner on Wednesday. Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the plane was carrying military equipment and munitions that were bound for Syria from Russia.

Now, as far as Damascus is concerned, it's denying that, calling the incident an act of piracy, while Moscow says the move endangered the lives of Russian passengers on the plane.

A Paris prosecutor says and Islamic extremist group is France's, quote, biggest terror threat since the 90s. Bomb making materials were found in a Paris suburb on Tuesday night after 12 people were arrested over the weekend. Seven remain in custody. And the prosecutor says he'll seek attempted murder and terror charges against them. Police believe some of those arrested were planning to fight in Syria. He suspects were apprehended on Saturday weeks after a grenade attack on a Jewish shop.

The Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah says his group was responsible for sending an Iranian made drone into Israeli airspace last weekend. In a speech aired on Lebanese television, he said the drone was assembled by a specialized Hezbollah team. While the Israeli military has stated that the drone did not carry explosives, the objective of the flight is still unknown.

A warning from the International Monetary Fund chief that the global economic crisis is hurting growth in emerging countries. At the IMF meeting Tokyo, Christine LaGarde said the world economy is operating under a, quote, veil of uncertainty, and that that is hampering the ability of policymakers to promote growth. Her comments come alongside a report saying the IMF underestimated the affects of austerity measures on growth.


CHRISTINE LAGARDE, IMF DIRECTOR: When many countries at the same time adopt the same austerity measures, it creates a bigger and deeper impact on growth.


GORANI: And there you have it.

We're going to take a short break now, but when we come back we'll hear from a former employee of Lance Armstrong's Postal Service team about his alleged doping. We'll be right back.


GORANI: You are watching Connect the World live from CNN Center. Welcome back everyone. I'm Hala Gorani.

Now hotel rooms turned into blood transfusion centers, drug taking and trafficking among cyclists during the Tour de France and other events, those are just some of the revelations published in the report which quotes testimonies from 26 people, including 11 of Lance Armstrong's former teammates.

Don Riddell joins me now to sort this all out.

We're talking about the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency here and the claims that they are continuing to make against Lance Armstrong in a very hefty volume of what they say is evidence against him that is undeniable.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Armstrong's team would say it is very deniable, but yes, what 1,000 pages of evidence on Wednesday they published a report that was more than 200 pages long and it contains all of this testimony from people that seem to be reliable sources, or people that at least seem to have known exactly know what went on.

Of course, Armstrong's team refutes this, but Armstrong himself is not going to come out and fight these allegations, because Hala he thinks the whole thing is a stitch up, or in his words, a witch hunt. He can't possibly get a fair trial in this case, so he'd rather not just fight the accusations.

But he has spoken briefly via his social media Twitter account. This is what he said on Wednesday evening a few hours after this report was published. "What am I doing tonight? Hanging with my family, unaffected, and thinking about this." This is a link to his Livestrong Foundation, #onward. He clearly wants to move on.

But as you say, so many people coming out now with stories about what went on. One of them being the U.S. Postal Service teams masseurs or seigneur, Emma O'Reilly, who has spoken to us exclusively today to say based on what she saw, what she witnessed, what she was asked to do, she has no doubt that he was a drugs cheat.


EMMA O'REILLY, FORMER U.S. POSTAL SERVICE TEAM SOIGNEUR: Like I knew stuff was going on kind of when we had to back date the prescription for the cortigone (ph), when Lance asked me to go to Spain to pick up something, when Lance gave me syringes to get rid of for him, then you know for definite.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Are you in any doubt from your time with the U.S. Postal Team of what you saw, what you think was Lance Armstrong a drugs cheat?

O'REILLY: Yeah, I'm in not doubt about that at all.


RIDDELL: That was Emma O'Reilly speaking to us earlier today. We have asked Lance Armstrong's legal team for a response. They say she is a discredited witnesses. And we'll be speaking to them hopefully in the next half hour or so and we'll have their response on World Sport.

GORANI: All right. So what happens next. We have this giant report. Armstrong says I'm not thinking about any of this. I'm thinking about my foundation. Does any - is it over?

RIDDELL: Well, it's not really over. I mean, the International Cycling Union, the ball is really in their court now with regards to whether or not he keeps the seven consecutive Tour de France titles. He could well be stripped of those. There is an ongoing debate about whether any kind of criminal investigation or any federal case against him could be reopened. From what I understand, that seems unlikely.

Meanwhile, his legacy seems certain to be shredded, frankly. His reputation is in tatters, but he doesn't really seem to care, as he said in that tweet, you know, onward. I'm just getting on with my life. And he has built a life for himself with his cancer foundation, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars which has helped some 2.5 million people affected by cancer. These people won't say a bad word about him. And he's carrying on with that work right now.

GORANI: And he's still in Nike, so that's the support of Nike.

RIDDELL: They're standing by him, very much so.

GORANI: Thank you very much, Don Riddell.

When we come back, on foot, by train, or on the back of a motorcycle, what these girls go through to get an education.

And we meet the German-Colombian fasionista making her design debut for one of France's leading fashion houses.

And why women wind up making the difference - might wind up making the difference in the U.S. election. We'll be right back.


GORANI: Welcome back, everyone, wherever you're watching us from, from Europe, the Middle East, or another part of the world, a very warm welcome. I'm Hala Gorani, here are your headlines this half hour.

Syrian state television is reporting an explosion in central Damascus. The blast reportedly occurred near the military justice building and the Ministry of Higher Education. There's no word yet on casualties.

It comes as Turkey's prime minister says an intercepted passenger plane bound for Syria was carrying military equipment and ammunition from Russia. Damascus is denying that, and it's calling the incident an act of piracy.

Just coming into CNN, Britain's Ministry of Defense has issued a statement saying that the Royal Military Police have today arrested seven Royal Marines on suspicion of murder. The statement goes on to say the arrests relate to an incident in Afghanistan in 2011. It also says the incident followed an engagement with an insurgent and that no civilians were involved. An investigation is ongoing, and that's the information we have for now.

Vice President Joe Biden says he's, quote, "looking forward to tonight's debate" with Republican rival Paul Ryan. The televised face-off in the southern US state of Kentucky is only a few hours away, and Biden will be looking to regain some of the momentum his ticket lost last week in the first presidential debate.

Doctors say a young Pakistani activist attacked by Taliban gunmen is in critical condition. Malala Yousufzai was moved to a military hospital in Rawalpindi earlier today. She developed severe swelling in her head after doctors removed a bullet from her neck on Tuesday, and her condition is listed as critical.

The Taliban attacked Malala just because she was going to school and because she wanted other girls to go to school. In a country where wanting to learn can make you a target for extremists, Malala's refusal to be silenced has made her quite a hero around the world to many people. As CNN's Reza Sayah reports, now other Pakistani girls are starting to demand justice in her name.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was Malala Yousufzai's nonstop courage to speak out against the Taliban that first captured the hearts of many of this country's youth.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I thought that I must stand up for my rights, the right of education, the right for peace.

SAYAH: Malala was targeted for fighting for girls' education. Now, it's her fight to survive that has countless young admirers praying for her in schools throughout Pakistan.

SAYAH (on camera): Did everyone hear about what happened to Malala?


SAYAH (voice-over): When students in Islamabad's Khaldunia School learned militants had shot Malala in the head, they made banners, wrote her letters, demanding the government to do everything to save her.

MARYAM TARIQ, STUDENT: I was really shocked because she was so ambitious, and she's the girl which Pakistani girls should look up to, and now she's been shot, and I pray for her.

SAYAH (on camera): So, who in here was inspired with what Malala said and what she did?

MEHVER ISMAIL, STUDENT: To have the courage to actually just go against all that, I think that was quite respectable.

SAYAH: So, has anyone here decided to maybe change the way they live their life because of Malala? Anyone?

GIREM HASSAN, STUDENT: In our society, it's considered that girls, they don't have rights, and they don't get to study. But I think that's completely wrong. We have the same rights as men, and we will stand up for our rights, and we will go out and encourage all the girls to study.

SAYAH: Now, Malala liked to speak up, even though she was in a dangerous situation. How many of you are finding yourselves speaking up more about things that are not right because of Malala?

AILLEYA ZEHRA, STUDENT: Well, I like to -- I want these people that attacked her, I want them to learn that women, they're not all bad. Because they're basically afraid of getting women equal rights, because they're afraid of what women can do, because they know women can do a lot.

SAYAH: Obviously, Malala has inspired a lot of girls, but boys go to school here, and here's what's remarkable: Malala is inspiring the boys, as well.

Does Malala inspire you?


SAYAH: She does? How so?

AZIZ: Oh, like now I won't take advantage of school. I'll actually want to study.

SAYAH: Because of Malala?

AZIZ: Yes.

JAMIL AHMED, STUDENT: What I learned from her is education is the best thing. If you get education, then you will be a better person.

SAYAH: Motivated to be better people, work hard, get an education. And the source of their inspiration: a remarkable 14-year-old girl, now fighting for her life.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.


GORANI: Well, Malala's outspoken fight for a basic human right has left her clinging to life, as we've been saying, and for tens of millions of girls around the world, getting an education is still very much a distant dream.

But now that has spurred the UN into taking a stand. Today marks the first International Day of the Girl, as it's called, with a call to get female children out of forced marriages and into the classroom.

But the UN does face an uphill battle. There are 75 million girls out of school around the world, and that includes primary and lower secondary education. According to UNICEF, one in three girls is denied a secondary education.

That directly affects their ability to support themselves and their families later on in life. And also, the World Bank research found that just one extra year of secondary school could increase a girl's potential income by up to 25 percent.

Now, their journeys may be different, but they all share the same goal: to get an education. From hitching a ride to catching a train or trekking through the wild, even, here's a snapshot of what girls go through just to attend school.


DORCAS KANINI, AGE 14, EASTERN KENYA: We have been walking for 20 minutes. There is 40 minutes left for us to reach school. I have been doing this, going to school, for nine years. I don't like walking to school, because sometimes I am tired. I miss school when I am late. The teachers don't understand.

CAPUCINE MAMAK, AGE 13, SOUTH LONDON: I woke up and I got ready and I went to school. On my way to school, I met -- I called to my friend, Eve, and then we walked down to the train station, and I got the train to school.

SHARAIL CHRISTINA, AGE 15, NEW DELHI: I com to school with my dad, mostly at 7:15. I have my school prayer at 7:30, which gets over at 7:40.

My parents are not that educated. They had gone to school, but not that much. But I'm lucky that I'm at such a nice school and have such nice facilities to study.

KANINI: Now I might head into my class, but I'm not sure whether I will find the students. This padlock means the class is closed because teachers -- teachers are on strike. But because I have come all the way to here, I will not go home, but I will read a bit on my own.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you've got a laptop, get your laptop up, running.

MAMAK: Yes, we use our laptop in a lot of lessons, and we often use them in history. I really, really like history. We were looking at the industrial revolution, which is really, really interesting.

I like going to a girls' school because a lot of the things are based around girls. I think that if boys are at school, I think maybe more effort might be put into things such as boys' sport.

CHRISTINA: She is Gabriela, and she's my best friend. We've been friends from three years old. Nobody knows me more than she knows.


CHRISTINA: You know, it's very uncomfortable to study with a boy. That's what a girls' school, for the girls, like that. We feel a little more comfortable to sit and be in the school and all.

KANINI: I have been reading for a while, but there is not any students who have turned up. It seems that the teachers are still on strike. And I have now decided to go home.


GORANI: Well, how girls get to school in so many parts of the world, and how different it can be, depending on what country you live in. And our next guest does believe in empowering girls through education.

Mariane Pearl is best-known for writing an award-winning memoir about her murdered husband. She was five months pregnant when Daniel Pearl was killed in Pakistan.

Since then, Mariane's also written a book profiling women activists and leaders, and she's teamed up with Plan International to campaign for getting girls to school, which is really what we're talking about today on this day. Mariane Pearl joins us live from our studio in New York. Thanks for being with us.


GORANI: Let me ask you first. You've heard of Malala Yousufzai and how she was shot by the Taliban just for advocating equal access to education for girls and women. When you see that happen and people so fundamentally convinced that they're doing the right thing by attacking a 14-year-old, how do you -- how do you prevent that? How do you retrain people to think differently?

PEARL: Well, I think that what happened to her, which is a very, very sudden, heartbreaking event, I think that the comment that you showed earlier in your report of this young girl in Pakistan that said they are afraid of what women can do, and I think they should be.

Because there's a lot of obstacles to women and young girls' empowerment, but there's also a lot of determination. Being quiet or an outspoken determination. But I think -- I've seen personally the same will that we've found in Malala everywhere in the world. So, I think we are seeing something quite new, quite powerful, and there will be voices against it.

GORANI: Right, but in the end, you see the determination and the desire. But in the end, a girl got shot in the head. So, you still have this issue confronting young girls and women who want equality or strive toward equality. Who's job is it -- is it the government of Pakistan, is it NGOs? Who's responsible for their well-being? They're still children.

PEARL: Well, it's not only Pakistan, it's everywhere. Some women -- some young girls in villages get ostracized by their community, by their parents, by their brothers --


PEARL: It is amazing, the amount of obstacles they have to confront. What I'm trying to tell you is that these girls have made a decision, and they have understood themselves that it is their right, it is a human right more than even a woman's right, to get education.

And they will fight for it. And when I say fight for it, it's not a light way to put it. It's really a serious fight. And I've -- the women, the young women that I've met in different parts of the world or here in New York as we celebrate the Day of the Girl, are -- this morning I heard there's a story of a young woman who was a child slave.

Now, also, I think the type of obstacles are really daunting. And so is the determination. Obviously, it's --

GORANI: Will you -- and Mariane, you talk of specific stories. Is there one that sticks in your mind as an example of a way to improve the condition of girls, in terms of their access to education, in terms of delaying the age of marriage, where you have so many, still, child brides, female child brides? What is the method that stuck in your mind that has worked in a community to change things?

PEARL: Well, I think that for me personally, what has really impressed me is that the -- now the change is really coming from within. So really, I think the solution and how to go about it, how to talk to those communities, how to create a dialogue, how to confront violence. All these questions, I think these girls know much better than I do, than you do, because they've gone through it.

So, really, what they -- all they need is the support that we trust them, we invest in them. But I think in terms of how, I think they know better than we do.

GORANI: Right. And those are difficult solutions to find when, as you mentioned, sometimes the first hurdle is your own male family members.

PEARL: Yes, yes.

GORANI: It's not just the higher level of authority, it's your brother or your dad.

PEARL: Well, you know, it's -- we're talking about sharing power. Now, sharing power in the household, economically as well, politically. These women that get educated will claim also to be teachers, to be philosophers, to be president, politicians. That's really what we're talking about, no?

So, I think that a lot of men have it very comfortable now. They have young girls that become their bride or they can just shut them up with -- with hitting them. It's easy, no? And so, I think these girls have been ignored.

And now, thanks to the new technologies, thanks to just the face of change that's increasing so much, they can't do that anymore. I think we - - it's always been there. We know more about what's going on now.

GORANI: Mariane Pearl, thanks so much for joining us live from New York on CNN International.

And still to come on this show, she was just a girl with fabric dreams. Now, at the ripe old age of 29, she's taking on the French fashion world, and she's winning.


GORANI: Her passion for fashion started at a young age when she would cut up pictures and her parents' clothes as well. Now, at just 29 years old, she's making her debut as creative director for one of Paris's most important fashion houses. Our Human to Hero series meets Lydia Maurer as she begins her journey at Paco Rabanne.


LYDIA MAURER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, PACO RABANNE: What I love about fashion is that it's sort of -- it's the only way that art can actually go out in the streets. These garments don't live on the rack, these garments live on the body, and seeing them on anybody would make me extremely happy.

Here at Paco Rabanne, I have to represent a fashion house that's historic that is one of Paris's most important fashion houses.

I never felt attracted by the glamour. That was not the first -- thing that interested me about fashion. It was really the manual approach when I was a child, that I was always very interested in images, in materials and textures.

I would do basically crazy things. I would cut out things in my parents' books just because I liked them. Sometimes they'd say I'd even -- they even found holes in their clothes because I would just love the fabric.

My father's German, my mother is Colombian. As a fashion designer, you're chosen because of your background, because of what you bring to the table. My German side, which would be more the designer, the person who thinks about utility, about shape. And then, my South American side, which is much more instinctive and into materials.

This is the Spring-Summer 2013 collection. We have 35 sketches of different outfits for the show. Before we get to this, we probably have been sketching about 500 different other things, so it's -- there's a lot of volume to narrow it down and to perfect it to become the collection as it is in front of you right now.

The first part of the collection is always quite long. I sit down and I sketch, sketch, sketch for about a week and a half. Drawing just permits me to think and to remember what I like, and to show -- to communicate with the associates.

For me, really, the moment when I feel most alive is in the middle of the night when I've been drawing all day and I finally cracked it, I finally got that drawing, the lines that I really wanted. That's when I fell, OK, now it's going to be easy. The rest of the collection is already written. That's the moment.

I got an internship at Yves Saint Laurent because I basically sent them my sketches. I really learned the precision of the work, the necessity to make luxurious clothing and be at the cusp of the whole fashion world.

It's very important that it doesn't move around when she walks.

They really always appreciated my ability to put together textures, to embellish garments, but also my very sculptural cuts. So, I think that's two sort of very opposite things, are not things that are very common in people, and I think that's what they thought was very interesting.

I wasn't really able to apply so much of my talent there, not as much as I needed to, so I went to a smaller house called Rue du Mail which, in fact, turned out to be the best experience I ever had. I was able to really explore myself. That kind of readied me to finally come here.

Paco Rabanne has a -- is a very particular brand. I need to, obviously, mix part of me in it. I cannot just try to copy and to emulate exactly what Mr. Rabanne was doing in the 60s and 70s, which is a time that I admire most. But I have to bring it to the future.

It's important to stay yourself, because as soon as you start losing your essence, you start becoming uninteresting.

No one tells you what to be inspired by. It's your own inspiration. It's really about creating something that will make this collection live on.



GORANI: Well, nationally, it's neck-and-neck in the race for the White House, and with seven million more female registered voters than men in the United States, it could be the women who cast the deciding vote.

So, let's take a look at where the two presidential candidates are staking out territory on a controversial issue here in America: abortion.


MITT ROMNEY (R), US PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think I've said time and again, I'm a pro-life candidate, I'll be a pro-life president. The actions I'll take immediately to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You can decide that instead of restricting access to birth control or defunding Planned Parenthood, we should make sure that in this country, women control their own health care choices.


OBAMA: That's up to you.


GORANI: Barack Obama has long enjoyed the support of women voters, but a Pew poll out this week show that for the first time, he's lost a bit of that edge. Last month, the president was 18 points ahead of Governor Romney, but now they're even at 47 percent.

Now, Mr. Obama's campaign team will be hoping that an interview just published in fashion magazine "Glamour" will help the president win back the female voters. Becky Anderson -- or, I should say, win more of the female voters. He's already got an edge in that department.

Becky Anderson caught up with the editor in chief of "Glamour" magazine and began by asking what issues the candidates need to address to impress women.


CINDI LEIVE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "GLAMOUR" MAGAZINE: What matters most to women in the United States in 2012 is what matters most to Americans, which is jobs and the economy.

But once you drill down past that, you find that women, and particularly young women who have been major supporters of President Obama in 2008, are also very concerned with health care and reproductive rights, which to them, really means birth control and its high cost on a monthly basis.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The perception has been, certainly, and the polls seem to ride this out, that Obama has had a bigger female constituency voting for him than Romney might going forward. The polls now seem to be changing somewhat. Why do you think that is?

LEIVE: Well, I think first of all, there's the impact of the debate last week. How long-lasting that will be we don't know. But certainly, many Americans reported afterward that they found Governor Romney's arguments compelling.

That having been said, I think you're also seeing that some of the social issues that President Obama tends to enjoy the support of women on, and I'm talking in this country about the right to same-sex marriage, and again, support for insurance coverage for birth control, things like that.

Those have not come up that much in debate coverage yet, and certainly even in the mainstream media. So, it may be that if the president wants to talk to women on those issues, he's going to have to put it out there.

ANDERSON: You made a point in one of your editorials after President Obama spoke to you, and let's pursue what he said in a moment, that some pundits, and I quote you, "pounced on the fact that the president had sat down with 'Glamour' as evidence of a fluffy media strategy.'" And that upset you. Why?

LEIVE: Well, it actually amused me, because women are 51 percent of the voting population here in the United States, so for any candidate, Republican, Democrat to talk to them is just common sense.

There are 7 million more women eligible to vote in this November's election than there are men. Talking to women is by no means fluffy. That's a pretty patronizing suggestion. It's really just good sense.

ANDERSON: So, the fact that Mitt Romney hasn't got time for you, he says he has got scheduling conflicts, means what, do you think?

LEIVE: I really don't know. We'd love the opportunity to talk to the governor. I'd love to talk to him about some of the issues that are on young women's radar right now. And of course, he's spoken at the debate about jobs and the economy.

But I think really hearing more about his stance on some of the social issues that we know our readers care about, and having him outline his positions on those, I think, would be illuminating. So, we hope to have the opportunity to talk to him.


GORANI: The editor-in-chief of "Glamour" magazine on that Barack Obama interview. I'm Hala Gorani, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thanks for watching. I'll have your world headlines after a short break. Stay with us.